A Solid Foundation and Step Forward #NBI
So this whole month, myself as well as other bloggers have been pitching in with the Newbie Blogger Initiative, a month long event to help inspire would be videogame bloggers to actually start blogging. To provide a space for them to receive advice and banter with fellow newbies and veterans. Before I start to ramble, if you are interested in blogging but have no idea where to start or no idea feel free to pay a visit to the NBI home base.
I won’t claim to be the best writer or an expert on a particular MMO, but one thing I’m confident in, is that I love to talk about video games. That is one of the more important aspects you should have when you think about blogging. Naturally, if you like something you will take to it a lot faster than if it was a chore and something you want to make money on. You need to have that labor of love to keep you going, because the bottom line is that you are doing it for yourself and sharing with others.
If you have all that inside, what exactly do you write about? Well quite honestly, it can be anything. You can turn your blog into a journal of sorts, where you chronicle your journey through various games. You can write features about various game mechanics or your opinion on a game or a news story you just read. Feeling technical? Right a guide for a particular class or raid. Perhaps you came across something awesome and you want to share it with the world, write about and tell us what about it inspired you.
Taking the next step
Of course, you can do more then just write. If you a webcam or video recorder you can start a video blog or create video content. For instance, my good Canadian friend Cindy, has her own tumblr, Game Latte where she records herself talking the games she love, her opinion on recent events as well as, post some of her playthrough movies.
If you ever want to get into producing videos, Fraps is a good program for recording footage, you just have to make sure you computer is able to record at a decent framerate. If you decide to create videos, you can use Windows Movie Maker which is already installed on your computer to edit all the footage. There are other programs out there but none I’m too familiar with except Adobe Premiere which costs a pretty penny. In terms of hosting your videos you don’t have to look any farther than YouTube. It allows easy upload as well as html code and links to place the video in your blog post.
Some bloggers create a blog just as a space to upload their screenshots. I created a screenshot and video section for numerous MMOs, just to have some other content on the site for those unfamiliar with the games I talk about. If you are planing to create something similar, if you self hosted wordpress based site there are plenty of gallery plug-ins to choose from, you just need to experiment and find what is best for you. I use Nextgen Gallery, it’s simple enough to use and allows to set universal parameters for screenshots to promote consistency.
There will be times that you have no idea what to write about, don’t be scared to put up a post that is content light as long as it still relevant. Syp at BioBreak occasionally posts a picture of the day or quote of the day. Also, plenty of bloggers love to spread the word with blogroll posts that highlight some of the reading they have been doing over the week or month. This is also a good way of participating in the community, to read and linking to other blogs.
Unfortunately, I’m tapped out in terms of advice. Overall I can only say, just make sure you’re writing for the sake of it and cater it towards something you’re good at or something you enjoy. If you like taking screenshots, feel free to create a gallery for all the games you play. Into creating videos, start a vblog or create video content to compliment your posts. Writing is just the start, don’t be afraid to branch out a little.