If you were born in the early 80s like me, you’re old enough to remember subscribing to Nintendo Power and other gaming magazines. Those publications have been dying out, but the world of online content and blogging is thriving like never before!
A few years ago, I came across an insightful post from CNET about the state of gaming journalism. Nintendo Power and other gaming magazines have been replaced by gaming blogs. Print media in this industry is dying faster than other niches, which is a great opportunity for bloggers.
There is a lot of money to be made if you can become a successful gaming blogger, but the competition is fierce. Kotaku gets about nine million readers a month, which makes it hard for smaller blogs to build an impression. As a regular reader of the PlayStation blog, I have made some observations about their content strategy, which you should consider following with your own blog.
Why Does the PlayStation Blog Get Such Great Results?
PlayStation clearly has an edge that most other gaming bloggers can only dream of – their brand recognition. However, their brand name alone doesn’t begin to account for their success. Here are some of the reasons their blog is doing so well.
Loads of Posts for Readers to Choose from
Most WordPress templates have a similar content structure:
- There are two to four posts on the front page.
- The posts on the front page are displayed vertically.
- The post title is shown with an image and the first paragraph of the content.
This may work with most niches, but the gaming niche is different. There are so many new developments in the gaming industry every day that it is impossible for readers to keep track. They want to choose what content they want to look at.
How does PlayStation organize their content with this in mind? They have nearly 20 posts displayed on the front page. Readers need to scroll down a bit to find them, but about half of them are listed above the fold.
Posts Are Centered Around the Benefits to the Reader
There are a couple of reasons that people read PlayStation and other gaming blogs. The content can be very entertaining, but they also want to get something out of it. Most gaming blogs share cheats, hacks and walk-throughs. Since PlayStation actually creates the content they use, the company can also offer great deals on their blog.
They use these deals to great effect. The post titled PAX Sale: Up to 70% Off Fan Favorites is a great example. Readers will discover deals on over a dozen of their favorite games, including Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Deadpool and Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition.
If you read a blog that gave such great value, wouldn’t you keep coming back? It certainly gives more of an incentive than the zillions of blogs that just rehash gaming news in every post.
There Are Very Catchy Blurbs for Many Posts
Engaging readers is important with any blog, but the bar is much higher for gaming bloggers. People are excited to read about their favorite games, so you need to match their enthusiasm when making a first impression. PlayStation has this down to a science. Take a look at some of the blurbs they use with their posts that are shown above the fold:
- Stunningly beautiful, The Lost Legacy is out now – only on PS4.
- Experience the time-honored classic in completely revamped 3D February 15. Pre-order today!
- It’s been a big summer for PS VR. Check out Tiny Trax, Superhot VR, Arizona Sunshine and more.
- Get ready to explore post-apocalyptic wastelands as Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas arrive on PS Now next week on September 5. These are some of our favorite PS3 games ever, and this is a perfect opportunity to dive in if you missed them the first time around – or just want to revisit.
These bloggers are very effectual with their word choice. Their blurbs and titles really entice you to click.
I can’t emphasize this enough – every gaming blog needs great images. You can get away with a few cheesy photostock pictures if you are running a blog on accounting or the Dewey Decimal System. That just doesn’t work with gaming sites.
PlayStation uses the highest quality images with every post. They are displayed across their front page as well.
The image for their recent post about Destiny 2 really jumps out at me. I don’t know enough about the game to know what the picture is of, but the lighting and sharpness of the image really grab my attention. The Second Son picture of one of the main characters plunging from the sky is another great example. It shows the level of action you can expect when you fire up the game.
How Can YOU Create a Successful Gaming Blog?
Gaming is one of the most competitive niches out there. Don’t let that spook you. You can still succeed in this vertical, but you need to be serious and make a bold presentation. Here are some guidelines you should learn from PlayStation:
- Make exciting calls-to-action. You can’t be meek with your content as a gaming blogger. You gotta create eye-grabbing headlines to draw people to click your posts.
- Choose powerful images. I can’t stress this enough – your images really define your content. They don’t need to be large, but they need to be crisp and engaging. Pictures should highlight characters fighting, moving around or engaging in some action that makes the post seem appealing. Unless they’re pictures of hot animated girls. Those work too.
- Know what you have to offer. Gaming news can be great for some posts, but you probably won’t get a lot of traction if that is all you have to offer. You should either generate niche content or offer some unique codes, hacks or other insights other bloggers miss.
Do you think you have what it takes to compete with a blog that rivals Kotaku or PlayStation?