Hao (2008) describes the nature of a publisher’s work as needing to exercise “good judgement” including in “editing style[s], text[s]” and “realiz[ing] the culture of quality content.” Reflecting on generating an entirely new website at the beginning of the semester, Hao’s (2008) argument rings true. My experience creating this publication directly relates to his description because this course has been very informative as well as provided a deeper understanding on how to create, edit and design more professionally. When comparing to social media, the primary method I used to build an online presence, publishing by utilizing WordPress for an audience as an individual who aspires to produce a meaningful blog the public can engage with has caused me to view the online sphere through a broadened lens.
I initially had a difficult time deciding on what to focus on as evidently the choice would determine the trajectory of what to post on a long-term basis and I wanted to ensure the topic was a selection I felt satisfied with. However, the topic I chose not only allowed for the dissemination and exploration of an interest that shares a personal part of who I am, but also facilitates a productive means to participate with others in another digital environment. My publication is about inspirational literature, whether it be fiction or non-fiction books, that are mainly novels. Therefore, the audience I have imagined are those possessing a passion for reading; specifically individuals within my age group or older. Envisioning who visits the blogsite ultimately shapes how I “craft the content to best command [my] audience” (Hirshberg, 2014).
There has not been any significant engagement or comments on Four Purple Walls thus far and I have not received the opportunity to interact with my real audience since the site’s initiation. Because of these difficulties, I am currently continuing to address my imagined audience. This addressing is through writing with a respective tone and the text embodying an editorial quality meant to instigate conversations in relation to the books and authors I introduce on my blogsite. I had a similar intention concerning the design component, where the format makes for simple navigation in addition to an inviting space that “builds” a sense of “community” (Farley, 2013). The sense of community is further the value that I provide.
After evaluating the data garnered through google analytics and as I mentioned above, no new readers have frequented the website. Apart from my peers who visited my publication for academic assignments, not one comment has directly appeared. Consequently, there is little I learnt from the statistics tool. But this observation influenced me to adopt more channels to assist in increasing public engagement and “develop relationships with potential” viewers (Tran, 2019).
Reflecting back on how my thinking has changed on publication, the skillset I acquired has given me the confidence to try using more resources and expand my presence, which is an undertaking I was hesitant to involve myself in prior to the start of the term. I found overseeing one’s own website particularly intimidating, especially as a person having encounters encompassing no more than basic tasks with site-building before. Maintaining the feeling of confidence, in turn, remains a crucial goal following the course’s conclusion. I will continue to blog as it has become a source of personal enjoyment and accomplishment. The appreciation I have for running a website has grown throughout this process and believe the advantages of continuing to produce content is long-standing.
That being said, the ensuing steps I plan on proceeding with is investigating other options to monetize Four Purple Walls. Since my classmates and I were previously exposed to Google Ads, I would like to survey the prospect further. My first attempt to apply the automatically generated code was unsuccessful and I am aware that for WordPress users, additional action needs to be taken in order for the ads to begin functioning. On the whole, the monetary aspect is also a beneficial route that is mainly a matter of familiarizing. For example, when recently conducting research on common ways of earning revenue through ads and after browsing through the results, I read that “affiliated marketing” is regarded as “one of the most popular ways to” receive “money from your website” (Schaferhoff, 2016). I recalled the recommendations Melissa Hudson’s peer review expressed from a marketability perspective where she suggests how “Amazon Affiliate Links” appear to show promise given the kind of content I publish.
Overall, creating an entirely new website has been a thought-provoking experience. The practical abilities I obtained over the span of the semester informed me of new ways I could illustrate my creativity and personality online; actively growing my digital presence as the result of discussing a subject I am passionate about. Despite lacking engagement, I am determined to inspect other possibilities to publicize my blogsite. I aim to consistently blog and hope to see comments during this time. And after the course concludes, the subsequent stage I plan on assuming is monetization which I anticipate will come to fruition in the foreseeable future.
Farley A. (2013). Digital Third Places: Using online spaces to connect to community [PDF file]. Retrieved from: https://online.queens.edu/sites/que/files/third-places_ashleigh-farley.pdf
Hao, Z. (2008). Studies of the Publishing Industry’s Cultural Quality. Publishing Research Quarterly. 22(1), 22-26. doi: 10.1007/s12109-008-9051-5
Hirshberg, P. (2014). Change: 19 Key Essays on How the Internet Is Changing Our Lives. (6th ed.).
Hudson, M. (2019). Peer Review 3 – “Four Purple Walls.” Retrieved from: http://intheseams.ca/2019/11/05/peer-review-3-four-purple-walls/
Schaferhoff, N. (2016, June 3). 33 Ways to Monetize a Website/Blog. Retrieved from: https://websitesetup.org/33-ways-to-monetize-website/
Tran, T. (2019 January, 7). How to increase Social Media Engagement: A Guide for Marketers. Retrieved from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-engagement/