You Need A Blog, Now

Dear Mr./Mrs. Prez,

I’ve been working here for a whole week, and I just realized that our wonderful company, Clothing Inc.,  has neglected to employ any form of social media interaction with our intended consumers. I thought I would bring this to your attention because I think that your company can benefit from an increased social presence in various different areas of the interwebz. As you know,  I posess a degree in Something Amazing, and I believe that with my extensive skills learned in the Creative Blogging field, I can help lead this company towards a brighter and more profitable future.

  1. Create a self-hosted blog, that presents our latest products to give and recieve feedback.
  2. Use Google Analytics or similar  sites to search and review tags and post content that help raise our presence and position on various different Search Engines
  3. Using various demographic information, you can target other websites which would display your advertisements and promote your content.

If examples are needed to drive home the sheer importance of the need for a social presence, you must look no further than companies like Nike or L.L. Bean, or Ralph Lauren. Each of these companies employs multiple blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and advertisements, to create a steady stream of revenue, which can then be sunk back into the company.

Another form of social media that would work well in conjunction with the blog is a company Facebook page, Twitter account etc. Through this form of presence you can not only reach a much larger audience, but in conjunction with analytics engines, you can find out more about your customer base; their likes and dislikes, and then tailor future products that you feel will be relevant to the consumer.

Through this you can also get out public endorsements quicker.  You can feature models and post biographies of them to connect your readers a little bit more. Giveaways and coupons will also work well. Consumers are moving to the internet in droves to find their future products, and are consistently turning to blogs for more information on those products.

You’ll need to hire a team to complete all this work, but I think I’d be perfect for the job.

Yours Truly,

Michael, Pat, Shadman

Blogging and Monetization

If I was to monetize Rated E, I think I would choose primarily advertisement and corporate sponsorship. I would also leave the option to donate via Paypal because it couldn’t hurt anything. (If possible, and if I was really gaining a significant fanbase, I would perhaps sell merchandise but that isn’t likely to happen with opinionated/review blogs.)

Because my blog is based on the opinions and reviews of movies and TV shows, it would be easiest and most beneficial to do advertisement. It’s the perfect type of blog for advertising because it targets a very specific audience that has a significant amount of people; advertisers who would feature on my blog would be upcoming films and perhaps films that don’t get enough advertisement on TV or in theaters. Perhaps straight to DVD films could feature their advertisements. New upcoming shows that aren’t projected to have high ratings for their premiere could advertise and perhaps boost their numbers. The same can be said for corporate sponsorship except it would be more genuine and would not in any way take away from how followers may think of my blog. Services like Netflix could perhaps give me a discounted membership. Film companies could send “indie” movies to me and I would watch them and review with my honest opinion.

Both of these options would be perfect for my blog and it wouldn’t take away credibility or the integrity of my blog because my blog is very easy-going and there is no formula. I watch whatever interests me and I state my honest opinion. Occasionally, I’ll watch something that others recommend or something that catches my attention but there is nothing that I wouldn’t necessarily watch except for things in the horror/gore category. I would even watch thrillers. Readers of my blog wouldn’t suddenly feel cheated or annoyed by the advertisements and sponsorships because they would be relevant. I don’t think anyone would think of it as “selling out” or anything like that.

Monetizing My Personal Blog

The way I would choose to monetize my personal blog if I had enough readership would be the sponsored social media posts. That is because my blog is based on talking about Rutgers by giving students tips and sharing personal stories from my experience here. Having sponsored social media posts seems like the best route to go.

Another way to best monetize my blog would be to have an affiliates type blog. There are many different local businesses that need people to come to them in order to keep operating. These businesses especially include all the places on George Street and Easton Avenue, and so forth. By having an affiliates type blog I can get these places the people they need to buy things. For example the NJ Books store. I can put an ad on my blog linking back to their store about the thing students can get there. This is important because college book stores are losing money due to the fact that people would rather buy books of the internet than buying them at the store. However, if I can show my readers how much easier it is to just go to the book store rather than waiting long periods of time to actually get have their books shipped, they may actually overlook the higher prices for immediate results. And if I have a high enough readership, the book store will be the one with a lot more business.

