Tremendously Useful Blogging Advice

by on May 7, 2012


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?

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: Blogosphere Pulse

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kadomi May 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I kinda forgot to mention caching plugins, but that’s mostly because I get to little pageviews that it’s no concern for me. Thanks for the recommendation though. I love plugins as much as I used to love WoW addons back in the day. :-)

Thanks for the link love!

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Matticus May 8, 2012 at 4:55 am

When you start hitting around 15000 pageviews a month or so, you’ll want to invest in caching solutions. until then, wouldn’t worry about it too much.

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Hugh Hancock May 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

I’d tend to disagree with that advice, for the simple reason that traffic spikes can happen to any blog, even a new one.

If you suddenly hit the front page of /r/wow or Anne decides to feature you on WoW Insider, you want to be ready for the traffic and gain the flood of new comments and new subscribers.

Without a caching solution in place from the start, you’re more likely to simply come home to a crashed blog server, no new subscribers, and a load of comments on /r/wow saying “site’s down. Sounded interesting, but whatever. Downvoted.”

I’ve been there in the past and it’s incredibly dispiriting if that happens.

It takes 5 minutes to install Hypercache and it’s worth the effort.

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Apple Cider Mage May 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I agree with Hugh. When my harassment post went out, it hit Reddit and suddenly our traffic spiked. I’m pretty sure Vitae got caching shortly after? IDK the details.

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