How to Be a Better Blogger

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avatar TheCastleCraft
Level 18 : Journeyman Dragon

Meet Joey. He logs onto his Mac and creates a PMC account called xXJoeychuXx. He doesn't bother to read the rules and goes right away to the blogs section and creates a blog that starts like this: "Hello guiyse im xXJoeychuXx and dis is a blawg (lol I'm so funi) about meh. My YouTube is xXJoeychuXx and eyed luv to be famous so pls support my patreon!!! Be sure to dia dis blawg and sub to my PMC and my YT." Horrible blog, right? Well, then a person like me comes along and leaves a comment on Joey's blog telling him that the blog is against the rules. Joey hops on and reads the comment, rages, deletes the comment, reports all my content, ignores me, and leaves PMC forever.

Alright, on with this blog. Planet Minecraft is a home to the Minecraft community's greatest accomplishments. Not only that, but it is also a home to incredibly terrible content. People have made countless rants about the teen skins and unoriginal builds. All of these rants are always controversial and long, and the bad content creators rarely read them. However, this blog isn't going to complain (sort of). The point of this blog is to turn people like Joey into high quality content creators.

Step 1: Come up with an idea

An obvious step one, but people still create blogs that already exist. As much as you want to make original content, sometimes it is difficult to come up with an idea. A good idea for a PMC blog is one that could go on for multiple paragraphs and contributes to the Minecraft community. Now, note that I did say community. This probably seems very obvious to you, but not all blogs have to be about PMC or Minecraft, they can be about other things, but you have to keep those blogs relevant to the Minecraft or PMC community one way or another. 

Another big issue with Today's blogs is that they simply aren't developed enough. Now, I'm guilty of this mistake on my first blog, but learning to get away from that habit is a big step in the right direction. By underdeveloped, I specifically mean blogs that could be replaced by a forum post. Not only are these blogs against the rules and should be reported, but they are a waste of space on the blogs section.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Blog Follows the Rules.

Before you start work on a blog, make sure it isn't against the rules, or else it will become a complete waste of time. To sum up some commonly broken rules, advertising your work anywhere other than chat every 15 minutes or on your profile is a sign of bad content. Another commonly broken rule are this blogs that really belong on the forums. Yes, I'm talking about all of your introduction blogs. There is a specific section on the forums where that belongs, and people still do it. Read the rules here.

Step 3: Stand up to the challenge.

Before you start hitting away at those keyboard keys to write your little idea down on a word processor, motivate yourself that you can finish the blog. If you know that you can't create the blog that you wish, just go back to step one and come up with something that you can.

Step 4: Get Writing!

This step is the step that most people don't put enough effort into, which causes bad quality in their blog. When you write, I recommend listening to classical music or smooth jazz because it gets you thinking. Now, you NEVER, and I mean it, write your blog on PMC. You should always draft your blog on either a word processor on your computer or note taking app on a mobile device. You have to stay very focused while writing a blog, or else it won't be your best effort.

Personally, I like writing my blogs while I travel, because you don't an Internet connection to write. It's much more efficient than just sitting on a 10 hour flight to wherever you might be going, and it helps pass the time. Whoops, that's right, I've got a connecting flight to catch. Thanks for reading... Alright, sorry for killing your sense of humor with that one.

Step 5: Proofreading

If this step is done incorrectly, your blog just gets a chunk worse. This step is all about making sure that your blog says what you want it to say using proper grammar. Now, many bloggers have debated how good one's grammar better be, and I think that as long as a reader can see that the grammar is good, it's fine. I do strongly recommend that when you proofread, you pay attention to the overall flow and capitalization of proper nouns.

Though many bloggers disagree, if you really have trouble with writing and grammar, start learning and you can try your best. However, if you're just lazy and you blog for XP, just stop. The point of blogs on PMC is to share high quality Minecraft experiences and ideas. Good bloggers repeat this step multiple times.

Step 6: Create a Thumbnail

Ah, the thumbnail. The image that (hopefully) drives people to click on your blog. Now, even though thumbnails aren't as much of a pain as they used to be, they can still be tricky to create. A good thumbnail should be able to show what type of blog the blog is. If the thumbnail is a 3D scene of two steps in combat with a colosseum background, the blog better be about PvP. If the thumbnail is irrelevant like a picture of Pikachu on a rant blog about servers, the thumbnail is irrelevant.

