Process Post One
Coming into this class, I knew I had a website I could build off of from last year in Pub101. What I didn’t realize with reusing this website was how much I was going to need to change and update as unfortunately this website has been unused since the end of Pub101 last spring. When I first came back to my website, the first thing I knew I needed to change was what my website was about. Last year I had chosen to incorporate a variety of different topics and focal points into my content and website such as lifestyle, music, travel and many others, which I knew was going to be difficult to develop into any sort of a “business.” My biggest passion in life has always been travel, so I’ve decided to narrow in on a travel blog and/or website that will provide travel diary style posts as well as individual location spotlights, tips and tricks and various other topics all under the umbrella of travel.
By narrowing in I think it’ll be much easier for me to develop quality and detailed content and therefore it will also be much easier for me to develop a stable and consistent brand indentity as with different topics and focal points there will be different values and core concepts making a cohesive brand identity difficult to achieve.
With this change came the need to revamp my website so it aligned with my new concept and ideas rather than those that I had been using in Pub101. I started off by deleting any posts that were gonna appear irrelevant to my new brand indentity that I wanted to develop, only leaving the ones that could serve as relevant and high quality content for my website. With two posts remaining from last semester, I have since written one more (Portland, Oregon) and am in the process of writing a second one that will be another travel diary post.
Along with editing and archiving a lot of my older posts, I have also changed my categories and menus, added a few direct links to my Instagram account that is my primary social media platform where I post many travel related photos and redesigned the overall layout of my website to correlate directly to the brand that I am attempting to build.
Peer Review One (http://lifeeofh.com)
When first opening Helena’s website, it is very clear to any viewers or audience members what her website is about and what kind of content she is going to be producing. Instead of choosing to design and use her own personal logo for the header of her website, she chose to use the universally well known symbol for HIV which instantly and automatically conveys the primary focus of her website to her audience.
When considering what her “professional self” may be through her website and content, it is easy to discover that she really isn’t intending to portray a professional self that presents her personally, but rather presents her as an advocate of good health and someone of knowledge when it comes to all things to do with HIV meaning that instead of focusing on presenting who she is in detail she is choosing to present herself as a member of the medical and health field who simply would like to spread awareness about a historically very problematic illness. In this case, I really like her decision to keep her personal self separated from the website and its content allowing viewers and the audience to simply focus on the message of her content.
The “brand” that she has created through her website seems to be very clear and is supported by multiple posts that help to establish the brand and overall purpose behind the website. The current posts on the website are filled with information and facts regarding the given topic, allowing not only those within the medical field to find use from this website but also those who are newly learning about the topic at hand. By posting various different posts that provide the necessary background information for her topic, she is able to establish a stable and solid foundation for her website that will easily allow her to build and develop more complex, detailed posts and content in the future that her audience should be able to follow along with.
As for constructive criticism the only thing I have to comment on is the overall look of the website. I love the way she has designed the layout of her website making her header the first and foremost thing that viewers see upon arriving to her website as well as the way that all of her posts are easily accessible from the homepage but I do think she may benefit by incorporating more visual aspects to her website such as photo or an increased use of colour to separate one post from another or simply to separate the header of a post from the body of a post (colour use could be chosen to help incorporate the pre-existing “brand” or identity that HIV has developed into her website) .
Peer Review Two
For my second peer review I will be reviewing Christina’s website, ClaryNathanWill. In the previous peer review she was given by Jozef, he commented on what it is like as a first time visitor to this website. Although as one continues to scroll and explore the website the basis of it becomes clear, at first glance I wasn’t entirely sure what the purpose of the website was as I myself am unfamiliar with the term “NA.” This was immediately made clear once I discovered the “Are you new to NA” tab on her menu, but I still think that something in the header/banner of her website should give visitors a bit more information on what exactly they are looking at.
When scrolling down on her home page and visiting the different sections of her website which are all clearly presented in her menu, I was able to gain a much better understanding of what exactly this website is about. Christina has done a good job of developing thoughtful and detailed content for her readers that is sure to help those of us who aren’t as avid of readers of NA but are interested in starting to do so. I also very much enjoy the variety of content her website possess’ while all still remaining connected and relevant.
As for the overall design of the website I feel that she has created a good sense of hierarchy throughout her website but that maybe it could use a few more photos or some colour to develop more of a visual aspect to her content. Her menu and website is easy to navigate and her content is very user friendly as she takes a rather casual tone that makes it feel as if she is speaking to you as the reader directly which I personally enjoy when reading content such as this.
