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how to start a gaming blog

How to Start A Gaming Blog: Step By Step Guide

Are you a gamer and want to earn money by playing games? You are in the right place since I was a hardcore gamer and Im very familiar with how to start a gaming blog.

There are lots of Gurus that will try to teach you how to start a gaming blog but they are not a gamer, Gaming is like an unfamiliar world for those who know nothing about gaming they will try to teach you some methods that will not work.

Luckily Im a hardcore gamer for more than two decades and I’ve been running a gaming blog for 6 years. During my years of experience managing a gaming blog, I have through lots of mistakes, I used all the mistakes that I committed in the past to my advantage and added them to my experience to improve my expertise.

In this article, I will give you some tips on how to start a gaming blog and earn money from it. I will also give you an idea of how to avoid mistakes when starting a gaming blog. Let’s dive in!

Choose Your Main Topic

You might get confused as to why our first step on how to start a gaming blog is choosing a main topic since clearly, you want to create a gaming blog so gaming must be your main topic right? Well, you are wrong, let me explain.

If you are a real gamer I’m pretty sure that you are aware that there are different types of gamers. There are PC gamers who play mostly using their PC whether it is a desktop or laptop, there are console gamers who are the kind of gamers that play games on a console, and last one was mobile gamers who play mostly using their mobile phones.

If you want to start a gaming blog choose from one of the gaming main topics, You might ask why you should choose one if you can create topics from those three publishing content for PC games, mobile games, and console games. Well yes, you can but it will take you a lot of effort and time just to gain topical authority and attract lots of visitors

I did it in the past and I regret it, that’s why I tell you that you should focus on one first, and when your site grows open another topic.

Topical Authority

If you are not aware, topical authority is one of the most important ranking factors on Google, A blog that isn’t ranking is a dead site, if your blog is not ranking on Google it will not attract some web traffic A.K.A site visitors.

One of the most effective ways to rank on Google is to earn its trust and an effective way to earn the trust of a search engine like Google is to boost your topical authority. Choosing a single topic is the easiest way to have topical authority.

Take for example the gaming blog Pockettactics, and Mmorpg.gg, which focuses on single main topics. The Pockettactics are focused on mobile games and MMORPG.gg focuses on MMORPG. and the result they earn more topical authority on their site.

Choose a Domain Name

buying domain names on namecheap

The second step on how to start a gaming blog is choosing the right domain name. A domain name is very important when starting a gaming blog or any website since it is the way for your visitor to remember your site.

Your domain name is your brand, choose it wisely since it has a lot of impact on your business in the future. There are two kinds of domain names, brandable and generic domain names.

Brandable domain names are unique and creative domain names that are designed to evoke a specific brand some of these examples are Google.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo.com, and my website Mirageportal.com.

Generic domain names are more specific that usually have the main keywords on their domain, it has an advantage in SEO since search engines will understand them more easily compared to brandable domain names.

The search engine will easily understand if a domain name is about a game if you add the game to your domain name like Gamer.com, when Google scans the domain name its algorithm will understand that the website is all about games.

Why did I choose a brandable domain name Instead of a Generic domain?

As I’ve mentioned that generic domain name has an advantage in SEO so why do I choose a brandable domain name instead? It was because lots of successful companies have their branding, the brandable domain can easily be recognized by people since it is unique.

Another advantage of a brandable domain name as it is not tied to a single niche, I can change the niche from gaming to SEO if I want to since my domain name is not directly in line with gaming.

Get A Domain Name On Namecheap

If you already decided what domain name you’re going use for your gaming blog, I recommend buying it on Namecheap, for the reason that managing a domain name on Namecheap is easier compared to other domain registrars.

I’ve been using Namecheap for years and I don’t have any complaints about their service, Easy to manage, cheap price, and lots of tutorials are the main reason why I like Namecheap.

If you facing a problem with Namecheap you can easily find a tutorial on Youtube or Google since Namecheap is a very popular platform and there are tons of tutorials out there in case you’re facing a problem.

Choosing A Blogging Platform

Our next step to start a gaming blog is to choose a platform, There are a lot of blogging platforms out there that you can choose from, You can also choose Blogspot.com to quickly create a gaming blog without paying for a host but I don’t recommend it.

Trust me I used Blogspot.com, Wix, and other CMS and platforms almost a decade ago but nothing comes close to WordPress, for a reason when your blog starts to get traffic you will need more features and that platform mostly does not allow you to get the features that you’ll need.

WordPress is the only CMS that will give you almost everything that you need for blogging, especially if you are a non-coder. WordPress is free and can be optimized easily without coding, I highly recommend WordPress since it is so easy for beginners.

Choose A Host For Your Blog

The next step in how to start a gaming blog is choosing a web hosting for your gaming website, Most influencers will recommend that you choose Bluehost, but I don’t recommend Bluehost since theirs a lot of customers who are complaining about Bluehost, Search around social media and user’s review website and you will see lots of negative comments on Bluehost.

