Not Sure How To Build a Community of Diehard Fans of Your Video Game? Then Read This...
What if you have ZERO gamers following you? How do you get gamers to find you, in the first place?
Everybody tells you to "build a community".
Do you do the obvious thing? Do you put up a devlog, update it often, and then hope gamers will find you? Do you post on twitter, facebook, reddit and hope a gamer will find you? Do you pay a PR firm, or pay for some publicity?
These are all obvious strategies. And I'm sure you've heard all this before. And maybe you've tried all or some of these -- with ZERO success.
If this is you, if this is your exact situation, than this article or video is made for you.
What you're about to learn is not obvious. It's counter intuitive. And in business and life and gaming, doing the counter intuitive thing usually leads to success. Doing the obvious things like devlogs and twitter usually doesn't lead to anything.
So, take this moment right now to pause and go grab your favorite drink. Put on one your favourite video game soundtracks. Sit back. And let's learn some non-obvious, counter-intuitive advice that will help you get 3x more gamers to visit your devlog -- and ultimately become fans of you, and buy your game.
Don't Follow Advice That Is 12 Years Old
This is the same advice you'll hear from a lot of people: just put up a devlog, update it often, and make sure to use social media to spread your message.
This use to work. You know, you put up a blog, and google would index it, and then a few weeks later, you're getting visitors. That use to work 12 years ago.
So why do people always give out this shitty advice still?
Because it's the obvious thing to do. It's the intuitive strategy to take. It makes logical sense.
But if you follow what everybody else does, then how are you suppose to stand out? And that's the problem -- EVERY game dev has a devlog. They follow the SAME advice for 12 years, and that advice has flooded the internets with boring devlogs.
So, what do you do?
Doing The Counter Intuitive Things Often Leads To Success Because You Are Leading
So, you're sitting here, listening, reading, wondering what can you do? You have zero fans. You've tried devlogs, social media, and maybe paid ads. Nothing works.
And now you're hearing that you're getting out-of-date advice, and you probably wasted a lot of time.
But that's ok. I have some insights for you on how you can get 3x more gamers to visit your devlog. And what you'll learn is NOT obvious. And it's NOT intuitive.
In a moment, I'll share with you a "3 Step System to Get 3x More Gamers to Visit Your Devlog". But before I do, I want to share with the right and wrong way to do a devlog.
The Right and Wrong Way To Do a Devlog
Right now there's a game dev boom. All of a sudden, how many people do you know are game devs or going to school for video game programming?
Not only that, there has been more games released in 2016 than ever before.
So, what's my point?
Remember how I said that every game dev is doing the same thing as the other guy or gal? That a lot of them are doing the obvious thing, and using out-dated, 12 year old advice?
Well, put yourself in the perspective of a gamer. With so many games coming out, and so much advertising and marketing thrown at them, and so much devlogs to choose from, no wonder they're not listening.
Gamers are getting bombarded. The video game industry is getting overcrowded. And if a game dev puts out another devlog talking about the same stuff as the next devlog, then it's very hard to get attention.
What use to work in 2005, doesn't work today. Back then, there was far less competition. Google would index your site, and it was easy for a gamer to find you. Today, when the video game industry is so crowded, that is almost impossible.
And that is the wrong way of doing a devlog. Putting out content. Updateing. Looking for gamers with twitter, facebook, reddit, and maybe some paid ads. That's not the right way, anymore.
So, what do you do? What is the right way to do a devlog? How do you stand out when other game devs are thinking and doing the same thing as you? How do you build a community of gamers?
In the next section, I'm going to help you create a devlog that will get 3x more gamers visiting your site (and not just other game devs).
And you follow these 3 simple steps, you'll see a huge improvement in your traffic.
3 Step System to Get 3x More Gamers to Visit Your Devlog
What I'm about to teach is going to be a bit counter intuitive. The obvious and intuitive thing is to go out and FIND gamers. You know... put up content, update often, post on twitter, facebook, reddit. And maybe do some paid ads.
It feels good to do this kind of stuff, because you feel like you're "marketing". It feels like you're being proactive, and finally doing something.
But, instead of doing that, here's a better strategy. Here's step one...
Step 1: Give a Gamer a Demo That Will Give Them Instant Gratification
Most game demos I play often start with a tutorial. Or they start off slow. They don't get to the CORE of the game.
The ones that are exciting, are the ones where I jump in, and start playing the game. I get an instant reward for playing. My dopamine receptors are all firing at once.
It doesn't have to be an "adventure" game that makes it super exciting. It can be a slow game, too. My point is, that demo has give me show me exactly what the game is, so I get excited.
Think of it like a music single for your album. Musicians always put out there best single to get people to become fans of their music.
Do that, and your job is done. I'll want to buy your game, when it's done.
Is it a demo that showcases the core of your game? Does it grab a gamers attention, and make them say,
"Sweet! I've never played a game like this. When's it going to be done?"
So, how do you get gamers to play your demo in the first place? That's in step 2 and 3...
