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Made in gb
Infiltrating Naga





England

I haven't been around on dakka all too long so redirect me if this has already been done But I'm just curious as I search through the P&M Blogs I notice alot of blogs that seem to go unnoticed for various reasons, some that attract thousands of views but no comments, comments but not many views etc etc. I was just wanting to know I suppose what people (you) look for in a blog when you peek into that section of the forums, is it presentation? modelling/painting quality, creativity, previous discussion within the thread or an appeal to a particular interest that brings you to it and incites you to post a response! Generally I'm just curious as to what people think make a good blog and to see some opinions about it

   
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Made in us
Ultramarine Chaplain with Hate to Spare





Boston, MA

A good P&M blog requires a solid title telling people what it is, a decent OP stating some kind of goals or an introduction to the army, and regular updates. People keep checking in when your thread keeps popping to the top of the list, and if you engage them regularly with WIP photos they keep coming back to see the models develop.

Personally I'm a little bit lazy and don't post enough WIP stuff. I usually post just one WIP shot and then a bunch once the models are finished. As for views and popularity, mine is pretty average in that respect but there are so damn many P&M blogs that the moment I post, my thread's already knocked down a few pegs because a dozen other people posted then too. I've put a link in my signature to get more people over there but for the reasons stated above it doesn't get as much traffic as I'd like.

I will say, things that DO NOT make a good P&M blog are the following:
- OPs without content. No one cares if you're going to post a billion pictures later and your entire thread consists of one sentence saying that. People want to see pictures.
- Links to other sites. Sometimes people will check out external links, but if I'm seeing links and no pictures I'm pressing the back button on my browser.
- People who can't take criticism. I've seen more than one thread where a poor painter got solid advice, said the equivalent of "Nah nah nah I'm not listening, it's my thread so you can't criticize me" and nobody ever went back. Don't post things online unless you're willing to take criticism.

   
Made in us
Nasty Nob on Warbike with Klaw





St. Louis, MO

Lots of pics.
Lots of discussion about what you did and how.
Ask for feedback. Discuss (not debate) with people who post feedback.
Lots of pics.
Regular updates.
Lots of pics.

Don't be boring.

Share your techniques; it's toy models, not nuclear secrets.

Eric

Black Fiend wrote: Okay all the ChapterHouse Nazis to the right!! All the GW apologists to the far left. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE !!!
The Green Git wrote: I'd like to cross section them and see if they have TFG rings, but that's probably illegal.
Polonius wrote: You have to love when the most clearly biased person in the room is claiming to be objective.
Greebynog wrote:Us brits have a sense of fair play and propriety that you colonial savages can only dream of.
Stelek wrote: I know you're afraid. I want you to be. Because you should be. I've got the humiliation wagon all set up for you to take a ride back to suck city.
Quote: LunaHound--- Why do people hate unpainted models? I mean is it lacking the realism to what we fantasize the plastic soldier men to be?
I just can't stand it when people have fun the wrong way. - Chongara
I do believe that the GW "moneysheep" is a dying breed, despite their bleats to the contrary. - AesSedai
You are a thief and a predator of the wargaming community, and i'll be damned if anyone says differently ever again on my watch in these forums. -MajorTom11 
   
Made in us
Consigned to the Grim Darkness






Lakewood, Ohio

MagickalMemories wrote:Share your techniques; it's toy models, not nuclear secrets.

Eric


All of what has been said above, and sometimes MM's advice is somewhat off, sometimes it's toy models about nuclear secrets

DR:80+S++G+M+B+I+Pwmhd11#++D++A++++/sWD-R++++T(S)DM+

Ask me about Brushfire or Endless: Fantasy Tactics
rigeld2 wrote:
Then I'm dumb and you should ignore me :p
 
   
Made in gb
Pulsating Possessed Chaos Marine




UK

Brother SRM sums it up nicely.

You could also ask Gitsplitta and learn from the master. His Mantis Warriors blog is probably the most popular on the forum.
   
Made in us
Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult






Herrin, IL

Brother SRM is not only giving you good advice, he has a great example here.

This is the first P&M Blog I actually got some significant enjoyment from reading. I highly recommend it.

SRM already has a link for Gitsplitta's Mantis Warrior's blog, which is another great example. If you want examples of blogs which don't seem to be drawing that much attention, check out either of the links in my sig! On a serious note, post often, and use good photography skills.


   
Made in fr
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

I've discovered this:

you need:
- an awesome first model to pop up right on top when someone visits the blog. It makes people read on.

