A long time ago on an internet far far away there was an initiative to get MMORPG writers off of the sidelines and into blogging. It was based around Warhammer Online and a mutual interest for the game. That initiative was a huge success and brought a lot of great writers to the attention of a new audience. Many of those bloggers still write today and are some of the veterans that are helping push this initiative forwards. I participated as a new blogger back then and this time I’ve been asked to be a supporter! The general idea is that we (the supporters) will explain how we got started and give some tips for being a successful blogger.
In the beginning…
I didn’t realize I was a blogger. I wrote editorials for the Iniquity website. These were EverQuest II specific and often focused on my guild and our raiding exploits. I did a bit of arm-chair game design and focused heavily on the end game. I had a very large audience because we were a server-first and world competitive guild. Eventually I decided to retire from that play style and it didn’t make a lot of sense to keep writing. After all, who wants to read the opinions of a raider who isn’t raiding or even playing the game?
It wasn’t too long before I realized I missed writing in general. I wanted a creative outlet so I founded my first blog: MMOlogy, the science of MMORPGs. It was an incredible failure when it came to hits. If six of my former guild mates read a story I considered that a victory! It was okay though because I learned the first lesson of blogging: write for yourself, not for other people. I know we would all love to be a 10,000 unique visit a day site but sometimes that just won’t happen. We should absolutely try our hardest to reach that goal but we should also be able to enjoy writing for the sake of writing. I write because it fulfills my creative need. If someone else reads what I wrote and comments it is just icing for the cake!
Eventually I started raiding again and wanted to write about it. I figured a fresh start and a new brand was in order. At some point I thought up the clever title (in my opinion) of Epic Slant. It is my Slant on the Epic activities (IE raiding) within MMORPGs. I know, I’m a genius! It got even more fun when Dresden and I came up with the tag line: Putting the O back in Pwn. Nobody ever got it (the joke is that Pwn is actually spelled Own. We think people that intentionally say pwn are silly). With a clever name and amazing tagline I figured I had a good starting point. I was inspired to write so I just did so.
Tips for success
1. Keep Writing – Content is king, even less than stellar content. Your first articles aren’t going to be perfect. They might not even be average. That doesn’t matter. If you sit around trying to write the perfect article the first time out you’re never going to finish a single article. Start kicking those puppies out as soon as you can! The more you write the better you’ll get at it. You’ll also start building up a backlog of content. That will help with your Google ranking and give your blog the appearance of activity which is very important.
2. Be Active – People that write more tend to have more readers. When I post five days a week my numbers climb exponentially per day. It doesn’t make sense but it happens. It just seems that people like to know you’re kicking around. I think it has to do with the fact that when you’re constantly writing people visit more often because they know fresh content will appear. I previously set a goal of two articles a week and it really built up my audience. These days I spend all my time writing books so Epic Slant has suffered.
3. Comment Till it Hurts – If you want to have others read your blog you need to go read theirs. Visit all of the popular but not massive blogs and make well thought out comments on the articles you find. The authors will see your comment and occasionally check you out. They may even comment back! Their readers will do the same. The more you comment the more comments you’ll get back. Just be careful that you’re not creating poor comments or just linking to your story. That is poor form.
4. Read Your Articles – Seriously, read your own work. I didn’t for the first four months and if you go way back in the archive it really shows. When you finish an article go back and read it slowly start to finish. Clean it up, make it pretty, and then post it.
So get to it
Okay now you have the back story and the tips. It is time to get off the sidelines and start writing. You could even be the next Ferrel (IE a guy with a mediocre blog and some fancy books)!
Would you like to know more?
Check out the Newbie Blogger Initiative HQ.