layout

Annotated Bib 2

Rowse, Darren. “Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? [7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging].” ProBlogger. N.p., 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

<http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/11/28/can-you-really-make-money-blogging-7-things-i-know-about-making-money-from-blogging/&gt;.

This website is useful for my thesis because the author really goes into how or if it is possible to make money off of blogging. He does this in a format of 7 points he addresses, which he deems important to know about the process. Since my thesis states that yes it is possible, it was nice to see that his first point stated that it is possible to make money from blogging. He then goes on to describe in the next six points what one must recognize in order to make this happen. He keeps it very realistic and straight forward, which I consider helpful. My favorite part about this site is that the author is really honest in his reasoning.

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Nude Media

I think this article was eye-opening. It shows that what you post on the internet can be morphed into something different once you hit submit/publish. What I got from this article would be that although we have free speech and whatnot, the internet is still very controlled. The fact that you can submit something and then have it be changed once it is published is not always something the public recognizes, but what is submitted is a representation of the author. This is unfortunate for the author when they are trying to portray something specific but it comes out in a different way. It is almost like they have control over what exactly we get to see and how we get to view it. I think this goes against our freedoms. I guess this is a sacrifice you have to think about if you are willing to make or not in order to have your articles published publicly. Even something as small as changing a font can affect a reader and their feelings towards your piece. Layout is everything and how you present your work is a matter of what type of audience you are looking to target. Once this is played with and changed, this could affect a works success. You can perceive this as a negative vibe once he compares this process to that of the game telephone. Everyone knows the game of telephone is often viewed as negative once compared to a real life situation since telephone rarely ends up with the right message. So when you compare this to what is being published, it makes it obvious that the original piece is almost always edited. This provides public publishing agencies such as newspapers a lot of power, which is something the author must consider. This also touches on the fact that these editors are trying to make all authors the same instead of originally different. As an author I think they should have full control over their work, including something as little, yet as important as the font. When you strip an author of their individuality you are stripping them of half of their job. Instead of trying to make everyone the same, we should be proud of everyone’s differences.

Three Blogs I Love – Check Them Out!

Three Blogs I Love:

http://www.dancebloggers.com/

This blog has a similar theme to the blog I am in the process of making. It has this theme of bringing dancers together, except in this case, it is strictly bringing dance bloggers together. In the “above the fold” part of the blog, there is a lot going on. The title is at the top, which is apart of the header of this blog. In the navigation bar, there is a home button. There are no categories. Below the navigation bar, there is a subscription box. Next to that in the middle of the page, is the most recent post. Then on the right of that is their only social link, which is a link to their Facebook page. There is a box for tags, but there are no tags. There is also a box for popular posts, but that is also empty. There is a list of contributors on the right. It is a very long list with all the dance blogs they link to. The rest of the blog consists of all their posts. I like this blog because I think they have a great idea here and a lot of potential. They also bring all these dance blogs to one place, which is really cool. There is a lot of content, they just need to promote it more, and also the blog is kind of plain. If they promote their posts more through social media and get people commenting, that popular posts box can get filled and they can make their blog bigger. I think a more exciting design will also draw viewers.

http://dailydancenote.blogspot.com/

The first thing I liked about this blog was the background design. It draws you in because of the use of multiple colors and the splatter paint design. In the “above the fold” you see the title in the header, and below that there is no navigation bar, but there is a subscription bar. You also see the most recent post and the beginning of the sidebar. As you go down past the fold of the page, you are able to see more posts, and what the rest of the blog includes. It has a list of people who follow the blog, the blog archive and an “about me” section. I like this blog because the posts are motivational and they teach you stuff if you are someone in the process of learning to dance or trying to achieve a career in dance. I think this blog could improve by updating a little. The last post was in 2012, so they should add some more current posts. I also think they should get social media accounts to promote their blog and add the social links here. I feel like nowadays, social media is a must have for blogs because of how big it is in this current generation.

http://t-h-e-d-a-n-c-e-b-l-o-g.tumblr.com/

This dance blog is probably my favorite. In the “above the fold”, there is a middle section with the most recent posts. There is a sidebar on the left that shows all the blog has to offer. The categories include, Instagram, Me-Dance photos, Dance Blogs List, Dance Tips, Personal/Photography Blog, and How To Dance Videos. The categories show this blog has a lot to offer to dancers and people who like dance. I think the photos this blogger posts are really cool. There are a lot of action shots, which is awesome to see. This blogger also has an archive section, an “ask me” section, a submission section, and links to other blogs. I think those are important sections to have because it allows readers to really interact with the blog and get involved. I really like the content of this blog and the design is also nice and put together well. I did not see anything I thought called for improvement.