- reular updates

- you need to reply to comments

- and its good to have a mix of things in your blog. I dont only share my minis, but also battle reports and fluff

- and lastly: ADVERTISING! you need to show it around in the other forums, subtley tell people to have a look at it. Its usuall off the front page ion a few hours. Put a link in your sig.

and have a look at my blog for inspiration

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/08 08:32:36


LOOK!! a shameless self-promotion! (gasp!)
My ORK!-Blog here on dakka And if you need a good conversion or a paintjob... My commission blog

[

Looking for Painting & Modelling advice? Click here! 
   
Made in gb
Crazed Bloodkine





Southampton

I'm extremely poor at updating my blogs, largely through lack of time. I usually let them descend into the depths of forgotten threads after a few posts. I must try and make one night of the week "blog night" or something, but there's usually a distraction (which is currently Game of Thrones on DVD).

Out of curiosity, do threads ever get deleted?

   
Made in au
[MOD]
Murderfanger on a Murdercycle






Brisbane, Oz

Flashman wrote:Out of curiosity, do threads ever get deleted?

Yes, but usually only for rule-breaking or duplication. We don't delete threads because they're old, if that's what you were getting at.

   
Made in gb
Infiltrating Naga





England

Very interesting points, I didn't really think to use some of the things included above in my current blog but I think I will be redoing it with that all in mind. The idea of making a discussion from it was something I think I personally completely missed!

Advertising hmm, im pretty aweful at that I just realized my url in my sig isnt even a link!

   
Made in fi
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine





somewhere in the northern side of the beachball

MagickalMemories wrote:Lots of pics.
Lots of discussion about what you did and how.
Ask for feedback. Discuss (not debate) with people who post feedback.
Lots of pics.
Regular updates.
Lots of pics.

Don't be boring.

Share your techniques; it's toy models, not nuclear secrets.

Eric


I believe I've done that but I get little views and almost no comments

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/390356.page

I made this half a year ago.

Every time I hear "in my opinion" or "just my opinion" makes me want to strangle a puppy. People use their opinions as a shield that other poeple can't critisize and that is bs.

If you can't defend or won't defend your opinion then that "opinion" is bs. Stop trying to tip-toe and defend what you believe in. 
   
Made in us
Warplord Titan Princeps of Tzeentch





Pictures.

Regular updates.

Progress.

Not like this guy, whose last update was almost a year ago and is finally getting around to basing his miniatures.

*shameless self promotion*

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/09 19:05:16


text removed by Moderation team. 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Southend-on-Sea

I'm one of those people who gets lots of views on my blog but no comments even though I update regularly with plenty of pictures and thoughts and try to engage the readers by throwing questions out there.
   
Made in us
Nasty Nob on Warbike with Klaw





St. Louis, MO

illuknisaa wrote:
MagickalMemories wrote:Lots of pics.
Lots of discussion about what you did and how.
Ask for feedback. Discuss (not debate) with people who post feedback.
Lots of pics.
Regular updates.
Lots of pics.

Don't be boring.

Share your techniques; it's toy models, not nuclear secrets.

Eric


I believe I've done that but I get little views and almost no comments

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/390356.page

I made this half a year ago.


Well -and I can only speak for myself here- the NSFW kills you. The only time I ever have the free time to look at P&M blogs are while I'm at work. If the title says NSFW, I'm not going to risk it. It might've only been the female ork in the bra that you posted. I'd have never known because I'd have looked right past it. Then again, if I'd gotten to the ork nipples and it was NOT marked as NSFW, I'd have been angry.

Another thing that can hurt (though this is not applicable to you) is picture hosting. it's best to host on dakka because a lot of us looking from work have photobucket and/or imageshack, etc. blocked. If I go in and see a broken link where a pic should be, I walk away and never look back. Like I said, though, you're good; you're hosing on Dakka.

Again, for me:

You've got no "draw." Your subject line isn't exactly inspirational; it doesn't make me curious to look and see what's inside. I look for blogs based on people or titles -most often, titles.

Once we get to the thread, you've got one line, then a photo dump... and your pics are too big. They swallow the screen. they should be about 1/2 to 2/3 the size they currently are.

Start with a bit of a background: "So, I needed to expand my army. I want some buggies, but I don't like the old metal moels. I need some {insert other models], but I want something more dynamic. Also, I've got a theme going that I want to match. So, here goes.

I started with an old model kit I had. It's a [insert details]. In order to Orkify it up, I thought I'd [blah blah blah]."

At this point, show some WIP pics. The first pic you show is a nearly complete hull for a buggy. We don't get to see it develop, so we're not invested. You know what I mean?

