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Rant/Discussion: Advertising Hell

Allow me to explain what this article is about, because the title may or may not have confused you. This is slightly a rant and more so a discussion about how advertising works. For my website I have been advertising a lot, and it’s either a hell or a major success. I would like to elaborate however, that while I do advertise quite a lot, it is not necessarily for popularity sake. While I would love to see my website getting visited by tons of people, with my current fulltime job and activity I wouldn’t be able to please everyone anyways. When I advertise, I want to meet new people and have meaningful discussions about the games I’ve covered or am going to cover. And actually, this has happened pretty frequently. I have met some awesome followers here on WordPress, as well as on several other places. Today I want to focus on the frustrating part of advertising, as well as make some space for discussion.

Social Media is for me the most reliable way to advertise my articles. I use both Facebook and Twitter, and especially the latter makes it easy with hashtags. Both also have a way to get your posts reached to a bigger audience with actual money which I haven’t really tried out and probably won’t for a while, at least until I found a benefitting situation. A new game release for example with an article that’s conveniently released around the same time. Though I don’t really like to bother people, it’s also easy to tag the creators and publishers of a game who may or may not share the tweet. On Facebook I have come across a few struggles however, and this mainly applies to Facebook Groups. What I initially thought to be an easy solution to where I could share my articles and discuss with people at the same time has proven quite troublesome. I have joined many groups, several of which are dedicated to my favourite franchises so I probably would have joined them one way or another. However, admins of these groups have a certain phobia against website articles. They’re either instantly deleted, or they have to be approved first and are ultimately never approved. I can understand it since it counts as promotion, and I can imagine groups being flooded with them, but the admins have never even bothered to contact me about it. I was even instantaneously banned in some groups, even though I was active with commenting on other people their posts. I have tested this out in a Facebook group called Gamology – The Best of Gaming : Expert’s Corner, where I kept sharing my article to the group six times (I know, I’m a cunt) after every rejection. They just kept disapproving of the post and never contacted me to inform me about the rules. Actually.. what rules? This is foreshadowing, which I will come back to after the next paragraph.

Next up would be Steam. Steam is also a very good platform to advertise my reviews on, as I can make reviews on both my main gaming account, as well as my Curator group. After ten reviews have been made, they should show up on the main store pages. Steam is a good platform to share my reviews, and which might actually be where most of my traffic comes from. For other articles well.. A few days ago I shared my Top 5 Favourite Hollow Knight Boss Battles on the discussions section of that game. I made a short post with of course the link to my article, and got quite a lot of responses! There was even this guy who made three paragraphs on his favourite Hollow Knight boss and I just loved reading it. I was actually considering befriending the guy but you know, life ain’t that easy. Not too long after, the Steam forum admins removed the post and gave me a warning. Not one that would affect my account fortunately, at least not if I stopped breaking ‘’the rules’’. I was so pissed after seeing this, because not only did they remove the post; they removed a post that had an actual interesting discussion going. They could have at least deleted the link and carried on but nope!

This is actually where my main point comes in: What is advertisement? It’s an answer obvious to most people but just in case, I grabbed this definition from the Cambridge Dictionary which states: ‘’advert a picture, short film, song, etc. that tries to persuade people to buy a product or service, or a piece of text that tells people about a job, etc.:’’ It is true that with my advertisements, I can potentially influence people to buy a product. So in that regard yes, I am indeed following the definition of advertising. However, and this is an actual question that has been bothering me for a serious while: if my articles count as advertisements, then what about videos and livestreams? Everywhere in the beforementioned places (Facebook Groups, Steam and more), Youtube videos and livestreams were allowed and posted without any problem, and getting discussions more frequently. Why is it that those forms of media are allowed, yet website articles aren’t?

Which brings me to my second point, and this probably is really petty but I’ll mention it regardless. On Facebook and especially Steam, articles from the bigger gaming websites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun and PC Gamer are also allowed. Isn’t this, y’know, Advertising? You could make the argument that their articles are published because they make news about the games but no. No that is not the only case. Articles that have nothing to do with news, like reviews and miscellaneous articles also get published. And I get it, they’re the big guns. Of course their articles would be promoted because unlike me, they’re the actual professionals. But at the same time, why are their advertisements allowed—which do definitely convince people to purchase a product—while mine aren’t?

This has been a topic that has frustrated and sometimes even infuriated me throughout the past few months, and I felt the need to get it off my chest. Don’t worry, nothing will change to me or the website. But I would like to use this opportunity to open space for discussions. Maybe I’m being super whiny and should shut my mouth, or do you actually agree with me? Or perhaps you saw some errors in my thinking and would like to correct them? No opinion is wrong, and all discussions are greatly appreciated. So for today, these are the main topics:

  1. Why are Youtube videos and livestreams allowed to be advertised, yet website articles aren’t while they serve the same purpose in the end?
  2. Why can the bigger gaming websites publish their (advertising) articles on sites or services where it is clearly stated that advertising is prohibited, yet I can’t?
  3. Are there other advertising methods you would recommend to me or fellow bloggers?

I hope you enjoyed reading this small rant/discussion. It feels good for me to talk more with you readers, but of course if you weren’t a fan of this rant, feel free to tell me!

2 thoughts on “Rant/Discussion: Advertising Hell”

  1. Until very recently I never bothered to promote my site, and all I’m really doing now is a Twitter feed, and I’m probably not even doing that right. However, I can completely believe everything you’re saying. Self-promotion is taboo pretty much everywhere, but naturally that rule does not apply to already established players. It seems like trying to get more exposure comes down to playing tricks with SEO. If I were trying to make money off of my site by running ads, I’d study up on SEO, but as it is I don’t really care because like you, I have a full-time job. I get the desire to increase your writing’s visibility, though.


    1. Precisely, I feel like the only way to actually get your site wellknown is through SEO or having connections with the established players, but I feel like that’s too much for a side hobby to do. Most we can rely on is word of mouth and the little self-promotion that is allowed. Fortunately like you said, we both have a full-time job so while there is a desire to get more publicly known, it’s not of utter importance.

      Liked by 1 person

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