Wednesday, 23 March 2011

50 Not Out

50Well this is my 50th post, who’d have thought it? After three months of toiling away, I’ve managed 50 (FIFTY) blog posts (and two guides).  In that time, I’ve managed to nearly triple my regular reader, found out a hell of a lot about the WOW blog scene, frittered away countless otherwise dull hours on the train, and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.

To celebrate this arbitrary milestone of insignificance, I thought I’d write a few words about the experiences I’ve had so far, what's gone well and not so well, and where I’m planning to go in the future.  I’ve also got a little surprise under my hat about an upcoming article, more of that later.

Lets start, as all good theorycrafters do, with some stats.  As i mentioned, I’ve amassed 50 blog posts in my time as a blogger since the 13th Jan, that’s 50 posts in 69 days, not a bad waffle ratio if you ask me.  I’m not sure what to say about my traffic levels, then again, I’m not sure what I expected.  Its quite variable from day to day but I’m generally averaging in the several 10s of hits per day.  having just scanned through the limited stats that blogger gives it seems my hits have more than doubled week on week since I started, at this rate,every person on the planet will be reading my blog on a weekly basis by the end of the year….  My top read posts have been one of my originals on my first heroic which generated quite a bit of early interest, the idiots guide to simulationcraft, an article on hit caps for shadow priests, and quite surprisingly my blog not so long ago about net neutrality; the latter has been up for the shortest period but seems to have attracted a lot of attention. 

I’ve had a little bit of attention from the blogging community as a whole, not much, but a bit, making it onto the blog roles of one or two other popular sites, and getting the occasional mention in peoples twitter feeds and the like.  I’ve recently featured on the welcome wagon on twisted nether which provided a welcome boost to traffic.  Looking down the referral sites on the stats, twitter features heavily (I advertise pretty much every blog post on there).  Quite surprisingly (actually, not so surprising if you read the guides to blogging) my comments on others blog posts which provide a link back to my post are one of the main referral methods.  Most pleasing is the fact I’m now starting to get random referrals from Google searches so i must be doing something right.

On the critical side, and having wrote a blog about constructive criticism, I don’t think I could get away without this paragraph; I’d obviously like more hits, I’m not disappointed with the traffic levels by any means, but I suspect if you asked any blogger if they’d like more traffic they wouldn’t say no.  My main disappointment is the number of comments I get, or lack there of.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten a few, but I’d love to get more engaged with my regular reader and see what he / she thinks, not sure what I can do to remedy this other than keep on posting and hoping.  I suppose I’d also like to wade into a few more unique posts, the trouble with unique, is it requires a lot of time and generally access to the game to test things; for example, if I was to compare the relative merits of shielding people over direct healing, it’s a pretty easy comparison on the face of it, but unless you can sit in front of the game and collect figures with different talent builds, it’s hard to back your thoughts up with facts.  I don’t get the luxury of this in my normal journalistic pose (Coach C to London Liverpool Street…) and if I do it at home it cuts into my already constrained playing time.

Where do I go from here then? well firstly its the bread and butter of a blogger, posting, I’ll be keeping up the posts.  I’ve got a decent base now, so the regularity might drop slightly in favour of some of the more practical type posts outlined above.  I think I’m going to try and whore myself out, if anyone will have me, and try a guest post on post on someone else's blog.  I wont to do this for two reasons; firstly to engage a bit more with other bloggers who’ve been at it for far longer than me and see how they go about their business of blogging.  Secondly, I’m intent of getting myself a mention on one of the bigger sites, such as wow insider, this is less important than my first objective, and might happen naturally without me doing anything, but a bit of self publicity can’t hurt.

And finally, a mention to that little surprise, and a bit of uniqueness (as I’ve not read another blog on the subject), I’ve been working on an interview with a Game Master the last few days, that's right! a real, live, Game Master.  I’ve asked him a whole host of questions and will be spending the next few days editing them down into something readable, possibly over two posts as there's so much information.  I’ve been genuinely surprised by some of his answers so am hoping it’ll be a good way to mark the blogs big Five-O.  Watch this space.

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