Intersperse plenty of text between pics, telling what you need and how you intend to go about it. If you show HOW you do something (like that kick ass grill on the buggy), then even better. Remember that, if you want to do a good P&M blog, you need to show your work. Kind of like in school. LOL

Try to do an update a day, no less than every other day. Communicate with the people who comment.

Myself, I loathe that "seraphim" ork and "Warboss Nipple-Nokker." That's just me, though. I LOVE the rest of those burnas, though. Very characterful and VERY skillfully done. They're great. The Nob Chef's an interesting idea, too, and I got a kick out of the power klaw.



Eric

Black Fiend wrote: Okay all the ChapterHouse Nazis to the right!! All the GW apologists to the far left. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE !!!
The Green Git wrote: I'd like to cross section them and see if they have TFG rings, but that's probably illegal.
Polonius wrote: You have to love when the most clearly biased person in the room is claiming to be objective.
Greebynog wrote:Us brits have a sense of fair play and propriety that you colonial savages can only dream of.
Stelek wrote: I know you're afraid. I want you to be. Because you should be. I've got the humiliation wagon all set up for you to take a ride back to suck city.
Quote: LunaHound--- Why do people hate unpainted models? I mean is it lacking the realism to what we fantasize the plastic soldier men to be?
I just can't stand it when people have fun the wrong way. - Chongara
I do believe that the GW "moneysheep" is a dying breed, despite their bleats to the contrary. - AesSedai
You are a thief and a predator of the wargaming community, and i'll be damned if anyone says differently ever again on my watch in these forums. -MajorTom11 
   
Made in us
Lone Wolf Sentinel Pilot





Minnesota

I didn't notice if it was posted but I will post here.

The biggest thing I look at for a P&M is if it is an army that interests me.

If it is a SM of chaos army, I pretty much won't open it unless it has a huge following.

Most Xenos armies I will never open. I don't recall ever looking at an Eldar army blog. Part of it (same with SM and chaos) is it all ends up looking the same to me. There is only so many space marines or orks you can look at before it all just blends in.

With guard (in my mind, which I like looking at) you get such a huge variety, just in the plastics, and then add in what people convert, it seems like no 2 guard army is the same.

Now to keep me reading a P&M, it needs all the things above. Even then it has to be interesting to me too. There are some guard blogs that follow all of that, that I never look at again simply because the scheme doesn't speak to me, but that is not on having a good P&M or not.

DS:90S+G+M--B+IPw40k10#+D+A++/areWD383R+++T(S)DM+
2565 points Mech Guard
2500 points 214th Corsairs Guard WIP
2500 points 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Perth, Australia

illuknisaa: I have just subscribed to your blog. To add to what MagickalMemories said above, for me you failed on "Regular updates". 7 posts in almost 3 weeks is just not enough. If I had seen that awesome Warbuggy in your first post, I would have subscribed there and then. But my subscribe list is so long, I only check the recent threads for new content. If you are not there when I check, and I don't hear about your thread some other way, I never see it! Every time you update (or someone comments) it bumps you back up to the top of that list! I won't post anything on it until you update it - Dakka warns against commenting on threads over 1 month old...

So - for the OP - regular posting is a must - it gives you more chance to be seen, more chance that you will post something someone wants to comment on (not everyone has a useful opinion about everything!) and shows commitment - why should I follow and comment on your blog if you are just going to give up in less than month?

Having said that - nothing turns me off more than "filler" or pages of off topic posts - I don't want to know that you *might* post pics in the future...

I will follow *almost* any Ork or Dark Eldar blog I come across. Others only if they take my interest - which can be because they are popular, well done, interesting (from a painting, modelling, background or some other perspective or combination of perspectives), or any other number of reasons...

I rarely comment unless I have something to say, or some encouragement to give. Again, because I know them better, I'm more likely to comment on Orks than anything else.

Most of all, I think that a new P&M blog needs to realise it is very unlikely to be an instant success (unless you are an awesome modeller/paintersomething). Like everything in life, it takes time, persistence, patience, doesn't hurt to have some skill and a sprinkling of luck. Really, the threshold for being a successful blog isn't that high - but it's not automatic. If it was automatic, there would be no incentive to make our blogs better - which would be sad...

Just my humble opinions though

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut







I've has some really successful threads, and some not so much. I'll try and share what works for me and what doesn't.

Have progress. What I mean is no matter the scope of the project, you need to move it forward. Stick to whatever the theme is, have updates, and finish the thing. You really don't start getting solid followers till you pass a certain work point. I've had a lot of people post something in a thread at a milestone, even though they have been following it from the beginning. If you abandon the thread, so do they. On that note, don't start new stuff till the original stuff is done. The posters here are great to give you a push when you need it.

