Survived the First Month!
I figured I’d better take a look, as I had an inkling that the first month’s anniversary of this place would be up soon. I thought it was a bit later in the month, but nope. Today. (Good thing I looked.)
Out of morbid curiosity, I also took a look at what the average life-expectancy of a ‘new blog’ is. The general answer I found is 100 days. I couldn’t see any sort of data to back that assertion and my own estimate would’ve put it at around 180 days. Either way, it’s not long.
My prior experience lasted multiple years, tis true. But that was also over several different blogging projects. One post when I’d made a return from an unscheduled hiatus on ‘Fun in Games’ (September 2011) had the following line in it:
My last post was back in May. My last regular post was from April. The last post of mine I actually liked was somewhere back in March.Naithin on Fun in Games — now surviving via the Web Archive Project — Scroll down to ‘I’ll be Back’ post.
As great as the Web Archive Project is, it isn’t infallible (especially for smaller sites) so I can’t go back and see what post from March I would’ve been talking about. ‘Older Posts’ does go to a record of page 2, but it’s an older one, skipping March and going to February.
But it sounds like I’d lost the drive somewhere along the way, likely as a result of quitting WoW again. Despite nominally being a more general gaming blog, WoW was certainly at the centre of my posting there. I didn’t really break away from that until my last blog project, Modicum of Gaming1.
In any case — I want to beat the 100 day timeline. I want to beat the 365 day timeline. Longer. Maybe one day, even be grown-up enough in blogging (2+ years) to mentor new up and comers in a future Blaugust!
I don’t want to fade off again.
Planning for Success
Uh, right. This would be the part where, if I knew what I was doing, I’d outline the plans I have to ensure continued success. (Success at this point being defined simply as: Not stopping.)
- Post Schedule: Often..ish…? Oh, like days? … Yes.
- Post Content: Also yes. Definitely need some of this. Loot…games?
OK, truth be told — it boils down to ‘wing it’. I’ve always been more of a discovery person than a planner person anyway.
Circling back to post-content again, and revisiting some of my old blogs thanks to the magic of the internet, I see I used to veer wildly off-topic. Well; at least from the ‘core’ topic of the games themselves.
There were community posts, various bloggerly type ideas and more. Some of those might even have been amongst my favourite content. So without going nuts on it (before I eventually created a more ‘IRL’ blog for writing, book reviews, etc) I think I’ll loosen the reigns a little bit on what I’ll ‘let’ myself cover here.
I found those posts to give me the best freedom of expression and ultimately the ability to find my own ‘voice’ in blogging. Something I’ve certainly struggled with since making a return, something I was discussing with Scopique from Levelcapped just earlier today.
Examining the Motives
I’d be lying if I even tried to claim I’m not interested in a readership. Of course I am. But if there is one piece of advice I feel confident in sharing to anyone planning to embark on the path of blogging, that is not to put this front and centre of your motivations — especially while starting out.
You need to be OK essentially just writing into the void to start with, building up content and readers slowly.
I’m good with this, and something that really stuck with me to help through this phase came from Wilhelm of The Ancient Gaming Noob, if you look at his About page, you’ll see the main expressed reason for writing is as a journal of gaming events, a personal history.
This resonates strongly with me and something I want to be able to do in the years to come. I cannot say how often I’ve attempted to go back and find old forum posts, to find old conversations and even try recall what my reasoning was for a given position on something.
Well, here we go. :)
That Said, How Did Month 1 Go?
It has been an interesting month to be sure. Not shown on that chart is the day or two prior where I’d written the about page and the ‘Hello!‘ post, but had not yet so much as tweeted the existence of this place.
I’ve changed the theme no less than three times, the header banner no less than twice. And the thrust of the blog? Now once, given my interest in pursuing a wider array of topics than I was perhaps allowing myself to before.
In terms of posting, I joked about this in the prior section, but this will be post 25 in a bit over 30 days. Is that a pace I can maintain? Uncertain. I used to average around 2 posts a week, but I have felt no ill effects of the current pace.
I’ll take it as it comes, I think, with an expected minimum of one a week barring time away and that kind of thing.
Overall I’m happy. I’m still finding my feet again to be sure but it has been really great reacquainting myself with the blogger community new and old and in general discovering that blogging still has a place in the world.
I had started to fear that perhaps the likes of YouTube and Reddit even had fully consumed the niche blogging had in the world. Perhaps they have eaten blogging’s lunch a little, but it seems we have plenty of life to go on with yet. :)