If those two options don’t work, I think I wouldn’t mind doing the pay for impression method for any ads that may feature on my blog. As someone who tries to avoid clicking ads but has no problem refreshing the internet page over and over, this seems like the best option compared to the pay per click option. Most people seem to refresh the page whenever the internet is running slow or if the site stops working all of a sudden. For every time that my blog is refreshed, the ad would be generating money for me. How cool is that?

However, this would only work if I have enough readership. I’ll probably have to make my personal blog more visible first by making sure that I utilize key works for search engines. The site that usually comes up first in any type of search engine, especially Google, whenever you type in something is usually the one that is the most visited. No one has time to sift through the thousands upon thousands sites that pop up.

Monetizing My Personal Blog

If I could choose any way to monetize my personal blog, Collegiate Veggie, I would choose corporate sponsorships and partnerships. Because I have a food blog, this would be the easiest way to make money off of my blog because different companies could sponsor each post. I wouldn’t have to worry about downloads or clicks or selling a product. I could just keep on cooking like I normally do, but get paid to use certain ingredients, or possibly certain utensils. I’ve seen a lot of food bloggers do this already and I like how they still have the creativity and freedom to make whatever food I want, while still getting paid to do it.

Also, we these partnerships, chances are that the companies are much larger, more well-known brands and products. This would be very beneficial to my readers as they wouldn’t have to search far and wide for these products, but could actually find them just about anywhere. One of my favorite bloggers, Minimalist Baker, recently posted a recipe for Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes that was actually sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Milk. I have already made this recipe multiple times and absolutely love it. And the best part is that I always have almond or coconut milk in my fridge and the rest of the ingredients are so simple that I can throw this recipe together last minute.

“Monetize” a Blog

I think the best way, for me personally, to see any sort of profit would be to guest post for a corporate blog or income-generating website. Since my blog doesn’t have any sort of readership, putting ads up that are either PPI or PPC wouldn’t really be that effective. Also, in terms of my blog content, I wouldn’t foresee myself being able to make leeway in terms of a partnership or sponsorship unless it had to do with a certain brand of wine. Which would completely go against the point of my blog, which is to wine taste not only the different wines but also how different brands compare to that. I do know, however, that I have strong writing skills which can become marketable but perhaps not off of my own dalliances into blogging.

Therefore, guest posting seems like an accurate read of both my skills and blogging knowledge. If my blog were to gain any sort of regular readership, or even began to have a lot of hits per day then I would consider looking into advertisement or even donations–though honestly I do have certain sites that I follow and admire but very rarely is there ever a time that I am tempted to donate money. Really, unless its for a cause I’m not really looking to have anybody profit off of me. At least not from it directly coming out of my pocket if I can help it.

Blogging: Anonymity

When reading blogs that have an anonymous writer, I think that it definitely depends on the type of blog it is. I don’t know that it matters one way or the other to me. Most blogs are anonymous and maybe it’s just the way I look at them or I’ve learned about them but blogs seem to be online journals or diaries. I think personal blogs can have as much anonymity as a writer sees fit. I have a personal journal and I don’t write my name in it because in the event that it gets lost, I don’t want people to know who wrote it. I don’t write anything bad (so far) about my friends or anyone but I would still like to be unconnected to the information if it was found by someone. I think the writers of personal blogs should be allowed to be anonymous because some just write online to get it out or to express themselves; many are just venting or processing their life. Many people argue that they should write in a book but I think personal blogging allows for a person who may feel alone to have different, objective opinions or words of support while still essentially keeping their vulnerabilities and secrets hidden-hidden because they aren’t connected to a person in the way of a face or  a name.

Even personal blogs that post about outside information- books, cooking, daily adventures, movies, etc- should be allowed to be anonymous if the writer so chooses. People tend to search a person online before deciding whether it is worth knowing the person; it’s honestly just another way to judge someone and while it is mostly alright on a social level, everyone knows that little rants on a blog post are not going to aptly represent a person’s worth ethic or a person’s relevance to a job. Just as we would not spy on a person as they interact with their friends at a bar to gain information, we shouldn’t be able to look at personal blogs or profiles of anyone to gain information either. For this reason, I completely understand why a person would want to remain anonymous and I don’t necessarily have any reaction to a blogger who chooses to do so.

