Swords, Sorcery and Snow Trolls – The Skyrim Guide to Bloggingby Andrew on Nov 18, 2011 • 9:30 am 5 Comments
If you find yourself within earshot of a nerd this week, the chances are that you’ll hear the word “Skyrim” bandied about in excitable tones. Don’t worry – this isn’t some obscure lewd act known only to members of the mile-high club. It’s a computer game.
And it’s the source of some good advice for bloggers. So grab your trusty Dwarven War Axe and don your +1 Boots of Blogging. It’s time to get fantastical.
The Skyrim Guide to Successful Blogging
For the uninitiated, Skyrim is a game set in a sprawling fantasy Scandinavia, where you have the freedom to do pretty much what you want. And lots of it involves killing dragons with a variety of massive axes.
This might not sound like it has much to do with writing a blog. But if you can peer past the giant lizard-slaying and the hybrid Swedish Chef/Arnie crossover accent, Skyrim has more than a few great tips up its fur-lined sleeves.
When abandoned in a huge virtual medieval world, it’s hard to stay focused. There’s so much to do. Like killing dragons with axes, killing trolls with axes and, well, introducing Mr. Axe to a whole host of other fantasy Nordic wildlife.
It’s really difficult to stay on track. Which is why the game sets you a bunch of tasks (some of which involve neither dragons, nor axes) so that you can get things done.
The same is true of blogging. There’s a whole world of subjects to cover, advice to deal out and conversations to dive into. And, yes, there’s some milage in taking (metaphorical) axes to (metaphorical) trolls.
So set yourself a blogging goal – whether it’s to gain a set number of subscribers, attract recognition from specific people in your niche, or just to write on a regular basis.
And once you’re on track to meeting your goals, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to unsheathe the axe and hunt a few trolls.
Know When to Shout!
When your Skyrim character’s axe can’t cut through a dragon’s armoured hide, you need to resort to a mystical ability called a shout – unleashing a blast of vocal energy to deter the flying lizard from flambéing your face.
It’s loud, it’s attention-grabbing, and it’s fairly crucial to the storyline. But even though you can’t unleash torrents of mystic force through your pie-hole*, you can use your shouts to equally useful effect.
Because while you won’t be shouting at dragons, you will be shouting at your potential audience. From every mountain top, belltower and social bookmarking site across the land.
Shameless self-promotion is the key to any blogger’s success, so stop being shy. Take a few deep breaths and unleash your shouts across Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else that your message might be heard.
Take the Time to Read
One of the hallmarks of the Elder Scrolls series (of which Skyrim is game 5) is the fact that the game is chock-full of reading materials – with fully-stocked libraries in every other building.
It’s this glut of reading material that means playthroughs can last for hundreds of hours, as culture-starved gamers digest more virtual books than they’d ever read in real life, hoping to glean that all important bit of information that makes their axe-play ever-so-slightly easier.
And much like a level 18 Wizard looking for that all important spell tome, the level 0 blogger needs to read voraciously in search of pertinent and helpful information.
So make sure that you’ve got a fully-stocked RSS feed, and that you’re subscribed to as many leading blogs as you can comfortably digest.
Unmemorable Title is a great place to start. But you know that already.
Find Like-Minded People
It might sound like the life of an adventurer who spends his days embedding axes into skulls across the frozen tundra is a lonely one. And frankly, it can be. Which is why any new face in Skyrim soon gravitates towards a group of people with similar interests.
Light-fingered larcenists will find themselves in the Thieves Guild, stab-happy sociopaths will gravitate towards the Assassin’s Guild and wizards will always find a place at (SPOILER ALERT) the Wizard’s Guild.
So surely bloggers should seek out the Blogger’s Guild?
Unfortunately though, there isn’t one. But that’s probably only because a social media presence is far cheaper than the upkeep of a guild hall. So when you start off on your blogging adventure, make sure you seek out the like-minded sorts who can offer you moral support and guidance.
Finally, the key to a good Skyrim experience is to have fun. No matter how you carve your furrow in the frozen, dragon-infested north, you need to do it in a way that you enjoy.
And this holds true for blogging too. Make sure you enjoy your blogging endeavours and you’ll find that the road to success if fraught with far less dangers than the troll-strewn pathways to High Hrothgar.
Just don’t bring an axe to an SEO seminar.
If you’re an Elder Scrolls Addict with some great advice for newbie Bloggers, leave a comment in the comments section below!
*Note: If you can unleash torrents of mystic force through your pie-hole, get a YouTube video up ASAP. That stuff’s cool.
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