Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For the potential blogger

Not exactly a gold making entry in the traditional sense today. I hear a lot from people that I talk to about making gold that they would love to start a blog or have thought about it and such but are still undecided. So if you fall into that category this entry is for you. With a small dose of luck, all of us bloggers will have another name to add to our blog rolls while all of the readers will have yet another gold blog they absolutely must read each and every day.

The beginning.
I first got the idea after reading Gevlon's blog and seeing how successful he was with it, this was back when he was talking about making gold 95% of the time. But after reading it for a while along with a few others I noticed that they were all missing a ton of potential things to talk about even after I had read over most if not all of their posts. And with having so much gold making ideas floating around in my mind and no decent way of organizing them I figured screw it I'll start a blog too.

Why not?

I didn't advertise, didn't set up any fancy system to track who was coming or desperately try to increase my traffic to make money on ad space while giving half assed gold tips like some others out there. The only advertising I did was a single post on the paladin forums I used to frequent and that was it. Hell I didn't even know I could check how many page views I get a day and from where and so forth until a few months ago. Did you know I have a few readers from Portugal? Fucking cool! Though I will admit that lately when I get a great group in a random I'll post a link for my blog at the end for the hell of it mostly. Any way moving right along.

Actually writing.

I like to think I am fairly well spoken when I want to be and that translates into how I write every entry with loads of detail. Combine that with a logical mind and I can point out almost every nuance of how I work the AH and can describe it well enough (or so I like to think) that anybody with half of a brain can grasp it well enough to mold it into their own method. The best tip I can give anybody on the actual writing of a blog (not the content) is to write how you think. Not how you speak.

If you were to read over a conversation you have in game or listen to a recorded conversation you had you may be surprised at what you would find. It's fairly common for the average person to say "um, like, well, but" 500 times in any given conversation. However when you think all of that gets cut out to quicken the process. So my advice is to pick a topic and write out your thoughts on it and then go back and "clean it up" so to speak. The benefit of writing is that you can change what you said 10 seconds ago, so take out all of the extra words that aren't necessary. Word things better, use proper grammar and abuse that spell checker! Anybody that's talked with me in game can swear that I can't type to save my life so take advantage of all the crutches that writing provides you.

Obviously the most important part of any blog is the content. And anybody that's a writer will tell you to write what you know. Are you a cop that wants to write a novel? Write a crime novel or a comedy buddy cop type of book. Are you into making the wow gold? Then write about it! What markets do you like to work the most? Why are they so fun? What are the small little tidbits and pro tips and tricks that help you eek out a bit more coin each week? Do you mess around with any niche markets?

Talk about who they sell to and why they sell. Tell us all how you got into it and what the competition is like. Hell you can just mimic any other gold blogger out there and pick a topic and just spell out every last bit of that market with all of the gory details. In other words what you write about is entirely up to you which can be quite daunting to a lot of people. So don't put it off by saying "zomgz there are so much stuph! What does I talk about!?"

Just pick a single market and then run with it. Take craftable bags for example. Tell me who they sell to, when the best times are, how you can advertise them in trade for a few more sales. Just don't skip anything when you write because every last detail is important. Even if it seems obvious to you, it might not be for a few hundred billion people out there.

Getting nervous?
The main thing I think that holds people back from starting a blog is simply fear of failure. People worry that nobody will like them or say that their tips are shite and they're totally wrong or simply that nobody will ever read it. When I started writing this blog I didn't care if I have 5 people reading or 5 million. And I still don't. Like I've said dozen times I write because I want to and because I enjoy it. Meanwhile if I happen to help a bunch of people in making gold then that's an awesome bonus for sure. Just like making thousands of gold, do it because you want to and because it's fun.

And if you're worried about people making fun of you and telling you off in comments saying you suck you fail and so forth there's something that you need to be aware of. When you run a blog you have this AMAZING feature called the "delete comment button." It is a wonderful thing. If somebody is rude, screw 'em! Just delete the comment and move on with your life like it never happened. I've gotten a few trolls here and there and it hasn't bothered me once because once it's gone, it's gone for good.

