Blogging Tips for Gamers #5

blogging tips for gamersTip #5: How to get More Readers

You have your blog all set up, you know you’re in it for the long-haul with a purpose, you have a topic, and now you’re thinking to yourself, “How do I get people to read my blog?”  This is quite literally the million dollar question.  I think if there was a definitive answer, and you had it all figured out, you could make quite a bit of money.  Lucky for you, I can share what has worked for me.

When I started blogging I was writing for IGN and moderating their forums.  I knew a lot of people, and a lot of people knew about me, so I had a slight edge.  I could put my blog in my forum signature, and maybe a dozen people per day would click on it and hopefully not bounce off the page in 3 seconds.  This was back in 2007, though, when blogging about games was still somewhat uncommon.  Today, people know what gaming blogs are all about.  That can be an advantage if you’re able to stand out from the crowd, or a disadvantage if you’re just another face.

No matter your circumstances, here’s my advice.

Write Every Day

People need to know your site will have something new each day if they are going to bookmark and make your site one of their daily stops when they get home from work.  If you’re passionate, knowledgable, and truly interested in what you’re writing about then you’ll be able to write something once per day.  I would like to emphasize ONCE a day.  I see a lot of gaming blogs trying to post 2, 3, sometimes 4 or 5 times a day.  That’s too much.  You don’t have the readership to support that much content, and you’re going to burn out.  This is my opinion, but if you’re going to be posting 5 times a day you might be slipping into the realm of a Rock Paper Shotgun type site that begins to cover 80% news and 20% personalized content — I’d say stick with the blogging for now.

Join the Community

Another great way to find readers is to become apart of the gaming blog community.  Do you read other blogs and comment?  Put your blog’s URL in the section of the comment that asks for your website, or place it in your forum signature.  You’d be surprised how often people will click on your name if you write something insightful.  Do not ever spam a blog comment just to get traffic.  You should keep in mind that 99% of the time comments are no-follow links.  You can also email other bloggers and ask them to if they wouldn’t mind checking out your site and, if they like what they see, adding you to their blogroll.    You’re not doing this for traffic, you want people to find out who you are and naturally decide for themselves that your site is worth visiting.

Stick with It!

You’re probably not going to be an overnight success unless you already spent time building up clout in another area; Even then you likely invested time already.  It took us about a year before we started to see our readers grow at a huge rate.  You might see 10 people visit your blog the first month, but hopefully — as long as you’re publishing amazing content — people will slowly share what they read with others and you will start to see your readership grow.  Other people sharing your content is the single most powerful way of growing your blog.  Google loves when content is shared naturally, and you should too because it means you’re doing something right.  We’ll talk more on this in a later tip.

Check out all of Keen’s Blogging Tips for Gamers.
  • I’d also mention streaming, if you have the kind of rig to handle it. I’ve found a number of really interesting blogs and gaming communities through Twitch streams. If you can bring out the same personality in a stream as you do in your writing, then you’re sure to draw people into your site through the stream. The only problem with this is that there are a -lot- of streams out there, and most of them are competitive or esport player’s streams, so getting your stream to stand out and get traffic might be a whole other challenge in itself.

  • Absolutely. If you’re interested in streaming, and it’s something you can do well, then you’re sure to benefit from promoting your blog to your viewers.

    The difficulty with streaming, as FireBomberSeven mentions, is that it’s competitive. I think it’s a LOT harder to grow a successful stream than it is to grow a blog. We stream occasionally because we simply don’t have the time to dedicate toward growing our channel. I work full time, whereas most of the streamers who ‘make it big’ are capable of putting 8 hours a day into their channel.

    Anything you can do to grow your presence on the web will help your blog. I’m a traditionalist, and I believe strongly that no matter what else, if you write good content the readers will come.

  • I didn’t realize you blogged for IGN. What game were you working for? Or was it general IGN?

  • Looking forward to your future tips – so far I’ve failed all the previous prerequisites but at least I’ll know what to do if I decide to start over! ^_^

  • @Keltar: I wrote articles and feature pieces for several games including Vanguard and LotRO, moderated their forums, and published news.

  • Although I am not a blogger, writing 5 times a day doesn’t have to equal publishing them all daily. I would recommend publishing the most topical first and shelving the more general philosophical pieces for writer’s block or vacation days.

  • @Keen: I was head columnist for DAoC, as well as moderator for the DAoC forums. Didn’t realize we shared that trait in common!