It’s May (already?!) which means the ‘Newbie Blogger Initiative’ has kicked off. Basically it’s a group of people who encourage others to blog more often / at all if they’ve ever had an inkling to. Belghast wrote about it in greater detail here, and they also have some forums set up here. I’ve been running MmoQuests for 9 years as of June this year, so I know a thing or two about blogging and what it takes to keep going. Though I have slowed in my writing since I started working for Carbine Studios, it’s not from a lack of desire but just a lack of time. I’m not getting super involved in the event, but I do like to watch from the sidelines.
For people who may have always wanted to blog but haven’t wanted to deal with the hassle of setting up a blog or actually running one – there are options out there. For example did you know that besides MmoQuests I also run Nomadic Gamers? This is a multi-author blog that I started five years ago for people who wanted to blog but didn’t want to deal with the hassle of setting one up. Over the years it has come down to just one current author, but I keep it running and people are welcome to contact me if they want to be a contributor. There are other multi-author sites like this out there as well, so don’t feel that you have to do things a certain way.
One thing I personally strive to do more of is not just read new blogs, but to leave comments on other blogs so that the writers know they’re being read. It can feel like this community is very closed off, that everyone interacts within their own little bubble and rarely spends any time looking outside that bubble and then the opinions that are being shared just turn into a circle of back patting and self congratulations. I think that sort of promotion is harmful, and we need to break out of it.
Why is blogging important? Well. Besides the obvious reasons like blowing off steam and sharing your opinion with the world, it has the potency to turn into something much larger. Like I said, I’ve been running MmoQuests for 9 years now. I started off small, writing about my main game (EverQuest 2) and kept the posts informative and not vulgar. Honestly that part is completely up to you – but if you know how to write negative things without coming across as a douche, it helps. Anyway. I started writing about EverQuest 2. Because of that, I landed a job with Beckett Massive Online Gamer writing guides and interviews. I spanned out a few more games besides EQ2, but still had my roots there. Because of my involvement to date with all of THAT I landed a volunteer position with SOE on the Community Council. Occasionally I’d get another freelance job, like writing for MMORPG. I continued to blog while working for Beckett MOG, and wrote for their magazine aimed at younger gamers, Fun! Online Games (also known as FOG). These things carried on for a few years until eventually MOG was shut down, and I landed a job a few years later with Carbine Studios (WildStar) which is where I’ve been for over a year now. A lot of it was luck and knowing the right people, but having not started out some place small I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m not saying everyone who starts a blog is going to move on to bigger and better things – but it sure doesn’t hurt your prospects depending on how you conduct yourself and how bad you want something. The one piece of advice I give to everyone is consistency. Be constant. Be reliable. Keep writing.