Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Newbie Blogger Initiative!

If you're familiar with the MMO Blogosphere then you'll notice that today is the kick off for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Syp from Biobreak (and Massively) has asked many bloggers to take part and I was glad to be able to participate! For those who have been considering blogging- It is a great opportunity to break in and get started. What are you waiting for?!

I'm going on my third year of blogging. Initially it took me a couple of years to actually get the guts and finally do it. One failed attempt, floundering on how to start. Not that I was scared, nervous yes, but who would want to read my random raving and ranting? I followed some great bloggers (Syp was actually one of those who inspired me) and decided I wanted to do something similar, write about the games I love. I'm glad I did, I absolutely love it. I love writing about games, sharing information and helping people if I can. I've made some cool friends too. Plus it is something I'm proud of.

This really is the perfect opportunity, if you've been thinking it over. You have seventy other established bloggers to network with and help you get your footing! When I first started it was a bit of work getting my name out there and networking. How come? I never posted on blogs in comments, I was a bit shy, nobody knew who I was and I had to change that. It took time. It still makes my day when another blogger or a website mentions me. WoW Insider linked a post once- I was over the moon. I've been linked on Massively too and really it makes my head swim to be part of these things. It's always nice when you get recognized for doing something you LOVE. Luckily I've never had many flames! I speak my mind and I do try to be respectful but sometimes I may be taken as abrasive, I try to keep myself in check.

Some advise I can offer:

Be yourself. I'm me when I write, this is who I am, you get what you see. I write what I feel, my perspective, my thoughts. That's what is so great about writing on your own blog! Now it might get you more readers to write about something more popular than what you want to write about. Will it keep you writing? Write about what you like and share how you feel. Not what you think other people want to hear. You'll enjoy it more. I look forward to my posts, I get excited about sharing what I write with my dear readers.

If you think something is funny, interesting or cool- Share it. Don't be shy, be yourself. I'm the biggest geek and I wear my badge proudly. It looks like one of those plastic toy FBI badges... For reals! My son rolls his eyes at me because I have 'Your Favorite Martian' in my playlist /shrug that's me. And yeah, you'll find plenty of stuff like that around here too. It lets us see a little bit of you, what you like, what you find interesting and we, as readers, like that.

Don't try to sell out on an edge. You might not always feel like keeping it up. Just be you. I notice a lot of readers don't realize I am female. It doesn't really bother me. I want to be taken seriously as a writer/blogger not for being female. That is who I am. I get plenty of notice in my personal life for being female, I don't need any extra attention here, in my virtual space, for it. Be consistent with yourself. *Bats her eyes* See what I did there ;) When people mention me for something intelligent or interesting I wrote about, that is what makes me proud of this. If I had to pick an edge it would be- Being a strong person, honest, loyal and even stoic when the sh*t hits the fan. That's what I'm about.

Maybe a theme, or persona, is what you want, just make sure it is something you can keep up with and won't burn out on over time. It can work for some people but it isn't for everyone. Something to keep in mind for the long run. 

Pick a name you can endure over time! I've seen other bloggers change their site names or url's and get lost in the process, taking a bit to find them again. Sometimes people don't like what they have chosen for a name and then a year or few later decide to change it.

That is what we know you by, you build a foundation, not only with people but search engines, page ranking and such. You'll have to start from the ground up if you start over! My name isn't something I'd pick now, ECT- EC Tunnel from EverQuest- It was a gathering place, a familiar place where you hung out with friends. I shortened from when I first started blogging, it's part of things now.

Not saying changing a name is going to kill your blog, it won't, but it undoes a lot of work you've been building up over time. MMO-Champion (More of a WoW centered page than MMO) doesn't change their name for a reason! It took me several years but I now show up on the first page when you search for Google for- MMO BLOG. Does it give me a medal? No- It helps people find me.

Sharing and images! Just because it is on the internet doesn't mean it is up for grabs. Be careful when using other people's images in posts. Even if you link to the artist or 'owner' you can have a rabid person on your tail if they get angry you used their picture. I had it happen once to an image that I linked to back the artist, being honest was the way they found it, ironically. They were extremely rude and abusive to me, all the while foaming at the mouth. So, the best thing I can pass on is to be careful with what you link. You can attract some crazies or copy-write threats.

That doesn't mean don't use images! Readers, well I do at least, love to see what you are talking about. Share some of your in-game shots. It is so nice to see what the writer is sharing about in a post!

Be respectful. Be friendly. Sure, it is your blog but you don't want to go around pissing people off and turning them away from reading your blog. Yes, there are some bloggers who do -but- they probably have been writing for a lot longer and have more of a loyal fan base.  Most of them I skip, honestly. If you want to talk or curse like a sailor, that's cool. But really you're only insulting your own intelligence when you constantly spew garbage in a readers face.

Consider other's thoughts when you reply to them. As for posting, still try to consider other peoples thoughts- Try to think things over that might have you upset. I have a temper, I can zerk out in a moment. ZERKER RAGE! Ahem, I try to keep that under control these days. However, I try not to convey that in my blog, sure it might be funny in a post here or there.