I personally only post when I have an update, and I usually wait to update till after it slips off the front page. This gives the thread time to breathe, and gives the readers a chance to have a bit of dialogue between themselves. To help with this, I always start with a few rounds of updates finished, then add them over the first week. (while generating more pictures and content at home.) I keep the work slightly ahead of the updates, so I always have something to add should life get in the way.

Don't ask for things you don't want. I sometimes do really goofy things, with a specific goal in mind. If I want feedback or have questions on what would look good or not, I ask. If I have no intention of listening to other posters about what they think of option A and option B, I don't ask. Posters can spot fake conversation starters from a mile away. By the same token, I've really changed direction on different models and terrain before, due to feedback from players that I asked for.

Read what people write, and take it to heart. This applies to criticisms and overall design suggestions. I have had many a poster point out a flaw or problem in my work, which has caused me to correct the issue. I know that sounds simple in theory, but if you think an over the shoulder cannon looks awesome but the posters in the thread do not, they might be right and you might have to change it. Not only will it improve your models, but your readers know that their input matters. That's not always the case, but if something looks wrong and someone tells you about it, ask what everyone else thinks. That's also a great time to discuss solutions, but again only if you're actually open to them. When you use a thread to it's fullest strength, posters come to realize that it really is interactive, and that what they say matters. this in turn makes them speak up.

TAKE GOOD PHOTOS! It's really not hard to even use a camera phone to take a good miniature picture. Get a white or gray background, a tripod, and an indirect light source. check your camera settings against the light source and background, and you're done! Blurry, out of focus, too close, too far away, and too large image size are all unacceptable. Good photos take time, not money. I shoot on garbage with garbage, but I take time to set it up right so they come out good.

Do something aggressive. This doesn't always mean high quality, sometimes quantity has it's own quality. What I mean is don't post the mundane, unless it's a tutorial blog. Really though, 100 guardsmen painted in twelve hours or a scratch-built house from a box of cereal are what I look for in a thread, not just assemble-base-paint threads. I personally don't post about my rank and file, and when I do the thread usually doesn't go over as well as something crazy. (I'm not saying these are bad threads, they are the meat and potatoes of the painting blogs. They just tend to attract people who like that specific army, rather then gamers and modelers as a whole.)

Keep the tutorial details light. This one is just from personal experience. I find you have to strike a good balance between entertainment and information. If people want more detail I give it, but I stopped writing step-by-step instructions a while ago and have had better threads because of it.

Check what you wrote, make sure links and pictures work, and proofread. I always hit the "preview" button, check for grammar and syntax errors, and make sure everything makes sense.

Don't write novels, keep your posts short! Yeah, I don't follow this one. ever. I really should, I type two paragraphs to say what could be said in two sentences. ahh well, you can't win them all.

God sends meat, the devil sends cooks 
   
Made in fi
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine





somewhere in the northern side of the beachball

@MagickalMemories

NSFW part is actually quite funny as the title originally had NSFW tag on it but somebody "whined" that it wasn't nsfw enough so I removed. Personally I don't even feel that it needed nsfw but I don't disagree with you. Next time will just hide the nsfw pics with spoilers.

What kind of title would you suggest? There are plenty of X's WAAAGH.

What do you think of this for size:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/gallery/337789-.html?m=2

@Arakasi
Thanks for subscribing.
Reason why I stopped updating is because I don't really know if people are interested in my stuff. I don't take pics or start writing stories for myself. I do it for others' enjoyment. Is there a way actually know if somebody subscribed to your thread?

Every time I hear "in my opinion" or "just my opinion" makes me want to strangle a puppy. People use their opinions as a shield that other poeple can't critisize and that is bs.

If you can't defend or won't defend your opinion then that "opinion" is bs. Stop trying to tip-toe and defend what you believe in. 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Perth, Australia

Not that I know of - you could try asking in the Nuts and Bolts section...

Doing it for others rather than yourself is always going to be harder - especially starting out (I do mine for myself - any comments or enjoyment by others is just a pleasant bonus!) However, once you have a "following" - getting new threads/projects up and running is a *lot* easier

And there are ways we (myself, other Dakkanauts) can help you out if you make the effort and ask... (that goes for anyone!)

   
Made in au
Painting Within the Lines






Brisbane, Australia

Some nice information here!

A couple of things I'm wondering though - for updates, how regular is 'regular'? I know I sure as hell couldn't keep up with posting an actual progress update every second day - I just don't have the time to paint that much, alas. Sometimes I have to go for several days without any hobby time, then I'll get a day or two where I can put in a few solid hours and get a significant amount of modding/painting done all in one go.

