7/13/2014

Get paid thanks to games: A game blogger / vlogger

Today we're continuing with the second part of the last part of... Uhh, that got complicated, didn't it? So, this is the second part of the "Get paid thanks to games" series. "Get paid thanks to games" are actually the third and last part of bigger series, which is "Stop wasting your time with games". Now that this confusion is just a tad less confusing than before, let's proceed to the actual topic. Last time I've written a bit about pro gamers, and today it's time for...

Game bloggers / vloggers 

This is a career with an extremely low entry barrier. Practically everyone can do it and frankly, I would encourage everyone with sufficient skill to try it. YouTube channels are free. Blog hosting is free. Your only investment is your time. Here's some tips how to avoid most common mistakes:

Generate your own content. I cannot stress it enough. If you want to deliver game news, don't copy news from other sites, seek, rewrite and compile them with your own style. If you want to review games, give your opinion, not repeat after others. Original content is a beautiful thing. Uncredited copy-pasting is just stealing someone else's work and it should be punished with cutting off the thief’s hand.


Almost as important as the previous one. Seriously, don't start writing if you don't know how. Don't go making videos when all you do is mumble to yourself. Nobody will be able to read that. Nobody will be able to watch that. Spare everyone the time. Be a valuable voice in the discussion. If you have nothing to say, just don't write, don't make videos. The world will be better off without it. You will have more time to do something more productive. Win-win.


Decide who your audience is. Decide what you want to deliver. Do you want to be the number 1 source of knowledge about one specific game? Do you want to review racing games? Do you just want to play a bunch of games and talk about them? Whichever you decide on, it's best to stick to it until it succeeds or fails.

Know, how to sell yourself. Bloggers and vloggers are rarely successful without serious marketing skills. Network, share your link, comment on others, link others. Be visible in the community. Support it and make it fuller.


Also, mostly for vloggers - please look decent. Heal your acne before showing your face. Wear a clean t-shirt. Clean the part of your room that's going to be visible. You don't have to be pretty or handsome, you don't have to wear stylish clothes and horn-rimmed glasses. You don't need to shave and don't need to grow a beard. You don't need a ton of makeup. It might be a good idea to find a cool look for yourself, as people seem to respond to that, but above all, just look clean. And open your mouth while trying to speak and know what you want to say instead of umming and erming.

Success is easily measured - if your blog or channel gets enough followers, you can start trying to get in some revenue from the ads. If it is enough to put food on your table, congrats - you have succeeded. The most successful vloggers are currently earning serious cash and can set trends as successfully as the leading gaming sites. They no longer do simple videos. They're employing people to deliver well-developed entertainment. It's enough to check out the Angry Joe's website to see what I mean. Lately, my studio invited the most popular game vlogger in my country to show him the game. He came with his team of 9 more people to check it out.

If, however, you weren't able to gather enough audience, your work wasn't necessarily all in vain. If it shows you can easily and fluently pass on your opinions that aren't a complete bullshit, your blog or vlog can easily be your portfolio for some other game-related project or job, like a journalist or a junior developer. For example, the blog of yours truly has a relatively low audience, but thanks to the content, I've already been asked to publish my articles in several places around the web. 


Sometimes opportunities can present themselves quite unexpectedly. The most popular Dark Souls streamer – EpicNameBro - was asked to help prepare the Dark Souls 2 strategy guide and test DS2 way before beta tests were open. In the age where gaming communities are growing in power, being an active and outstanding member of your favourite game's community can lead to working with the developers. And then, beta testing and community management can open you even more doors.

What do you need to become a decent blogger / vlogger?
- an idea for your own, original content;
- a lot of insight into whichever piece of the field you want to dig into;
- patience, as you'll be doing a lot for free for an extended amount of time;
- great writing and language skills;
- great presentation skills (mostly for vloggers, but doesn’t hurt in a blog as well);
- ability to network, if you want your online baby to reach a wide audience.



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