digital media

How Personal Style Bloggers Are Raking in Millions

Phelan, Hayley. “How personal style bloggers are raking in millions.” Fashionista. Disqus, 20 Apr 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://fashionista.com/2013/08/how-personal-style-bloggers-are-raking-in-millions/&gt;.

 

This article is pretty much a direct answer to my thesis. This article discusses “Affiliate link programs” which are responsible for the high number of revenue bloggers, particularly fashion bloggers, are making off of their websites. Basically, affiliate link programs allow bloggers to make money off of the clothing they feature by making a commission off of any purchase from the same website, regardless of whether it is what the blogger wore or not. Specific affiliate link companies like RewardStyle estimate that their top bloggers rake in about $50,000 a month with their program. This article is great because it exposes the behind the scenes aspect of blogs, but also completely answers my question.

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Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide and Sterling Style

Kaczmarski, Alaina. “Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide and Sterling Style.” The Everygirl. N.p., n. d. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. <http://theeverygirl.com/feature/taylor-sterling-of-glitter-guide-and-sterling-style&gt;.

This article is really helpful for my research because it is a career profile on the founder of one of the blogs that I am focusing on with my paper. Taylor Sterling founded The Glitter Guide, a lifestyle blog that’s extremely girly and very creative. I was always very curious about how this site makes money and although this article doesn’t flat out say how it does so, it pinpoints some of the struggles and hardships that Taylor had to endure when starting the company on her own. Taylor admits that she had to borrow money from her family to get things. Taylor also gives tips on how to manage being your own boss, starting a company from the ground up and advice for girls who want to follow in her footsteps. This article is helpful because it shows an additional side to making a career out of blogging.

News/Magazine Blog Concept

Everyone loves photos, and that’s the number one reason people click on posts, so why not create a blog entirely focused on photos? Our idea for a blog is that the homepage would simply be a collection of images, that are ultimately connected to full stories or blog posts. We based our idea off of tumblr and the fact that everything is photo-centric on that site. Below is a rough example of what we would want the homepage to look like.

 

On the left, we would have a navigation bar to guide readers to specific sections, as well as an about us page, a search bar and a contact page. The navigation bar would be a static function of the blog that would remain in place while scrolling through photos. Advertising space could also be sold as the same blocks that contain photos, which would require advertisements to be extremely visually appealing. When you hover over a photo a headline would appear towards the bottom of the photo in a transparent box so that readers know what they are going to click on. This would require that all posts have a photo, but we think that that is a great thing to strive for with a blog or news site. This blog would be the best of social media. It would be a beautiful collaboration of the best of tumblr, pinterest and instagram, with a hint of Twitter and Facebook.

 

By Skylar Frederick and Jill Holzheimer

Lauren DiCioccio’s Paintings and Blogging

Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings, though without words, can say a lot about blogging. Most of her paintings seem to be of layouts of different types of media, ranging from books to magazines. Each of the color dots looks like they represent words that could be found in any of those forms of media.

This is important to us because it shows us how layouts are important to the people viewing them. Because we are so used to the way different forms of media works, we were able to make inferences as to what each of her paintings represented. The line of dots on the very top of the pieces are obviously titles, the large mass of dots are most likely images, and so forth.

With DiCioccio’s paintings, we are able to see visually just how catching each different type of layout is for the people looking a particular medium. Without words to guide us, we can still tell if something is visually appealing or not. For people who blog, their goal is to get people to want to visit their site, read their material, and keep coming back. If they do not have a visually appealing blog, no one would ever want to stay on the site longer than they really need to. They would probably just pass over that blog and move on to the next.

DiCioccio also inadvertently shows how color and alignment is important. To start with, it may just be a stylized thing for her, using the color combinations that she does. But another part of being a visually appealing blog deals with what color to use in your blog so that people wouldn’t mind looking at it for a long periods of time. If you have really lurid color combinations in your blog, trust that it will be cancelled out of in a split second.

