How to Get Started Blogging: Parts 1 and 3

WoW Blogging 101

Since my University is on a mountain and it’s snowing like crazy in BC, my classes were canceled due to treacherous road conditions. Over at the Blog Azeroth forums, Rhoeyln asked a series of questions about blogging:

Hi, all. I’m going to follow past precedent and make a little request, here. I’m very new to the blogosphere, but I’ve been wanting an avenue in which to collect my long list of WoW thoughts. I want to start writing a blog. However, I feel like a very fat fish in very shallow waters. I don’t know how to move or breathe.

Could someone put together a list of steps to get started? What do you need? What should you have prepared before you publish? What does a successful schedule have to hold to keep the readers interested? What did you have put in place before you got started with the meaty-meat of writing?

Advice or resources to get the ball rolling would really be useful. Also, if anyone has thoughts about what the blogosphere hates or loves, needs or absolutely doesn’t need, I’d love to hear those, too.

Thank you,
~Rhoelyn

I started writing up a large response but then I realized it would be a lot larger then a simple forum post. With that in mind, I’m going to start writing a series of posts on WoW Blogging 101.

It will cover:

  • Part 1: Before You Start
  • Elements of a WoW Blog (features and such)
  • Part 3: How I Write my Posts
  • Writing and ideas in general
  • Promoting your blog
  • Commenting etiquette and ethics
  • Statistics
  • Extra resources and reading
  • Conclusions and Final Thoughts

I don’t know when I’ll finish. But knowing me and my work ethic, I’ll probably finish within the week. Yes, I’m also aware I wrote this out of order. It’s how I roll! =)

2007 Best of World of Matticus

Boxing day shopping is one of the most grueling things anyone can do. It takes a lot of heart for someone to crawl out of bed at 3 AM to go line up in front of a store. This year I camped out in front of Best Buy to snag some swag.

This year I picked up some DVD-R’s (50 pack for $18.99), iLive iPod dock ($89.99), Rayman Raving Rabbids ($19.99 but dang if it ain’t an awesome game), 40 GB portable HD, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

2007 – World of Matticus debuts

I started this blog at the end of August because I was growing weary at the amount of Priests who were running around without a clue as to what they should be doing or the best way for them to maximize themselves as healers. BBB’s post accurately summarized my feelings on the topic.

Start your own blog (it’s free btw) and prove it. Write. Be brilliant. Show us how awesome you are and how crappy we are by comparison. Don’t just say it, DO IT.

What a brilliant bear. He’s way smarter than the average picnic basket to boot! He’s even secured a spot on WoW Insider!

I did exactly what he said. I went out, purchased my own domain and server because I had a vision. I wanted to help educate people and show them what works and what doesn’t. If they choose to follow my teachings, power to them. If they don’t, that’s perfectly fine. I wanted to be a resource for aspiring Priests and raiding officers. World of Matticus evolved from Priest topics to an interesting blend of tips, tricks, and techniques for the new GM or the officer (while maintaining stuff for Priests). The one thing that’s been a constant in all my guilds is a Holy Priest in a position of leadership. Maybe that’s just me. Anyways, that was my main goal: to help, to educate, and to teach.

I think I did a pretty darn good job for 4 months worth of work.

Statistical Growth

I never believed I could reach these kind of numbers by New Years. When I look at them, sometimes I’m still in a little bit of disbelief.

  • Subscribers: 124 – At least it’s above 0.
  • Posts: 150 – I’m averaging a little over 1.1 posts per day ever since I started writing back in August. Heh, I definitely would not have been able to make the WoW Insider quota.
  • Comments: 490 – Feedback is always good to have no matter how much there is.
  • Site Viewers: 10000~ – I installed Google Analytics around mid-October. Right now it reads around 9670 visitors. There’s no way to know for sure down the decimal, but I think a figure over 10000 is believeable.
  • Site Views: 23000~ ~ Again, same reason as above. The actual figure is 21484 since I started using Analytics. Factor in the uncounted stuff during August and September, and it should be around 23k.

