Essays,  Process Posts

Essay #2: Personas and Word-press

This semester I created a website with the intent of producing a product that would reflect my online self. I chose to create a lifestyle blog as I had a few ideas on what I wanted the content to reflect and I didn’t want to narrow my topic to just healthy recipes. I knew from the outset that lifestyle blogs can be very challenging as they can be too broad. Reflecting on one specific topic would likely result in a more defined persona nevertheless I was determined to give a lifestyle centered blog a try as I discovered it is okay to have more than one persona.

            A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It is often used in marketing, advertising and sales to outline the goals, attitudes, behaviour and objections of customers that will likely be attracted to your site.  A persona should not be confused with your brand or logo or theme, but rather it’s a detailed character created as a result of research and analytics (Chappell, 2019). “Personas are critical to digital marketing because they attract the right audience to your website by helping you develop effective messaging and provide information that aligns with how your customers think and feel”(Chappell, 2019). Applying the process of creating a few personas, I discovered that I could create a blog that could attract others.

            In order to ensure you know who is attracted to your site you need to do your research. This research can be achieved through interviews with those that have visited your site. Research can also be done through Google Analytics. I have not had many visitors to me site but I plan to monitor this now that I have Google Analytics tracking each visitor. The key to increasing traffic to your site is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are so many things you can do yourself, within your own website, to ensure Google finds your page, first before your competitors. This is done by using keywords that accurately reflect what your personas are looking for. You want to provide the best answer to your visitor’s questions in order to find you. An expert digital marketer, Neil Patel states “SEO is the magic you have to work on your article in order to make Google very likely to include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword” (Patel, 2020).

            Although I have not received any comments from visitors on my site I found the peer reviews in lectures and the written reviews very helpful as I implemented my ideas. Learning the technical aspects of WordPress has been a challenge and I think it will continue to be a steep learning curve. My website changed quite a bit since the first incarnation. Although I kept my theme I completely changed the home page. I taught myself to use Canva and created several design elements to add to my website. I have so many more ideas to add and things to change that I plan on working on after this course is finished. The most important thing I learned in this process that although I struggled I felt a sense of accomplishment for teaching myself some of the skills required to use WordPress. The process also reinforced to me that I enjoy digital design and hope to incorporate it in my career as a communications professional.