Blogging For Noobs :: Think

You have a ton of posts all ready to go after the last portion of our Guide, and now you want to publish them all in one hit. This is where I put up the single finger in a kind yet firm manner and say NO, do not do this with your work. The temptation in the early blush of creativity is to share everything immediately. This is perfectly normal and I see it happen all the time: the problem then comes a month later when you’re struggling for stuff to fill your space and creativity appears to have evaporated. That’s why this time around, I’m going to ask you to wait, and start planning ahead. Remember that blank calender I left you with last time? Here’s where the fun of Learning to Organise begins.

schedulea.jpg

I’m going to be rebranding this site next month as the Internet of Words (for those of you paying attention) and that means that I need to do a couple of things before that happens. Once I’ve followed my own previous step and worked out what will qualify as content, I’ll need a week to make sure that I have graphics for everything made and ready, and there are spaces in the web design to accommodate what I’m doing. That’s the 14th to the 19th for me, which is my Pre-Planning and ‘Back End’ phase. In that time I can also write posts in anticipation of my launch (June 1st) but not publish them until I know my redesign is working properly. In your case, it could just be getting yourself comfortable with blogging to begin with, and you have a week of playing with layout and posting until you’re comfortable with both.

typinghanks

I’ve then scheduled a Testing Week, which will basically act as my migration period for all the old content, deleting the stuff I don’t want to keep, and getting everything ready to roll. As you can see, after my launch date I’ve got a load of +1 and +2’s marked: the latter indicate days when I’ll introduce a facet of the site, the others marking down that for the first month, I want to generate a post a day. To do that will require me to organise in advance, to have ideas ready to roll, and once I obtain that early impetus it will be important to ensure I have a plan. That’s why I’m writing on Post It notes, scribbling in a notebook wherever possible, and keeping track of things I think are important or interesting going forward. It is why this weekend will be devoted to thrashing out many of those scribbled notes into fully-formed topics to form part of my site.

planttotheface

The key, of course, is to have a lot of content to go, but there are days when I undoubtedly do my best work from a cold start. Today was a case in point: I didn’t expect to create a logo or start a Twitter account for the redesign but both of those happened. I’d simply planned to day to explore the possibilities of both, but you’ll learn in time how inspiration strikes, and when to make the most of it. This is where organisation truly becomes invaluable, because in those creative-rich days, if you can get words down they can be kept and scheduled for days when you’re out of ideas. It also means you are never totally beholden to your site either, and can take holidays or time off without it appearing you lost interest in the project.

punch1

You will find, as time goes on, that if you set aside a set time each day to write, this will also aid enormously with productivity and creativity. For me, I do my best work on non-fiction before lunchtime, whilst fiction always works better in the evening. That means I’ll be able to balance my time effectively around other stuff and still aim for a set result at the end of each week. You may wish to plan ahead on a spreadsheet programme, and there are plenty of time management tools/apps that can help you out, but for me I am at my best with a Moleskine Diary, pen, pencil and ruler. In fact I’d be utterly lost without them now. My planning for the week is either done Sunday night or Monday morning, and this dictates the entire workflow for the next seven days. Find the system that works for you, and don’t be afraid to mix and match until you’re comfortable with the result.

intothedoor.gif

The biggest trick however is not to panic when you’re out of ideas. That’s why you have a notebook, its why you plan in advance… and its where Social media can save the day. Current events, personal interests, what other people are talking about, the latest complaint/beef in your friends circle… all of these are potential topics to start a blog post. For me, I have a ton of projects in various states of completion to consider, a vast array of topics on the Internet of Words that all have a potential place in my planning: but the trick is not to obsess too much about all the possibilities. I’ll be picking a couple of the best ideas to work with at the start, and we’ll go from there. Once the framework is established and has run for a while, I can look at analytics to see where the interest lies, and work from there.

