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