Today we continue to expand on our mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog. After you find a blog host, determine your goals, and figure out your slant, you should work to become part of the WoW blog community. Although it's true that the WoW newsy-type sites like WoW Insider are very competitive with each other about breaking stories, WoW bloggers on the whole are a very collaborative, friendly, and helpful group. It can only benefit you to jump in and get to know them, so here are a few tips to help you break into the community.
Learn how to use an RSS feed reader like Google Reader, NewsGator, or your browser's built-in feed reader so that you can stay up to date on your favorite blogs automatically. I currently use Google Reader but since I've upgraded to Firefox 3, I might switch to using my browser instead. Check the blogrolls on the blogs you read for other interesting sites; odds are you'll like to read what they read too. Visit the websites of the folks who comment on your favorite blogs -- and especially those who comment on your own blog.
Make sure that your own blog has a feed enabled on it for others to subscribe to. Blogger and Wordpress have instructions for setting up a feed, but you might also want to consider using FeedBurner instead. Feedburner has lots of cool features like letting readers email and share articles easily, and has some great analytical functionality. I would totally be using Feedburner if Wordpress.com allowed it -- which it doesn't. Don't worry about whether to use Atom or RSS style feeds. Most feed readers nowadays will be able to accept both.
Get in there and network! Not only will it help you, but you can probably help other people too. Blog Azeroth is a forum and a social venue for WoW bloggers and you'll see many of the big names and heavy hitters there. A lot of them hang out in the chat room during the day so you can get to know them pretty easily. There are a lot of how-to articles on the forums and you can feel free to either ask for more help or provide your own helpful wisdom to the threads.
Words to live by: comments are HUGE! Comment as often as you blog, or even moreso. People love to get comments on their blogs and get discussions going. Offer your opinion and, as long as you're polite and untrollish, feel free to disagree or offer a different perspective. Thoughtful comments not only help people get to know your personality, it gets your blog's URL posted wherever you comment. Just make sure you're not spamming a bunch of blogs with "nice post, dude" purely for self-promotion or you'll most likely get banned or relegated to the spam filter.
Promote yourself and the WoW-o-sphere
Make a blogroll and add your favorite blogs to it. Those bloggers will see the backlink and come check out your blog. If they like what they see, who knows, maybe they'll add you to their own blogroll! Join up with Warcraft Bloggers and put their badge on your site. Another good site for promotion is Entrecard. (Be warned, although it works with Wordpress.org blogs, it will not work with Wordpress.com blogs like mine.) Entrecard is cool because you get to create your own badge and have it circulated among like sites. You can also choose exactly which blogs you do and don't want to rotate through on your own site, which means you can suppress all the gold-selling site ads or anything else you don't care to promote. As I said above, commenting is extremely helpful when it comes to promoting your blog, so don't be shy about jumping into the discussion. Even here!
Step 5: Write, write, write!<---- Step 3: Figure out your slant