Instead, I recommend Cloudways, I have used it for years and they have awesome fast loading speed, fast response customer support, and are very easy to use. You can even search on social media and review websites and you will find lots of good reviews on Cloudways.

If you compare Bluehost vs Cloudways pricing at first look Bluehost is cheaper compared to Cloudways until you realize that the price of Bluehost is only on a discount for one invoice, When you renew your plan the price increases and becomes even more expensive compared to Cloudways.

But in terms of performance, Bluehost is no match for Cloudways so it’s wiser to use Cloudways for your gaming blog. Their lowest plan is $11/month is enough to build a gaming website, You can also a promo code MIRAGE10 to get 10% off for the first three months on Cloudways.

Install WordPress On Cloudways

Installing WordPress on Cloudways is never been easier, you can also install WordPress on another hosting provider and the procedure is almost the same, Cloudways has just a few advantages since their installation is the easiest and can be done with one click only.

Below is the video tutorial that I’ve made on how to install WordPress on Cloudways, just follow the simple procedure I’ll promise it was so easy:

Choose A WordPress Theme

After installing WordPress on Cloudways or any web hosting provider of your choice, our next step is to choose and install a WordPress theme.

A theme is how your website or gaming blog will look like, it is a template that you can use for your website. This is why I like WordPress since it has a lot of third-party support, and tons of templates to choose both free and premium themes and plugins that can add more functionality to your gaming blog.

There are a lot of free themes available, You can build a gaming website using those free themes but almost all of them have very limited functionality, The one that I recommend is a premium theme called “Zeen” which can be purchased on ThemeForest for $69.

Zeen was great, there are also a lot of premium WordPress themes in ThemeForest but I only recommend Zeen since I have had a great experience using Zeen theme it’s beautiful, has lots of useful features, is fast, and is user-friendly.

Installing Zeen

Installing the Zeen theme is very easy, just purchase it on ThemeForest, upload it to your WordPress Dashboard, follow the easy tutorial >> choose from rebuild website design and you’re good.

It was so easy that you could start writing and publishing a new gaming blog after installing the Zeen theme.

Below is the video tutorial on how you can install the Zeen theme on your website:

Pro Tips

I’ve mentioned that there are a lot of themes that are available even on ThemeForest, I recommend that you should not ever choose a low and heavy theme.

A gaming website or gaming blog is not just a text-based website, remember that publishing a gaming blog means you publish gaming reviews and gaming tutorials which require lots of visuals like images, illustrations, and videos.

You should never publish a gaming blog that doesn’t have illustrations like screenshots and videos since it will not attract visitors, they do not like it and find it boring. This was based on my real experience, look into my site and you will see lots of screenshots and videos on my articles.

Here’s the catch, If you choose a bloated, slow, and heavy theme, then you start to add content with lots of images and videos, and your gaming blog will surely slow over time. A point that your ranking on Google searches will decrease.

In addition to that, users don’t like slow-loading websites, they will leave before your site even loads. So in other words you will lose lots of traffic if your gaming blog is very slow. That’s why I recommend Zeen since it is fast, light, and has lots of features that you will need to minimize by using an additional plugin that has the potential to slow down your site.

As I said I committed a lot of mistakes in the past, which is why I give you some tips to avoid these mistakes.

Install Plugins that You Need

This is one of the things that I’m not aware of in the past, a few years ago I thought I just kept installing the plugins that I wanted, and it was fine. A lot of gurus will say you install this and that for your site which is wrong.

Only install a plugin that you need, Minimize the use of plugins for two reasons:

  • Security- First is security, A plugin is a third-party software that will attach to your blog to add functionality, this sounds great but also gives more targets to hackers. If you choose a poorly maintained plugin it will open a new door for hackers to hack your site.
  • Performance- Another reason to minimize the use of plugins is performance, The more plugins you use the more codes or scripts to your site, which can contribute a lot of slowing down your site.

I will recommend a few plugins that you can use, and avoid some extra plugins that aren’t that usable to avoid future problems with your site.

  • WordFence- Wordfence is a security plugin, that can secure your site against hackers, it will block malicious codes from entering your site, and guard your website 24/7. It is free so dont worry about the extra cost.
  • Rankmath- It is another free plugin that will help you to optimize your blog post to rank well on your search results, Rankmath will serve as a guide of what are dos and don’t when writing an article/blog post.
  • Akismet- This one is also a free plugin that can blog spam to your website. As your site grows a lot of spam comments will flood your website, which can hurt your site ranking and Akismet will block all that spam for you.

Thus three plugins are the only plugins that I highly recommend for you to use on your gaming blog, it is barely enough as a foundation for your site, you can add some but it’s okay to have a minimal number of plugins on your site.

It’s one of my mistakes in the past, I get easily tempted to add more plugins to add more functionality which causes more harm than good.

Some form plugins will let you create a sign-up form or contact form for your gaming blog but I don’t recommend those, they will just cause to slow down your site. You can easily create a contact page on your gaming blog, add the necessary information, and add the official email address of your gaming blog on it, and you’re good, no need to form a builder plugin.

