Yo, dawg, I heard you liked blogging. So I put a blog about a blog on your blog. So, you want to start a blog, becom e rich and famous, design games for the stars . . . well, the first one is possible and the latter are . . . improbable. Let’s face it. If you’re writing a blog about gaming (and especially if you’re writing a blog about GURPS) you’re doing it because you love it. Because you want others to know you love it. Maybe you’re doing it for the geek cred. Maybe you just need a space that’s yours so that you can throw ideas out for your own games. Maybe for all of those reasons. For whatever reason or reasons there are a few things that will make life easier for you and your would-be readers:
Tags Are Your Friend
If you blog you tag it. If you tag it don’t overtag it. If you overtag it curate your tags. It’s that important in the long run. I spent a week when I moved from blogger to wordpress curating my tags and even though I had tools/software to help me if I had simply paid attention more when I tagged posts things would have never got to the point it did.
Columns Are Your Ally
You don’t need them – but they help. Blog columns give you a clear and concise way to organize your posts, help inspire you to write, and give your readers a early warning on what might be coming up in the post. (Columns are things like my “Boil and Bubble” or “Gamemaster’s Guidepost.”) If you plan on hanging in for the long haul do yourself a favor and create a series of columns for your posts. They need not be all created when you start your blog, I know I added and removed a few as I went.
Crowdsource your blog posts. Seriously. Ask people what they want to see and if you write it well enough you just got yourself a reader. Read forums where your game is talked about. Comb social media where people are talking about it. Read what other bloggers are gabbing about. Get involved with the community. Then use what you found and write your own. Everyone has something of value to add to the pool of material that’s out there – even you.
It’s Ok To Suck
The first step in being good at something is sucking at it. No one is born a genius wordsmith, raconteur, or blogger. It takes time and patience to learn the ropes and get familiar with things. So don’t be hard on yourself for not knowing something. Do be hard on yourself if you don’t at least try. (And if you are in that boat, maybe you don’t really want to blog anyways.)
Cross-Post, Cross-Post, Cross-Post
That’s right. I said it three times. It’s that important. Nothing is more interesting to a reader than seeing one subject bandied around by multiple authors. Do it as often as possible.
Final Thoughts Section
Give yourself space for wisdom and clearly mark out a section on the post where you talk about your thoughts on the post itself and other ideas you either didn’t explore directly or think should be a post of its own. It helps you get in the habit of thinking about what your writing while you are writing it – and that’s damn useful.
Picking Over The Bones
And here is my own final thoughts section. I’m sure I may have covered this before somewhere – when you have over 600 posts that’s bound to happen – but thoughts from my current experiences means I may not be retreading as much ground as I think I am. When you start blogging you’re putting yourself out and into the public – however small – and that in and of itself is an act of bravery. So hey, if you’re blogging. I salute you. If you are a blogger what things do you think other bloggers should know? Any cool tips and tricks? Either leave a reply here or write on your own blog and link back.