As for getting people to read it's as simple as writing well, making a new post every day, and writing quality content. With the amazing one post link that I did, I get a noticeable amount of hits every day. If you're good people will find you. And as for just wanting to be popular, if that's the sole reason you want to write a blog... don't. Most likely you will be severely let down. But if you want people to comment so that you "feel" like people are reading and care about what you think let me share a quick example on how the amount of comments isn't that important.

My entry called What have you got to lose had 200 page views. And 4 comments. Yes out of 200 people that read it that day only 4 of them had anything to say about it. More often than not if I read a blog post and I completely agree I won't leave a comment. Why not? Because I have absolutely nothing to add other than "My name is Stokpile and I approve of this message."

While we're talking about traffic, just so you know my average amount of hits each day is between 200-300 so it was a fairly average day as far as that day's traffic goes. That's every day and I don't get many comments at all, but I still have a lot (relatively speaking) of people that come to hear what I have to say every day. In other words, don't sweat it if you don't see 50 comments an hour after you start.

Have fun, be interesting.
Once again repeating a mantra of mine, have fun with what you do. If you have fun with your writing then by default you will be interesting to read. If you notice not every last one of my entries is about making gold, but people still read them. There's a ton of blogs out there that I read and a lot of the topics they cover I'm already familiar with, but I enjoy them regardless because they're interesting. Seeing things from a different point of view is always fun for me and it seems that is the case for many others as well.

In short don't make a blog out to be a chore. If you enjoy yourself writing then so will the people reading.

Final advice.
The last words of wisdom that I can give you is to be consistent. If you update everyday for a month and then stop for a few days, a lot of people may think that you've just stopped writing all together. If you won't be writing an entry for a few days, write one up to say so. Just write something, anything to keep people interested. Personally if somebody doesn't update in a week I stop going to their blog entirely. If you want people to read and hear what you have to say, well, you have to talk to them.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. My name is Alto and I approve of this message.

  2. Awww darn, Alto, you beat me to it!

    (My name is Imraith and I also approve of this post!)

  3. I toyed with the idea of starting a gold blog. But beside maybe 10 things I want to talk about, that no wow gold blogger covered them, I doubt I'll have more to add. I might as well send them to you to post them out :). All the things you've mentioned in this post, for me are common sense and love to see someone sharing a healthy attitude towards blogging. Sadly, blogs that "desperately try to increase [...] traffic to make money on ad space while giving half assed gold tips" are to well promoted using seo tools and end up ranking high; despite poor content. I have to admit I've made a sport out of watching their evolution and the techniques they use. Heh.

  4. I'm with Alto & Imraith :)

    But I do have something to add from my own experiences - before you start, try to have a long list of stuff to talk about, especially if you plan to post every day (although every day isn't strictly necessary, just be regular) - I had an idea when I started my blog but it quickly became a bit repetitive so I needed more ideas. I didn't want to cover the same stuff as everyone else so I have tried to look at niches & lower level stuffs but it is hard work sometimes to come up with something fresh.

    In real life, I can talk for hours but I get feedback from the person I'm talking to & that sparks the next chain of thought & flow of words. Blogging isn't like that at all. I'm not saying don't blog or it's really tough but it isn't a walk in the park, that's for sure.

  5. Really though, well put together post. The main thing that I like about your posts bruddah is the simplicity.

    Obviously, your posts are complex, but they are fun to read, they are full of information, no extra "googled" pictures to state your point, no junk all over the page. Simple, and straight to the point of the post.

    What I would like to add to the new bloggers out there (coming from a daily blogger with 180+ posts) is don't worry about viewers. They will come. Worry more about content (like mentioned above). If you put out good stuff, readers will come.

    And like our buddy stok mentions, consistency is also huge. I actually feel guilty when I don't post for a day because I get emails asking if I am alive....

    If you do start blogging and you are reading this, make sure your readers know your schedule (i.e only posting weekly, bi-weekly, certain days, etc), and like King Stok says, "HAVE FUN!"

  6. Great post and a lot of good points. As I run my own gold blog as well it does get tough to come up with ideas that fresh and new but one thing to remember is even if its been covered post about it anyway because you might mention something that someone else didn't.

    As a fairly new blogger myself its easy to get caught up in views and focus on that. Word to the wise don't bother to look your first month because its very addicting.


