How To Discover Your Own Niche in Video Game Journalism Part 2
Yesterday I posted a generalised guide on finding your own niche, if you haven't read it, I recommend reading it before this one.
For part two I will cover the process I went through personally. I basically used the steps from part one, so I'll break this down by those steps. For organizational sake I will relist those steps.
- Choose a topic you enjoy.
- Make sure that topic has adequate content.
- Be knowledgeable on the topic.
- Use experimental articles to monitor topic interest.
- Continue to monitor previous articles for future article ideas.
Choose A Topic You Enjoy
As far as enjoyment is concerned, there are several games I enjoy to play, but Final Fantasy has always been one of my favorite topics. On top of that, I was heavy into both Final Fantasy MMOs. So Final Fantasy XIV was an obvious choice to try out. I did do some other topic tests as well, but the only one to stick was Final Fantasy XIV.
So with a topic chosen (Final Fantasy XIV) I needed to make sure I could really put out enough articles on the subject. At the time this was the big negative to choosing Final Fantasy XIV.
Sure there was plenty to talk about, but we weren't allowed to talk about it. The NDA had not lifted so that beta testers could discuss the changes from the original version of the game, which had been scrapped. I was scouring the internet for publicly released information so that I could post it. In hindsight I'm glad I did, so don't be afraid to put some work into finding information.
Like I said previously, I was heavily invested in Final Fantasy XIV. I have played the game since the original beta, even before the A Realm Reborn reboot. So I was also actively involved in the beta for the rerelease. Although I couldn't yet discuss the things I was seeing in the beta, I could stockpile the knowledge for a later date when the NDA was lifted. So the knowledge department was covered as well.
Going back to the beginning of Bastion Phase of the internship program, I had several experimental articles from different topics. I was a new intern and didn't know what to write about, so I just threw some articles at the wall to see what stuck.
The first hint of Final Fantasy XIV being a promising topic was my Ifrit guide for the E3 2013 special Ifrit challenge. It picked up around 90 views pretty quickly, which was a lot for me back then. Then I picked up news on the Lodestone beta going live, which hit over 1000 views in about a week or so. That, plus the fishing debate article which picked up 300-400 views at the time, really solidified Final Fantasy XIV as my topic.
As the official launch of Final Fantasy XIV approached, I noticed that the old E3 2013 Ifrit guide had picked up a lot of new traffic. This is what gave me the idea to start writing guides for the game.
I started with some leveling guides for new players which brought in some good views initially, and are still getting views a month after launch. These guides, however, weren't comparing to the old Ifrit guide, so I considered a different approach.
I wrote a Titan normal mode guide that instantly took off, which I then followed up with a Garuda normal mode guide. Three weeks after being written, both are now over 12.8k views each--thus I had finally found my niche. My niche is two-part: the subject is Final Fantasy XIV, and the content is guides.
I hope plugging my experiences in to the steps, which I defined in my previous guide, is of benefit to those who read it. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please leave them in the comments section below. I always try my best to respond to comments left on my articles.