Organisation really is everything if you want a professional looking site. It also doesn’t all have to happen straight away. Just because I’ll be doing a post a day means it will stay that way. We’ll see how things work, and the trick in these early stages is to listen to other people very carefully. Many will give you feedback, and if it isn’t great, you’ll need to be ready to act accordingly. Next time, we’ll talk about how you keep people interested whilst they read, because that will matter long term just as much as your content.

Blogging for Noobs :: I Love You

It is time, finally, to write stuff. Are you excited?

excited-baby

Number one in our Ten Things to Learn guide is, I’m afraid, NOT how to write gud. That I can try and help you with but, to be honest, you are mostly on your own. If you’ve reached this stage anyway the desire to write already very much exists (which remains half the battle on any given day) but developing a strong, individual style takes both time and effort to perfect. If, like me, you write for other people, their style will vary greatly from your own. That’s why learning to be your own Editor is great practice for when you end up having to deal with somebody else critiquing your work. There are however, certain things you really shouldn’t do, and it seems only fair to provide a list of those:

  • Take the first person out of your work. I did this and I did that is perfectly acceptable, in certain circumstances. The first person pronoun makes for a deeply personal insight, but often not for great writing. I’m going to use myself as an example of this: I think this post would be far better re-written without the excessive use of ‘I’ within it. The content’s sound, but the execution needs work. Using ‘we’ is a better idea for a lot of reasons, and it will make your whole blog resonate better with people you do not know.
  • Use a spell checker. Most blog interfaces provide one as standard anyway. Try to avoid abbreviations or excessive use of jargon/abbreviated speech. Imagine you’re talking to whoever you know personally who doesn’t have a clue about all this stuff and make it so they’d understand what’s going on. If you want people to notice your work, it isn’t just about what you write, but as much about how it is presented. 

    hiaustinpowers

  • Don’t make it personal. There’s going to be a whole week on this, because there’s been some notable legal events in the last couple of months that prove if you are libellous or slanderous to people, there are consequences. I’ve notably used a blog post to stop someone stalking me, but I can attest this is not to be recommended, especially not in the current climate. If you can’t keep it civil and pleasant, don’t write it. Go shout at people on Twitter instead… no, don’t do that either. Just be nice.
  • Explain yourself properly. The point of good blogging, at least for me, is making one point per post. After that you’ll find the retention rate of your audience tends to drop dramatically. Sure, you can make long complex arguments in blog posts, but the best work is when you set yourself a question to answer in X words, or you show your reasoning for something in Y words. Don’t waffle. Learn to work out what is useful in a sentence, and what’s just repeating the same point again.typing3.gif
  • Formatting is everything. If I had a business WordPress, which may well happen by the end of the year, SEO is a thing. If you have no idea what that means, here’s a guide Google made explaining how Search Engine Optimisation works. That, coupled with using formatting for improved readability (which the business version of WordPress will also offer as an option) gives you a better chance that people stay with your article and read until the end. For now? Don’t write massive blocks of dense text. Split it up, and stick pictures in between.

Having said all of that, I told you that ideas matter a great deal, and they do. A combination of information, entertainment and inspiration seems to be why people keep coming back to what I do. There’s stuff on daily events, things that matter to those playing the same games as me, and who maintain a comparable set of interests. I use the GIF as art, whenever possible, as a cheap laugh or to reinforce a bigger point. The fact I’m attempting self improvement via exercise, and that I suffer with mental health issues that I’m happy to discuss and dissect all form part of a complex landscape, that has become an online extension of my real-life self. I’m not expecting you to do all this when all you want is to help people play a game better or share your art. However, there should be a distinct part of you in every word you write. The passion is what matters most.

dramatickangaroo.gif

The enthusiasm and passion is what keeps the desire to write moving forward, even on the days when you seemingly have nothing to offer. For me, I’ve found a way to counter my lack of enthusiasm by creating a series of weekly ‘topics’: a banner headline under which I can write about an aspect of the general subject matter. That means, that once a week (unless a more important topic supplants it) I’m writing about my time in Warcraft, chronologically, from beginning to the present day. I have the headline, under which I’ve planned several months worth of potential subjects. What this gives me is a chance to both think ahead and know I have work to do even if the game is not particularly active and I don’t have a lot to say. This is a great way to keep your enthusiasm for work moving forward, by planning a larger subject to break down in parts. In fact, this Guide itself is being written on the exact same principle: weekly parts that will form an overall whole.

