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Thread: Detailed planning help: Is this a good idea so far?

  1. #1
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    Default Detailed planning help: Is this a good idea so far?

    So I won't go into detail with the entire plan (Because I could start ranting), but basically a buddy and I are going to start up a review website. We have a lot of the financial details worked out, such as website hosting costs, hardware costs etc etc, but we of course do still have lots we need worked out.

    The Idea - A review site focused on reviewing co-op games, with ties in animal charity. Donations, contests, affiliate marketing and advertisements that all go toward animal charities, with some more detailed options such as choosing a specific charity when they donate.

    Target Audience - Anyone of any age who plays games! We will be reviewing co-op PC and Console games, and I will also have a section where my 9 year old nephew reviews kids games. Kids love watching kids right? I thought it was a good idea, and he already really wants to make videos!

    The Income Sources - Youtube views, Advertising, Affiliate links to games being reviewed if they enjoy the sound of the product, Brand Marketing such as shirts featuring our logo, Personal Donations (See donations in the next section).

    Where Donations Will Go - We plan to have several different options when you donate on our site. First off you can donate directly to us to help our website stay afloat. And then the main focus will be donations toward animal charities. We will have multiple charities they can select when they donate, and a "custom" option where they can donate toward a local shelter if they so wish.

    Contests - Our contests will feature of course gaming items, ranging from console games, to PC games, to PC hardware such as video cards. We will have larger prizes depending on the popularity of the site, hopefully even to the point to where we can give out entire consoles as prizes say once a month. Contests will be funded by entries, and entries will cost a certain amount of money per entry. We are not sure just yet, but we are thinking $1 per 1 entry, which feels fair. The majority of the entry funds will go toward animal charities, and another portion will go into our prize fund (To purchase more and better prizes for next contests!).

    So that's a basic run-down of the idea so far, and there is a lot more info I could include but this is a basic idea. We are not ready for a website yet, and sadly we will need a bit of funding to get started to cover some hardware costs. So what I had planned was to create some social media sites for our idea, facebook twitter etc, and see how much feedback we get. If we can develop a good audience, we will then create a campaign on a crowdsourcing site, asking for some help with funds to get us started.

    Basically that's the whole idea, and I am open to criticism and ideas!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Looks like you've been doing a lot of planning. Cool. In terms of making it easier to get traffic and with all the gaming review sites out there have you ever considered making this more of a niche site and reviewing certain kinds of games? For example, choosing role-playing games instead of just games.

    I think YouTube is a great avenue for this kind of site. You can even host live events where you demo different games. I've seen a lot of people do that on YouTube and it goes over very well.... especially when you choose games that first launch. People are always searching for "[insert game here] demo". So video could be very big in building traffic.

    Welcome to WB by the way.

  3. #3
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    I think it's a good idea, although I do know the gaming niche is a bit difficult to compete in (at least with my experiences).

    One idea I know you could do to attract potential visitors is livestream games on a streaming service such as Twitch.tv. Perhaps, since you're doing co-op games, you could even invite members of your audience to play along with you. I've found that gamers tend to be quite loyal to their favorite websites and brands, so if you could focus on the community aspect, maybe they'll become loyal to you.

    Best of luck!
    I have an addiction to starting projects. Therefore, it's not worth listing a site here, because I'll probably be focusing on a different one next week!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the welcome and input! We had actually already planned on livestreaming on twitch. Streaming will be separate from reviews though. We will be reviewing games in youtube vids and on our site, but we will be playing single player games, mmorpgs and whatever else when live streaming. Reviews will all be done via youtube videos though, and probably some text on the page covering key features and things we covered in the video. I do know that there is a big market for this type of thing, and I know of several great reviewers and streamers (Such as AngryJoe) who make a living off this, but the big key difference here is this: We will be focusing on Co-op stuff! While they do review games with co-op, they don't typically cover the co-op section of the game. My friend is also very big on RPGs, so he plans on having a walkthrough section on the site giving detailed walkthroughs and guides written by him.

