Greedy Goblin

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The subscriber number of this blog has been jumping around 3000 for some time, and since it passed it for 3 consecutive days, it's "official", the blog has 3K subscribers.

There are also 160 followers and 3-4K random visitors (jumping hectically). Not bad from a one year old blog.

If you are not a blogger, you couldn't care less.

However let me write a post for fellow bloggers. Here are some theories why this blog became relatively successful:
  • It has a niche. WoW economy is a small niche, most major WoW sites don't give a damn about it. When I started, there were not many WoW economy blogs around. So simply by being in that niche I attracted people of this niche, almost without competition.
  • Non politically correct opinion. People are bored by politically correct stuff. Not because it's obviously wrong, but because it's common and mainstream. If you believe that people should help each other, you can write about it just as enthusiastically as I write about my ideas. However if I'd get a $ for every page that write the same, I could repay the national debt of the USA. So no matter how much you try, you'll be boring. Try to find the part in your opinion that is not mainstream and write that.
  • Merciless trollhunting and massacre of offtopic commenters. The bloggers often make the mistake to believe that they are in a conversation with their commenters. They are in conversation with their readers. There are 20-100 more silent readers on every site than commenters. The commenters are either helping your conversation with your readers (by clarification of some point, adding data, useful links, or bringing up arguments against your point), or don't. Never hesitate to delete a comment that would distract your readers from the point of the post, even if his point (about something else) is no less correct or important.
  • Wall of text. Most people hate them. Most people want pictures and videos. Most people will not stay on your blog, no matter how many funny videos you make. They may link it but tomorrow they won't remember where did they find it. You have to catch the few who wants and capable of reading. It's exactly like raiding. Most people don't want to come prepared, gemmed, enchanted, knowing strat. However if you make a guild that doesn't require these, you won't be successful.
  • Shameless advertising. I got my first peak (from 4-500 to 1K+) when I started to attack Matticus (OK, I didn't have to force myself, his ideas cry for goblin sappers). My flaming post on some gaming blogger got 300 more. But the crown jewel was obviously blue Ulduar: 29K visitors came for just that page. I gained almost 1K subscribers in two weeks of its publish. If you know something that grabs the eye and fit to your profile, go for it. Proving that normal mode raiding does not need gear just skill fits very well to the "you can reach anything if you are not M&S" motto of the blog. If I'd post naked blood elf manga, that would attract even more visitors, but those people wouldn't stay for my real posts, as my normal profile does not include such thing.


bobturkey said...

My blog is the same size as yours adn the same age so i'm going to inflict my opinion on you.

* Have a niche - yep, probably the most important thing
* Politically incorrect - part of your style I guess. Kinda like watching a car acident.
* Merciless trollhunting and massacre of offtopic commenters - meh, i suppose. Never done it myself.
* Wall of text - Not an issue. I regularly produce walls of text and it doesn't appear to affect readership (niche seems to trump this)
* Shameless advertising - Yep. Commenting on other peoples blogs works ;-)

Gobble gobble.

Lupius said...

Please post you blood elf hentai. I promise I'll stay!

Smashie said...

Maybe someday, when my writing is worth a damn, I can shamelessly flame your blog. Know this well in advance, though, that I secretly enjoy reading your blog.

Unglar said...


What happens when you move out of your niche? I ask because this is something you seem to be doing a little.

I started reading this blog specifically for the money making ideas and tips, and the atmosphere of 'goblin-ism' that came with being a bit ruthless.

Many of your recent posts are more philosophical, both about the game and scaling this outwards to real life. To be honest, I find these posts less interesting myself, because it's not the niche that made me start reading the blog.

Do you find there are only so many ways to make money that you can actually blog about? Do the things you wrote six months ago still hold relevant today, so posting about them again is pointless?

As a suggestion, what would it be like to revisit some of your earlier posts and provide your opinion on what would happen if you tried it today?

Anonymous said...

what the hell does m&s mean?? sry, english is not my native language, so i can't imagine what this shortcut means...
thx4 answers...

@gelvon: you catch me with your first realm transfer post linked by markos blog (justmytwocopper)

Anonymous said...

M&S = Morons and slackers. He made this abbreviation on his own.

Found this blog in the mmo-champion forums about money making :)

Lance said...

Hm, so flaming works. Maybe I could shamelessly flame you and get some visitors. Too bad I like you for those very reasons your blog became successful.

Refreshing read as always...

DarkKnight said...

Seems to be the "standard" list for getting more visitors. Especially important is to be able to profile yourself differently than those 100000 other blogs.
But 3000 asks for a gratz: So congratulations Gevlon. Onwards to 5000? (arbitrary chosen numbers are fun).

ps. I helped as much as possible by linking that "ungeared" post as often as humanly possible, particularly whenever someone even opened his/her mouth to say some foolish sentence like: Gear is very important.

