I have some thoughts of my own kicking around in my head- I know shocker, right?- but as I can barely type right now I'm going to do something of a more copy/paste nature from my inbox. I won't assault you with brutal details, but sufficed to say it isn't a good idea to switch types of drumsticks on a night where you are playing 2 sets covering about 2 hours plus total.
M. ~Kindermörder! and I traded a handful of e-mails back and forth and I think you'll find the 1st one amusing while the second one may provide some insight into starting a blog or at least possibly answer a question from M.
First off some high praise for the site and links to some hilarious shit. The e-mail is below. I've seen the second link before and it's really taught me about taking trolling to a whole new level. The first link is new to me and pretty much fucking genius:
Hi Loving your Blog
I Lurk mainly and am a secret member of project mayhem , also keep my eyes peeled for FNIF worthy threads, as I am yet to take the plunge and get an online persona.
here are some non game blogs which I also visit from time to time which entertain me almost as much as 'dick move'
Bear with these and dig a little deeper , there is solid gold to be found ;o)
Too good, too good. I then responded with something unexciting about asking for permission to publish this e-mail to which M. replied:
Dr Mr TronDoes the Mr. Tron make me sound Vietnamese? Suddenly I'm really craving a Bahn Xeo and some Pho. Anyway M. put in a link to a forum hosted blog he's working on, but I think implied that it was for my eyes only. If not M., feel free to post a link in the comments here, unless you want to just keep lurking....
Yes those Blogs have hoovered a fair chunk of my time, the content (humor) of 'dick move' and that you are from the same generation of gamer ie Hurtling towards DEATH (30) as me, probably explains why I feel like I 'get you' and enjoy the blog immensely.
You are welcome to do whatever you like with the letter up to and including printing it out and using it as emergency toilet paper.
Any tips on starting up a Blog ?
One demands MoAR Dick move ;o)
To answer your question about starting up a blog, here are the top ten things that ave just popped into my head and may or may not be useful:
- Find a niche- there are a lot of hobby blogs out there. If you're thinking about starting up a new blog think to yourself: 'what am I adding to the blogosphere/hobby that's unique?' If you can't answer that question, you may have trouble finding readers. Call it a mission statement, vision statement, statement of purpose, Jim the Ultramarine, or whatever you want, but to survive in this economy you'll need something to differentiate you from the pack.
- Keep it Short Stupid (KISS)- Your readers have a short attention span, don't abuse their good graces. For some reason I haven't had a real backlash against my own tendency to run at the mouth, but if your articles are too long most people won't read more than the first few paragraphs. I don't have a word limit in mind, but if you think it can't be read in < 5 minutes you may want to consider a revision or breaking your post into parts.
- On Post Frequency- while I don't advocate letting your blog go dormant for months at a time, if you can't think of something interesting to post, try and avoid filler. Easier said than done, but unless you're getting ad revenue, do those daily page views really matter in the long run? Writing more often can increase your following more quickly, but not if you're just writing shit for the sake of writing something.
- Editing- I honestly pretty much do a spell check and skim my posts while correcting spelling mistakes and that's it. It clears up most of the mistkaes I make, since what comes out of my brain is usually more or less coherent. This approach may not be enough for you if you're not comfortable as a writer. Readers are fairly forgiving if you make a few mistakes, but misuse of its/it's, to/too/two, they're/there/their, and a few other biggies should be punishable by death.
- Don't pander to your audience- that says it all really. Say what you want to say, not what you think your audience wants to hear. Pandering comes off pretty fake most of the time. This also extends to the type of language you use. If you curse like a sailor IRL, don't feel like you have to edit yourself on your blog.
- Networking- chat it up with your peers, offer to help with their projects, and promote their blogs. They'll return the favor and probably get you some readers. Joining a blog network such as HOP or FTW or BoLS alliance may not be a bad idea either, if you can meet their eligibility standards. I know HOP is the most open minded of the networks out there.
- Avoid Polls or Reader Participation-Your readers are lazy people who sit in front of their computers all day drinking mountain dew and wondering what sex with a real woman is like; anything that requires effort on their part is destined to let you down. Only a small fraction will even go so far as to click on something to vote in a poll. Ask them to do anything more complicated and you're likely to be setting yourself up for failure.
- Keep your chin up- if you don't get 600 followers and 50 comments a day right away don't be afraid. It can take months/years of good content to develop a real following. I had less than 15 followers for the first few months of the blog and to be honest, things have developed faster here than on most other sites in the 40k/gaming niche. But the low viewership didn't stop me from posting and look at me now...
- Humor- not necessary, but it helps to throw in a joke here and there to break the ice. It's also a dangerous tool that can be overused, so use it wisely.
- ???- there are a lot of really good bloggers who read this site. I'll leave the 10 spot for their advice in the comments. Plus my hands really are killing me. Have at it guys...