However, if a person is trying to get into professional blogging, they should perhaps give a real name or at least establish an alias and contact information, just so that they give a more professional impression. They should also provide some credentials that show that they have validity when they speak on their subjects (but again, this depends on what subject they want to speak on)

I think Tumblr is an excellent example, though it’s rather small compared to legitimate blogging. I occasionally will write personal blog posts on my Tumblr and I used to complain about a person if she annoyed me or if she was rude and I liked the anonymity, not because I was afraid that she would find out about me but because I didn’t want others to find out about her. I think that, yes anonymity does probably encourage negativity but there’s nothing wrong with it as long as it isn’t hurting someone. People are allowed to be negative and they are allowed to feel bad about something or someone. I think anonymity can actually be a good thing if used correctly. In my case, the only way anyone would know who I was talking about was if they went to my school and actually knew who the person was in relation to me. The only way the person would ever see the posts about her would be if she found my blog. Her identity and mine, for the most part, is protected.

Anonymity and the Blog

I’ve never really payed much attention to the posters of most of the blogs that I read. I’m often just scouring for interesting bits of information, and am rarely loyal to any one specific blog. Because of this fact, I don’t often even notice the names or lack of, attributed to the posts I consume. I guess in that respect, nearly every blogger I’ve ever read a post from, aside from thos bloggers in this class, has been anonymous. Even if they’ve put their name and life story on their blog, the chances are I have not read it, and don’t have a desire to. I rarely read blogs of the personal sort. Now that my mind has been pushed to make distinctions like this, I’m pretty sure that I would prefer the anonymity of a blogger. While I don’t mind knowing a little about someone (their qualifications on the subject I’m reading about), their name, location, or any other personal information, holds little value to me as the reader.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about anonimity, is the sense of trust that I gain from it. While many people might say that the anonymous nature of some posters is scary, and reveals them to be someone who must lurk in the shadows to say what they want to say, I look at it as the opposite. I loathe people whom I feel are only doing what they’re doing for their own personal benefit. If I feel that someone is writing me an article because they just want me to know how smart they are, I immediately reject it and move on. If a blogger is anonymous, I’m far more willing to sit down and read what they have to say. ANonimity allows someone to speak what they really think. There’s very little filtering and that is the beauty of it. Our social filter often eliminates the meat and potatoes of our thoughts and makes for content that is both boring and many times just straight falsified. If you have to filter yourself, you are rarely  presenting the whole truth.

Personally, I like to post under my name. Admittedly, I like some of the attention it brings, and I like when people know I, Michael Manfredo, am not an idiot. I’m also a different kind of person though. I don’t usually filter my thoughts on a level past tailoring them for my audience. I might leave the curse words out for a classroom related blog entry, but they aren’t changing the meaning of what I say. If I were to write a personal blog of some sort, I would not hesitate to say what I felt in the way that I felt it, with no limit to the wording I use. I would do this under my actual name, because I am not ashamed of who I am or what I have to say. Many bloggers don’t have the ability to be that open under their real name, and thus we have anonymous bloggers. Either way, it’s the truth and passion behind anonymity that presents us with the most influential and exciting content.


Anonymous Blogs and Reading

When I read an anonymous blog, I usually get mixed feelings. Mix feelings because I do not know who is writing the things I am reading and because I may agree with what he or she is writing.  I don’t know what type of person is blogging about certain topics, thus creating a large distance. I like to be able to relate to the person who is writing the things that I am reading. It gives me a chance to understand the person and find a reference point. It makes it easier to understand the position being talked about. Meaning that when I know who is writing, implicitly I learn a lot about that person. I can read what he or she says and still get a feel for the personality of the blogger.

On the other hand, reading an anonymous blog gives the chance to get an opinion from someone without letting the actual blogger influence you. When people blog anonymously, they can give more of their point of view and opinions without fearing about the repercussions. While this could be a potential positive and negative, it is still something that I consider when dealing with blogs. These bloggers could find that pressures do not prevent them from stating what is on their minds. However, there is a possibility that they could take it too far. It is when that happens that I feel the most discomfort about reading an anonymous blog. There needs to be a good balance, that no toes get stepped on.

