Browsing IndieDB and a few other games sites I have noticed many indie dev folks write very dry and boring articles about their games and development, often bloated with technical details (to be fair, it happens to me too sometimes). Being a dev myself, that doesn't bother me, but most readers will click these articles away after just a few paragraphs or even sentences. I think that's a missed opportunity to grow an audience right there.
So how can you possibly make your articles more attractive?
How do you write an interesting and compelling article?
How do you make people stick around with you longer?
Having read and observed quite a bit about this topic, I have compiled a list that may help achieving this.
- Add all kinds of multimedia content (gifs/videos, pictures) to your article.
If you blog about games, your pictures and gifs you post doesn't necessarily need to be about games. E.g. when talking about making music, you might write: "Don't be like a keyboard cat", followed by the appropriate cat gif and by a set of do's and don't's. You probably notice I've done this above.
- To allow people to quickly skim over your article, divide it into small sections with headlines.
Some people do not want to bother reading everything, just the parts that seem interesting to them (I'm like that, too). You can keep your sections as short as possible by using pictures to split up large texts into smaller chunks that are easier to read.
- Use an interesting format that goes along with your content.
Important statements in bold or as headlines, whitespace and images to create reading pauses, allowing the reader to contemplate what was read. Each time you're writing an article, imagine you're orchestrating a little movie into your reader's heads.
- Use a writing style that includes humor, wit and lyrical means.
For example, make use of metaphors, aliteration, hyperbole, rhetoric... How about adding a witty headline? The possibilities are endless. Feel free to play around and develop your own style.
- Put your own stamp on it, keep it personal and engaging!
Add an interesting story if possible. Tell a tale or anecdote serving as a transition to what you are trying to tell and sell. Tell us how this one bug you discovered yesterday was turned into a feature!
- Less is more, keep it short.
Don't bloat your article with too much technical details. Avoid text walls!Make your audience (including the not so tech-savvy ones) interested for more, so he or she comes back to you. You can, of course, e.g. briefly explain how your game mechanics work, but I suggest creating a separated, more technical article intended for fellow devs and technically interested people.
- Spread your content. Instead of trying to put all of your material into one post, it's often better to make two posts. Firstly, you can market those posts at different times (more people will see it) and also have more articles to spread around on your social networks. Secondly, by disclosing a bit less information readers are likelier to come back to you for more.
Feel free to add your own suggestion in the comments! Feedback is welcome and appreciated!