~ Charles de Lint
This quote gave me a lot of inspiration in writing the original speech that led to this post, so I thought it an appropriate opening. A blog gives you the best and “safest” place to find an outlet for your stories. It gives you a simple, quick forum for writing, publishing, and sharing, all from the comfort of home and with the mask of whatever name/avatar you show to the world.
I have been blogging for three years now – first on Effy’s RP and now here. While I have blogged mainly about World of Warcraft for all of that time, I created my blog because I wrote a short story that was not happy with just getting onto paper. It insisted upon being shared.
I took the plunge and I posted it on the internet.
And I have never regretted that moment.
The idea of starting a blog can be a daunting one, but unless you just get out there and do it, you will never know what might come of it.
We are all walking around with stories to tell. Sometimes, we express them to friends. Sometimes, we write – either in stories or in journals, which we may or may not share. Sometimes, we keep all of our thoughts inside.
I spent years writing but never sharing my stories. Even when I did share my writing, I shared with friends or family who read to be supportive of me. I never knew whether they really liked it, or were just being “nice.” I never received any real, helpful feedback. But beyond these people who would only tell me how great my writing was, I feared what criticism I might receive from others.
But a story untold is just flat words on paper, or worse yet, an unshared idea that never leaves your head. That is a true tragedy.
Maybe you think a blog is difficult to create or too much work or that no one will read it. Blogs are not only easy to create – WordPress will walk you through the simple steps of starting one – but there is also a vast community of support once you get started. The blogging community is one of the friendliest and most helpful I have ever come across – especially the Warcraft blogging community.
Collaboration happens often and in many forms and there are a number people to encourage you.
The Newbie Blogging Initiative is both a website and an event for helping new bloggers get started. The provide support and resources, as well as stirring the rest of the community to action. It is mostly geared towards gaming bloggers, but the information shared can be helpful to all.
Blog Azeroth is a forum where bloggers can come together. The most interesting part of the interaction on Blog Azeroth is the Shared Topics. Anyone can suggest a topic and anyone can participate in writing a shared topic post. Shared topics are a great way to get involved with the community.
Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me
Navimie, of the Daily Frostwolf, is one of the most amazing bloggers I know, and the nicest too. Long before the NBI came about, Navi became a powerful voice of encouragement to me in particular.
Navimie’s advice? If you want to write, just write! Don’t write for others, write for yourself first. You will be more genuine and more motivated.
Truer words have never been spoken (or written).
Akabeko, of Red Cow Rise, has been another voice of encouragement to myself and others. She has participated in the NBI and other events to drive collaboration in the blogging community.
Akabeko’s advice? She has a great list!
- Write about what you know and what interests you
- Remember that a blog can be about anything – from business to poetry
- Cites your sources! (Other bloggers and content creators LOVE link-backs, and it is a great way to get noticed.)
- Give your opinions
- Find your voice
- Include pictures wherever possible
Other Resources and Tips
This is definitely not the limit of great resources or bloggers out there. It just takes some time to get the momentum going. The best thing you can do is participate in all of the great community events going on all the time, and comment on the blogs of others! Both ways will get you seen in ways other than just those who find you through web searches. Being active part of the community is the best way to become a part of it.
Twitter helps too. Even if you do not use it much, you can connect other bloggers, other WoW personalities, and other players. And you can tweet your blog posts.
Remember: every view is one more person touched by what you have to say.
Now that you know some of the support available out there once you get started… how do you start?
Create a free blog and go from there!
Once you have a blog and content on that blog, even if only five people see what you have posted, that is five more than would have seen it otherwise! Picture what that could mean – having viewers for all of these ideas, stories, thoughts, and opinions that never would have made it out of your head otherwise.
Creating a blog has the ultimate purpose of getting your writing seen. A blog gives you a place of lower stress and pressure than trying to get published, but still has the same end result of people getting exposed to your thoughts and ideas.
Without a blog you have no outlet for your ideas. Without a blog you may never know what would happen if you share your ideas. These can all be easily solved by just sharing.
The one downside to sharing? Negative comments.
An article called “7 Tips to Deal with Negative Comments on Social Media” gives some good advice. The best points were the following:
- Identify the issue – Your critic more than likely has an issue with your product or message, and not you personally.
- Decide if and how to react – Not all criticism deserves attention.
- Be specific and direct – Focus on the issue, not the person.
- Be real – Take ownership of mistakes.
- Create a dialogue – Keep cool, stay on topic, and treat the critic with respect.
- Get viewed
- Receive recognition for your work
- Possible publication
- Get paid to blog (with paid ads)
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and go create your blog! (And if you have one already – post, post, post!) Go express yourself, make yourself known, and share your ideas, stories, and points of view. Because that is the biggest reason anyone should create a blog!
If I have inspired you, but you would still like to know more, please feel free to contact me! I would love to chat!