Also, what do people prefer to see - more frequent updates with not as much visible progress, or slightly less frequent updates with definite visible progress between posts? I know I don't always remember to stop and take photos during a several-hour painting stint, so sometimes my progress posts tend to jump a fair bit, eheh. I might have to get into the habit of keeping my camera closer at hand.

I always try to reply to any feedback I get and answer any questions as soon as I can. Discussing stuff with others is awesome.

DR:80S+G+M+B++I++Pw40k10#+D++A+/eWD-R+T(M)DM+
DeviantArt: Drawings & Paintings & Gakk


A small group of Thousand Sons and a detachment of Grey Knights must work together against forces that threaten them both...
 
   
Made in us
Nasty Nob on Warbike with Klaw





St. Louis, MO

I don't know what you're going to DO with it, but I like what you're doing with that giant Ork. That's a good start.

As for updates... I think once a week should be minimum but, really, the more the better. The more (quality) updates you put in there, the more interest it will generate with people.

Eric

Black Fiend wrote: Okay all the ChapterHouse Nazis to the right!! All the GW apologists to the far left. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE !!!
The Green Git wrote: I'd like to cross section them and see if they have TFG rings, but that's probably illegal.
Polonius wrote: You have to love when the most clearly biased person in the room is claiming to be objective.
Greebynog wrote:Us brits have a sense of fair play and propriety that you colonial savages can only dream of.
Stelek wrote: I know you're afraid. I want you to be. Because you should be. I've got the humiliation wagon all set up for you to take a ride back to suck city.
Quote: LunaHound--- Why do people hate unpainted models? I mean is it lacking the realism to what we fantasize the plastic soldier men to be?
I just can't stand it when people have fun the wrong way. - Chongara
I do believe that the GW "moneysheep" is a dying breed, despite their bleats to the contrary. - AesSedai
You are a thief and a predator of the wargaming community, and i'll be damned if anyone says differently ever again on my watch in these forums. -MajorTom11 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser






Honestly, I like it when people don't clog up the threads with "Great job man", "Cool Model", "subbed", etc for pages and pages of the thread.

I understand that for the OP, those comments are great, especially if they aren't a perfect painter, but they just irritate me when I'm trying to check out the OP's models. Like, if it isn't absolutely essential to post, just don't. Send your praise by PM or something..

Good pictures too. If the pictures are done with a cheap mobile phone, it isn't pleasant.


If only ZUN!bar were here... 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Ordinate






Cleveland, OH

so here's a question:

Should you "bank" material at the start, to add after you get a few views? Meaning, should you have more pictures and discussion to add early on to generate interest?


My Painted Armies
Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 13,000pts
Daigo's Household Guard: 1850pts
Cygnar: 200pts 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Perth, Australia

I think you have to balance your goal for your blog, the time you can commit to it and your hobby, and the stage your blog is at - and that is going to be different for everyone, which leads to no hard and fast answers...

If your goal is simply to have a popular blog, there are some very tough decisions for you to make before you even start - mainly what are you good at (or have a strong and/or interesting opinion about) that is already popular on Dakka. You are going to have a much easier time with Imperial Guard than Beastmen for example - and you need to tailor accordingly. Of course, most people want to actually blog about what *they* are interested in/doing, which tends to narrow the interest pool somewhat (unless that just happens to match something popular...) This is why it is better to blog for you, not everyone else - certainly in the beginning...

If I was to start a new blog that I wanted to be successful (not necessarily immensely popular) that was tailored to my hobby, I would start with the following:

1) At least a page to get started (though probably not more than 2) - including pictures, with an appropriate (hopefully catchy) title, where you introduce yourself and the blog - outline a bit about yourself, the topic and goals of the blog, and kicking off with something actually related.

It is important at this stage to realise that the people who are reading at this point either like looking at new threads, or have an interest in the army/theme, or just found the title catchy - or just arrived by accident. At this point - any views or comments are a bonus! This step is an important foundation for later - but remember, you can always go back and update your first post! (Which also where you can update the blog title)

2) Next, you want regular updates. Now, this is going to depend on your hobby time and time to blog, but is also a balancing act against views/comments. Early on, you will want as many as possible - once a day is ideal, but you probably don't want to leave it more than once every second day. Don't worry - this gets easier! If your hobby time is limited, and especially if you have a large backlog of completed and/or wip projects, it would be better to spread this out so that you are updating regularly rather than bombing it all at once. Make each post about one item, make sure it contains at least one picture and go into some detail - at least a paragraph, but no more than a page. If you can ask specific questions (not just asking for comments) even better, but not necessary.

