I've learned a lot over the last 100 posts.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.