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 Post subject: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:10 pm 
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There has been STACKS of discussion of what makes a blog a 'quality' blog. I -think- Matt started it, although Lass may have posted almost simultaneously, and the topic has grown from that point. It is great to see the level of discussion and analysis about the art of blogging across the WoW Blogosphere, but I think that something important needs to be addressed which I have heard from a number of people.

Something which concerns me both as a writer and as a member of the BlogAzeroth community is the level of 'intimidation' (for lack of a better word) that people, especially new bloggers, sometimes feel when they are inundated with 'how to blog' posts. Please, PLEASE keep in mind that these posts are only ever intended by all concerned to be a guide (or advice), and quite often it is a guide to writing a specific sort of blog. If you are wondering what sort of blog these bloggers are giving advice about, have a quick browse of their blog - people typically recommend their own approach!

Please, also remember that none of this is meant to be threatening or scary. Don't feel like you have to go and change your blogging practice entirely based upon the advice of a blogger, no matter how well known or successful they may be. Take the advice you like, and weave it in to your own style. If you find a particular piece of advice difficult to reconcile with your own ideas or philosophy, don't be afraid to say 'I can see the value in that, but it just won't work for me'

Above all, remember that blogging is like any craft. You can't expect to be fantastic at it immediately, and you will continually develop and learn as you write. I don't think any blogger has stopped learning and improving their writing - that's half the fun!

Posts so far which address this - please feel free to add as you find them

The Purple Kodo: World of Matticus
10 Reasons Why Your WoW Blog is Boring - Lass's Priest Blog (Antherwina's Corner)
Open Letter: Destructive Reach
Leafy's Blogging Bootcamp: Leafshine
The WoW Blogging Dichotomy: Tank Like A Girl
Thoughts on Guides: Rez the Weak

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:57 am 
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I've written about wow blogging a couple of times. In april I had a rant about it, since I was getting a bit tired with some of the improve-your-blog suggestions (like the 31 day programme).

http://www.pinkpigtailinn.com/2009/04/some-thoughts-about-wow-blog.html

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:53 pm
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Not entirely certain I have been blogging long enough to be able to present a real valid opinion. However the things that I think make a good WoW Blog are some of the following.

Clean and Easy to Read Design
- This one is the most important to me. I personally feel like your content needs to be the centerpiece of your design, not the toys and gadgets you have been able to plug into it. I know I have expressed this opinion before on the blogazeroth chatroom, but I really dislike the 3 column layouts. I feel it gives users the wrong feeling, that you are elevating your sidebar content over that of your own writing. When the textual content gets pushed into a tiny confined space it looses focus and you easily get distracted by whats going on with the menus and tools rather than what the author has to say.

Original Content
- When I hit a blog I want to read what YOU have to say. There are many times I see authors essentially summarizing posts they have seen elsewhere. I link to alot of other bloggers in my articles, but only when it serves to prop up the discussion of what I have to say myself. Summarizing the content that someone else wrote seems defeatist to me.

Good Paragraph Structure and Visual Breaks
- One of the things I try and do myself is break the content into logical blocks. My blog posts tend to be much larger than most bloggers I have seen, and as a result I try my best to appropriately use the header tags to slice and dice my content into easier to read chunks. I try my best never to have more than 3 paragraphs devoted to any one segment without some form of a logical break. Paragraphs themselves should be confined when possible to about 3 to 5 sentences. Anything more than that and the reader starts to get the "wall of text" effect and zones out.

Clearly Identify Who You Are
- Try and clearly identify who you are, what character you play, what server that character is on, and what guild you are a member of. If you talk about raiding, the reader wants to be able to see that you have in fact raided based on your character profile. It helps your readership know that you might have valid opinions and are not just another armchair quarterback. Identifying your place in the wow world helps to ground your blog a bit.

Write about what you know
- Granted lately, my blog posts have turned more into an introspective series of emo-ranting.... you have to write about what you know. If you know raiding in and out, then write about raiding. If you know the hunter class intimately, write about the hunter class. You need to carve out your niche in the world and stick to it. I am being fairly hypocritical in this assessment however since I tend to write about tanking, raiding, and guild life all on the same blog. But as a main tank, raid leader, and guild leader since the wow release these are the three topics I know the best. I guess it works for me.

Balance Quality and Quantity
- The quality versus quantity debate is always out there. Yes you should write quality posts, however you should also write frequent posts. If you want to develop a regular reader base, then you have to keep giving them a reason to check for new content. After a few days without any form of an update the users stops pinging your site as frequently. If you want to develop a regular readers you have to keep giving them fresh content to read. Granted the RSS readers will be getting your posts as they arrive, but in my experience the bulk of my usership is still direct hits. Much like reading a physical newspaper or book, reading a blog post within the framework of the authors blog itself is more enjoyable to many readers.

Like I said at the beginning. I am not really sure how grounded my opinions are since I have only been blogging about a month, but in that month I have breached the 10,000 users mark so apparently I am doing something right heh.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:51 pm 
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In my experience, people read blogs because they're interesting, funny, and helpful. I endeavor to be all three of these, and the most successful bloggers I know of seem to do the same thing. Some of them without even trying.

I have to try to be helpful- my nature will lapse into huntardery faster than you can blink. Luckily, I seem to be able to write interesting and funny content fairly naturally.

There are probably many more ways to cost you readers, but I don't happen to know of any.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:24 am
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This was a really good post I read about becoming a good blogger, I think he takes a slightly different approach. (and yeah I don't understand why he keeps saying 'know your subject manner' when he means 'know your subject matter' -- once could have been a typo.)

It's not so much about a quality blog so much as about being a quality blogger. You're selling yourself: Are you interesting to read? Do you have interesting opinions to share? If it's all '17 more ways to run a raiding guild' then it's likely to disappear under the weight of everyone else doing the same thing.

The one unique thing about any blog is the person writing it. So that's what you have to work with.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:39 pm 
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I think consistency is also an important factor. Nothing worse than finding a great blog but then it never gets updated. The frequency of the posts is definitely something that I consider when looking at a blog. Was the last post yesterday or last month?

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion of what constitutes a good WoW Blog
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:59 am
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This is why i have problems blogging i don't want to post about PVP or PVE i want to post about leveling but many do not do that bescause i don't feel i'm very good at any aspect of the game wheather rp, leveling or anything and it feels kinda silly i talk about something i'm not AMAZING in.


-I don't like PVP since i go into one battleground every 2 months
-Raiding good but all i done is OS10,OS25,Naxx10,Kara (I seen VOA and ZUL that's my raiding experiance)
-((Rp i like to talk about but my server is dead on rp lol))
-Alliance fan


-TO me though looking at a blog is content.
-Knowledge about your aspect (EG: BRK and BM Hunters)
-An Original page that's easy to navigate helps
-Updates


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