If you watch closely, I’m going to perform a magic trick for you.

I’m going to turn a top five list into a commentary on motivation, and how to keep it.

A few days back now, SDWeasel of Unidentified Signal Source posted a list of his top five, most viewed posts. It followed on as an idea spawned by another top five list — your top five game series started by Krikket.1 The stars just so happened to align between SDW’s post and the topic of Blapril that week (motivation) to form yet another idea for me.

This idea!

Although… Perhaps one of the stars was a laggard, who then came in too fast knocking everything just ever so slightly off again. Because the timing wasn’t right. Another post had to take priority that night. Then with month end — another. Usually when an idea gets pushed out for more than a day, that idea is dead as a dodo. Even if it isn’t strictly speaking a news piece or possess any other quality of necessary timeliness. For me — if an idea comes and the iron isn’t struck while hot; with very few exceptions the draft will (eventually) find it’s way to the trash.

In any case; this is all rather besides the point. It’s backstory. Setup. Necessary positioning for the main event.

Motivation can be a fickle beast. Certainly this is true for me at least. As it relates to blogging, it’s sometimes necessary to change things up a little. The more frequently you post; the more true this becomes I think. Bhagpuss had some great thoughts on this at about the same time SDW’s list post, and it occurred to me another way to vary things up.

High Effort vs. Low Effort Posts

And in this context, I don’t mean ‘low effort’ in the derogatory term it is often used to describe someone’s content or contribution. I simply mean it in the relative sense. High effort posts might require research. Extensive screenshotting, image editing and layout adjustments in your post. Or it might be a deeply personal subject that requires more of you mentally.

Low effort, by comparison, might be something you can write as fast as you would a comment. Something you can stream of conscious out. There isn’t anything ‘heavy’ about the act of getting them done.

When you’ve been participating in an event like Blapril or Blaugust, pushing yourself to post that much more frequently, varying the types of posts you tackle in terms of the effort they require from you can be a great way to give you a rest, that ‘time off’ feeling without breaking your flow.

And that’s to say nothing of the fact that many of the low effort posts can contain an almost disproportionately high fun factor. Both to write and to read!

So why not do those sorts of posts all the time? Well, you could. I suppose it depends on what you’re setting out to do with your blog. But I know for me I couldn’t be satisfied with only those sorts of lower effort, popcorn-esque posts. If I came to a sudden realisation that my main competitor had become buzzfeed lists, it would probably be a time to take stock and reconsider the life choices that led me there. ;)

Working on those higher effort posts can be very rewarding. Me? I suppose I tend to operate typically somewhere in the middle; venturing out to either end of the scale somewhat rarely. Reviews and the like, uck, not for me. Too much structure and work. Impressions though? Count me in.

Anywho! Rambling a bit. I apologise. Short of it is: Give yourself permission to let loose and just have fun with a top five every so often, even if your content is otherwise a bit more Mr or Ms Serious Face. That rest and refreshment factor is strong and invigorating.

Now… On to the posts!

My Top Five Most Viewed Posts

  1. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started (1,942 views)
    No surprises here, really. And incidentally, it is a year old today. I published this May 2nd, 2019. That’s quite the coincidence! In any case, this is one of the few guide-type posts I’ve put up. Guides are often a good performer for views though and the recent launch of Transport Fever 2 back in December did see it spike upward again. Oops. Sorry! Although frankly, with how similar the two games are, I’d be willing to take a bet on the post still being useful even for those who are after TF2.
  2. Heart of Rage: Tips for the Monitor (1,161 views)
    Also not surprising. It was more surprising to me at the point in time where the Transport Fever post took over it actually. It’s an older post too, having been written Feb 24, 2019. In retrospect though, not too surprising it was superceded. When Anthem first came out and the honeymoon was strong — the Monitor battle was certainly no pushover. There was a challenge to it. It has since been tuned downward, but perhaps more than that — the Anthem player base has shriveled in size.

    I’m still holding out some hope for Anthem Next/2.0, but it is very much a follow-from-afar approach. I suspect it will be a while yet before we hear too much of substance about it, too.
  3. Exploring the Intro to the Magician and Gunner Classes of Lost Ark (505 views)
    I had an exploratory stint in the Korean beta of Lost Ark last July, with this particular post going up July 29th. Within our community, I would say low to moderate interest and if not for the opening of the Russian Closed Beta for Lost Ark in late October 2019 would’ve meant this post remained much nearer the bottom of my list. But with people suddenly scurrying to find information about how the classes played and what the game was like — the Lost Ark posts became a hotbed of activity for a while; this one in particular.
  4. Humble Choice: January 2020 (207 views)
    By far the newest post on this list, being the only one to be written this year — Jan 4th to be precise. Although it is also the first on the list where I scratch my head a little as to why. January wasn’t the first bundle post the switch from Humble Monthly to Choice, that was December’s. To be fair, December’s offerings were a tad on the weak side. It wasn’t really until January that tougher decisions might have been required.
  5. The Division 2 Private Beta — The Dark Zone (161 views)
    The oldest post on this list! Feb 9th 2019 I published this one. It was part of a three part look at the Division 2 private beta; the other two being early game impressions and endgame PvE. The other two parts combined have a little under half the views of The Dark Zone coverage though. Given the significant changes between Division 1 and 2’s DZ approach though, perhaps to be expected.

There we go — the top five most viewed posts on Time to Loot (as to now, at a bit over a year old).

I’ll no doubt follow SDW’s example of also jumping into five least viewed posts — but that’s a topic for another day. :)

In any case, I hope you had some fun — and remember: Variety is the spice of life. Mix some fun easy in there with your higher effort posts and just enjoy!

Footnotes

  1. And continued on by most everyone, including me.