When looking at her social media, Christina has linked her Twitter and Goodreads profiles which I think is a great idea as those two platforms are likely gonna be very important and useful to her brand. Upon visiting her twitter, the posts on there and the posts on her website are directly correlated to one another which creates a sense of consistency throughout all her different platforms that she is using for this website. Overall, I think Christina has done a great job at developing her website and curating good, interesting content to go along with it.
Process Post 2
After revamping my website my focus shifted over to really narrowing in on a target audience. Travel is a very broad topic for one to write on and I know that if I want to find success in this field not only do I need to narrow in on specific groups of people and create content directly tailored to them, I also need to be able to find partnerships, collaborations and sponsorship opportunities that are going to benefit and be relevant to these people as well.
I know that I don’t want this website to be focused on luxury travelling as I myself have never been on a “luxury” style trip. This website will be primarily concerned with travel for young people and travelling on a budget. At first I thought that this was enough but after thinking about it, there are still so many different sub categories of people within this group. There are those who are going to want to backpack for months at a time, those who will want to tour with companies such as Busabout or Contiki and those who are brave enough to venture out on a solo expedition. There are also people who will want to stay in hostels, people who would prefer hotels and those who love to stay in AirBnB’s. After coming to this realization I have decided that I don’t want to only curate content within in one or two of these categories, but rather I would like to develop content that serves as relevant to all of these categories consistently.
My first attempt at doing this was in my London on a budget post where I outlined various different types of activity and accommodation styles. In this post I really tried to keep each different kind of traveller in mind in order to accommodate them and their needs.
Peer Review 3
For my third peer review I have been assigned Sonia’s website. The overall idea and “theme” of Sonia’s website is very compelling as a reader, and as lover of fashion myself I find myself very excited to read her posts and explore the content that she has posted!
Although the topic of fashion can in many cases become quite redundant and hard to write new and creative content on, Sonia does an excellent job of making her posts interesting and unique by narrowing in on specific events, styles and decades when discussing trends and outfit ideas.
I think that her website has a lot of potential for monetization as her posts are very relatable for every kind of women while also remaining unique and different from many other posts that are out out by similar website or publications. I find her posts to be a breath of fresh air when reading up on fashion as her knowledge and advice is very helpful when considering a new style or trying to put together a fun yet trendy outfit. By doing posts such as the one that she did on the brand Princess Polly she is providing herself with a great opportunity for monetization and business growth as from posts such as these she is opening herself up to possible collaboration, partnership and advertisement oppportunities!
The only piece of advice I have for Sonia is to add more a visual aspect to her website as fashion is a very visual area of interest itself, by adding photos and/or more colour to her website I think she would benefit! Overall though I am a big fan of her website and the content that she is creating.
Process Post 3
This week was all about establishing my visual identity/branding image. I personally did not feel like my brand was in need of a logo or brand mark and decided to opt for my photos that I include alongside my posts to serve as my visual brand identity. All the photography that is provided alongside my posts are my own and are directly connected to the photos that are posted on my Instagram account which is the primary social media account that I will be using in connection this website and my “brand.”
By using photos of myself in the locations or places that I am writing about I feel that I will be creating a more authentic relationship with my readers and creating a more genuine and recognizable visual aspect to my brand. In order to create a sense of consistency and recognizability I ensure that all my photos have a similar underlying composition and tone which I achieve through the use of a small and regular group of presets which make sure my photos all look similar and cohesive together on my website and on my Instagram page.
A logo is something I could most definitely incorporate into my website but at this point is not something of a priority to me as I would rather develop my visual identity through the photographs that I am attaching as a part of my posts in order to created the best and most authentic content I can for my readers. These photos not only show my readers and followers that I have indeed done all of these things that I am writing about while also adding a greater visual appeal and dimension to my posts.
Process Post 4
As of now my website is simply an extension of myself, but I believe that it is something I could potentially develop into a brand or business. I’ve created this website off of something that I consider to be a part of me, travelling and experiencing. For as long as I can remember I have been someone who cannot sit still and is constantly eager for something new, and this for me has been a place to document and share everything that I am fortunate enough to get to experience.
Because this blog is travel based, there is definitely an opportunity to turn it into something more. As a writer I could easily become an asset to many companies through my experiences and the content that I create as there is plenty of potential for advertisements, partnerships and sponsorships in the content I am creating. The business that I would create would be based on partnering with travel companies or other like minded content creators to create posts filled with suggestions, ideas, tip and tricks and eventually deals and exclusive information that could come from partnering with these travel companies such as hotels, airlines, other travel bloggers, etc.