With the alignment, DiCiorccio shows how if things are aligned properly, the page looks neater and less cluttered. Her entire works are made up of clustered dots. If she hadn’t arranged them in the specific way she did, it would have just looked like a mess. Instead, they took shape to mean something more than just dots. This concept can be used for blogging because by setting up texts in a precise way with proper alignment, the blog page looks neater and more reader friendly. It makes it easier to navigate and accessible. This is also the case with setting up pictures properly too. Adding pictures could be difficult when you want the text to match. Alignment comes into play here. By putting text and pictures where they look the best improves the overall quality of the blog and makes people want to visit and revisit a blog. Her use of white space is also quite telling with blogging as well. It shows just how much white space is needed for certain mediums without taking too much room or giving too less of room.

In conclusion, though it doesn’t seem like it, her works shed a lot of insight into practices that are beneficial to blogging.

Dicioccio’s Paintings: A Look Inward

This is actually a very interesting question…What can Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings teach us about blog style and layout. I think the most obvious thing I’ve gained from viewing her paintings is a greater respect for the placement of information in a space. She forces us to view information in a way that takes away it’s actual meaning. We begin to see the bits of information as colors and shapes rather than ideas and thoughts. This is incredibly interesting and offers a great way to explore what is appealing to a reader subconsciously rather than consciously. Almost like a dream, her paintings bring forward these subconscious views of everyday articles and force us to think on what other factors might motivate us to like, dislike, or pay more or less attention to any given piece of writing and presentation.

The use of so many different colors is an interesting choice. I’ve been looking at these pictures, trying to decide whether the colors ACTUALLY relate to the same specific letters in each of their instances, or whether she has randomized them. I love that the bolder contrasts in color seem to point to areas on the page where an image might appear to be most effective. This of course is just how I see it, and may not be the same for someone else. Something that really jumps out at me is the minimal use of the color white in most of her paintings.  There are obviously some dots that are white, and not just areas of no text. However, with so few of them, I wonder if these are areas of the painting she wants to call some sort of attention to.

Again, as far as layout is concerned, I am in awe over the level of thought these images provoke. The painting which brings to mind a sort of braille like quality, also brings about a fantastic contrast between what would normally be black writing on a white background. The resulting pop that comes from the contrast of so many colors against the white background again forces the viewer to remember how important the negative space within a document is, relative to the words on the page. I’m given a much better understanding, even if it wasn’t her intent, on the importance of the negative space, and the placement of the various elements of my work. I must also say that it is slightly off putting to see the pages that are almost completely covered in color. As an individual with ADHD, this perfectly translates the feelings I have when I am trying to read an article or a post and am constantly being inundated with new information which is both distracting and unwanted to me.

I know my thoughts are a little bit messy on this topic, but I am not sure if any of these ideas I have are anywhere near Dicioccio’s intended meaning. Either way, these are excellent, thought provoking paintings no matter how you choose to view them.

Response to Lauren DiCioccio Paintings

Well I think it is both obvious, and not, how we can relate Lauren DiCioccio’s Paintings to blogging. What she has done with the dots teaches us a lesson. Whether it is words, cats, oranges or airplanes, the format and layout of the page remains the same. It is so much the same that we can recognize what she is trying to portray although there is not a single word on any of these pages. In terms of blogging, we can use this lesson to our advantage when it comes to laying out our page. I think the number one thing to take away, is that there is somewhat of a set format when you are laying out posts and pages on your blog. For instance, you can’t have a blog that doesn’t have a single word on it anywhere. That would mean there is no title, no contact information, no about section, nothing. Would that blog ever get any traction? Would anyone ever want to visit that blog? Same thing would happen if the blog was nothing but words. Think about how boring that blog would be? With that being said, we obviously don’t want every blog on the internet to look exactly the same, but like DiCioccio used dots instead of words, maybe we use graphics instead of photos, videos instead of paragraphs. There are endless possibilities when it comes to blogging but it is always important to keep in mind what your audience wants. Of course, this depends on what kind of blog you are running. But in my opinion, regardless of the type of blog, there should never be a blog that doesn’t include any pictures. If you have a food blog, include so many pictures so that your audience isn’t hungry for more (no pun intended). With my food posts, I like to show a picture of the ingredients, a picture of the batter or mixture, a picture before the oven or freezer or fridge, a picture after the oven or freezer or fridge, a pictured of the dish artfully laid out on a plate, and a picture of the dish with a bite taken out of it. When I’m baking, and following a recipe that didn’t show step by step picture like that, I’m always questioning whether or not my version looks like it should, whether I did it right, or if things are going to go horribly wrong. When it comes to format, DiCioccio’s paintings also advise that we should follow somewhat of a set of guidelines, like coloring within the lines for the most part, but it can’t hurt to change things up a bit and go outside the norm. There are an endless array of possibilities when it comes to blogging, just keep in mind that visually appealing is the number one thing your blog should strive to be.

