So you want to know how to start a video game blog. A large percentage of gamers have the same idea, but it usually stops at that. If you are looking at articles on it, then it is likely you are a bit more serious. In that case, you already know that writing about video games today is not an easy road. The heavy hitters have years of dominating the scene, and they have the fanbases to prove it.
That is why we wanted to break it down a little bit. All because something is difficult doesn’t mean you should not try it. The best way to take this on is to start on the right foot and have a plan for growth. If you take it seriously and follow our advice below, you will have a better chance of making a name for yourself.
If you are interested to learn more about starting a video gaming blog, use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
2. SEO for Gaming Blogs
3. Growth and Affiliating with Other Gaming Blogs
4. The Best Hosting for Gaming Blogs
How to Start a Gaming Blog
First, it is all about getting the ball rolling. Luckily, starting a gaming blog is the easy part. Since WordPress is the best blogging CMS (content management system) on the internet, you need to use that to build your site. If you are not comfortable with building a site from scratch, take a look at some of the available themes. There are plenty of free ones that you can play around with while you get comfortable. Before really focusing on gathering a fanbase, though, you will definitely want to invest in a more professional looking (see: not free) theme.
How to start a gaming review blog
Video gaming in general is a broad topic. It is usually a good idea to focus on a more specific subtopic. A common idea is to learn how to start a game review blog. Even this small move helps to trim down what information you will need to research and write about. Now, you are writing much less about the industry in general, older games, or even upcoming games. You are focused on reviewing the latest releases as soon as possible.
SEO for Gaming Blogs
SEO (search engine optimization) is a powerful tactic for all websites. Poor SEO can single-handedly ruin an otherwise fantastic site. For all websites, SEO has many different parts that all have to work well for the site to perform. Your site design has to be clean without redundant or messy code. If you are new to this, then this means simply trusting a highly reviewed theme to get started so that nothing goes astray. Loading your site needs to be easy and quick with the fewest chance of errors.
That is just the start. Best practices for SEO includes posting consistent content that is relevant to your site. In short, when a hot, new game is announced or released, you need to be writing about it. Use the material and images supplied in press releases, and make sure they have the appropriate alt image tags. Alt image tags help Google’s bots see what the image is. Also, it helps any visitor with vision impairment because their site readers will announce that alt image text. So having an alt image tag of “game graphics” or no tag at all is inconsiderate.
You also need to be linking every page of your website to other pages. Internal linking helps users navigate, and it tells Google that you are building a stable system of related content that links to each other. One thing that is easy to overlook, though, is linking to other websites. Google likes to see that you are integrated into the overall discussion on your topic, and linking to other, related websites is the way to show it. It is one thing to link your own site to others. What really helps is getting others to link to you. And that is a much different game altogether.
Growth and Affiliating with Other Gaming Blogs
Growth is all about attracting new visitors. Initially, growth is a backbreaking or expensive process. You either do the marketing work or you pay someone to do it for you. Regardless, first, you have to keep a steady flow of consistent, timely, and engaging content. Then, you need to promote that content to a relevant audience. This means being smart with online communities, social media posts, and even email marketing. Without marketing, nobody knows you exist. And there is no exact science to it. No one can tell you the exact way to guarantee success. If you market right, visitors will come. If not, your site stays empty.
Marketing now is less advertising and more engaging. Taking actual part in online conversations helps you get involved. Then, people will more likely be open to viewing your posts about related content. Spamming ads that you have the best site with the freshest takes will get you nowhere. Participate in the discussion. One quality rule for content is to give away all of your best stuff for free. Go ahead and post your funniest or most thoughtful writings on these sites. Do not give people less and ensure them it gets better on your website. There is a reason Sega released the Genesis with a copy of Sonic The Hedgehog. They put their best foot forward to get you interested, then you were already committed.
Crossing the aisle
It may seem like other websites are “competition.” I suppose in some ways, they are. But nothing stops users from accessing multiple sites. Google loves it when reputable sites link to you. It is like they vouch for you. And on a visitor level, you instantly gain some exposure to their base. This works double if you can actually get some of your content published on another site. Now, instead of a simple link, their base is exposed to your style of content directly.
This can be game-changing for a new video game blog. Because of that, this arrangement does not come cheap. To start, reach out to blogs that have similar traffic. They are more likely to accept a quid-pro-quo agreement. Perhaps you can write a post that will be published on their site, and they can do the same with yours.
Reaching for exposure on bigger sites is trickier. You have to consider what would be in it for them. In these cases, you need to bring a lot more to the table. This is very difficult or even more expensive. One idea, though, is to show them content that really impresses them so they consider a spotlight piece or giving you the occasional guest post. That will take a lot of convincing, though.
Pay your writers
As you encounter growth, you will likely consider expanding. You can only write so many articles or reviews by yourself. It is common to want to reach out to budding writers with a chance to write for you. If this is the case, then pay your writers. Pay them fairly for their work. There is nothing shadier than explaining to a writer that they will see 25 cents for every 1,000 page views or whatever.
There is no shortage of free work, but that is because this industry has become toxic. Not just for writers, it is toxic to the owners too. More people want to write about video games than there are positions to do so. Instead of using that to inspire serious writers to be better, many sites use this saturation to force all writers to compete for the lowest price. And now, far too many sites offer only volunteer roles. Writers who volunteer have no accountability by design. They lose nothing for being unreliable. When you trust your writers, and when you trust your blog to grow, then you get loyal and consistently great writing that attracts more longtime fans.
Yeah, I know, I am a writer. So of course, I would say this. But honestly, I say “writers” because they are likely the first job you need. The same is true for editors, researchers, community managers, and everyone else. Just like with web hosting, you get what you pay for. And when you are not paying anything, you have no place to get upset when things come crashing down.
The Best Hosting for Gaming Blogs
Be careful, because it can be easy to accidentally overlook the importance of web hosting for your blog. When focusing on many other tasks, finding a great host can fall to the side. Unfortunately, this oversight can cause a lot of problems down the road.
Poor hosting affects your traffic. When visitors come across a site that is slow to load, they click the back button. Google is aware of this, so they will put your site lower in the search results. The same is true if your site experiences downtime consistently. Google does not want to chance having their users click on a dead link on the first page of the search results. They would rather bury that site under links to related sites that have proven their reliability. Because of this, you need really fast speeds, high bandwidth, and maximum uptime.
To make sure that you are getting the most out of your web hosting, you need to start with a managed WordPress host. These services are better optimized for WordPress, and they often have additional features to help you manage your website. In the case of WP Super Host, these features include monitoring for updates, plugin compatibility, and uptime. We also offer CDN and free site speed reports to keep your websites quick and secure. So when you are looking for hosting for your new gaming blog, look at our pricing options to get started.
I am not going to sugarcoat this. Making a video game blog today is going to be an uphill battle. Most gamers already have their go-to sites for their video game news, reviews, and features. That does not mean it is impossible. Just, at the very least, you have to know how to start a video game blog before jumping in. Find your niche, make connections, perfect your content and SEO, and roll the dice.