Since about year 12 I have been told that everyone has their own writing style, yet I had never been able to say I had one. Although over my time at university I have aimed to develop one via my blog posts and academic writing. By finding a balance between having a ‘voice’ and keeping my writing at least semi-professional I have learned that a personal style of writing is fluid and changes as the writer learns more. For example, over the time of “Brooke’s BCM Blog”, which, at this point could use an updated name, I have learnt how to better engage my audience, who exactly that audience is, how to use the WordPress statistics in order to learn about when what pages are being visited and how to use my past work to improve on for the future.
When attempting to engage my audience and gain a wider one, I promote my blog and its most recent posts on Twitter. By doing this I am showing that the blog is constantly being updated and readers can expect a variety of posts from my classes and learn different things when reading my blog. By commenting on other peoples posts I further promote my blog by interacting with others, helping them with their posts and in turn, getting help with mine. When posting on my own blog I, whenever possible, link to other sites where I got my information and inspiration from to show sources and allow for further audience research. This ranges from higher brow sources such as news articles and papers and lower brow ones such as websites and other blogs. This can be seen in my post titled Nanny and the Net (Like Bennie and the Jets but not at all) or in my Physical Spaces Affecting Media Spaces – A Story Of Getting Lost post. I have also made sure to integrate my twitter into the sidebar of my blog and tweet when each post goes up to allow for greater opportunity for interaction between me and my audience.
When designing my blog, I aimed to make sure it was visually appealing while also easy to navigate by my peers. I also aim to make my blog easy to read and navigate when you are someone who isn’t part of the BCM blogging community by showing it to people who are not and seeing if they are able to understand the blog and its contents. A part of this was testing me about me page and keeping that regularly updated to make sure it is accurate and reflects what I am doing at the time. By using my own images in my blog design, i.e. the header photo and family photos on some posts, it allows for my blog to be more personalized and reflect me more.
An issue with my blog, however, is that I sometimes do not blog regularly and instead ‘mass post’ to catch up. Going forward this is something I will need to improve on to also improve my blog and keep my readers interested.
By looking at my WordPress statistics I can see that my blog gets the most views when I promote it on twitter by saying I have a new post up and for my peers to have a look at it. As seen in the graph below, the days where I have uploaded a link to twitter the views have spiked and averaged at about 5 per day, while when I do not either upload or promote my blog on twitter there would be little to no views. This tells me that most of my regular readers are my peers and occasionally people who I have featured in posts and informed them of their piece being up to be read. These quantitative statistics show that I should promote my blog more to get more views on each post. This could also allow for more qualitative as I would gain feedback via comments on posts.
By gaining qualitative information I would be able to understand why people decide to keep coming back to read my blog and its posts, and what draws them to click on each post.
During writing this piece and looking over my past work, I think that the quality of my work has improved slowly and developed as I have found my writing voice and style of writing. A way I have done this is by looking at the writing and processes of individuals I look at as good writers and adapting pieces of that into my own style and way of doing things. My writing practice has changed to be quicker to get out when I first started writing it would take a while as I was unsure of what to write and how to express it. Now with more experience and understanding of how to produce this type of content I can see the slight change into only time something takes to be produced but the small, but growing level of quality in my writing.
In terms of developing as a researcher, I have been able to understand what sources will be valuable to my work, and what ones don’t seem as relevant to what I am trying to accomplish. In the same way as my writing, by looking at my peers and people whose writing I admire and seeing what type of sources, primary and secondary, they used has helped in developing my own research. On my blog, I write about many different topics from each of my classes and this way of developing my writing and research has helped in each of my classes and learning how to make my writing and research better. Although I do need to concentrate on how I select each source, my selections are becoming better and more appropriate for each subject and research I am doing.
By looking at what others have done, and taking on feedback given to me by peers and tutors I have been able to become more confident as a public writer and hope to further this in the future.