NBI 2016: Take the leap and become an MMO blogger!

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When it comes to running a blog, there are two pivotal moments in making it work. The first, of course, is to decide to stop thinking about it and actually just do it. It’s not as if it’s an impossible task — come up with a clever name, snag a free blog account, and start writing. Sure, it’s nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and be subject to criticism, disagreement, and (worst of all) the potential for deafening silence. But it’s pretty thrilling, too.

The second moment is the more difficult one: It’s when you get past the initial thrill of creation and realize that this isn’t a one-and-done type of project. Blogging is something that requires a regular, consistent effort, whether it be daily or a couple of times a week. A blog not updating is a blog in stasis — and a blog that gets ignored. To build up a readership and establish yourself as worth checking out, you have to keep going.

It’s like enacting any sort of diet, exercise regime, habit, or new hobby: You have to create momentum and then keep it going forward. Once you come to rest, it’s a lot more difficult to start back up again (although not impossible!). Blogging is a marathon effort, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long haul, to establish it as part of your regular routine. There’s no finish line; there’s only more writing ahead.

So yeah, if writing wears at you and you approach such projects needing an end goal, then this probably isn’t for you. But if your temperment is one in which both a passion for video games and discussing them blossoms, then writing regularly isn’t a chore. It’s an expression, one that gets easier the more you do it, and one that you even look forward to doing.

We always need new voices out there to mingle with us crusty, kooky blogging veterans, which is what the Newbie Blogger Initiative is all about. We want to show that we’re not an exclusive club full of internet famous celebrities. No, we’re a welcoming group full of weirdos that get enthusiastic about writing because we also read others’ blogs as well. Ping-ponging topics, responding to friends, and getting exposed to new games and perspectives is part of the joy of being a blogger.

This month, I encourage you to take the leap and become an MMO blogger. Maybe you just want to try it on and see if it fits — that’s perfectly OK. Even if you only write a handful of posts, I think you’ll get a lot out of seeing how the process works and getting more connected with dozens of blogging voices out there.

Plus, if you’ve ever been on the fence about blogging, there’s no better time of the year in which to start doing it. The NBI is here to give advice and help promote your blog, giving you a jump-start in establishing that audience that helps to fuel your enthusiasm for continued writing. Take advantage of that!

Important links:

  • Discord Server: This has become the main chat room and staging ground for this year’s NBI, so both new and veteran bloggers are invited there to talk, promote links, and share advice.
  • Twitter Account: Subscribe to this and make sure you tag any related posts with the #nbi2016 hashtag.
  • Official NBI Website: Revived this year is the official website, which is actually more of a news blog featuring NBI participants.
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What’s noob with the NBI?

nbiEr, new. New. What’s new with the NBI?

We’ve crossed the halfway mark of this month and I’m seeing a lot of chatter and inter-blog projects, which is really cool.

Here’s my Syp Blogging Tip ‘o the Day: Never shorten the word “of” to ‘o. It makes you look tacky and like you’re two steps away from operating a discount seafood shack on the end of a harbor.

Here’s the list of the new-and-returning NBI blogs, along with a couple recent additions:

Catching up with the Newbie Blogger Initiative

nbiI’ve been snowed under with projects lately and as a result have been remiss with keeping up to date with this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiative. So this morning I carved out a little time to see what new and returning blogs and projects have sprouted in the past ten days.

Check them out and see if you can’t find a new favorite or two among the bunch!

And previous linked blogs, re-linked here for your convenience:

Join the Newbie Blogger Initiative revolution!

nbiI woke up groggy this morning, groaning to myself that I didn’t have a blog post idea kicking around in my head. What to do? And then I looked at my Twitter feed and realized — it’s May 1st! It’s Newbie Blogger Initiative time! Score!

So what’s the, er, Newbie Blogger Initiative?

The NBI was started several years ago as a way for the current gaming/MMO blogging community to encourage wayward bloggers, draw new writers into the fold, and provide a support system for each.

The thought is that getting started and into the regular habit of blogging can be tough, especially as you’re trying to learn the ropes and gain an audience. With a slew of articles and direct mentorship by veteran bloggers, and with tons of links going out to all of the NBI blogs by veterans, we are able to provide both.

So who is the NBI for?

It’s really for everyone! If you don’t have any interest whatsoever in blogging, the NBI is useful in giving you a ton of new outlets to read as well as inviting you to peek “backstage” at the blogging process. You can also drop some encouraging comments to new bloggers to boost their spirits.

