A month in review

Hello readers,

It’s been a little over month since I started my blog, Lashes and Leotards, so let’s take a few minutes to review. Writing this blog has been such a didactic and entertaining experience for me. Not only have I learned a tremendous amount about multimedia reporting and the blogosphere, I’ve also had amazing opportunities to learn more about my favorite art form: dance.

One of my highest priorities with my blog is to engage my readers and increase traffic to my site. I worked to achieve this by creating a Facebook page for Lashes and Leotards, along with a Twitter account. I added widgets to the blogsite that allow readers to link directly to Twitter to follow @lashesnleotards or like the Facebook page. The Facebook page was extremely beneficial for alerting my readers of new posts and involving them in my blogging process. I like to ask my readers for suggestions and requests for posts, either in the form of a brief question or a poll.

It is so rewarding when a reader leaves a comment. Thank you to everyone who took a few seconds to let me know what you thought of my blog. Feedback is the best way to improve and understand what readers enjoy and want to see more of. So please, keep it coming!

I installed a hit counter widget several weeks ago and without a doubt, it is my favorite and most valuable widget. I get a mini adrenaline rush every time I see my hits jump up by 10, 20, or more! Lashes and Leotards has gotten 1,266 hits to date, hopefully with many hundreds more to come!

Topics that seem to generate the most traffic usually have to do with beauty and health. My “Discipline of the Ballerina Bun” post had 134 hits in one day. I think this is because it gave anyone the steps to achieve a classic look, so my audience expanded beyond dancers. This shows that it’s important to balance your niche audience and the general audience appeal.

My hope is that my readers regard me as a credible source. I am dedicated to bringing them interesting and relevant stories each week. I aim to do so by interviewing at least three knowledgeable sources for each post. Even though I have a fair amount of dance knowledge due to my 13+ years of ballet training, my goal is to educate my audience with the information I gather from other dancers and professionals. Any dancer can sit down and write about their experiences, but I want write as a dancer learning from other dancers and experts and then share that valuable information with my readers.

I hope my writing style is entertaining to my readers. Naturally, I write with a very professional, “newspaper journalism” style. But in the blogosphere, the writing is slightly more relaxed and colloquial. Spelling, grammar, and basic mechanics will always take first priority, but I’m enjoying playing with my syntax and word choice to best suit my content.

My posts provide readers with thorough information that they would not find through a simple Google search. Interviews with experienced dancers, dance teachers, and various other professionals and people of expertise, raise the caliber of my content and give readers insight they can’t find elsewhere.

Lashes and Leotards targets an excellent niche audience: the dance community. I could narrow it down further by focusing on only one dance style, but more than ever before, dancers need to be versatile and knowledgeable of all styles of dance to be successful.

One of my biggest goals is to improve on the presentation of information in a condensed, yet still informative way. My posts have been a little longer than is appropriate for blogging. In my upcoming posts I will aim to write with brevity without sacrificing valuable content.

I’ve enjoyed learning from other members of the blogosphere. My best friend’s sister, Chloe McDonald, writes Sunny Styles. I am always impressed with her creative writing style and how she presents a story. She has a very artistic style that is evident in her photography and storytelling. One of my newest fav blogs is my good friend and fellow classmate’s blog, The Natural Beauty. Mia Mendola has done an amazing job of presenting her content in an original and informative way. I am in love with the design of her site. From the header image to the color scheme, it’s working wonders for her blog. To stay in touch with the latest news in the dance world, I occasionally check out Discount Dance Supply’s blog, Dancing Times. The site offers interesting features on dancers and choreographers, along with tips for things such as auditioning and taking care of costumes.

Writing Lashes and Leotards has been an amazing introduction into the blogosphere. I look forward to a long life in this interesting, informative, and unique media community. Happy dancing and blogging…or dance blogging!

Much love and juicy pliés,

Christina

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