Make Money Freelance Writing: Write Online Game Reviews for Profit
One of the best things about freelance writing is that there are literally tens of thousands of subjects and topics that people want articles for, and there are just as many different ways of making a living as a freelance writer. One way that gets searched for online a lot is to make money writing video game reviews. I figured since this blog already ranked #1 for a lot of the "writing video game reviews" type of keywords, even though there wasn't a post on that topic yet, now was a good time to actually write a blog post on this topic. At least then there would be some information directly related to these questions, and I imagine as gaming isn't going anywhere, the desire to make a living writing about games will only continue to grow.
So how do you make money writing video game reviews? The answer to that isn't completely clear cut, since what most people have in mind when they think about this is very different from the reality of what options you have when it comes to gaming articles. The actual ways there are to make money online (and off) writing about video game are two very different things. This isn't a blog that is going to focus on this one topic and stick on it. It's not about gaming, and at no point do I see making that shift.
However it's important to know that the desire of gamers who want to write far outnumbers the demand for online articles about video games. If you imagine somehow making a full time living off of just writing video game reviews, you're setting yourself up for major disappointment. Unless you work for one of the big name websites or print magazines, that's not going to happen. But you can make money from writing video game reviews, and I will go over some of the options you have if this is the writing you really are interested in.
Freelance Writing Option #1
Write articles and post them on Constant Content. Here you can pick the rights you're willing to sell your articles for and to set the prices. Full rights sell the most articles, and make the most money, but if you're looking to build up a name or reputation for yourself, then usage rights is probably the best choice. Here you can upload a lot of articles, set the prices high, and then if you're worried just check the box that allows buyers to make a counter offer.
This works best for reviews of brand new video games and systems, and is also for comparative video game articles like "Why Oblivion Destroys Fable II" or "PS3 vs. XBox 360, Which System Is Best for You?" If you write game reviews like this, there is a good chance you can find a buyer as opposed to being one of thousands of reviews on a specific title, and at that point why would anyone want your opinion over the major websites that are already established? In my experience the best articles (when it comes to actually making money writing about video games) are list articles. "Top 10 RPGs of All Time," "Top 10 XBox 360 Games of 2008," or "Worst 20 Nintendo Games Ever," are three examples of good list articles that have a decent chance of finding a buyer.
In general, I've found the newer the game, the more likely it is to sell as a "true" video game review that most people are used to reading, and maybe writing. A freelance writer, especially a freelance writer who is looking to tackle such an oversaturated topic, need to be able to think outside the box and diversify.
If you are writing game reviews for Constant Content and only selling usage rights, then after those articles are accepted and put up for sale in the CC database, consider publishing the articles on Associated Content for both up front pay and a Pay Per View (PPV) bonus, that ranges from $1.50-$2.00 for every 1,000 views. Having articles on AC can also catch the attention of individuals who might be looking for freelance video game writers, and they might contact you for more work.
This hasn't happened to me on Associated Content for writing video game reviews, but I have gotten jobs for sports writing, book reviews, and other writing gigs based on my AC articles, so make sure your articles are up to snuff, because you never know who might stumble upon them.
Freelance Writing Option #2
Search everywhere for work, including print markets. It will most likely be very difficult to find people willing to pay for gaming articles of any kind if you don't already have an in or some type of connection that makes your particular take on the topic more valuable or authoritative than the many online that are already provided for free. There are several major video game review websites online, and you can go to each and contact them asking to become a contributing author - and maybe you'll find someone willing to pay you, although this blog is about transparency, and so I have to say it's unlikely that this will work in letting you make a lot of money writing about video games or any type of topic in that field.
A better option might be to check out the many print magazines that deal with video games like PC Gamer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, X-Box, or Nintendo Power. Many of these magazines accept certain types of freelance writing submissions, and that might include video game reviews. You might have to break in with quick blurbs, but eventually that could build up to full blown video game reviews, and at least you're getting paid for writing about video games.
Don't just look for print magazines, either. There are plenty of online magazines that are often looking for freelance content writing. These can range from online versions of well established magazines like Maxim, to completely online magazines that are geared towards being online magazines for men, college students, or gamers. It's not just video game magazines looking for video game reviews, so look around and see what you can find.
Freelance Writing Option #3
This one could make you more money than option #1, but it's also more complex. Another option for making money by writing video game reviews is to start your own blog and/or website. Sign up for Commission Junction and Amazon Associates to become an affiliate, and sign up for Google Adsense. By monetizing your site and building up an exceptional blog/website full of great content and reviews, if you can bring in the traffic then there's a chance you could make a lot of sales and a lot from advertising and advertising clicks. This might be the best way you could potentially make a full time living writing video game reviews.
Before getting too excited, this step will take a lot of time, work, and knowledge - and this isn't a guarantee that it will work. Freelance writing can be hard enough, but this step also involves extensive knowledge of SEO, keywords, Search Engine Rankings, Internet Marketing, traffic, and many other factors. It's a good idea for any freelance writer to learn all of these skills, since these skills all make a freelance writer more valuable, and make it easier and more likely for you to make money online.
The key to this is to set up a site that gets tons of traffic, and ranks highly for the search engines, especially for Google. Social traffic traditionally doesn't translate to sales or Adsense clicks, while search engine traffic does. So getting ranked for the literally thousands of long tail keywords you can get when writing about video games will be the first step, since that will be huge in the process of ranking for all the major keywords that will bring literally thousands of visitors to your site a day.
Once you have those numbers, you might not get paid per article for your video game reviews, but you should be making some pretty good scratch between Adsense clicks and affiliate sales. If you get that kind of traffic, you might find people e-mailing you about advertising and create another income stream.
Writing video game reviews is not the most lucrative way to make money online, but if you are a major gamer and enjoy writing, even doing something simple like writing for Constant Content and then writing for Associated Content might not make you a fortune freelance writing, but it can get you paid for writing video game reviews, giving you some side income for something you would do anyway (play video games). If you write enough to make decent taxable income, then the video games can even become expenses and tax write-offs, but you need a very clear record of how you made money by writing video game reviews.
There are many ways of writing to make money. Writing video game reviews sounds like a dream job, and for those who write for the big time video game magazines, it probably is. But it's not the easiest or most efficient, way for making a full time living writing.