Blogging should be a key ingredient in your strategy to raise awareness for your VR game, product or service. It can be an excellent source of leads and a great tool to help your audience and future customers follow your development progress.
I have been blogging for more than 10 years now, although not consistently and not always in the same category - or even similar ballparks. Focusing on learning how the VR game development industry ticks is current stage of my journey.
Much of my knowledge comes from reading blogs, but where I truly get my gears spinning is when I talk to others about what I have learnt. In this industry there is still a lot of unknowns, so it’s important for us all to share, listen learn and pivot.
I think/hope this VIVE blog will be a great source of information to help all of us grow our knowledge. Innovation in the VR industry is critical and thanks to teams like VIVE the awareness about our work has risen.
Blogging has been life changing to the marketing industry. I came across this new developer blog segment while surfing the VIVE forums this morning and well, I thought it was a cool idea! A brand new place that is ready for all my ramblings.
If you plan to write a blog consistently every day or even every other day, you are guaranteed to see a lot great of great results. It will help you build credibility and authority in your specific community or category.
On my mission to learn about VR game development and launch strategies for our new VR fitness game -VIRO MOVE, I have learned that the only way to stand out from the crowd is to shout LOUDER and looooonger about what makes our game great. Blogging enables this through stimulating thoughts and emotions in the reader.
Here are a few things you need to know about me first:
“I’m not a highly trained VR developer”
I work with some really amazing VR wizards, but sadly they don’t always have much time or energy for precious blog writing. The love that I have for this game is equally as passionate as the guys beside me who are writing code and developing the games.
The truth is, I am part of the development process every time I make a suggestion or test a new level. In retrospect I am a developer in my own “special” way.
You might not be the chief developer, you might not even be a chief anything. But maybe you have a unique perspective on what your team is building and a passion for sharing – and maybe some people will benefit from reading your expertise and experience.
Development teams are gaining understanding of the world of VR every day – VR game support, marketing and launch teams are learning every minute. Sharing learnings is critical to the end goal, i.e. helping to define your team as experts and promote your game/product as a passionately crafted masterpiece.
Personally, I write every time something new opens my eyes to the wonder and potential of VR Fitness. Around 70% of what I write are my ramblings of amazement and excitement for the future of VR, our fitness game and the industry in general.
“I’m not really very good at writing ”
At this point you already are aware, I’m no Hemingway.
Writing takes years of practice, just like any other valuable skill, but don’t worry if you are new to it. Plenty of most successful blogs have issues with punctuation or grammar.
Just remember the more you write, the better you will become over time.
“I used to fear the critics”
Before the internet phenomenon, critics lived under bridges and hid around corners. Now they have completely infested the inter-web, a brand new curtain confidence in front of a username. Trolls are everywhere and ready to knock random people, teams and ideas down for little more than a like or an opportunity to be seen for a moment.
Recently we posted our launch trailer on YouTube. An intellectual gentleman rode along on his high horse within 5 minutes and thoughtfully expressed his opinion of our game with the statement “Meh”.
Genuine gamers and developers can spot a troll a mile away and chances are you won't have to react because the community usually do it for you.
Here’s the real beauty of the VR gaming community. We are all pushing in the same direction, all benefiting from mass adoption. It is clear that we are naturally protective of those who are trying to drive the technology forward.
To me, this industry has to be one of the most supportive and passionate that I have ever worked in. Kudos to you guys!
My top tip: be wary of how you promote yourself on social channels such as Reddit. Although our community is here in large numbers - the “Contrary Trolls” also tend to set up camp. This particular species will write anything to spark debate or an argument, but again the community will usually gather around you to fight off these creatures.
From my experience, you might love what you are building but being challenged and challenging your progress is a huge part of what will help make your product even more perfect.
Why I love writing about our game
“Why” and “How” is the key of ALL knowledge
If you really want to learn about what makes your game special, try this: every time you play it write about what you have just experienced. After continuous trial, you will start spotting issues or new ideas that you may have missed by not writing, talking or thinking about it.
Sometimes you have to take a step back and take a deep look at where you are in relation to where you originally wanted to be. Writing about your progress can give you a fresh outlook on progress and the future of your build. It also helps to test your ideas on the community just to check if you are still on the right track.
I am almost a VR fitness expert
There are not many of us. “Us” meaning those who spend our days dreaming about the future of the VR fitness gaming industry. So to be fair the bar is not set so high for me. But it's growing, I’m growing, the VR fitness movement is growing and it’s a critical evolution for our community and industry as a whole. I am happy to play my small part.
I am confident that I know enough about the industry and technology to help our little indie-team to grow to become a VR fitness industry leader. Maybe we can help a few others along the way.
A few key elements for writing a VR development blog
Imagine blogs are candles that will ultimately lead the community to your product – the more you write the more you light.
Search engines love blogs
Don’t forget to learn some basics SERP and keyword strategies to help you support search engine awareness too.
Yes, I said it again, it's critical that once you begin -you keep the momentum. Force yourself to make time to write at least once a week. I try to write 3 times a week, although because we are all hands on deck charging towards our game release, sometimes it’s really difficult to make the time. But trust me -make the time, it will pay off.
Plan posts in advance
Try to keep a backup of extra posts, just-in-case something important crops up and takes your mind off writing – as it always does.
Keep a list of blog topics
Ask the team, your community, even friends and relatives and build a list of blog topics which might be interesting for your community and future customer.
Don’t just write - read
Reddit, Twitter, Quora are all excellent ways to find out what your community is interested to hear about. Keep yourself informed and up to date with how the community is moving.
OMG Reddit, I hate you… and I love you. Do your best to limit your social surfing. Focus on what’s important and try to avoid the distraction of those wonderful Reddit “comedy Trolls”.
Build your own website or blog spot
It's super easy and super cheap to create a word-press blog site. Who knows, in the future, you might even become an industry influencer.
Take advantage of industry blogs
Get involved with the communities which allow you to promote your thoughts and ideas. For example, get involved with the HTC VIVE blog team, and help them -help you to push the industry forward.
Try to write about things which will be useful and informative to readers
I love to write about my VR fitness gaming experiences. Sometimes I am guilty of rambling on about the cool features of our game which excite me, but might not set your world on fire.
Most readers will only read your thoughts to find useful information and insights –try to focus on what they need to hear rather than what you want to shout about.
Don’t, don’t, don’t try to make revenue with google pop up ads
Seriously, don’t do it. You will annoy your readers and you won't make any money. Unless you have hundreds and thousands of readers.
Have fun, be passionate, and have a mission
My mission is to grow awareness of VR fitness games. If we sell more games - great! I’d be really happy. If we help VR cross over into the fitness industry – Wow! Our team will have helped to change the world, or at least our little world.
I hope this helps to get the development blog section started. Disclaimer I don’t work for HTC in any way shape or form but I do work for Fit Reality creators of VIROMOVE and Viro.Fit and we are hoping to change the world of fitness with VR fitness games and solutions.