HOW TO BLOG!

And how to get on that Best 'o Blogs list

Ever since Liberty introduced the 'Best of Blogs' feature a few months ago, I figured it would be a good idea to write about how one goes about creating a decent blog post ( not to blow my own trumpet, but I am a fairly good blogger around here with nearly 180 blogs to my name ^^ ). And to get on that list yourself too!

It will cover at least three key things that I feel will not only help generate interest for your game, but also maybe net you a new subscriber or two, and if your content is REAL good, you might get some front page coverage if you score the 'What's Written' achievement. ( I predict Badluck's Ara Fell blog will get the next one XD ) Bonuses do include more profile views and MS. Because MS is love and lockerspace.

So, onto my three key points for writing a blog with good content.

1) Generate Interest for your Game!

No-one is going to take any interest in your game if you are only posting a few sentences or two about a small bug fix, or you fixed a couple of small graphical details that no-one will notice, or did a small and insignificant
change that didn't really affect the gameplay etc. If you are serious about making some form of impact with your latest project, at least put the time and effort into creating something worth reading. Let's face it, RMN has the largest library of games out of any RPGMaker site out there; anything between 3000-8500, if I'm going by gamepage numbers XD. Include stuff that is worth a look. This includes, but is not limited to:

- Images of new areas of your game, WIPs of artwork/spriting. It is a well-known fact that people are far more likely to take in information on a visual level ( see the aformentioned Ara Fell blog; the screens are gorgeous, even if it is from the cancelled RMXP version ) and an excellent blog overall. More on this below.
- If you are lucky enough to have a composer for your game, put up one or two tracks using the .mp3 Media tag.
- Talk about game mechanics/battle system gimicks or anything that will make the player excited to play your game. For me, anytime I see a great blog discussing game mechanics and the like ( the last one being Red_Nova's one on Prayer of the Faithless ), it actually gives me some motivation to work on my own project.
- Videos can be great mediums as well, and might even get you on the RMN TV front page slot.


2) Avoid the Wall ( and do a grammar check )

Of text, that is.

Please. Don't do this. Ever. Not only will your potential reader's eyes zone out upon seeing this, but their interest level in your game will drop drastically, even if you are talking about something so game-changing, it will break the very foundations of space-time ( well, RM-time, in any case ). If you are a reviewer, this could apply to you as well. Avoid the Wall.

Break it up by inserting a screenshot or two, preferably a great-looking one/your best on hand to generate more interest. Or anything relevant to your game. Just avoid the Wall like the plague. I've noticed most of the best bloggers on this site tend to avoid it, so mimic them! You'll notice their blog posts tend to generate a fair mumber of posts and have a decent number of subscribers too. So, it's all linked to more exposure for you. =)

Liberty also wrote a great article on 'How To Write 300 Words' so give it a read if you find yourself unable to think of what to write next for your next blog.

3) Be a Regular Updater

In order for you to maintain player interest, you need to be a regular blogger. Now, as in 'regular', I don't mean you have to post an update every single day. Not only will you rapidly run out of content in which to write, but if your blogs are hardly worth reading, most potential readers will skim over your work, or worse, dismiss them as 'spammy updates'. Not only that, writing a great blog post can actually motivate you to work on your game instead of you know, browsing RMN when you're supposed to be working or gam-makking. XD

I normally do bi-monthly updates on my own game, and I make sure they're packed with enough content to maybe start a discussion or two. =) I know unity's blogs on average tend to generate about 10 posts per blog. Now, this may not sound like much, but the replies do add up over time, and if your game generates enough discussion, it may end up on that coveted month-end lists of Game That Generated the Most Discussion. Or better, Games the Generate The Most Discussion of all time. XD

So, what are you waiting for? Get blogging and get featured!

Posts

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(I predict Badluck's Ara Fell blog will get the next one XD)

You know, I was thinking the same thing too. I mean - it’s freakin’ Ara Fell, for god sakes, and it’s an update we’ve wanted to hear from for years! That alone justifies it enough to get a featured writing spot. (But then again, you could always just give it to me, lol.)

As for the article at hand, it’s a great piece from someone who’s usually up there with the blogs that are the most buzzing, most amount, and are relativity well-done and chockful of not only a lot of insightful information about what she’s currently working on but with plenty of interesting screenshots and artwork to go along with it, so Luchino knows hows to do her blogs. :D

I always find that the most interesting blog posts around here are the ones that have a certain creative witty title to go along with it, have a variety of interesting looking screenshots, concept art, or even some general gameplay videos to go along with it, or a big announcement, like a potential release date, new feature(s) added in, author’s notes, or their game got featured on such-such site. Hell, you can even make a giant wall of text interesting as long as it’s short and sweet, like this article, and get away with it.

