Consistency is the most important part of your career.

People are going to forget about you. They’re going to forget about your games, your art, your programming, and you.

Pretty terrifying right? No one wants to hear that. Sorry for being so harsh, but you’re not doing anything to remind them who you are.

That’s why you need to be consistent. Consistency is the key to being successful in anything.

Let’s start at the top.

Note: there are a couple of affiliate links in this post. For more about that and how they work, check out the Resources page.

You need to be consistently making games.

My friend Sean McCabe says “show up every day.” Every day you should do at least one thing that works towards your game design and development.

That doesn’t mean you have to code every day, or draw every day.

Just one thing is all it takes. Show up every day and do at least one thing that’s going to get you closer to completion.

One thing every day that’s going to get you closer to your goals.

He says that doing this for two years will get you where you want to be. That’s such a short period of time if you really think about it.

Plus, you’ll be getting better at your game design and development each day as you work on it.

While you’re getting closer to completion, you’ll need to be working on marketing. Building your audience is what you should do, which is why the next three parts need to be consistent.

You need to be consistently showing your games.

Show people what you’re working on. Show your works in progress.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or intense. Maybe it’s a gif of an animation you made this week. Or you added in a cool game mechanic that you can show.

Heck, even just share a teaser of the story.

There’s so much in the process of gamedev that can be shared, and it drums up interest in your game.

Of course you can and should be sharing this stuff on your social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc, but you should also be sharing on your blog.

You need to be consistently posting on your blog.

If you don’t have a blog, make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter right now. Next week I’ll be posting a comprehensive guide (for free!) that will teach you step by step how to set up a blog for your gamedev.

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You need to be posting to your blog because it’s the one platform you control.

Remember MySpace? Who uses that anymore?

Don’t think it’s impossible that Twitter or Facebook could be next. I don’t even know anyone who really uses Tumblr anymore (of course I still post there but that’s another story).

But your blog, your website, that is something you can control. It will exist as long as you want it to. I use A2 hosting and their quick and easy 1 click WordPress installer.

There’s also a simple little thing you can do to keep people coming back to your blog for more. Aside from posting consistently, you need to be collecting emails from your visitors, and sending them a newsletter.

You need to be consistently sending out email newsletters.

My biggest regret is not starting collecting emails sooner.

I would have made way more sales on my previous games by now had I started collecting emails from the very beginning.

It’s just the best marketing you can do on a video game. Tell people about it.

Like I mentioned above, controlling your own platform is important. If Twitter disappears it will be very difficult to retain that audience and move them to whatever new platform you’re on.

I use ConvertKit because it’s easy and they have great functions for automation.

If you have their email, you’ll be able to take them wherever you go very easily.

Plus, people will see you all the time. You’ll be in their thoughts because you regularly send them valuable and interesting content.

That way, when you launch a game, they won’t see it as spam.

You ever sign up for an email list and forget about it? Then weeks or months later you get an email that’s like “Hey I just released my new game!”

Of course I usually check it out but it’s just like “ugh who is this person and why are they trying to get money from me?”

You need to share at least once a week.

They won’t forget about you this way. We think in weekly cycles. That’s why most TV shows put out new episodes at least weekly (during their season).

Of course, you can share more than just once a week if you want, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

Trust me, people will start to notice.

I’ve been inconsistent in the past and people have commented on it. I was totally embarrassed.

Consistency is totally hard but there are lots of ways you can prepare, like setting up an editorial calendar or automating your social media posting with a tool like CoSchedule (that’s a referral link, btw. If you sign up, they cut me a discount on my subscription at no extra cost to you).

An example of what not to do:

This is tricky and I need to preface this by saying that I am not trying to call out this gamedev publicly or anything. He’s wildly successful and I am confident that he will continue to be successful for various reasons, despite the things he’s doing “wrong” that I’m about to show you.

I do believe he would make a lot more money if he were to put more into marketing in the ways that I have suggested here (and will more in the future), but I also don’t get the impression he’s too worried about that. Please know that while I am saying what he’s doing here is “wrong”, I highly admire him and he’s one of the reasons I got into game design and development in the first place. It’s only “wrong” from a marketing standpoint.

But, as no-name indie dev, you don’t want to repeat what he’s doing here, because you need all the help you can get.

That said…look at this tweet:

Take a second to think about what you just learned and see if you can figure out what’s right and what’s wrong here.

Okay now that you’ve thought about it, I’ll list out a few things that were done right:

  • Really well written posts.
  • Lots of images in the posts.
  • Definitely content that will build up hype.
  • Pinned tweet…I wouldn’t have seen this otherwise.

But here’s what’s done wrong:

  • Not hosted on its own platform.
  • Telling people to bookmark and come back on their own accord.
  • No email list?
  • Posts aren’t really consistently posted. Definitely not weekly.

Again, at this point in his career I’m sure he’ll be fine and continue to be successful, and he absolutely deserves it.

But for an indie dev who’s not at that point, you need all the help you can get. That’s what I’m here for!

Make sure you’re signed up for the email list so that you can continue to learn more about video game design, development, marketing, and business.

Content Marketing Is How You Will Beat Your Competitors – 06-17-2016 Newsletter

Hey, I need to make this week’s newsletter quick because I’m about to head to a funeral. Bummer, right? So it goes.

I didn’t even write a blog post this week, but I did write something that will help you beat out your competitors.

As a writer, you’re competing with every other writer out there and it’s tough. Most of them are undercutting you.

Have you tried content marketing?

