Indie Biz Video Games

Why You Need a Dev Blog

Why You Need A Dev Blog | Gamerwife.com

This post is Part I in my two part series on Developer Blogs. You can read Part II here.

Why You Need A Dev Blog | Gamerwife.com

Developer blogs are something that I encourage everyone to add to their game websites, but not all developers are comfortable with the idea and most aren’t even sure where to start. Which is why I decided to craft a couple of posts to help take the mystery out of blogging and explain why I think it can be a useful part of the game development process, not to mention an essential part of the marketing and PR strategy for your video game.

In Part I of this series, I’m sharing a list of reasons why having a dev blog will actually help you in the long run.

A Dev Blog Will:

Help With SEO and Google Page Ranking

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and really all it refers to is how to make your site relevant to what people are searching for online. For an indie game website, probably all you want is for your website to be at the top of the list of results when someone searches for your game. The best way to do this is to make sure your site is full of the keywords your potential fans/media types are going to be searching for.

A dev blog can help in this regard because each blog post is essentially an extra page for your site, full of yummy keywords for search engines to scan. More relevant keywords hits = higher up the search results rankings. Also, each blog post is another potential incoming link that can be shared around social media, on forums, etc.

Open Up Direct Communication With Your Fans

When writing your dev blog, think about it as a one-on-one conversation you are having with potential fans of your game. Invite them to ask questions and leave comments on your posts and ALWAYS reply to their comments. This opens up direct communication with your fans that is casual and intimate, helping your fans to feel like part of the development process. This intimacy will help you breed loyal fans who will help you spread the word about your game.

Give Your Fanbase Somewhere to Congregate

In addition to communicating directly with your fans, a dev blog and the comments section thereof can be a great place for fans to congregate and interact with each other. This interaction will reinforce their loyalty and create excitement and anticipation as they watch your game come together.

Create a “Digital Papertrail” in Case There Are IP Disputes

While not 100% legally enforceable, each step of the development process you document on your dev blog is stamped with a digital time stamp that could come in handy is someone decides to claim that you stole their idea and the timeline doesn’t make sense. Bear in mind that this works the other way too, so be careful about “giving away the keys to the castle,” but in some ways the more you make public, the easier it will be to claim ownership later on.

Help You Find Solutions to Development Hurdles

We all know that roadblocks and hiccups are part of game development, so why not turn to your fans for help? With an open line of communication like a dev blog, all you need to do is post about the problem you’re having and wait someone to comment with a solution.

Document Your Progress To Stay Motivated

Making video games is hard work, and when you’re doing it with limited resources and limited staff it can be that much harder. Keeping a dev blog means that you are regularly documenting your progress, commemorating breakthroughs and communicating directly with the people who most what to see you finish your game. What better place to turn to for inspiration when things get tough? A dev blog can also be a good place to let off steam when you’re frustrated. Just remember that everything you put online is public, and to some extent, permanent.

Give You Something To Share on Social Media

Yes, we all know how important it is to post regularly to your various social media sites to keep people interested and utilize the free marketing service that social media represents, but what are you supposed to put there? Well, if you’re keeping a dev blog, the answer is right there. Sharing content from your blog also means that people following you on social media will be redirected to your website to consume that content, where they can be exposed to invitations to pre-order your game or check out your crowdfunding campaign.

Do You Keep A Dev Blog?

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    June 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I’m not a developer, but I definitely think it’s a good idea to have a blog in such a case. I enjoy reading blogs, and when someone who should have a blog doesn’t have one, it’s a bit frustrating… ^^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      June 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      It’s also such a great, free marketing tool that more game makers should be taking advantage of.

  • Reply
    StrawberrySmiles
    May 6, 2016 at 1:50 am

    My team has one, but I’m awful at updating it.

    But considering our previous showcase event, I think I want to re-boot it and re-market our game to get more interest. 😀

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