Let’s face it — World of Warcraft has grown into a huge community over the years. While early blogs helped disperse information, now there are many tools including forums, item databases, guild databases — the list is huge.
Why then would I want to spend my day reading a blog? I’m getting much of the same information I can get in 4 or 5 other places. The answer is perspective.
When you read someone’s blog about anything — a change in-game, a quest they are highlighting, the class they play, a pug they experienced — you get a unique look into someone else’s view of the game. You don’t always agree with it — heck, many times I post because I think there’s a flaw in the viewpoint — but the point is, you have connected on a personal level with another person whether they know your name or not. Reading blogs connects you in a very personal way with the gaming community in a way that is difficult to synthesize through other medium — forum posts generally try to be somewhat shorter than your typical blog, an in-game conversation can often take place in the middle of other activities somewhat diluting its impact, news information sites aim to give you news without judgement of the impact on players.
When I am looking at a new blog and trying to decide whether I really, really need another site to check what I consider relevant and irrelevant may seem surprising, but I think, in all honesty, are true to most people who read blogs.
I honestly don’t care what class you play
I play a lot of classes. I have many alts, and barring a few exceptions (my last maniacal raid leader for one) I think most people play more than one class — if nothing else for a change of pace and a place to relax away from their normal haunts. I read healing blogs when I was a tank, and I continue to read tanking blogs now that I primarily heal. DPS blogs are hard to find, but invariably tend to be a lot of fun when you can find one. One reason I didn’t restrict my own blog to a single class (Ripping Chains was on the block for a couple weeks) is because I don’t think the class I play at the time will affect the type of readers I will attract over time. I could be wrong and fail miserably of course ^^
Grammar & Writing Style Matter
News flash: if you’re an avid reader off the net, reading leet speak, run on sentences, and other butchering of the English language is actually more trouble than it’s worth. I’m always sad when I see a blog with great information that couldn’t be bothered with simple punctuation. It will never make my feed list. I am not a total fruitcake about it — I’ve sent out posts with spelling and punctuation errors as well as enough idioms to make a Prof. of English faint. However, there should be some consistency in your style as well as a firm grasp of how to communicate clearly — because that is what writing is — the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas.
Be True to Yourself — But Don’t Change What That Is Midstream
I think I gave myself enough wriggle room to post screenshots, do addon writeups and talk about whatever character I happen to feel like playing at the moment from leveling to raiding (again, could be wrong here). I’m not saying you should make your blog so broad that people have no concept of what they can expect to find on your site, but if you’re a raiding restoration tree blogger one day and a leveling mage the next — and you didn’t warn me — I’m gonna be a little put off.
I believe readers can be flexible enough to cope with that if they have to — what I know I can’ t cope with is when the mood of the author changes so drastically that I wonder if I am at the right blog. Are you ranty? Are you informative? Do you have a placid Madonna outlook on life or are you a seething anti-social bastard just waiting to carve your name into someone’s chest at the slightest provocation? All of these can be great reads (although I wouldn’t particularly want to meet that last guy IRL). Even changing from ranting to information can be good. Change it up a bit, keep us on our toes, make sure we keep coming back. However, major shifts in persona can be heavily jarring — if you no longer want to be placid Madonna, that’s definitely your prerogative, but don’t be surprised if your readership drastically changes either.
All in all, I’m reading a blog, because on some level, I like you or the way you present me with information. Yes, I know, I don’t know you — I wouldn’t even be tempted to come chase you down in-game and have a chat, because that would most likely be … awkward. However, in my own way, I have identified with you — your persona, your writing style, your outlook on the game — and I like it.
Edit: FYI, if I actually decide to add your blog to my feed and I cannot find your RSS or contact information, it just ticks me off