So you wanna start a poker blog? That’s cool. Blogging can be a great way to gain a fan base, chronicle your path as a poker player, or even just release some frustration. I’ve maintained a poker blog for nearly three years now. One thing it’s taught me is that blogging isn’t easy. It’s given me a greater appreciation for poker bloggers like Daniel Negreanu and Shannon Shorr. Delivering good content on such a regular basis is harder than it might seem!
The first thing to determine if you want to start a blog is whether to do it on a standalone URL or host through a site like Blogger. Both sides have their pros and cons. With a standalone URL, you’ll have a little more flexibility as well as a cooler URL. The downside is that it costs money for the URL (about $10) and hosting (varies, but you shouldn’t have to pay more than a few dollars per month). Blogger is free.
If you are serious about starting a poker blog that you hope to direct a lot of traffic to, I would recommend a standalone URL and the blogging software WordPress which will give you way more flexibility with regards to customizing your site than Blogger. If you’re not taking the blog too seriously and are just doing it for fun, using the free site Blogger might be a better option for you.
Once you have your blog set-up, it’s time to start writing content. If you want to maintain a blog that generates a lot of interested, returning readers, here are a few tips:
1. Don’t focus too much on specific poker hands. All poker players have ran Kings into Aces. All poker players have seen an opponent hit a two outter on the river for a big pot. This doesn’t really make for interesting blog material. As a rule of thumb, I would avoid complaining extensively about bad beats if you hope to keep readers interested. For that matter, try to avoid talking too much about your specific poker sessions. Blog entries that contain nothing but updates on your $0.25/$0.50 session with hand histories and complaining just aren’t very interesting. Try to talk about poker in a more broad sense. Share your opinion on the latest current events in poker or give readers tips to help them succeed. For example, if you’re a really good 5 Card Draw player, talk about 5 Card Draw strategy, not just the results of your sessions.
2. Less is more. Avoid the temptation to be long-winded. The shorter and more concise your entries are, the more likely readers will read the entire entry and one day return to your blog.
3. Try to swap links with other bloggers. If you want traffic generated to your blog, you’ll need lots of links. Poker bloggers are often keen to the idea of linking to your blog if you’ll link to theirs in return.
4. Post interesting videos and images (while obeying copyright laws, of course). A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth ten thousand. Use this to your advantage.
5. Write in an organized, logical structure. Take this numbered list for example. It is laid out logically and straightforward with the main point emphasized in bold letters. Readers are much more likely to make it this far in the entry than they would be if it was just long paragraph after long paragraph.
6. Update as often as you reasonably can. The hardest part of blogging, as you’ll discover, is keeping your blog current. Make every effort you can to post an update at least once a week. Blogs that go long periods without being updated quickly fall out of people’s minds.
If you are interested in starting a poker blog and would like some assistance, PokerTips.org can help. We can either a.) set up a blog for you on a standalone URL or b.) set up a blog for you on a PokerTips domain (example: lordk.pokertips.org). In exchange for this we only ask for permission to post an occasional link to PokerTips on your blog. Just like I mentioned in point #3 about the value of links going to your poker blog, they’re valuable to us as well! If you’re interested in this, email me at cory[AT]pokertips[DOT]org or send me a private message, I’m “Ozone” on our poker forums, and I would be happy to help you get started.