If you’re an avid gamer and social media user, chances are you’ve considered starting a gaming blog at some point. Sadly, you’ve also considered that video game websites are rather abundant and this may have prevented you from pulling the trigger.
The good news is that just about anything can be successful online with the right strategies in place, which I’ll discuss in this article.
After all, if you think about it, new sources are started every single year and the most consistent ones always manage to survive (YouTube channels, websites, social media accounts, and more).
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Choose Your Gaming Blog Approach
Exploring how to make a successful gaming blog in 2020 (and beyond) requires a specific first step: Deciding whether to go broad or to niche down.
The former option, going broad, is admittedly tough to crack, as it typically involves covering a wide range of topics in the gaming industry. This may include:
- Daily gaming news (multiple times a day, even for various game consoles)
- Writing extensive software and/or hardware reviews
- Other topics in between, such as opinion pieces
Unless you have the time and patience, I highly suggest you hire one or two freelancers to ensure your blog remains up-to-date. This isn’t necessarily too expensive, considering news pieces can be as short as 100 words in most cases.
For the record: Covering broad subjects can definitely bring results, but you’ll probably need some help along the way.
Alternatively, keeping your blog more focused (or niching down) may yield better results and even prevent you from managing a team of freelancers.
Niche gaming blog ideas to keep it more manageable:
Focus specifically on retro content. Nostalgia is huge, especially among gamers. There are countless items to discuss across many decades now, from the 1960s all the way to the early 2000s.
Blog about indie games, which have undoubtedly taken the gaming industry by storm. While these games are far less popular, they usually develop a cult following that could end up on your blog if you cover them thoroughly.
Write about corporate and financial topics. Some blogs have garnered a huge following for discussing issues within the gaming industry. This may include companies overcharging players, the general lack of refunds when dealing with digital sales, a game’s lack of polish, and many more hot-button topics.
Focus on game glitches from a fun perspective (as opposed to a critical one). Players generally enjoy seeing a game’s weird behavior. Even if you don’t discover every glitch yourself, you could still cover them after analyzing the original source and crediting them properly.
Focus on games with accessibility options and explain them thoroughly. Many disabled gamers have missed out on certain titles, since these games don’t generally disclose accessibility features in detail. Use this opportunity to become an authority in this space.
Blog about virtual reality (VR) content and this booming industry as a whole.
Simply put, a lack of consistency leads to…
This rather cliche advice is applicable to just about everything in life, so I won’t preach it too much in this article.
Needless to say, it’s worth mentioning that falling behind in the gaming niche can immediately lose you loyal readers.
After all, would you keep visiting a news website that hasn’t been updated over the past week?
Speak Your Mind
Instead of being just another generic gaming blog, don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers when necessary.
Are you usually okay with a game’s microtransactions? Should game remakes and remasters cost as much as new titles? Are you for/against digital-only sales? Should game consoles be much cheaper and rely exclusively on software and peripheral sales?
Whatever answers you have, explain yourself firmly and confidently. These topics normally generate a lot of passionate opinions and can even lead to readers sharing your articles more (depending on how controversial it is).
Network and Make Friends (This is Crucial)
This is probably the most important part of this entire article. Even if you run a broad set of topics, your video game blog can still thrive if other powerful gamers help you along the way.
Let’s say that one of your articles talks about “5 funny video game glitches.” Take this opportunity to mention a few rising stars on YouTube and embed one of their videos on your blog.
Then, get a hold of them after referencing their expertise a few more times. Make a genuine connection and try to have them mention your blog in one of their future videos, all while practicing the same strategy with other people in the gaming scene.
Growing your gaming blog can be much easier if you have an army of fellow bloggers backing you every step of the way. Wouldn’t you agree?
Stay On Top of Things
Opt to receive email notifications from frequently-updated sources, such as Google News. You will instantly get notified as soon as a gaming news story appears on the web, which is great if your blog focuses primarily on that:
Next, bookmark notable gaming giants such as IGN, GameSpot, Eurogamer, and many others. Check these websites religiously on a daily basis, unless you manually opt to receive email or browser-based notifications as well (this depends on the website in question).
You should additionally subscribe to popular social media outlets such as various YouTube channels and follow game properties on Twitter (Nintendo, the PlayStation brand, and others). The aforementioned giants, for example, all have their own YouTube presence with exclusive content that doesn’t always make it to their main website.
Reddit is another mega popular source, with countless subreddits dedicated to gaming news and discussions. Some popular subreddits include:
Most popular video game franchises may also have their own subreddit, such as Super Mario, Zelda, Halo, and others.
Simply type a desired keyword (such as a game character) into Reddit’s search field to find similar results.
Make it All About the Community
Gamers are generally very passionate and they waste no time when it comes to participating in game discussions. Make your community a huge part of your blog by constantly acknowledging them and gamifying your blog in the process.
- Post daily or weekly deals to help readers save some money. Don’t forget to insert affiliate links whenever possible to make this a win-win scenario
- Give a monthly prize to a random commenter, as this encourages readers to keep coming back and spread the word among friends
- Host a monthly contest. For example, have readers submit fan art (about their favorite video game character) and acknowledge multiple winners in a dedicated article
- Ask readers questions via weekly polls (ask what games they’re playing this weekend, what they consider to be game of the year, and more)
- Remember the aforementioned subreddits? Use them not only to gather intel, but also to occasionally share your articles. Many of these places have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Simply follow their rules and leverage them responsibly
- Quote the occasional commenter and insert their opinion into your article. This is a great way to make readers feel valued and appreciated. Not many blogs do this, so don’t hesitate to jump on this often-overlooked blog marketing strategy
Keep Your Blog Accessible
Here are some quick, honorable mentions about maintaining a certain level of accessibility for easy reading, which ultimately keeps many readers hooked:
Insert a summarized list of the main points of your article toward the beginning. Don’t worry that your readers “may read the summary and then leave the page,” as most people are genuinely curious about what you have to say in detail. A good example of this includes The Daily Mail articles.
Insert plenty of images and videos into your content. These assets are perfectly acceptable under the Fair Use doctrine, as your primary usage is for opinion, commentary, and/or facts.
Reviewing an item? Clearly list the product’s pros and cons, along with a scoring system to give readers a better sense of its value.
Do *NOT* Follow Every Suggestion in this Article
While I consider this guide 100% effective, you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin by implementing every single suggestion given.
Doing so would ultimately cause you to abandon the blog due to burnout or analysis paralysis.
Instead, focus on as many areas as realistically possible, with the biggest ones being consistency and networking. Seriously, guys; making friends in your industry and “showing up for work” truly works wonders.
Everything else is, well, just the icing on the cake.