Tag Archives: blogging

To Tree or Not to Tree?

I’ve gotten a couple comments asking who “won” the contest. I tallied up the votes and yes, the druid won. (To be fair, the reasons given for “hunter” tended to be much more passionate and convincing! But I decided to go purely on numbers.)

So I’ve been playing the druid and having a surprising amount of fun. I’m making good headway on the Wrathgate storyline (thanks to dual specs, I am able to quest more often than I could before), and I even got to experience being a Moonkin and not a Tree in a Violet Hold.

wow_boomkinop

…by the way, they’re OP. *cough* >.>

Boomkinning is interesting; playstyle-wise it feels like a somewhat less hectic version of Survival Huntering, in that you are waiting for a proc (in this case, Eclipse) which then changes up your rotation. (Said proc likes to happen on the last spell you cast before the mob dies, by the way.) I gotta say though, you’ll never be able to take the hunter out of the girl, as was evident to me anytime my treants died and I went into a panic and reached for my Revive Pet button. Overall it was a very interesting experience to do something I’ve done so many times on my hunter– DPS a familiar instance– as… well… a non-hunter.

Okay, clearing-things-up time. I think a lot of people are worried that either a.) I am not interested in my hunter anymore, or b.) I will be writing less huntery things here now. Neither of those could be farther from the truth. You should all know by now that I’d never be able to leave huntering, and on top of that, I’ve had several great huntery post ideas hatch in the incubator that is my head recently and I’m really looking forward to doing some of these posts. I’m mostly just waiting for next week because I’m OCD and like to start things on Monday.

I also think that there is a misconception going around that I am making a conscious effort to fill the shoes of BRK and as such I am actively trying to change the direction of the blog. The truth is, I’m not. As in, I’m not either actively trying to be or not-be the new BM hunter hotspot. Aspect of the Hare has always been an amalgamation of information, education, personal stories, and an attempt to document the WoW experience from the standpoint of someone who is okay at the game but not great and would rather set 80s dance music over thrash metal to her WoW movies. Because there are a lot more of us out there than people realize. That’s what I’ve always been, and that is, well, what I still am. If that makes me the new BRK, then hey, that’s great! And if not, then well, I wasn’t trying to be the new BRK anyway! =P

The only effect that other bloggers quitting blogs has had on my own blogging is that I am determined more than ever to not become a victim of the disease where blogging usurps playing. Blogging about WoW, especially once you have an audience, is hard work. You play for yourself but you have that “Would my audience find this interesting? Would this make a good post idea?” in the back of your head. I don’t think it’s bad to have that in the back of your head, especially if you enjoy blogging (which I do); it becomes bad when that jumps over to the front of your head, if that makes sense. I’m not gonna let that happen. I was never really one of those people that tried to become THE-BESTEST-BLOGGER-EVER anyway, beyond the basics.

All that said, believe me, it does flatter me greatly when I receive positive comparisons to BRK or other blogging “greats”. The comments I get from people saying I helped make them a better player, or I brighten up their day, or they love my writing style– all of these combined with my general enjoyment of blogging are what keep me going. So, thanks, and I hope to provide lots of fun and hunteryness for many months to come. ^_^

/off soapbox

So You Want To Be a WoW Blogger?

I get a ton of e-mails every week (which is why it sometimes takes me a few days or more to respond to them /sheepish) and one of the most frequent e-mails I get is “I’m thinking of starting a blog… any tips?”

So because it seems to be so common I figured I’d lay out my advice here in a post! =P

For starters the technical stuff. The two most commonly used free blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Of those two, I actually much prefer Blogger. WordPress.com is rather limited in terms of what you can do in designing your blog– yes, more limiting than Blogger– and various types of Javascript such as WoWHead links will not work for you, whereas they will on Blogger. I see a lot of people switching from Blogger.com to WordPress.com, and I gotta admit, I don’t see the appeal, beyond the fact that you get an “about” page =P I tried it a while back when I was on Blogger and was thoroughly unimpressed. However, it’s all personal opinion really, so my advice would be to try out both platforms and see what you like. They are both good, solid blogging platforms and each has their pros and cons. I do also want to add, if you have any intention of switching to a self-hosted site later… then WordPress from the start is probably the better option. (Although I did the Blogger->self-hosted WordPress switch myself… it wasn’t that bad!)

