Blogging Advice from the NBI – Criticism, RSS and more

As I’ve mentioned before, MMO bloggers have seemed somewhat diffident about offering blogging advice in the past – but the Newbie Blogger Initiative has really brought a flood of advice from some of the ‘sphere’s top bloggers right to our door.

In today’s roundup, we’ve got pieces both specific and general, but always useful –

  • Criticised or flamed? Syp at Bio Break offers advice on what to do next“I respect those who respond without making it personal, but that’s a hard thing for a critic to do. No matter what, it puts a sour taste in your mouth and can make you say to yourself, “Then why did I spend all this time creating this article if this is the end result?””
  • Njessi of Hawt Pants of the Old Republic offers some great advice on things to include or avoid“I know you want people to come to your site for precious hits or advertising (more on this later), but truncated feeds are not the answer to getting more traffic. Many people read in a feed reader, and don’t want to click through – or can’t if they’re behind a firewall.”
  • Goldenstar of A Casual Stroll To Mordor talks about writing for the Internet“In the first couple seconds of opening your article, your reader will judge if they will actually read your article. They will look at your opening paragraph and scan down the page and see if this is something of interest to them.”
  • Lono of Screaming Monkeys offers his top five tips for blogging“An active blog will grow faster than a rarely active one. Sounds simple when said like that but you’d be surprised how some new promising blog dies simply because the author posted once in a blue moon. Your topics don’t always have to be revolutionary, just talk about what’s on your mind.”
  • And Rowan at I Have Touched The Sky explains RSS and blog lists“The thing about hits—and what is behind at least my own advice not to worry about them—is that not all of your readers will do so by visiting your blog directly. Many do so through RSS readers, including Google Reader, Bloglines, and various smartphone apps. “

A couple of thoughts from me here, too. Firstly, whilst I agree that if possible it’s better to win a critic over, if you’re being criticised or flamed, it is perfectly possible to fight back and win. However, it takes some skill with argument, and it’s definitely important not to simply vent onto the screen – respond calmly and with good measure, as my fencing instructor would have said. The number one way to lose an argument online is to overreach.

There are some great resources out there on the tactics of debate, and those are the ones to study if you want to learn how to fight and win against harsh critics. Also, remember – whilst you may not convince the person flaming you, it’s the people reading both sides of the argument who are the important ones a lot of the time.

As far as RSS feeds go, I can tell you that you’re about three times as likely to be featured on the Pot if you have an untruncated RSS feed. Sure, if you’re a brilliant headline writer you might get more visitors to your site with a truncated feed – but let’s put it this way: Copyblogger is the go-to resource on the Internet for headline writing, and they still run a full feed.

Any great tips to share?