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    Video game websites: how to start one
       August 28th, 2006

    I have recently blogged on arcade game websites – a detailed guide how to start and promote an arcade game website of your own and how to make it successful.

    Another post of this kind – I mean a detailed tutorial – comes today on making a video game website. Video games are popular – just check some keywords search volume

    One can say that there I tough competition in this industry – I agree, but show me some niches where you can make good money online that is competition free? And as you will see in the below tutorial you can always attempt to find your own sub-niche among big monsters you can’t compete with.

    The guide is a product by David Turnbull:

      Type / Research. There are 5 different types of gaming sites.

      • Multi-Console : Covers all aspects of gaming. Eg – PS2, Xbox, GameCube etc
      • Single-Console : Covers just one console. Eg – Nintendo Wii
      • Single-Company : Covers everything to do with one company. Eg – Nintendo
      • Single-Series : Covers whole series of games. Eg – Legend of Zelda
      • Single-Game : Covers just One (1) Game. Eg – Metroid Prime 2

      It is simply personal preference to what type of site you want, they can all perform equally, though there is the possibility of a wider audience for multi-console sites, but some may argue that your audience will be less wide due to the fact that it is a saturated market.

      Research. Use a tool like this one from to see what people are searching for – this is more useful in the smaller gaming sites (Single company, series, game) as you will need to target a lot smaller audience. Also, check out what related-sites are doing, if you’re the first site in the field try to make it as original as possible – check out the Gimmicks section for more help with this.

      Know Your Stuff. To make a good gaming site you need to be a good and active gamer. You need to be ‘in the know’ – know the lingo, the companies, the games, and what’s happening in general in the gaming world, if you know stuff you can give educated opinions, or thoughts.

      Name. Of course, it’s best for search engines to include keywords in your sites name, but since the market is so saturated, a brandable & rememberable name is what you should go for, so instead of, you would use MP3Gaming, MP3Gamers, or more simply MPGamers, of course you can buy the variations and see which is most effective.

      When to Make a Gaming Site. There are points in the year that are prime times to open a gaming site, which will give you a better launch, and a boost of visitors.

      • Gaming Conventions: More specifically, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), this is when I’ve opened my gaming sites and it definitely helps. A lot of people will be looking for all the E3 goss and media, so if you have it, you will get plenty of visitors.
      • Christmas: Everyone wants games at Christmas, so give them games! Christmas holidays are always the most profitable/trafficked months for gaming sites.

      Content. Content really depends on what you want to offer. You want to be a news site, an editorial site, review site, cheat site, or a bit of everything. Of course it’s best to open with as much content as possible, but if you’re doing a bit of everything, then try to have at least 5-10 reviews/articles, so your site looks slightly established, and people can decide if your site is worth visiting again.

      Design. Gaming designs are usually bold, flashy, shiny, and high-tech, and it seems to be working, so try to get the most in-your-face design you can, whilst still fitting a wide variety of content on each page.

      Content Management Systems. Take a look at these very cool Content Management Systems, unless you want to go custom.

      OneCMS from Insane Visions is a little hard to get used to, but is probably my personal favorite, but if you have the money check out VG Portal or CustomCMS.

      Advertising. Here is how I advertise new gaming sites:

      Revenue. CPM methods, once you receive some traffic would be the best bet, so sign up for a program like Valueclick Media who have decent rates, and you can start earning some cash on the side. CPC ads pay very low on video game sites, so stay away from them. Better idea to keep your visitors on your site.

      Press Contacts. The wonderful thing is, once your gaming site has traffic/user base you can get some press contacts. Most game publishers will have a person dedicated to Public Relations, so register at to get a long list of these people & companies. Don’t go for the big fish at first, contact companies such as THQ, Vivendi, or Ubisoft, as they are known for supporting the newer sites. Now, if they have a press site, easy, just go their and register, if they don’t get their PR email and type something like this:


      I am the owner of SITENAME, which provides its users with high quality and informative……….
      We are requesting to be added to your press release list so we can further increase our news broadcasts. SITENAME receives X amount of unique visitors daily, and has been open for the past X days/weeks/months.