You want the name of your blog to be catchy, have a ring to it, and easy to type out in the address box. I don’t recommend using acronyms or abbreviations in your address unless they are very easy to remember. aspectofthehare.blogspot.com is sorta long, but it is easier to remember than aothare.blogspot.com or something similar. Also remember that your blog name is going to define what your blog is. Want in on a little secret? Aspect of the Hare was not originally a hunter blog. *gasp* I know, right? I mean, yes, I played hunters and only hunters, but originally it was “World of Warcraft thoughts in general” that I was going for, and my early blog posts even reflect this. However, it was a huntery name, so the blog wound up becoming, well, huntery. That means if you have a serious case of alt-itis you may not want to go with a class-specific name, and if you like to mess around with different specs you don’t want to name your blog “[InsertSpecHere]4Life”, unless, well, you really are. =P

When I was starting out two years ago, it was all the rage to name your WoW blog after various in-game abilities. There were all these blogs named The Hunter’s Mark, Blessing of Kings, Mark of The Wild, Trueshot Aura (which I’ve seen used more than once)… etc. I think pretty soon blogs snatched up all the available abilities and you started seeing other titles. =P I rather like the name of my own blog, even if the “hare” part is often confusing to people that don’t know me well. I combined the “name your blog after a WoW ability” meme with an animal that I like– I personalized WoW, so to speak. It worked out well.

You want your blog design to be uncluttered and have basics like a search box, a way to contact you, and of course, a link to your RSS feed! You don’t want to go overboard right away. I see a lot of new blogs that have a ton of “stuff” on their blog, but no real content yet. It’s okay to wait to add that “stuff” later, what most people want to see is your writing!

Visual identity is always a bonus. I’m not sure, but I often think that the cutesy picture of Tawyn and pets on my banner is a large part of what initially draws people to this blog. Even if you aren’t much of an artist, try getting a strong screenshot-based banner going, like at LessQQMorePewPew for example. Of course, you don’t need big flashy pictures or anything. Sometimes understatement works better. Try things out!

Content, oh, your content. I hear it all, from people saying “don’t go looking for a niche!” to others saying “you have to find a niche!” and everything in between. Lemme tell you about Aspect of the Hare. Nobody was ever supposed to read it. I was writing for me. Apparently people liked it. This is what I tell almost everybody who e-mails me wanting blog advice:

1.) Write what you love.
2.) Love what you write.
3.) Comment often.

Commenting on other peoples’ blogs is the easiest way to get traffic to yours, and if they see that you are passionate about what you are writing, and it is written well, they will stay.

Have you all seen the movie Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams? They have this whole scene about a guy who has a TV show where he drones on and on about dinosaurs with little models and it’s really boring. Then Robin Williams shows up and starts having the dinosaurs sing songs and he makes it all funny and entertaining. That’s what you want to be. You want to be having fun with this. You want to be writing to make yourself happy. You want to be writing because you enjoy what you are writing about and because you’re excited to share your ideas with people. People will pick up on that enthusiasm.

Lastly, I sometimes get questions from people wanting to maximize their traffic. I have always seen traffic as something you don’t want to get buried too deep in, partially because I don’t think it matters as much as your content and secondly because the number of readers you have does not necessarily equal blog quality. However, I will say that in my experience, I have found that John Q. WoWBlogReader works a boring Mon-Fri job and reads you Mon-Fri mornings. So use that to your advantage. ;P

Aspect of the Hare is what it is today largely via word of mouth. Winding up on BRK’s sidebar was also a pretty big boost, but even without that, I was doing okay. I think it’s because I managed to corner a market of sheer enthusiasm for the hunter class, regardless of spec or playstyle. In short, I think I was in the right place at the right time. Regardless of whether you can hit that sweet spot or not, I find blogging to be a very rewarding (if time-consuming!) venue and anyone who wants to try it… please, jump into the pool! We don’t bite! =P

Questions or comments, leave ’em for me!