What It Means to Strip Media

In his piece titled “Uncreative Writing, Managing Language in the Digital Age ” Kenneth Goldsmith states the following to define nude media: “Once a digital file is downloaded from the context of a site, it’s free or naked, stripped bare of the normative external signifiers that tend to give as much meaning to an artwork as the contents of the artwork itself” (Goldsmith, 72).  Goldsmith gave an example of a New York Times article having small differences from the hard copy to the web version. The web version had a sans serif W in the word Washington instead of a classic black serifed T for Tony (72). The hard copy article was taken and put online and when it appeared online, some of it’s original external signifiers were altered. This online version was a nude form of the hard copy. It is a form of nude media.

Does nude media translate over to Creative Commons media? I personally think that nude media can apply to Creative Commons media. Creative Commons media provides art work that can be shared by anyone. There are certain restrictions depending on the creator of the work, but if it is on Creative Commons it can be shared in some shape or form. So how can a piece of art work on Creative Commons translate into nude media? If someone takes a piece of work from Creative Commons, and takes it out of it’s original element, and puts that piece of artwork into an atmosphere of their own, they are making that piece of media into nude media. If someone takes a photo from Creative Commons and shares it own their own blog, they are stripping that media externally and therefore making it into a piece of nude media. Another example of a piece of art work taken from Creative Commons and being transformed into nude media would be if someone took, for example a photo from Creative Commons, and if the creator put a license on it that people who want to share the photo can alter the photo, and if the person sharing the photo adds small differences to the photo, for example adding an arrow if they want to point something out in particular, that would make this piece of artwork a piece of nude media. If the original piece of work is being altered in some way, it would be considered nude media.  So yes, I do think nude media can come from Creative Commons media and I think the two can be connected.

I find nude media to be very interesting. I had no idea art work could be classified this way until we learned about this is class. It’s weird to think that if an original piece of work has been altered even in the smallest way or taken out of its original element, it can be considered nude media. There is probably so much nude media out there that we do not even recognize to be nude media.  Just like the New York Times example. That was a public piece of nude media that people probably did not even think to be considered nude media. Very interesting!

How to Earn Bundles From Your Blog Without Ever Selling Anything On It

Tice, Carol. “How to earn bundles from your blog without ever selling anything on it.” Tuts Plus. Envato Pty Ltd, 24 Jan 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. <http://business.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-earn-bundles-from-your-blog-without-ever-selling-anything-on-it–fsw-36810&gt;.

 

Though I have yet to see this on any fashion blogs, this article explains how bloggers can make money without selling any ad space on their actual blog. Instead, these bloggers sell ads on their newsletter that gets sent out to followers and helps bloggers make thousands of dollars. Though not all bloggers use this method of making money, this is a good article for my research because it shows an example of a way to make money as a blogger. The article provides hard evidence from people who have sold advertising this way, as well as the reasons why it makes so much more money. The end result is that viewers are less likely to share sponsored content on a blog and are often turned away by it. There are downsides to this method though. It changes the way your users take in your content, as well as the number of subscribers vs. non-subscribers visiting your site.

