GameSkinny Guide to Success: Writing for Fame and Fun
When you first start posting on GameSkinny, it might be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of fields to fill out! Ultimately, the more information you provide relevant to your post, the better it is and the more visibility you'll get. Take a few minutes to learn what each part of the post entails, and you'll be on your way to success!
What's in a name? A good title sets the tone and expectations for your post. Your title should be between 10 and 128 characters long. The title will be the first thing people see from most sections of the site and also appears as part of the URL for your post.
Learn more about writing a great title in Making Headlines: The Surprising Secrets Behind Writing Smart Titles »
Header media appears at the top of your post and as a teaser image in other parts of the site. Pick something related to your topic that is visually interesting without being overly complicated. (Complicated images get jumbled at smaller sizes.)
- The best size for images is roughly 640 x 360.
- We have a file size limit of 2 mb. Try to keep images smaller than that for best effect. (The larger the image, the longer it takes to load your post. Your readers may not wait forever to read your post.)
- If you're creating your own image, make sure to save it as a JPG or GIF. (Animated GIFs, while awesome, can be very large - try to optimize as much as possible to keep them below 300 kb.)
- We currently take video links from YouTube or Twitch.TV. We will be adding other options soon. Let us know if you have a favorite.
The category you choose determines where in the site your content will appear if it gets promoted. All new content appears in The Lobby by default; once promoted, it will appear in the selected category on the site.
- News relates to current events and announcements.
- Reviews involve opinions about a specific game or platform.
- Tips include tips, tricks, techniques, or walkthroughs for a specific game or platform.
- Culture is the glue that ties us gamers together. Your opinions, thoughts, and ideas about gaming and game culture.
When posting a review, you will also need to select a specific game and give your review a rating score between 1 and 10. Why 10? Why not!
The Skinny - Required
The skinny is a quick and dirty summary of your post. Don't just copy the first (or last) paragraph of your post. The Skinny should have some personality of its own. If you were forced (at gunpoint, but with a reasonable amount of time to think of something great) to tell someone the gist of your post in 100 words or less, what would you say?
Your post is your own. Give it personality, give it polish. Own it. Follow these basic rules and you will find great fame:
- Don't steal from others. Borrowing is okay, referencing is great. If you were inspired by someone else, give them credit. (See Source).
- Check the style guide. We don't expect perfection. The more you adhere to the style guide, the better chance you have of being promoted.
- Respect the community. Learn from those who have come before you, and don't be a dick.
- All that said, feel free to try new things and experiment. We are all learning as we go. If you think your idea has wings, let it fly.
Source - Required if Applicable
Give credit where credit is due. If you found this somewhere else first, share the link. Providing a source is optional, but respectful if you found this info elsewhere to start. What's Source vs. Via?
- Source: Whenever possible, provide the original source for information you mention in your post. You can refer to multiple sources, but don't go overboard unless you're writing a thesis. You're not writing a thesis on GameSkinny, are you?
- Via: Who pointed you in the right direction? Be sure to tip your hat to them.
Games - Optional except for reviews
Discussing or reviewing a game? Add it to the games list. Don't be spammy adding games. If you're only tangentially referencing a game, it's probably best to leave it out. If you're reviewing a game, though, it'd be criminal to ignore this. (Games you choose automatically affect what Genres your post may appear under.)
Platforms - Required if Applicable
Discussing or reviewing a specific platform or a game on a specific platform? Add it to the platform list. Many people have one platform or another. They are more likely to browse the site by their preferred platforms than anything else. Just like games, don't be spammy and add platforms that aren't relevant. Is your platform of choice missing in action? Let us know and we'll look into adding it. (In the meantime, add it as a tag!)
Tags - Required
Tags are pretty much open to whatever you can think of. Again, don't be spammy, but add tags that are relevant to your content. Good examples of tags:
- Company names (Valve, Blizzard)
- Person names (John Romero, Will Wright)
- Specific release versions of a game (WoW patch 5.2, Angry Birds version 1.2.4)
- Other over-arching data that may apply to your post (family friendly, cosplay, video game violence)
You can even use tags to create your own column or community on the site, then encourage others to participate as well.
Every slide must include some type of media, either an image or video. The best image size for slideshows is an image in a 16x9 ratio - the default size shown is 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. Readers can click on slideshow images to zoom in and see them at larger sizes.
If you want to remove a slide from a slideshow, you can click on "Delete this slide" beneath the selected slide's Description to delete it. (This will delete your slide description as well!)
Slide Descriptions - Required
You can add descriptions for each slide in your slideshow. Your description can be as simple as a single sentence caption or as complex as a full post (for each slide). The important thing is that your description for each slide should relate to the image or video shared in that slide. Want the same text to appear throughout your entire slideshow? Simply copy and paste the same description for each slide.