My online presence has been established in the young adult blogging world for a few years now. Because of school, I had been on a break from blogging for three or four months by the time this class came around and I had been missing the experience of blogging a lot. I had kept up my tweeting and talking to fellow bloggers and publishing contacts frequently, because Twitter certainly doesn’t take up as much time as blogging does. It kept me up to date on what was releasing and when, who was acquiring new book deals, cover reveals and recaps of special events and much more. Despite all of this, there is a disconnect if you are not an active blogger. Your followers go down and the jealousy of watching someone receive an advanced copy of a book you had been coveting is a bitter pill to swallow. I had been contemplating returning to blogging but struggled to figure out how to find the time. My online presence in young adult book blogging was rekindled with the onset of this class and the addition of the publishing talk on my blog has been received very well, despite some of my trepidations. I found expanding my online presence from strictly book reviews and features to the broader world of publishing to be an intriguing chance to really learn more about the industry in which I am hoping to make my career in, as well as to gain some insight with fellow bloggers about the publishing industry through a different perspective.
Publishing 101 also gave me the perfect opportunity to make a big move from Blogger over to WordPress; a move I had been wanting to make almost as soon as I had built my blog and following on Blogger. It was daunting but worth it in the long haul and I learned an incredible amount about coding, the intricacies of analytics and how to make a a website look the best it can look. Our class discussions of how the quality of appearance on the website doesn’t matter as much over the quality of content on the blog was something that intrigued me a lot over the course. I disagreed with some of our discussions in regards to the appearance of the blog or website not mattering at all. In my blogging experience, as both a writer and a reader of blogs, if a website isn’t appealing to me physically, I am less likely to stay and explore the site more. Joe Lazauskas wrote in “Why ‘Depth Not Breadth’ Will Be The Rallying Call of Content Marketing in 2015“, “Brands primarily care about one thing, and that’s building relationships with consumers over time so said consumers will keep buying what they have to offer.” A blog and its contents are a product that you are attempting to sell someone on. As Derek Halpern wrote in “Content is King… or Is It?“, “Online, you only have a second to grab someone’s attention. And during that second, people make snap judgments about you, your business, and your website. Before. They. Read. Your. Content”. It goes back to the old adage of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” This statement is true in the sense that it’s what is inside that really counts, absolutely. However, if a book has an unappealing or uninteresting cover, it won’t catch my eye sitting on a bookshelf in a store and I most likely won’t pick it up. While this is a little different in website format because it’s harder to browse in the same way, the idea remains the same; a quick view of what your blog looks like will help in deciding whether or not I stay. An intriguing title or headline will draw me initially into the site, however, if the owner of said blog isn’t willing to put in the work to make the blog as appealing as it can be in all ways, to engage me, it leads me to be less inclined to browse through their site. Building a relationship with me as a reader of a blog is as important to that blogger as it would be to a large company trying to sell a product.
My experiences with tracking were uneventful and anticlimactic. I would much rather have focused that energy into tracking my google analytics results or something more related to the content that we were focusing on in class. My week to week didn’t change that much and therefore my postings remained fairly monotonous.
My online personality really isn’t all that different from my personality in real life. It’s something that I work really hard for; to translate my voice accurately into my writing. I show my enthusiasm consistently and it is something very important for me as a blogger. I want to be as authentic to my readers as if they were sitting across from me having a conversation. While I am not a huge figure of young adult blogging by any means, I do have a solid following who I appreciate very much. Being as true to my personality as I can is very important. I found John Suler’s article on disinhibition a little frustrating, as he never mentioned a direct reflection of one’s personality online. Each point he made dealt much more with what we put on as inhabiters of the internet, not who we actually are in real life, as well as online. It also really dealt with the more negative effects on the internet on one’s personality.
Going forward from this class, I absolutely intend to continue blogging and I look forward to incorporating more of my publishing learning as I finish up my degree. The insight I gained into the publishing industry wasn’t a lot, but I look forward to more.
Halpern, Derek. “Content is King… or Is It?” Social Triggers. No Date. No Page. Web. 30 March 2015.
Lazauskas, Joe. “Why ‘Depth Not Breadth’ Will Be The Rallying Call of Content Marketing in 2015”. The Content Strategist. 28 January 2015. No Page. Web. 30 March 2015.
Suler, John. “The Online Disinhibition Effect”. The Psychology of Cyberspace. 2004. No Page. Web. 30 March 2015. 2015.