Welcome to a special edition of this week’s The Herald.
The New Blogger Initiative, run by one Sypster of Biobreak, aims to help teach and cultivate bloggers looking to improve their craft. Looks like it’s been picking up some steam as there’s a large number of sponsors (veterans) and new guys. Poking around, you can find some quality tutorial links on best practices and ideas when working with your blog.
You can find all of the published articles in one thread here (Personally, I would’ve suggested making each reply it’s own post for easier scannability or condensing similar topics into it’s own thread).
If you’re not sure where to start, let me pick out the ones you should begin with.
Eva’s post has excellent tips on laying out your screenshots and maximizing the art of in game photography. If you’re in an area where you’re not able to snag a screenshot, then any visual appeal helps. If you’re stuck at work and want to publish a post, see if you can generate a graph or a pie chart. Worse case scenario, you can snag some stock images from a large image service that allows it (I recommend Stock Exchange). I’m amazed at what kind of impact a 48 point white text on a black image background can make on a blog that’s predominantly light colored.
Paeroka asks you to dig deep down inside and figure out why you want to blog. Once you get that part squared away, you can move on from there. Think of blogging as a type of sub-gaming activity (Raiding, PvPing, etc). If you can figure out what you want to do within the game, you’ll have a stress-free time mapping out your activities.
Similar to Paeroka, Windsoar expands further on Paeroka’s topic about getting started. You have to factor in time. You don’t need to cram your blogging on the bus or train on the way to work but how much time you set aside is going to dictate your quality and quantity. There’s no real wrong answer on things to write about. You can review different aspects of a game. Help players by writing guides. Lay down your experiences and comment on your own activities.
If you’re looking to compare the pros and cons of self hosting, Stropp has you covered. By aiming for self-hosting, you are making a commitment to yourself. It’s like signing up for a club membership at the gym. You’ve already pre-paid that one year and you don’t want to lose on that investment, so you keep going. That being said, if you’re unsure about handling the demands of blogging, you should start with a free one first. Get your feet wet. If all you care about is getting your words and thoughts out there, you can do some practice runs on the WordPress hosted plan. If you want to see how you would react to the opinions of readers, find a blogger you admire, and email them to see if they’re willing to publish your piece.
If you’re only going to listen to one piece of advice, then listen to this one:
Writers who don’t write aren’t writers.
That’s advice from my old English 12 teacher. Kindly old man. Passed away a few years ago. Always thought of him as Gandalf with glasses who used a pen instead of a wand.
I miss him.
As an aside, I’m looking to take on a blogging padawan. Any takers?