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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June's Newbie Blogger Initiative

Welcome to the game blogging community.  This is a vibrant and welcoming community, so enjoy.

This year the effort to encourage new bloggers is being spearheaded by Doone of XP Chronicles



The Official Site for NBI is  https://www.nbicommunity.com/

http://www.newbiebloggerinitiative.com/forums/

There is a Twitter Account      https://twitter.com/newbieblogger2      if you prefer to interact in 140 words or less (I personally am too verbose to use it well).




You can chat live or talk to your fellow bloggers on Discord.  This rather wonderful idea comes from Jaedia of Dragons & Whimsy.




My General Blogging Advice

Write For Yourself

I've been blogging since 2008 so I have a few opinions on happily blogging over time.   First: write for yourself.  Write about the game, or the game news that you find interesting.   You'll find an audience over time, but initially you won't know who reads your posts, so write for your built in fan.

What To Write

If you love only one game, write about that.  Game specific blogs are beloved by other fans of the game, and often you'll spark interest in your game from readers who don't know it or hadn't considered playing, but you make it sound good.  If you play a little of everything, write a little of everything, no matter what it is.  Gamers just like to play, and often can't get enough of reading about other people's experiences with games.

How Often to Write 

Just starting out, you'll probably want to write at least once a week.  You certainly can write more if ideas tumble into your head.  Your blog is your own little corner of the universe and you get to make all rules.

There are other community blogging opportunities: one in August called Blaugust run by Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut.   In Blaugust game bloggers everywhere try to post every single day of the month.   Another great writing opportunity is IntPiPoMo in November hosted by Chestnut of Gamer Girl Confessions.   IntPiPoMo has you posting screenshots every day, something I actually managed to do last year!

How To Get Readers

Read other game blogs and comment where you have something to say.  Reading what others have to say can also spark lots of ideas for your own blog.

Allow comments on your blog, and if you do get comments, always respond to them in some way to acknowledge that one your readers has stopped by and liked what you had to say.  Don't let the conversation end in dead air.  Don't delete someone's comment because you disagree with them, go ahead and talk to them, isn't talking to others who love games part of why you're here, sharing your adventures?

There are game sites such MassivelyOP and MMORPG.com and BlizzardWatch where you can read about games and make comments, go ahead and put a link to your blog in your signature if you have one.

If you're a commenter on the official forums of a particular game, add the link to your blog there too.

You can also add it when you comment on many blogs.

Get your name out there while you're doing what you already love, talking about games.


Blogger vs. Wordpress

I have Blogger Blogs and a WordPress Blog.  They're free, you can have as many blogs as you'd like!

A Blogger Blog can be as simple or complex as you'd like.  It was always just meant to be a personal blogging platform.  You can have a blogroll of up to 144 blogs--which sounds like a lot, but if you add them to your bar you can run into the upper limit.  If you're me, you get around it by just having different blog categories.  Blogger allows quite a bit of customization, and it lets you post videos, whereas WordPress requires their Premium version to add them.  If you want to add game trailers or other video, Blogger is the way.

WordPress, even the freebie version, is meant as a platform for small businesses who want their own sites.  If you have some coding skills, you can customize WordPress quite a bit.   I find their interface for adding things to the sidebar to be clunky.  WordPress has quite a variety of templates, many are free, some run in the $60 range.  WordPress does do an awesome job of providing site statistics, which makes sense because they are trying to help you sell your product.  Prepare for lots of spam telling you how to increase your SEO.   WordPress does have a sort of built in community where you can "like" blog posts of other WordPress bloggers, and sign up to get emails when others comment on your post of interest.

If you're in World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online, note the characters on my sidebar who I have volunteered to be contacts in those games if you have any questions or have characters in those games who need help of any sort.  Just in game email them if you don't see them around.

Happy Gaming, Happy Blogging!




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Leave a comment anytime. I love to talk games.