An example that I would like to use about anonymous blogging may not really be about blogging but more anonymous posting. Take the Craig’s List site. One section has to do with missed connections. There countless people talk about the people they see and the situations they saw them in. Some of them are romantic while others are platonic. Either way, they are able to go on a site that allows them to state what they felt about the meetings they had with each other anonymously, and sometimes reach out to the person who they are talking about. Being anonymous in this case is pretty cool.

On the other hand, anonymous blogging to spread hate and slander is not cool in my book at all. I don’t remember the name of the site, but there was one that allowed people to talk about their cheating lovers in whatever way they want, uncensored. More than that, they are allowed to say whatever and post whatever they want, including images. Things like this can affect the person they are talking about on the professional level.

To me anonymous blogging is fine as long as no one’s right to live a comfortable life is threatened. As soon as someone says something that can get a person fired from their job, personal things that have no business being aired out for every one to see, that is when I find anonymous blogging to be very discomforting and appalling to read.

Yay or Nay for Anonymity?

For me personally, if someone writes on a type of media anonymously, it does not really affect me but if I had to choose between reading something and knowing who wrote it or not, I would prefer reading something by someone who is writing anonymously. I feel this way because for me, with my personal experience of reading things that are written by someone anonymously, usually the material they write about is more relate-able, and therefore I like reading it more. I do not follow any blogs on a consistent basis so I will use a Twitter example. On Twitter, I follow a “sorry not sorry” account. Now this person posts anonymously, I have no idea who made this account or who puts out these tweets. What I like about this account is that this person puts out tweets that have the tone of “everybody is thinking it, but no one wants to say it out loud”. The tweets are also usually funny as well, so I also read it for that aspect. Anyway, for example, one tweet this account put out recently was ” Kinda wanna look good in a bikini kinda wanna eat three burritos from chipotle kinda pissed I have to pick one”. Now this tweet is not that embarrassing but it is still relate-able. This tweet was relate-able for me when I read it because I work out and want to look good for when summer rolls around, but at the same time I am Italian and I really like Italian food haha. This is a thought I might not say out loud in front of my girlfriends because I do not want to be looked at as the girl who does not care about her figure and just cares about food lol What is nice about this account and these tweets is that I can read them and think to myself “aw it’s nice to know someone feels the same way as I do”. I do not have know who they are, it is almost better not knowing. It’s just kind of a silent communication type thing that is reassuring at times. That is how I feel about anonymous writing. People will write about things that everyone is too afraid to talk about out loud, and that is reassuring for people to read because it is helpful to know there are other people out there who might be going through the same thing as you.

I do not like anonymous writing when it comes to people bashing other people through a media. That just is not nice and I think if someone has something to say to someone else, they should have the courage to say it to their face. Other than that, I am all for anonymous writing!

Impact of Live Blogging

For me, I view live blogging primarily through Twitter, and actually use Twitter to answer questions about events before turning to Google. Twitter is so frequently updated and there are so many users that chances are someone else has the same opinion or question about that crazy moment at the MTV Movie Awards. Since that award show happened last night, I will continue to use that as an example for the pros and cons of live blogging and the impact it has on me and my love for all award shows. I had a lot of homework to do last night, as did my roommates, and we decided that we would be too distracted if the show was on even just in the background, so I “watched” the show through Twitter and Instagram. As it is, I follow MTV and plenty of other celebrity news outlets on both Twitter and Instagram, so I actually didn’t have to put in much effort to know what was happening at each moment. Those publications, such as People Magazine and The E! News Channel, were live blogging the awards, constantly tweeting, posting pictures, and even posting and updating full articles on their websites. All I had to do to know what was going on at the show was to open the Twitter and Instagram Apps on my phone and I had the answer to who won what awards, who was being voted best dressed and why everyone was freaking out about Zac Efron. Thanks to Twitter, someone posted a video of Zac Efron’s shirt being ripped off by Rita Ora almost instantly after it happened so in reality I was only a few seconds behind on seeing that major moment. In this case, and as is the case with almost all award shows, I wasn’t worried about seeing spoilers about the show, because I was never actually going to sit down and watch the whole show afterward, nor do I like to not be in the know about these kinds of things. In addition, I prefer to follow live blogs of award shows. You get the best of the show — there’s the winners, the reactions, the clothing and the best moments — without the commercial breaks and annoying moments you don’t care to see. I also love being able to be a part of the community watching and talking about these awards shows, even if I’m nowhere near a TV.