There’s no doubt that a gamedev blog can be really useful in spreading the word about your indie game.
Blogs can bring more traffic directly to your website. They’re good for SEO, so people are more likely to find your site organically. They can start to generate interest in your game, and the team behind it.
But how can you make sure you’re making the most of your gamedev blog?
When should you start your blog?
You should get a gamedev blog up and running as soon as possible – in fact, as we outlined in our recent article, this is something you can start doing before you’ve even built your game.
How often should you blog?
Blogging is really the most valuable to you if you’re prepared to blog regularly, as this is what encourages people to check back.
Ideally you would put up a blog post once a week, but even if you only have the time to blog once a fortnight or even once a month, you can encourage repeat visitors by sticking to a schedule and blogging at the same time each fortnight/month.
If you end up posting less frequently, try to post something longer to make it worth people’s while to check in with you.
When should you post?
The main thing is to post regularly. But it might be worth considering posting on Wednesday evenings to coincide with indie dev hour so that you can use this hashtag when promoting your post on twitter, or failing that, there are metrics available on when is the best time to put out a blog post depending on what your goal is.
For more traffic, the best time to post is on Mondays at 11am EST.
For more comments, the best time to post is on Saturdays at 9am EST.
For more inbound links, the best time to post is on Mondays or Thursdays at 7am EST.
What should you blog about?
There’s loads you can write about – updates on your game, anything to do with the business of indie gamedev, or tutorials that might help others with their own game dev efforts.
Here’s just a few ideas to get your started:
- Progress on your game
- Sharing a new video
- Sharing recent screenshots or other artwork
- Sharing updates on level/character design
- Announcing your demo
- Announcing your alpha/beta release
- Feedback on your marketing efforts
- Completing an analysis of your own game
- Blogging about game events you’ve attended
- “Things I have learned about X” posts
- Budgeting for your indie game
At the end of every blog post, make sure you add a promotion for your game / direct them to the next thing you want them to do (sign up to your mailing list, like your Facebook page, etc).
You should also give people a way to follow your blog via an RSS feed, and include buttons at the end of each post so readers can share them via social media if they want to.
The most popular type of blog post that we’ve put up on The Games Hub blog are “advice” type articles (“Five ways to…”, “Our top ten…” buzzfeedy type posts – like this one!).
Writing for web
So now you know what you’re going to write about, and when you’re going to share it. But that’s not all you need to think about.
When writing your blog post you should also bear in mind general rules of thumb about writing for web. The key to this is to remember that, generally, people don’t read stuff online properly – they scan it.
You can help them to scan your article by doing the following:
- Put the most important content at the top of your post – so that people who don’t read to the end of the article still see it
- Remember that people read in an “F” shape online – reading the first two paragraphs horizontally across the page, and then scanning vertically down the left-hand side of the page. So put longer paragraphs at the top and then have them get shorter as you go through the article
- Keep all paragraphs pretty short – it’s hard to read onscreen, especially if you’re using your phone, as many people do now
- Use subheadings to help the reader jump to sections that interest them
- Use bullet points to help them scan the page
- Include images/gifs – make it visual
You can also use the Hemingway App to check your blog post, which will give you advice on how to make your post more reader-friendly.
Still looking for more inspiration?
We wrote a list of our favourite gamedev blogs to follow when you’re just starting out in indie game design.
Think we’ve missed someone great? Or got some experiences of writing your own dev blog that you’d like to share? Let us know!