TerranCraft is three years old!
I think this is worth posting, and I’ve posted more crappy things before (like this). Anyway, let’s start off by disclosing some stats of the blog.
TerranCraft started on 22 April 2012, and the first entry was posted on 27 April 2012.The blog received more attention when Heart of the Swarm was released in 2013 March, and the number sticks around at more than 300 views per day on average. Although I don’t have the numbers, but this is definitely far from what a successful mainstream blog should get. However, since Starcraft is so niche and the fact that I’m focusing only on one race, it’ll be silly to even compare. To the best of my knowledge, I do not know other Starcraft blogs that do the similar things to have a good comparison, and probably Kevin’s Perfecting Starcraft (it’s now called Spawning Tool blog) is the only exception. We started around the same time 2012 (mine is a month younger), and experienced the same traffic spike when Heart of the Swarm was released. In case you are not aware, Kevin is the guy behind Spawning Tool, so check him out. I won’t be surprised his blog has much better stats though, given that Spawning Tool is one of the mainstream build order aid tools out there.
The celebrity effect in the Starcraft community is as strong as in any others. Given the fact that I’ve little credence for being a nobody, it is hard to start the traffic cycle rolling. Even a turkey wrap has more views lol. Anyway, although I’m not desperate for views, it’s still nice to put it in perspective to see how it has been for these three years.
Oh, there is no viewbot, and my own visits aren’t counted.
As of the time I type this, the total view is 284,443. There is also a Facebook page, which allows to me to “microblog” day to day. Check it out.
As time goes by, I start to develop a style without noticing it. Since I started off mainly for self improvement by putting my thoughts and analysis into words, I didn’t have a clear style. People have been mentioning the blog on other platforms, and they usually describe the content to be something along the line of analysis on metagame and build order. As I click around myself, it is true that the newer posts mainly cover these topics. Previously, I had stated in the last feedback post, that I didn’t have plans to do video content. I still don’t. Since then, I posted some guides to help others (like this), and I hope some of you find them useful.
Another reason to focus on writing as the main form of communication is to improve my writing skill. Mainly, it is to force myself to put abstract thoughts into words that general audience can understand. It is an important skill to have for someone who aspires to be an academic (I should be working on my research right now!).
There were changes along the way. For a very short period of time, I was doing bulletin to sum up the key news and notable games every week. It was not manageable or value adding, so I stopped. Further, Team Liquid later did the same thing too.
The most obvious change is probably the graphics. If you look at the older posts, you can spot several different banner styles that I had used over different periods of time. Pretty inconsistent and amateur. Along the way I get better with different blogging features, and how to keep things clean. You can take a look at some printscreen pictures of the older design here.
The blog does give me opportunities that I won’t otherwise get. I was invited to write for GosuGamers (example) for a short period of time before they close down the Starcraft division. Last year, I joined Team Liquid Strategy. It is nice to discuss about Starcraft with people of the same passion. Unlike LoL or Dota, Starcraft is so niche that it is extremely difficult to talk to a random person and expect he or she knows it. To make myself feel guilty, I’ve a draft in the TL Strategy column that is probably way outdated, because I have been too busy with study and work.
I will do pretty much the same, but it is difficult to write quality stuff weekly because of other commitments. It takes lots of time and effort to spot a trend, think about it, research on it, and then write it. Just a recent scouting piece like this took me months. I also don’t receive a cent, so there you go. No tangible incentive.
Recently, TerranCraft has been pinned on the sidebar of the Terran discussion reddit (/r/AllThingsTerran). Thanks Shalashaka. Incidentally (or maybe consequently), the blog has been cited often whenever a player (particularly a new player) is asking for help and information. Thank you for the endorsement. This gives me the idea of writing some guides for beginners of different entry levels to ease people into this wonderful game. Hopefully, I can get them completed by the release of Legacy of the Void.