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  • Foto van schrijverfoeshel

Rebuilding My Digital Island: A Year of Transformation


Illustration of a stylized skull with horns and a pentagram, featuring vivid red eyes and accents, surrounded by magical symbols and a wispy smoke-like effect. by Foeshel


It has almost been a year since I lost my Instagram account due to a hack, and I thought it might be interesting to reflect on the past year.



Acceptance and Moving Forward


When I lost my social media presence in January on Instagram, it hit hard. It was more than just a collection of pictures. I was able to connect with people who liked my illustrations and the ideas behind them. To lose that in the snap of a figure was hard to accept at first. But I had to, because what was I going to do? Stop sharing? So I had to gather my thoughts and emotions and rethink how to rebuild.



The Birth of a New Plan


How could I rebuild and stay connected? The answer, it seemed, lay in shifting my focus. I decided to concentrate on redirecting my audience to my website, my personal island. Here, I could have full control over my content, shielding it from the unpredictability of social media algorithms.

I realized that to draw more visitors to my island, I needed to build bridges to other social media platforms. After all, even the most beautiful island remains undiscovered if no one knows it exists. So, I diversified my efforts, leveraging platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts. It was time to yell to the digital ocean, not just from one beach but from many.



Navigating Uncharted Waters


TikTok quickly revealed itself as a promising channel for engagement. My content resonated more with this community than I initially anticipated. However, the same couldn't be said for YouTube Shorts. I noticed a difference in how audiences engaged with content on these platforms, and it got me thinking. The digital landscape is evolving rapidly, and what captivates audiences varies from platform to platform. For example, the retention rate on TikTok is much shorter than on YouTube. Because of that, I am also exploring the possibility of creating long-form content for YouTube... But I am not comfortable being on camera and speaking. It's a big hurdle to cross, but it's not insurmountable.



What does the future look like?


On my website, I want to attach an online shop where I can sell my illustrations and other things. While this idea isn't fully formed yet, the basic concept is there, ready to evolve with time and growth.

And speaking of growth, I've had to delve into the intricacies of platforms like TikTok and YouTube – learning their algorithms and preferences. It's not always straightforward; it involves a lot of testing and hoping for growth. But I don't want my content to be an energetic mess just to capture fleeting attention. I want to engage and invite people to explore my work more deeply on my website.

I want to do more art fairs, and I am looking at cons as well. This will be in Belgium. The cons will probably be for the 2025 season.



The SEO Adventure


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) I am so glad I read up on this early. This is a lot of work, and it is best to start it early in the process. This is a way to tell WebCrawler's such as Google what your website actually is. Every file, picture, and page is explained in short, SEO-optimized text so that it can understand what it is. If it understands its purpose and audience, then search engines will push your content into the right categories and get interested people to your website.



A Year of Growth


In the past year, I've witnessed growth, albeit not astronomical. But here's the thing: any growth is worth celebrating. After all, on Instagram, things were stagnating as the platform continuously shifted to align with the latest trends, often alienating its loyal user base. Platforms come and go. The future remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: I'm happy to have my own digital island—foeshel.com—my own haven of creativity.



A Grateful Note


If you've found your way to my island from TikTok or YouTube, thank you. Your presence here means the world to me. Please consider subscribing to the newsletter. I don't flood your inbox every week; it's a rarity. I should actually use it more often to inform you of what is happening. But do leave your mail; this is at least a way to stay connected through the website. Thank you in advance



The Lessons


This past year has taught me that rebuilding can be challenging, tedious, and energy-consuming. I'll be honest; the initial stages were a bit of a struggle. However, somewhere along the way, as I started writing, drawing, and creating content, I found the spark of fun. I genuinely believe that better things are on the horizon.

So, here's to the future, filled with more art, ideas, and connections. The journey continues, and I'm thrilled to have you along for the ride.

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