Your first goal shouldn't be to get people to comment, but to subscribe. Now the default setting if they comment is that they become subscribed, so that's a win-win for you, but don't get too demoralised if you have a high view count and low comments to begin with. You want to post regularly to keep your blog near the top of the recent threads - this gives you the most potential exposure, shows commitment, and gets you into a routine. You want people subscribed because it is easier to keep at the top of a person's subscribed list than the recent threads (it also means they will see when you have updated easier) People will subscribe if they are interested in updates to your thread, but only if they found it in the first place - and only if there was content of interest when they did!

You won't be able to measure subscribers, so the next goal is comments - though like subscribers, you can't force this to happen. I guess it is like a filter - viewers > subscribers > commenters - you have to work on increasing viewers so that subscribers and commenters will sort themselves out (though the better and more regular your content, the greater the conversion from viewers to subscribers to commenters will be...) This leads to..

3) Now that we have a blog, with content and regular updates, we need to get more viewers. There are a number of strategies you can employ. Some are:
a) Make sure you have a link to your blog, maybe with a sentence of additional information, in your signature. Everywhere you post now has an "unobtrusive" link to your blog!
b) Add a post announcing and linking to your blog in your introduction thread (you made an introduction thread post right?)
c) Start commenting in other people's blogs, especially those that are of interest to you - and in a meaningful way. Each post reinforces a) above, and increases your potential pool of viewers - firstly from that blog owner who might check you out, but also their readers - but you have to contribute something useful!
d) Request help or comments, via blogs or PMs. I would do this sparingly - you don't want to spam blogs/PMs or you will have the opposite effect and drive people away. But if you find someone who has a technique that would help a project you are blogging on, if it's useful to just you - PM them, if it's useful to everyone - comment your request.

The DCMs keep a private thread for pointing out great blogs that are not getting enough love to send a tide of DCMs their way

The reason we don't do this earlier is that we want the best chance to convert people to subscribers/commenters. If you tell everyone about your new blog, but there is nothing there, you have pretty much wasted the announcement

4) Reply to comments. Realistically, you need to be doing this as comments appear, but here's the "get's easier" part - every time someone comments on your blog (or you respond) - you get bumped back to the top of the recent threads list! It's like posting an update without having to! So - where initially it would be best to be putting up stuff once a day, you can now count *other* people's comments and your replies towards this. This will allow you to start reducing your hobby updates to 2-3 times a week. As your comments increase, so can your hobby updates decrease until you fall into a balance you are happy with. Some people can go a week, some a couple - depends on the blog.

I'm starting to think this should be an article...

Anyway - I hope someone gets something useful out of this very long post!



   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Southend-on-Sea

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/413380.page how can I improve my blog to get more comments?
   
Made in fr
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

Oh and think about this:
Having 4 or 5 pages full of chit chat between the OP and some friends really is annoying when there is not a trace of an update in there. There are blogs where this happens all the time, so I usuall won't bother to look at them when they are pushed to the top of my subd threads. (and eventualy remove them)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/14 23:25:41


LOOK!! a shameless self-promotion! (gasp!)
My ORK!-Blog here on dakka And if you need a good conversion or a paintjob... My commission blog

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Looking for Painting & Modelling advice? Click here! 
   
Made in gb
Zealous Witch Finder






London, UK

I have quite a few blogs that I update sporadically. Obviously, I'm only going to get comments/views if I've updated recently. Other times, I think i lose out on comments because I don't tend to run with popular or flavour of the month armies.

Currently, I'm running my Arbites blog. http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/346076.page It's had long periods of inactivity, and then periods where I update every other day. It doesn't get a huge amount of comments, though, which I guess might be because people aren't that interested in Arbites? Though if anyone has any better ideas why it's not getting a lot of comments I'd love to hear them...

As far as me viewing blogs goes, what I want to see is...

- ONE PROJECT PER BLOG. I am never ever going to click on a blog if it's just 'XX's blog of stuff he painted'. I'd like to see the evolution of a project from start to finish. If you've got five projects on the go, have five blogs - that way people can follow the armies their interested in.

- NO EXTERNAL LINKS. I'm on dakka for a reason. I'm not going to click a link to someone's external blog.

- INTERESTING ARMIES. I want inspiration - to see what varied, different and crazy armies people are building. If i click on a link and it's just another generic Cadian army, I'll click away.

- ANSWERING PEOPLE. Even if you just say thanks..

- QUESTIONS. I'm never one for unwarranted C&C, but I like blogs where the owner asks us things. It encourages interaction. It doesn't have to be 'what do you think of the painting' either - hell, if I'm three units into an army already there's very little chance of me changing my painting recipe due to some blog C&C, however good it is. But I still ask questions - how can i convert this guy? Where can i find a good part? What's the best way to achieve this effect I'm thinking of using? etc etc...