charliebrownspecial.gif

The other way that blogging is incredibly effective is if you have something in your life that you can react to/talk about. That trip to the end of the Earth, your battle with cancer, the problems starting a business, becoming a successful writer… all these things are subject matters someone will want to read about. It might be something that happened to you in childhood, or perhaps your attempts to find meaning in an increasingly complex world. If you have the time to talk to someone, you could write it down. If you find yourself spending more than three tweets in a day ranting about anything on line? That’s blog material, right there.

10514-inmyheadsurreal

Blogs can do many things, the only limit being your imagination. If you have ideas, the best thing you will ever do is not just jump in without giving them form and focus. In fact, planning may sound utterly pointless but it is more likely to keep you from just giving up and not bothering. It is, for me, the very foundation of effective blogging. You have the passion to write, and all the ideas required to do so and now it is time to give yourself a framework on which to hang them. In that notepad that you’ve been using for recalling inspiration, you now need a planner on which they can be placed

calender

Feel free to copy this and print it out on a sheet of A5/A4 or whatever size your notebook is. This is your first month of blogging. The launch date for your blog isn’t top left either: next week, using April 1st as our start point, I’ll show you how to prepare and plan a Blog launch in advance: from scheduling posts to engaging an audience before a word is even written. I hope, by suggesting this as a way forward, I’ll be able to keep enthusiasm going well past that first four weeks, and help you create and form good habits for years to come.

Blogging For Noobs :: The Masterplan

Right then, it’s only taken (counts fingers) three weeks and we’re already at the part in proceedings where you can start writing stuff. The last thing we want to do here at Alternative Towers is stifle any kind of creative urge, after all. However (and you knew this was coming) there are some caveats before you romp into the fields to commune with nature and create your first post. The bad news is that I’m going to ask you to think before we begin. You already have the impetus to write, or we wouldn’t be here, you’ll have subject matters you want to discuss and maybe even features to implement. Before ANY of that takes place, you need to place down some solid foundations.

However, you should be writing now. Longhand is fine, in a notebook on the way to work if you use public transport, using your phone’s dictation function if you drive. Start taking ideas from your mind and preparing them on some medium: I use the completely free and utterly awesome LibreOffice 5.1 and have done so for many years as my word processor of choice on the PC. The Mac uses Pages and every document I write is saved to a backup. It means that, a lot of the time, I never need to have blog software open, and am never tied to a strict regime. I can write whenever I like. That’s the key here. Once I have, more importantly, I don’t have to post that straight away. However, I am getting ahead of myself.

If it were as simple as just writing, you’d not need me. Therefore, over the next 10 weeks, we’re going to give you a basic framework which, I hope, won’t just encourage you to write but will give something to show for your efforts. By that I mean responses, satisfaction, and the incentive to continue writing beyond your initial investment. Each point is created from the point of view of someone who wrote, pretty much for the first four years of her blogging career, to an audience of no more than half a dozen people. That’s a tough ask on some days, but the results now justify the work before. So, without further ado, let’s get to the 10 Ways to Make Your Blogging Hobby Worthwhile.

talentindrinking

1  : Be passionate about every post

This is going to be tough, and next week I will help you deal with the days when there’s no words in your brain, or you just can’t make sense on the page. Part of this will depend on the ideas you’re already scribbling down as instructed back in Paragraph Two. It is totally possible to make every word matter, even on the bad days, you just have to want it enough.

groupselfie

2 : Organisation is your friend

It’s not just about having a vague idea of what to post on any given day: setting a time to write at the same time will help habits to form. Making sure you post at least twice a week, that you always try to exceed 400 words… these things will matter in the early weeks of establishing your ‘brand’ and we’ll cover all you need to know.