    I like the idea of playing with them, but it will be very difficult playing a small co-op game with viewers. It would be hard to select 1-3 people to play a game with, while other fans sit by and watch, but a solution to that is larger scale games, such as shooters and mmorpgs. I could possibly have in game clans and guilds, which could then spread via word of mouth in game!

  5. #5
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    So while we do have a very big problem still, the name of our little duo/site, another thing really concerns me. The funding. We had planned on going to a crowdsourcing site, just to help us get started of course, but I just worry some people won't see the big picture of what we are doing. Someone told me this whole idea with the animal charity work sounds like a gimmick, but I told them no, the gaming is the gimmick, and I think that made them feel better about it. It would be awful to get started where people have that mindset. A first impression is a lasting one! How could I go about making certain that people know we are honest? Could I offer to release all our financials when we get running, showing in detail where all the money is going? I am hoping to get these kinds of issues resolved before we get started, because I would hate for something so silly to bring us down, so I am looking for some feedback.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimsilver View Post
    So I won't go into detail with the entire plan (Because I could start ranting), but basically a buddy and I are going to start up a review website. We have a lot of the financial details worked out, such as website hosting costs, hardware costs etc etc, but we of course do still have lots we need worked out.
    You're looking at this as a business and not as a casual afterthought. This is a good sign. Most people are flippant toward a website and think they can offload the logistical side of things on the web designer. I design websites full time for clients and it stuns me how bad at business they are. Like REALLY bad. I don't work with those people yet you clearly have a grasp of what you want to achieve.

    The Idea - A review site focused on reviewing co-op games, with ties in animal charity. Donations, contests, affiliate marketing and advertisements that all go toward animal charities, with some more detailed options such as choosing a specific charity when they donate.
    So your primary focus is reviewing co-op games. Can you elaborate a little more on "co op games"?

    Target Audience - Anyone of any age who plays games! We will be reviewing co-op PC and Console games, and I will also have a section where my 9 year old nephew reviews kids games. Kids love watching kids right? I thought it was a good idea, and he already really wants to make videos!
    I suggest you narrow down your audience here because it is going to make your logo design much easier when you know what you're ideal audience looks like, how old they are, what they like/dislke etc.

    The idea of getting kids involved in the site suggests to me you have a pretty good angle here. Perhaps you could look at 10 - 16 year olds as a possible target audience. Bear in mind a younger audience might have less money to spend and would not necessarily buy products through your affiliate banners.

    If your nephew is enthusiastic about videos and he really wants to do this, do it! You can become a YouTube partner and monetise videos with the YouTube Partner program. Also, break all your videos into 15 minute sections so there are more parts to each video game series.

    The Income Sources - YouTube views, Advertising, Affiliate links to games being reviewed if they enjoy the sound of the product, Brand Marketing such as shirts featuring our logo, Personal Donations (See donations in the next section).
    The personal donations I'm not so sure about. That suggests you're holding your hand out like a beggar. YouTube is going to be a large component of this site. Some gamers have built massive incomes all off the back of YouTube. I kow so because I watch The RadBrad on YouTube. I do not play video games myself anymore (I stopped when I was about 20) but I like to dip into the video game world on occasion to see what's going on. And of course to study YouTube itself.

    But I think it's vital you get a website and develop lots of related web properties. Never build a house on rented land (and YouTube IS rented).

    You can always use Vimeo as well as YouTube.

    Where Donations Will Go - We plan to have several different options when you donate on our site. First off you can donate directly to us to help our website stay afloat. And then the main focus will be donations toward animal charities. We will have multiple charities they can select when they donate, and a "custom" option where they can donate toward a local shelter if they so wish.
    I rarely hear any success stories about asking for donation. I could be wrong and I'd like to know if I am

    Contests - Our contests will feature of course gaming items, ranging from console games, to PC games, to PC hardware such as video cards. We will have larger prizes depending on the popularity of the site, hopefully even to the point to where we can give out entire consoles as prizes say once a month. Contests will be funded by entries, and entries will cost a certain amount of money per entry. We are not sure just yet, but we are thinking $1 per 1 entry, which feels fair. The majority of the entry funds will go toward animal charities, and another portion will go into our prize fund (To purchase more and better prizes for next contests!).
    Start off with cheap games, joypads, branded mouse mats, wireless keyboards. The RadBrad on YouTube makes money by reviewing pre releases and then giving away a few copies (and I do mean a few - like 3 copies)

    So that's a basic run-down of the idea so far, and there is a lot more info I could include but this is a basic idea. We are not ready for a website yet, and sadly we will need a bit of funding to get started to cover some hardware costs. So what I had planned was to create some social media sites for our idea, facebook twitter etc, and see how much feedback we get. If we can develop a good audience, we will then create a campaign on a crowdsourcing site, asking for some help with funds to get us started.
    If I were you, I would get started on YouTube. It is easy and free to do so and you can test out various approaches. You can always delete videos that perform poorly.. Just get some sort of test going. Usually when people plan, that's ALL they do. Often when all is said and done, more has been said than done. Get cracking, I say.

    Basically that's the whole idea, and I am open to criticism and ideas!

    Thanks!
    And you're still looking for logo ideas... There's a useful YouTube channel I subscribe to here http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ1bJCL0Iug1t2ZFt8xJMVQ

  7. #7
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    The Co-op games will be virtually any PC game (For starters, a bit later covering console games when we can afford it) that has a co-op mode. I like to use Steam for locating new Co-op games, if you follow this link it can basically give you a list. http://store.steampowered.com/search...der=ASC&page=1
    I did plan on playing anything, so some games may be rated Mature, so that brings me to the next question.

    I did plan on having a few different sections on the site, one for my reviews, one for my nephews reviews, and one for a good friend of mine doing their own reviews, but for now lets just say my nephew and I. I was planning on focusing on teens and young adults, since as I stated earlier, some games may be rated Mature, and some will be rated Teen. So I guess that would be my target audience. My nephew on the other hand, he is only 9 years old. He will be playing games more for his age, with the occasional Teen games, so his target will be a younger audience, ranging all the way into early teens possibly.

    I do agree on the donations, but they will be tasteful. I won't have a "Please donate to me" ad at the end of every video or anything. There won't be ads on the page linking to donations etc etc. And I probably won't be using a direct "To me" donation button. I will probably use CentUp. If you are unaware of CentUp, it is basically a donation button you can put on your page, and if say someone donates $20 using the button, the money is automatically split, between me and a charity, $10 to me and $10 to a charity.

    The donations for animal charities and such will not be tied in with the main focus of the site, and it will not even be part of this particular site. The big plan is to have a separate charity site, linked to my other sites (The first site being this Co-Op review site). The audience who comes to my site will not have to deal with plastered "Donate to help" ads or "Donate now" posts all over the place. It will remain 100% focused on it's niche, but if they dig through the site, they can find a link to the charity site.

    I will indeed start of with cheaper prizes (Unless some big company decides they want to throw me something to give away right from the start, fat chance but who knows!), but I will always have some type of contest rolling. I feel like it's important for a few things, number one being to make my audience happy! And number two, it helps attract a larger audience.

    I do plan on getting started with YouTube, when I can. Right now, my computer is hardly strong enough to run a game on it's own, let alone record while doing so, and while I could probably pull off some 240p quality videos, I don't want to start off weak. I don't want my first impression to be "That guy reviewing Co-Op games on a video quality from 2003" or something lol. I need to get a decent computer built again, and I know what all parts I need, I just need to get the money to afford it!

    Also just one more thing, regarding the charity work. It's something I need to do, it's something I want to do, and it's something that I plan on sticking with no matter what I do. If I own 10 successful business down the road in a few years, then you can bet they will all have a portion of the funds going toward animal charities. I know I could make more money not using something like this, but it's not really an option!
    Last edited by Grimsilver; 03-22-2014 at 10:11 AM.

  8. #8

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    Keep in mind that you'll be competing with IGN, Mmohut, Gamespot, G4TV, and the list goes on and on. The idea is great but it's going to be hard to get any traffic when there are already huge companies in your niche. Coop can also translate to MMO, since most MMOs have some form of coop mode in them.