LarĂ­sa said...

Grats Gevlon!
For some reason we keep growing at the same rate. My blog has constantly a third of your subscription number (dinged 1k a few days ago). That's not much compared to you, but for me, it's insane. I had enver ever expected that many readers.

Anyeay: all your advice is fine provided that many visitors is the goal for your blog. However it isn't for everyone. The goal for my blog is purely selfish: to write for my own pleasure, in the hope that there will be enough many interested readers to get some kind of connection and discussion.

I'm not spreading any gnomish ideas over the world. That's not my mission. So I don't really have the incentives to change stuff around just to get more visitors.

Enough of rambling. What is important to say is that you're doing really well! And unlike many other bloggers who may become successful for a few months, but then grow tired and stop blogging - you've showed that you're sustainable. You blog over time. Which is something I appreciate much from a blogger. It takes some time to get to know a blogger.

RJK said...

3000 Nice but I am most excited from the comments that I know what M&S is now!! I guess I fit into that category.

I told more people about the Ulduar post than any other, and still quote it when someone thinks another guildie is not geared for it.

Wooly said...

You know why. The blog challenges people with strong opinions, and you said yourself that everyone loves a challenge. Even the people who hate this blog come back for their daily "omg, what is he saying now". Everyone loves strong opinions, whether it's to fight them or to line up behind it and take as their own "I was thinking it and you said it". There's hardly any interesting goldmaking info anymore. It's mostly unconventional ideas, usually to justify bashing of the simple people. That gives a strong "them and us" feeling, and who doesn't want to belong to something? ;)

Tonus said...

Seth Godin would say that you have a good story to tell. You may enjoy his blog, as he talks alot about how to target people with marketing and promotion. It has much to do with what you refer to as the "ape subroutines" and many of the social aspects of human behavior.

Among the things that have kept your site growing is that you have a story to tell and tell it in a manner that keeps people interested (it's a classic story, how to get rich quick). And yes, the controversial aspects always keep people coming back. everyone claims to hate gossip, but few people turn away when they hear a juicy tidbit.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to list:

-being linked to by highly trafficked sites like (specifically on your blue Ulduar post).

Regardless, grats on the 3k!

Anonymous said...

Big deal, you have 3k readers. I don't see the relevance or achievement unless there's something to be gained by having 3k readers vs. 2.5k readers other than the simpleton fact that it's 500 more readers. Anyway, congrats I guess.

btw, the reason I read this blog is because it's not blocked by work and that you post a new topic each day. So, keep posting new topic and I'll keep reading and posting anon every now and again.

Chris said...

To the people saying that gevlon's blue ulduar proved that gear isnt important, pish to you!

Ask yourself how long it took gevlon and crew to clear ulduar in all blues? Ask yourself how long it would that same raid to clear ulduar 10 normal modes in that same time with their ToGC gear. Hell, with the same amount of time and possibly less effort they could probably have farmed rusted proto drakes by doing all the hard modes.

Now, ask yourself if that difference in time and effort is important to you. One can navigate a river on a canoe without a paddle if one knows how, does that mean the paddle is unimportant?

Dozenz said...


I will say the Blue Ulduar post was my favorite post for many reasons and I never hesitate to link to it when it is applicable (mostly on the official WoW forums. Proves what me and my friends always suspected.

But not that surprising since it was shown in the first week that Level 70 gear was enough to clear Naxx->OS->EoE.

It doesn't matter how long it took for them to do it or how much faster you can do it by overgearing.

The fact is if it can be done. People don't need to have complete top tier to progress...and if it can be done once, it can be repeated even faster and faster with subsequent tries. Especially since each clear gives guaranteed upgrades if you're several tiers behind already.

If you can clear Ulduar in Blues, than ToC will be a cake walk in Ulduar gear.

If you can clear ToC with Naxx gear than ICC is easy.

Chris said...


The point im trying to make is that for some, the tool (gear) is more important than it is for others. Because a group from Windwalkers can clear ulduar in blues does NOT mean you can. Or that its doable by anything but a fraction of the population. There are people that can do algorithms and calculus in their head. Can you? Could you do it without a calculator?

Yes, it proves its not impossible. Yes Skill > Gear. That doesnt mean gear isnt important. Why is this so hard to understand.

Gear is a tool for killing bosses. A tool isnt an on/off switch that decides whether or not you can complete a task, it simply moves you up the spectrum from 'hard' to 'easy'. Skill also comes in to play, moving that spectrum, in my experience, yes, to a much greater degree.

