Adele Caelia: A Blogger on Blogging
Staff Writer Adele Caelia is an avid blogger. Today, she offers insights to others who may have thought about starting an MMO blog of their own.
It seems everyone has a gaming blog these days, and with the Internet widely available, and a world full of opinionated people this isn't much of a surprise. Everyone is blogging, but what exactly is a blog? How does one make a blog? What is it like to be a blogger? How does a blogger find and keep readers? Being a blogger myself, I will answer these questions and hopefully those interested will be well on their way to successful MMO blogging.
What is an MMO blog? A blog can be anything that the writer (blogger) wants it to be: a personal diary, a place to link news and media, or in the sense of MMOs, a soapbox for gamers to voice their opinion on their favorite hobby. A blog is an excellent way for the opinionated gamer to voice their concerns, vent their frustrations, shout out a cry of joy for a game that they love, and get feedback from others interested in the same hobby.
Have your soapbox in hand? Ok, let's get started. To be successful, a blogger must write about something that other people will want to read. In this case, MMOs, which is a great topic that will easily attract readers if the writing is interesting. Soapbox and topic set to ready, it's time to find a place to host the blog. Google has a nice user-friendly blogger, and WordPress is also widely used. Both sites are great for setting up a new blog.
Setting up the blog is the easy part, and well of course the writing is where it sometimes gets tough. At first, being a blogger will be tons of fun, and most bloggers will find themselves posting multiple times throughout the day. As time goes on the newness wears off, and it seems as though no one is visiting or commenting, it starts to become discouraging and often bloggers will give up completely and delete their once loved creation.
Sometimes, the comments do come and they are mean, discouraging, or just plat sellers. Yes, I said plat sellers. They are unstoppable. Players can't even get away from them in the sacred space of their own blog. In my opinion, they are the head-lice and cockroaches of the gaming world and even the best of exterminators have failed to kill them. The only course of action for a blogger is to delete them or set commenting to mod approval before it is posted.
Do not become too discouraged if the farmers are the only comments the blog is getting. There are ways to bring in readers. Do not expect to write a blog and find readers magically floating to read what has been written as if some voice had whispered in their ear telling them about the wonderful blog that has just been created. As with everything, it takes time. In time, search engines will pick up the blog (and search engines do love blogs), but most likely these googlers will not become returning readers since they were just looking for a garden gnome and well, they instead found this odd article written about someone running around pretending to be a gnome.
To find returning readers, a blogger must become a reader of blogs. It is also important to post often. Daily if possible, but if that is too much at least a couple of times a week. Also, make sure that the posts are something that people would like to read. Do a few searches and find blogs on MMOs that are enjoyable to read. Be sure to comment, as it is much appreciated by the writer, and in time readers of those blogs will follow the link back. If they like what they see they will return time and time again, and perhaps if they have a blog they will put a link up on their site. MMO bloggers have a circle of blogging friends that is always growing, if the writing is good, it isn't hard to fit in.
The blogging and reading of blogs has begun, but how do you keep readers? First of all it is important to realize that just because the comments aren't always coming in, that does not mean that there are not readers and returning readers. Often people will read blogs but not comment. I myself read a certain group of blogs daily but do not comment each time. If a blogger wants to know the stats on their visitors it is a good idea to install a stat tracker into the blog. Also, remember to look at first time visitors/unique visitors and not the page load number to determine how many people are actually visiting and returning. I recommend using Stat Counter because it is free and easy to use. Most bloggers after using a tracker will be shocked to see how many people actually are reading.
Blogging is fun and a great way to express one's love of mmos. Give it a try. There is a whole world of bloggers out there waiting to hear a new tale of MMO adventures. My blog can be found at www.adelecaelia.blogspot.com. Take a few moments to check it out. I have also linked on my blog sites and blogs that I read on a daily basis. Links to insider blogs such as Steve Danuser, Ryan Shwayder, and Raph Koster can be found there as well as links to great gamers such as Cuppycake, Stargrace, and the Ancient Gaming Noob. Good luck out there and happy blogging!