    If I were you I would hold off and start off with Youtube first when you can get a good camera. It's a lot easier to rank with Youtube videos, and I know of a lot of successful gamers/game reviewers that are famous on Youtube because of their personal reviews.

    That brings me to another point: keep your reviews personal. As a gamer myself I don't want to watch a game review from a corporate company that may or may not have been paid to give a glowing review - I want to see an obviously biased game review from a gamer that has his own strong opinions. I want to see him rant about what he hates about a game, and what he likes about a game, all in his bedroom because I can relate to that person.

    Today, it's all about faces, not logos.

    Just something to think about.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    Keep in mind that you'll be competing with IGN, Mmohut, Gamespot, G4TV, and the list goes on and on. The idea is great but it's going to be hard to get any traffic when there are already huge companies in your niche. Coop can also translate to MMO, since most MMOs have some form of coop mode in them.

    If I were you I would hold off and start off with Youtube first when you can get a good camera. It's a lot easier to rank with Youtube videos, and I know of a lot of successful gamers/game reviewers that are famous on Youtube because of their personal reviews.

    That brings me to another point: keep your reviews personal. As a gamer myself I don't want to watch a game review from a corporate company that may or may not have been paid to give a glowing review - I want to see an obviously biased game review from a gamer that has his own strong opinions. I want to see him rant about what he hates about a game, and what he likes about a game, all in his bedroom because I can relate to that person.

    Today, it's all about faces, not logos.

    Just something to think about.
    Oh I absolutely agree, and I know I would have a lot of competition there, but you just pointed out the key difference in your own post! Those companies give "corporate" reviews, biased views possibly impacted by funds from the game they may review. I would always keep my reviews honest. I would always focus on what I feel is the good, the bad, and the terrible. I would be blunt and honest on all of them. Sure they may look up Such and Such Game Review, and they may go to IGN, but when they see the artificial feel and generic review, talking about how the game is amazing on ALL aspects, no downsides, buy it now buy buy buy! But then they will look for a real review, and when they find mine, they will get that!

  10. #10
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    Good luck. The game niche is very difficult to get into. Developing authority will be especially difficult as there are so many review websites out there. Most dedicated to specific genres, subgenres, consoles or platforms. I don't think your niche is focused enough, nor, you audience.

    One of the most successful startups in this area, who did a ton of YouTube, was the Angry Video Game Nerd. He reviews (and parodies) retro console games. His community raised six-figures so he could make a feature length independent movie.
    He got so big he has even been interviewed on G4TV etc. But he has his audience and niche well defined.

    I don't understand the animal charity thing either. I think this is a nice gesture but it doesn't fit your Niche. If you were to say you were doing a Niche on Animal Games, like Zoo Tycoon and Farmville, I would totally get it. Seems a little odd to me.

  11. #11
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    Agree with STB. The charity component does seem odd. You can donate to charities privately - you don't have to publicly advertise you are doing a good deed. If you're intentions are good and you want to do it, charity does not necessarily need to be made public through your site.

  12. #12
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    Write a good, detailed review with some images and that should hold the attention of the visitor. If you offer a bonus as well it will result in a high conversion.

  13. #13
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    I was thinking the same thing as Darren about it not being necessary to announce your donations. It also made me wonder if you are a game review business or a charity donation organization. Being so incredibly new to this, I wonder if other people would think the same. For me, my interest is sustainable/green living and free energy. There is, now, HUGE competition in this area along with many many DIYers. So, I have to ask myself what are my motives for diving into such a competitive area. My goal is not to conquer the green living sector but to band with them in my own creative way (at least until I get more experience) in hopes to make people more willing to live green. You Tube is really not much different then blogging in the sense that if people like what you're doing they're gone give ya that thumbs up and then you're viral! People like Angry Video Game Nerd won't be able to help but to notice you. What a great start for a gamer relationship which leads to the trust and loyalty you're looking for. I say get creative with how you present your game reviews. I mean, really, just go crazy! It seems to me, nowadays, people don't mind a wee-bit of crazy.

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