Friday, May 18, 2012

For the Bloggers

Today I think I will talk about blogging. So if you only read my blog (and let’s face it...no one reads my blog) for only WoW stuff you may want to amuse yourself in other ways which I may or may not want to know about. Hmm dirty humor in the second sentence of a post...right on schedule. I think this will be the first in a series of helpful blogging tips so enjoy the first post and eventually I’ll get around to posting more.

So how do you rise to levels of blog fame where people flock to your blog posts in the thousands and hang on your every word? Well the first step is the easiest: start a blog! Once you have a blog you need to do three things: Find a subject to write about, write something, and get your name out there.



Finding a theme

Starting a blog will be the easiest thing that you can do. What do I write about you may be asking yourself. Well ideally you should be writing about something that you enjoy. If you like raiding than write about raiding; if you enjoy playing the auction house, than do an auction house based blog. If you have several interests than do what I did and just write on whatever subject you feel like. As long as they are tied together in some way you will be fine. If you are writing a WoW blog, than make sure most of your topics are WoW related. Yes, you can definitely write non WoW topics on your blog should you feel like it. If your writing is interesting and appealing enough to your readers, they will keep coming back to read whatever it is that you post.

You can always change your mind later about what you are writing about so don’t feel like you are locked into only writing about one specific topic. You may not want to limit your blogging to something super specific like Draenei Paladin journeys because in a few months you may decide that you want to write about your adventures as an Orc hunter or a Panda monk.

Write something

You’ve decided on a theme and are ready to get a post out there. What do you write about? Write about what you know. Write about what you see around you. Write anything. I often have a hard time with this one myself. I tend to have more ideas about what I want to write about than I do actual posts. Some people plan out their blog posts ahead of time and some write on the spur of the moment about something that caught their attention. You can write a guide or tell a story about something funny that happened to you in game. You can

Do your best while writing posts to maintain good grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I know for some bloggers, English is not their first language and it is more work for them to post in English but most of the really good ones do the extra work and make sure that their posts are legible and readable. If English IS your first language and you have horrible grammar/spelling/etc. than I would suggest you do what I do: write out a post and then copy and paste it into Microsoft Word and run the spell check tool. It will catch most of your spelling and grammar mistakes. You can also have someone else read your post and tell you if they catch anything that you or your spell check missed. Having someone else proof read your post will also allow you to learn if your blog post flows well. If you write something and you are jumping all over the place topic wise but you don’t notice, an extra set of eyes can point that you so you can pull it all together.

Remember that your blog is YOURS. If you read something that you disagree with, write a post about why you disagree with whatever it is. Don't be afraid to step away from the group and think on your own. Sometimes disagreeing with the majority can be the only way to bring about change and sometimes it's the start of a huge firestorm. If you are writing something that you know will cause a commotion, make sure that whatever you write is clear, concise, and to the point. There are people out there in this world who think that their opinion is the only valid one out there and they may decide that your post was written solely to offend them. This can happen and honestly these people want to pick a fight regardless of whether you want one or not. If what you write makes some people angry, keep an eye on comments and lock down the post if you feel that it's getting out of hand.
  

Socialize

Okay so you've decided on a theme for your blog and you've written your first post, well now what? Now you get to work on getting your blog out there into the blogisphere where other people who aren't connected to you someway can read what you wrote. There are plenty of ways to publicize your blog. I recommend you do one or all of the following things: register on Blog Azeroth, get listed on the Twisted Nether Wiki, and join Twitter.

The Blog Azeroth forums are a great way to put your blog out there and meet people. The people there are super nice and are always willing to help new bloggers get started. If you like they can take a look at your blog theme or content and give you advice on things you may want to work on. This advice is very handy and is always done in a helpful tone so you never feel like you are being attacked. I posted my blog there when I first started blogging and got a lot of great tips on how to make my blog look cool.

Listing your blog on the Twisted Nether Wiki gives you another way for people to come across your blog. You can also look through their categories to see if there are other people blogging about similar things to you which is helpful because you can possibly get ideas for posts.

And finally join Twitter. Twitter is a melting pot of so many talented and amazing people and even if you don't have a blog you should still join Twitter just to meet these people. Twitter is a great way to get your blog name out there. When you join start following people who seem interesting and don't be afraid to join conversations people are having, unless it's an obviously personal conversation or something. I joined Twitter and for a while I was deathly afraid of tweeting anything or anyone because I was scared that they would think I was dumb. Eventually you realize that you have to jump into it and not worry so much about things like that.

I've met many cool people on Twitter and have had a blast on it. Whenever I write a blog post I'll tweet a link and if people like what I wrote they'll retweet it which sends the link out to their followers and gives your post a wider audience. More people reading your post is always a good thing.

Now I'm not saying that if you follow these three tips you will be the greatest blogger that ever was. What I am saying is that blogging takes a lot of work and it can be very rewarding. If you are interested in blogging, these three tips may help you. Blogging is fun and hopefully if you are reading this you'll enjoy this post and become inspired to start a blog. With my luck it'll be a "Jed is the worst" blog...which would be awesome.

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