Essay #2: Reflecting My Online Self

Reflecting on my online self I’ve realized the internal and digitally external growth I’ve had. I think my blog has definitely come a long way ever since I built it in the first few weeks of class. Prior to PUB 101, I had no WordPress experience. I honestly thought it’d be such a difficult platform to build a site out of, but as the weeks went by it grew easier to organize my posts. Initially, I didn’t even know how to add media to my website, but now I’d say I’m proud of what I’ve built knowing that I taught myself all the technical aspects of the platform.

 I created The Spotless Mind.com and came up with the name after watching Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind during the first week of classes. It’s one of my favourite movies and the overall message was that the memories that we have, no matter how painful some can be aren’t files that can just be deleted. They’re part of the bigger picture of our lives and ourselves and it got me to reflect on my own experiences. For the past year and a half, I’ve been working through lots of inner development after coming out from a very painful past that I wish I could delete and I found this blog/website a great way to document all the growth I’ve been on.

Watters (2015), notes that when students have their own domains, they have freedom in what they present to the world through their professional, personal and digital identities. He notes that they begin to have a deeper understanding of the technologies that make up the Web and how their own work and information circulates on the internet (Watters, 2015). I think this website has taught me how to organize my thoughts on the internet as well as how to engagingly share my personal stories online. Using analytics has helped me determine which articles received more traffic and what type of content I should be posting about such as on harder topics about love and grief. This whole experience has been healing to my own self being able to openly share my experiences and advice but hearing comments from sources such as peer reviews has been very rewarding for me too. I really appreciate all the feedback I have received and applied them to my website such as adding menus and creating more content overall.

From the bare bones of my website, I really had nothing. For weeks I only had three menus, ‘Welcome’, ‘Contact’ and ‘Blog.’ All of my posts whether that be Process Posts, Mini Assignments, Content Posts were all under the one blog page which to me felt cluttered. It wasn’t until I found inspiration from my peers through their own websites that I created more menus and submenus/categories. So, I created a PUB 101 work menu splitting off into different categories for Process Posts, Peer Reviews, Essays, etc… I also decided to create categories for my actual blog playing off of my tagline into sections on love, lessons, life and ‘Everything in Between’ on more random posts. I also added more SEO words to my titles as Hollingsworth (2021) notes, “SEO is the most viable and cost-effective way to both understand and reach customers in key moments that matter (Para. 1). I think adding keywords such as ‘lessons’, and ‘love’ which are the main subjects of my site makes it clear what my content and intentions are online. 

My goal after this class is to eventually grow my online self to what The Rising Woman does. She mainly focuses on Instagram but has a great site with wonderful blogs on self-development and growth that are sometimes researched based and very advisable. She offers lessons and programs where she actually teaches you how to expand your mindset and performs certain meditations as well. While I don’t think I can get to that extent I hope to still be sharing my own advice and share my experiences in hopes to inspire others. I eventually want to rebrand by just using my name for the title as I hope to segway into using YouTube as my first place of content and my website as a more professional portfolio for my work experience and blog writing. I’m solo travelling in Europe after I graduate this semester and plan to start vlogging through YouTube, however, I’m excited to see how my website will change once I start that journey!

References:

Hollingsworth, S. (2021, August 9). 15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO. Search Engine Journal. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-seo-is-important-for-business/248101/#closeIn-text citation

Watters, A. (2019, June 25). The Web We Need To Give Students – BRIGHT Magazine. Medium. https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

www.therisingwoman.com

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