Getting started in video game journalism can feel like a nightmare at first. It’s difficult, with long hours of work, for no pay. Is it worth it in the end, though? Of course! There’s nothing more satisfying than being picked up by your first website. Today, we’ll be looking at how to get noticed by the video game website you’re applying to join.
This is perhaps the most important thing on this list. Without a strong portfolio, no large website will be willing to look at you as a real candidate for the job. You need to have a variety of samples at least when applying to a smaller website. Larger websites often require a list of your previous experience in the industry, so you’ll need to have worked for at least one smaller website in the past.
Without any experience, no large website or magazine will want to hire you. So make sure you start to build up that experience by keeping track of the articles you post and the websites you work for.
While this isn’t crucial for games journalism, it does help. You don’t need a degree to go into video games journalism, but don’t be surprised if the larger websites request one. It just helps them find people who are serious about writing and journalism. Like we mentioned last week, you need to love writing as much as you love video games.
There are plenty of journalism and English courses you can take online now. Some of these courses will be free, and while they don’t offer much credential, they could be useful in giving you more confidence at the very least. If you’ve never looked at these courses, you definitely should. More confidence and certainty in your own ability as a writer is a must have for applying to websites.
Most gamers would love to work in the games industry full-time, but many lack the enthusiasm. It’s easy to be excited at the start, but when you realize how much work is involved, it’s easy to lose this energy. You need to keep this if you ever want to move up past the website for which you currently work. Staying enthusiastic is a difficult thing because it is still work. It just happens to be incredibly awesome work which deserves your full attention and all the energy you can give it.
When applying for a website or magazine, you need to get your enthusiasm and energy across while still remaining professional. This is no easy task and takes time to master so you may want to practice this. You can do this by writing out test emails to websites but never sending them. Think about what that website would look for in a candidate then craft your email carefully to match those criteria. It just takes practice to do properly, and you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Do you have any other tips for getting noticed as a video game journalist? Let us know!