radcliffetried.gif

3 : Presentation IS everything

Despite what some people will tell you, you don’t have to write your Blog in English. Whatever language you do choose, correct spelling and punctuation however matter more than you might realise. Layout is also pretty important, if you want people not to give up reading because of boredom halfway through that 5000 word opus. We’ll show you how to make things fun, and still look like you made an effort.

bootyshake.gif

4 : Routine matters, not just for you…

Once people know you post twice a week, you’ll want to stick to that. That means learning how to schedule if you’re on a time budget, and keeping to deadlines. It’s all incredibly simple and means you can run a blog on one evening a week, assuming you’re organised enough. Once you know how, it really is simple, and will make you look more organised than you are…

alltheglasses.gif

5 : Understanding the morality of writing

Some will tell you starting a blog to become famous will only doom you to failure and they’re right, at least in part. Once you’re established as a blogger, you’ll need to interact with other people, and that means another set of rules and practicalities when it comes to content and sharing… and realising that sometimes, it isn’t just about the views. What matters more is your own immortal soul…

roblowgreatjob.gif

6 : Learning the Social media dance

Without doubt, Facebook and Twitter, along with Instagram and Tumblr will be absolutely indispensable in growing an audience for your work. It’s a fine line between promotion and flogging yourself to death, so the trick is to learn what’s the best time to post, and what to avoid when you do. Oh, and remember pictures. People love pictures, and the chance to win free stuff. Oh, and food GIFs…

blewmymind.gif

7 : Networking with other Bloggers pays dividends

You could be the miserable bugger who never talks to anybody else and just ploughs your own furrow, but realistically you’ll gain more from this entire experience by talking to other bloggers about their experiences and ideas. WARNING: this can be as frightening as it is enlightening, but if you take the plunge and begin to network, the results will surprise you.

you-can-do-it-.gif

8 : Believe in yourself

There’s going to come a point in this journey, like it or not, when the wheels come off your Blogging wagon, and you’ll be forced to decide if you continue or end your journey. Adversity is a lot easier to deal with when someone’s got your back, and we’ll explain how to come when it all goes Pete Tong on your homepage. Yes, this will be difficult, but at least you have two months to plan for it.

adeleissorry.gif

9 : Doing the ‘Right Thing’

Yes, there’s going to be an obligatory post on morality, decency and not using blogging for evil. If you’re the person who’s reading this Guide so you can start slagging off people who wronged you on Usenet 20 years ago? I’m going to tell you how it is, and frankly you won’t like it when I do. There’s also a reason the bad stuff’s at the end of this Guide, and you’ll see why that matters more than anything else you’ll ever consider in the journey.

chuckthumbsup.gif

10 : Love what you do

If you make it to 10 weeks hence and are still reading? We’re preparing a certificate to print out and keep. By then, it will be time to reflect on all we have learnt, and why after eight years I still wake up and look forward to the first cuppa I drink and the first post I write. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be here now. It’s still the best job in the world, and long may that feeling of euphoria continue… or maybe that’s just too much caffeine…


So, there you have it: now you know what’s coming, it’s time to start planning. Next week, we’ll consider passion, emotion, and how you come up with blog post ideas, the way to keep your content flowing, and the things to avoid in your first weeks of communicating with the Real World.

GSME #4 :: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

This experiment is now a month old, and if you measure success by growth… well, we’re still getting there.

thisweek_march20
What ought to be mentioned at this point is that I’m spending less time on Twitter than I have at any point in probably the last year, especially at weekends. I’m conscious of filling feeds with pointless ranting (which did happen a lot before, it must be said) and as I’ve focussed on quality over quantity, the numbers have dropped. However, undoubtedly this was one of my best weeks of social media for quite some time, because I have learnt all about how devoted my current audience remains, and that there is a willingness to support me as I move my personal endeavours forward. Here, if I needed it, is the assertion that numbers are not what matters in your social media feed, but commitment.

gladiator

The biggest single reason why people press unfollow for me is posting frequency: it is a delicate balancing act to maintain, after all. How much is too much promotion? Of course you want to engage with an audience but there can easily come a point where they get sick of the sound of you, if yours is the only content they’ll see: this is especially true of those who actively curate and don’t necessarily engage actively, but will take an interest if a subject matter stimulates sufficiently. Blogging gives a chance for people to read at their speed and in their own time: tweeting is pretty much about immediacy and quick impact. Getting the two medium to mesh is not impossible, however, as I have discovered this week to my surprise and pleasure.