      Thank you,


      If you get accepted to their Press Release list, wait a few months, post their news, and then you can request Free Reviewable Copies of Games. You may not even need to ask, a lot of companies just send them out after X amount of days.

      Keeping up with the News. Forums are the best source for news & rumors, big ones have thousands of people continually scouring the net for information, and when they find it, they post it, then you can simply post it on your site, simple! So check out:

      If you check out their forums regularly you should be kept up to date with the latest news.

      Getting Staff. Finding staff to work for free is usually hard, but if you can grow a decent sized gaming forum, there should be at least 2-3 people who would be glad to post some news or review a few games. The best way to get staff is, once you start receiving free games agree to send a few to your staff for them to review, and then send back, a lot of people will gladly review a game if they are one of the first to play it. Getting staff mainly takes a lot of patience, if your site grows, so will the number of people who’ll want to work for it.

      Gimmicks. Here are the gimmicks I usually use to get extra visitors:

      • Userbars: People love userbars, and use them on many forums, so if you make some, then use basic html to make them a link, you will get extra visitors/exposure. Just in case the user removes the linking part, add your URL into the actual images.
        [Check out to see examples of userbars.]
      • Flash Games: Have gaming-related flash games on your site, your visitors will surely love to play remakes of some of their favorite games.
      • Wallpapers: A section for wallpapers never hurts, some people may even submit their own, so it’s good for community involvement.

      Summary: In fact I have nothing to add – just print out the guide and start your own video game websites. Yes you need to brainstorm for ideas how to look different from hundreds of video game websites – but it is your part of the work, David Turnbull did all the rest – thank you, David…

      [tags]video games, video game websites, arcade games, arcade game websites, networking, online communities, forums, web forums, traffic, link bait, social bookmarking, web 2.0, domain names, text-link-ads, links buying, myspace, seo, internet marketing, affiliate marketing, blogs, content generation, ebay, google, make money online, work from home, home based job, duplicate content, links, earn your living online[/tags]

    Social networking
       August 28th, 2006

    I have started thinking about online reputation a while ago. Online networking means a lot for the success of your website. Online networking is no less important than offline networking in business. It is not easy, but you should begin with admitting it is true. And online networking in many ways reminds offline.

    What is networking?

    Networking is all about establishing a set of contacts among people with common social and business interests. It gives you the opportunity to exchange information that might help you with your business, learn about new opportunities, and generally give you fresh ideas and wider perspectives. It also provides a way to discover potential project partners.

    What are your options for networking in the online business? Forums and blog comments as well as social websites are most popular ways to make new contacts and search for new opportunities. Conferences and other offline events will also do, but they are not always the case for online entrepreneurs.

    Your networking targets – what do you expect from your social efforts?

    Learn new things.
    Meet new people
    Make connections.
    Develop business or other types of partnerships.
    Make friends.

    To achieve the above you should also give something back, not just take. Otherwise people will not be interested to network with you.

    Steve Pavlina has some great ideas expressed on forums and networking:

    Clarify Your Expectations
    If you decide to participate in online forums, clarify your expectations. Whether you intend to use forums for market research, to make new contacts, or as an outlet for your humorous wit, get clear on why you’re there.

    Here are some potential benefits of regular online forum participation:

    * Intellectual exchange
    * Learning new ideas and refining old ones
    * Enjoying community membership
    * Influencing the forum’s evolution
    * Contributing to others
    * Making new friends and contacts
    * New business leads
    * Keeping up with current events
    * Learning about new opportunities

    Here are some potential negative effects of excessive forum usage:

    * Reduced concentration and focus
    * Reduced productivity
    * Chronic procrastination
    * Increased pessimism and/or apathy
    * Being distracted by endless debates and idle gossip
    * Gradually substituting tribal group think for your own intelligence
    * Impaired social skills, neglected relationships, and a weakened social circle (a consequence of substituting online socialization for face-to-face conversations)
    * Reduced energy (forum participation is sedentary compared to more active social outlets)
    * Reduced self-esteem
    * Career and income may suffer (including loss of employment)
    * Forum addiction