  7. For me, I visit your blog each day for three reasons. 1). You post every day. You are regular and consistent (like a good bowel movement?). You have stated your schedule and stick to it. I don't visit blogs anymore that don't clearly communicate how often they will be posting. 2). When you post, it is actual content. I'm so sick of an entire day's post being "Hey guys! Badass! Go check out this post over at this other blog that you already read! See you tomorrow!" or "Hey guys, our podcast is tonite! See you then!" or "Hey guys, our podcast was last night! See you tomorrow!" 3). You shoot straight. You have an attitude that is your own and you are unapologetic. I may not be on board with you 100% of the time, but that is just fine. I like that you have an identity.

    I don't have a huge fortune like many of the people commenting here so far. But, I'm making my way there and I'd say the nestegg I do have has far more to do with your advice and adopting your attitude than just about anything else (besides my own wits I suppose). Your stop #1 on my daily blog rounds. Appreciate all you do for us.

  8. @ Imraith
    Omg I am like, sooo glad you approve =P

    @ Alto
    I'm sorta glad you approve. Also good point on making clear your schedule because people just won't know if you stopped writing or if you don't plan to post on the weekends like me. And When I first started I did post on the weekends, but almost nobody read then it seemed so I didn't want to "waste" content and just keep to the week. That and contrary to popular belief, I do have a life. Shocking I know!

    @ Xander
    You're very right that there's nothing wrong with covering a topic that others have already. Your are a human being and therefore have about 5.8 million opinions that are different from the rest of the population. Tell us what they are!

    @ Thomas
    Though I wouldn't mind adding in a few pictures here and there to make things more visually appealing, I can't seem to find any that really fit well. Almost every entry I write covers more than just "omg pyrite may give epixxs" so I'd need like 5. That I think would get a bit ridiculous.

    Also I'm glad that you don't agree with everything I say. When you don't always agree that's when discussion and brain storming happens. If you take what I say as gospel you'll never come up with your own methods and ideas.

    One example is my entry callled "Vicious." No I don't recommend that for every bit of competition, but it is an important thing to think about for when you really get that 24 hour camper. From there people can see when it's necessary to break out the big guns and how THEY think it should be done.

  9. I just started a wow pvp blog and I am having a ton of fun with it so far. just some little tips and tricks that I personally use. I am currently working on my shadow priest, I have no experience playing a priest in pvp but i think it will be fun to look back on the stuff and lol. Anyways if your into pvp or anything of that sort come check it out, if not then don't.

  10. @ Larry
    I'd imagine pvp would be fairly easy to talk about. From my admittedly little experience in it, there is a ton of detail that you could go on for pages about. Like fake casting to pull out an interrupt. Every melee class has one and they all play differently. That means that you have different ways of drawing it out based on their class and how people generally play them.

    Just pushing the point that even the smallest little things can have volumes written about them. Glad you're having fun with it!

  11. This great post of yours came just in time for me. I am a new blogger and encounter all kind of difficulties that you described.
    Initially I got an idea for one post, then one more and wanted to share them. Now I am stuck with only two posts and no posts for a week. The wish to write about things that no one has written about was killing my blog right at the beginning. I have found an easy solution in the comments - cover any topic that you want as your opinion and unique experience may be interesting.
    Also I really like to read your weekly sales reports and find them very useful. I think I will start making similar posts as it may help me to analyze my business and give opportunity to share little tips that don't make a whole post.
    Thank you for the inspiration and advice!

  12. So I know, month old blog, found this post from Alto's "farewell", but I've actually been working my way back through your posts since...I think you showed up on TUJ in the 2 million hall of fame.

    Just a word out, as a (professional) writer: writing is HARD. At least, writing well is. I think you've covered a bunch of good points, but it's amazing to me how many people think "anyone can do it". And that's not even including content.

    I've considered putting together a gold blog, but honestly, I am sorely lacking in tips. However, I'm considering more of a humorous ah-pvp-type blog. Dunno how interesting that would be, but then to, since I write for a living, I dunno if I want to keep going when I'm off, lol.

    Anyway, hope you keep up with Rift, I have a friend trying to con me into the game, and if you keep extolling it, I may have to go to the dark side lol