Bests Posts of 2007 – By Month

I’m not basing these on page views or popularity or the number of comments or anything else like that. I’m basing this list on what I feel is the best that I’ve been able to do.

August

September

October

November

December

One More Thing

If even one or any of my blog posts have helped you become a better player in any fashion, then I know I’ve done my job. Without your support and readership, World of Matticus would not be what it is today. I want to take a moment to thank everyone for reading my corner of the WoW blogosphere. There’s a lot of WoW Bloggers that I hold a lot of respect for even though we may disagree on some points. If I’m not able to read your respective blogs throughout the week, I would not be able to get through my lectures nor have (relatively) interesting topics to blog about. Galadria (whose been quiet lately), Ego, Fate, Megan, Mercuri (AWOL) Kestrel and Kirk for the Priests. Phaelia, Karthis, BBB have all been terrific. Gwaendar, Galohart, Rohan, who have done an admiral job representing my plate wearing brethren. Pike, One Among Many, and BRK of the sharpshooting variety. The insights of GMW and Leiandra continue to be valued.

There’s a lot more people I want to thank. All the Guests writers who have volunteered to help pitch in when I was not able to do so (Leiandra, Ryan, Brendan, TDQ’s Matt, etc).  My bed looks enticing right now. There are more blogs I’m following now but I can’t possibly list them all. Next year, no doubt this list will increase in size. Some of you will retire from writing or WoW entirely and move onto other projects. But that’s getting too far ahead. 2008′s almost here and I can’t wait to share another new year of WoW adventures with everyone as well as reading about yours.

Okay, bed.

P.S., to all bloggers, I’d love it if you all highlighted your best posts from ’07!

WordPress Slowly Becoming the WoW Blogging Platform of Choice

Renowned WoW Blogger BigRedKitty has migrated from his home on Blogspot to his own domain. A quick examination of his footer reveals that he too has switched over to the WordPress platform.

Earlier in the week, Gwaendar (of Altitis) switched from Blogger to WordPress. Not far behind him Before that, Ess also moved to WordPress.

From the list of Blogs I follow on Google Reader:

Blogger

WordPress

Blogspot Bloggers: 15 14
Wordpress Bloggers: 15 16

Conclusion: Both platforms perform as intended, but we’ve seen evidence of people switching from Blogger to WordPress. I have yet to encounter a WoW Blogger switching from WordPress to Blogger. Of course, there must be countless of WoW Blogs that have escaped under my radar so those numbers up there could very well be skewed in either direction.

So to all of you young Blogglings out there, I suggest saving yourself a day’s worth of effort and just using WordPress initially instead of signing up for Blogger and then switching to WordPress =).

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 26

I’m going to make this swift. I’m missing a good hockey game right now. It’s Luongo vs the St. Louis Blues.

Holy Priest Stealth Fren: I like Tobold’s Blog. The topics he writes about makes the rest of us step back and think. He has applauded the buff (or “fren” as he calls it) that has been given to healers. The fact that 33% of your healing is converted to spell damage is pretty sweet. Tobold even goes as far as to propose that Protection warriors should be awarded a similar buff. He makes a strong argument here:

Fact is that as long as you solo, dps is far, far more useful than healing or the damage mitigation abilities of a tank. Not to mention that all the taunt abilities of a protection warrior become totally useless in solo combat. So many of the players who have a choice between a talent build for dps and a talent build for healing/tanking choose the former, so as not to gimp themselves for soloing. But of course that hurts their usefulness in groups, and makes it hard to find enough healers and tanks for grouping in general.

In order for something like this to be accomplished, tank stats have to somehow be converted to damage. One of the guys that commented on his blog even says that Blizzard is looking to help Prot Warriors. First star!

A Please to my WoW Blogging Peers:

Dear WoW Bloggers,

Please extend post so I can read more from my RSS.

Gwaendar

I’m going to second Gwaendar on this one. I do most of my reading at school during the dull periods of a lecture. Thankfully, I have full access to any site with no firewall impairing me. However, it is an annoyance to have to click through to read the entire story. But it’s okay! Your stories are so awesome I do it anyway =). In my case, I’ve never added my own blog to my reader so I’m not aware of what it looks like. Is there anything odd?
Here’s some other things that some WoW Bloggers don’t do that bug me.

