There’s a lot of great advice going around about blogging this month for the NBI, and if you are new to writing or blogging (or not), you should read all of it. Thankfully many of them are summarized in the Newbie Blogger Initiative Week #1 Roundup, so I don’t have to. The only thing I can add is my own personal philosophy on this blog.
But first, if you want to start a blog, just start it, and do whatever you want, and to hell with everyone else and what they think. It’s your blog and nobody can tell you how to run it (unless you violate the terms of service, that is). I mention this only because a lot of “how to blog” guides tend to focus on the “business” aspects of blogging. They tend to assume you want to blog to make money through advertising. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not the only reason to blog.
For this blog, I have a fairly specific focus. I imagine the target audience to be gamers at work looking for something to read when they can’t play. I have set myself a goal to post something related to the games I’m playing every weekday at 11:00 Eastern, which will allow most people to have something to read over their lunch break. I know I’ve always liked reading blogs about MMOs at work, so I figure somebody else out there might, too. Hopefully my posts will be mildly entertaining and occasionally relevant to what’s going on in the gaming world.
The goal is one thing. But it’s not enough (for me, at least). I’m not getting paid for this. I haven’t even taken the first step toward trying to get paid for this. In fact, it actually costs me money to blog, because I bought a domain name and I’m using a web hosting service. There is no tangible reward for having this blog whatsoever, so why bother?
Knowing why you’re blogging is very important, in my opinion. If you try to blog (or write) for the wrong reasons, it probably isn’t going to last.
For me, I like to write. I want to get better at writing, or at least not get worse at it. The only way I know to maintain and improve one’s writing ability is to read and write regularly, and blogs are one way to do that.
Another reason is that I want to practice and get better at writing on a schedule. That is, forcing myself to write X amount for publishing on Y date and time. I have long-simmering aspirations of someday getting paid to write, and I sense that meeting deadlines is a crucial job skill in the field.
A third reason for this particular blog is that I have nobody else to talk to about MMORPGs. (Cue sad violins.) I’m the only gamer I know in real life, and having a hobby that everyone else finds at best weird or at worst an alarming sign of depression is an awkward, lonely position to be in.
So in a nutshell, this blog serves me as much as it might provide entertainment for readers.
In another post I’ll talk about the torturous physical process I use to write this blog. If I ever finish that post.