Blaugust Blogging

Reflecting on Blaugust

September 2, 2019

So, Blaugust is over.

I have to say that I fell off from my “post every two days” around two-thirds through the month. This is likely the cause of a few things:

  • I hit an untimely gaming lull that happens to me every few months, where I basically don’t have the motivation to fire up any game. I actually ended playing a heap of board games in August though, which I suppose scratched that itch.
  • As I wasn’t playing games much, I wasn’t keeping up with gaming news or scouring forums etc.
  • I ran out of things to say. This probably has something to do with the first two points – no gaming, no ‘keeping up to date’, ergo no post inspiration.

But I was happy with the posts I did publish. They were 15 in number across the extended month of Blaugust. My most popular by far was a post on P99 Green and the Project1999 starter experience. Its popularity is likely due to the fact I publicised it on the Project1999 forums, though I also did that with a few subsequent posts and they never got the same reach. The top five are all posts that talk about MMO mechanics, classic vs modern MMOs, and the like.

My least popular post was almost a five-way tie between a post on my own failures to post, a post on EVE Online, my ‘starter’ post on the blog, a post on Twilight Struggle (a board game) and a post on a silly event from my early MMO past.

What does this tell me? My readers, few as they may be, like reading my perspectives on the MMORPG genre, but aren’t especially drawn in by my musings about myself, or things that fall too far outside of my patch.

My overall Blaugust performance tells me that my ‘post limit’ is around one to two a week. I basically came into Blaugust with a real passion to write a lot, but found myself pushing myself to pump out content. I think I could have spent more time making each one of my posts better, published them over 2-3 months, and felt more satisfied with the end product of each.

It may be wise for future Blaugust mentors to caution newbie bloggers to not over-extend themselves by trying to post everday (or more frequently than they can handle). I am certainly not blaming Blaugust for this, but really my own hubris. I write quickly, I thought, I have a lot of ideas, I thought, but I didn’t expect to ‘get over’ producing content so quickly.

Perhaps it has little to do with Blaugust or too regular posting. It is perhaps more to do with the fact that my gaming loves lie 15-20 years in the past and there is only so much ‘fresh’ content one can derive.

I will soon know. I am planning to continue to post, at around 1-2 per week, when I start to game again and can connect more with the content I produce. Until then, Where The Monsters Are may be a little quiet.

I’d like to thank the kind folks in the Blaugust Discord, but perhaps especially Naithin from Time to Loot. Most mentors and many others provided assistance to me at some point, but Naithin stands out as someone who encouraged, aided and supported me with thoughtful comments and feedback. He’s a gem and Blaugust is lucky to have him and all the other helpful people in this niche writing community.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. <3

    But I would caution on reading too much into the stats as to what you should post. Especially not once we got into the thick of Blaugust and posts were flying everywhere, every day, with little hope for most of us mortal folk from keeping up with everything come out — even had we wanted to.

    That said, I will say that I personally engage less with the complete side-step posts such as Board gaming. Not just here though, but on every blog. I'll poke my nose in as time allows, if it allows, but yeah…

    Although I don't count about the author or trying other games in amongst that sort of post. I quite enjoy those, and I know many other readers about the place too.

    I reckon Blaugust is a great way to introduce (or relaunch, as a case may be) a blog in a flurry of hype and good will, but it will be the ones that carry on past Blaugust when the signal to noise ratio starts improving again that'll prove to be the real winners — so I'm glad to hear it reaffirmed that you'll keep going!

    Post what you will in the meantime though, I wouldn't at all feel constrained by stats over a single, busy, month. 🙂

  2. I try to read every post on blogs I follow but there are certain topics I just can’t keep my eyes open for – anything about Destiny 1 or 2 almost literally makes my eyelids droop, for example, and i struggle to get through posts about Warframe. Even though I’m an an MMORPG blogger first and foremost i really like posts about what people are gettign up to in real life. I enjoy Belghast’s posts about his home and work as much as anythign he writes about games, for example. I also like people writing off topic on other forms of games and different hobbies, although there’s altogether too much about borad gaming these days al over the blogosphere, for my tastes at least.

    As for stats, when I started blogging and for several years I looked at my stats all the time. Even though I was quite clear that I was writing for myself, keeping a kind of web-based diary, when the stats are put in front of you, as I’m sure all blogging platforms do, it’s very hard to ignore them.

    After a while I started to pay less attention to them and then I had an absolutely vast inundation of bot-driven visits that went on for more than a year. My monthly vieiwing totals, which had been rising in a nice, steady slope over several years and had reached about 20k a month suddenly ballooned to 40k then 60k almost overnight. It became completely impossible to take them seriously and that broke my habit of paying any attention to them at all.

    These days I rarely look at the stats at all, even though the bot wave has long since ebbed. Google Analytics sends me a monthly summary which I do look at. It’s radically different and, I’m guessing, a lot more accurate. By their records I have about a tenth as many readers as the base Blogger stats show. Over the last four weeks, for instance, I’ve had 1200 different people visit the blog for a total of 2500 “sessions”.

    Blogger itself, however, says I’ve had 28 thousand “page views” over the same period. I’m really not sure how to parse that, especially given the reporting is coming from the same source. Therefore I take all the stats with a huge pinch of salt. My real guide to whether a post is finding an audience is the number of comments I get. That’s what makes me feel satisified. I can judge pretty accurately now, which posts will get a response and which will seem to have passed unnoticed, but I try not to let that influence what I write.

    I just post what i want to post and if people read it, so much the better. If not, well the main reason I write is so I can look back years later and relive a moment of my past as it actually was, not how I remember it. Astonishing how different those two things can be.

    As for what you should do… you should do whatever makes you feel blogging is enjoyable to you. Post what you like, when you like. If people read it, fine. If not, it’s their loss!

Leave a Reply