Netherhood Welcome Wagon – Plus Heal!


Well, this isn’t really a welcome for a blog! And I’m not exactly Auzara. (well, not even close…) But this is a welcome for a new Healer Community. Matt from World of Matticus has dreamed a dream that would not be denied and that dream has become Plus Heal.

Plus Heal is intended as a gathering spot for healers. It consists of message boards categorized by class, instance type and even a section for mods, macros and theorycrafting (or Healycrafting as they call it).

Matt collected around him the cream of the healing-blogging community to help administer and moderate the forums. These peeps include:


There might be more, but I can’t think of all of them right now.. Just go look and see for yourself.  I have a feeling we will be seeing lots of great stuff coming out of this! Welcome to the Internether!

Every Friday, the Twisted Nether Team provides Auzara of Chick GM with an opportunity to highlight a new blogger and welcome them to our blog-o-sphere. If you have a wonderful new blog she may have missed, please drop her a line at ChickGM at gmail dot com with a title of Welcome Wagon. She can’t promise to highlight them all but She’ll certainly try. This week the NWW was taken over by Fimlys of Asleep at the WoW.

Blog Tipping: Help Your Readers

Hello, everyone! Kestrel here, attempting to fill in for Anna this week.

One of the things I look for when I visit a blog new to me, is how organized the site is to help a new reader feel at ease. I’m going to make the assumption that increasing your regular readership is a goal. So here are a few tips on how encourage new readers to return, or at least add your blog’s feed to their feed reader.

Umm…you do have an RSS feed, right? That’s one of the very first things every blogger should set up. Sure, we want people to visit our sites, but even more importantly, we want what we write, to be read. So be sure you have an RSS feed; at the Twisted Nether, we recommend FeedBurner. In fact, that was last week’s blogging tip!

Alrighty then…RSS Feed, check! Many blog themes, including almost all WordPress themes, have a teeny tiny RSS link in the page footer. Now if you happen to look at my site, and many, many others, you might be scrolling for a verrrry loooong time before you reach the bottom of the page. A lot of readers may not want to spend that time searching for your RSS link, so make it easy for them: Put it in a prominent location, at or very close to the top of your home page.


Generally, the RSS icon and clickable "Articles" or "Subscribe" will suffice. If you use WordPress with a widget-capable theme, you can incorporate your RSS link into a widget, as I’ve done (I’ve gone a bit above and beyond with this, but you should get the general idea. You can also incorporate the link as part of your overall theme, as Lady Jess recently did with her new theme.


There’s just no way anyone will miss that lovely pink button!

So now you’ve made it easy for readers to follow your blog. Readership is increasing daily. But communication—effective communication—is a two-way street. Have you made it easy for your readers to get in touch with you? I don’t mean through comments, either. What if someone has a question that doesn’t pertain to any of your articles?

There are a couple rather easy ways to enable this sort of feedback. The first is through a simple e-mail link. Of course, there’s the risk of spammination when you do that, so a solution many people are using is to create an image of their e-mail address and put that in a prominent location. Nexodyne provides this service for free, and the graphic looks like this:


Another option is to simply write out the address: kestrelsaerie AT Gmail DOT com. In either case, the contact information or link should be prominent and close to the top of the page.

But the option I prefer (and one that may be easier on WordPress than on Blogger) is to have a contact page. There are several WordPress addons to help develop such a page, and it’s really quite a simple process. There’s also no chance of compromising your email account (although the one I use for my blog is used only for the blog). Of course, you still need a link to the page somewhere on your blog. Many bloggers have it in the top level menu, just below their banner; others put it somewhere near the top of a sidebar. (Mine is just below the RSS links you’ve already seen.)

By now, your blog is set up so readers can subscribe and they can correspond with you. But how do they know the beauty of your blog isn’t merely skin deep? In other words, they were attracted to your blog by a particular post (probably linked by a fellow blogger). What can you do to show them you’re not a one-trick pony? My answer: A post calendar. Show readers how prolific you are by adding a small calendar to your site, with the dates highlighted to correspond with days on which you published. Yes, I know most bloggers have an Archives link; that simply means more scrolling. To me, that seems like more work than looking at the number of highlighted days on a couple months in a calendar (but I realize I’m a visually-oriented person; someone else might prefer looking at your archives).

I hope I’ve given you some fresh, effective ideas on how to build your blog readership, and how to make your blog a more effective platform for you to tell the world what you have to say. Of course if you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them, either through the comments here, or by e-mail. I think my address is here somewhere…

Shared Topic: My Last Five Hours in WoW

This week’s Shared Topic was suggested by Larisa of The Pink Pigtail Inn who found inspiration in a question posed by Matticus of World of Matticus where he asked:

Let’s hypothetically assume Blizzard goes out of business and decides to shut down their servers and WoW for good. You have 5 hours before the server shutdown is permanent. What would you do in 5 hours?

How would you say farewell to Azeroth? Would you run favorite old-world dungeons? Go on an Auction House shopping spree? Buy that swanky epic flying mount you’ve had your eye on for months? Strip naked and dance on top of a mailbox out of nostalgia? Tell us about it!

Previous contributions:

Downtime Round-up 7-8-08

image Is it that time again! That’s right boys and girls, it is roundup time! We are excited to have Kestrel from Kestrel’s Aerie joining us as our Twisted Blog next episode. If there are any burning questions you would like to ask him, feel free to send them in! Here are a few posts you may have missed!

Hay to Munch on:

  • If you must PvP, then here are some ways you can make it more bearable.
    how to be a leader in battlegrounds.
    Fikkle from 4thehorde, reminds me, and contrary to my popular belief, horde complain as much as the alliance. He offers some good advice on how to take charge of your battleground when you enter.
  • Call out for your screenshots! Ziv from Double Bubble has a very interesing project going. Currently, Ziv as a post on the BA forums explaining the project-a photo mosaic. Wanna help? Send Ziv your screenshots. First image in the works may be the BA logo. If you would like more information, visit the BA post and Ziv’s blog.
  • Disgraph T. Dwarf shows us one dwarf’s adventures during the Midsummer festival.
  • Kestrel opens his blog to the masses! Always wanted to write a post? Have your work shine in pretty white letters? Now is your chance. Kes has offered to post articles written by you! Restrictions apply, so please read the fine print 🙂 .
  • Heal who, when? Been asked to handout raid healing assignments at the last minute? Anna of Toomanyannas, will help you breath and get though the night with purple prizes!

Know of an awesome post we should see, blogs that have moved, closed or are new to the party? Sent me an email at or leave it in the comments!

Episode 7- An Orc in Dwarf Clothing

clip_image002 This week Ratshag from Need More Rage joins Fimlys and Breana as the Twisted Blog of the Week! We have a long discussion on the merits and ease of obtaining PvP gear and ohnoes! The Authenticator is Sold Out! All this and the winner of our commercial contest! Don’t Miss it!

— Continue reading Episode 7- An Orc in Dwarf Clothing —