But things arent black and white, and in some situations having an overgeared moron can be better than having an undergeared pro.

Now, i challenge summon to show me a raid standing over anub's body with attempts remaining wearing all blues.

Nick S. said...

I read because:

* Non politically correct opinion.

But much more importantly:

* It helps me earn gold.

Sidhe said...

Gratz Gevlon!

As a blogger wannabe, I realized from the beginning that "having a niche" was important.

Regretably, writing about "personal opinions about a lot of unrelated stuff that has to do with WoW" doesn't seem to be a niche.

But I'll keep in mind you tips. Thank You.

Now I'm still waiting for you to teach us how to make money with jewelcrafting...

WoWConfidential said...

Congrats Gevlon on 3,000 subscribers.

High subscriber numbers show that those readers not only enjoyed a specific article you've written, but they connect with your "style" and "voice" and want to hear all the future things you have to say.

As a blogger who's researched a lot on what it takes to make a successful blog I'd say your controversial take on subjects and the fact you post everyday are the key factors in your success.

Good luck on your next 3,000 and beyond.

Celstial said...

Speaking of shameless advertising.

Cheers gevlon ;)

Hinenuitepo said...

I've been reading this blog since it's inception.

I certainly don't agree with all the Goblin ideas, but yes it makes for an interesting read and is sometimes informative.

Certainly your success is well-earned and a model for us neophyte bloggers. :)

Sidhe said...


It worked. I'm visiting your blog.

Seems interesting.

Che said...

Let me see if I understand posting contrarian opinions that makes you right becuase your opinions run contrary to the mainstream?

I am by no means a mainstream kind of person, but I wonder if you think you're right just because your opinions are different. In that case you present a poor argument.

If you argue that by sharing contrarian opinions for the sake of gaining an audience, are you not just like every other person who seeks attention for the sake of attention; which, by the way, puts you more mainstream than you think.

So are you right because you say you are or because you want to be like everyone else?

Markco said...

In other words, create a persona for yourself and stick to it. Although mine is not as controversial, I too am on track to hit around 3k after one year of blogging (that's in 4 more months).

Some great tips in this post, nice job Gevlon and grats!

Anonymous said...

As a casual reader I generally don't comment on anything (as I'd have nothing useful to say) but I'd like to take this opportunity to say now Gevlon that I enjoy your blog and read it every day.

I appreciate and admire your ability to put aside social niceties to get at the real core of a subject matter as required, it's the honesty and truth in your blogging style that attracts my attention the most.

Cheers & kudos

Cozmo D said...

Grats Gevlon.

Being a new blogger myself, I can affirm that finding a voice and and audience is not and easy thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I say Gevlon take on a new project, I challenge him too roll on a hardcore RP server, so he can see just how far he can go when 95% of the population dosen't care about raiding hardcore.

Anonymous said...

On RPservers its probably easyer to make money. Its just totaly diffrent items you have to sell, like pets and other vanity items.

Anonymous said...

Russian version of it:

Gnome of Zurich said...

@Chris: "But things arent black and white, and in some situations having an overgeared moron can be better than having an undergeared pro."

Those situations are rare.

I have an alt mage with only 3 slots of his "Epic" achievement (and still wearing 3 blues), because he rarely ever raids, but he can still do 4k+ in a 25 tank n spank, and stays above 3k all the time. Plenty of M&S get carried through uld and ToTC who have far better gear but still don't do his dps.

*good* players with better gear do 5-6k or even more, which I can't match or beat (except on buff bosses like thadd/loatheb where they are doing 10k+), but I've seen plenty with the epic achievement (and lots of 226+ gear) who fail to do 3k. When I put my mage in a 25 for VoA or OS, he is usually in the middle the the pack or sometimes near the top, even though everybody else is in better gear. I've been refused by a pug leader and had guildies link the recount full of fail dps who had their "epic" achievement.

A good player with below average gear is almost always better than a fail player in BiS. I'm not even all that good. I don't raid often, and I've calculated out my gear differences from one of the top mages on my server that I had a chance to run with, and he was at least 10-15% ahead of what I would be doing with his gear. So I have plenty to improve on skillwise.

Tzigone said...

Congrats on 3K readers Gevlon. Wonder when we'll see the next apprentice?

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Pierre Goldbloom said...

I totally agree with not being politically correct. Some people have to write like they're doing an academic essay, but that's ridiculous. We all write for a niche in the WoW community and its our personalities that make each individual blog worth reading. I think its an unspoken rule that we all know it may be a bit of an overly-scandalous act for attention, but it worrrrrrks.