Wargaming Tradecraft: Following Trends

Following Trends

In the gaming world, there are plenty of things going on. There are new companies coming into the business, new artists modelling minis, new rulebooks being launched, models being released, new systems and so on. If your blog talks about these things, you'll end up seeing benefits in a number of ways. It does mean a little work - signing up with newsletters, reading forums and keeping up with news. (But maybe you already do all this)

The age of Internet inundates us - there's an information overload in progress. You indexing all this stuff takes a load off your readers shoulders. People like news, geeks like geek news. You keep them interested. It's another form of content that you can deliver. This is the positive way of looking at following trends and it builds loyalty from the people who know they can come to you for that information.

A more selfish way of looking at following trends is search engine traffic. Now keep in mind, I don't get a lot of random traffic from Google - most comes from the awesomess that is everyone reading and following Wargaming Tradecraft and spreading the love. Search engine traffic, while a factor, is a very small source of readers for me. (But I'm not a news site)

You can find these stats and others by visiting http://draft.blogger.com and clicking "Stats". I wrote a single post on New Eldar Unit Rumours (cause I totally taste the rainbow) and look at this list of top all time search keywords - and that's from one post. These days, a single Grey Knight post could net you a few new visitors.

By the way, don't forget to credit where you get your news from - more on that in a later post though.

There are a few things to watch out for when you're the person reporting news. First and foremost, is to watch out for rumours. If nobody trusts your information, it doesn't matter how much you talk about new stuff. To solve this, you'll have to determine the credibility of your sources. Talking about a press release from Games Workshop is one thing, but if you heard it from some guy on a forum who's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate used to work for Games Workshop... maybe you shouldn't race to be the first to report it.

Secondly, keep in mind that there's a lot of sites out there talking about news. You might actually alienate your readers when they have to read through a bunch of blogs all reporting the exact same information. Sure, you can add your own unique view on the information and being the first to report something can be kind of cool, but by the time most get around to reading it, you'd still be just one of many. One way to temper this would be to only report on larger news pieces, so you're not constantly pouring out news.

UPDATE

As Old School Terminator also points out, images are another way to gain extra traffic through this method. Just as many people search for images of this stuff as they look for textual information.


7 comments:

  1. Hmmm rumor mongering for attention... I might just have to try that ;)

    When a new codex is coming out soon, it seems like every blogger and their moms are all talking about it. After a while I just start skipping over the 10,000 posts about whatever army is coming out, especially if that army is not something I am directly interested in. Even if I was interested I would probably still get sick of seeing it over and over again for weeks and weeks.

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  2. I just checked the stats for Maximum Heresy and found a bunch of search hits for grey knight related searches. I couldn't remember ever talking about grey knights in any posts, but it seems that the search engine was picking up the terms in the little preview of other blogs on my blogroll. I don't even have to talk about the new codex myself to get hits for it. HAH!

    Amusingly enough, we actually got a search hit for maximumheresy.blogspot.com, which is the exact address. I found that slightly amusing.

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  3. Reporting news is something I avoid unless I'm the first, or close enough, to putting it out there. As Chaosheade said, you see it so much you just ignore it after a while. Unless you have a great spin on the same thing everyone else is putting up, no sense in bothering. Then again, I suppose it depends on what you're after. You'll get traffic for it but odds are you aren't gaining any valued readers. If you want big stats then working the trends will do that but it's about all it does.

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  4. I try to be the first reporting major news and if not, then I will attribute and add thoughts from somebody local who is knowledgable in that codex. This usually yields a ton of hits. The thing is though, that news ages like vinegar, especially if there are no great pics that nobody else has, so I make sure I run it over with a regular post once the masses start posting about the topic.

    Speaking of pics, if your blog has lots of popular links and you use interesting pics for articles, you can eventually yield high results from google image searches as well - you wouldn't believe the posts I get hits on everyday just because the image worked its way up on the google image search.

    Great article Dave, your blogging articles are some of my favorites.

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  5. Thanks for the feedback.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of all the news. I read a couple sites and react with "Oh cool" but it's never a couple sites.

    @Old School: Thanks for mentioning images.. I totally forgot to add that. Will update the article.

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  6. Good article Dave, I just learned this last week! Warp Signal's just starting out and when I put up a post about the new Grey Knights I got 114 hits on that one day. I only average 45-50 a day normally.

    I think I'm going to only report on news I actually care about from now on. Like you said, it gets a bit tiresome reading the same stuff over and over again. Plus I didn't start my blog to get heaps of hits, I started it to share my own stuff with the wider community. I'd rather be a place people check for unique stuff not to find out news. I'm sure other sites are better that me for that.

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  7. That's a good attitude to have, James. Tons of hits are good for stroking the old e-peen but I prefer quality over quantity.

    I have a similar philosophy on blogging. My friend M4XVLTG3 was the one who pushed the idea of starting a blog and we wanted to do lots of cool conversions and tutorials to share with the community. I also enjoy sharing the progress on my projects and getting feedback, and being able to connect with the community and have discussions without the usual stuff you get on the forums. You know the stuff.

    We're still small but we're slowly growing.

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