If I were to turn this website into a business I would want the bulk of it to remain authentic and true to myself and what I do but by monetizing my content and creating a business driven aspect to it I feel that I would be able to create better and more informed content for my readers as well as simply just creating more content as my opportunities to do more in this field would be increased.
Process Post 5
In designing this website I wanted my target audience to be everyone. I want to create posts and content that is going to realistic and relatable for all kinds of travellers, whether it is the first trip they ever taken or they are well seasoned travellers. To be completely honest, I have not given Google Analytics as much attention as I maybe should have been giving it throughout this process and it’s not because I don’t care about where my visitors are coming from or how many of them are returning or anything else like that, it is simply because I have not one any advertising of my website due to the fact that I don’t feel it is ready to be marketed or promoted in order to reach more viewers, for me this website is simply still prototype that is in the works of becoming something worth being “advertised.”
I also understand that having a target audience of “everyone” is far to broad and in many ways impossible, so I have narrowed it in to beginning travellers as being my primary target audience. I want to produce content that will encourage people to travel and help give them the information and resources to be able to do so, and right now that is simply through sharing my experiences as young and budgeted traveller which I hope can reach out to those of us who are maybe putting travel on a back burner due to inexperience, money issues, fear, etc.
I assume that when I do get to a place with this website where I feel comfortable putting it out there for everyone to see and everyone to visit that the audience I will get is going to be similar to the audience I already have acquired on my Instagram page, being young and enthusiastic travellers who do not have access to every resource they may be needing and young travellers that are simply in need of a push to get out there and explore.
Process Post 6
This week was all about telling a story as a part of our brand and the tools that we can use to do so, so I thought that this week I would sit down and really develop the story of who I am and why I have decided to create this blog. I have been a traveller since the day I was born, growing up my parents always said to me that I would learn far more out experiencing the world then I ever would within the confines of a classroom, so that’s the way I have been taught to live my life. From the time I can remember I have been skipping out on school (much to my dismay when I had to miss the school dance in the seventh grade for a month long adventure in Europe) and travelling the world instead, which is something I will forever be grateful for.
Eventually life progressed and I became an adult, meaning that if I wanted to continue this amazing lifestyle my parents had developed for me then it was time for me to do it on my own. This past May I ventured out on my first big trip on my own to Europe for 3 weeks, after coming home from that trip and knowing that I can indeed do this on my own and that this is something I love and want to do with my life, I decided to make this a priority of mine. After taking many other big and small scale trips throughout the rest of 2018, here we are in 2019 and I am just over a month away from heading to Asia for the first time in my life, something I have always dreamed of doing. This is where my love of travel came from, and I want to incorporate this story into my brand and content, which I now know I can do through the storytelling tools we have learned about this week.
Process Post 7 & 8
When considering turning this website into a business, I do fear that with making that transition I will lose my personal self in favour of my professional self in many of my social platforms, including this website. This is where my hesitancy to incorporate a bigger business aspect to this website comes from as I want my my website to remain genuine and authentic rather than it seeming like I’m just another blogger talking about the topic of travel in the same way that every other travel blogger does.
In order to create this sense of authenticity I have made sure to use all my own photos that are directly connected to the photos on my personal accounts. Another way that I have done this is by making sure to use a tone in my writing that it makes it feel as if i am speaking to the reader directly such as using the terms we, us, etc. There most definitely is storytelling aspect to this blog as a lot of it is going to be my experiences and me sharing that with whoever might be reading what I am putting out and I want to make sure that that part of my website stays the same as its going to allow me to create the connection I want to with my audience.
I have no plans to upload any sort of feedback or survey aspect to my blog, but my comments are always on for those of my readers who have something to say and my comments are always something I am monitoring and looking over to conversation facilitated through the comments will be consistent and ongoing.
Process Post 9
Using social media as apart of my brand and website is going to be vital to the success of my platform, which is why I have made sure to connect my Twitter, Instagram and Pinterests account to my website in the upper right hand corner of my homepage. Instagram as I have previously mentioned has always been my primary platform, so I have made sure to incorporate it in many different ways throughout my blog as it is home to many of photos which are a big part of the content that I am posting.