  • Allow anonymous comments: This is the one thing that has turned me away the most. A blogger constructs an insightful post, and I want to chime in on it. Surprise, surprise! I need to be a member of Blogger in order to say something. Please don’t do that. Allow anonymous comments. There’s safeguards out there that help prevent spam. Besides, it encourages feedback and discussion which we all want.
  • Explained absence: Some bloggers like to disappear without any word of where there going or without saying they’re taking an extended leave. If an active blogger who writes a post every day or two for the past while suddenly vanishes for a week without writing, that catches my attention. ARE YOU OKAY?! ARE YOU HURT?! Criminology increases paranoia. I don’t generally announce new blogs on my blogroll. I like to sneak them in there. But on the other side of the coin, I also remove blogs abruptly in that same manner.

Mana Efficiency: Draezele has written a great post about casting the right spells to prolong your mana as much as possible. I’m very happy to know that I’m using the right combination of downranked heals to maintain my tanks and my raids when I’m playing my Shaman.

On a Side Note

My reading list has grown from 5. I’m always on the lookout for more. If you see any good ones or if you’re a writer yourself, drop me a comment so I can see! =)

I think there’s an error in my reader. There’s a blog down there that says (title unknown). That one is pulling feeds from Lady Jess. Or is there error due to the lack of a title?

Pain Suppression, Meditation, Arenas and blogging

Patch is coming soon next week, doo dah, doo dah, Priests get mana up the butt, oh the doo dah day. I guess we’ll find out how good the increased mana regeneration buff will be when it debuts (Meditation). Considering we’re running five Priests in our raids, we should be able to project our spells slightly longer then usual. I’m rather curious as to the viability of the redesigned Pain Suppression. Right now, it reads:

Pain Suppression redesigned: Now castable on other friendly targets; Reduces target’s threat by 5% and the damage they take by 40%. Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes.

Typically, a Raid consists of three types or roles: Tank, DPS/CC, and Heals. In the past, the Discipline tree has always been considered a support tree. The talents have been designed to increase the survivability of a Priest and the amount of utility it brings. I find it unlikely that Raids will find room for such a role as outlined above. It’s easy enough to get Improved Divine Spirit and invest the rest into the Holy Tree and you’ll come out great. That’s the Priestiality of the situation. Alternatively, you join the dark side and melt faces for a living. Those are the primary reasons why Priests are brought into Raids. I find it unlikely for many Guilds to bring in a Discipline Priest because they do not fulfill the three roles as highlighted above. True, a Discipline Priest can heal, but not as well as their Holy counterparts. Smite damage? No thanks. You shouldn’t be Pain Suppressing a tank when they’re trying to get aggro.

So then what’s the point of the post-modern Discipline tree?

Combat. Pure PvP combat. You’re going in close quarters and instead of being two shot by that rogue, you’re going to get four shot. That mage that’s getting focused fired by a 4 DPS team? He’s going to last 6 seconds longer (but there’s a 35% chance that it might get purged/dispelled/etc). Are we going to see a huge influx of Discipline trees in the Arena? I don’t know, it’s tough to say. On paper, it looks plausible. But the assets that are brought in do not seem enough to nudge another class out of a PvP line up. It’s too early to say right now, so we’ll need to see. I can’t help but wonder if we’ll begin to see a 5-caster type team in the Arenas.

Speaking of PvP and the patch, here’s some healthy advice from the Out of Mana blog. The announcement of 2.3 heralds the end of Season 2, which means:

  1. Alterac Valley will change (hopefully for the better)
  2. Arenas will be in a frenzy when the Season 3 begins
  3. Honor points can now be used to purchase Season 1 swag

World of Matticus is about to undergo some minor additions. You’ll note that the middle column was removed in favor of extending the right and left bars. I’m going to make my RSS feeds more prominent on the front page somewhere. There’s a lot of things I want to do, right now.

By the way, I purchased Call of Duty 4. AWESOME GAME! GREAT way to relieve the stress and tensions of WoW.