Affiliate Marketing & Programs

Press Start: The Introductory Video Game Affiliate Marketing Guide [Part 1 of 5]


I’ve been a gamer all my life.

I vaguely remember my parents owning an Atari 2600 but it wasn’t until my introduction with the NES in the 90’s that my fascination for the genre really took off. Fast forward all these years and my collection of systems and games have grown immensely.

Coincidentally enough – my fascination with the Web and online business grew at an equal pace. Then one day it dawn on me that a stab at affiliate marketing – with video games – might just be an immense opportunity because, after all, I knew I had spent thousands on gaming – surely others have (and continue to do) as well.

The following is my attempt to give you a basic primer if you’d like to get into video games and affiliate marketing.

This topic is far bigger than what I’d contain in a single post so I’m dividing it into five across the week this way it gives you enough time to take notes (and action). I also wanted to introduce this topic because video games are a big deal which is generates more money than Hollywood – so you can see this is quite the prime choice as an affiliate.

Let’s start today with the basics …

Phase 1: Become a gamer

I can’t stress this enough: you need to play video games if you want to talk about them.

Think of gaming the same way you think of fanatical football lovers. They get active. They’re playing the sport. They’re on the message boards discussing the games. They’re doing research and chasing rumors to find juicy new details. They’re following the developers on social media. They’re sharing videos and writing about it all the time.

Gaming has an adoption cycle.

From a gamer perspective you’re generally lumped into:

  • Casual

  • Hardcore

But the reality is that there’s a huge spectrum in-between.

This is because, like with any hobby or interest, you start with the basics and eventually go deeper into the subject. Some individuals stick to casual games due to a variety of reasons (time, financial, etc) while others devote their existence to gaming (buying at launch, producing shows, and more).

The casual games you’d expect would be ones often found on the app marketplaces or commonly seen via Facebook games. This isn’t always the case but think of it as a game that your mom would play – I doubt she’s going to jump head first into EVE Online.

Hardcore steps it up via competition, difficulty, learning curves, time investment, niche genre, and more. These are those types of individuals that usually treat gaming as their main form of entertainment so they’re willing to put in a lot of time.

There are also those that consider themselves pro gamers (professional gamers that actual earn an income from their gaming), retro gamers (those that stick to the older games), and you could even throw in those that consider themselves arcade gamers.

I’d recommend if you want to do the video game affiliate thing you stick to that middle ground.

The middle ground (the core gamer) will give you enough perspective to understand the genres (along with experience playing the games and consoles) but will prevent you from getting too deep.

When you’re too deep you start to over analyze everything and often get somewhat smug about gaming – it’s best to be a neutral voice when you’re first starting as an affiliate then start niching down and developing a specific brand.

Your task

1. Pick up a few games that are on the charts for your phone and computer.

2. After you’ve played through them make your way to consoles.

3. Start with some of the classics which you can purchase for cheap then make your way to the newer systems. At the same time – start reading video game news sites, message boards, and following video game channels on YouTube.

4. Talk with young and older adults about their gaming and make gaming conversations part of your normal chats.

5. Put in an hour or two a day just for gaming (and more if you’re getting hooked).

Though I’m dividing this series across five days the reality is that each part will most likely take you weeks or more to really get a feel – this is especially so when getting into gaming though the great thing (as I will reveal) is that there’s a niche for everyone and even the newbie can have a voice in the community.

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