Keyword Research

surgegraph-keyword-research

To get organic traffic to your blog, do proper keyword research. Try to target low-competition keywords to rank. Avoid any competitive keywords and try to directly compete with giant authority sites on your nice.

Make it slowly and precisely by targeting first low-competition keywords, the more low-competition keywords you publish the more chance to get website visitors on your blog.

There are some free keyword research tools that you can use like Ubersuggest which allows free 3 searches per day, and Google Keyword Planner. There are also some premium and well-renowned SEO tools but those are very expensive.

If you want a premium and all-in-one tool I recommend Surgegraph, I’m using it and it is great and cost-effective. It’s a combination of SEO optimization tools, keyword research tools, and AI writers.

Its plan starts at $43.99/month and is as low as $14.69 if you choose the higher plan, It is a bit expensive but will allow you to optimize unlimited articles, keywords research as much as you want, and use its AI for unlimited amount as long as your plan is active.

In comparison, its competitor’s price reaches about $89/month for only 15 articles and an additional $29 per article to use its AI, other tools cost about $99/month without an AI writer. So Surgegraph looks expensive but if you compare it to its competitors they are the cheapest but offers more.

If you don’t want to spend you can use the free tools that I’ve mentioned but premium tools can greatly help to rank and get more traffic/website visitors.

Promote Your Blog On Social Media

There are an estimated 4.89 billion social media users worldwide, it will still increase in the future. It is a good opportunity to use social media to promote your gaming blog.

You can use a TikTok account, Facebook Page, Twitter, and more and post and promote your gaming blog to increase traffic.

The combined result of organic traffic from search engines and social media traffic can contribute a lot to your website.

Earn Money or Monetize your Gaming Blogs

Maintaining a website is no joke, you will need to spend more as your site grows, from manpower if you have writers or editors, to web hosting, and other tools.

To handle the cost of your gaming blog you’ll need to monetize it, there are a couple of ways to monetize your gaming blog, and let me give you some proven ideas.

Ads Placement

Banner ads are one of the most effective ways to monetize your gaming blog, every time a user enters your site they will see the banner ads.

Adsense is a great way to monetize your gaming blog from banner ads, they pay for CPM of cost per meter and CPC or cost per click. CPM is banned on the number of the impression of the banner ads on your site, it simply means that the more your website visitors the more you will earn from impressions.

CPC is another way to earn from Adsense, it works when someone clicks the ads on your site you will earn some extra income. When your site grows try to apply to some premium ads provider that will pay more compared to AdSense, but Google Adsense is great to use as a stepping stone for your success.

If you’re just starting up focus first on Adsense, since premium ads provider requires about 50K monthly pageviews before they can accept your gaming blog.

Pro tips:

Apply on Adsense when your gaming blog already has traffic/website visitors to have a better chance of getting approval.

Affiliate

Another way to monetize your gaming blog is through affiliates. You can select and apply to affiliate programs that are related to your blog and promote their product.

Once a user buys a product using your affiliate links or banner affiliate you can earn commissions. Some affiliate even pays more just to promote their products.

You can apply to CJ affiliates, Rakuten, Impact, and Amazon affiliates. They are the most popular affiliate program that most bloggers use to monetize.

Sponsored Post

When your gaming blog starts to grow its visitors, your site will get noticed nu brands. Brands can send you an email to promote their product by using sponsored posts.

Sponsored posts are paid by a fixed amount based on negotiation between you and the brands. Keep in mind that the sponsored post should never be paid below $200 per sponsored post, prices are always between $200-$1000 per post and even higher.

Pro Tips

I will warn you that lots of self-proclaimed SEO experts will send you an email for a sponsored post for about $20, ignore the theme. They will just list your site on their listing and sell it to other people who are looking for links.

Avoid those kinds of people and focus on real brands that are looking for sponsored posts for promotion.

Bottom Line

Starting a gaming blog is a fun way to earn money online since you will enjoy playing games, providing tips and tricks, and earning money at the same time. If you’re a real gamer It is a great way to earn money while playing.

But if you are not a gamer, choose another topic since it is hard to create gaming content if you know nothing about games, you can hire writers but how can you know that they provide useful content if you don’t know about games?

Gaming is fun and earning through gaming is more fun, starting a gaming blog and growing visitors is not always easy but if you do it correctly, you can even make a living through a gaming blog.

FAQ Section

Do gaming blogs make money?

Yes if done right, you can make money through ads but it needs lots of visitors to earn money in a gaming blog.

How do I monetize my gaming blog?

You can place some ads, promote products or games through affiliates, or accept sponsored posts.

Is it easy to monetize a blog?

Yes if you’re doing it right, if you have a lot of website visitors you can easily monetize your blog.

What is a gaming blog?

A gaming blog is a type of blog that features different topics about games like reviews, tutorials, tips, and tricks.