How to start a gaming blog and become a video game blogger – The Ultimate Guide!
Have you ever tried to start a gaming blog before, writing a gazillion articles, trying to stay up to date with all the gaming news and at the end of the day when you go to Google Analytics you see only traces of your own visits?
Don’t feel bad!!!
It’s happening to a lot of people out there believe me, because I was also one of them! It’s the fastest way reality slap you in the face and you give up because you start to think it’s impossible.
How can no one like my awesome blog and fail so spectacularly?
The problem is that it’s easy to start a gaming blog, buying a domain, create a website that looks cool, write a few articles to start off with and promote it on your social media accounts.
Although all of that is definitely important, I will cover it later in the post.
The hard part is to actually create high quality content and keep it going consistently, building an audience/readership and establishing your blog’s brand.
So I went to Google and searched…. And searched …. And searched, but there were no real article or blog that could explain in detail how to start a gaming blog that would actually work.
The only results that come up in Google when you search “how to create a gaming blog” is explaining the process in a very broad sense without any details on how actually to create your gaming blog.
So I decided to dedicate my time to create the most comprehensive Series on how to start a gaming blog from scratch, step by step.
This post is only Part 1 of 6, here is the whole Gaming Blog Series.
Every one of us, you included, have somewhere dive into something head first and thought it would be awesome and easy.
From hearing success stories and watching motivational videos we get so psyched up that we never really take the time to plan a proper strategy.
By all means dream big, because anyone is capable of succeeding in creating an awesome gaming blog, you’ll see.
But before we start, here are 4 important questions you should ask yourself and I advise that you have a clear answer these questions before you read further.
#1 Asking Yourself The Right Questions Before You Start
Question 1 – Why do you want to start a gaming blog?
Is gaming really my passion and do I really want to learn more about the topic. Well the answer is you should love it, otherwise it’s not going to work out.
Your “why” should be the reason you will keep going, even when you don’t feel like keep trying.
This is critical because blogging is a lot of writing, research and it will get tough at times when you desperately need new ideas. The most important way to keep motivated is to consistently create high quality content for your audience.
This will be very satisfying once you start and learn more with time.
Question 2 – What is your main goal for starting a gaming blog, what do want to achieve?
Without a clear goal, it’s almost certain that it is going to fail. So write it down and think about it for a second.
The more specific, the better. Start small, but be specific.
For example here is mine: “I want to help a 100 people start their gaming blog in 2017.”
Question 3 – Is there enough people out there who will read my blog?
Well definitely! You just have to find your audience and give them what they want, not what you think they want. It is often one of the main reasons why blogs in any niche fails.
It will also depend on the sub-topics you choose to write about and how you promote your content to your audience.
Question 4 – What will make your blog stand out from the millions already out there?
You should have an angle that would give your audience a reason to visit your blog over and over again. By doing this you not only grow traffic to your gaming blog, but establish your brand online.
Be different, creative, keep it simple and make sure people will remember you when they have read your blog.
If you’re still with me that means that you got over the first hurdle.
#2 Gaming Topics You Can Write About
This maybe come as a shock to some of you, but if you want to be a successful video gaming blogger you will need to create some pretty unique content.
“Yeah easy to know that” you would say, but how do I stand out from the rest? How will people find my content unique, special and fun to read?
The answer is quite simple, you should start by putting all your energy into one topic.
Yes you read it correctly!
I’ve seen too many beginner gaming blogs (me included when I started) which try to cover a lot of topics at once and not long after that they give up because they just couldn’t keep up with the information overload.
For example, writing about gaming news, throwing in a post on tips & tricks for a few games, reviewing their favourite gaming hardware and even trying to sell merchandise to their fans.
Only to wait and see not many of them turning up.
Don’t get me wrong, those are all brilliant gaming topics to write about and I encourage you to choose one of them to write about.
The important point I want you to see is that if you choose a topic and only writing about it, you will have the opportunity to go into so much more detail. This will be very helpful when you are going to promote your content.
People love reading high quality post with a lot of details.
You basically want to establish a brand for people to recognize. For example, you can be the guy who writes everything about GTA V or the expert who knows his stuff around the best gaming graphics cards by writing extremely high quality reviews.
