An Open Letter to WoW Bloggers

An Open Letter to WoW Bloggers

Dear WoW Bloggers,

I’m directing this post to you in the hopes that you will break out of your creative shell at some point. Blogs die every day for various reasons. The author no longer has the time or maybe they’ve lost interest. Another common reason is that they can’t seem to come up with anything “good” for their blogs so they give up because they fail to attract visitors or fail to generate discussion.

What is a good blog?

That doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about the “good” part until you get the “blog” part down. I’ve spoken to my share of bloggers on the internet and I have sensed a common ailment that affects every single one of them. It’s dangerous, it stunts growth, and it slowly eats away at them without their realizing it.

It’s known as fear of failure.

For bloggers, this is bad. They’re afraid of writing because they’re afraid of being rejected. I believe every blogger out there is capable of great ideas and great posts. I also know they’re afraid of writing it down and exploring the idea because they feel “it’s too stupid” or “boring”.

Realize now that no two readers are made the same. What’s appealing for one person may not be appealing to the other. For instance, I read daily posts on encounters, raiding, and guild business. I tend to avoid story posts where this boss was downed. You might have a nice personal story to share, but I’m not interested. I want to get something of value out of what I read. I want to learn something new. Not everyone’s like that. Others read to escape or to entertain themselves. Readers want to have fun and laugh at stories that bloggers share.

Sometimes, the headlines speak for themselves and I can skip over the story. Let me give you a quick example of how the removal of even 1 character can change the face and feel of the story:

“25-manned Gruul”

vs

“5-manned Gruul”

Now what do you think I’m likelier to pick and read? Even though the 5 manning of Gruul may not be real, it’s still an eye catching headline that will make people pause and read.

Don’t worry

Guy Kawasaki is a business man I look up to. At one of his infamous keynotes, he made a reference to Walt Disney. There’s a song in the Disney franchise called “Don’t worry, be happy”. Guy twists it around in his talk and tells innovators to instead don’t worry, be crappy.

Everyone works hard in the real world to maintain an image and to be the model citizen. They live to serve the expectations that society dishes out. The internet’s a great place to escape that pressure. Write something outrageous! Be daring!

When you first start blogging, you can’t expect an audience immediately. Blogging is a social thing which encourages interaction. You’re not supposed to be a lecturer.

You’re going to write something once in a while that isn’t going to fly with what your readers like. They’ll let you know. Use that reaction for the future. Again, you’ll never know if people will like a post or not until you pen it and publish it.

This is how it works

You write a post which happens to link to another blog.
This other blog’s owner finds out they have an incoming link coming from your blog.
The curious blogger then clicks the link to your blog and starts reading.
The curious blogger proceeds to either like or dislike what you have to say and mentions your blog on their blog.
Other bloggers and readers pick up on it and come to your blog.
The process repeats.

It takes a lot of time to develop. A lot of bloggers give up because they don’t have the patience. This post isn’t directed to them. This post is aimed at the bloggers who claim they don’t have ideas.

Wrong.

You have ideas, you just don’t have the confidence to follow through on them. I want to read what it is that you have to say. I can’t form an opinion of a post if it hasn’t been written yet.

Get over your fear of rejection and just start writing.

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Good advice. Let’s see if I can follow it. 😀

  2. I have no fear of posting, I just grow incredibly tired of the same friends who I IM that I made a post being the only ones who comment. It is slowly beginning to turn, but it is really slow and really hard to accept the speed sometimes.

  3. Hmm, oddly enough it shows 9 comments listd by the post but only 2 visible here. Am I missing something?

  4. *high five* Exactly!! When I started blogging, I had no intention of presenting myself as an “authority” – I merely desired to be a “voice.” That attitude has given me soooo much more freedom in what I can blog about, not to mention the stimulation of outside comments.

  5. Great post Matt. I used your advice for an eye catching headline for my “Eredar Twins Down” post. With a catchy title, the post generated a lot more hits… and a lot more spam!

    Apparently “Twins” “Pleasure” “doing in reverse” attracted non-WoW spam material 😛

    Great advice though 🙂

  6. “I read daily posts on encounters, raiding, and guild business. I tend to avoid story posts where this boss was downed. You might have a nice personal story to share, but I’m not interested”

    By your own admission, you would never have any reason to read my blog as I do not, and probably will never, write about the above referenced topics.

    But it doesn’t stop me from posting.

    One should not worry if their content will or won’t be valued by other bloggers. There are many more non-bloggers out there who are seeking information, whether it be technical or anecdotal.

    Your gaming experience, whether you are a full-time raider, BGer, or altaholic, will be valued by the non-blogging seekers and other bloggers who share similar interests.

  7. Great post! It does explain alot of the trepidation I felt at least when I was starting my blog. I think some people feel intimidated by the theory crafting aspect of it all (especially those of us with BA’s :D)but there are a number of other things which can be blogged about.

    I also think people need to remember they aren’t going to get a great deal of subscribers all at once, and to not let this put them off. I think I have a grand total of, what, 4 subscribers? Thats 4 people though who are clearly interested in what I have to say!