On Instagram the content that I am sharing is all my own, but on Pinterest the content that I am posting belongs to other people and is simply inspiration for me and what I want to do next. Pinterest is a place where I frequently find travel advice and inspiration which I then take and my own and ultimately share with everyone here which allows me to take what I have found, experiment with it and then share with my viewers what I have found to be good and bad when choosing locations, choosing methods of travelling, etc.
I have also shared a video travel diary through Instagram which for me was an experiment with a different form of media when developing my travels diary posts. This is why I have chosen Instagram as my favoured social media platform as it allows me form a base for my content and incorporate many different forms of media including writing, photography and videography.
Process Post 10
In my weekly activity that we did on monetization, I made it quite clear that monetization was not something I was overly concerned with which again mostly goes back to the fact that I don’t think this website is something that is ready to be advertised or turned into an actual business. For me this is myself sharing a part of who I am and what I love, and monetizing that just simply does not seem right to me. I don’t want monetization to consume this website, I want it to remain something genuine that my viewers will known is trustworthy and sincere rather than something that is based solely off of whats going to earn money.
If I were to incorporate monetization into my website it would be scarce and only when it was something that I genuinely wanted to advertise or speak about, I don’t ever want to have random adds popping up in my sidebar that I don’t genuinely want to be advertising. I fear that monetization will overcome me and my website, and I don’t want it to get to a point where I am creating content for the sake of earning money, I want this website to a place for me share my thoughts and experiences in hopes that they will help to inspire others.
Presentation: The Written Version
For those of you who don’t already know, my name is Remy June and this is my website called remyjune.com! Growing up I was fortunate enough to have parents that always told me the most valuable lessons are not going to be learned in a classroom but rather are going to be learned exploring and travelling the world. This has been something that I have always lived my life by and something I hope to help others come to realize as well. I’ve have always been someone who values experiences over material items, which has brought me many great opportunities in my short yet exciting nineteen years of life. Upon returning from a trip I often have people around me asking me how I afford to travel as much as I do, how I know where to go and when to go there, where I find my inspiration and so many other questions like those. My intent with this blog is to answer all of these questions and develop a source of inspiration for those who are maybe less experienced with travelling, those who aren’t as motivated to make it work or those who are nervous due to financial concerns. Travel has brought me some the happiest moments and most fulfilling memories, and I want to be able to share those with others in order to inspire and encourage them to do the same!
As for visual representations, I have simply to the photographs that I have taken along my way as I have embarked on these trips in attempt to create a very authentic and personal connection with those who are reading my website. From my perspective, if I were to develop a set of watermarks and logos for my content I would be creating an atmosphere that appears to be business centred and that simply is not my intent with this website. I have not engaged in any monetization strategies or created any business tactics for my website as I simply want this to be a platform for me to share my thoughts and experiences with people who are interested in what I have to say. I am not interested in profiting off the content that I am creating here as this isn’t something I would want to feel I have to do, it’s something that I want to want to do. I think of this almost as a travel diary that I never have to worry about losing or wrecking, a travel diary I can share with my friends and family simply by sending them a quick link, not a business opportunity.
When considering my growth in the next six to twelve months I think about growing in the realm of content and not necessarily how many people are viewing my website or anything really to do with analytics. I want to develop better content in the coming months meaning that I will have more detailed and well developed posts, more frequent posts and hopefully posts from new and exciting locations. I hope that this website will continue to motivate me to keep travelling and exploring outside the borders of Canada.
My audience without surprise to me consists of my family and friends who I send my website to and whoever they may choose to share it with. Like I mentioned above to me this in a way is like a diary to me, and the people who I want to share it with are those that are close to me. I also share this those people previously mentioned that reach out and ask me questions about the lifestyle that I live and instead of going into great detail with them about it in person or through Instagram messages, I simply recommend they take a look at my website where they can find a detailed report of each adventure taken. If I do change my mind about monetization and turning this website into a business I know it will be reasonably easy for me to reach a wider audience through social media and connecting with other travel bloggers and businesses.
I think that companies such as Echo Storytelling and Pacific Content would be a great fit to represent my website because this website is one big story – the story of me, the story of my life and the story of everyone I meet as I venture across this crazy and beautiful world. It’s a genuine, inspirational story. My content is not influenced by how many people are viewing it or how much advertisers will like it, it simply is what it is. I want to empower the people around me to take a “why not” approach to life when considering whether they should travel somewhere new and out of their comfort zone. This website is about a dream and how I plan to achieve that dream. Nothing more. That’s why I think I’d be a good fit.