Tremendously Useful Blogging Advice

Whether you’re a new blogger or an old hand, you’ll find something in this roundup of blog advice useful!

I continue to be impressed by the community’s response to the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Over the weekend, the community’s exploded with hints and tips as helpful as anything you’d see on Problogger or Kalzumeus.

Whether you’re a new blogger or an old hand, you’ll find some interesting stuff in here. I’ve been blogging since considerably before the word was coined, and I still learned a couple of things!

  • Matticus at World of Matticus writes a tremendously useful post on things to include in your About page – following this advice will make my life easier too! – “Being a dude or a woman isn’t going to affect your blogging skill. But, I’ve been burned before in the past because I used the wrong noun when I’ve linked to or wrote about other bloggers. You can ask Cynwise and Lilpeanut. Otherwise, you may end up being referred to as an it!”
  • Spinks at Spinksville writes an introduction to image manipulation tools and image copyright“Games companies typically don’t mind if you use media from their site, especially if you are praising the game (that’s why they make it available from the site in the first place).”
  • Windsoar at Jaded Alt offers two pieces – one on choosing your blog name, and another on deciding whether you want to blog in the first place“But, the question I mulled, and the one that eventually killed my little blog that never was came to me as I was playing an alt. Did I really see myself as a shaman? And the answer was no. “
  • Rowan at I Have Touched The Sky offers a specific but very useful rundown on how to configure Blogger comments“If you have chosen Blogger (the blogging site also known as blogspot.com, run by Google) you may have some barriers to your blog that deter potential comments.”
  • And finally, Live Like A Nerd offers a very helpful rundown on must-have WordPress plugins for blogging“You surely want to post your most recent post to Twitter, the moment you have blogged it. You can automate this with this plugin. It lets you choose what URL shortener to use, what text you want to use to tweet, and if the tweet for some reason doesn’t go out allows you to tweet manually. “

A couple of side notes from me on this point, incidentally: firstly, if you’re using self-hosted WordPress, you need a caching plugin, and I’d recommend Hypercache for its minimal setup and high performance. Obviously, we at the Melting Pot are using WP Engine hosting so we don’t need to worry about blog speed, but that’s kind of a high end solution!

Secondly – if you’re worrying about in-game pictures that aren’t from a company site, don’t be too concerned about the copyright on them. The copyright situation is complex in theory, but in practise I’m not aware of anyone who has gotten in legal hot waters for using game images on a non-commercial site.

And finally – please, please make sure that people can find out your Twitter feed if you have one, and what gender pronoun you’d prefer to be used to refer to when people reference you, easily from your site! Otherwise I end up having to take my best guess on the latter, and that’s got a 50% chance of going badly…

What blogging advice would you give new bloggers?


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