I guess the key thing is to know when it’s time to blog and know when it’s time not to blog. Yeah, it’s great to have an update every single week about something in particular, but sometimes you just need to wait a litttttle bit longer and have a little bit more patience so you can really impress people with even more information and tidbits on the next announcement. And, hell, if you don’t have that much to say or even talk about you could always just wait a little bit until you have some more stuff to showcase. There’s nothing really wrong with that, as long as people know that you're still working on it and not entirely goofing off. :P

Good article, miss Luchino. Hopefully pretty soon "I’ll" be part of the recent blogging team. I have a certain strategy in mind about how I'm probably going to do it, but it’s nice to hear some more additional pointers from someone else. :)
Personally I like it a lot when people ask questions of the subscribers to get input. Encouraging interaction between yourself and those who are likely to play your game and support your game making is a really good idea when making blogs.

Thanks, Addit. It means a lot, coming from you, since I love those Professor-Know-It-All articles. XD

And yeah, to echo what Liberty said. I love sharing progress and getting input because it really is a GREAT motivator to actually finish what you started. What's more, be responding, you're actually showing your players that you care about their input, so it creates that little connection between a developer and a player. At least, in my experience. You also build up a fan-base, for want of a better word. =)
author=Addit
(I predict Badluck's Ara Fell blog will get the next one XD)
You know, I was thinking the same thing too. I mean - it’s freakin’ Ara Fell, for god sakes, and it’s an update we’ve wanted to hear from for years! That alone justifies it enough to get a featured writing spot. (But then again, you could always just give it to me, lol.)

(Me and my big mouth, lol.)

(Sorry Badluck. Hopefully you'll get the next one.)
Well, it IS a great article. You deserve you 10 MS! XD
I was kind of half-awake when I wrote that thing, but thanks anyway. :)

I was actually kind of hoping that my fiftieth review would have been featured instead because of its significance – but whatever! I ain’t complaining that much, as makerscore is as makerscore does. Besides, more points equal slightly more lockerspace to store more shit, anyway.
It was basically a case of over-saturation of blogs in the spot. I have to shake it up so three blogs in a row is a bit much. I was considering a review but I laughed while reading your article so... it won. Well, that and it's a good message. I do like this article too, though, so it was a hard choice. I might have to do a Monday change-over this week so that we can cover a few pieces. I'll also add the ones I didn't nab to the 'just in case of empty week' list.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7569
Good article, Luchi! You seem to mention a few blogs here. Perhaps, to give readers a more concrete idea of what you're referring to, it might be a good idea to add a link to those blogs so future readers can drop by and see what you're talking about? Thanks for the mention, by the way!

author=Liberty
Personally I like it a lot when people ask questions of the subscribers to get input. Encouraging interaction between yourself and those who are likely to play your game and support your game making is a really good idea when making blogs.


This. It's always good to engage your audience as much as you can. When your players feel like they're being heard and actively listened to, they're encouraged to contribute more thoughts/feedback. You get more outside opinions, the game gets more buzz, everyone wins.
Pretty good article, Luchi! I'd like to see an article from you about reaching Gam Mak Zen.

I have to agree that I'm sometimes a bit lazy when it comes to updating my game (I'd rather just keep working on it till it's done ;) ). My English skills are also the worst; which doesn't help much. xD

Also, interaction is key, but I have to say that not all of us get our questions answered. Not all of us are famous on here with games containing 500+ subs. There are a lot of hidden gems in the RM community who never even get noticed, sadly.

One should never give up though!
That's where writing a good blog comes in, though! Because if you do, it gets more attention via the Best of Blogs articles (out every 1st/15th of the month~) And more attention means more subs~
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Not that I'm in there for the money, but if hard work and effort have been put into a blog, it deserves some bubbles. I'll try to make my next blog worthy!
author=luiishu535
Pretty good article, Luchi! I'd like to see an article from you about reaching Gam Mak Zen.


I'm actually the wrong person to ask with regards to that. XD I get distracted very easily at times since I multi-task a lot. There are moments when I get 'in the zone' but it's a process I can't really put down in an article.

author=luiishu535
Not all of us are famous on here with games containing 500+ subs. There are a lot of hidden gems in the RM community who never even get noticed, sadly.

I'm quite sure no single dev on this site has 500+ subs, even if you took all of their current active games and combined the sub count XD.

Being active on the forums can help as well. Since it all forms part of that all important marketing factor ( though I'm terrible at it myself ). And don't get all depro about the number of subscribers for your game, or even profile views. It's just a number that has nothing to do with the overall quality of your product ( POM has over a million views, but is it any good? I don't think so ). And the site has a Hidden Gem spotlight for under-appreciated games as well as covering other genres like Classic, Arcade, Shoot-Em up, the works.

But yes, like you said. Never give up. In my opinion, a person who has tried and failed many, many times, is better that someone who has never tried at all.
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