All posts filed under: blogging

Blogging and the Honest Truth About Running Ads

The topic of ads is one I always find interesting. There seems to be a fair bit of negative stigma attached sites that run ads, and that’s what I wanted to discuss today. I wanted to clear the air on the subject and explain it from the perspective of the blogger, or website owner. Thor from Creative Twilight is back with more insight on hobby blogging. To check out more tips on improving your blog, check out the page here. I tend to use blog and website interchangeably when writing. For the sake of discussion, I mean no difference between them. Bad Ad Setups Ever been to a site that ran like eight different ads all over their site, plus one that floats at the bottom, and often a pop-up when you leave, or a pop-under as you’re visiting? Hell yes you have; we all have. Those sites are often so slowed down by the amount of ads they are delivering that you give up on reading what you went there for, and you just bail out …

Thoughts on Why Do We Hobby Blog

Why do you Hobby Blog?

The people who paint miniature wargames is relatively small. And those who choose to take the extra time to write and share pictures is even smaller still. To these, I ask the simple question: why do you hobby blog? Last week I posted this question: “Why do did you start  your hobby blog, what motivates you, and what frustrates you.” I wanted to get a sense of why others choose to write and share their work. And what keeps them going. Below you can see some of their responses. I also added my thoughts about why to start blogging about the hobby, frustrations along the way, and ways to stay motivated. Reasons People Start a Hobby Blog I started what is now Broken Paintbrush in 2008 as a way to log my painting progress of my Iron Warriors. With no idea what I was doing, how to find other hobbyists, or how I “should” blog. I just started writing and posting pictures. @brknpaintbrush I blog to try and make sense of what I'm doing – kind of …

Reviewing 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017

Broken Paintbrush 2016 Review and Looking Ahead

Ah, the time of annual hobby reviews and thoughts on 2017. Not a popular post for many to read, but, as with many others who write one, this post is mostly a reflection for myself and introspection on what I want to do next year. If you believe the internets, 2016 was a shit of a year in many ways, and as one put it, much of the low points will setting us up for an even tougher 2017. Call me an optimist, but I think 2016 was a remarkable year, and 2017 is going to be unbelievably awesome. For Broken Paintbrush, I know this is true as this was my best year yet regarding painting quality, blogging consistency, and community growth. And yet, I have some plans for 2017 that have me giddy with excitement. So let’s get started, shall we? Looking Back on 2016 Hobby Accomplishments While 2016 wasn’t my most prolific year regarding painting, I am happy with what I did get done as I spent more time focusing on improving techniques, …

Broken Paintbrush Blogroll is Live!

This is something I’ve been putting off doing for a while, but I have finally got it done: The Broken Paintbrush Blogroll! One of the common themes I saw in last week’s discussion on commenting was that many people have lost contact with blog updates since Feiet’s blogroll went down. I know I used to get a good deal of traffic from it that has disapeared. So, following Thor’s advice, I’ve installed WP RSS Aggregator and added all the blogs I follow (over 150!). You can check it out at: https://brokenpaintbrush.com/blogroll. That is where you can also find how to add your own blog to the feed (if I haven’t already added it!). I am still working on the formatting and sync issues, but I’m hoping that the Blogroll will soon help everyone find new hobby bloggers and connect. If you see funny business, let me know so I can fix it. Request for a Logo Also, I am putting a request out for anyone with digital art skills. I need a blogroll badge, and …

Cool Tool: Canva

Cool Tools: Canva – For Awesome Blog Headers and Social Shares

I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I make the blog headers and other images I use. When I shared Canva with them, I’ve had nothing but positive feedback. So I figured it was time to share it with all of you: use Canva (a free tool) to make awesome images with pictures and text. Before we get too far along, I want to clarify that Canva is a free tool (with paid upgrades of course) and there are no affiliates, meaning I get nothing for sharing this tool with you. It’s simply a tool I have found super helpful and want to share with you. What Is Canva? I found Canva as I’ve dived into the how-to-blog world. Amongst all the bloggers-selling-to-bloggers crud I have found a few gems worth sharing with hobbyists. With Canva being one of them. As an online web app, Canva is super easy to get started, create images from anywhere, and use them for anything. It prompts you to create a new design based off of a ton of different pre-configured …

Be a Guest Writer on Broken Paintbrush

Looking for You – Write for Broken Paintbrush!

