RPG Blogging 101: Be different!

As someone mentioned in the comments section of the second post in the series, the RPG blogosphere feels pretty saturated right now. The RPG Bloggers Network alone has over 300 member blogs and the RPGBN itself is only a small part of the whole RPG blogosphere.

Even if you follow all the tips I’ve given so far, you might still have a hard time attracting readers and getting noticed. Distinguishing yourself becomes a real challenge nowadays.

Content, content, content
Of course everything comes down to this. If you have quality content people will actually start reading your stuff, provided they actually find your blog. But if you have followed my advice so far, we should have this covered. But there are a lot of blogs with great contents, so what can one do to rise above the crowd?

Find your niche
The RPG blogging scene may be saturated as a whole, but there are still certain niches where your blog could thrive. When you are determined to start a blog about GMing advice for people running D&D 4th Edition you might find out soon enough that you haven’t been the only one with that idea. Focusing on more obscure games might help to reduce the competition. But alas this also reduces the number of possible readers as well. But for some people this approach works exceptionally well. Take “The Free RPG Blog” for example. In his blog Rob Lang almost exclusively reviews free roleplaying games with the random game design advice post thrown in. Rob’s blog is my #1 address when I am looking for some cool new free game.

Cover a wide spectrum of topics
That’s almost the complete opposite of what I just recommended, albeit you consider this just another “niche” a blog can fill. When I started Stargazer’s World back in the day, I wanted to basically write about everything I was interested in. As a player and GM my focus was never on only one game but I loved to try out new stuff as often as possible. I have always tried to reflect that spirit in my blog and which may be one of the reasons why it became quite successful.

Use your good looks
I actually don’t mean that literally. Ok, if you’re a good looking gamer girl with a exhibitionistic tendencies, you might win some points with the mainly male gamer crowd, but I was actually thinking about your blog’s look here.
A good theme actually helps a lot to distinguish yourself from other blogs. Let’s face it: a lot of RPG blogs may have great content, but look like they were designed by a colorblind person in the mid 1990s. Especially when you are using Blogger of WordPress you should have no trouble finding great looking themes on the web for free.

It’s easier said than done
As you can see I have actually a hard time coming up with solid advice here. Distinguishing yourself is definitely something dependent from many different factors. Your blogs topic, content, looks, etc. may play an important role, but it might actually be just a combination of luck and being at the right place at the right time. How you as a person are perceived by the community might actually play a role, too.
Being different, rising above the rest, making a name for your blog is much easier said than done. There’s no easy way there and sometimes even honest hard work may not be enough. But one things is clear: it’s always worth striving for higher goals.

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