Saturday, January 17, 2015

Journaling with a Blog: Skunkboy

Katie Shelton, the author of Skunkboy, writes about her experiences as a mother, DIYer, musician, and much more. She keeps her readers updated about her day-to-day activities with simple yet effective writing. While I don’t think her writing voice is particularly distinctive, the way she writes works well for her needs as a lifestyle blogger. There are times when her writing is more personal and times when it’s stripped back. The blog title in particular caught my attention because I wasn't sure what to expect from a blog called "Skunkboy." The content on Skunkboy is a light, easy read, and I can see why it’s such a popular blog.

Like many other lifestyle bloggers, Skunkboy is a blog that Katie says is “for profit,” meaning she takes part in many sponsorships and gets sent free items to promote. She incorporates these products into her blog by either modeling the post around them or just briefly mentioning them, but it’s easy to see how that might change how new readers might perceive the blog.

Including her children is just one way Katie makes Skunkboy a personal blog, but it might be problematic to some. In one month alone, Skunkboy had over 300,000 views. That’s a large audience, and while Katie willingly shares the details of her life, I can’t help but wonder about any privacy issues she may come across.

Skunkboy works well as a glimpse into Katie Shelton’s life through an online journal. It skirts the line between being a personal journal and a sponsorship-run lifestyle blog. She combines her sponsored posts with anecdotes of her day, so you aren’t just reading about a product that she happens to “love”—probably because it was free. Her blog is an immersive experience with content that spans across several topics, like Our Home and Weekly Wears.

For example, in one of her Weekly Wears posts, she writes about passing down fall traditions to her daughters alongside pictures of them playing in the leaves. At the end of the post, she mentions a coupon code for the shoes in the post that’s exclusive to her blog. It’s smart from a marketing perspective and good for the loyal readers of her blog that might be influenced or inspired by Katie’s style. Shoot, if I could make a decent living off of a blog, I would probably do it—how about you?

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