    I particularly like this one – Be a Dabbler, Not a Fixture

    Another tip is to treat forum participation as temporary. If your goal is to make new business contacts, then dive in and participate actively for a while, maybe 30-90 days. Make new friends and contacts, collect private contact info, and then abandon the forums. Continue to develop your new relationships via one-to-one communication like email, phone calls, and if possible, face-to-face meetings (such as at industry conferences). Temporarily dabbling in many different forums is a more effective way to build contacts than pushing a single forum far beyond its usefulness.

    You can also use the dabbling method to gather general information on a subject. Seek out a number of relevant forums and bookmark them. Then spend a few hours scanning each forum once every six months to soak up the current wisdom. Whenever you have a specific question, pop in and search the forum archives. If searching turns up a blank, feel free to post a new message, harvest the answers, and disappear.

    Once you gain some visibility online it is time to tace care of your hard earned reputation. Make use of this simple and efficient guide to monitor your reputation: Online Reputation Monitoring Beginners Guide (What & How to Track)

    In my case, I just start to make baby steps trying to get online reputation. I just follow the above steps – forums participation (with links in my signature), blogs scanning and citing in my posts. It takes time, it takes efforts, it is not easy, but I have got a nice feeling to be able to express my ideas and share my knowledge with other people. Before that it was just reading and consuming other people experience and ideas. And I should confess that these efforts on my part result in more ideas and opportunities for mywebsites.

    Summary: Online networking is crucial – the sooner you realize it the better for your online business. It took me too long to get it and now it is not easy to get the desirable reputation within a short period of time. In fact, I am not sure I will succeed to get it in the long run. But it is the only way to succed in your niche – become someone people will refer to, address to, listen to.

    My research of this topic and my first efforts to gain online reputation show that the online process is in many ways similar to offline. And it also similar in time it takes to become more or less known in your industry. Here you are expected to be original, to offer something innovating to prove that you are worth some good reputation. And it is not easy.

    [tags]online reputation, image, social networking, career networking, networking, online communities, forums, web forums, traffic, link bait, social bookmarking, web 2.0, domain names,, adsense, adwords, ppc, text-link-ads, links buying, myspace, seo, internet marketing, affiliate marketing, blogs, content generation, ebay, google, make money online, work from home, home based job, duplicate content, links, earn your living online[/tags]

    Top 20 webmaster forums: save your money
       August 25th, 2006

    It does not matter if you are a novice or pro in the Internet business. While browsing these forums you will find information so valuable that no manuals or courses can you buy; you will get answers to all your questions. You can’t become a regular of all 20 forums, but you can browse each for some time and define which ones you like. With time, you will learn the basics of networking – as a forum member you are expected to give something back, not just to get.

    Top 20 Webmaster Forums

    Webmaster World Forum


    Wickedfire Forum

    Search Engine Watch Forum

    Digital Point Forum

    Site Point Forum

    I Help You Forum

    Website Publisher Forum

    Abakus Internet Marketing Forum

    V7 Network Forum

    High Rankings Forum

    SEO Chat Forum

    AKA Forum

    Cre8asite Forum

    WebProWorld Forum

    Jim World Forum

    SE Roundtable Forums

    WebWorkShop Forum

    Search Guild Forum

    Ozzu Webmaster Forum

    SEO Guy Forum

    Summary: The forums are listed in no particular order. I have made the list myself; it is based on my experience. So I am sure that there will be persons that will not agree that it is 100% Top 20, but I am sure that they will agree that best webmaster forums are on the list.

    [tags]online communities, forums, web forums, traffic, link bait, social bookmarking, web 2.0, domain names,, adsense, adwords, ppc, text-link-ads, links buying, myspace, seo, internet marketing, affiliate marketing, blogs, content generation, ebay, google, make money online, work from home, home based job, duplicate content, links, earn your living online[/tags]


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