In the beginning it’s extremely important to focus on helping your visitor solving some kind of problem.
They will keep coming back for more if your information helped them overcome something they struggled with.
There are many different gaming topics you can write about, but it’s important that you like it, that there will be enough people who wants to read about it and the information on the topic is easy to find, like I’ve mentioned above.
Here is just a few topics you can choose from:
-Gameplay Walkthroughs or Tips & Tricks-
This is probably the best and easiest way to get started. All you need is to play the game you want to write about and create unique content about it.
Yes it’s correct that most of the big names have already done all the work, so why should you even bother. The key is to bring a unique and personal feel to the way you explain the game you write about.
They cover all the basics, but actually leaves a lot of room for personalised opinions and viewpoints from playing the games. You can also target specific keywords that the big sites cannot necessarily always cover.
I would suggest picking a game, play it and blog about it for a few months before going to a next game.
Here’s a great example of a gameplay walkthrough of Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Game reviews can be a tough one at times, especially with the big names reviewing the games already.
But this shouldn’t put you off, because your viewpoint may have an interesting angle or twist that you should just take advantage of and promote it accordingly.
In fact you can use a lot of the reviews from the big review sites to get ideas of what a proper review should look like and replicate their framework. Do not copy their content though, just use it as a framework. The most popular gaming websites that rate games are IGN, Gamespot and Metacritic.
-Gaming Hardware or Console Reviews-
YouTube is a great place to do reviews and unboxing, but you can also write an awesome review on your blog.
Make sure you cover all the details and help your visitors making the right choice when they to decide to but the product you are reviewing.
Reviewing products also puts the visitor in buying mode, because if your review is good the visitor will remember it.
Just think about when you researched a product you wanted to buy and reading a dozen reviews.
Reviews is one of the best resources to help people decide what to buy.
-Game Development Topics-
Game development is a more complicated subject than the other topic, because you actually will need to know about it.
I personally are not a programmer or developer so I can’t give too much advice on the topic.
The key is to find an audience who understands and like discussing game development topics. This would possibly be for you if you want to go or are on such a career path.
The gaming news topic can be very broad and there are a lot to talk about and discuss. If you want to go in this direction it would be best to keep up with the news of a certain game, genre or category to not get overwhelmed by the information out there.
Staying up to the news means you need to ready to read up a lot and update things that are happening more often than you would usually do. This could be tough if it’s only you writing the blog.
My advice would be to take the news and give a unique explanation from your point of view, what is happening, why is it happening and how will it affect your readers.
This way it’s your opinion and people will get to know you for that in the future, gaining you valuable followers and grow your gaming blog.
Here is a few of the most well-known gaming sites where you can get the latest news from.
-Esports Events and News-
Esports events and news have been a massively growing industry in the last few years. It would be very interesting to start a blog on this topic, not necessarily trying to cover all the news, but to write about the events and teams.
Here are a few sites where you can find more news and event information for Esports.
-Create a Blog for Your Streaming Channel on YouTube or Twitch-
When you already have a YouTube or Twitch channel you can easily make a gaming blog work. Maybe work together with a friend or something to run a blog while you do the YouTube or Twitch channel.
You already have a following on your gaming channels, so you can just direct them to your blog which make it easier to make money by selling product or write more about your videos, whatever you like.
A gaming blog alongside your gaming channel can only increase your exposure if you do it correctly and high quality content.
So we’ve gone through most of the gaming topics you can write about when you start your blog so you get an idea of what is available to you.
Like I said earlier, it will be best to concentrate on one topic and one game or category at a time in order to keep your gaming articles relevant and high quality.
This doesn’t mean you should stop playing, following or reading other games you’re not blogging about.
It will just help you keep everything under control so you can manage your blog better.
The next part we’ll cover will be on how to choose the best name for your video game blog.
So keep reading.
#3 Tips When Choosing Your Blog Name and Domain
This step is a very important part of your blog, because the name you choose will be how people will remember and associate with your content. But you do not need to overthink it.
The key is to choose an easy name and let it gain momentum as you grow your blog. Getting the domain name you want is not always possible, because most general words and names are already taken.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your name:
– Try to choose a .com name over other domain extensions. They are usually easier to remember and are well accepted worldwide. If for some reason you don’t find the .com name you want, you can look for other extensions like the country extension or any other that might be easy to use.
– Like I said, most single word names would already be taken and the aim here would be to choose a 2-3 word name. You can combine words or make up a totally new name from whatever creativity you can come up with.
– Important! Try to use your main keyword in your name. People should be able to quickly identify what your blog is about. Gaming blog keyword examples: game, games, gaming, gamer, video game ect. You get the point right!
– You should try to avoid using numbers or any funny characters in your name, because it makes it more difficult to remember and typing it into your browser.
– You are the creative one here! Get something catchy and memorable, but make sure it is easy to pronounce and spell to avoid unnecessary problems for visitors.
– If you want to establish a more personal brand, you can use your name as well. However I would not advise to do it for your gaming blog. The best would be to try and create a brand while making a name for yourself through the blog.
How I chose Nochgames.com?
It’s short, easy to say and type, with a gaming keyword in the name so people know it’s something to do with gaming!
“Noch” means MORE, so our name basically means More Gaming, which I thought is a great name.
So now you should have a pretty good idea about how you can brainstorm ideas to get the perfect gaming blog name.
Check if the name you want is still available!
#4 Why Choose WordPress When Creating Your Gaming Blog?
My advice would be to use WordPress, because it’s one of the most popular platforms for creating websites and for good reason. WordPress is used for over 25% of all websites on the internet and is also the most stable blogging platform.
Here are a few reasons why you should use WordPress:
– WordPress is very flexible when it comes to customization and optimization with thousands of plugins and extensions. It is well optimized for SEO and are even better with an awesome SEO plugin by Yoast.
– Using WordPress is totally free and you will only need a Domain name and a webhosting service to get your blog running. There are many themes that are free, but you can also get a cool theme design for a reasonable price. I would suggest you start with a free theme.
– WordPress is really easy to use and learn, so you will get the hang of it very quickly. The best part is that millions of people are using it and if you run into problems, just Google and you will definitely find an answer somewhere.
– Updates for your website are easy to manage, because WordPress have built-in update software. Just make sure to create a child-theme first, otherwise you may lose important data and settings. (Here is a cool guide you can use to create a child-theme for your WordPress blog)
– With a WordPress website you can be sure that your video gaming blog would be safe and secure, but that should not really be a problem for a personal blog.
– You can easily use all the different media types on your site with little to no experience needed. These include video, images, audio, podcast and more.
This is only a few great benefits when you choose to create a gaming blog using WordPress to get you up and running quickly.
Here are a few great websites to find nice Gaming Themes
#5 Choose The Best Web Hosting For Your Video Game Blog
It can be tricky to choose the best hosting plan that will work for you. When you are just starting out and only have a small budget, it is best to choose a cheaper option and then upgrade later on.
So where do you find the best hosting for your gaming blog?
Well, the most popular and best known would probably be something like Bluehost, Godaddy, HostGator or Siteground, but there are actually so much more options to choose from.
Here is a site that lists, compares and ranks hosting providers which will help you find the best hosting plan when starting your gaming blog.
Check out HRank.com to choose the best web hosting service to get your blog running.
#6 Ways To Make Money With Your Gaming Blog
There are many ways to earn an online income from blogging.
If you are willing to put in a little bit of work, and I mean creating high quality content and promoting it properly, you can make a decent amount of money.
The reason I discuss money making method way down at the bottom of the post is because most of us try to make money first and magically establish a great blog or online brand.
Like I said before. I have failed multiple times by taking the “money first, work later” approach and this is why it’s important to know how to create a quality blog first.
When you have an audience and a decent amount of traffic (anything from a few 100 to a few 1000 real visitors a month), implementing monetizing strategies will become much easier.
So here are the most common and easiest ways you can start earning money from creating a gaming blog once you have built a large enough audience.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money from any blog or website. This is also perfect for a gaming blog, as there are thousands of affiliate programs out there that you can use.
Probably the most well-known affiliate program is Amazon Associates.
It works like this – you write about a certain product on your blog, put in an affiliate link where visitors can click if they like your product. If they buy you will earn a referral commission.
