How To Discover Your Own Niche in Video Game Journalism

A guide on how to find your own niche when writing about video games.

When trying to find your niche in video game writing, a lot of trial and error is going to take place. I went through several topics before finding one that took off. A few points I would like to cover in-depth should help to give you a good foundation on your way to finding your own niche.

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  • 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

First and foremost you need to choose a topic you enjoy. You will not be successful if you can’t enjoy what you’re writing about. The reason is after a few articles, it will turn into a chore and you’ll start slacking on your effort, probably unintentionally–but it will still be noticed. You’ll also want the topic to be relatively fresh. There are the few rare cases such as Minecraft and League of Legends that have been around for awhile, but those are generally harder to pull off due to the amount of coverage they already get. Shoot for something recent like Saints Row IV or GTAV if you’re into those things.

Adequate Content

If you’re really looking for your niche then you’re going to want something that you can write about consistently. If you’re running out of things to say after three to four articles, then you should look for a different topic. Three to four articles is barely enough to build a reader base, so running out of content that fast is a bit troublesome. Look for something that you can run 20 plus articles on. Ideally you’d run one per week to spread out the duration of the subject. In the case of an MMO, it would give developers time to release more content, allowing you to extend your duration even further.

Topic Knowledge

It’s imperative that you are knowledgeable on the subject as well. It’s always noticeable when someone writes an article and they aren’t really sure of what they’re writing about. Second hand accounts of information won’t work. If you’re going to make something your niche you have to experience the content first hand. It’s okay to research before you get to it yourself, but don’t base your article on the research alone. You want readers to see that you’ve put the effort into learning the content and sharing what you learned by your own efforts. If it takes you to long to get to the next content, then it’s time to choose a new topic, try to stick to the once a week concept at the very least.

Experimental Articles

This next tip is meant more for topics in which the subject has yet to be released. In this situation, you can put out experimental articles based on any updates that the company releases on the game. For example, during closed beta for Final Fantasy XIV, I scoured the web for public news and posted articles as soon as I found any. The different subjects covered by those news articles fluctuated in views, some hitting big and some getting nothing. With that I was able to gauge whether people actually wanted to read about the game.

Continuous Monitoring

Also a part of trying to gauge a topic is continual monitoring of your previous articles. If you find that one of your previous articles suddenly shot up in views, look at why. There may be another article that viewers are looking for, and your older article might have been similar. If you find that’s the case, you can cover any new information in that article, hopefully bringing in those new viewers. This method is pretty hit or miss though, because sometimes it’s just because the old article became relevant again.

This pretty much wraps up my advice for how to find your own niche. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to assist in any way I can.

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Image of GabrielKross
Currently an unpublished author working on multiple full length novels 3 of which being a 3 part trilogy. Also an avid video game player with a penchant for MMOs.