Two things:

  1. You can use content marketing to advertise yourself and get more clients.
  2. You can become a content writer to get paid big bucks from your clients.

Check out this case study I wrote about content marketing: bit.ly/1U4aEPK

In the near future, I’ll write more about it so you can learn how to do it for yourself and your clients.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you next week!

Garrett Mickley, GarrettMickley.com

P.S. Do you have any questions about writing creative non-fiction? Reply to this! Seriously. This isn’t noreply@garrettmickley.com (that’s not even a real email address). It comes straight back to my inbox. I’ll get your questions.

P.P.S. Did you know you can read old newsletters at GarrettMickley.com/newsletter?

Content Marketing Brings In Traffic – A Case Study

writing with seo in mind

Increase targeted traffic to your website by posting regular, optimized content focused on bringing value to the reader.

Web marketers have pretty much always lived by the rule “content is king,” but that rings true more than ever in 2016. As I wrote in this post, SEO is dying because writing regular content that is focused on providing value to the reader is going to automatically optimize your pages for search engines.

You don’t need an SEO company. What you need is a writer who knows how to write content for marketing.

In fact, SEO only exists as a concept because of content. Content is king.

Content Marketing is all about using content to help people find you.

If your entire marketing funnel has various stages, they would be: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. This is the AIDA model, which was created by E. St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Coincidentally, people haven’t changed all that much and this still works today.

  • Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of your brand.
  • Interest – the customer is actively expressing an interest in your brand.
  • Desire – the customer is aspiring to a particular product or service of your brand.
  • Action – the customer is taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product or service of your brand.

Content marketing exists before the AIDA model even starts, and then continues through both Awareness and Interest stages.

The point of content marketing is to bring people to awareness, hold awareness, and develop interest.

Content marketing has so many benefits that people are ignoring these days. First of all, it builds your brand. All of the content will speak through your brands voice, creating a consistent experience for all visitors.

All of the content written for your site is also content that can be shared through all of your social media channels, reminding people of your existence and directing them to your website, where they can develop interest and desire, and ultimately take action.

But most of all, content marketing builds a long term audience that will continue to follow you as long as you continue to provide value to their lives. This is a flywheel effect for the rest of your marketing plan.

Your competitors are doing content marketing. If you are not, you can’t compete.

Let’s take a look at a client. This client hired me to write regular content for their website with the purpose of increasing brand awareness and traffic. All of my content aims to provide value to the reader first (through the content itself) and to the brand second (through a call to action at the end).

Each contract was three months long. I currently only offer contracts in three and six month intervals. I find that three months is how long it takes to see a difference, and six months is how long it takes to feel a difference.

content-marketing-case-study_rcvrrstrt_corrected
Graphic design is not my strength. Writing is.

Here you can see that content grows consistently over the nine months of posting regular content.

For the first three month contract, I focused on trial-and-error to get a feel for the industry and discover what value I could provide to website visitors. I posted daily content for five days out of the week, Monday through Friday.

For the second three month contract, I had figured out what content would bring in new customers, as well as bring the others back for repeat business. While the client was happy with the results by the end of this contract, I was not. I pitched a change of focus for the third three month contract.

In the third three month contract, I cut the content amount down from five posts per week, to three posts per week. This gave me the opportunity to focus more on providing valuable content without increasing the rate of the contract. As you can see, with content marketing the rule is “quality over quantity” and traffic began to grow even quicker.

The reason the content dips so drastically at the end is because this screenshot was taken at the beginning of June, so a full month’s worth of traffic had not happened yet.

This client had no SEO plan and was not buying ads, nor creating any other content that directed visitors to their website. All content growth was through my efforts, as well as their word-of-mouth marketing to friends and family. They also periodically shared the content I wrote on social media.

There’s more to content marketing than just blog posts.

While I only offer content writing services, you would benefit even more from also seeking out professionals who can create other media content.

The great thing about the content I write is that it can be repurposed elsewhere. When you hire me to write for you, you own the content. The content is yours to use wherever you like.

I recommend you connect with a professional who can take my written content and create video content for YouTube.

Another popular idea is to create a podcast based around the content I write for you.

Content marketing is right for your business.

Every business will benefit from content marketing, and the benefits are only exacerbated when working directly with other marketing campaigns.

If you’re interested in hiring me for content writing, please go to the Hire page.

“I always knew I wanted Garrett to write for my site, it was just a matter of finding the right project. Bringing a writer you hadn’t worked with before onto your site is always a risk, so it’s important to vet them and think about where their voice will fit on your site. Garrett was a consummate professional. He delivered his copy on time, it was well-written, accurate and polished, and he made any edits we asked for quickly and efficiently. It’s always a pleasure to work with writers who listen to feedback and use it to produce a better product.

It helped us launch flagship content for our website that ended up being a success, in part because of Garrett’s efforts. I really liked the research that Garrett did on the subjects we asked him to write about. Because he had done his homework, he was able to write with authority.

We got really good traffic on the pieces Garrett worked on, and the project ended up being a showcase for a redesign that was central to our overall plan for the site. I would definitely recommend Garrett’s services. Garrett’s ability to quickly understand and take ownership of an assignment means you get quality work without the hassle of having to check in constantly, or worse, deal with a blown deadline. Also a plus: Garrett is really skilled at promoting his work on social media and through careful search engine optimization.

I’d say that Garrett is a creative, experienced writer with a can-do attitude who will take a writing assignment from inception to completion with a minimum amount of hassle on your part. He’s always willing to go the extra mile to make sure you get the copy you need.” – Claes Bell, Bankrate.com