Saturday, February 28, 2015

BeWatching Midnight: Taking Stock Twelve Months On (February 2015)

In August 2014, I posted, “Taking Stock at Six O’Clock:  Beginning My Blogging Career.” I’m now twelve months into the writing and it’s again time to reflect on my experiences. 

From September 2014 until this posting, I’ve written twelve pieces. You could call them my “Midnight Twelve”—not a large number but quantity is not as important to me at this juncture as is continuing to learn more about watches, explore new topics and improve on my singular writing style.   I have many posts in progress  still waiting for their hour hands to strike and be published. 

Thankfully, my ideational flow hasn’t subsided.  At times it seems overwhelming.   I still find my post inspirations coming from movies (Ulee’s Gold); art and exhibitions (Malevich/Tate Museum, Tomi Ungerer/The Drawing Center); advertisements (Jaeger-LeCoultre/The New Yorker); and current events (Je Suis Charlie).

Since my blog’s inception, I’ve had over 6,400 page views as of February 28th. That’s compared to 3,500 at the end of August 2014. Over 50% of my all-time audience has come from the United States; followed by readers in Israel, the Ukraine, Russia and China. But for me, it’s not about stats but about enjoyment and creativity.

One of most important things I’ve realized during the last six months is how important it is to arduously continue expanding my knowledge of both the technical and artistic design aspects of wristwatches.  For example, describing a particular model or collection of watches often takes provocative word flair to be successful.  My Versace posting is an example of this.
I am just now cultivating this expressive approach, but it’s a slow process to concatenate words in a descriptive sequence that provides clarity and evocative punch. This is the reason I introduced a new page to my blog, Poetic Time in January 2015.   On this page you'll find a selection of poems and other prose fragments, some my own—some from others, with time as an important thematic element.

I have been taking advantage of webinars during the last six months.  Two of the most helpful were s “8 Success Factors that Determine Your Blog’s Future” and “Get Your Blog Ready for a Big 2015."  Both of these webinars were offered to Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger Community.  Even if you are not a ProBlogger Community member, Rowse’s blog is a repeated must visit for aspiring and seasoned bloggers.

I also have had the opportunity to use my blogging knowledge to set-up a publications’ site for my husband, James J. Raciti.  This served as a technical refresher for me as it involved a collaborative effort to select and  register another domain name, establish a template, make layout decisions, and add content that promotes his novels, non-fiction and poetry works.

I am expanding my knowledge of digital branding, both from a personal point of view as an emerging blogger and the way wristwatch firms appear to use it in creating consumer awareness of their brands through marketing campaigns. Daniel Rowles' book, Digital Branding: A CompleteStep-by-Step Guide to Strategy, Tactics and Measurement (Kogan Page, 2014) is a terrific, basic introduction to this exploding field.  I’d also recommend Rowles’ Target Internet site which offers free educational content on digital marketing including blog posts and podcasts. 

So what are my intentions for the next six months, now that I’m one blogging year old? I want to refine my focus, research and write postings about:

  • Specific wristwatch innovations and designs, specifically those coming from haute jouilliare houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.
  • Specific wristwatch elements such as bezels, crowns, hands, dial adornments, cases etc.
  • Specific fashion brand wristwatches that have surprising features.

Specificity frames my agenda.  Much to do before the clock strikes 6 o’clock again next August. 

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