This post is part of the New Bloggers Initiative. You can find an introduction post about it here.
This will be a little mix of my reasons for starting this blog as well as advice. Also, keep in mind this will be from the point of view from someone writing a MMORPG blog. So it might not be as useful for other hobbies or subjects…
Anyhoo…. I always liked to write. So when I was a teenager and blogging was the new cool thing, it seemed natural for me to start one. My first blog was a personal one where I would write anything that I felt strongly enough to write about. Eventually I started to run out of things to say, as incredible as it may sound, and the blog end up turning into nothing but posts about quizzes. That one was written in my native language, portuguese, and in any case it is best to left buried in the sands of the internet.
My second blog was an attempt to use blogging, together with roleplaying, to rekindle my passion for Lineage 2. By then I was already pretty much burnt out of Lineage 2 so it didn’t work out. I end up leaving the game shortly after, abandoning the blog at about 8 posts…. For the internet archeologists or brave of heart, you can still find it here. That one was my first blog written in english too.
The third blog was another foolish attempt to create roots in a MMORPG. Basically, I was tired of hopping between games and just wanted one to call it home. Roleplaying was again used as an attempt to mitigate the natural burning out that come with MMORPGs. The game this time was Everquest 2. Another reason for the creation of the blog was because, at the time, I didn’t find many blogs about it. So it seemed a good idea to write about my misadventures in Norrath. It lasted for a little more than the Lineage 2 blog however it too fell when I left Everquest 2 for the first time. I eventually came back to the game. Then left again. And followed that cycle a few more times. During those periods I pondered about resurrecting the blog but it seemed silly considering my love-hate relationship with Everquest 2. I am pretty sure that blog is now completely gone as it was in a paid host and I don’t think I made any backup of it.
After the Everquest 2 blog I somewhat gave up on blogging. It just seemed a self-defeating pursuit in my case. I still kept reading blogs that interested me though with the occasional hunts for new ones. During one of those hunts I accidentally found the blog of an Everquest 2 friend, the a.girl.IRL. I don’t know if it was her writing style or because I already knew her from in-game that I suddenly got an itchy to write again. A very specific itchy to write about MMORPGs that only a blog could solve…. And thus this blog was born! So far I am very happy with it and don’t see it going anywhere. 🙂
Ok. So the reason for me telling that story is there a few points I would like to make about creating your own blog. The first one is to be careful with the subject you choose for your blog. If you are the type to hop around MMORPGs a lot *coughs*likeme*coughs* then making a blog about a specific game might not be a good idea. A more generic blog about MMORPGs or even computer games might be a better fit. This way if you get tired of the game you are playing, chances are there is another game you like to write about.
That doesn’t mean you should never make a blog that is only about one game. If you are the type who sticks to playing only one MMORPG at a time, play it for years without ever being tempted by the other shiny, new game, then that might be a better choice for you. You can even be more specific than that, choosing to write about your adventures with your favorite class, about raiding, crafting or whatever else you feel passionate about. One of my favorite blogs when I was playing World of Warcraft was about a night elf hunter. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the blog anymore and I lost the link to it years ago after I left WoW. Might still try to hunt it down again since I loved her writing style and would probably still read it even if I don’t play the game anymore.
Small digression aside, what matters is that your chosen subject, be it as generic as “Computer Games” or as specific as something like “A Lord of the Rings Online blog about all things hobbit”, is that it is something you are passionate about and that you have fun discussing it. Because in the end that is what a blog is, a sharing of experiences between you and your readers. 🙂
Lastly, if you are still unsure about blogging, give a try to one of the free blogging services available. If you like it, you will find yourself with a fun new hobby. If you don’t then you won’t lose much besides some of your time.
The 3 services I would suggest would be Blogger, LiveJournal and WordPress.com. Of those, I never used Blogger so can’t really comment on it. I am listing it because it used to be THE blog option back in the day. Nowadays it is still popular but not as ubiquitous as it used to be.
LiveJournal is one dear and close to my heart, even though I don’t use it anymore. It is pretty simple to use however it didn’t have much features either last time I used it. That was years ago and from a brief glance in their features page it seems it haven’t changed much. The cool thing about LiveJournal though is that it has support for 3rd party software that allows you to write posts while offline just the same way as if you were logged in. This might be nice if you travel around a lot but can’t guarantee a stable connection.
Finally, there is WordPress.com. It is relatively simple, painless to use and is has more features that LiveJournal. You can also add some extra features to it through plug-ins. With the free version you are limited to the plug-ins they provide. However if you are willing to pay or even go for a paid hosting solution you can add any plug-in you desire.
And that should be it! I hope that may have helped a little to any potential new blogger out there! 🙂