Essay #2: My blog

For this class I created this blog, “Tobi’s Routine”, when we were first asked to think of a topic to create a blog, I had to brainstorm what I wanted to write about. I wrote down things I enjoyed I my life, and things I liked to talk about. For me, it was between three things, cooking, skincare and trying new active things like aerial silks or boxing. I also looked at the different things I followed on social media, as well as the blogs that I liked. One of the one’s that I always look to and have mentioned many times before in this course is Chriselle Lim’s blog, The Chriselle Factor. I have followed her beauty/lifestyle blog for a couple of years now, and I love her content. She even had a blog post about, “5 Tips on How to Start a Blog” which I read to help further push my decision. A lot of the other articles I also read about choosing a blog topic was mostly about finding a passion. The reason I named my blog, “Tobi’s Routine” was to allow myself to talk about any of the three topics. My cooking/eating routine, skincare routine or gym routine. It originally was going to be a lifestyle blog, but I eventually narrowed it down to just skincare because I saw there were many other lifestyle blogs in the class and I always find my friends coming to me asking for skincare advice.

This is the main reason I decided to focus on skincare. I used to work at a facial spa as a receptionist and this is where my passion for skincare started. I learned a lot over the year I worked there and made friends with many of the aestheticians. I loved helping customers that came in, educating them about skincare and helping them find the right products. I, myself have experienced bad skin before and remember how it felt. I did not like going out, tried to hide my acne, and was not sure how to fix it. I wish someone were to help me not only find the right products, but to educate me and help me understand how our skin works. My blog is for people who felt they were in a similar situation to myself. Someone who either does not have a skincare routine, or someone who does but has no idea why they are using the products that they do. Specifically, my target audience is for people around the age 18 – 30. This is because of the products that I recommend, such as I can’t speak about my experience for using retinol because they are for someone who has more mature skin, as well as the price range of products I use. I try to have a good balance between more affordable skincare, and some that may be a bit pricier. I also try to make my blog more gender neutral, my blog is for anyone who wants to learn more about skincare and when I was designing my blog, I made sure to keep the colours more gender neutral, as well as the products I recommend I try to choose ones that are for different skin types. Another resource that I used to create the style of my blog, was to follow Mauve Pagé’s design principles that she spoke about in our class. These were rhythm, balance, proportion, contrast and unity. When creating and designing my blog and content, I made sure to consider each one of these principles which became the result of my blog today. This was further acknowledged when I read Megan’s (writer of The Kindness Lifestyle) peer review of my blog, in this review Megan broke down each of the design principles and gave me feedback on what was working with my blog, and things that I can try to improve my blog (thanks Megan!).

One of my favourite things that happened after launching this blog was that my friends and family members that have visited my blog have spoken about how they learned a lot from my posts, and some have even said how they have been using products like toner or exfoliants all their lives but had no idea why until they read my blog! For me, this is the real value I am providing with my blog. As I mentioned before I love educating people about skincare as well as helping them find the right products. When I was finally able to understand my own skin and what worked best for me, I felt a lot more confident in my own skin and I hope that I can help other people who may have experienced what I did.

In terms of the audience data and stats of my blog, I feel like I still have a lot of potential of reaching a larger audience. Currently with Google Analytics and WordPress stats, I can see that most of my users are from Canada, with some from the US. I think that I can push this further by using better tags and promoting my blog more with my social media accounts. I have friends and followers from all over the world on my Instagram so this may be a good way for me to expand my audience. Another thing that I found interesting is that 32% of my visits are actually through mobile. This is a much larger number than I expected, which prompted me to visit my blog through mobile to see what the experience is like on there. After this, I realized that I needed to change some of the designs of my blog, such as making some of my photographs smaller (so they take less screen room) on the mobile for a better viewing experience. As I continue, I think understand this data and analytics will help me create a stronger audience and guide me in the content that I create for my viewers. Also, as I build my audience, I hope that I also get more comments from them that will help me also improve my blog!

Looking back, I think my blog has improved in many different ways. Even when I first started, I wasn’t sure what topic I was going to focus on and named my blog in a way that allowed for flexibility. But as I started writing and realizing that I wanted to focus on skincare, it helped shape my blog. The design of my blog has also had small but significant changes to help create a better experience for people who visit my blog. I also think that as I brainstorm more ideas about what to write about, and as the content grows, I started to understand how I wanted to address my audience, and the structure that I want to provide my information. I started with the basics of skincare, some product reviews, and then having blog posts more focused on each of these steps. In the beginning of the term, one of my goals was to improve my writing skills and learn how to write more engaging pieces for my audience and I hoped that I have achieved that. I would love to be able to continue my blog, as I love writing about skincare, but I have also thought about moving my platform to Instagram. This is because I think I can reach a bigger audience, be more direct and personal with my audience, and make it more accessible to more people. I also think that skincare shouldn’t be complicated, therefore want to make the information easy and short to understand and read. Regardless if I decide to continue my blog, I had enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and it’s always a good excuse to try new products!

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