Using Creative Commons

As Roni Loren points out in her post about the dangers of using someone elses media without a proper understanding of it’s licensing and or attribution criteria, you quickly leave yourself open to legal action and I’m sure a sense of shame. Because of this, Creative Commons proves to be an incredible tool for bloggers looking to use different forms of media that they have not themselves created. It’s important to keep in mind that photos, music and writing do not just appear out of thin air. Someone took the time to frame those shots, set up the lighting and create all the little details that eye catching photo entails. When you find that picture you want or that song you just have to have because it embodies everything you’re trying to express, it’s only fair that you give credit where credit is due! The fact that people go through all this trouble to produce something amazing and turn right around with a willingness to share and allow it to be distributed is a testament to the good nature of our fellow humans and should never be taken advantage of. Creative Commons gives them the perfect way to give you permission without having to go through the long and sometimes migraine-filled process of seeking permission that used to be the norm. The simple and easy to understand criteria that Creative Commons work use, provides us with a singular system in an near fool-proof manner. Through the use of Creative Commons material, you, the author, can avoid the risk of being sued, continue to share amazing works of art, and feel good that you’ve given attribution to those that made it all possible. The use of Creative Commons is also fantastic for the contributor. So you spent all day, in the cold, lining up a shot and waiting for the sun to be at just the right angle for that once in a lifetime photo that you just needed to have. You get home, dump it on the internet and wait for the compliments to start pouring in. A few weeks later, as you’ve gained followers on your Flickr account, a friend informs you that they’ve seen your picture somewhere else AND IT DIDN’T GIVE YOU CREDIT. What a devastating feeling that must be. Someone else, even if it’s unintentional, is now getting the credit for your sweat and tears! Creative Commons give you solid ground to stand on for issuing cease and desist type orders; a way to protect yourself! Another great benefit is the exposure that one can receive for sharing their work. Just imagine that same image being used in so many amazing places, and it’s got your name tagged underneath! The traffic and notoriety that can generate can be priceless for you and your blog or career. I think the most important reason to use Creative Commons, aside from the somewhat selfish idea of being sued for not doing the right thing, is that you are promoting people to keep things shared, and continue contributing these wonderful things for the whole world to enjoy! The content that is shared by Creative Commons license, allows for the majority of internet connected peoples to be party to amazing things that may never have been dreamt up, or presented in the way they finally were, without that push from something that inspired them and that they were given the opportunity to use themselves. For instance, my blog would be just a bleh place of bland text and a boring white background if it were not for the fantastic people on Flickr who decide that they are willing to share with me the fruits of their labor. I thank them for allowing me to spice up my work and provide that visual appeal to go along with my typewritten ideas.

Annotated Bib 1

Sally. “Sallys Baking Addiction How I Turned My Food Blog into a Career. » Sallys Baking Addiction.” Sallys Baking Addiction RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

<http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/12/how-to-make-money-from-a-food-blog/&gt;.

This is actually a woman’s blog that she created herself and turned into a career. She talks about how exactly she did this and what it took in order to accomplish it. She ended up quitting her normal job so that she could devote her full time attention to her blog. Once she did this she was able to make it her career. The money she makes off of the blog is mostly through advertising and she talks you through her struggle of how she accomplished this. This is a great example of someone who was able to take their passion for blogging and turn it into a career and be able to live off of it.

Blog I follow

http://www.chicgalleria.com/

Chic Galleria is a blog I have chosen to follow. I really like it because it covers many topics. The pages include arts & entertainment, body & mind, food, giveaways, shop, style, and travel. This blog has a little bit of everything, which is why I like it. There is a lot of variety for viewers! The pages are placed in a navigation bar. They are listed in the right top hand corner which is great because it is then made easy to see what the blog offers. This would be included in the “above the fold” portion of the blog. Also in that portion is the title. The title is also big and clear. It is also bright, with highlights of red. A cool feature of the pages is that most of them are different colors. I enjoyed seeing that. It brings a little creative customization to the blog! Although this blog adds different colors to some of the pages, I think one thing this blog could improve on is it’s overall design. The background of the pages is plain. The content of each page takes up a lot of space, but I still think something could be done with the background to make it a little more exciting. I also think the font choice is a little plain. I think that could be changed also to make the blog a little more exciting or exotic, appearance wise. Another feature to note about this blog is that it is a collaborative blog. There are multiple authors that contribute to the posts showcased on this blog. When you click on the “about the author” on the homepage, it lists the editor along with the writers that write posts for this blog. Another cool feature of this blog is the “Latest Readers Comments” feed on the top, right below the title. I like this feature of the blog because you can see what people are saying about certain posts. You are introduced to popular posts right then and there! There is a sidebar on this blog as well. The sidebar contains the social media links for the blog, photos, ads, latest articles, a search bar, and a subscribe section. Also included in the sidebar is the archives section. This section has a drop down feature that lets you look up articles as far back as 2008. They are listed by month and year. I think it is very well organized! On the footer of the blog, all the categories are listed. There are a lot of them listed! When it comes to posts, the most recent ones are listed on the home page. New posts are constantly posted, this is a very active blog. Overall, I throughly enjoy this blog. There is a lot of variety, content wise. There is also consistency when it comes to recent and updated posts. The articles also always include photos and are very well written. This is a blog I will read on a daily basis!