With Dreadtober coming towards the end, I am starting to plan for November’s posts, and I need you! I’m looking for guest writers, contributors who want to write for Broken Paintbrush. Become famous(ish) but more importantly, add something to the community that your fellow hobbyists will enjoy. I’ll get into the hows and whys below, and I even have a list of potential post ideas if you want to write but need a muse. Post Ideas Below are the general topics I like to cover on Broken Paintbrush with some specific ideas to give you some inspiration. Don’t let it limit you however, if you have an awesome topic you want to add it, just let me know as well! Tutorials By far my favorite articles are those that share how you go from A to Done. Anything from assembly to painting to photography. If it helps a fellow hobbyists, let’s talk. How to paint a certain army/faction/tribe How to paint a color/effect/technique Painting tips for Beginners/Mid Level/Advanced How to Convert X into Y How to …

Guest post by Thor on how to keep the attention of your readers

How to Create Articles that Keep Readers’ Attention

So, you’ve created an eye-catching title that will drive visitors to your article, and hopefully, search engines, but now you have to keep the reader there to absorb your content, right? I would have to say that of all the things I’m hoping to cover in this series, this one may be the most important one of them all. Thor from Creative Twilight here again, back with another tool for your blogging arsenal. Use that First Paragraph to Grab the Reader A lot of people will determine if they want to read your article based on your opening – that first paragraph. I’m sure many of you did it with this article. So, it should come as no surprise that you need to grab the reader’s attention from the start. How you go about that is entirely up to you, and there’s no wrong way to do it. A common technique will be to tell the reader what the article is about. Basically, summarize what you’re about to talk about. Another common method is to …

Adding pictures metadata so they get found and shared

Adding Pictures to Your Blog – Uploading, Editing, SEO

In the greater blogging world they speak of the importance of adding pictures to posts, the get more readers, shares… blah blah blah. In our hobby community, adding pictures isn’t the problem (we are sharing our painted miniatures after all) but rather may don’t understand the importance of the metadata associated with the image. As hobby bloggers, we are often uploading our images or WIP models, finished collections, or battle reports to have readers enjoy, critique, or even find us. It’s that last point I wish to speak on today as I’ve noticed many of my fellow bloggers miss out on new readers by not adding a description to their images. The Might Google Image Search If you go to images.google.com right now and type in your army, faction, character, does your miniatures pop up? Perhaps that doesn’t matter to you, but if you spent time creating a post on your conversion or a fantastic painting tutorial, having new people find it would be good yeah? While the Google is smart (scary smart sometimes) it still can’t …

See How to Write an Effective Article Title

There are a lot of stats explaining the value of an article title. I won’t bore you with them, but suffice to say the article title plays an enormous role on people choosing to read the article or not. We all do it, choose to pass on an article because of its headline, or opt to read it. It’s something we know about, at least subconsciously, but very few take it into account when creating their article. Thor is back for improving our blogs. Why? Because with some simple adjustments, it can significantly improves who finds you and how long they stay. Thor’s experience has given him insight for what works for hobby bloggers. Why Bother? As noted above, the big reason for taking the time to write effective, eye-catching headlines is to get your article read. That may seem obvious, but let me explain. Do you use Facebook? How about Twitter? Many of us have a large feed of stuff we scroll through every day on social media. I don’t have the time to …

Mistakes

Hi. I’m Thor. Let’s Chat About Blogging!

Where…where am I? I must have stumbled into the wrong blog. Hello everyone. I’m Thor. Joe was looking for some guest bloggers, so I told him I’d see what I could do. Let’s see if I can write about something interesting and different from my usual stuff. I know. I’ll write about blogging! I do want to welcome and thank Thor for writing some articles for Broken Paintbrush. I’m looking forward to his articles on blogging for hobbyists and how it can help us improve our digital works. If you are interested in guest writing as well sign up below or read more about it. A bit about me first. I run a blog of my own, Creative Twilight. Some of you know me (hi, Greggles and Rory), others of you may not. I’ve been blogging for seven years now, which is a lifetime in the blogging world. I’m an avid Warhammer 40K player who loves Chaos Space Marines, despite the dated codex. Most often I blog about my hobby work and my 40K gaming. …