High Level Blogging Tips for Newbies
I am on a mission to play more of the newer free-to-play MMO offerings on the market, and so tonight I am installing Everquest 2! Are you playing EQ2? Would you recommend your server? I’d love to hear newbie suggestions!
There is a theme going on in my feed reader this morning, and that theme is the Newbie Blogger Initiative! Apparently May is for encouraging folks to take that step from reader to blogger, which is an excellent goal.
For more information about NBI, check out the official forums. In the meantime, here are a few random high level blogging tips that I find helpful, and perhaps you will too:
Edit. Between writing the first word and about 15 minutes after I hit the “publish” button I will edit out between 25-50% of a post. You may not need to do so much (I tend to ramble) but trust me that people are more likely to enjoy a tight 650 words than a meandering 1000.
You don’t have to know everything. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself out there and being wrong! We’re (generally) gaming enthusiasts, not serious developers or industry experts. It’s okay to make guesses and create off-the-cuff gaming theories and have strong opinions about HOW BLIZZARD’S LFD SYSTEM WAS THE WORST THING EVER ARRRGH. However, a little humility goes a long way, so also don’t be afraid of admitting when you were wrong about something.
There’s nothing wrong with having a strong opinion. I am a big fan of speaking firmly and plainly when it’s called for. I usually try to be polite, but if we all thought the same thing all the time then there would be no need for blogs. I love posts where people have a strong, possibly dissident, opinion and they carefully explain it to me.
Blog community drama is a poor topic. We humans sure do love to form little communities and then fight each other within them. If you come across some cross-blog battle, resist the urge to post directly about how “X said Y and they’re a bad person”. It has a tendency to get ugly very quickly, and most importantly it’ll be inscrutable and boring to any reader who isn’t following the drama along. If it’s something you feel really strongly about, try writing about the issue itself and not the people involved.
Have fun and try new things. While Herding Cats has been fortunate enough to find an audience and I certainly don’t want to alienate those folks (you!), it’s also my writing playground. I wanna try writing short posts every day for a while? Okay! Hey, let’s practice writing technical guides. You know what would be fun? A podcast. It’s your site, so don’t be shy about trying new things if you want to.
In short, Liore’s secret to blogging: be honest, be humble, be opinionated, have fun. And, um, edit. A lot.