Over the last week plus I have being working through this blogging module and keeping a consistent daily blog on blogging itself. This process has produced a mixed result of rewarding moments and frustrating ones. As the final day of this module I want to end this process as a reflection on what I have gained and learned throughout this time.
What I Learned
Keeping a dedicated blogging schedule is difficult. My daily planner and calendar have blog scrawled all over them and even then sometimes I would forget about my daily blog until late in the evening. Luckily I always remembered but it took awhile to build blogging into my natural schedule. I also realized that my blog posts were better the earlier I started them. So on Monday I decided to try and sketch out the posts I would do for the rest of the week. By having a vague idea about what I needed to accomplish each day I could plan time to work on posts. While I would start blogs before the day of posting I never actually finished them until the day they were due to post. (The only exception is this post which I wrote early so that I could submit it for my assignment earlier.) Another issue was that sometimes I felt very uninspired about blogging. I would struggle where to take my posts and how to make them readable.
One of the concepts I tried to figure out through this process was finding my blogging voice. From my perspective I think that I have gotten closer to figuring out my voice, however it has been a an interesting process to try and decide the way that I try to present myself through blogging. I know that some of my posts had a stronger voice then others, partially depending on my interest in the content but also based on how much time I spent preparing a post. Last minute posts for instance were not as polished as I would prefer.
The Blog itself
The theme I chose for this site was simple I did not want a lot of clutter and decided that simple and straight forward would be the best approach. In terms of plugins I did not do anything really fancy, however I did use sitestats through JetPack to track site interaction. However as I mentioned in a previous post I made a very rookie mistake and forgot to install JetPack before I started posting, so my data on visits only goes back through part of my blogging module. Since I have plenty of blogs for other courses I thought I had already installed that plugin but this clear mistake reminded me to always check from now on.
In terms of getting an audience for my site I primarily used Twitter to promote my blog because I saw this as perhaps the simplest way to send my work out to a larger audience. I made sure to use tags like #blogging, #blog, and other related tags to bring my tweets a larger audience. I did actually get a fair amount of interaction on twitter because of this, especially with my blog post about blogging at other universities.
What I would do differently
I wish that I had had more time to devote to each post everyday because then I think the content would have been even better and made the whole blogging process more cohesive. Another thing I could have improved was planning out the posts from the very beginning or at least a day before. Ultimately I adopted this method but if I had started doing that from the beginning I think the posts would have been much better.
Increasing the platforms that I used to post about my blog would be another thing I would be another thing I would go back and fix. I got a fair amount of interaction on Twitter however using other platforms beyond Twitter may have given me a larger amount of viewers. As a part of that I would also try to stick to a consistent posting time that happened earlier in the day. This way viewers would be more likely to see my tweets and other posts about the site and the consistency would look much more professional.
Where it goes next
I am not sure really what to continue doing with this blog space now that I have finished up the module. As hard as it was to figure out what to post on having the restriction of blogging on blogging at least gave me ideas where to center my postings. Without any clear restrictions or concepts it would be hard to blog consistently and harder to blog daily. Being able to blog on anything is a little too broad for me and having some kind of structure results in better posts and posts that I feel proud about. So likely this space will lapse for a period until I can find a concept to explore with it or find another topic that I am passionate about.