Blog with reflection: A reflective summary on my blog writing, how it has influenced my learning and how it could help me in my intended future role as a digital marketing professional.

If I am to be honest although I had obviously heard of blogs, I wasn’t really sure what they were and what purpose they served, and I had never actually posted one until I started this module. So, what is a blog? After some brief online research, I found this informative definition on the WordPress website:

‘Blog is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order’ (WordPress, 2022).

After some further research on blog writing styles, I logged on to the University of Brighton ‘Blog network’ and the rest is history!

Now I have written regular blogs of my own I now have a far better understanding of the concept and I would like to take this opportunity to share my findings with you today.

How blogging has influenced my learning

Blogging and reading the blogs of others during the current semester has significantly impacted my understanding of taught themes. Basically, blogging and sharing your research and thoughts and opinions with others can be regarded as a form of open education practice. Indeed, an interesting blog that I found yesterday defines open education practice as:

‘Open educational practices (OEP) is a broad descriptor of practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of open educational resources (OER) as well as open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices’ (Cronin, 2017).

I would like to share this blog with you now: .

So, how has writing and reading blogs actually helped me academically?

Well, to begin with writing blogs has allowed me to develop my writing practices. Blogs need to be able to grab the attention of the reader from the outset and them keep them engaged throughout the post otherwise at the click of a mouse they are gone. Effectively this has meant that I have had to learn to write more concisely and get to the point more quickly and I have also developed the ability to vary my ‘writing voice’ and tone to suit the topic of the blog that I am writing at the time.

Blogging has also allowed me to think out loud and develop my reflective practices. For example, I recently posted the following reflective post so that I could both reflect on my own professional practice and also share my reflection with my peers in the hope that I would receive support, feedback and maybe even some guidance:

Please visit to read the whole post.

Blogging has also allowed me to begin to establish my identity as an academic scholar and to start building an online portfolio containing evidence of my digital marketing practices. Indeed, it has even provided a medium for me to submit part of this assignment!

Finally blogging has helped me to connect with like-minded peers and has given me a sense of community which is a concept more formerly known as networked scholarship:

networked scholarship may enact Boyer’s initial aim of broadening scholarship itself through fostering extensive cross-disciplinary, public ties and rewarding connection, collaboration, and curation between individuals rather than roles or institutions. (IRRODL, 2015).

Therefore, we can now see the importance of blogging in academic study must not be underestimated, and they have become an essential element of university life. For further reading on the importance of blogging in education I would like to recommend that you visit the following websites:

How blogging could help me in my intended future role as a digital marketing professional.

In my opinion blogging has many important roles to play when developing an effective digital marketing strategy:

Attracting new customers. With the correct SEO strategies blogging can be used to drive traffic to your website and generate new business leads. Regular blogs using new keywords can actually enhance SEO as search engines such as Google are set up to crawl website and index any new content that they find.

Maintaining marketing strategy/organizing content. Nowadays advertising your products and services online has become more difficult because of the intense competition. Correctly written, blogs can be used to intrigue customers and deliver multimedia presentations of your business to customers such as promotional videos, interviews and podcasts.

Promoting trust/credibility. In my opinion, people generally tend to trust the written information that they come across on the Internet as long as it appears to be accurate and is well-presented. Therefore, a well-structured blog which includes meaningful and accurate content, and which encourages discussion and knowledge sharing can be used be used to promote trust and credibility for your brand amongst potential customers.

Promoting products and services. According to digital marketing consultants Prism Global Marketing Solutions ‘research shows that around 80% of companies prefer to have an advertisement in the form of a series of articles instead of the traditional “buy now” agenda’ (Prism Global, 2022). Therefore, I think that a succession of well-structured blogs is now the best way for a business to promote its products and services.

Promoting community spirit. Sharing your blogs on social media platforms will reach a far wider audience and will also build a community around your posts and therefore your business organization which in turn will bring in new customers.

Therefore, we can now also see that the importance of blogging in today’s digital marketplace must not be underestimated, and they have become an essential element of a business organizations marketing strategy. For further reading on the importance of blogging in digital marketing I would like to recommend that you visit the following websites:


978 words (excluding references shown below).



