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Andrew Kauz avatar 10:06 PM on 03.28.2011  (server time)
C Blog cheat codes: How to do your first post

While your first blog at Destructoid isnít the best, most important blog youíll ever write here, itís close. A good first impression is key with the community here; take it from someone who didnít give a good first impression. Sure, my first post had words and all, but not much apart from that. It was a wall of text from a person that no one knew.

See the problem there?

So today, Iíd like to welcome you to a little series Iíll be doing here called Cblog Cheat Codes, and todayís topic is going to be for all you lurkers out there: how does one pull off a successful first post? The good news is that it really isnít all that hard.

God Mode -- Write an intro blog or fill out your profile.

If youíve not yet really ďparticipatedĒ in the community here, you might be surprised at how close we are. We chat all the time, go on podcasts with each other, and hang out in real life. This might seem scary to a newbie, but rest assured that weíre ready to welcome you to all of this. We just need some help.

Mainly, we need to know who you are. Pull this off in one of two ways: make your very first Cblog here simply an intro post where you spend some serious time telling us who you are and what makes you someone that we want to hang out with. A few paragraphs is really the minimum -- any less and you wonít give us a good idea of who you are. Have an awesome blog idea that just canít wait? No problem -- just be sure to fill out your profile before you post it, and follow the same guidelines as above. People will be much more willing to read your posts if they have even a general idea of what youíre like, why youíre here, and whether or not you suck.

Infinite Ammo -- For the love of god, use images.

Yep, I screwed this particular pooch on my first post. Got all my words together, put them in a post, picked a title, got too lazy for pictures, and posted.

Imagine if Destructoidís front page were like that! This place would be gone in a matter of days.

Thereís a good reason for that: pictures make things look better. They give the eyes a break from text, they give large blocks of text a greater sense of organization and a smaller sense of confinement, and they give color to an otherwise colorless area.

Honestly, what images you choose is far less important than simply using them. At the same time, you want to find something thatís appealing, high-res, and relevant to your content. Make sure your post starts with an image, and if you have a lot of text, throw in a few more to break everything up. Just donít use too many -- this ainít a pop up book. Lastly, donít forget to make them a respectable size so your post doesnít look like a kindergarten art project.

Invisibility -- Pay attention to your spelling, grammar, and formatting.

Again, this is one that you just need to attempt. Your first post might not be a shining example of proper MLA style and format, and you donít need to have your English class proofread it for you. Just show us that youíre trying.

Best advice? Just make your post as if you expected it to be on the front page of Destructoid. Itís extremely easy to read a few editorsí posts and see how we style the posts here. Itís similarly easy to take an extra five minutes to skim your post again to make sure you didnít accidentally forget to use the space bar. If your first post looks like ass, every reader that loads it is going to close it, and when your avatar pops up in the Cblogs for your second post, no one will bother opening it. Donít do your content a disservice by making it look or read like crap.

No Clipping -- Say something that people want to read

Iím sorry, but no one wants to read yet another article about whether games are art. No one cares anymore. No one wants to know that you played Double Dragon for the first time in years last night and that you still liked it okbai. And no one wants to read your repost of that news article that was posted on another site a week ago.

You really can post just about anything in your Cblog, but it really needs to take into account who your readers are: a group of extremely varied gamers with high expectations and a low threshold for bullshit. If thereís some popular topic that people have been writing about, you had better be prepared to approach it from an angle that no one else yet has. If you want to write about a game you really like, you had better have something more to say than, ďI like it because itís fun.Ē

Just take your time and make sure what youíre saying is something youíd find interesting to read if the roles were reversed.

Hope all you future blog all stars find this helpful. And for all of your readers out there, if youíve got some tips for those first blogs, share them here in the comments.

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