Last week I talked about reaching out to board game reviewers. There are tons of reasons to get your board game reviewed, but they mostly coalesce into these two categories: proving you’re good and getting seen. Reviews are great because they provide your board game with coverage in board game-related media. Yet you’re not merely at the mercy of what reviewers think of you. You have the ability to reach out and get heard. It’s not nearly as hard as you might think, either. In fact, in many ways, getting featured on blogs and podcasts is easier than convincing people to review your board game.
There is nothing more beautiful to an online creator’s ears than “I want to help you create content for free.” If you can write articles or interview well, that will be massive asset to you when you’re gearing up for a product launch. You will open so many doors by volunteering to write guest posts or offering to do interviews. The exposure you will get will be really beneficial as well.
Much like getting your game reviewed, there is a strategy to reaching out to relevant bloggers and podcasters. You need to do your research, finding blogs, podcasts, streamers, and other online creators with audiences. Don’t be a snob about audience size, either – when you’re getting started, offer to help out anywhere you can. You would be shocked at how much a small community can rally around a guest they enjoyed. In fact, I contribute much of the success of the War Co. Kickstarter campaign to the Twitch community of Retsy Reiver, whose audience is super tight-knit.
With board game reviews, you want to cast a wide net to reach out to a lot of different people who read different sites. With blogs and podcasts, it’s a little different. It definitely helps to cast a wide net, but unlike with reviews, overlapping audiences isn’t something you have to avoid. In fact, it can be very good to be seen by the same people more than once. There is an old marketing adage that people need to see a message 4-7 times to take action. That works for your name, too. If people see “Brandon Rollins” or “Highways & Byways” in five or six different places online, they start saying “who is this guy, what’s this game, what’s he all about?”
Reach out to big and small communities. I cannot emphasize this enough. A single interview or guest post on a big site can get you a lot of attention, but several interviews and guest posts scattered across smaller sites can have a big cumulative effect too. Not only will a large variety of people see you if you are featured on several smaller sites, but people on those sites are more likely to take action. It’s a bit like the bystander effect – when there are fewer people on the site, more people take initiative based on what the site says because they care enough to pay attention to this small site in the first place. I say this without even getting into wonkier stuff like the fact that being featured on several sites generates backlinks and can bump you up higher in Google searches. Rest assured that the Internet operates on a sort of algorithmic karma that rewards your generosity.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to creators outside of board gaming. With reviews, you have to be really careful who you contact, since you are sending a physical product with monetary value. With blogs and podcasts, that’s not the case. You want to spend the majority of your time talking to people who run board game blogs and podcasts, but don’t be afraid to reach out to people who have shows about other things that interest you. One example from my own experiences was my collaboration with Decipher Sci-Fi, a podcast about analyzing science fiction movies. I had a lot of fun with them and I’m about to guest star in my third episode and I’m looking forward to it! I’ve even picked up a few sales through them. Remember: not everybody who would buy a board game spends their time reading blogs or listening to podcasts explicitly about board gaming.
Much like I advised last week, social media can be an incredible tool for reaching out to people you would like to work with. You can put out a general offer to collaborate, like what I’ve got below…
To spread the word about Byways, I’m helping others make stuff. Reply if you want…
1. A guest post or interview for your blog.
2. A guest for your podcast.
3. Someone to livestream a game with.
This offer is open to even the smallest and newest sites 🙂
— Brandon (Byways) (@BywaysGame) January 17, 2018
…or you can start sending messages directly on Twitter or Facebook saying, “would you be interested in a guest post / doing an interview / doing a podcast together?” As long as you’re polite and you’re offering to help, the odds of getting a response are pretty high. For some of the bigger folks, you may want to send an actual formal email. I’ll be honest, though, I’ve yet to actually have to use email to reach out to a podcaster, blogger, streamer, or anyone else like that. Most of them are promoting their work on a social media channel of some sort, meaning they will probably see your message.
Have you ever done a guest post? How about getting featured on a podcast? Share your experiences and questions below, I look forward to reading them 🙂
Most Important Highways & Byways Updates
- Highways & Byways is still being reviewed. All the copies are sent.
- I’m continuing to write guest posts and interview for podcasts – I’ve got a lot lined up!
- I’m about to go on vacation, but keep an eye on my social media. I have a very special surprise lined up 🙂