Are you a massive gaming enthusiast? Creating a gaming-related site is a massive undertaking, but can be a great way to express your gaming opinions and even change the face of gaming media. The creation of your site is much like that of any other site; it’s the content that will set you apart from your competition
Planning the SiteDetermine your focus. There are a lot of different types of gaming websites out there. Knowing your focus before you start building the site will help during the design process. Websites often focus on one or two of the following areas when starting out. Once you build an audience and a staff, you can start expanding your focus.
- News – The latest gaming headlines and stories. These drive the most traffic for gaming websites, but getting the scoop can be incredibly difficult.
- Reviews – Another very important source of traffic, and one of the most popular forms of game-related writing. The reviews market is fairly saturated, so you’ll need to do a lot to stand out.
- Community – Building a community site is a great way to get involved in the gaming world. You won’t be making the money that a news/reviews site would make, but you can gain a dedicated following.
- Fan Site – Similar to a community, a fan-site is typically dedicated to one game or franchise. Popular fan-sites may get access to the developer for interviews and assets.
- Wiki – Building a wiki about your favorite game can be rewarding and can lead to a great community.
- Tips/Strategies/Cheats – Collections of cheats and strategies are a popular search topic, but you’ll be up against some very strong competition.
- Blog – A blog format allows you to simply post your thoughts and interests as they relate to gaming. A blog is a great way to practice your writing skills and build a dedicated following.
- What sets you apart from the thousands of other gaming sites?
2Create some rough designs. Before you get into the website creation process, it will help to have the basic layout and visual style worked out. Creating these sketches can range from drawing them on a napkin to creating mockups in Photoshop. Create a flowchart to show how the basic navigation of your site will work.
3Teach yourself basic HTML. Even if you’re not going to be building the website yourself, you’re still going to need some basic HTML so that you can update the site with your content. You can learn the basics in an afternoon, and with a little practice it will become second nature.
EditMaking the Site
1Build the website. You can either build the website yourself or contract the development to a web development company. There are a large variety of site-builders out there, or you can code it from scratch if you’re confident in your abilities.
- Make sure that the website can handle all of the features you want to use. For example, if you want users to be able to comment, you’ll probably want an account management tool. If you plan on streaming video, you’ll need to ensure that your website will allow you to easily embed streams.
- Try to get website proposals from several different web design companies. This will give you options and allow you to pick the style that matches your needs the most.
2Find a host. A web host is a company that hosts your website on their server. You can find free hosting, but this is generally unsuitable for a moderate amount of viewers. You’ll want to find a good host that allows you to scale as your site grows.
- There are few things more headache-inducing than changing hosts once your website gets big. Choosing the right host from the outset can make things a lot easier down the line.
3Upload your site. Once your site is ready, you will need to upload it to your host server. If you used your host’s site-building tools, this will happen automatically. Otherwise, you will need to publish it using an FTP client to access your server.
4Add your initial content. You’re going to want some content ready to go before your site goes live. Without any content, no one is going to come to your site. The content you create is dependent on the type of site you are creating. Below are a few examples:
- If you are creating a review site, publish a review of whatever game you just finished, even if it’s older. This will give you some experience writing and give people something that can be found in a search.
- If you’re writing a game news site, find some recent press releases that relate to your niche (PC, consoles, handhelds, company, etc.). Publish these press releases and add a few opinion pieces surrounding these press releases.
- If you are writing guides, write a detailed guide for your favorite game. Make it in-depth and try to cover aspects that aren’t covered in detail in other guides.
EditExpanding the Site
1Continue to add content. What you add depends on the focus of your site. The content of your site is what will determine how popular your site becomes. It is what sets you apart from other gaming sites in your niche.
- If you’re writing articles, your writing voice will be incredibly important for developing your site’s style. Good writing will attract lots of readers, so you should always be striving to improve your skills.
- Proofread everything you write before you publish it online. Grammatical errors and other problems will lead to a less-professional site, which will drive away readers.
- If you are using screenshots or video from a video game, ensure that you have the rights to use it, especially if you make a profit on the site.
2Make your content the best in its area. You need to stand out. You are competing with some of the most popular sites that cater to some of the most tech-savvy readers online. Not only are you competing against established sites, you’re competing against YouTube channels, Twitch streams, and popular podcasts.
- If you’re writing a guide on a game, make sure that your guide is clearer and easier to understand than other guides online. Consider adding unique content that can’t be found elsewhere, such as the perfect screenshot or a hand-crafted map.
- If you’re going for the news angle, you’ll be need to distinguish yourself from the heavy hitters. Getting interviews that the other sites don’t and writing high-quality features about the more ignored aspects of the industry can really help separate you from the pack.
- If you are doing reviews, you’ll need to ensure that you cover all of your bases. When reviewing a game, focus on all of the individual aspects, as well as the sum of all the parts. Make note of issues or outstanding moments, and try to maintain a fair view. When reviewing, personal preference for genre or franchise should be set aside, and the game should be looked at as objectively as possible.
3Hire a staff. If you want to compete with other sites, you’ll need multiple contributors. The biggest gaming sites on the internet post over a dozen articles per weekday, all from a variety of contributors. Building a good staff with unique takes on your content will help make your site shine
4Continue to innovate and experiment. The gaming media world is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Try to stay on top of or set trends to ensure that your audience keeps coming back. Look for ways to improve or change the way the present your content, and interact with gaming in general.
- For example, game review methodology and scoring is a very controversial and rapidly-changing area of gaming media. Finding new ways to express review scores and objectively review content will help you make a big name for yourself.