This was the week I discovered that a graphic can do more for my front facing interests than any number of ranty Tweets will alone. What I should have done here, and will do going forward, is add the Warcraft site’s URL to the Tweet for maximum exposure. I’ll be looking at this as a means to build an audience going forward, but there are other ways to increase exposure. I’ve taken a rather unprecedented step and, for a month I’ll be paying $19.99 to see if I can use somebody else’s software to increase my audience. In the interests of full transparency it makes sense to do this because, as a writer, my subject matter only gets a small showing across the current base of readership I have. If this helps in any way stick me outside of the niche I currently inhabit? Then it is worth the effort. I could have stuck with a free account, but I am reliably informed that now I have a 500,ooo ‘reach’ for my work. It’s all part of the Experiment, after all, so we’ll see how this works going forward.

randomwandexciting.gif

That means I’ll be shifting the personal blog posts off for promotion, plus the weekly Blog Guides, and seeing where that gets me. If there’s any improvement (or otherwise) in my reach, it should show in the next week’s figures.

I look forward to seeing if paying for aggregation is worth my while as a niche content producer.

Blogging for Noobs :: Say My Name

Last week, I told you to think up a great name for your blog, and now you’re staring at the bit of paper with this written on and wondering what your next move is. Blogging does not demand you to have cash to begin (though the assumption you have a computer and reliable access is a given.) However, I do know someone who, for many years, possessed neither and still blogged successfully via the wonders of a Library. It is possible, if you want to write badly enough, to manage with nothing and still get the words out. Having established this, there are some things to note before suggesting a domain purchase is the way forward.

domain4

Any brand marketeer worth their click-throughs will tell you that as a successful website you’ll want a domain to match your product: however, with a finite number of sites available to purchase (and by definition the same with physical addresses) you are and will be somewhat limited in choices. HOWEVER I need to state here that as a blogger, a personalised domain is not necessary in the first instance. Many sites currently provide free, basic hosting at no charge, and you don’t need anything other than yourself. If you want to dry-run your writing experience and are worried that all this cost up front won’t be worth it, then it does not need to be spent. Assuming the name you chose is still available and you don’t mind the name of the hosting platform tacked on too? We can stop having this conversation and you can skip to the next part of the Guide.

talentindrinking.gif

For everybody else? You can buy a custom URL in all manner of places, and sites such as Worldpress will happily pretend they own the domain and point your webpages at it. Google’s Blogger service remains free at the basic level but will insist if you have an address that GoDaddy host it: for me this was the final straw to change providers after a seven year relationship. This is not the place to go into details about how huge companies do their business, but my shift to WordPress was a lot to do with having more personal control and owing/registering domains via a third party I choose and that isn’t forced on me. You don’t have to do this either: WordPress will do that job, Blogger’s perfectly acceptable as entry level publishing as indeed will any number of ‘independent’ website construction sites.

