Thursday, April 01, 2010

How to start an EVE Online Blog

I've been wanting to write this post for sometime now. Over the last few months I've received a number of emails from you, from Mark, Todd, Jamie and a few others, all asking for tips and advice on how to start an EVE Online blog.

The following is an attempt to answer as much as I can about how to start, and most importantly how to maintain, a successful EVE blog. The post is divided in some general advice on starting a blog, tips on writing, building a readership and finally some general advice and great sites that have helped me at the beginning of my EVE blogging career.

As always, please feel free to send me your questions, advice and tips by email or in the comments below!

Starting an EVE Online Blog
First, you'll need to know where to host your blog, and whether you'll host it yourself through a provider, or use an existing platform. There are benefits to both. I have my blog hosted through Blogger's Blogspot service. Others will use the WordPress platform and put up their blog on a hosting service like Lonetrek Hosting or others. Besides or, an other simple yet powerful platform is - which is specifically geared for EVE Bloggers. In the end, they're all great means to host your blogs. Pick the one you're most comfortable with, depending on your level of geekiness!

Picking a Name
This is something people have either great difficulty doing, or show the most originality. I can't help you very much here, except to tell you to look at the current EVE Blogsphere listing and make sure the name you're leaning towards isn't already taken, or isn't too similar to one that already exists - Adventures..., A Pirates'... or EVE Online... are examples of what to avoid these days.

Picking a Topic
This is fairly easy. All I can say is write about what you want, what makes the game tic for you. If you're a jack of all trades, then write about everything that you dabble and dibble in EVE. If you focus on Production and Manufacturing, or Missioning for example, then please write about that. In the end, it's your blog, and you should do what feels right for you. Your blog might start with a specific focus on a particular aspect of the life of a capsuleer, and overtime, diversify in a multitude of topics. So be it!

Write with Style and Attitude
If you want your blog to stick out and get noticed, you'll need to establish a style that's unique to you. Your blog is your stake in the EVE Blogsphere, you're king of that hill, so make it your own! Don't worry too much about this at the start of your EVE Blogging career, that'll come with time and with posts. Some folks might not like or appreciate the style of Spectre and his blog EVE Newb, but no one can deny that the guy has a style of his own. Find yours!

Be Consistent and Regular
No, I'm not talking about All Bran here! What I am talking about is keeping a consistent regular posting schedule. You might post once a day, or once a week, but whatever it is, stick to it. The worst you can do is not post for two months, then have 12 posts in a period of 3 days. I myself try to post once a day on weekdays. I tend not to post anything on the week-ends (the life of a Gamer Dad makes that very difficult), but sometimes I do. In the end, your readers' appreciation, and your abilities as a writer will only improve if you post on a regular basis. Pick a schedule and stick to it!

Be Active in the EVE Blogging Community
The best way to ensure that your blog gets noticed is to read other EVE bloggers blogs and comment on their post, to write your own posts in answer to theirs. If you've got the time, or can manage the distraction, get a Twitter account, follow the TweetFleet, and tweet your blog posts - using a service like TwitterFeed for example. Being active in the community will ensure that others visit your blog and comment on your posts. Only by giving first, can you receive later. Pay it forward.

Get noticed by the Community
In order to get readership and get people to notice your blog you can do a number of things:


Some Great Blogs that'll Make You a Better EVE Blogger
Over the last 5 years of blogging, I've come across some very informative and helpful blogs which have allowed me to improve myself as a blogger, as a writer and as an EVE community member. The following list, though not exhaustive, should provide enough reading material and advice to guide you through your path to EVE Blogging Nirvana.

Blogging in general:
Specific Article on Improving your Blogging:
Though the blogs and links above apply to blogging in general and are not specific to blogging about MMOs or even EVE Online for that matter, all have been very useful in my evolution as an EVE Online Blogger. Hopefully they'll also be helpful for you.

In the end, remember that this is all for fun and pleasure! Enjoy!



KaarBaak said...

One of the things that I have found that can be difficult for a new blogger: You won't be CK on day 1 of blogging. Taking the advice in this post to heart and being patient, will slowly build up your reputation.

Don't be discouraged if your readership takes some time. And if nothing else...blogging is at least good therapy for yourself...even if nobody else is reading ;o)


Bahamut said...

... but the All Bran...

Great post! I'd love to join Tweetfleet but I don't want to have to create a second Twitter account for it, as my EVE stuff isn't the only thing I blog about and the EVE blog isn't the only blog I'm pimping.

Anonymous said...

The worst you can do is not post for two months, then have 12 posts in a period of 3 days.

*coughs* I wouldn't know anyone who'd do that.

BadKarma1980 said...

Thanks Crazykinux! This is great advice for a fledgling blogger like myself. Its great to know that there's support out there for those of us who are just recently testing the water of the Eve blogging pool, like myself.

I've already started doing many some of these things in my new blog, which is great, but what's better is to have this guide to give me a bump in the right direction towards the many areas that I may have overlooked.

I'm just hoping that I have what it takes to make a contribution to the Eve bloggin community, whether large or small :-)

Anonymous said...

Great advice; it's difficult to get started, and once you do it's difficult to continue -- especially if you feel your work isn't being read.

I started with Tumblr which, for me, was a big mistake. I'd suggest that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in the beginning is deciding where to host your blog (for me, all the free choices were in the mix).

I wrote a little article on my own blog now that I've decided on WordPress:

I'm not at all suggesting a new blogger use WordPress; rather, I'm suggesting some serious research into what hosting platforms offer and what you want from your blog.

On the "is my blog being read" front (for narcissists like me), Tumblr doesn't have a statistics page telling you how many views you've had, where WordPress does. ;)

Achernar said...

The "give first and receive later" rule is good practice, but I would add you need to give content and not just "thumbs up" or congratulations. The nature of the Google Web and the necessity to communicate in order to fit within a community should not have us forget that people have precious little time to spend on our websites. So, let's get to the point asap and provide genuinely new content whenever possible.

I have a post about a slightly different topic : "Reporting about Eve for outsiders"

YoMma said...

Great post CK.

I wholeheartedly agree on the whole "patience" aspect, these things do take time to grow and to filter out there. Also there's the "settling in" period where people are finding their voice and getting into a particular groove.

Also, some great advice from paritybit in regards to choosing your platform.

jtyler said...

Good stuff CK. Solid on all points. Bottom line is you have to do it FOR YOURSELF, or you aren't going to satisfy anyone, and you'll burn out.

CK, one thing I'd throw in is considering Tumblr on your list of platforms to use. It works beautifully for the Chronofile. It's low maintenance, simple, mobile, and surprisingly flexible. For those that simply want to write without all the extra 'stuff' cluttering up their blog, it's hard to beat.


Myrhial Arkenath said...

Didn't know there was an official fansite listing. Submitted my blog to it now. Bookmarked this post to review everything under "Some Great Blogs that'll Make You a Better EVE Blogger" later on. Thanks for all the advice!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!

I'd definitely recommend resources like ProBlogger. Although he focuses more about how to make money with a blog (which is not going to happen with such a niche subject as MMOs) he does have fantastic articles about blogging in general.

Eelis Kiy said...

Nice post, very helpfull.

Something I've found really usefull for getting decent detailed traffic information from is Google Analytics.