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What I learnt after blogging for two months

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In some ways, this post almost feels a little redundant. I have some exciting plans to share soon and didn't want to write this. But a part of me was really keen about the idea and the inevitable tug-o-war meant there can only be one winner. This post won.

I've been blogging for a little over two months and have written a lot. I've explored topics as diverse as machine learning, nanotechnology and game development, in addition to game reviews, consoles and much more besides. It's been a fun, if somewhat long, journey at times and I'm glad I had the opportunity to share my thoughts.

In this blog post, I will explore what I learnt during this time and how it can hopefully benefit you during your own blogging adventures. 


Choose your platform carefully

My original blog was a free blog on the Blogspot/Blogger service owned by Google, which I then migrated to a domain. I wouldn't recommend doing this.

You should think carefully about whether you want to blog or just want a website. 

If you want a website to show off your games, you can always go with Squarespace, Wix or any of the million options out there. 

If you are keen to blog about your games and put pen to paper, choose a platform like WordPress (the self hosted option), find a great host and build your blog that way. There are a lot of themes, plugins etc to make it your own. 

This can help with SEO, too (something I'll go onto later)


Don't worry about monetization 

Running a blog can be a good way to earn an extra income...eventually. I wouldn't worry about it straightaway as it can be distracting. It's very easy to slip away into the shiny world of AdSense, affiliate marketing and lose focus. 

Focus on the content and then think about monetizing it once you have enough traffic. Always remember you might not earn a lot from banner ads, for example, until you have a lot of traffic.


Think about SEO

SEO can be dull. Very dull indeed. 

The technical jargon can be put off a lot of people, including game developers. 

I would think about it as part of any content plan you put in place for your blog, as ranking well for keywords can be a good way to get new visitors and attract more attention to your games. 

That can only be a good thing.

Perhaps research these topics:

* Keyword research.
* SEO basics such as page structure.
* Link building.
* Understanding what Google looks for in pages.

It can also help to work with a third party on SEO to help with areas such as keyword research, link building etc.

Don't forget to promote your blog on social media

Social signals are important with SEO, so it's important to promote your blog on Facebook, Twitter etc. 

You can use applets on IFTTT to help automate content sharing on social media, as well as tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. 

Don't give up


Blogging can be hard, so it's perfectly natural to sometimes to want to give up. If you are genuinely not interested in continuing, take a break and think about whether you want to carry on.

Sometimes, in these moments, it's important to remember why you are blogging.  This can help revitalise you and give you a much needed focus. 

Likewise, research and planning can help avoid burnout. Creating a rough plan for the week, for instance, can help you avoid fatigue by maximising your time and energy. 

Take time for other things

Finally, always remember to take time for yourself and do other things to recharge. If you are a game developer, blogging can be a fun way to document the creative process and share updates on your latest project. But take time to focus not just on the game but yourself. 

It's very easy to get stressed if you're trying to develop, blog and have family/work and other things going on as well. 

Take time for yourself and your family. It's really important. 









 

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