If you are a former blogger or a largely lapsed one, the NBI can be a tremendous encouragement to “get off the couch” and get back to writing. It’s so much more enjoyable to write alongside a community than isolated, and I’ve witnessed many people enjoy a blogging renaissance through this.

If you’ve ever thought that you might like to try your hand at blogging but have been intimidated, confused, or lost for direction, then the NBI is *definitely* for you. By taking part in this, you can bounce ideas off of other writers, get significant traffic for your initial month, and make great contacts that could develop into beautiful friendships.

So what do I do to be involved?

There are a few ways:

What newbie blogs have signed up so far?

Give them a read:

More great blogs from the #NBI class of 2014 that you should read

I didn’t get around to doing this last Friday, so I’m making it up now!  Here are a few more blogs from the Newbie Blogger Initiative that you should check out:

  • Bloomkin — A gaming girl’s little corner of the Internet to talk mostly about video games, mostly World of Warcraft.
  • On The Level — A WoW blog
  • mrluvvaluvva — Musings of the gaming kind
  • The Crafty Tank — Frequent ramblings related to playing a warrior in WoW
  • Touched Prawn — A made up word for some made up theories on gaming as art. Also it rhymes with “fart” and farts are always funny, right?
  • MMO Obsession — A blog about all things massively, multiplayer, and online
  • Girl Grey — I’m a Kentucky girl interested in all things geek, dork, nerd, gaming, tech, D&D, and many other similar interests.
  • Looking for Playtime — MMO enthusiast, tourist and armchair theorist looking for playtime.

Me time, retro gaming, music, and a lesson for the #NBI

I think that one point that gets hammered in by veteran bloggers tossing out advice to new writers is as old as the ages: Write for yourself first and foremost.  You simply won’t have fun otherwise and you won’t succeed in anything.  This extends to gaming as well.  I mean, I’m not dumb; I know that if I just played and blogged about the most current and popular MMOs, I’d probably rake in a lot more hits than jawing about LOTRO and Space Freaking Quest.

But I almost never look at my hits.  I used to obsess about them early on — they and comment numbers meant so much as a concrete measure of whether I was doing well.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped caring because whether ten or a thousand people read my post, I want to write it because I want to write it.  It’s an outpouring of my enthusiasm and interest, and if it connects with fans, great.

I sometimes wonder whether Bio Break readers get annoyed at my retro gaming posts.  I try to do a standard (usually MMO-related) post early in the day so it’s not just retro gaming wall-to-wall here, but I can’t shake the impression that I’m making a fool out of myself to some people who might come here for serious gaming talk.  And here I am, gushing about EGA-era titles, a rapidly-approaching-middle-age guy apparently attempting to relive his childhood.  But it’s fun and I’m quite used to feeling foolish, so why not write about it?

Documenting my journeys through both MMOs and retro games have given me a greater sense of purpose to gaming.  Some people may whinge that blogging is dead and aren’t we dabbling in an archaic medium, but I call wet blankets for what they are.  You may express yourself through art; I do it through writing and occasionally stammering on a podcast.  It’s a format that lends itself well to thought-out, detailed, and flexible articles that can be written and self-published easily.  You can read faster than listen or watch videos, so I think that blogs and articles will always have an advantage with people who value their time.

Through blogging, I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth from those titles that I binge-purchased over at GOG.com.  How many games do you have sitting in your digital libraries that you’ve barely or never played?  Blogging’s provided ample motivation and a weird sense of public accountability to engaging with them.

MMO video game music?  Aren’t we just insane for taking gobs of time to put together a podcast that reviews such a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche interest?  Battle Bards will never sweep the globe and we know it, but the numbers and fame aren’t our goal.  We do it because we feel we must, because it’s a hoot to do, and because those who appreciate what we do share their gratitude and perspectives.

I can’t not write.  When I started MMO blogging, I publically stated that I’d be posting three times a week.  I broke that by day two and haven’t stopped since.  Writing pours out of me because I want to share these nutty thoughts and to entertain and to hopefully become better at this one skill that’s better than most that lies within my vaults.  Recognition?  Acclaim?  Money?  Connections?  These are all perks and are nice, but they’re incidental.  I’d blog no matter what and I will probably keep doing so for a long time to come.