Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

WoW blogging step 5: Write, write, write!

Natalie Mootz

From our mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog, we spawned more in-depth posts for each step. Now that you know a bit more about finding a blog host, determining your goals, figuring out your slant, and becoming part of the WoW blog community, it's time for you to hop on your keyboard and get to work! Okay, wait. I don't mean for it to sound like a job (even though for some of us, it is). I mean, don't be afraid to just start writing! No reason to fear the blank screen, my friend. Here are a few tips to get you steaming up to at least your high school 30 words-per-minute mark.

Just write... and often
Do you hear me? Read that subhead and the title of this post one more time. (I'm waiting.) Okay, back again? Yes, it's that simple. Just start typing. Remember that blogging is not "writing" (say it with a fancy accent and arched eyebrows). It is not "journalism" either (say that one with a haughty know-it-all air). Blogging is a whole other animal, straddling the lines between journalism, commentary, memoir, fiction, humor and, um, poetry? What I'm trying to say is that there is HUGE freedom in the format to write whatever pops into your head. Some may say that means there are no standards, but I prefer to think of it as variable standards. You get to decide how rigorous or free your style is. So don't choke yourself at the keyboard trying to live up to your favorite bloggers or authors or Katie Couric. Think of it as simply typing, chatting, or emailing. Imagine that you're writing your thoughts to a friend and just write to them the way you normally would. Your voice is what readers want to hear.

Interact with your readers
Read your comments and try to answer all of them. I've mentioned before how important comments are. Blogging is an interactive adventure. No, I'm not saying that you need to pander to trolls -- enforce whatever kind of comment policy you like. But if people ask you questions or offer corrections, make sure you answer them. If something you wrote was factually wrong, it's best to cop to it. Being defensive doesn't engender you to readers; they like to feel knowledgeable too.

Geeking out on analytics
I so did not want to go here. I really think you ought to focus on the quality and frequency of your posting before you even begin to worry about how many hits you're getting. I'm adamant about the idea that focusing on content naturally leads to readers. However, I know human nature and I know how cranky everyone will get if I don't even address this issue.

Every blog host has some stats on how many hits you get, where they come from, what search terms are used to get there, and what gets clicked on the most. You can also get this information from Google Analytics (but not, alas, for I have two comments on using stats. First, don't get freaked out if your stats are low, even for a long time. Just keep writing and following the other suggestions I've laid out. Second, do click on the incoming links you get. These are people who are linking to your blog so you should support them. Treat them like you would your favorite bloggers.

Now, quit reading and start writing!

<---- Step 4: Become part of the WoW blog community

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext file