So you’ve finally decided to make your business around video games. Good job. I knew you could do it. 🙂 The first step is always hardest, they always say. Now, you’re telling me that you need somewhere to put all your content in. The easiest for this is a place where you have complete control on your content. This, my friends in the digital world, is a website. Unlike YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, you can control what you say, what you want to put and even when you want to put stuff. Your content is your baby, you should really take care of it yourself!
So, let’s get started!
Wait a minute! Don’t read the next few steps until you do this!
Oh snap, I nearly forgot! Right now, I’m going to give you a very tiny mental checklist that you want to keep in mind as you read this post. This is something you really need to do before you even go ahead and open up a website and start putting your stuff out there!
The teeny tiny mental checklist
- Who are you serving?
- How can I solve their problems?
- Get Started!
An Explanation of the Tiny Mental Checklist
The reason why I gave you the checklist is that I want to help you achieve your dreams faster. We’re going to optimize and streamline as much as we can throughout the process. While I’m not a subject matter expert, it is definitely the mindset that you’re going to find in common with anyone who is going give you advice on getting started on your new website. It is also the same mindset that you would want to adapt as you start to open your doors and push out content like no tomorrow.
Who am I serving?
People are always looking for solutions to their problems. We’re here to solve those problems. If people like what you give, they’re more likely to give you money! This is a very easy way of thinking of the rules laid out here for us. So starting now, let’s think of what kind of people you want to help.
For example, maybe you’re an expert raider in World of Warcraft Mythic +. You know all the strategies, tricks and mechanics to clear a fight in record time. You already know there’s a group of people out there who wants to get better at raiding, so here’s your audience to cater to. If you can define that, you can get an audience of like-minded people to follow behind.
How can I solve their problems?
Once you know who you want to cater to, it’s time to find out what their problems are and how to solve them. The thing is, you need to know your audience pretty well to understand what they are looking for. The good news is, since we do play video games, by focusing on a game you’re really good at (or a variety of games you’re good at), you can find what your audience likes, dislikes, and even problems they have at a game. By checking out forums and interacting with the community by various means (Reddit, Discord, Facebook groups, etc.) you can get a better grasp on their opinions and even find valuable information.
Once you find their gripes, your job is now to solve them. 😀 By helping your audience, they feel happy and they might pay it back to you!
This is actually the most important point of this checklist. Getting started. If you don’t start, you’ll never get it done. If you don’t start, you won’t know what’s ahead of you. If you won’t start, those people won’t get their solutions and everyone feels sad. No one likes sad people. This is the hardest step of them all, but it is the most important.
Now To Actually get Started
Always keep the checklist in mind. It’s small, but very important!
Step 1: Do the checklist.
Ok, I know, this sounds like a cop-out. I’m not kidding though; do the checklist. It will be very important throughout the lifetime of your new video game business. It’s going to guide you in how to approach your website and the content you want to put out. I would suggest doing at least 3-4 answers per question on the checklist. Don’t take too long, though! Remember the last point of the checklist!
Step 2: Find a Web host provider.
So now that you got an idea out, you now need to find a place to put your content on. You have two options. Go free, or pay someone to do it for you.
Now, going free is a very valid option but you might have trouble down the road if you’re relying on people to find you through search engines like Google. They don’t tend to rank very well on search listings. You can take a look at my favorite food blog, FoodWishes. Every recipe listed there I couldn’t find on Google; the only way I could find him was on YouTube!
Websites with free hosting tend to have their domain names attached to them and not only look goofy and not catchy, the providers have some partial control over your website. If you decide to go this route, you may not even be allowed to monetize your website (through ads, for example) at all! Despite this, there are many free providers, and you can switch later on if you feel you are ready to invest into a paid website domain. You will want to utilize your other social media like Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube to drive traffic to your website. Examples: Blogger, Wix, and WordPress.com
Paying for Your Web host and Domain
Definitely the more expensive option you can look for. Aside from hosting, you actually also have to buy a domain name. Remember the checklist? By defining your answers, you can actually word your website in a catchy, creative way that tells your audience what you’re here for! Also, you can scale once your website grows and you have more content to share. And not only that, you have full control of all your content on the website! That’s pretty awesome!
… Except, you don’t know where to find your hosting. Here, I’ll provide you with some affiliate links. Now, these links will help you get some nice deals for what you need at no cost to you. Note: The links here provide you a discounted rate for your first year, so definitely shop around if being on a budget is your highest priority after your first year. If you decide to click on them and buy, I’ll get something in return for me recommending you their business. Again, I won’t recommend anything that I don’t like. More over at my Affiliate Disclosure.