Something I have always done is reply to people who comment. Why? I appreciate they took the time to comment on something I wrote. I truly do. I've had other bloggers ignore questions in comments but be quick to snap at me for handing out a tip. You don't have to do that, just a little something I like to do. I'm not tremendously popular so it is easy for me to do. I like it like that, I think I'd go nuts if I got more comments because I'd OCD over replying to them all, lol.

Don't be afraid to make new friends. Comment on other bloggers posts, introduce yourself through twitter or send an email to ask that question you've been pondering on. Reach out, comment, talk, get to know others in-game and out in the blogosphere. We don't get paid in anything besides hugs :) We all need hugs right?! *All hugs can be left in the comments section for collection.*

Ready to get started?
Check out who is sponsoring here.
Check out the Newbie Blogger Section.

Feel free to ask me any questions if you're interested and have any. Need help with what type of look you want? Maybe some advise on something? I can try to help, I can't make everyone graphics but I have been known to make some for friends, even new friends. If you're having a hard time I'm usually up for helping out on banners and buttons. Or simply introduce yourself in an email or comment if you feel up to it, or simply drop me a line if you're a regular reader who is starting up. Email me- kaozz @ ectmmo.com!

Some ideas for choosing a blog platform- here. Another link here with self hosted ideas also.

I wish everyone the best of luck! This is such a wonderful opportunity to get started. I would have died and gone to blogger heaven if this was going on when I started! Be sure to check out the Newbie Blogger Initiative- I am sure there will be a list up to check out the other blogs offering advise, there are already several with some fantastic information! I hope this post was helpful! Now lets all celebrate with a Robot Bar Fight (not work safe!!)!

Want to trade links to pop up on my blogroll? Sometimes it is hard to keep up with so many blogs in my feed they don't all make it in. Just drop me a line here or in an email and I'll add you!


  1. Hi Kaozz,

    That's an informative post...

    Lots of resources are available to help bloggers. WeBlogBetter, is the first that comes to mind. Even following Matt Cutts, head of Google spam division, will give bloggers insight to the rules of the game.

    Letting your readers know they're appreciated is good, and I agree you should respond to comments. I know a few of the high traffic blogs that still respond to comments. That's impressive, I do the same, on some of my high traffic sites. People like to know that you're paying attention to them. Rewarding your reader is helpful too. I do that via having dofollow enabled on my site, adding CommentLuv which links back to a post, and Keyword Luv, which enables the reader to use keywords after the @ symbol. Which can be helpful for those trying to rank for a certain term.

    Interaction is great,
    I interact with all types of folks, so I don't limit it to what I write about... In doing so I've met numerous people, with varied interests. It keeps my blogging life interesting. A few of those folks have turned into clients that wouldn't have happened if I limited my interaction to certain blogs. Those are the types of sites I frequent most, bloggers that do the same thing. When it comes to whom I read, I'm equal opportunity. If I find something that a person has written interesting, I'll add them to my RSS feed reader. On Celebrate Life I write about whatever's on my mind. However even with my niche business sites being open, and willing to comment, and interact with others from different communities, has opened myself up to some awesome people.

    Copyright is a big issue, granted some people won't handle it as nicely as others, but it's always important to check first before linking. It's a mistake. Many make, since in some ways the internet/blogging is still "new," so you'll have folks unaware of issues. With my sites, personal and business they are all copyright protected.

    I think it's a good idea for bloggers to open their sites to comments. There are some sites, where I'd like to comment, but am unable to do so, since anonymous comments aren't allowed. I only have this issue with Blogger blogs. Those sites require me to log into a service (Google, Wordpress, Open ID etc., to comment) I rarely leave comments there, because I don't like my online activity being tracked .

    Making money from blogging
    People can make money from blogging, if they want too. You don't have to sell out to do it either. I haven't. I do with my business sites, and even my personal site has made enough money to pay for my hosting provider for three years, getting paid to do something I love, I like that.

  2. Hey, Opal! Had to dig this out of spam, silly blogger! Ty, tried to give the best tips that helped me stick with my blog. I did use ads early on but that didnt work out so well, lol. Great tips from you too, you've always been one of my fave bloggers!!

  3. You too, you always keep me in the loop with what's hot gaming wise, I definitely rely on sites like yours when I'm not gaming. Hopefully I'll have a chance to immerse myself into the gaming world sometime this Fall.

  4. /hug!

    Great post and like you, I wish something like this had been around when I took my first tottering steps into blogging.

  5. *Hugs* Thanks Erinys. Yes, it would of been so nice, hehe!

  6. I'm blogging in Dutch myself, but I think I can really use your tips. Although, I have to admit that I already expected that you were this enthusiastic about blogging, since I love some of your blogs.

  7. Aw, ty!! Is your blog new or one you've had for awhile? Hope the tips helped some, just some stuff that helps keep me in check and writing!




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