A good thumbnail doesn't have to be fancy, though. Take for example by blog about rabbits. That blog's thumbnail was just a screenshot of a wild bunny that I had merged with a Wikipedia picture of space with a title plastered on in an online photo editor. I particularly remember being complimented for that thumbnail in a PM.

If you want to go the extra mile, I suggest playing around a little with MineImator, a free and versatile 3D animating program for Minecraft that CheatSource told me about. Once you get your 3D set created, you can save what you have made and toss it into photoshop and add some realism. Again, I'm not the best at thumbnails but make it relevant and make it Minecrafty.

Step 7: Publishing

Congratulations, you have almost made it through this long blog. Alright, everyone loves publishing their blogs for the world to see, right? Well, there's a lot to think about. When you publish, you want to format everything in an organized manner. I recommend using the built in lines function to separate sections of the blog. You can also just bold your subtitles and even use color. I don't recommend using color, but many good bloggers do it, so I guess you can too. You want to come up with a clever and catchy title with good alliterations that don't distract the reader, and hook you in to read.

Other Tips

-If you don't naturally meet the word limit, rethink what you are doing.

-Self promotions are a sign of bad bloggers. If someone likes your content, they don't need you telling them to diamond.

-Don't use anime thumbnails. There's a good chance that they're copyrighted and they are usually a sign of a low-quality blog. More on anime thumbnails coming soon in a future blog.

-Always stay positive. If you criticize too much and help too little, the content won't be well-received.

-Blog series are always a good thing if the first or second blog in the series is well received.

-Never post earlier than noon EST and later than 10 PM (22 Military time) EST. Many users of PMC still go to school and come on to read PMC about those hours. Time conversions here.

-Do your best at all times. Never be lazy.

Alright, that's all for this blog for now. Thanks for reading!

2 Update Logs

Update #2 : 07/16/2015 1:56:45 pmJul 16th, 2015

expanded on first step to be more useful. also fixed a few grammar mistakes. unintentional blog revive, but I think the site needs it.

02/17/2015 4:53 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Gent
The beginning of the "other" tips is ridiculous.

I am an active blogger, and I can turn out a blog in less than half an hour. Very few blogs of mine take more time than that, and I've never been called "spammish" or "bad". Setting a time for it seems ludicrous, since some people take more time than that to make crappy blogs, and some take less time than that to make great blogs.

Generalization like that tends to never work.
02/17/2015 8:16 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Dragon
Alright, I see what you mean, but the more experienced you are, the better and more efficient you are at blogging. A new blogger may take an hour to create a blog that would take me or you 20 minutes. However, to keep new bloggers disciplined, I will not change that point until more people agree.
02/17/2015 10:26 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Gent
And if you were telling people HOW to blog, that'd be completely fine. But this is mainly to help people get better, so generalizing a time limit seems counter-intuitive.
02/19/2015 8:59 pm
Level 77 : Legendary Fox
Perhaps he can change it to having "If your blog doesn't have xx words, your blog needs more effort put in." That would make more sense I think. :3 Reading blogs makes me want to make blogs of my own.
02/19/2015 9:06 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Gent
Still, that makes no sense. Words don't make a blog, content makes a blog. The benchmark for an acceptable blog is 350, according to the rules. I honestly don't see any reason that there should be a place where he says that "If you don't have XX, you need to put more effort into it.", as any reason could be busted fairly easily.

I've written short stories that are almost outside the minimal word count, and they've been some of my most popular blogs. None of them are spam, or have "minimal effort". A blog can be a blog without a certain amount of blogs.
02/19/2015 9:24 pm
Level 77 : Legendary Fox
You have a good point that quality is important. But this blog is about "how to be a better blogger". What if you wrote more lengthy blogs that retain the same high quality as opposed to a shorter one. I think you need a balance between quality and quantity. I'm sure you can improve if you wrote more good stuff, trying to keep a high standard. It's challenging to do that, but it'll pay off if you write a little bit more.
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