For this week’s Niche of the Week, I am going back to something I love to do online. Something I wish I have a lot of time to do: play online games.
I love RPG games, and I also like a fair share of casual games. I wouldn’t say I’m a “gamer,” but I do like some enough to buy them. So, while playing the new Sims 4, I thought to myself, is there any way to earn money from playing games?
Of course you can. I’ve covered this before when I did that post on Diablo III. But I’m looking at casual games, those games that don’t require any serious commitment and don’t have any solid community. Like those games on Miniclip.com.
Casual games are typically simple games, usually made through Flash or Shockwave. BigFishGames.com wrote on its blog back in March that around 150 million Americans engage in casual games. This statistic translates to high revenue for the mobile gaming industry. In fact, the mobile gaming industry earned an estimated $25 billion in 2015.
There’s definitely money in this niche, but how easy is it to tap into this market?
Yes, that’s right. Keywords in the online gaming niche are tricky. You can target “online games,” even “free online games,” and get good traffic. But these are people looking to play, not necessarily pay.
This is the first challenge you’ll need to overcome in the online games niche: targeting the right keywords. I would probably use specific keywords referring to games. Like “missing objects online game” or “buy missing objects online game.” You can check out Ubersuggest.org for variations, but go for the more detailed or long-tail keywords. They will bring less traffic, but at least you know you’re targeting the right gamers for your site.
You can try using the name of the game itself, but be sure to check with the creators or merchant first to make sure they allow their affiliates to do this.
Online Games Affiliate Programs
ClickBank’s Marketplace has a lot of affiliate programs on strategy guides and guides to various games, similar to the WOW strategy guides that Mark promoted on his WOW site a few years back.
Not what I’m looking for, unfortunately. I’m looking for gaming sites that have an affiliate program. So, I visited various online gaming sites to see which ones deliver in that regard.
The creator of popular games like Peggle and Criminal Minds, Big Fish Games has been around since 2002. The company has successfully transitioned from PC games to mobile games, and now has over 450 mobile games and a whopping 3,500 PC games.
The Big Fish affiliate program offers affiliates real-time reporting, content delivery tools and 70 percent commission for each game purchased through their affiliates.
If you prefer strategy and MMORPG, then you’ll love R2Games. The site has plenty of strategy and adventure RPGs, mixed in with a couple of the usual casual game genres.
The program offers 35 percent commission per sale. Signing up as an R2Games affiliate is easy. Just fill out the form on the affiliates page.
Despite the novel website name, FlyorDie.com offers its subscribers the usual array of board and dash games. You can play for free on the site, but subscribing as a Premium member removes the annoying ads. You also get to join game tournaments.
As an affiliate, you will enjoy a 30 percent commission for each sale. Their affiliate program is through RegNow.
The games in Playrix are similar to Big Fish Games, and like Big Fish Games, it has games for computers and mobile devices.
There is no mention of how much commission affiliates earn, but it’s probably within the same range as FlyorDie.com, as they are both in the RegNow network.
Get Players to Your Site
And now we come to the challenging task of link building and inbound marketing. This, like content creation, can be outsourced to professionals. For a fee. If you have the resources, then go ahead and outsource. Still, make sure you have at least a basic understanding of how SEO, link-building and marketing work so that you will be able to monitor the link-building work being done on your site.
Outsourcing or not, make sure to have a link building strategy in place. You can hand this over to the person who will do the link building for you. At the very least, you have a guide to refer to when it’s time to drive traffic to your site.
Blog and Forum Commenting
This particular method is time consuming, but the effects are long-term, making the effort well worth it. There are plenty of gaming forums you can frequent to interact with fellow gamers and offer recommendations.
It’s a great place to learn about the online gaming niche, too. You can find our what games have a lot of followers, and which keywords are frequently used in relation to specific games.
This is important to link building, but is often overlooked. You’ll be tracking the links you’ll be making, so might as well make sure they are indexed too, by submitting them to sites like Pingler.com.
You would think that having a site about online games, you won’t need to bother much with content. But you do, because there’s plenty to know about a game. Like a good strategy on how to get past a difficult level, for one thing. A review of a new game is something gamers frequently look out for, too.
Content strategy is about having a game plan for your site’s content, from research until the content is published on your site. Having a game plan gives you time to think about the kind of content to present on your site in between updates.
Online Games Affiliate Programs: Child’s Play?
With all that competition, the online games niche is definitely no child’s play. This is a niche that requires careful planning and strategy. All niches do, but all the more for this niche because: one, there’s plenty of gaming sites there that will most likely have similar content as yours. So you need to be creative on the content you will publish on your site. Two, you need to be smart with link building and how you drive traffic to your site. Don’t just bring people into the site, bring people that are interesting in playing and subscribing to games.
So, no, this niche is no child’s play. The commission you’ll get are good. But if you’re looking something more substantial than a few dollars a sale, then this is not the niche for you.
But if you have a site about games or gaming, and have not monetized it, then take your pick from the above. It’s never too late to start earning from your website.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Niche of the Week!
Would you be interested in going into this niche? Are there any niches you want featured here? Just leave a comment and let me know!