Archive for May, 2012

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NBI Wrap Up

May 31, 2012

As we come to the last day of May, so ends Newbie Blogger Initiative Month. I would like to thank Syp once again for organizing the event, and by all accounts it was a huge success.

I’d like to wish the best of luck to those newbie bloggers who have taken the plunge. It’s a great experience, and I hope it brings you as much pleasure and joy as it has brought me.

It’s also a wonderful way to meet friends, and for me that’s the best part of all. I didn’t get a chance to do a proper write-up of why I first decided to blog, but I will say now that a big part of it had to do with a lack of people in my real life to whom I can talk about my gaming hobby. It’s not so fun when you’re excited about something but have no one to geek out with. This blog, however, has led me to others who shared my interests. I learned that game bloggers are part of an extremely welcoming community. Some I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the flesh, others I have not; regardless, I consider a lot of them to be my closest friends.

My final piece of advice: keep blogging. Write about what you like, write about makes you feel happy. When inspiration strikes, blog. When you feel burnt out or life gets too crazy, take a break. Just don’t stop.

I wish I had had the chance to write more NBI articles this month, but the schedule just didn’t really permit. But other sponsors have written fantastic advice articles, better than I could have done anyway. Following the happenings from the NBI website, I’ve enjoyed checking out the posts that have popped up. They have been fantastic. If you’re still on the fence about starting a blog, don’t let the end of NBI stop you. You can start anytime, and the advice articles will always be there.

I’m also happy and amazed by the number of newbie blogs that come about because of this initiative. Syp has compiled a list of all the new blogs as well as a list of the sponsor articles, and you can find them below, please check it out! Congrats to everyone involved on a job well done, I look forward to doing this again next year!

New blogs to check out:

Sponsor advice posts:

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NBI: 3 Little Things

May 14, 2012

So, you’ve started a blog, and of course now you want people to read it. Blog promotion is certainly important, and those thousands of hits aren’t going to come after just a day. Readership is something that needs to be built from the ground up.

I didn’t plan on this NBI article being the first I write for the blog, but my schedule is so sporadic these days (read: so dependent on the moods of my infant daughter) that I am driven to bang out the words whenever the inspiration strikes. I got the idea for this post talking to my brother, who is studying corporate communications and is playing around with the idea of starting his own blog. The other day he asked me for some advice on getting his blog noticed.

Look around and you’ll see tons of tips for promoting your blog and networking — tips getting onto Twitter/Facebook/Google+, keeping a schedule and posting consistently, being yourself and honest with your readers, etc. etc. etc. — all very good advice, a lot of which I follow myself. But of course, my brother already knows all this; it’s stuff I’m sure he’s studied in his courses on the importance of social media. What he wanted to know was some of my personal experiences, the other things I do on this blog that I feel has helped increase my readership over the last couple of years. The three little things I told him:

1. Ooh, pretty pictures!

Maybe you’ve noticed, but I love me some pictures. With only a handful of exceptions, all my posts are accompanied by one or more images.

As an artist, I understand all too well the way we humans are drawn to visual stimuli. Sometimes, having a picture helps pull in your audience’s attention. Even if the title of the post doesn’t interest the reader right away, the picture might. When adding images, keep things tidy and neat, make sure it’s not too distracting and that it doesn’t make a mess of your formatting. And keep it relevant to your subject! A lot of people do image searches, and when they find your site they might very well read your post as well. Who knows, it might earn you a new regular reader.

And okay fine, it’s also an excuse for me to show off some of my pretty screenies. Screenshot whore that I am.

Tee hee.

2. Keep it clean!

Opinion might be divided on this subject, but I personally opt not to swear on my blog, or at least, I try hard to keep things PG-13. No, I am not a prude; you can ask my husband, who will attest to the way I swear like a sailor when I’m at home in real life. In fact, maybe more than a sailor (something I am striving to change, now with this whole pesky role-model-for-my-children thing and all). I also don’t have a problem with other blogs that let loose; a lot of my favorite blogs that I read do. Swearing is just something I don’t want for my own blog.

