I've been getting a lot of requests (well about 3 requests) to post something up to help some of my fellow Wizard101 bloggers (and those that want to blog about Wizard101) with some tips for making your blog interesting enough for people to read often.
Ok . . . I guess I could try.
1- Be awesome. I don't know if any of you guys caught this yesterday, but this young fashionista (who keeps a blog at the age of 13) was featured on MSN.com yesterday on their front page. You guys may think that I have a big following on my blog, but just to put things in perspective. I get maybe 1,000 hits a day . . . this gal had 1,000 people on her blog at the same time yesterday, and this morning she had 100 on at the same time. That's amazing. I bet I'm lucky if I have 10 on at one time. The industry she's blogging for LOVES HER as does her audience. Why? She's awesome. She's passionate about the industry she blogs for and loves to have fun with it.
If you can capture that essence . . . that magic . . . gratz. You win the game.
2- Have a great layout on your blog. Not only should your blog be aesthetically pleasing, but it should be laid out in a way that people get to the information they want. Mine still needs a lot of work to be honest. It could be a lot better. But a winning design goes a long way. Check out some of these designs.
3- Your blog content should sing.
Honestly, it doesn't matter what aspect of Wizard101 you want to write about. You could write about them all. What makes it great content is that it flows along like a song. Think about your favorite song. What do you like about it? Now capture that essence in your writing for your blog. It's a feeling that goes along with the words, you know? Capture that, and you're on your way to making a "hit post."
And speaking of hit posts, people are going to spend about the length of a song or less on your website. Sometimes you're going to write hits, and sometimes you're going to write duds. If what you write is a hit, people will come back to read it over and over again.
4- Respect the almighty Google.
Your writing may be good, but people are mainly going to find your site through Googling about what it is they want to find. You'll notice that I've built a lot of my site to respect the almighty Google. My "Ask Friendly a Question" feature attempts to answer those questions that no one else has answered. If someone happens to type in a question into Google that's similar, then they'll find me . . . and hopefully the writing will be good enough that they want to stay and read again and again.
5- Know the grammerz. If thiere izs o1ne things thet harts a blzog mre then enything elze, its por gramer and spelingz.
Remember that song metaphor up above? When you misspell something or use poor grammar, it's like someone just banged a pot in the middle of your song. (side note: paragraphs breaks are highly recommended. I think I'll put one here since I'm kind of changing topic . . .)
If you're not comfortable with your grammar and spelling, it might be a good idea to write your posts in something like Microsoft Word first where you can run a grammar check or a spell check. Then copy and paste it into your blog. AND, even if you're comfortable with your grammar, click the spell check button on your blog please. Every little bit of effort helps.
6- Embrace the community to the extent that you can. You gotta link up your site. Get it linked up EVERYWHERE! post on other people's blogs. Let people in the community (the ones who love the game) know who you are and what you're posting about. TWITTER!
It isn't enough to just make a blog without acknowledging your fellow bloggers.
Diary of a Wizard is great at this, btw. She's a social media genius pretty much. Much respect for Fallon's skills.
7- Keep on top of the pulse. Basically, you don't want your blog's front page advertising the new housing feature when mounts are coming out. Old news is old news and I don't want to waste my time with old news.
8- Use your talents. Blogs are about more than writing. They are about YOU writing about a topic (sometimes . . . sometimes you gotta be invisible). You'll notice that I've tried to write Wizard101 remixes, make cartoons, videos, etc. Find what you're good at and show the wizard101 world . . . you'll definitely get noticed.
9- A picture is better than words.
I'm actually not talking about using graphics here. I'm talking about painting a picture with your words. There's a great suggestion that many creative writing teachers have pushed at me, "show don't tell." If you want to write about a great new feature in the game, you'd go a long way to paint a picture with your words (although an actual painting would be fun too) about what you're writing about rather than just telling me about it.
And that's about all the advice I have this morning.
I'm full of advice, but I'm tired now. I think I'll go log into Wizard101 and actually play the game instead of write about it.
10- PLAY THE GAME. Don't keep writing about the game if you're not playing it anymore. Duh!
11- btw . . . if you made it to the bottom of the post, wow . . . most people don't. (so put your most important stuff up top . . . like "be awesome".)