Regular Features as a Form of Content

Regular Features as a Form of Content

Whether new to the scene or an old hand, from time to time it can feel like your post ideas have dried up. There’s no handy news to respond to. Your games have become a series of dailies with all the engagement of a wet paper bag. Well shiz. What to do?

Sorry. This post probably won’t help with that directly. Roger Edwards has just written something which might though. Instead, Regular Features can help by giving you some reliable content to ensure the gaps between posts never get too large. That you don’t get yourself into a position of feeling like you can’t come back now.1

Regular features can help. But there are some pitfalls watch out for too.

You can make a feature out of essentially anything.

A round up of your favourite posts from around the community perhaps. Or a look at your month in review — what games you played or projects you worked on. Although you could just as easily pick a different cadence. Weekly, fortnightly, quarterly and/or even a mega wrap-up yearly.

You might even set yourself some gaming goals for the period ahead and discuss how you did at the end. Aywren does a great series of this kind. So does Syp. Although this is far too structured for me. I can’t even guarantee any given game will carry on being played one month to the next. ;)

Got a massive backlog? Endgame Viable for Blaugust is posting every day after running through a title for about an hour. It’s not a review, just impressions generated during that dedicated chunk of time. You could adapt this idea to into a weekly or fortnightly feature, perhaps.

Or maybe you’re just looking to supplement your regular posts with something a little lower in effort, but still nice for your readers. Possibly as a weekend cover piece. The Nerdy Bookahs have this covered with Screenshot Saturdays.

Myself, I run two features at the moment. Maybe two and a half if we’re being generous. The core two being the monthly Journal and another on the Humble Monthly inclusions.2 Unfortunately for me, these both land at fairly similar times which is one of the potential issues you may need to watch out for.

Namely, not overloading yourself with too much at any one point in time. Or even just overall.

But if that does happen? If you’re starting to feel too pressured by the number of features you’ve got setup, or if you feel that you’re now posting nothing but these things — let your least favourite ones go.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It isn’t a failure. If they’ve stopped being fun to do as an overall experience then something has to give.

Don’t let it be your entire blog.

Footnotes

  1. Although we all feel that way when it happens, try to remember you absolutely can. Everyone will be happy to have you back. Just post! :)
  2. The ‘half’ being when I update the sidebar, these are ‘roughly’ once a month, but not really on a set schedule, nor do I separately tag or categorise them.

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4 thoughts on “Regular Features as a Form of Content”

  1. I try the monthly goals for a bit but it ended up in disaster for me as I have too much ADD to keep up with them. A monthly look back at what I played works much better!

    Your post made me consider doing the backlog First Impressions column but I am afraid if I like the game I might end up playing way more than an hour and just drop whatever other games I am playing. XD
    Rakuno recently posted…Challenge is not for meMy Profile

    • Haha, that could definitely happen to me too if I did an hour impressions column. I have trouble sticking to titles as it is.

      I haven’t tried a month in advance goals type posts, but yup, pretty sure would be disastrous if I did. So… Not gonna. A lot of people have been talking to their love of structure lately though. So perhaps those ideas fit better for them! =)

  2. Regular features, columns and diaries can be a life saver, especially if they are effectively a summary of activities. However, not all have to be adhere to a fixed timetable. I write “A Month in Gaming” at the start of each new month to account for what I’ve been up to in the various MMOS I play.

    But other recurring posts such as “The Idiot Box” and “Thoughts on Blogging” are on an “as and when” basis. I also do a regular thing about music from games, movies and TV. I make no bones about the fact that these usually go out on a Sunday when I’m in a hurry and want a quick post. However, I genuinely like the material that is posted.

    Essentially, regular features are intended to serve the writers needs and should not become a stick to be beaten with. As ever with writing, do what works for you. If you need to adapt an idea for it to succeed, then do so.

    • 100% Agree — if a regular (or semi-regular) feature stops working for you, adapt it or let it go. Let these be an aid, not a rod for your own back.

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