Blogging is Dead! Long Live Blogging!

I’ve signed up for “Mentor” status for this year’s Blaugust/NBI event, and as such it’s up to myself and fellow mentors to try and steer new blogging participants in the “write” direction (I see what you did there). Some of us that have signed up to be mentors have been doing this whole blogging thing for a long time, and others for only a couple of years. I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t matter how long you do a thing, you can still learn new tricks and still be hit by writer’s block. As such, I’d like to share some of the things that I have learned and hopefully this will help someone to get started or be inspired to keep going.

First though, I’ve stolen this compiled list of this year’s participants from Wilhelm, and I must say it’s a nice looking list, containing both members of the Old Guard along with a good amount of new blogs:

  1. A Green Mushroom
  2. Aeternus Gaming
  3. Ald Shot First
  4. Ash’s Adventures
  5. Athernes Adventures
  6. Aywren Sojourner
  7. barely readable diary
  8. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  9. Bio Break
  10. Book of Jen
  11. Calamity Jess
  12. Can I Play Too
  13. Casual Aggro
  14. Contains Moderate Peril
  15. Deez Wurds
  16. Fresh Eyes in Gaming (not yet live)
  17. Gamer Girl Confessions
  18. Gaming Conversations
  19. GamingSF
  20. Geeky Dad Fitness
  21. Going Commando
  22. Gray’s Cozy Nook
  23. Heattanu’s Game
  24. I’m Not Squishy
  25. Inventory Full
  26. JVT Workshop
  27. leaflocker
  28. Mailvaltar – MMOs and other stuff
  29. Me vs. Myself and I
  30. Moonshine Mansion
  31. Municipal City
  32. Murf Versus
  33. Nerdy Bookahs
  34. Neverwinter Thoughts
  35. Nomadic Gamers, Eh!
  36. Pizza Maid
  37. Princess in a Castle
  38. Professorbeej is Awesome
  39. RandomX
  40. RunningShoes.tv
  41. Scarybooster
  42. Shadowz Abstract Gaming Blog
  43. Shards of Imagination
  44. Simply Janine
  45. StarShadow
  46. Stropp’s World
  47. Tales of the Aggronaut
  48. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  49. The Path They Walk
  50. ThisThingIsNeat
  51. Through Wolfy’s Eyes
  52. TroytlePower
  53. Why I Game
  54. WoW Alt Addiction

That’s quite the list, and here we thought that blogging was a dying art!

Jokes aside, blogging has been “dying” for years. When I first migrated over to WordPress.com people were talking about blogging being dead, and that was 11 years ago (WordPress just notified me that my anniversary was a few days ago, having migrated back in 2007). Honestly, there is a smaller amount of blogs out there now as opposed to back then, but the Internet has changed. YouTube wasn’t the phenomenon that it has become, streaming wasn’t a thing yet, and though Podcasting was still an option then it wasn’t on my radar nearly as much at that time. As it goes, everyone has their preferred method of content consumption, but just because little Timmy only watches YouTube videos doesn’t mean you should give up on writing because Timmy’s older brother Johnny prefers reading. Also, there aren’t any rules that say you can’t do multiple things if you have the time. I used to maintain this blog and also run a podcast while simultaneously streaming and making some YouTube videos as well. Don’t be afraid to dabble until you find your preferred creative outlet!

I’ll agree with Wilhelm that WordPress.com is probably the best option for a budding blogger. It’s free, you get plenty of customization options and the stat tracking is good. There’s also plenty of storage space for your screenshots and other pictures, which help to make your blog posts more dynamic. I have zero experience with Blogger or Tumblr though, so I could be biased. Still, I would advise against spending money as paying to blog seems silly until you are established and know that you’re in it for the long haul.

Finding your audience is another matter, as most people go into this idea of blogging thinking that they’ll write about this one thing and paint themselves into a corner. My school of thought comes from the late 90’s when I got my start, when I was part of the E/N crowd. E/N = Everything/Nothing and means that you can literally write about anything that you want. I’ve had comments over the years about guides or adventures I’ve written about being appealing, but some people like when I give a more personal touch and write about my life. Your audience will grow primarily by having a good output moreso than the content you’re writing about. If people know that you’re going to have out a post every day, or a couple of posts a week, they’ll come back to consume that content regularly. If you only post once every 6 months you probably won’t have much of an audience, so keep with it!

That’s not to say you need a schedule. I’ve maintained an output of about 15 posts per month for about a year, so about one every other day. Wilhelm and others post every weekday and some post every single day. Find what works for you and try to stick with it. By the end of Blaugust you will have found a way to make 31 posts, one a day, so you should be able to tell if you like that sort of schedule or if you’d prefer to dial it back a bit. My real life schedule is hectic so I don’t have the time to write every day (Blaugust is a challenge every time) but you might. To each their own.

That’s the advice I have for you today. Now I’m going to try and figure out what I’m going to write about next month. Happy writing!

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