Friday, 4 October 2013

Wild Thing

Tobold is currently writing a series of articles about the NBI 2013 and is sharing some his huge experience as a long and established blogger. Thursday covered the topic of "Why Blog?" and today "The Sofa Test".

People write blogs for many reasons and just off the top of my head I will provide a few.

  • Superiority complex - I know best and I am going to show you all how brilliant I am
  • General Interest - A bit of spare time and want to share their knowledge and experience
  • Diary - A way to record their gaming experience, failures and successes
  • The Inner Writer - "Everybody has a book in them" many people blog because they like to write, need to write have a desire to publish
  • Niche - A little corner of the Internet that is uniquely their own
  • International Recognition - Tobold with 3 million hits, can probably safely walk down the street without being mobbed by a swarm of gamers
I originally started writing due to circumstances allowing me a little free time and that coincided with my wife and friends all cancelling their subscription (damn you Cataclysm). As an outlet for a mind full of Warcraft questions, answers and trivia, I decided to put my thoughts down on paper.

Initially you think that you are writing for yourself but when you realise that nobody else is reading it, you start to question why you are spending so much time researching it (Trust me want to try and keep information as accurate as possible, there is always a man in a red shirt waiting to correct you).

My first post was in February 2012 and the following table shows the number of hits to my site.

February 8
March 54
April 190
May 1060

February is probably just me checking the presentation of the content. March a few more articles to check. April is probably the search bots finding your site for the first time. May NBI 2012, this was instant footfall and for that I thank everyone involved in the NBI. One thousand hits in a month is good start, but now you have to start writing something that people want to read and will come back on a regular basis. If you don't grab their attention, it might be a long time before they come knocking again.

One of the things about blogging is that when you start off, invariably it is utter rubbish. Over time you will develop a style and rhythm that is uniquely your own. Sometimes you will write something that you are unhappy with, sometimes you post it and other times you will stick it in draft hoping inspiration will make it better. My favourite musician Neil Young after 50 years in the music business still writes hundreds of songs a year. Some are polished up when the right project comes along, others remain in his recording studio on his ranch.

 One of my favourite posts from those early days was The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Reading the article again it starts well enough, but bloody hell where is the content. I researched it well enough and I was right to question it's authenticity on April Fools Day, but I was delighted when it was finally introduced. Incidentally I have never attempted the kill the fluffy bunny that is found in the cave on the Darkmoon Faire Isle.

That post is on my top 10 most visited posts, with 900 visits but this is where you need to be careful most of those are for the picture not my blogpost. There are many ways to increase visitor numbers and not all are savoury and not all are welcome.

Tobold's second post on the NBI covers the hot topic of Trolls, or as the British Media likes to call it "Cyber Bullying". Not all comments that contradict what you say are Trolling and there is nothing healthier than a good old fashioned argument. Sometimes people even change their mind, and that is a good thing.

The best thing you can hope for is regular readers, and a little link love from the other bloggers, I have mentioned before how important links can be in redirecting traffic to your blog and if you write something worthwhile then people might even link individual articles that are worthy of note.

Most regular readers will of course remain anonymous but others will become regular posters on your comment section. These make you feel valued and add extra opinion to any topic that you might have presented. I am personally delighted to have regular feedback from the Grumpy Elf and the mysterious R, that is not to say that I don't welcome other comments from regular and occasional visitors.

R has recently provided some interesting information on macros, class specs and addons. I have personally used this information to good effect and would like to share R's recommendation for the addon Handynotes. I am using this addon for the locating of Treasure boxes on the Timeless Isle and so far it has proved to be 100% reliable. I had absolutely no idea there were so many Treasure chests that respawn or have yet been opened.

Blogging is fun, blogging can be rewarding, blogging can help find new friends and it can provide useful knowledge. It is unlikely it will bring International Recognition but it tends to make the world seem a much smaller place.


  1. I need to check out some of those new blogs. So many of the ones I used to read have disappeared and it seems we are getting fewer and fewer new bloggers, or at least new ones that I happen to stumble across.

    The days of the daily blogger seem to be mostly gone. I used to have dozens on my reader that were almost daily reads, now, not so many.

    If I had a little bit of advice for a new blogger it would be, write often. From my experience, I like places I can go to each day and read something new. When people post rarely I tend to forget about them.

    1. Daily blogging is difficult, and hats off to the ones that manage. Unfortunately sometimes the quality will suffer if you have to post for the sake of posting.