Wednesday, June 9, 2010

100th post!

This is my 100th post to this blog. It may not sound like much, but at least a part of me is a little shocked. When I started this project it wasn't without a little trepidation. How much would I actually have to say after my first dozen posts? Would I actually have a reader base that made posting worth it? Would I be laughed off the face of the internet for being a crazy faildurid? (Silly, I know...but it's the kind of thing that crossed my mind.) Would this even be as fun or exciting as I imagined it could be?

I've learned a lot over the last 100 posts.
  1. Blogging takes a lot of time. I didn't think it was going to be a 15-minute-a-day deal to keep up with a 4- or 5- post a week schedule, but I don't think I anticipated just how much time it actually would take. Fortunately for me I have a pretty forgiving job where I can usually carve out enough time to keep up. Except for stretches like the last 3 weeks when it's muzzle to the grindstone...

  2. The best way to get readers is to read other blogs and comment on them. They call it the blogosphere for a reason. If you try to be your own little island out there, you're not going to get very far. Yeah, Google may drive some traffic to you. But most of the regulars are going to find you because a blog they already read mentions you. And those blogs are going to find you because you comment on them.

  3. If you have an idea for a post, no matter how silly or insignificant it sounds, go with it. I wrote a guide to Stinky and Precious. I wrote it less to be an actual guide (even though it's accurate) and more to make a post poking fun at the fact that Stinky stinks so bad that it does constant damage. And to speculate on the relationship between the two and Gluth. That post ended up being one of the most pinged from Google.

  4. When inspiration strikes, start writing. It doesn't matter if you scribble down a few sentences on a piece of paper or leave some half-assed notes in a Draft post to come back to later. Or maybe you get a half post or even the whole thing written. The important thing is to brain dump right then while the idea is fresh and then finish/post it at a more appropriate time if right that moment isn't it. Otherwise you'll eventually find yourself staring at a blank post thinking, "Damn...I had a really good idea. What was it?"

  5. Pictures require planning. Having even a simple small picture at the beginning of a post helps draw attention, give something focus, and break the text wall a little. But it requires planning. I write most of my posts at work while I'm catching up on email, filling my coffee tank, and/or waiting for code to compile. A lot of times I don't know what I want to write about until I start to do so. But all my screenshots are on my computer at home. Unless I actually plan ahead or can modify a screenshot I've already uploaded somewhere, I'm usually SoL on that front. It's something I want to improve on.

  6. If you're hurting for topics, check your keyword analysis. People may be finding your blog while searching for things you haven't directly talked about. If certain terms keep popping up again and again, cover them.

  7. Similarly, analytics are great for tracking where people are coming to your blog from. My top 3 sources tend to vary in order, but usually consist of saved bookmarks, google, and Restokin. Various other blogs tend to fill out most of the other significant sources. I've learned that a guild on Magtheridon has a post in their forums (which I don't actually have permission to view) that links to a fair number of my ICC strats. That was a nice ego-boost. I've also learned that yet another one of my guild's members has started a blog, though I don't think that's common knowledge yet.

  8. Blogging is actually much more rewarding than I had imagined. It's a lot of work and it takes time to gain traction and get noticed. And once you have been noticed, you feel kinda compelled to keep churning out the kind of quality posts that got you noticed in the first place. The pressure could make it quickly become not-fun for a lot of people. But as you gradually start to feel like you're a part of this bigger community, sharing your thoughts and experiences about the game--and sometimes just life in general--it feels good. I hope it's a feeling I get to continue to experience for a good bit of time to come.


  1. Grats on the 100th post!

    You've done a nice job keeping up the 4-5 posts-per-week thing. My hat goes off to you.

    Also, you can comment on my blog any time! I know that there have been several times where people have clicked links to yours on mine, and vice versa. So you're right. It's all about the community. :)

    Have you ever thought about emailing yourself any new screenshots you take as soon as you take them? If you have access to browser-based email at work, you might be able to download them and still use them in posts that way. Just a thought.

    I've also found blogging rewarding myself. I'm glad to see you doing well and enjoying the experience!

  2. I have a Photobucket account where I keep most of the images I use on this blog, so I could just upload them there. I suppose I could just keep it up to date with all the screenshots I take, whether I think I'll use them or not, though I'd probably have to pay to get enough space to do that. Or yeah...I could just use my Gmail account.

    A lot of times the problem is that I'll be in the middle of a post and I'll think "I want a picture of X here, but I don't have one. I'd need to log into the game to take one." And then I generally prefer to get the post out rather than depend on my flaky memory once I get home.

  3. I've just started the whole blog process. Took me a while to get past the 'who cares what I have to say' phase.

    I wish I had a solution to the screenshot issue for you. Its hard to have something ready and uploaded when inspiration strikes and you have a topic you want to get out. Only real option is to write it, save it as a draft, and remember it when you get home. That whole remembering thing is the sticky part.

  4. I totally hear you. The flaky memory is the bane of my existence! LOL... and I understand also about "hey, it'd be good to get a screenshot of [this]" - difficult to do when you can't log in.