Creating a Blog: Part Two

8 12 2006

The other daywe showed you how easy it is to set up your own blog from scratch by using a free online tool called WordPress. Today we expand on this, showing what you need to do in to sustain your site, how to get more visitors and other ways to use WordPress other than a blog website.

Before you go proclaiming your how great your website is to the world, make sure first of all that it is actually worth visiting. Have at least one decent bit of content online – and I don’t mean a single link to another website. Write an article or two before you unleash your creation to the scene.

Once you’ve got the wheels moving on your website, pay a visit to a few sites. Most of the community websites will be happy to mention you – ourselves included – so pay a visit to our links page or the FM Wiki Scene section to see who you should be advertising to. I would also recommend letting the FM Portal know of your arrival, as they specifically publicise websites on a daily basis, and will bring you a few punters in every time you’re mentioned (Which, depending on the amount of work you do, could be daily.)

Don’t expect every site to give positive reviews, but likewise don’t take every bad comment as an insult. Many people on the scene are old hands, and they have some valuable bits of information. Take it as constructive criticism, and try to better your website. Don’t be too focused on your hits either. You may find a lot of people visit the site at first, then don’t return in such high numbers. This is nothing to worry about, as in time the site will attract more and more people from the community.

I’ve listed a few recommend places to post news of your site opening below:
+ The FM Portal
+ The FM Wiki
+ FootyGamer
+ Various forums: The Dugout, Throw-In, SortitoutSI, SIGames

Once you’ve been mentioned, you’ll need to do some work to ensure people want to come back to your website. Think of your favourite scene sites and try to single out what it is you like about them so much. Then take a look at a links page and see which ones don’t appeal to you. Work on those things that you find appealing, and try to write original articles. People will not visit your website to read press releases from SIGames, or to see that you have page after page of ‘Coming Soon!’ promises. Sometimes updating may be hard, sometimes it won’t even be enjoyable, but try to keep things fresh and well written and in time you’ll feel that the site is more appreciated.

Creating a Non-Blog Style Site

WordPress is well known as being a blogging tool. But you can easily make a different type of Football Manager site using the software, albeit with a rather different approach. For example, we’ve started to make a Player Database using our example blog – which is done simply by using the posting method on WordPress. No need to write a complex database, no buying of space and no designing. I’ve listed below some simple steps to show how this was made, but there are plenty of other ways to make a website using WordPress – such as using pages, rather than posts, etc.

How we created a player database

Using our example site (http://fm2007.wordpress.com/) we first of all created a number of categories which will be available to browse so readers can find players quickly. The categories we created were position based (GK/DF/MF/ST) and value based (Free/1-10m/10-20m/20m+). You may wish to expand on these, perhaps even adding other categories (Wonderkid/Versatile/Big name/etc). We then simply created brief profiles of a few players, giving their stats and a mini-review of each footballer. Do this a few times and you’ll find that the database is starting to grow already! If you include a search box in your sites design, then people can quickly search for a player, club or position. So if you are looking in particular for players from Brentford, simply type ‘Brentford’ into the search engine, and it’ll do the rest.

So that’s taken just a few seconds, yet you’ve managed to set up a searchable database, with a tidy design and a reliable host. Incidentally, WordPress also adds your site to Google et al, so people looking on search engines for player reviews or general blogs may be drawn to your site.

Finally, if you have clicked on the link to the Player Database Blog, I’d like your opinions on whether this is something you would like to see developed. I know that there are plenty of other databases around, but I don’t know of any blog-like databases. Post your views if you would – I’d be interested to know what you think.

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8 12 2006
The Football Manager Community » FM Community Digest 08/12/2006

[…] Creating a Football Manager 2007 Blog – Part Two […]

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