Response to “Uncreative Writing”

Appearances matter, regardless of where you art, what you’re doing, and whether it’s online or in the real world. We might not think of it, whether because we think it doesn’t matter or because we just have no idea how to do it, but the way our blog posts look can really affect your success as a blogger. Think about the different websites you frequent when you’re online shopping. I know personally, that I have certain companies I love to shop from, mainly because their website it just so user-friendly and overall awesome. Other websites deter me in that they are too confusing, or just not easy to navigate. Same goes for blogging and news articles. Too much text makes a reader not want to read the whole thing, while photos help to engage the reader and offer an alternative way of absorbing the information. These things are very important, and with our basic WordPress sites it can be a bit complicated to figure out. We are limited in what we can customize, including fonts, colors and just the overall appearance. So it’s important to fix and be creative with what we can. Use photos often, and make them pretty photos that are as high quality as possible. Change up the layout, use a header, categorize your posts and always keep your readers in mind. If you wouldn’t want to read it then why would anyone else?

In terms of creative commons, this article brought up a very interesting point. Text is text, but magazines and newspapers aren’t just text. There are people whose job it is just to layout the page so that it looks appealing, and so that it isn’t just a page of boring black and white text. Context is also very important. A story accompanied by a photograph helps to better tell that story, but also helps to better explain that photo. But if you took either one away, the story or explanation would be lacking, and not the same as it was when coupled together. Those photos are also meticulously chosen so that they are showing exactly what they want to show. Rather than just any picture of a car, but the specific car the article is discussing With Creative Commons, the same truth can be argued for. Creative Commons limits users in what media they have access to. If you are looking for a very specific picture of an african american man, wearing a black top hat, smoking a cigarette while walking his dog in the middle of Times Square, chances are you won’t find that on Creative Commons. Creative Commons is more for the general use. So it would be used in places where the picture you need is broad and is just a visual element for the article or blog post, rather than the focal point of the post. The same is true with music and videos found on Creative Commons. You won’t be able to be very picky when you’re looking up media on Creative Commons because not everyone needs what you need, but regardless Creative Commons is there to help. And if there’s something you need that you can’t find on the site, then you’ll just have to put in the extra work and do it yourself. Also it’s important to keep in mind that what you’re taking from Creative Commons has a different context than the context you will be giving it.

Creative Commons And The Advantages It Provides

It is important to use Creative Commons media. This is because as a writer or blogger, you want to make sure you are not violating any copyright laws. You do not want to use any image or words that are not yours without the permission of the owner. Many people take media and use it as their own without giving any credit to the creator. Creative Commons helps solve this problem. Creative Commons provides licenses so creators can share their work with people in a legal way. This way, people can use works of art by other people in blog posts etc. without infringing upon anyone’s rights.

A blogger, as a both a user and a creator, could take advantage of Creative Commons.

As a blogger, it is vital to use. If you quote another writer or article, or use a photo that is not yours, you need to give that person credit. We learned in class that just putting a link, or source, is not enough. You need permission from the creator and then you can use writing or a photo, and then source it. Bloggers can really take advantage of Creative Commons and avoid doing anything illegal because Creative Commons provides work that has already been approved by creators. It’s convenient because it is all in one space. On Creative Commons it shows you work and what laws the creator has signed off on so you know exactly what you are allowed to do with it. As a blogger, this is very helpful. Until we learned in class that example of what could happen to someone by violating the copyright laws, I had no idea that just sourcing something is not enough. I feel relief as a blogger to now know that there is a place where you can get work that is already approved by creators to share.

As a creator, Creative Commons should be taken advantage of. I think if creators of work, put their work though Creative Commons, they will be protected from anyone stealing or sharing their work without permission. It is just kind of a no brainer to me. If you do not want someone illegally taking your work, then you should just go through Creative Commons from the start. If someone takes your work, you do not want to have go through the hassle of tracking the person down and going through a lawsuit. All of that stuff is just not worth it when there is an easy and simple way to protect your work right from the beginning. It is also good for the creator because the creator really has total control of how exactly how much they want their work to be shared, through the different types of licenses they can put on it. The creator has complete control when they go through Creative Commons. Any creator would be silly to not take advantage of that.

Overall Creative Commons is a really great resource. It gives advantages to both users and creators of  blogs and art work.