BLUF (bottom line up front): My enthusiasm to write was born out of my dream to see Planetside 2 become massive. I started out with nothing but random articles I had written which had no home. I kept applying and asking around until I was accepted to write for Gamers Sphere, and eventually MMOGames. Anyone can do it, you don’t have to be a famous writer to get accepted into a position.
I’m not sure how many of you are interested in writing articles for games, but if you are, this might be worth the read. I went from having next to no background in writing, to being accepted as a columnist for a great game news site. I did it through perseverance, and here is how. I’m not telling you this to boast about what I achieved, or dangle a piece of fruit in front of you. I believe in the free flow of information, and coming from an underdog, there is no reason why I should hide what I accomplished to stop anyone from achieving something they desire as well. In fact, I invite you to build off of my success however you can…
In January of 2013, I was sufficiently frustrated that Planetside 2 (PS2) was not as wildly popular as I had hoped it would be. I thought the game was the coolest thing in the world. So I wrote out a random article promoting it, titled “One Game to Rule Them All”. The catch was, I didn’t have a place to publish the article, save for a creating a personal blog. I was brand new to Reddit (you might have called me a nubbit), and had next to no idea how truly powerful Reddit was. I was insistent on applying and getting accepted as a writer for a game news site so that I could publish my articles. The first place I went to was theMittani. One the other PS2 players, kidRiot, was writing for them, and he got me their contact info. However, theMittani was going through some troubles with their editor, and they never got back to me…
I started emailing well-known game sites: Joystiq, Polygon, MMORPG, MMO Games, GamesRadar, IGN, GameSpot, RockPaperShotgun, PC Gamer, Panny Arcade, and 1UP. No one got back to me. So from there, I started searching for lesser known sites and applying to them however possible, using my first article as an example of my work. My motivation was not money, it was to just find a home while I started accumulating more and more unpublished opinion pieces I had written. So when I applied, I made it clear that I was a volunteer writer, looking for a home to publish articles.
I asked the Planetside 2 reddit for some help, and someone pointed me to WhatCulture. I applied to WhatCulture, and was accepted. However, things did not work out at all, and I left that site thoroughly confused. I want to take a second to note something. I made a post in /r/GamingSuggestions, and got a surprising amount of resistance to what I was trying to do. Let me make it clear for those of you still reading. Do not accept, from anyone, the notion that you should not or cannot do something. There is enough room in this world for all of us. There will be plenty of naysayers who won’t believe in what you are doing, probably because they don’t believe in anything they are doing themselves. If you don’t have any inclination of getting paid, then go for it. Don’t let some hack tell you that you’re destroying the world in the process.
It was then that I stumbled upon GamersSphere.com, and got accepted within 4 hours of initiating contact. The owner, John, was very personable and understanding of what I wanted to do. I published my first article on his site, and then started posting my articles one by one. It was great. John lets you write your own way, on your own schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed writing for him. His news site is still getting off the ground, so there is no payment for writers.
After a couple months with GamersSphere, MMOGames.com contacted me, asking if I would consider writing for them. MMOGames was one of the sites I had applied when I first started looking for homes, and they were just getting to my email. This news site had a policy of paying its writers. That’s great and all, but to me, getting paid was secondary to flexibility and good editors. Turns out, MMOGames had just a great of team as GamersSphere did, and still let me write exclusively about PS2. So I decided to start writing articles for MMOGames, while still posting articles for GamersSphere. Eventually, I published articles less frequently on GamersSphere, and John put me on inactive status.
MMOGames turned out to be an excellent choice as well; the team is really easy to work with. There were some quirks I had to get used to in the beginning, but it was very comparable to what I was used to when writing for GamersSphere.
If you are in the position I was when I first started writing; with articles and no place to publish, I’d recommend you contact one of the two game sites I mentioned above. GamersSphere is run by John Heatz. He is an awesome person, and very passionate about what he does. Choose this news site if you want maximum flexibility on what to write and when. Please be aware that you write for free. You can join the team by going to this link here. MMOGames is run by a whole team. They also are very passionate about what they do, and the team dynamic is very strong. Choose this news site if you want to focus primarily on MMOs, and you want to be compensated for your articles. They have a more established way to write, but their editors are easy to work with and have an open mind if you want to try something out. You can join the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
So here it is. Just an account of how an amateur writer came to publish articles for a game news site. It took a lot of perseverance to find the site that was checking their email the most. Just remember, there are going to be a ton of people who will put you down, tell you that you can’t do it, or tell you that it’ll never work. Believe me when I say this; ignore them. Keep on keepin’ on. Every writer was a beginner at some point. You don’t have to be J.K. Rowling to land a columnist position. I’m telling you this with the hope that if you want to do the same thing, now you know one way to do it. I wish you the best of luck.