  8. Mama Druid: While its true that I won’t be able to keep up to date with most bloggers, it doesn’t mean I won’t be able to squeeze some time here and there and follow up on a few. I AM a University student with a Macbook on a wireless campus. I obviously can’t play WoW at school during a lecture, but I can always catch up on some reading. 😉

  9. Nice post Matticus! You actually inspired me to begin writing the introduction for my dissertation–better late than never, as I have to file the thing in about a month. Five pages later (woot!) I think I owe you a thank you. This advice is applicable to all writers, whatever their subject might be.

  10. Suicidal Zebra says:

    *Has Field of Dreams Flash*

    “If you Blog it…”

    [nods towards Matticus]

    “HE will come.”

    Interesting post. I’m not sure how well it fits into my own rationalé for creating a blog: to be reference source for myself in the future about my (WoW and non-WoW related) thoughts and eventually aspirations, more of a diary than a blog I imagine. From a readers POV I tend to ramble on in a non-committal fashion anyway, so I’d never be the sort Blogger that people would hit for information and insights. In fact, repeated comments of ‘Get to the ****ing Point’ would be the most I’d expect right now. But at 2 weeks and 13 posts it’s early days yet ;).

    *wonders how many people will link to the Blog Entry seeking hits from Matt* 😀

  11. Medros, have a blogroll and link to other people’s sites. When they go through their logs, they’ll see new hits coming from a new site and investigate. They may add you to their link list, and the chain continues.

    I try to link new bloggers who link to me after they post for a bit, in respect for Psyae and Sinker, who linked to me way back when. Though I’m pretty lazy about the whole thing, so I don’t add people as often as I would like to.

    Also, don’t just link to “bigger” sites, link to some of the smaller upcoming bloggers, who’ll be very grateful for the acknowledgement. The idea is to make it easy for someone to stumble upon your blog by following random links.

  12. Matticus, I was hoping to provide an example of how a blogger could suffer from writer’s block resulting from their fear of rejection.

    But I don’t think it came across very well.

    I greatly appreciate your suggestions and guides about blogging. They really helped me out when I started!

  13. I hope that my comment wasn’t too piercing. I’m a previous blogger that quit the game for a while and quit blogging. Burnout/Boredom. But I’ve kept up to date with all the info/blogs. Had my last exam from my second year of university today so I may renew my subscription.

    Keep up the good work

    Fuzz

  14. Linkbaiting ftw!

    Title: 2-man Molten Core Raid!

    Content: Actually, what started as a 2-man MC raid, ended up in failure, but after getting 10 more people in, we finally got ragnaros down….

    People lie, shame on people!

  15. Somtimes I will not publish a post because I thinks its too much QQ – Makes me look back on it thinking ” How does this sound to the world” The infintaminus of the internet.. ( is that a real word.. ) Where I can still track my guestbook posts from 1998 ( remember when they were popular )
    So thats one reason to hesistate.. what you publish will be around for A long time…. but its a matter of being honest with the world and withyourself.. with a hint of advice my dad gave me, assume it will be on the front page of the newspaper. * nows goes back to delete some posts.. Kidding!

  16. A+ great post.

    I was writing something before here on my IPhone for comments but phone battery died before I could submit it.

    Anyway its a great post for all bloggers new and old. I read enough blogs daily to completely burn batteries dead on my IPhone since its what I read and comment on blogs on most the time and when at work. Many people start blogs with good intentions I think only to see their blogs go dead in matter of weeks. Its unfortunate for whatever the reason. Some people when starting out focus too much on readership and commenters. Write to the enjoyment and write what you feel strongly about. If people get learn or get some kind of view or something from it they may lurk their for a while in stealth their before they actually comment. I know I usually do.

  17. It may sound strange, but I think a blog should have a soul. You should hear a voice in it, a personal tone. It’s not like any informative website out there. It’s alive, that’s what make this medium som special.

    Let the blog live it’s own life, don’t worry if it grows a bit wild, dealing with different kinds of subjects. And don’t worry so much about the figures. Eventually you’ll find a few fans out there, people who come and pay you a visit every day, passing buy to say hi. Even if it’s just a few, it’s a great feeling.

    But I think you shouldn’t make violence on yourself to catch them. Just be yourself. You’ll come long with it.

  18. teazone says:

    Hi from *insert random country*! Cant tell ya where i am see yall later.

  19. Bob Marley, dude, not Disney. 😛

  20. I think my blog is more for me than for my readers. I write so I can quit having thoughts spinning in my head. Writing stuff down lets my brain move on a little bit.

    If someone reads my rambles then that is great too. If they make a comment (especially if it is some usefull advice, which happens sometimes) then that is a great bonus.

  21. I think my blog had a soul, it reflects the trials and tribulations oft character. Most blogs I guess becomes better if it reflects something thats apparent and enduring about the writer or their WoW personality.

  22. Good advice. I wasn’t sure what would happen when I started my own blog, four or so years ago. Yeah, that long. 🙂 I ended up becoming a life blogger, writing about anything that took my fancy. And I decided to write for myself, not for any audience – which still seems to have gained me a small but dedicated audience. Anyway, I suspect your post is more about people who are writing for a purpose.

    I saw your stuff over on Wowinsider… and you’ve now succeeded in distracting me from work for far too long by having many interesting articles, written with a great style. Looking forward to reading more!

  23. You should link to this on BA, it’d be good there too

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