Cronin, 2017. ‘Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education’ [online]. Available at: [accessed 15 Jan 2022].

IRRODL, 2015. ‘In abundance: Networked participatory practices as scholarship’ [online]. Available at:    [accessed 10 Jan 2022].

Prism Global, 2022. ‘6 Reasons Why Blogging Is Essential for Your Business’ [online]. Available at:  [accessed 15 Jan 2022].

WordPress, 2022. ‘Introduction to Blogging’ [online]. Available at:  [accessed 10 Jan 2022].



Fast fashion’s new superpower: Shein

So how did the Chinese company recently surpass Zara to become the top fast fashion brand in the US?

Competitive prices. According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, the average unit price of Shein’s products is only $7.90 and only Primark and Forever 21 can match some of its prices. This is particularly relevant because Shein’s target customers are females under the age of 25 who have low incomes and who typically do not wear the same clothes more than once or twice.

Extensive product range. Shein now offers over 600,000 products and each day it offers 6,000 new products, a feat which none of Shein’s competitors can even come close to.

Tax breaks. Although it is based in China Shein has always ignored its domestic market and sold all its products overseas. Under the Chinese tax system these transactions do not incur any export taxes which gives the company a major advantage over its competitors. Moreover, because of Shein’s rock bottom pricing only a small percentage of these overseas shipments incur import taxes as most fall below import duty thresholds which in the UK is £135 for example.

Worldwide shipping. Shein has set up an impressive shipping network which now enables it to send goods to 220 countries. Also, Shein profits from discounted shipping rates as the Universal Postal Union classes China as a developing country.

During my research I came across an online article by the Guardian on this topic which makes interesting reading and can be found at:


Shein says data breach affected 6.4M customers

Data breaches can be disastrous for an online retailer. Not only can they destroy a company’s reputation, but they can also result in fines and compensation pay-outs. In 2018, Shein suffered a major data breach which took place over a two-month period and affected approximately 6.42 million customers. Although the loss of information did not include credit card details the breach resulted in bad publicity and class-action lawsuits against the retailer. What I find really hard to understand is how a data breach of this magnitude can go undetected for two months within a company the size of Shein.

During my research I came across an online article by Retail Dive on this topic which makes interesting reading and can be found at:



Shein: The Importance of Trust.




It was four years ago when I first became aware of Shein. One of my friends told me about this fantastic website that sold the sort of clothes that I was wearing at the time for a fraction of the cost in the UK. My initial reaction was that this was too good to be true and I decided that the risk of being scammed was too great. However, over time more and more of my friends started buying from them and they all said that they had received what they had ordered so I decided to give it a go. As I entered my credit card details, I felt extremely vulnerable, but I went ahead anyway. After an anxious 2-3 week wait, I too received exactly what I ordered and so I ordered again. After 3 or 4 successful transactions I decided that Shein could be completely trusted.

Therefore, when I saw the above slide (Digital Marketing/Week 5 Lecture Part 2 Slide 19) it immediately struck a chord with me, and I instantly thought ‘how true!’

Shein: China’s Mysterious $15 Billion Fast Fashion Retailer


Based in Nanjing, China, Shein is an international fast fashion e-commerce retailer which focuses on selling women’s wear at rock-bottom prices. Since it was founded in 2008 the company has exhibited meteoric growth seizing over a quarter of the US fast-fashion market and has set up an impressive shipping network from scratch which now enables it to send goods to 220 countries worldwide.

However, despite such a rapid rise, there is little public information about Shein or its enigmatic founder, Chris Xu. The private company doesn’t even disclose any financial results, but its sales are thought to have soared during the pandemic with consumers turning more towards online shopping. Data provider CB Insights has estimated that Shein’s revenues topped 63.5bn yuan (£7.4bn) in 2020 but there is currently no way of confirming these figures.

Shein’s veil of secrecy has fuelled allegations that the company relies on modern slavery to maintain its ultra-low retail prices. During my research I came across an online article by Reuters on this topic which makes interesting reading and can be found at: .