I will be reviewing Audrey’s blog LateNightAudrey. Audrey is just at the beginning of her blogging journey.
The blog is quite sparse, and I really do not understand what LateNightAudrey is? Her current posts read like Process Posts rather than Professional Posts that highlight her brand. When I dived deeper into Audrey’s About section Audrey mentions writing about her experience studying abroad in Scotland, and as more professional posts appear on her blog her brand will become more apparent. I get the vibe that Audrey is still building what exactly her brand is, and my tip for honing this would be to write and write and write. In my own experience as I kept book blogging, I was better able to understand what I was providing within the larger sphere of book blogs, and what exactly my brand is within the book blog world. A travel blog will have a similar process to go through. Audrey should focus on her own voice in her posts, as even from just her few Process Posts I can almost hear Audrey in them. This should be incorporated into the Professional Posts as well.
I like the idea of having a central travel image of her centred on the homepage. The image may be too large though as on a standard laptop size screen the image takes up most of the page when the blog first loads. One can lose sight of the content or not realize that they are supposed to scroll down to read the blog posts.
I am a big believer in an about section for any blog, and I think the placement of it matters a lot. Audrey’s About section is currently a blog post imbedded into her stream of posts on the homepage. Once Audrey begins to post more it will disappear from the homepage and the only other way to access it will be in her Categories widget on the right side of the page. I am huge fan of an easy to spot About Me section physically having the text in a widget directly on the homepage, making sure no one has to search for it. I think back to the Lecture in class when we examined the Brain Pickings website. The website lacks a clear about section, one has to scroll for what feels like forever to find it. I was surrounded in class by people who were frustrated with this. Hence, making sure the About section is carefully placed is one of my biggest blogging tips.
A good component of her blog is her Instagram widget as when I think of a travel blog, my mind goes right to photos. There should ideally be more images than three. Audrey should work on building up her Instagram as an Instagram presence would really benefit a travel blog. Posting to Instagram frequently will benefit Audrey’s brand of a travel blog.
Audrey may feel pressure to have a successful brand right away. I have been growing my brand for a while, and I had to stop early measuring my success on numbers alone. I think back to the reading from Kevin Kelly entitled “1000 True Fans,” and what is super important from that reading is you do not need thousands and thousands of readers. Work on keeping a core group coming back, form a community that loves your brand.
I encourage you to check out Audrey’s blog and keep up with her brand’s journey, I know I will.