With this roller coaster of a spring semester coming to an end, I thought it’d be important to reminisce over the epic up’s and down’s we have experienced together. WordPress definitely came with its challenges, but after a long struggle, and many moments of trial and error; I can confidently say that I have created something I’m truly proud of. Blogging has always been appealing to me, and I have always longed to have a platform to document my life that wasn’t a popular social media. But, life gets in the way, and it never became a priority. I have never been so happy to start a school assignment until I enrolled in this class; I got to learn about something I am genuinely interested in, and I got to cross something off my to-do list that has been there for far too long. Developing an online presence, along with proper branding and a domain to properly embody by ideas took time. Practice truly does make perfect.
The one thing that worried me constantly regarding starting a blog, was my publication. What did I want to make known about myself? How would I make it original? Nothing online is significant to just one person; everyone, everywhere, does everything. So, what was I going to do that would stand out just the smallest amount more than the next blog? After coming up with nothing and being embarrassed in myself, it dawned on me to write about exactly that; being embarrassed. Considering I am in no way an “aesthetically pleasing” person, living an “aesthetically pleasing” lifestyle, starting a lifestyle blog I knew would be a difficult task. Why not write about being just that? Base my publication of being “brutally” honest about how and what I am doing, and how I work my way through it. Blogs resemble online diaries, which can be a pivotal point in the development of a social identity (Chittenden, 2009). I wished to develop a blog that properly represented myself and continues the social identity that I have already started with my social media accounts.
It was this realization that brought us Brutally, Brianna. A lifestyle blog that is real, showing the real struggles that those who are not living the aesthetically pleasing lifestyle go through. I simply write about my struggles, and how I manage them. Most lifestyle bloggers talk of their ambitions, current fashion and beauty likes, health and wellness, anything that they feel important enough to pass on to others. While I do cover these topics, I do it in a way that I feel portrays my characteristics much more than a professional blog. I achieved this through my casual language in my posts, as well as a theme that is bright and welcoming, and a name that says it all. Through my posts, I am being true to my experiences regarding what I encounter, how I feel about it, and the changes those events or products made in my routine, if they helped it at all. Because of the honesty that I displayed, I think that I am providing a space for viewers to not feel compelled to try a product or change their lifestyle; but solely a conversation with a friend.
Being that this is no ordinary blog, I didn’t really know what to expect when I looked at my Google Analytics. I had no idea if I even had enough viewers to show data. This was partly true, but way more than what I expected. From my Google Analytics, it seems that 60% of my viewers are women, mostly in the 20-25 range. While I didn’t expect to have as many viewers on my site as I did, this was the expected gender and age range that I was hoping for, for my desired public. Referencing to my “Making Myself Look Professional”, I had no idea that so many people would be interested in me “stumbling my way through life”.
“The difference between the successful ones and the unsuccessful ones is that the successful ones do it, then do it again and again (Thorn, 2012).” There was a long point in time at the beginning of the semester where I was nervous about the theme of my site and whether the content I’m posting would be appealing to other viewers. I was contemplating for so long whether to go through with it, I eventually decided to not care what others would think and do what I thought I would be most successful doing. Through the comments in my Peer Reviews and the general comments from friends who have viewed the site, Thorns advice that the successful ones just do it really became true to me. By promoting a greater sense of community identity through these comments, I did not have to worry about standing out individually (Konnikova, 2013), because I had a small community assuring me that what content I was creating was appealing to my intended public.
My views on publication have changed substantially throughout this semester, for I initially believed that what I was posting had to be appealing solely to the public. I believed that I had no right over whether I truly enjoyed what I was writing about because it mattered more what my viewers thought. Through the creation of this blog, I have learned that, as cheesy as this sounds, the most important viewer is me. After all, this is my lifestyle blog about my life, in the format that I please. I can write about whatever I feel is important to me, and I can write about it in a way that makes me feel good; a format that properly embodies the way I see and react to things. That is what a lifestyle blog is supposed to be. This is why the end of this semester is not meaning the end of this blog, I have developed a love for writing about the craziness of my life and I intended to continue it, whether I enrol in more publishing classes or not (I hope so).
Cheers to being brutal.
Jesse Thorn. 2012. “Make Your Thing.” http://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/
Chittenden, T. (2012, July 08). Digital dressing up: Modelling female teen identity in the discursive spaces of the fashion blogosphere. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902
Konnikova, Maria. 2013. “The Psychology of Online Comments”. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-psychology-of-online-comments