For example, if you write about game tips and tricks you can use an affiliate program where you can link to the game and earn a commission when someone buy the game through your link. (G2A Goldmine is a great example).
The best part is that you don’t even have to pay anything to earn commissions with affiliate marketing.
They key is to find the right products that will fit your audience and the people that will read your blog. The better your presentation, the better the chances someone will buy.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to affiliate marketing, because you can use multiple programs to earn an income.
-Pay Per Click Advertising (Google Adsense)-
Pay per click advertising is the ads you see on some websites that say “ads by Google”, well Google Adsense is the most common way to implement pay per click advertising.
The Basics are that you register for Google Adsense, put a small html code into your website and earn a small commission every time a visitor clicks on an ad on your website.
While this sounds awesome, I recommend to not use this method because you must have a lot of traffic to make something decent. The terms and conditions for the Adsense program are also very difficult to pass and to maintain.
-Sell Ad Space-
Similar to “Pay per Click Advertising (PPC)”, you will sell ad space on your website. The only difference is that you sell the ad space directly to companies within your industry or niche.
For example, you have sell a few banner ad spaces to a company that advertises anything to do with gaming.
The success will directly be related to the amount of traffic you can get to your website every month. The more popular your blog gets, the more companies and advertisers will want to advertise on your blog.
Although you can make a lot of money by selling your ad space, I will not really use this method until your blog has at least a few 1000 visitors a month.
-Build an Email List-
This is probably the most effective way to make money online within any industry and definitely with your gaming blog as well.
Building and email list can take a lot of time and hard work, but once you have a few hundred subscribers, you can promote your content to people that is almost sure to buy.
The key is consistently getting people who visits your blog to sign-up to your list in order to get the latest updates and posts you create on your blog.
Building a strong email list is a long term goal and making money will not come overnight, but it still is one of the best ways to make money online.
A great way to get people to subscribe is to offer something for free. It doesn’t have to cost you money or take you long to create, as long it has value to your readers they will gladly give their email in exchange for something of value.
It’s very important not to spam people with overloading them with information, it could lead to bad things for your video game blog.
Work out a strategy and set your goals for growing your subscriber’s list over the long term and you will see massive success.
The most popular tool you can start with is Mailchimp, because you can get a free account until you have more than 2000 subscribers.
-Set Up Your Own E-commerce Store-
A website or blog should not always only have content on it and setting up an e-commerce site can be a very nice business to run if you do it correctly.
For gaming, there can be a wide variety of products you can start selling on your gaming website, from digital product to physical gaming hardware.
Although it can be a great business, it is highly recommended that you grow your gaming blog as large as possible (maybe a few thousand visitors per month) before creating an online store.
You don’t want to work your ass off only to see no one buying your products, simply because you have too little traffic coming to your website.
If you have a large enough audience you can sell to (a few 1000 visitors) , make sure your products are uniquely presented to make you stand out from your competitors.
The possibilities are endless!
-Build a Gaming Website and Sell it-
Another great way to make money online would be to build high quality gaming websites and sell them to other gamers that would like to have a gaming blog.
There are almost always people ready to buy websites that are already making money and if you are great at creating awesome sites to sell, you can make some serious money.
Like with any method to make money, you will need to take the time to learn all the basics and more to be better than the competition.
It will also take a few months to build some traffic to a new site, but if you work on a few of these projects and learn how the system work it will pay off.
Personally I would like to grow my gaming blog from nothing and establish a great brand over the long term rather than starting all over again.
So now you basically know how to start a gaming blog from scratch.
Here’s a quick recap – you should do it for the right reasons, choosing your topics are a very important part, getting the perfect domain name, why you should choose WordPress, what the best hosting is to start with and how you can make money with your gaming blog.
Easy right!!! But wait…
This is only the first step, what about your blog setup, creating awesome content, promoting it to your audience ect? Don’t worry, I will cover all of that in the upcoming articles.
The next step you should take from here is getting your hosting package and installing it on WordPress.
Remember to sign up to my newsletter for updates about upcoming articles.
What would you like to name your gaming blog?
Tell me in the comments and if you already have a gaming blog, let me know so I can check it out.