Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to blog about Eve

First up, I just want to say that I'm not an authority on blogging. There aren't any qualifications to being a blogger. But there is experience, and I've been personally blogging for a long time. I've learnt a few things along the way.

Some of you are excited about blogging, and being a part of the Eve blogging community, and promoting blogs and Eve Online, but you're not so sure how to get involved. Some of you are even having some trouble with finding stuff to write, or finding the time to write, or even finding the motivation to write.

This article is to just provide a bit of help with your blogging, in order to get better results from what you're doing.

1. Focus on a single topic

If you have a blog that is aimed at multiple topics, and each topic is aimed at a different audience, you are going to end up annoying EVERYONE.  You'll annoy those that don't care about Eve, and you'll annoy those that don't care about any of the other topics.

You'll be in the frustrating position of annoying someone with every post that you do.  In the end, what is really significant is that your blog annoys people, and they'll go somewhere else to get a more focused content based on what they're interested in.

If you have multiple topics in one blog, create multiple blogs instead and focus each blog on that topic.  Each blog will have a focused audience, appreciative of what you're writing about. 

By focusing one of your blogs on Eve Online only, you will have an audience of that blog which appreciates every single post.

2. Entertain people

People like to be entertained.  They play Eve because it's entertaining. They'll read your blog because it entertains them. Try to be entertaining.

There's all kinds of ways you can do this. You can inject a bit of humour into your posts. You can tell interesting and exciting stories of your in-character adventures. You can put in some Eve-related comics, jokes, or even pictures or screenshots of in-game events or locations.

You just need to look at what's popular on tv - and even on the internet with other blogs - to see that if you can entertain someone, you will get them coming back for more.

3. Educate people

This is another important aspect of writing.  If you look at the most popular books in bookstores, you'll find that those books which help people learn new things are as popular, if not more so, than fiction (unless the fiction is those love stories being bought by women seeking happiness from their fantasies - and there's a lot of them around!).  Self-help books on a variety of subjects are extremely popular.

Some of the very popular Eve blogs out there include those that help people play the game better, or that provide information of use to people as they play the game.

A way of doing that on your own blog is to include instructions on how you've achieved something.  For example, when I write about some battle I've been involved in, I sometimes include all the steps I've taken leading up to that battle, as well as the steps I took within it.

Doing this can help others learn how to do the same, and if you were successful, you're educating them on how to do something. Of course, if you're unsuccessful, you're educating them on how NOT to do something.

Either way, you're providing value - and that's what it's about.

4. Write often

If you don't write much, you won't get many visitors. You'll also lose the motivation to write. The more often you write, the more you'll enjoy it, and the more you'll have signs of appreciation from your audience. They'll have more to comment on, for a start.

You only need to try and write something once a day. It doesn't need to be very long, or even very special, but it does need to be consistent.

If you're finding it hard to write every day, look around at the Eve blogosphere. See what everyone else is writing about. Look at the Eve Online forums. See what everyone there is talking about.

Write about what is of interest to them, and they'll be interested in reading it. Write daily, and you'll get into the habit of being an active and enthusiastic blogger.

The more responses you get from the community to your posts, the more excited you'll be about posting.  You won't get those responses though, until you give them something to respond to.

Summary

There's so much more to blogging than focusing on one topic, entertaining and educating people, and writing every day (or at least quite often!). But if you start with these 4 essentials, you can really enhance the quality and content of your blog.  You'll start finding more people visiting, and more people leaving comments. They'll enjoy being part of what you're doing.

Let me know what you thought of this post, and if you like it, I'll do some more posts on blogging in the future.

3 comments:

  1. Good advice Sarah. I'd also say that just because you like certain blogs, trying to copy their style might not be the best option for you. Play around and find your own voice. Many people write in character, for example, but I find that hard to do so I tend to write more as a player than a character and that works for me.

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  2. One of the best times I find for thinking up topics is right after you lie down for bed. My mind rolls around what happened that day, and I usually end up lying for an hour or so just thinking about what occurred. However, turning on the bedside lamp to write down items is rather cumbersome and tends to be counterproductive towards sleep.

    So, I use a tape recorder. They only take a minute to learn, and you can record hours of information on one tape. That way all those thoughts you have before falling asleep, or perhaps after waking up can be easily and efficiency recorded while thoughts are fresh on your mind.

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  3. I get inspirations in huge spurts, so I type most of my OOC stuff for a week or more in one or two days and cut them up over the course of a week or so. I think I'm going to cut down to one OOC teaching post a week though. I wanted the OOC stuff as handy side info and it took over my blog so I'm trying to force myself to do it less.

    I guess I have a new years resolution.

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