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Where ma writerz at?? - The Devil's Advocate
...it never pays to give all sides less than their due consideration...
Where ma writerz at??
You know, that headline was supposed to be funny, but I'm already thinking it missed.

The Call

Anyway. I need some writers. I know a lot of you can write... I've caught you at it. Question is whether you have the room in your life for another paid gig. This could take anywhere from an hour or two per week or month to five or six hours per day, depending on your schedule and inclination.

What kind of writers, you ask? Think of this primarily as working in two areas with a strong third sub-area...

The Work

The first is being a game writer - reviews, how-to, tips-&-tricks... You have to have (or be willing to gain) some basic understanding of games, game theory, game design theory, and so on. You'd have to at least play the game you're writing about enough to figure it out and explain it to new players, etc. For a lot of us in my circle of friends, this is not a big challenge.

The second involves some understanding of code and... decoding it, you might say. You don't have to be a programmer, but someone who can program PHP and Javascript and understands XTHML might be better at it. You still have to be familiar enough with the games in question to find the links that need decoding, then you have to figure out how to write one. Pretty simple, really. If I get a link to (domain)/games/extras/magic-carpet.php and I know there is an item in the game called a "magic flute" I can, at very least, start my experimentation with (domain)/games/extras/magic-flute.php right? The actual links are more complex, but it's not rocket surgery.

The third involves articles written in other languages, or translations of articles written by others... Spanish is an obvious choice, Chinese, Japanese, Tagalog, Korean, Portuguese, French, German, Swedish, Russian are possibilities, as well.

The Money

This is a paid gig, but I'm not sure how much yet. At this point I kinda doubt it'd get over $500-$1000 per month, for the most prolific and successful, but it could. On the other hand, it may well be only $100 a month or so.

In per word rates, I'm guessing between $.05 and $.50, but I wouldn't really count that as the most accurate way to calculate your payment on this one... The ones who make the most on this will be not only the ones who are the best and most engaging writers, but also the ones who do the best marketing support efforts... Riding herd on the forum areas relevant to their articles, checking the wikis every now and then, promoting their work and the website effectively... And so on.

Eventually, I'll offer two pay schedules: Payment on publication, or ad revenue share. Obviously, the first one will be better for most new writers, or those with little regular traffic, while the latter will be better for those with more regular traffic, or those who just happen to write a review or tip-sheet that deserves the game-writer Pulitzer or something.

Also, the first few (one to three, most likely) articles anyone writes might be on spec... At first, this will be because I don't have the cash to pay on publication. Later, it might be because we can't to make sure you mesh well with our "voice" and style.

The Market

Money for writing on the web comes from sponsorship and ad revenue. Ad revenue is a fairly predictable fraction of unique visitors and/or page views. I can tell you that, if I get a few decent writers to join, the site I'm planning will have a five digit Alexa ranking in the five figures within one month. It could very well have a four digit Alexa ranking within two or three months.

What an Alexa ranking actually means in terms of actual traffic is a bit more tricky... Alexa themselves aren't talking, unless you shovel out huge piles of money. There is a process to "calibrate" Alexa, which leads me to estimate that you can break into four digits at approximately one million visitors per month.

So... How many people play the games in question? Can we even get one million visitors per month? The short answer is "Oh, hell yes."

Let's look at popularity... Game #1, Game #100, Game #1000, and Game #5000.

Game #1, appr. 74,000,000 people play at least once per month. Of those, about 24,000,000 play every day.

Game #100, appr. 2,000,000 people play at least once per month. Of those, about 215,000 play every day.

Game #1000, appr. 64,000 people play at least once per month. Of those, about 4,000 play every day.

Game #5000, appr. 2,800 people play at least once per month. Of those, about 100 play every day.

How many of those would click a link to read an article about how to play their game better, or to get another in game gift is the variable we don't have yet, but... Consider this:

There are well over 1000 games who's market makes them worth writing about, and if we could get monthly visits from even one tenth of one percent of the monthly players in the top 100 games, at four page views each, that's about three and a half million page views per month.

The key to this is to build, over time, a site that supports all the most popular games. This will foster return visits, and, more importantly, a broad spectrum of link sharing. I intend to build a community style site with a magazine / articles area, a forums area, and a wiki. All will be ad supported, some may be donation or membership supported.

So. Who wants to play along?

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1 Scary Click --Why not Spin the Cylinder?
zeelittleone From: zeelittleone Date: May 20th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Possible assistance

I heard that this book covers a similar business model. Perhaps it could help with some of the details?

1 Scary Click --Why not Spin the Cylinder?