Why You Should Blog At Game Informer
Last week at the GameStop Managers Meeting in San Antonio, a few of the other editors and I had the distinct honor of meeting a ton of devoted readers and hardcore gamers. The most frequently asked question they had for us was how to prepare for a job in video game journalism. The answer is pretty simple, if a little self-serving: Start your own blog. Preferably at Game Informer.
Here's the thing: Becoming a video game journalist takes hard work, talent, and a more than a little luck. There are no secrets to getting a job, and no guarantees. However, starting your own game-related blog can provide you with a number of benefits, which I'm happy to outline for you now.
Practice Makes Perfect:
Remember when I told you there are no guarantees in this whole writing thing? I lied. The more you write, the better a writer you'll become. Guaranteed. There's no better way to hone your skills at creating focused and compelling articles than by diving in and writing, be it editorials, previews, reviews, or whatever else you're interested in. You may not feel yourself improving, but you'll be amazed (and probably a little embarrassed) at how primitive your early writing projects seem after you get some experience under your belt.
Another important aspect to growing as a writer is seeking out feedback from your peers. While sites like Tumblr and Wordpress provide writers with a free venue for posting their thoughts, getting people to visit them is another story. Luckily, Game Informer has a built-in community that's eager to read and discuss your work with you.
Once you've reached Level 5 on Gameinformer.com, your blogs will start showing up on the User Blogs page for everyone to see. If you've been an active member for a while, chances are you already have enough points; you earn them from regular community interactions like rating stories, leaving comments in articles and forum threads, and creating blogs.
Once you start posting your own articles, it won't take long to make new friends in Game Informer's blogging community, who won't only offer you sage writing advice, but feedback on the topics you choose write about. Sometimes all it takes is for a peer to point out a slightly different approach to a topic to transform a good article into a great one.
Building A Portfolio:
Creating and posting to your own blog won't just provide you with writing practice. It will also help you generate a body of work that you can share with potential employers in the future. Bloggers at Game Informer regularly post game reviews, previews, opinion articles, humorous features - even interviews with developers and podcasts. In other words, the exact kinds of content employers expect to see from budding editors. If you dedicate a decent amount of time to your blog, not only will you have a wealth of writing samples to show off, but your articles will be vetted by fellow writers, giving you the opportunity to further improve your work and identify which articles are your best.
Additionally, community member Saint does a great job of highlighting GI's most thought-provoking blogs every week in his ongoing Blog Herding feature, which provides hard-working writers with some extra attention. Our newsletter also spotlights talented community bloggers every week.
One of our featured bloggers, Jack Gardner, landed an internship at Game Informer thanks in part to his excellent articles. Some bloggers have even gotten interviews with developers and freelance job offers from other sites.
Starting a user blog isn't a fast track to getting a job in the industry, and there are no guarantees of it leading to employment. But if you're really serious about writing, you can't wait for someone to offer you a job out of the blue. Start writing now and learn from your practice and experience. At the very least, you'll end up with a portfolio of your work and a bunch of new friends.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our help page for a guide to creating blog posts on Game Informer, and read BlackHeartedWolf's and Cru Hunter's advice on how to make your posts more compelling to readers.