Gaming Website Case Study

I used to play video games as a kid. I started with the original NES when I was about 6 years old. I remember opening the original Legend of Zelda game on Christmas morning and the cartridge being completely gold in color. Then turning it on for the first time and hearing the Hyrule music that would live on for decades in my generation’s memories.

As I got older I had less and less time for video games until eventually in my early 20s I pretty much stopped playing them altogether. There was a brief spell in my late 20s where I tried to get back into playing, but it didn’t stick. Now I haven’t really played much in about 10 years.

Ever since I started my business and started working from home everyday, I’ve found myself with a little extra time for a hobby. This is partly because I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to outsource most of the writing for my blogs.

That leaves me with a lot more time on my hands. Most of that time is spent coming up with the next strategy for one of my sites, keyword research, or editing the content I get back from writers.

Some of that time though I just like to get up and walk around, maybe even take an hour break in the middle of the day to clear my head before I get back to work.

Where I’m going with this is that I’ve decided to get back into gaming on a very limited basis. I was even able to snag a PS5 and a game I thought looked cool.

Gaming niche

I’m constantly looking for lucrative niches and untapped keywords, it’s part of my livelihood. Once my brain started getting a little bit excited about the prospect of a shiny new PS5, I obviously also started doing keyword research in the gaming niche.

The gaming niche is pretty competitive, there are tons of BIG sites in this space. I’ve never done a minute of keyword research in the gaming niche, but I figured this would be the case.

But there’s still low-hanging fruit and there’s also a ton of traffic to be had. There are plenty of drawbacks to this niche, but also some positives that I see as well.

Cons to gaming niche

  • Most topics won’t be evergreen
  • Ad RPMs are going to be much lower than other niches
  • Plenty of competition

Pros to gaming niche

  • High volume traffic
  • Tons of low hanging fruit
  • You can jump on trends and get large, but short term traffic spikes

So as you can see, I actually evaluated the niche a little bit to see if it was viable for me and my publishing style. I am actually still on the fence about it, and even think that maybe it will end up being a waste of time. But…. I went ahead and created a site anyway.

The site

Domain

I chose a broad domain, think “[Insert Word] Gaming”. For now I’m posting about 1 or 2 topics that are trending in the world of gaming, but I’ve left myself room to expand in the off-chance that this experiment takes off.

Tech

It’s a simple WordPress site built with the GeneratePress Premium theme, almost at default settings. I usually tweak just a few things. It takes me less than 2 hours to go from registering a domain to having a fully-functioning blog with a halfway-decent logo that’s ready for content. I don’t waste time here, I have to start writing before I lose the motivation to.

Content

The blog is currently sitting with 6 published posts. They’re all super short between 500 and 800 words, this is on purpose. I’m answering specific questions that are trending, that last part is important.

Because the gaming niche consists of technology that for the most part has a shelf-life, I’m sticking to trending and popular topics only. This way I can pick at the long-tail keywords that no other sites are covering, and get early traffic.

Results so far

This site has only been live for about 2 weeks. I wrote one article the first day, another the second, and I’ve written a few more since then. With only 6 thin article you obviously can’t expect anything significant, but the results so far have been interesting.

Google Search Console

This site started getting clicks and impressions in GSC within 24 hours. I’ve never seen it happen that fast in my life. I usually don’t expect any data at all to show up here for 2 weeks if I’m lucky. I have sites that are months old with 10x the content, targeting what I thought were pretty low-competition keywords not doing this well yet.

Take a look at the sites 6, 7, and 8 case study. You can see how they’re doing compared to this one. The topics I’m covering don’t even require you to be a knowledgeable in the gaming niche. It’s intriguing for sure.

Google Analytics

With similar growth to the above screenshot, GA shows this site getting traffic from day one. Almost all of the traffic is going to the Day 1 post, so it’s possible I just struck gold with that one.

However, I have been examining the topic, the title, and the post itself to see if I think I can reproduce it. Just being honest with myself, this isn’t a niche I’m very excited about in terms of owning an income niche website. On the other hand, I could build it up and then sell it.

Rankings in Google

As I mentioned, I’ve published just 6 articles to the site. I’m ranking somewhere in the top 100 for 3 of them, I don’t think the other 3 are indexed yet. Which is totally normal for a 2 week old site!

This top one though is ranked #2 for a pretty popular search at the moment. It’s showing a 0 search volume which is obviously very wrong. The 2.7k impressions and almost all of the clicks I have in the GSC screenshot above are all variations of this keyword.

The #1 result is a Reddit post so I’m hoping that if and when I overtake that post the traffic will get turned up another notch.


Plans for the site

I have no idea what I’ll do with this site right now. I didn’t need to start another site to begin with, but I like watching growth. Most of my other sites are pretty boring at this time of year and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The gaming niche is definitely out of my comfort zone, and I may regret building just another site to worry about. Or maybe it ends up doing really well and becomes an asset.

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