Press Start: The Introductory Video Game Affiliate Marketing Guide [Part 3 of 5]
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We’re now upon the third day of our video game affiliate marketing guide.
So far we’ve covered topics like:
And now we’re on a part that you’re probably quite familiar with – as an affiliate marketer.
Today we’re going to dive into developing the platform. This mainly covers setting up the website and its structure. It will also talk about some of the content you can develop.
The other stuff like marketing and monetization isn’t something to worry about at this phase of the journey – focus on making something people want to visit, first, and then do these after.
So, let’s press start and get into the action.
Phase 3: Developing the Platform(er)
Get it? A video game joke.
I’ve made quite a few websites in my time to the point that I see it as a process you can do in about an hour or two (for the basic stuff) – the later part of this list may take you some time (like producing content and the whatnot) but go along with me, here:
1. Purchase the domain name
Pick something edgy or homage to the video game industry.
There is plenty of “videogamereviewsblahblah.com” type a sites out there so go with a name that’s easy to remember but definitely stands out from the rest.
Resource: Our guide to choosing domain names.
2. Get the hosting together (and WordPress)
You probably already have a favorite so just do an add-on domain otherwise choose a fresh one just in case you feel the site will really take off and you don’t want it disrupting the other sites in your account.
Once you’ve got the domain linked I would recommend you install a CMS like WordPress because it’s very easy to manage and there are lots of great gaming themes available for the platform.
3. Get a gaming-related theme
I wouldn’t recommend you go with the everyday blog feel of your gaming website unless you want to go really low key in the beginning.
Instead, I’d say it’s worth the investment to search marketplaces and provides (I recommend Envato – see my review) because developers have already taken the time to create themes that are catered to the video game niche.
They usually include:
- The ability to easily create reviews
- Built-in forum support
- Drag-and-drop page builders
- Galleries and sliders
- eCommerce modules
- Wiki-like features
Once you’ve got that configured I’d also recommend you install some WordPress plugins to the site to add to the features and flexibility.
4. Get the structure right
I would highly recommend you take a look at other sites already out there like:
These will provide you with a solid foundation as to how you can structure your website.
Generally it’s a matter of:
- Having categories for the main systems and pages
- Using subcategories for the genre of games
- Using tags for the game
If you were to think of it as an ecommerce page it would be: Main Page -> Product Listing -> Product.
Again, use what’s already working for these types of sites and make the necessary tweaks to turn it into something of your own.
Moving Forward -> -> ->
I’m sure you’ve got that all down pat from your experience as an affiliate marketer and site owner, good, because now we should focus on the main item at hand … the content.
The big draw of your website will be in the reviews. This is because gamers want an opinion about a game before they give it a whirl (just like any other product or service). This is the prime time to stand out with your personal opinion of the work and your knowledge of the industry.
The second biggest piece you can put together is generally the first looks which gives your followers a glimpse of a game they may not have known about (or have been passionately following). To do this – you have to make the connections with game developers, publishers, and PR. This takes time but if you know your way around pitching ideas and networking (through your affiliate marketing skills) you may get a jump on other sites in your niche.
The third – that has become wildly popular – are game play videos which could be just you playing the game, you streaming the game, or something put together by the game development team. Video games are a visual medium so it makes sense to feature as many videos (and pictures) as you can.
Other forms of content you may want to include are features (in-depth analysis of game features, tropes, and other anecdotes), lists (for doing round-ups, buyer’s guides, and opinions), and interviews (so you can not only build those relationships with developers but also give readers the inside scoop).
1. Go through the steps and setup your gaming website.
2. Begin brainstorming a few big features for the site along with getting in touch with developers to see if they can share juicy details about their game (and if they’d like to do an interview).
3. Play the game demos (and full releases) while recording so you may stream or upload these videos to YouTube and place them on your website.
4. Go through your backlog and review games you’ve played and create a gaming schedule so you can continually pump out new reviews as soon as you can after a game is released.
5. Start using your analytics to see what’s working well in social and search engines – then repeat that type of content to fill out the site in categories that could use the buffer.
Sounds about like a normal routine for a website, right? The difference, here, is that you’re basically combining the act of doing case studies (i.e. playing the game and reviewing the experience), journalism, and big, evergreen pieces.
You’ve come this far … now it’s only a matter of building the community and earning some coin.