By internet standards, I’m a nobody, but by wargaming blog standards―considering that Infinity isn’t the most popular wargame, and Tohaa is the least popular faction―I consider 250 daily views a good success. As the blogroll expands, I notice more and more bloggers popping up (lots of you Yu Jing dudes), so I’d like to share tips over my years of Infinity blogging on what seems to work.
1. Publish stuff you’d want to read.
Something you want doesn’t exist? Nobody talks about how good your Govads are? Maybe you want to make that webcomic about the Umbra, the Tech-Bee, and the Devil-Dog stranded in Wotan? Make it yourself. Captain Spud’s blog is the standard-bearer for just how awesome things can be if you buckle down and make them.
And don’t worry that it’s too obscure or too complex. You’re not that special, you know; and that’s a good thing, because that means that there are people like you who like the same things. You may also get a good number of people who “hate watch” your blog, but that’s okay. They’re readers, and they may change their minds eventually.
2. Publish stuff regularly.
At least twice per month. If you stop posting for long, people will stop coming. If life happens, and you have to break from blogging, make a quick post and publish it. You’ll get some well-wishers, and you won’t leave your readers in the dark. But if you get an audience, then get lazy, it will be hard to build back that audience after months of nothing.
3. Publish clean.
Brevity is the soul of wit. Someone clicking through your blog will want to read about 3 or 4 paragraphs. If you have a good topic, they might stick around for the whole rant, but in general, shorter is better.
Nobody really cares if you use bad words or “hate speech”, but your presentation should be uncluttered. Use </more> tags to excerpt long posts. Break up your paragraphs with pictures. Battle reports in particular should be more picture than text. Don’t, for heaven’s sake, use a black background. Minimal typos, man, spellcheck exists. If you cover lots of different topics, stick a menu on the blog so that people can browse your painting or tacticas, without scrolling through three months of backlog.
4. Leave room for comment.
Censorship is a big no-no in the internet zeitgeist. Now, you might edit or delete profane comments to keep things work- or family-friendly. But your reader is probably an adult. He shouldn’t wait for your permission to tell you that you’re brilliant or stupid.
The other side of this is reflective of point #3. Don’t be exhaustive. You don’t need to explain to your reader how the Spitfire covers different ranges than the HMG, he isn’t dumb. And if you do have a lapse in your post’s logic, or a reader is a new player and does want to point it out, well hey. You’ve now got a comment, and that always feels great.
People are shy enough about making a WordPress or Blogger account to respond, so don’t make it hard for them.
5. Pay attention.
After a while (like maybe a year, get ready to dig in), you’ll see patterns of what people want to see, and don’t. If you want more views, do more of what gets popularly viewed. Duh.
Like, I found my webcomics weren’t really popular, and my tactical posts were slightly more popular. I don’t blame folks, I am over the Adventure Time/Joss Whedon/lolrandom tone of what I found funny years ago. But what I found that readers loved my posts that were both tactical and comical, like this one. Watch what sticks, and throw more of it.
Nobody’s blogging about the new Merc model? Be the first.
5. Be charitable to other blogger’s blogs.
This is kind of Jesus’s golden rule thing. Do for others what you’d like for yourself. Want comments on your blog? Comment on others’. There are a lot of thoughtful blogs out there, and lots of demoralized players who would really perk up to see their notification bell light up. Bloggers also like to cross-pollinate their articles, so plug someone else in your post, and you might find a plug back next month.
Don’t be insincere about it, either, people will see right through you. You don’t want to be the blogosphere’s equivalent of that Facebook friend who says “hey man, let’s hang out sometime” every sixth months.
And don’t dare comment on someone’s post that’s trashtalking you. That’s their right. Let it go before it kills you.
7. Let others toot your horn.
I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand people shilling their own work. Don’t be a navelgazer either, of course―if you have confidence in your good work, sig and share it. But it’s bad form to go bleating around on Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, etc., every time you publish something. Just put yourself out there, and see what happens. Even Corvus Belli themselves might share your work.
And a bonus:
8. Mondays are best for important posts.
Don’t know what it is about Mondays at 2:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, but that’s the most popular day/hour by far. Weekdays are more popular for wargame blogs than weekends in general. If you have a post you want a ton of eyes on, post it Monday.
Best of luck to you