L 13 – Reflection

Due to my physical, mental, and emotional recovery from my hospital visit and recovery, I got little done. I got some assignments done, others I missed. I wasn’t able to work on my website at all besides turning AdWords on again. I didn’t get one drawing done. DeviantArt has been down for weeks, so I couldn’t upload anything or view anybody else’s work.

Even with the semester ending and only a few assignments left, I can’t find my usual work ethic or determination for quality work. I’ve never experienced this level of apathy before in my life. It’s depressing. Fortunately, I kept high grades all semester, so I can take a few blows to my grade and get a A- or B. But this still isn’t the way I wanted to end the semester.

L 12 – Reflection

This week has… not gone well. I was hospitalized during the Thanksgiving break. My teacher gave me due date forgiveness until Dec 14.

This week was about social media. I really wanted to start posting on DeviantArt, a bit of a Facebook for artists, but the site is down. It either doesn’t show images or the website looks like the CSS coding disappeared. Nothing but HTML. I can’t post, I can’t join groups, I can’t view other’s work. It’s a bad time for the site to go down.

But my plan is to post and update DeviantArt with some of my better work. I can join groups and post work that matches the group’s interests. This will attract people who like my art subjects. Getting followers on DeviantArt is how people will find my site who will be more likely to like my work.

I also read an article about how to link your blog to Facebook so new posts will appear on Facebook. I also will consider making a Tumblr account, which is also similar to DeviantArt. I’m assuming they have groups to join as well.

I liked how people where able to find my site with Google AdWords running. However ( as I knew), many people would either not like my work, judge the site quickly, or it’s not what they were looking for. By getting followers on social media first and then leading them to the site, it will be more likely that I will find people who will like my site and people will come back.

L 11 – Reflection

This week was about refining the website.

First, doing drawings every day is too much. I can’t maintain it consistently. Thus, I’ve decided to post twice a week. Hopefully, the drawings will being high quality as a result. Second, I’m renaming the posts. For example, it used to be ‘Post 15 – Punk’ and now the titles will be something like ‘Pencil Drawing – Punk’. This will give more description in the title and will be an opportunity to use keywords, hopefully increasing SEO. Third, because of the new titles I’ll change categories to organize by drawing type, not quality. This will help people how may be looking for certain types of drawings, such as ‘pencil drawings’, ‘pencil sketches’, ‘inked’, ‘digital’.

This week was the first time I tried visiting my website mobilely. It’s better than on the computer. The home page looks tight and isn’t too long. I was afraid that my posts were too short, but on mobile they’re a perfect little post. This website is definitely more for entertainment than education.

L 10 – Reflection

This week, I started my Google AdWord campaign.

As the days go by, I see my bill get higher and that my campaign has clicks. However, I set my max bid to $3/day. On some days, I’m billed higher than that. As someone who hates investments and risks, this is making me anxious.

Clearly, I have no idea what I’m doing. I feel like I have good keywords and ads that accurately describe my site. What I hate most is that I have no way of earning money on my site aside from donations, which I’m not sure I can do without having to claim non-profit. I also don’t know how to run ads on my site for revenue. I’m guessing that I need a following for advertisers to want to run ads on my site. Overall, this site is taking a lot more start-up money than I thought it would.

Obviously, I need to do additional research, but I don’t know what will interfere with the class and what won’t. I’ve never cared about making revenue since this site is also a personal project, but I hate spending money with no way to balance it out. If anything, this class has solidified that I will not be running my own business.

YouTube Subscribing

Only recently have I started subscribing to channels on YouTube. I avoided subscribing for a long time. I didn’t want any junk mail from YouTube and I didn’t want to get hooked on another social media site. Eventually I got tired of having to type everything into the searchbar, so I finally subscribed to channels for the convenience.

So I thought, why do people subscribe? I’ve noticed that a majority of videos either start or end with a ‘please like and subscribe’ message. Interestingly, huge and famous YouTube channels don’t do this in their videos. They have intros and outros that are iconic to their channels. For example, jacksepticeye and markiplier both have millions of subscribers. They both have iconic phrases that they use in the beginning and end of their videos. They never ask viewers to ‘please like and subscribe’ and they’re doing better than the people that do ask. I feel that, for some reason, when someone asks me to like or subscribe to something, I’m much more resistant to do so. Thus, I’ll subscribe to a channel because I want to see new content, not because they asked me to. Ironically, I am much less likely to like or subscribe when videos ask me to because of how annoying it is. I hate it went videos beg for likes.

A little more information on YouTube subscribers: https://gigaom.com/2010/10/29/what-should-matter-more-on-youtube-subscribers-or-views/

L 09 – Reflection

Since Google updated some things, our assignments became out-of-date. Thus, this week was also lighter. It was a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing. Thinking about making more efficient keywords and how using Google Analytics will help us with our businesses.

Google Analytics, as straightforward as it seems, has much to offer and is very daunting. But through the discussion boards, I’ve pinpointed a few parts that I may want to focus on. One of them is the bounce rate. Bounce rate is how many people come to your site and only stay on the first page. This can tell me what my visitors are doing. If the bounce rate is high, that means that people stay on the home page, which is where daily content is posted. If there is a relatively low bounce rate, then that means people are clicking around.

Another one is duration, how long an average visit to my site is. If it’s really short, that tells me people just look ate the pictures and read little. If it’s pretty long, then people are reading what I write on my posts, perhaps commenting as well.

Overall, data doesn’t tell the whole story. Nor is it good or bad feedback. For example, most people would want low bounce rates. For my blog, it would simply tell me the behavior of my visitors. The bounce rate wouldn’t be good or bad news, it would simply be information.

L 08 – Reflection

This week was slower. I tweaked my ads, shortening them and making them more active.

I also experimented with different themes for my website. I ended up not changing the theme. The current theme is a white background with black edges and white and green text. I also added a header image of character looking down into the posts. These are the characters that I’m developing to be mascots. Since my website is simple and revolves around drawings, it needs to be visual. Thus, I think a mascot of some sort boosts the site’s personality.

My site is a daily drawing blog. I’ve been uploading in the evening. Until I get more traffic and followers, then I don’t know if people will like me uploading in the evening. The website is supposed to be about helping other people, so I can’t change and improve the site until I get feedback.

It’s a little stressful to upload everyday. It feels like a school assignment to upload everyday, except I don’t get a grade for it. It feels more like a personal project that I’m actually sticking to.