Firstly, it’s because it might deter people from sharing your articles. For example, I used to share all sorts of cool things I find on the web with my boss, because she was cool. And yet, probably not cool enough that I would be comfortable sharing with her an article that had a naughty word every other sentence. Like it or not, I also find people are also more willing to heed your opinions when you’re not spouting them off with a potty mouth.

Secondly, I don’t swear on my blog as an exercise in writing. If there’s a better way to express something without dropping an f-bomb, I challenge myself to find it.

3. Reply to comments!

Before I go on, I just want to say that when it comes to replying to comments, I believe in doing it for its own sake. That doing so has had a positive effect on social networking and building readership is just a side effect. A happy side effect. Never mind that if someone took the time to read my writing and leave a comment, I feel I should also take the time to acknowledge and reply. I just love comments, period. And I very much enjoy replying to them, it’s one of my favorite things to do in my day. I’m a little sad that I am not so good with it now, due to time constraints.

Plus, one reason I started blogging was because I wanted to be part of the community. Sharing opinions and having discussions is what it’s all about, and for me that was the whole point of this blog. After all, it’s not as much fun when the interaction is only one way, at least not for me and probably not for the reader as well. I know that personally, I am more likely to revisit a blog again and again when I know the blogger will have a response to any question or comment I might have. I also feel a stronger connection to that blogger.

Believe it or not, I owe many great friendships to those little conversations in comment sections!

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Dive Into The World Of Blogging With The Newbie Blogger Initiative

May 1, 2012

Ever wondered how this blog came about? Well, once upon a time, MMOGC’s passion for gaming and MMOGC’s passion for writing hooked up at a wild party over a line of tequila shots, and it was hot, steamy love at first sight. Not long afterward, this blog was born and they all lived happily ever after.

Okay fine, so maybe there was a lot more to it than that.

In truth, in the days leading up to my decision to start a blog, there were plenty of false starts, questions without answers, not to mention a shameful amount of procrastination. There were also moments of agonizing doubt. Will anyone even read my stuff? What if they do and hate it? What if I run out of ideas? Hmm, come to think of it, maybe there actually were some tequila shots involved. At least I think. Anyway, my point is, there definitely wasn’t anything easy or certain on that day a little more than two years ago when I finally decided to take the plunge, but I have to say this: Looking back, I’m damn glad I made the decision. Blogging is one of the most gratifying hobbies I’ve ever chosen to take up.

That is why I’m very pleased to be involved with a program called the Newbie Blogger Initiative, which kicks off today. Headed by Syp of BioBreak and sponsored by over 70 bloggers, the NBI strives to encourage new and aspiring bloggers to get their own blogs off the ground. So if you’ve always wanted to blog and need advice, support, or just some of that plain old motivation to get yourself started, we invite you to head on over to the NBI forums and dive right in. We know that venturing into the world of blogging can be a terrifying notion, but it needn’t be! Introduce yourself and make yourself at home, we’re here to help.

That said, look forward to seeing some articles related to tips and advice for blogging-hopefuls here on MMOGC during the month of May, because I sure look forward to writing them. I may not be gaming much these days but by golly you bet your publish button I’ll still blog, and I’m happy that it’s to support such a fun and wonderful initiative.

I already have a few ideas for posts lined up, but as always feel free to leave a comment here to ask any questions you may have, or better yet, join us for discussion on the forums! And it’s not too late for current bloggers to sponsor and get in on this either; during this exciting time, newbies and veterans alike will be sharing ideas and learning from each other. With so many of us involved, you’ll no doubt be seeing a lot of great posts popping up around the blogosphere dedicated to the NBI this month. Truly, there is no better time to be a new blogger.

So what are you waiting for? Push aside those doubts, skip the tequila hangover and start your blog today!

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