Three Blogs

The Impulsive Buy is food review blog. Products that this blog review are either new, limited editions, or improved products.  Some products that they review are healthy, while others are considered junk food. One thing I like about this blog is that it has a comedic tone to it.  For example, under a picture of yogurt they wrote, “This looks like a tasty way to consume micro-organisms.” I also like how easy it is to navigate through their blog; they categorized all products very well.  Furthermore, on some of the posts, I like how the author gave the serving size, price, and location of purchase for the product.    A thing that I didn’t like was that some posts were very brief. To illustrate, they would post a picture with one sentence underneath it, while there were other posts with three paragraphs.  The overall template of the blog was too simplistic.  There were no unique fonts used and the title looked plain.

http://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/

The next blog that has a similar focus as the one I want to create is called Lunch Box Blues.  Lunch Box Blues is also a food blog, but instead of reviewing food products, the blog presents ideas for making healthy lunches for kids to take to school.  In my own blog, I will review food products as well as provide recipes on healthy lunchbox ideas for college students.  One aspect of the blog that I like is the professional photography used.  The color variety and the placement of the food in the lunchbox or on the plate make the dish look very appetizing and attractive to the readers.  Similar to The Impulsive Buy, this blog is very easy to navigate around because on the sidebar there is a long list of categories, making it easy for me to find what I am looking for.  Some interesting categories the author created are, “left over pasta magic”, “do ahead lunches”, and “finger foods”.  One thing that I dislike about the blog was that each post did not have a bullet point list with all the ingredients listed.   The author did not even give the amount of each ingredient one needs to recreate the lunch.

http://www.lunchboxblues.com/

Junk Food Guy is the third blog I picked.  This is a food review blog, critiquing a variety of junk food products.  The first thing that caught my attention was the title of the blog located on the top of the page.  It is a picture of a hand covered with cheese powder, holding a Doritos chip with the title of the blog on it.  I thought this presentation of the title was much more creative than the other two blogs.   Another characteristic I like about this blog is the number of pictures the blogger took.  The blogger would take multiple pictures of one food product. He even takes a picture of the nutrition label, which the readers might find helpful and convenient.  In addition, it seems like the blogger creates a post daily, keeping the readers up-to-date on new products.  The tone of the blog is very casual and comedic. Overall, this is a very well done blog and I could not find anything to dislike.  This is a really good blog that I can look at while making my own.

http://www.junkfoodguy.com/

3 Like Blogs

There is a wide variety of blogs on the web that cover various aspects of the subject of writing, as I have intended to do with my blog. Here is a list of just a few I have come across which I have found aspects I’d both like to emulate and avoid while developing my own.

The first of these blogs is The Renegade Writer. This excellent site provides many useful articles on a wide range of writing topics from topic generation to methods of self-publishing. While I appreciate the wealth of knowledge that can be gained from reading this blog, it has a specific leaning towards the “freelance” writer, which is something I will personally try to avoid. While I will certainly be speaking to any freelance writer who cares to listen, I do not want to narrowly focus my target audience to that degree. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the format is fantastic. It’s very simple and to the point. The blog provides easily searchable content that has both relevant pictures attached and post titles that stand out. Another aspect of this blog I would like to avoid is their promotional side. They offer E-Courses, Phone Mentoring and Free E-Books. While these are all great services for some, my goal is currently not to profit largely from self-developed strategies as much as it is to help share the wealth of strategies that exist already. The links and navigation aspects as well as their update frequency seem consistent and well thought out.

