I have loved writing ever since I was a child, and for most of my life, it has been a dream of mine to become some kind of writer, whether it be an author, screenwriter, or journalist. I have wanted to create a blog for several years now, as I thought it would be both fun and beneficial to create a space where my writing could live. I hoped to use it to express my thoughts, improve my writing, create an audience that could follow me on my future endeavours, and perhaps make some money doing what I love. I have not accomplished all of these goals yet, but my blog is still new, so I have plenty of time to work towards them.
I was both apprehensive and excited to create my own blog. I decided early on that I wanted it to be a personal blog, as that gives me more freedom to write about various subjects and allows me to write essays about my thoughts and experiences while showing off my writing skills. I aimed for an audience of people around my age, and while many of my blog posts are about the student experience, I want my blog to be accessible for those who are not in school as well, as I want to talk about the young adult experience. My idea of what I want my audience or public to be lines up with Michael Warner’s in “Publics and Counterpublics”, as he states, “A public is a relation among strangers”, and I want my blog to be a place where people can read about experiences similar to their own and feel a sense of connection with them. I also want my public to be a “social space” as described by Warner, as I want to foster a sense of community among my readers and give them a space where they can discuss their own experiences and struggles.
I changed the theme of my blog several times before deciding on my current theme, as I initially wanted something very simple so I could focus on my content, but I was unhappy with the first few themes I tried and wanted something more visually appealing. Travis Gertz discusses the importance of design in his article “Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse”, and his insights convinced me to place more emphasis on the design of my blog, as it is what attracts readers. Gertz believes that a website’s layout should “[connect] the content to the medium”, and that connection is what I want to achieve. I chose a simple, easy to navigate theme that emphasizes and works well with my content. I have a lot of white space on my blog, but my header picture, Instagram feed, and blog post images contrast it. The blog post images also draw attention to the posts themselves and connect to their topics. Gertz emphasizes the relationship between design and content, stating, “[D]esign augments the message of the content”, so I am trying to connect my content to my design to create a uniform feel to my blog. My header image is a picture of clouds, which connects nicely with my blog’s title. I want to make it clear as soon as people visit my homepage that I have put a lot of time and effort into the design of my blog, and that the design quality reflects the quality of the content.
I intend to continue blogging after this course, and I am planning to take information from lectures and readings into account as I maintain and develop my online presence. The course reading “Make Your Thing” by Jesse Thorn has many helpful insights for finding success in independent media, but the one that is most useful in my current situation is “Keep Your Legs Moving”, as with the course ending, I need to keep working hard to maintain my blog and its audience. I intend to continue posting on my blog at least once a week, perhaps even more during school breaks. I would also like to work on cultivating my social media presence and expanding the reach of my blog’s Instagram account. Most of my readers have come from my Instagram, so I plan to post on it more often to attract people to my blog. Ideally, I would like to post on it at least twice a week, although I realize that will be difficult while I am in school. Regardless, I want to post on my Instagram every time I post on my blog to alert viewers of new posts. I would also like to post pictures of myself, where I go, and what I do on my Instagram, so my audience can get a sense of who I am as a person and follow my adventures through multiple channels. Another goal of mine is to gain enough viewers to be able to make money from my blog, whether it be from Google ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored posts on my blog or Instagram. I would love to be able to support myself doing something that I love, whether it be running my blog or becoming a journalist, author, or screenwriter because of my blog’s success. Regardless of what the future holds, I am excited to continue this journey and see what lies ahead.
Gertz, Travis. “Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse”. Louder Than Ten.
10 Jul. 2015, https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines. Accessed 23 Nov. 2018.
Thorn, Jesse. “Make Your Thing”. Transom. 11 Apr. 2012, https://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-
make-your-thing/. Accessed 23 Nov. 2018.
Warner, Michael. “Publics and Counterpublics”. Quarterly Journal of Speech, vol. 88, no. 4,
Nov. 2002, pp. 413-425, http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf.
Accessed 23 Nov. 2018.