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Arm.chair.general wrote:http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/413380.page how can I improve my blog to get more comments?


It gets better later, but i'd say the first couple of posts are quite off putting. There are SO many images that the first few take quite a while to load. The blog states that it's about Plague Guard but the second post is about goblins. It then seems to jump from 'this is how I'm going to do my army' to a shot with half the army finished. Because of this, the models you've built and your progress aren't quite clear. I'd take the time to set up a REALLY good photo of each squad as you complete it. On a flat BG, lit, etc.

It gets better as the C&C gets better, but i still think some 'finished model' shots would really help to break up the stream of photos.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2012/03/15 00:10:29


   
Made in au
Painting Within the Lines






Brisbane, Australia

ArbitorIan wrote:
- ONE PROJECT PER BLOG. I am never ever going to click on a blog if it's just 'XX's blog of stuff he painted'. I'd like to see the evolution of a project from start to finish. If you've got five projects on the go, have five blogs - that way people can follow the armies their interested in.

Out of curiosity, when you say one project per blog, do you mean like one model, or one unit, or one whole army, or just stuff with the same theme even if they aren't going to be in the same army? If I'm working on a few different models at the same time, but they're all part of the same army or theme, is that still 'one project'?

DR:80S+G+M+B++I++Pw40k10#+D++A+/eWD-R+T(M)DM+
DeviantArt: Drawings & Paintings & Gakk


A small group of Thousand Sons and a detachment of Grey Knights must work together against forces that threaten them both...
 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Chaplain with Hate to Spare





Boston, MA

Skits wrote:
ArbitorIan wrote:
Out of curiosity, when you say one project per blog, do you mean like one model, or one unit, or one whole army, or just stuff with the same theme even if they aren't going to be in the same army? If I'm working on a few different models at the same time, but they're all part of the same army or theme, is that still 'one project'?

I would say one army, or at most one theme. If a guy's got an Ultramarines blog and starts posting his Cygnar dudes in there, people might be put off. If you're doing an Ultramarines army and paint some IG from Ultramar to tie in with them, that's something else entirely, and I would say perfectly acceptable. Meanwhile, if you're doing something niche like Necromunda, you could get away with doing a few gangs.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Perth, Australia

Arm.chair.general wrote:http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/413380.page how can I improve my blog to get more comments?
I make your blog 45 posts over almost 4 months, so a post approximately every three days, and persistent - which is good - you are getting views, which is to be expected, but not the comments you would like, which means you just need to tweak the content.... I don't know how popular Chaos blogs are - I only tend to frequent them myself if they are exceptional (if yours was an Ork blog I would already be subscribed...) - that's a reflection on me, not your blog

Anyway - there are a couple of additional things going through your blog that probably aren't helping - well, if everyone on Dakka is like me anyway (and they aren't...)
1) It seems a bit unfocused / all over the place. You skip between painted models, wip models, scenery, games, fw models etc - it is hard to commit to a blog when you can't follow any progress...
2) Try posting up more stages in your modelling/painting - it feels a bit more like a showcase thread than a p&m blog at the moment. This will help with...
3) ...try asking for more specific comments, rather than general C&C welcome. It's a P&M blog, C&C welcome should go without saying!

Back to the original post, I feel I should repost this from Gitsplitta's blog, seeing as it is related

Gitsplitta wrote:Alf wrote:
So Gits, I'm about to start a P&M Blog, and I was like "I saw a thread on Dakka about 'what makes a good P&M blog.'" So, I was curious about the advice I saw there, in comparison to what you and a few other threads I subscribe to have." According to some of the advice I saw, they were talking about the OP containing lots of painted images (no one is going to want to read about the painting you plan on doing blah blah blah)... So I noticed you didn't have any painted minis on the first post (updates to that post obviously have since fixed that), but you didn't have anything painted on the first page either... So I did some digging, and found you didn't have any painting until page 4 of your blog. Then it got me thinking about the longevity of this blog, and the community aspect centered around it. Obviously this is just more than your Mantis Warriors, but their development as a community influenced project.


Hey Alf, thanks for the comments and compliments... I really appreciate it.

Keep in mind I'm still a relative newbie to the whole blog game. This was only the second blog (or thread) I'd ever done... the first being the thread about my son's Doom Eagle army started a month before this one. So keep in mind that in spite of the size of this particular thread... I'm still pretty much learning as I go.


