NBI: Blogging Tips!

Hiya folks! Remember me? I’ve been a bit absent from things lately. Real life has yanked me back into it’s sphere with it’s slimy tentacles, and is flailing me about at the moment. I’ve been trying to DPS it down as quickly as I can, but I think I need a few gear upgrades. Which, coincidentally, I’ll get if I can get these down. Sound familiar?

So! Blogging Tips! I have a few. 🙂

Naming your Blog: Think long-term on this. When I first started blogging, I was playing World of Warcraft, and as I was trying to think of a good name, I remembered the pet name that some of my guildies called me… Battle Priestess. It was a fantastic blog name, and very successful – until I stopped playing WoW for a while, and moved into other games. Then it just didn’t seem to fit anymore – I wasn’t playing a priest, and for some reason the “Battle” part seemed too closely tied to Blizzard’s Battle.net. I waffled about for a while, and briefly tried making different blogs for different games – which was a terrible idea, I might add. Eventually I decided to make the complete switch to Wild Boar Inn as a multi-gaming blog, which so far has worked out nicely. Still, I had built up so much traffic & so many links and just a lot of publicity overall for Battle Priestess, and I still hate that I lost that history. So try not to tie the blog name too closely to your class, race, or game of choice. You may one day decide to play a different game or a different class, and you may end up kicking yourself.

Blogging Schedule: Don’t feel obligated to post something every single day. Some folks will say that you should post every day to drive your traffic up, and I get that. Still, I think it’s better to wait until you really have a topic that’s burning a hole in your soul and needs to be articulated – even if that only happens once every 1-2 weeks. Your overall blog quality will be better, and speaking of me personally as a reader, I’d much rather see quality over quantity. Most of the best bloggers in the gaming circle can post quality articles every single day, but they’ve also been doing this for years. When you’re new, take it easy on yourself, don’t feel like you have to post something just to post.

Leave of Absence: If you need to take a break for a while, by all means do so! Just post and let folks know about it and when to expect you back – that way you won’t get removed from blogrolls and readers for inactivity. This is something I need to work on myself.

Theme/Template Design:

  • Chances are you’re running off of Blogger or WordPress.com. Both have a ton of pre-set themes you can choose from, and… well, some are better than others. Try to pick one that’s not super-busy, bright, or features loud colors. People may be reading your blog while at work, so a plainer theme on a white background works best for this. With this blog I tend to use busy background images, but the body of the blog is white so that the window can be resized and all that imagery goes away.
  • Stay away from super-fancy fonts for the actual posts; a fancy font for the header is fine. Don’t go super-large or super-small on the post fonts either.
  • Make sure that you have a Search box near the top of the page. If your theme doesn’t have this, it can likely be added through a widget.
  • Also make sure that you have links to your RSS feed, Twitter/G+, email, and any other social media that you use. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you! There are a ton of free-to-use icons that you can get for this – just google “free social media icons”.
  • A blogroll is also nice to have, both so that you can recommend blogs to your readers and so that you can trade links with other bloggers.
  • Finally – if you’re going to put images in your sidebar, it’s nice if you resize them to all be the same width. It’ll look more polished and less distracting. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can get the less expensive Photoshop Elements, or even use the free open-source software called Gimp to do so.

Find Your Voice: Every blogger has their own voice, their own personality, their own point-of-view. As a matter of fact, I’d say that if you were given 5 blog posts on the same topic by 5 different well-known bloggers, you could probably guess which blogger wrote each one just by reading them. You don’t want to copy your favorite blogger’s voice, it just won’t come across right. My suggestion is to write like you speak. Sometimes it even helps to record yourself speaking about a topic like you were talking to a friend about it, and then use that as the basis of your post. Your voice will come in time, and you’ll soon settle into a style that works for you. Don’t sweat it too much, just let it happen naturally. You may find that over time, your writing style will change – and that’s not a bad thing. Let it evolve and grow.

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