The bottom line is simple: if all you want to do is write? Get a free space and get started, and worry about registering a domain later. If you are serious about doing this long-term, initially register a domain via a third party for 12 months and pick a website provider that uses ‘web forwarding’ as a means of pointing that to your site. If, after a year of being ‘free’ you’re still happy with the situation and want to continue, then you can look at more concrete solutions. What you shouldn’t at this stage be doing is worrying about the mechanics, or throwing wads of cash at something you might give up at a later date. For me, WordPress’ choice of themes, their own hassle free setup and the fact I’ve used them since they were established was all I needed to finally consolidate all my online homes in one place.

typing4.gif

There also needs to be a mention made of webpage suffixes. You don’t need a .com to be cool, kids, and if as I know some of you would like to remain as anonymous as possible online, having a US-based suffix may cause issues if registered elsewhere. When you register a domain, you will be asked for your name and address, and in most cases this cannot be spoofed to avoid people looking you up using ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.) However, if you register UK suffixes in the UK, Nominet (The Official Registry for UK Domain Names) will give you the option to hide personal details. I could hide my personal information but considering my .net’s been in the public domain for over a decade, it’s probably saved on so many cache pages as to be not worth the hassle. However, please bear in mind that registering adult stuff like domains means a measure of responsibility, which might be another reason to go free first before committing long term.

dontevencare

Okay, that’s the mechanics of the process sorted, but there’s one more question to ask. Does it matter what you call yourself? Did you not read last week’s introduction? Yes, OF COURSE IT DOES, but as we will discuss next week you are not necessarily doing this to become an overnight sensation. What the right name does is give you the opportunity to create your own brand, which is basically what everybody else in the World who wants to be noticed is also attempting to do. The difference between them and us is simple: we’re smart. This is, ultimately, your first lesson in branding, but right now what is far more important is CONTENT, which is where we start now. Your name, ultimately, will help get the word out once you’ve established a reliable content stream you are comfortable with controlling.

Next up therefore, you’ll need a word processing programme and something to type on. It doesn’t need to be flash or fancy, and all it really needs to be able to do is record your thoughts.

Next week? WE START WRITING SHIT.

GSME #3 :: Hard Rain

This week has been full of revelations. The most significant one by far entails what’s now happening as I try and bend Twitter to my will in terms of views:

thisweek_march13

Trying to force things to go your way on a platform where other people define the rules will not go well. I can pretend that it matters I’m dictating content, but inevitably the best work comes when that isn’t the case. Twitter is an immensely organic space, and that’s become more apparent to me now than at any point in my current progress. However, there are those who manipulate it to suit very specific ends, but to do this successfully requires a pretty high number of followers. I’m also beginning to suspect that the rumours over exactly how many accounts are run by real people may be true: the sensible people are already jumping ship and even the President of the United States has gone quieter than usual. If your job is to fool the robots and appease the people who are using Twitter as a chat client? You’ll need to know how both parties think and operate to succeed.

pie_1pie_2pie_3pie_4

The midweek blip you can see above was caused by this tweet, which was subsequently retweeted by Mr Jonathan Pie to his 50k followers. As you can see, engagement is pretty much woeful but the number of people who at least acknowledged the tweet is significant. That magic 5% is quite hard to hit with the more followers you possess, unless you’re pushing hard with pictures and means to draw individuals in. The timing is important too: after 9 hours the tweet was forgotten, useless as an advertising tool. This is an indicator to smart people that when you Tweet is almost as important as what is in it, and why understanding your audience is an important factor in guaranteeing long term success.

This also means that in a break from normal practice, I’m following people now whose sole task it is to sell Twitter as a way to be popular. These accounts effectively offer you filler for your own feed: the virtual equivalent of a well placed designer throw or a piece of important pottery by an upcoming artist on a shelf. The accounts that offer you inspirational quotes, funny asides and carefully-selected news articles do so entirely to fuel their own pretensions of grandeur, and the more retweets they can manage, the better becomes their reach. I’ve discovered that this is what people can also legitimately claim to be a ‘job’ though I’ll freely admit, talking to robots does not sound like my idea of fun.

However, undoubtedly there is money to be had, or else why else would all these people be so desperate to keep trying to up their followers?

nobodycares4

Last week’s lessons are simple: don’t try too hard. By far the best work I’ve done on this platform involves not sweating anything: in fact, the more spontaneous and organic I allow things to become, the better the return for my effort. What it also means is that I’ll be rethinking a few of my approaches to other stuff this week: I am spreading myself a bit too thin, and as writing for me is the main goal here (and not becoming a new media guru ahead of that) I’ll be dropping some plans that had been considered going forward. Also, I promise I won’t start filling my feed with pointless yet cleverly structured rubbish. All of my Tweets remain 100% home produced and farmed, with letters and words purely of my own devising.

