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What makes a good Gamesbrief post?

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At Gamesbrief, we aspire to provide a must-have resource for game developers. We want to help readers deepen their understanding of the business challenges we face as a rapidly changing industry, with a focus on strategies and methodologies that are applicable to free-to-play games.

When we look at your proposed guest post, we’ll be considering the authority of your voice: this can come from your own experience and reputation, or from the strength of the data you present. Don’t mistake authority for scholarly distance; be approachable and friendly, but also make clear what your post teaches the reader that they can apply to their own business practice.

Who writes guest posts?

Ideally, guest posts come from developers, and are based on your professional experience and personal perspective. You’re invited to share data and experiences that might be instructive to other developers. In some cases we will accept opinion pieces from developers, particularly if they will contribute to constructive debate about business models, professional ethics, or design practice. Cross-posting from your own website is perfectly acceptable.

If you are a third-party service provider, you’re welcome to submit guest posts that share useful information with developers, as long as you think of yourself as the author rather than the story itself. This is your expert contribution to a growing resource of essential information for people running a games business. Write something insightful, give useful information, and make clear that you are a valuable partner for anyone dealing with a particular set of problems. We do not publish advertorials.

Format

  • Posts should be submitted in plain text or rich text format, with graphics attached separately as jpegs.
  • At least one image should have an aspect ratio of 1:1.12, and be at least 300 px wide.
  • Your other images and charts should look good at 500px wide or less. For graphs, that often means labelling your axes in a larger font than the default settings.
  • Please set up a profile image with gravatar, and let us know what email address is associated with your gravatar account.
  • Please include a short bio with your submission.
  • Word counts can be anywhere between 600 and 3000 words. However, if your post is on the large side, it is likely that it will get trimmed down, so please try to be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible.

Content

We’re open-minded about the structure of guest posts, but here are some guidelines to the kind of posts that have done well in the past.

A number of key points that will help you to be more successful at something

Example

12 business tips for indie game developers

Positives

Focusing your post on a number of key points makes it focused and easy to read. The headline makes it clear that this post will be approachable and informative, and it’s clear what the reader will learn from it.

Negatives

List posts can lack depth, and it is difficult to establish authority in this rather rigid format. Be sure to include examples and/or data to support your points, and try to surprise us with some unexpected items.

How to do something successfully

Example

How to make $3000 per day from advertising in your free-to-play game

Positives

The learning value of these posts is very clear from the outset. These posts allow you to describe a problem, suggest a solution, and provide in-depth data from an example of somewhere that this solution has been applied.

Negatives

These posts can sometimes seem to over-promise and under-deliver if the goal stated in the title is merely hypothetical. The good example given above is from a developer sharing how they achieved ‘$3000 per day from advertising’. We are unlikely to accept a post of this kind from a writer who doesn’t demonstrate personal experience of hitting the goal described; tell us what you have done, and show us how successful your approach was using data.

Post-launch figures from our latest game

Example

Selling an iPhone game: the sales figures in detail

Positives

We love posts like this. Often, the writer is able to take a very approachable tone, describing their own experience with interesting datapoints. The story contextualises those datapoints, so that the reader gets a full picture of how different aspects of a game’s performance interact. The authority in these posts comes from the data you provide; anyone who has launched a game has something useful to share, whether you’re a bedroom coder or an established studio.

Negatives

It can be unclear what the main takeaway is for the reader. What can I learn from your story that will make me more successful? This is particularly important if your game was not as successful as you had hoped; you must really understand why your game underperformed, and share concrete lessons that you have learned from that. Also, be careful to avoid vanity metrics – consult our series of posts on the spreadsheet for guidance about what makes a useful KPI.

Opinion

Example

Playmobil Pirates takes its name very literally

Positives

Polemic and debate are exciting, and can be very good for our site traffic if controversial posts get shared widely on social networks. A good quality opinion piece is a beautiful thing to read, and contributing to industry discourse about the ethics of free-to-play is extraordinarily valuable.

Negatives

The quality of writing has to be very high for this kind of post to work for us. It is particularly difficult to hit the bar for authority with this kind of piece; either your opinion is inherently interesting to us because of your own reputation and/or experiences, or you have to present some quality research to back up your claims.

Infographics, slides and videos

Example

Rovio and Zynga: the numbers

Positives

We’re keen to publish visual content on Gamesbrief. It’s entertaining, it is more likely to be shared in social networks, and it allows readers to engage a different learning mode to our wordy content. With video content it is easier to be approachable, and infographics carry authority based on the interesting data they present.

Negatives

Whiz-bang graphics can sometimes seem to be a veil for shallow, poorly-researched content. Content that lacks a preview image for the front page is time-consuming to publish, so please be sure to provide a striking jpeg image for this purpose. It is also important to give us some idea of the context behind your content – who are you, and why did you make this?