Step 2: Create Attention Grabbing Content Gamers Love To Consume
I want to change your perspective on something. Instead of talking about you, your game, your game features, let's do the counter intuitive thing.
Let's put the spotlight on the gamer.
So, let's sum up everything you've learned so far, before I go in too deep...
You know a gamer has too many games to play. You know a gamer has so much content to consume, that it's overwhelming. You know that the video game industry is crowded with game devs yelling trying to get a gamer's attention.
These game devs are actively searching gamers. But gamers aren't listening.
But, what if you did the opposite? What if you had gamers activity search for you? This subtle difference sounds obvious. And it sounds simple. But let me show you an example of what this difference really means.
Back in 2000, when mp3 players were flooding the market, one mp3 player got all the attention. While most mp3 players talked about their brand, their features, and boring technical stuff, Apple did the opposite. They talked about their CUSTOMER.
Instead of talking about the iPod, it's features, how many gb it has, what the Hz are, and trying to explain what "mp3" means, they did something way different. They showed people dancing, USING their iPod. The put all the focus on the customer.
This is essentially what most devlogs are not doing. They focus on the technical information that a game dev might enjoy reading. But as a gamer, this stuff is not engaging. They don't care. They only care about themselves, and what they'll get.
And this is a HUGE opportunity for you. While most game devs are busy being technical, talking about their game, about their games features, you have a wide open opportunity to get gamers to find you.
The best way to get a gamer to find you isn't by spamming twitter, facebook, or reddit. It isn't talking about your video game design process, your video game features, your video game progress.
The best way to grab a gamer's attention is to create content that a gamer is actively searching for. For example, here's a list of 10 topics a gamer would find more interesting than talking about game features and progress reports...
- What do you hate about the video game industry
- What are some crappy things game devs do to cut corners in video games
- What are your thoughts about AAA gaming, what are they doing wrong
- Why did you decide to go independent
- Why are you against finding a publisher -- or why are the helpful
- What are some shoddy things publishers do to game devs
- Talk about your favorite games and why they are designed so great
- Talk about the worst games you played, and why they were designed so poorly
- News about new games that have come out, and why you like the game or not
- What irritates you most about gamers and how they play games
You see what I'm doing here? Instead of putting the focus on you, your game, and your game's features, you're talking like you would to a friend. You're creating content the a lot of gamers look for. This is how gamers will find you.
And here's a little secret. While you're creating attention grabbing content like this, then it's ok to throw in some stuff about your game, features, and development progress.
So, now what?
Step 3: Give Out Your Demo Game at The End Of Every Article, Podcast, Video
Bonus step: It's not enough anymore just to put up a blog. Gamers consume content in different ways. Some read articles, some listen to podcasts, some will watch a video on youtube.
I'd recommend recording your content, and put it up on youtube, and also make it into a blog.
I'm not telling you to become a fulltime youtuber. And who cares how bad your recording voice is (have you heard my stuff?). It's the content that gamers are attracted to.
Remember, progress not perfection. It's better to have something out there, then work on it forever until it's perfect. Usually those projects that you work on to make them perfect never get done.
Now, here's how all of this ties neatly together...
When you're done your article, podcast, and video, ALWAYS tell the gamer to download your demo.
Getting people to take a small step is your first step in developing a relationship with them. Most game devs make the mistake of asking a too big of a commitment from a gamer. They'll ask gamers to support them, to fund them, or to buy their game.
But this doesn't work -- especially for a new game dev not a lot of people have heard of.
It's like asking somebody you just met to marry you. It's too big of a commitment. By offering a gamer to play your free demo is LESS of a commitment.
This is your first step to building a community of diehard fans,who will spread free word-of-mouth for you, follow your devlog, and eventually buy your game.
Technique: What Are Gamers Looking For That They Aren't Finding?
You just learned a lot. I've been doing this since 2005, so this comes easy for me. But I know exactly how you feel right now. This sounds daunting, and you're not sure where to start.
So, to help you on the right path, I want you to do this exercise right now. It's important to stop what you're doing, and spend 10 to 20 minutes answering this question. The reason is, because it will help your brain remember what you just learned. And this is your starting point to creating a devlog that gets 3x more gamers visiting -- and eventually making those gamers big fans, and so they buy your game.
So, open a word doc, or get out a pen and paper. Write this question down...
What Are Gamers Looking For That They Aren't Finding?
Here's a hint: take a look at what most devlogs are about. Then look at popular podcasts, youtube channels, and blogs. What do they often talk about? They talk about normal stuff that people love to talk about: video game news, criticisms, crappy things the video game industry does.
Now, I'm not saying you should go pander to the masses. What I'm saying is, I know you have strong feelings about the video game industry. What are they? More people would be interested in listening to what you have to say about that, than they would about technical stuff like game features.
What Are Gamers Looking For That They Aren't Finding?
You already know the answer to this question. I know you do. Because you do have opinions and criticisms about a lot of things. Go, and share them in your devlog. This is the start to getting 3x more gamers visiting. This is how you start building a community of diehard fans.