Lafleur Lifestyle is a lifestyle blog that has helped me explore my passions through a public platform. I can be in control over every aspect of my website, creating, editing, and posting content about anything that I please. Over the last few months, I have become a part of a new community through my online blog, and I could not be more excited about what my future could look like. My experiences as an online publisher have been more than I have expected to get out of this course. Opening myself up to creating an online presence is one of my favourite projects that I have completed in my undergrad degree. I have found something that I enjoy doing, and that can help me gain valuable skills for my future career. Since starting this project three and a half months ago, I have learned so much about an online business through the course itself, guest speakers, and other bloggers online. Some of my most influential blogger up to date would be Blog Pixie, Lipstick & Pixels, and Layered Indulgence. All three of these bloggers have so many helpful tips and similar themes that I would love to emulate for my own website, they are my role models. There are small learning curves to each aspect of my website that I have undergone, whether it is promoting your website to gain traffic through external social media posts, keeping a consistent theme and writing voice, or finding tools/plug-ins that can alter your website’s functionality. Individually doing research about those processes is what got me so passionate about this journey.
I initially created my publication by thinking about what interests that I have, and what would I be interested in talking about. I used myself as a target market for my own blog, thinking women similar to myself would like to read it. My blog currently features topics on food, beauty, travel, fitness, and of course, lifestyle. Lifestyle is all the extra general things that are more creatively tips and tricks that I have used and found in my life. Concretely, some of the data I have collected from Google Analytics shows that my real audiences are 89% new users over the course of my conception, with approximately 10% reoccurring. This is exciting for me to have any reoccurring visitors because these are still the starting stages of my blog and I know I have so much potential in the upcoming months! The majority of my audience live in the United States, then Canada which is mostly expected. It’s really encouraging to know that not only are my friends and family looking at my website, but Americans have found it the most popular. From this data, I can be sure that strangers are finding value and potential in my content. Expectedly, the majority of my users are female. When I created my target audience, I had a female in mind because I believe I can please women similar to myself with my content.
I am a part of a couple blogging communities on Facebook and Pinterest that have goals to promote each other’s blogs, and create more traffic, as well as sharing tips that have worked successfully for ourselves in the past. This includes liking each others posts, repinning them on Instagram, or writing comments on each other’s posts that help create more buzz and contribution for each other. Here is one example of one of my posts getting many comments from one of my blog communities. Basically just a place of total support from each other.I am happy that I have been able to avoid things such as the “online disinhibition effect“, which causes users to shed their normal identities and act in a way they wouldn’t normally do in real life (Konnikova, 2017). Most bloggers I have had a chance to work with have been very helpful and passionate about their work. Each blogger has always said to create specific niches and create value for those audiences through your posts. I have now realized that I should be having a little bit more of a specific target audience. When I get into my specific niche in the next couple months, I will be joining topic-specific blog communities.
I am addressing my current audience through all design aspects and actual post content. One thing I will be focusing on in the future is creating a brand logo. I currently just have my website name in cursive, but would like to make it more representative of my brand.
I believe that my website is visually appealing for my audiences, who can then proceed to read my content and take away value. Value is a concept that I have taken close to my heart to portray on all my posts that are generated on my blog. This is important for many reasons, it will make your audience want to keep coming back to your website, creating regular viewers, as well as have them share the information with others because it is helpful, creating new audiences for my website. You are able to control most aspects of your website except the consumption method in which people decide to read and visit. That is why creating a responsive website and theme is very important for audience experience (Cohen, 2012).
I have taken this project on as a business, and would potentially like to make money off of it. Google Adsense was not a software that I enjoyed using on my website because it ruined the theme of my website and I did not see a potential for making alot of money off of those advertisements. I used Google Adsense for my website for around a month before taking most of the ads off of my page and made a total of 81 cents. I would prefer to use other types of affiliate links and sponsorships that I feel represent my brand and myself better. See my process post on making money on my website to find out more.
In the future months, I would like to narrow my website niche to one or two more specific topics and then dive deeper into those. This will give my audience a specific reason to come to my website. I think this will create a more cohesive detailed platform for #bossbabe women to come and seek information on. A couple niche ideas that I have moving forward are blogging tips/how to start a blog, beauty blogger, or travel blog. I have noticed that those are the posts I enjoy writing the most. Most specifically, I enjoy helping other people create better blogs, which is why I liked the ‘blogging blogger’ idea. After this course, I plan to continue my blog with one of the niches I have previously mentioned. In the past two weeks, I have begun promoting my blog on Pinterest, and I have created a specific Instagram account for my blog. I have found both these platforms to be very efficient in translating followers I currently have into traffic on my blog.
Overall, this has been a great experience and opportunity for me to grow as a person, as well as spark and lasting passion for myself moving into the future. This is my last semester at SFU and I was so happy to be able to take this course and get help in a goal I’ve had for awhile now.
Cohen, G. (2012, March 27). Structured Content: An Overview. Retrieved April 02, 2018, from http://meetcontent.com/blog/structured-content-an-overview/
Konnikova, M. (2017, June 19). The Psychology of Online Comments. Retrieved April 02, 2018, from https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-psychology-of-online-comments
Suler, J. (2004). The Online Disinhibition Effect. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(3), 321-326.