May is just flying away, and there are a hundred and one other things I can talk about blogging and getting started. Last year, I’d provided a little snapshot into my own pet peeves when reading blogs: like all advice take it or leave it. There have also been a slew of helpful posts on hosting and things over at the NBI forums. I particularly enjoyed these three posts on setting up your blog, connecting with the community, and handling that RSS mess.
And while I could provide similar and just as well meaning advice on connecting with the greater community of bloggers (that’s kinda the cornerstone of this initiative!) the most important single piece of advice I could ever hope to give an aspiring blogger is this:
Without blog posts, you’re not a blogger. It’s that simple. And while I specified writing (since that’s what most bloggers do) those with a video blog or screenshot gallery still fall under the same constraint of needing to produce content to.. you know… do what you do!
Now, a professional, or aspiring professional would probably take this time to provide you with some guidelines on the number of words in an article, the frequency of producing content, or something else similarly useful. I’m just not that helpful. Blame it on my contrary nature.
I’ve seen successful bloggers who pop up a post once a patch, and others who provide articles several times a day. I’ve seen one-liners (or single shots) and massive walls of text that give your scroll wheel a workout. Blogging doesn’t have to fit into some neat, tidy journalistic ideal of writing. It just has to be.
IF YOU WRITE, YOU’RE BLOGGING
Now what about readers you ask? The fastest, easiest ways to garner readers is to network with other bloggers/readers in your gaming community (see link above folks). Above and beyond that, it’s all about content, and whether people find something useful, enjoy your unique perspective, or are intrigued by your awesome ability to rant.
People don’t have to love you. People don’t have to hate you either. You don’t have to be quirky or informative, or dependable. You don’t have to adopt a personality to blog. You don’t have to start controversy if it’s not in your nature, but there’s nothing wrong with a dissenting voice, a contrary opinion.
The absolute most important thing to remember if you want to start a blog is that blogging is
What you write is available to an audience. What you write can affect yourself and others. Writing can attract crackpots and weirdos, nitpickers and naysayers, as well as wonderfully supportive people. As much nasty commentary as you may see over at WI every day, most small independent little blogs like mine get very little truly negative feedback although critical feedback is a wonderful and engaging part of the blogging process.
If you want to blog,