This week I am reviewing Ali’s site, aliishootseducation.com.
What is Ali’s audience? Instead of trying to decipher myself, I’ll let her explain in an excerpt from her Process Post #4:
“The audience I have imagined for this page is people determined to learn an art, hobby, or a new skill. This place is a sight of learning, a place for mistakes and growth! My goal for this page is to create a safe place for fellow beginner photographers to learn without feeling judged or doubtful about the mistakes they make along the way.”
Ali has a defined concept for the site. She has set out to make this a site about one specific topic (as opposed to just a generic personal blog), and I feel that will help attract a certain type of audience. I think it helps that her content is meant to help others as opposed to just sharing what she has done. It gives people a reason to come to her site if they can stand to learn something for themselves.
In her process post #10, she writes a bit about SEO and its various advantages. She identifies some great points here, but doesn’t mention anything about her own attempts at SEO. Since her content is supposed to appeal to others, SEO would be a good idea for her site. More than that, she’s trying to appeal to a niche audience as opposed to a broad one, so there would be comparatively easier to get to the top of a search page. SEO would be advantageous here as opposed to advertising as “organic search is most often the primary source of web traffic” according to Search Engine Journal. If you can make your results organically appear in a search, it will do wonders for the long-term life of your site.
My biggest criticism is, although an interesting concept, she doesn’t have enough content to appeal to her stated audience. She wants people to come to the site to learn, yet her section “Learn” only has 3 posts. Digging through the rest of her site, it seems the content here is mainly process posts. As someone who is also into photography, I was eager to see if she had been posting any interesting tips, but I was sadly left disappointed.
I’m a fan of the site. It has a good concept, clean design, and easy to navigate. It does, however, feel much more like a “digital garden” as Basu described as opposed to a site meant for others.
“With blogging, you’re talking to a large audience, … with digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself. You focus on what you want to cultivate over time.” – Tom Critchlow, from Tanya Basu’s Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet
By this I mean it seems more like a personal project then something meant to attract an audience. There’s nothing wrong with this, but the messaging is confusing.