So, my recommendation is SiteGround. While I will honestly say I don’t use it myself, I have done a lot of extensive research on two of the most popular web hosts. So why would I recommend SiteGround over the others? While my favorite financial bloggers (who are very inspirational for this blog, by the way 😉 ), Mr. Money Mustache and Frugalwoods recommend BlueHost, this doesn’t mean I follow their recommendations blindly. As always, I will recommend doing extensive research. What led me to this conclusion was that after research, I found that SiteGround was faster, was more reliable and have excellent customer service. BlueHost provides a better starter package and is cheaper overall, which could be a better choice if you prefer to be on a budget. I would personally go with the better network and customer service as I like my content handled by people who care and have consistent up time.
You’re wondering why I would recommend a paid service over a free one, I would think of this as an investment for your future. You’re building a revenue stream; of course you need to spend some money to make the money work for you!
Step 3: Create your Website
Now that you have your website, it’s time to install WordPress and other doodads. Fortunately the two hosts I recommended in the last step, has provided you a 1-click install button for WordPress, although you can choose to use other Content Manager Systems (CMS) if you are familiar with it. Pick ONE theme and stick with it. Don’t spend too much time trying to make your website look perfect. You can fix that later. It’s actually more important to start pushing your content immediately.
Step 4: Put your content out!
Now that you have a working website, it’s time to place content! You can place videos of your latest speed run, written guides to finally beat Bahamut, pictures of your favorite game waifu… Anything! As long you follow the mental checklist, you can determine what you want to put out next. I will highly recommend that you start talking about yourself and look for templates about Private Policy and legal jargon like Affiliate Linking for your first few pages just to cover your hide. Again, let the mental checklist help you determine what you want to make next. Remember to research whatever you’re going to put out! By providing people great quality content, you will get people to come back for your stuff. If you need to play video games for research, go do that!
Step 5: Start monetizing your content!
It will take a while for you to see any traffic come to your website. Expect at least 3-6 months of hard work before you see any traffic, let alone a dime. During this time you want to continue pushing your content, optimizing your website and talking to people/joining affiliate programs for content to promote. Remember that you want to help people and by recommending products that you love to help others out, everyone wins: you win by getting a cut of the sales of the product you promoted, the company you promoted has gained a customer and the customer wins by getting something that they need for their particular problem! Remember, the checklist is very important in driving your content forward!
Do you still need more help?
As I have mentioned before, I’m not a subject matter expert on this subject. I’m just good at video games and I’m still figuring out the best way of making gaming a career that I be proud of. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I will recommend a place that has helped me realize that I can make money on any particular niche. (Definition: A special area of the market. So, that’s definable by you!) This place is called Wealthy Affiliate. (Again, another affiliate link. But I’m seriously recommending this if you want to seriously accelerate your progress bar.)
I’ll cover in depth why I decided to go with these guys later, but I’ll give you a quick run down on what you get:
- You get some pretty nice hosting, which is fast, secure, reliable and has awesome tech support! (but it costs more if you go premium: $49 USD per month!)
- You have a free membership with a 7-day trial to experience what premium is about. (Don’t worry, you still have free hosting, but if you want the paid hosting, it’s going to cost you the above.)
- Based on the mental checklist I mentioned earlier, you get lessons on answering those questions above as well as a call to action
- You are surrounded by an awesome community
- The community also has user-created lessons for you to take on
- Because of the first point, you are able to apply them right away as you continue to learn!
Let me tell you one thing, I personally think that this is a worthwhile investment. I learn by doing and follow a good tutorial while doing so. (I mean, that’s how I learned how to be really good at Photoshop.) I feel like this is one of the times I would actually spend money to accelerate my learning (and getting the good information now) rather than stumble upon old and outdated (mis)information that can actually cost me more time and money (in the long run) while struggling to achieve my goals.
I’m also really active in the community, so if you don’t feel comfortable asking in Discord, I can help you out over there as well. (It’s also easier for us; I can directly link you to posts there.) You also have an awesome community of like-minded entrepreneurs with various backgrounds at your back. 🙂 Definitely come and join me if you want some ideas to bounce at.
Again, congratulations on the decision of making video games your business. 🙂 I hope these tools will be very helpful in your first few steps towards making a killing as an independent entrepreneur in the video gaming industry. I wish you well in your success!