*this post is part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative – if you’re new to the world of MMO blogs or thinking about starting one, check out the site!*
Part and parcel of starting a new blog is, quite simply, deciding how you’re going to set up what you want to write about, and then naming your blog. Do you want to write about PVP? Maybe how to make tons of gold? Passionate about high-level raiding?
That’s all pretty easy to think about, but when you’re just getting started, quite honestly, you don’t know for sure what you’ll be writing about in three or six months. You also don’t know how limited you’ll find your chosen topic. Those things just come with time and practice.
So be careful, and don’t fence yourself in with a name.
Don’t pick a name like Pete’s Priestly Ponderings unless you are REALLY sure that in 6 months you’ll still have a priest as a main and not have run out of priestly things to say.
If you are even remotely tempted by alts, a class (or role) name may turn out to be too restricting. While some restriction is good, because it helps you focus what you want to write about, overly restricting yourself can set you up for the dreaded blogger’s block!
While it’s good to give yourself a focus, it’s not always good to name your blog after that focus.
We’ll take the example of Pete and his Priestly Ponderings. Say Pete really likes his priest right now, and has a list of 10 or so posts he thinks he could write about priests. So he queues up a new wordpress.com or blogspot.com blog and gets started. He manages to keep from being too enthusiastic and posting all 10 ideas in two days, and sets himself up on a posting schedule. In a few weeks, between his comments on other blogs and posts on twitter and other social media, he’s getting a few comments every week and his pageviews are going up. Then he writes a really excellent guide to Priestly Thingies just before a major patch, and his traffic skyrockets.*
That sounds pretty awesome right? Pete’s effectively set up an audience of other priests to create his blogging community.
But then… then Pete rolls a mage on a night when his usual raid is canceled. All of a sudden, mageing is really, really fun. It’s different! And new!
And his blog is all about priests!
What to do? Well, certainly for a few posts as a side project, there’s nothing wrong with posting about his mage alt on his Previously Primarily Priests blog. Most people have alts, after all.
But what happens when, after he gets his mage to 85, Pete decides to switch mains? That happens all the time – especially at expansion switches. (I know I’ve had a main switch with every expansion, though I was a shaman for both BC and Cataclysm)
Pete now feels kind of pinched by his Priestly Ponderings blog title. (Admittedly, if Pete doesn’t care, this doesn’t matter as much.) So he’s left to either write about mages all the time on a blog that labels itself about priests, or he has to switch blogs.
And switching blogs is, essentially, starting over – while some readers will follow you, you lose the continuity of community.
Of course this is a simplistic example. There are plenty of bloggers who picked a class and stuck with it, and other bloggers who picked a class name and are writing about whatever they feel like. But most bloggers go through some wandering before they settle on their true “calling” as writers.
It took me almost two years to get to writing much about RP, and that’s been my primary niche (or was, but getting back into it is a topic for another post). It also took me two tries to come up with the name Too Many Annas, but the flexibility of the name has let me switch mains, switch topics, and even (for a little while) switch games.
There are plenty of guides out there about how to name a blog. (Google!)
MMO blogging has a lot of the same concerns, but if you want to set up for the long haul, be careful not to pick a name that you’re going to wish you could change in a month or two. You can pick things like factions, or a character naming trend. A favorite passion in game, a profession you like, or even a favorite item. While you CAN change your name (I did, after my first month of blogging), you take a setback in the form of readers and community.
So be careful, as you get started.
Don’t fence yourself in!
*These are all good tips for new bloggers as well!
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