That alone should make me unique in parts of this Community for some time to come.

Introduction to Blogging

I am a noob. I’ve been writing now for 42 years, and there are still days I cannot string a coherent sentence together. Despite having an English degree, I am lost without a spell checker. However ‘good’ anyone tells you they are, we’re all noobs when it comes to words and bad days. You never stop learning how to write until you’re not writing any more… and no, I’m not going to get all maudlin on you before we’re out of the first paragraph. In the week, a very good friend of mine asked if I’d be willing to offer some advice on how I cope with three blogs on the go simultaneously, and it seems like a fairly decent shout, to be honest. There is a method to it, and I am more than capable of sharing that. Therefore, once a week on Fridays from now on (and no this doesn’t get me out of anything else, don’t worry) I will present for you How to Blog Gud, or at least what I’ve learnt having done this for nearly a decade.

gym_time.gif

You don’t need to be fit to do this, but you will require a level of organisation that has to start with one question: what are you going to name your Blog? This might seem quite tenuous or indeed pointless when all you want to do is write, but trust me when I say to you that the name you pick has a great deal of relevance going forward. First of all, if you want to have a custom domain, a Twitter handle to advertise your efforts, or even a Facebook page with the Blog name writ large, you’re going to need to pick something that nobody else has. Ironically, naming will probably be the single most difficult part of this entire process, because it can become a reflection on what you finally evolve into as a writer. I’ve owned the laughing-geek.com domain since May 2004. I knew that was going to be my online identity well before I got around to making it into a functioning website: I’m not suggesting that level of organisation to begin with, but so you understand where I’m working from, La Geek Qui Rit matters as a ‘brand’ I can be identified with.

rickmanswag.gif

Before next week, therefore, I’d like you to think about not just what you’d like to call yourself, but what you’re going to be writing about. As has previously been established, I run three blogs because, as things stand, there is a need to separate the distinct subject matters I write about. This is my Writing Place, and the Warcraft Blog… well that’s pretty self explanatory. It might therefore seem odd to have La Geek Qui Rit existing at all but as I discovered, it is useful as a place that runs alongside the two, that binds and effectively ties all three together. People like things to be distinct and separate when it comes to blogging, far more so than is accommodated on Social media, which thrives far more on the random and unpredictable. Some of my friends don’t even know the Warcraft blog exists, others have only ever seen my Writing… and the ‘personal’ blog is becoming slowly more popular than both. With these different places, I can grow and evolve as an author.

If blogging will be a serious or long term concern for you, then it will need to reflect the diversity of your interests, or the specific nature of your desires. You will need to decide what you want to do with it, and how long you think it will last. The name really does matter, more than perhaps anything else you’ll decide before we go forward, as will exactly what it is you want to write about. I strongly suggest that you spend an hour in a quiet moment with a favourite beverage of choice and think really hard about what it is you want to achieve, and list at least 10 ‘general’ subject areas you could cover on any given day. If all of those are gaming-related? You’re a gaming blogger. If you’re covering a far wider range of subjects? The you don’t want a name that just sells you playing.

toobad.gif

After that? Well, it’s about an hour’s work and you can be blogging almost immediately. All the hard work is in this first step, and if you’re reading this and are not sure how to proceed, I AM HERE TO HELP 😀 I’ve helped name countless Blogs over the years, and my names have in some cases long outlasted the friendships that encouraged people to write in the first place. If you are stuck for a name, I’ll be happy to brainstorm with you, just come find me @AlternativeChat on Twitter. I love helping people take this important first step, and it cements my commitment to help people start writing and communicating their ideas to a wider audience. Plus, any opportunity to get people writing is okay in my book.

Without further ado: what are you going to call yourself and why?