Generally, my comments have very little to do with content as there are virtually infinite ways of structuring a blog that is interesting, vibrant and engaging. I will however, make a couple of comments about things that I think are important as far as content goes.

1) Title: The title of the blog is very important as it is the first, and perhaps only thing that 100% of potential readers will see. Make it as detailed and specific as you can without making it too lengthy. You want to leave room for update announcements. Also, if you can leave a bit of a question in people's minds without being obtuse, or use language that adds a bit of flair... it may pique their curiosity. Make sure to note key updates in the title with a date and brief description.

2) OP: Provide a little information about yourself. Doesn't have to be personal, mainly your gaming/modeling background so people have some context to view your work.

3) OP: Briefly lay out the scope of what you're trying to accomplish and why. Look for a "hook"... something interesting or unique about your project that may cause people to care about following you. For me (I think), it was a combination of the era that I started 40k (i.e. my age) and the fact that at the time I began the blog, the Mantis Warriors were a forgotten chapter along with the entire Badab War. You probably know better than I what first attracts folks to this blog.

4) OP: A picture is worth a thousand words. In spite of how I started this blog, I agree with the advice you cite 100%. I don't care what skill level you are, just show me a pic so I can start helping you (or oooh & aaah if you're better than I am). I just got lucky in having an engaging topic... I also started by asking for people's opinions on my background, ideas I had for modeling, etc... at least that's my recollection, that goes back to the hook I mentioned earlier. Note* a blurry pic, is a useless pic.

5) Body: What keeps a blog going is your audience... you're just kind a catalyst that throws fuel on the fire once in a while. It's their ideas, their interest, their willingness to comment & contribute that not only grows the blog but keeps it up near the top of the "recent threads" list, which ultimately gets you more eyeballs. It's also what makes YOU better... so never think that your blog is about you... it's about them. Community is everything with this type of blog.

6) Body: #5 applies unless you are a P&M god... in which case you can just throw your stuff up and let it ride on it's own merits.

7) Body: Engage you listeners as often as possible. Ask opinions on figures *early* in the process, ask questions about painting techniques. BE SPECIFIC!! Don't waste people time by asking questions so broad that they'd need to write a novel to answer them. Questions like: Should I try glowing eyes or clear lens style eyes? Does anyone know of a good OSL tutorial? What's the best way to make rocks for a base? Does this pose look natural or forced? Can someone point me to somewhere to learn about wet blending? Etc. etc.

8) Body: If you're going to ask for CnC, you'd damn well be willing to take it. Nothing is dumber than someone asking for comments and suggestions and then arguing with everyone who makes them. I've seen this more often than you'd imagine.

9) Body: That being said, that doesn't mean you need to accept every suggestion made. Stand up for yourself from time to time and you'll earn your readers respect. However... be nice. Recognize the validity of the suggestion, kick it around a bit, discuss it... even if you don't intend to take the advice, let the reader know that you appreciate the suggestion and will keep it in mind for later projects.

10) Body: Relating to 8 and 9... be honest with your readers. If you're really just showing off a figure or build with no intention of changing it... just post it and say something like "hope you like it!". It's OK to state non-negotiables to your readers... but it helps if you can also state things that your undecided about and are looking for ideas about at the same time. If you read the first few pages of my blog, you've seen me lay a few non-negotiables out right from the onset. Didn't seem to hamper the discussion because they were plenty of negotiables for people to chew on.

11) Etiquette: Be polite. Answer your readers posts by name. Don't always quote them, it's cumbersome... just do the "@Alf:" thing and you'll be fine most of the time. Save quotes for when time has passed between post and reply, or if what you say might be of interest to more than just the questioner. Thank people for their contributions. Show them that you're heeding their advice. Welcome new posters warmly and try to give them a bit of insight (in a sentence or two) to help them get caught up.

12) Reciprocate in Kind: Visit other peoples blogs and comment honestly and genuinely on their work. Try to be helpful rather than just "wow" posts (though I admit I do too many of these myself... there's just too many amazingly talented artists on Dakka). I often find that when I post on someone else's blog, they post on mine in return. More importantly it's the give-and-take between blogs that allows you to develop relationships with other Dakkanaughts, which is really what keeps the whole thing humming along.

And finally, lucky number 13...
13) Edit, edit, edit!: I am constantly going back and adjusting my language, adding thoughts, correcting verbage. In a written medium, being clear and concise in expressing your ideas is absolutely critical. Become a wordsmith, it will serve you well on Dakka and in life.

I could go on for hours... (actually I did I guess)... but that's the meat of it from my perspective.


I'd welcome anyone else's comments. They don't have to pertain to MY blog... just things in general that you find really work well or that you really like in a blog.


   
 
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