No Wizard101 News in this post, sorry! But, I figured I'd compile a list of what I've learned over my year of blogging and share some tips with you.. here goes!
1. No Music! - I really don't like where you go to a blog, and some music pops up (I often don't like it also as a fan of 70's and stuff.. kids these days.. :P) and my parents give me a confuzzled look and I have to turn the volume down and just turn it up again after reading the blog. As you can tell.. yeah. Annoying for most of us. Many people, like it or not, don't like the music you like anyways, sowwy! Thats why iPods were made! ;)
2. Catchy Title! - No offense at all to the great bloggers over the past 2 days, but I see "Pet-A-Palooza!/Dragon Hoard Pack!" as many titles lately, and I've hardly checked out any of those posts, as I figure its just news I've already heard.. many.. many.. times. Its like my 'Pet Rock' post, I didn't just title it 'Pet Rock!', it was a long, but funny title! I admit its hard to come up with one sometimes, but go over the important parts of your post and stick with something. One more example that I liked is, 'I'm A Mushroom Thief!' when part of the post included my 38 Ice Quest, when I had to get a Mushroom. Catchy titles can be more important than you think :). I have to give credit to Ambrose2Zeke for his Palooza catchy title and amazing posters for everything! Ohh, thats an idea.. posters..
3. Humor! - One good example of some in every post has to be AutumnalDusk, Ditto (who doesn't love his orange fur?!) & Friendly. They haven't just been around awhile, its the humor that keeps folks coming back! Heck, stick in an old cultural reference to the adults, if you can, hehe.
4. Copy/Paste News? Zzzzzz... - I don't really bring up all the news as I know there are many blogs that have covered the big stuff (unless I'm one of the first to hear! :P). Like, you can simply check out Friendly or the Login Page to learn more about the Pet-a-Palooza, so I'll go on to some extra tidbits and other stuff. Don't just copy/paste the news straight from Wizard101, it makes me crave for something else.. (like extra insight, opinion, humor!)
5. Stick *Mostly* To Wizard101 - I'll add in an extra note often that there's 3 1/2 days till School is over, or whatever, but I try not to go into big detail about my real life. Make another blog for that! Hey, I made an extra Twitter (@dawneyes_sports) to jab about, well, Sports & Homework and stuff, without bothering the many who don't like sports who follow @arlendawneyes. Cass Griffindreamer made an extra "Rantress" blog so as not to disturb the beat of her main gaming blog, which I believe we all know. Like the rants or not, its there for your choice to read it or not, and for someone to let loose their thoughts on paper (well, internet) which helps.
6. Hitcounters/Popularity - If my followers took a tremendous dive right now, I'd keep blogging. I've seen people quit because of that, but DON'T if you're having fun, or aren't really busy. Comprendo? I don't believe in hitcounters, many of the "hits" are myself anyways, ROFL. I keep a Followers count at the bottom, to see if I'm doing ok, if no followers are coming in recently, its a little hint sometimes that you could spice up the blog somehow, like a non-talking-feedback-machine. AutumnalDusk doesn't even have that, which shows popularity doesn't matter to some bloggers. One thing thats cool about Autumn is her courage too, making the statement recently that Kingsisle is free to strip her MSP since she's Official. I've said this, but that was pretty gutsy. Don't be afraid to be gutsy, too! Read your post over once, try to think about what you're writing and if it'll deeply offend someone, and make changes. But be gutsy in the way like Autumn was, not a gutsy piece of writing that may spark some "Wizard War". I once copied/pasted something that I later learned could of sparked something, but luckily didn't. Be careful too.
7. Get Active! - I've said this, too, but one great tool for a community is Twitter. Facebook, eh, you'd be surprised how many wizards use it for Gobbler/Troll purposes & in-game dating/sharing personal info. I just use Facebook for "New post!" messages for this blog, personally. Anyways, Twitter is a quick tool that -luckily- has very few Gobblers infesting it, you can learn some quick and useful info not found on blogs sometimes, and hear what everyone's doing ITS. I coop together what I've done lately in a blog post, but you could hear beforehand by following me on Twitter. Okay, enough self-advertising, but its a great tool! Tweetdeck, a separate company, operates Twitter with extra features, like messages popping up, so I don't have to minimize W101 to see the messages when I'm in-game and just respond to a tweet while fighting Malistaire. And, of course, DiaryofaWizard is a must-have, and I hear they've got a secret project going thats really going to help! THE SUSPENSE.
8. Whats Your IRL Name? (Who Cares?) - You may have had this class about people adding up your info & finding your personal identity on the internet, but its a true happening. Try to release as little personal info as possible, if any. I'm a little hypocritical on this, most of you know which state I live in and a couple even my first IRL name, but keep this tip in mind from your start of blogging and on. Its pretty darn important. Unless you're a big gamer who goes to Conventions, E3, whatever, (like @Beau_Hindman, also related to a well-known wizard) I'd keep my identity pretty tight, especially if you're under 18.
9. Grammar Counts - "i beat mali 2day w/help from mi frend jason" Well.. whenever I see something like this, its just harder to read, and I assume the rest of the post is going to be like this. Its hard to put into words, but when I see better writing, I like the blog & understand more. See, English class can be helpful :P if you wrote like that on a resume, chances are much lower you'd be accepted as the Boss would think you failed English. Also with words, don't use anything worse than 'suck' or 'crap', or, I'm SURE you've heard this very often, don't say anything you wouldn't say to your Grandmother. Language worse than those words, if you said it in-game in my presence, I'd probably report you for cursing past the filter. I would never have the guts to report a good friend, but still! lol, think a little of the 'Wizard101 Dictionary' when you write.
10. Contests/Specialties - This isn't too important, and its understandable if you don't have much money to spend on these luxuries to give away, but they can help, so I felt I'd include it. Say, Ed Lifegem & Luke Goldhorn, they spend a lot on giveaways, which is cool! One big thought of being Official is getting free codes to give away (a la Mount Week earlier this year), but really, you shouldn't whine about that. Like I said, this isn't too important. Honestly, my parents aren't crazy about W101 (as in, it takes a lot of convincing to buy a Gift Card or something :P), so I haven't managed to give away anything besides 2 big TC contests. If I stick around long enough to earn a nice income (teenage job, maybe as long as after college), I most likely will give more away, but I know this blog is doing well nontheless. Anyways, thats it for now. Some of these are important to keep in mind! You don't want to lose respect in the Community by swearing or something, after all :)