Another blog that has similar content to my own, The Write Practice is one that I came across when trying to decide on a title for my blog. While it’s title is similar to that of my own, it’s format and content are quite a bit different. The first and most notable aspect of this blog is the immediate offer of a free book, 14 Prompts, as written by the blogs author Joe Bunting, for anyone who subscribes to his site via email. This is a little much in my opinion.  One thing that I do notice as I look through the various posts on this blog is that the owner is not the only contributor. Many of the posts are authored by various different names, some including even just the attribution “by Guest Blogger” I love the idea of having guest bloggers and other people of note help share their own information through my own blog. This not only functions as a way to get more information out there, but also brings about other people to your own blog that might otherwise have not found their way. I also love that it has a list of recent comments featured easily on the side, this helps you get a sense of what is being talked about without having to sift through the mountains of articles.

The final site I’d like to discuss here is Positive Writer.  Like The Write Practice, this blog immediately features an enticement to sign up for a free e-book via email subscription. Again, while this I’m sure is a clever way of keeping traffic on your site, it is not one that I am prepared to handle nor willing to. This would require a formula of my own, which I have yet to even consider nor attempt to develop. I immediately noticed that the blog is missing a search function, which to me seems to be an extremely important piece of any blog. If I were to come here looking for specific information on a specific topic, how should I find it? Do I need to search by category and then filter those articles through the use of Ctrl-F and a defining term. Sure, this may work, but only if the words I’m looking to find are in the title or excerpt provided on that page. This blog also features guest contributors which I love, and a wide variety of topics. It’s layout/theme is simple and effective, but again, the lack of search functionality detracts from it’s outward appearance. I plan to provide my readers with every available option as far as search capability in order to promote a relaxed and unobtrusive environment. I feel this will keep them coming back. Like any other sites, this one for me would not be a normal stop for my information gathering.

All Photos Provided By Corresponding Blogs

3 Similar Blogs

From “Bloglovin” I came across a great blog that is similar to the ideas of what I would like my blog to be like named “The Skinny Confidential.” This is a very advanced blog to the point where the blog title has been copyrighted! The first enticing thing about her blog is that the name is big and pink laying horizontally across the page. Right above that she has a navbar that separates the categories of what she blogs about. These categories are actually links that bring you to posts specifically about that specific category. I like how it is very organized, making it simple to navigate. This is a very likeable feature for someone who is new to blogging such as myself. The overall tone of her blog is very girly so it appeals to girls right away which is what I hope to accomplish with my blog. Her title is simple yet catchy  to a girls ear. Basically anything to do with skinny grabs a ladies attention. She makes it easy to read by keeping her posts short and sweet sentences separated by spaces in order to grasp an easy read. It is not set up in a paragraph format which I like. I also like that she posts frequently because that is how you know she truly enjoys blogging and so she instills time and effort into it. The only thing I do not love about the blog is that in her profile picture shes hiding her face. I think that seeing the whole person behind a project of theirs is important and helps you better connect with the author and their ideas. Overall, I love this blog and I aspire to create something similar!

I also followed a blog named “Fashion Squad” on “bloglovin.” This blog is also comparable to the likes of my blog in the sense that it has to do with fashion! My blog will cover more than just fashion but I followed this blog in order to get a sense of what just a fashion blog would look like. There are some big issues with this blog in the sense of its layout. It has a very plain, boring layout that is not eye- catching at all. There is no color or pictures which makes it very boring. They do not post everyday, they post about every 3 days which is not terrible, but also not a great amount for a blog in my opinion. When they do post, I like they way it is set up. She has a blurb describing the item she is posting about and then always puts a picture. I think pictures are great to use in blogs because pictures tell their own story! It is nice to have a visual to go along with a description. My favorite part about this blog actually would have to be the pictures. They also make for an easier readability. The title is catchy because that is what drew me in but unfortunately I was a little disappointed once I clicked onto the site. With a little revamping this site has tremendous potential!

The last blog I follow is named “Zoella” Again this is another beauty based blog. A big problem with this blog is the same as above. There is not much life or tone to the blog other than the posts. The life of the blog lies within the pictures she post to compliment her blurbs. The format is an easy read which is enjoyable but there is no theme or back ground but this did not stop her from gaining a ton of followers! Having so many followers is something that is enticing about her blog because even though it is plain and boring she was still able to interest so many people which means she has quality posts. This is definitely surprising though considering she only posts once a month which I think is terrible in the web world. The title is somewhat interesting because it is different, which you later on figure out is the authors name once you go to her bog. Her blog is definitely easy to navigate since she does not provide anything else on her blog other than her posts. I like more open-minded blogs with links to stores and such like “The Skinny Confidential” so that is something I will do differently than this blog. All three blogs have great ideas and posts but only the first blog impressed me with her overall site!