Since starting up in May, Gaming Bus has steadily grown. What started out with our Dynasty Warrior 7 review has become a site with daily content and some of the best features on the Internet. As we continue to grow, we’re looking to expand our staff of writers so we can bring our brand of coverage to a wider audience and give readers an alternative to the click-driven larger sites out there.
How is Gaming Bus different?
We’re different because I frankly don’t give a shit about hit counts. Don’t get me wrong: they’re nice to have, and they pay for the server. But whereas a lot of sites base their business models around search engine optimization and wringing hit counts out of everything — from short, crappy articles to pandering to companies who treat them as their extended PR firms — we don’t do that. We only care about one thing: quality posting. My goal is to build a site with a dedicated readership that trusts us. If we get a lot of hits, great, but I’m not going to compromise our goals to bring in numbers. The game journalism industry is shit; I want to be the diamond in the rough.
Sounds great! So how much do you pay?
Writing for Gaming Bus is a volunteer position. Though I do pay my top lieutenants, it’s a piddling rate. And even then, they’ve made more money out of this than I have.
So… what do I get out of this?
I’m not going to feed you the bullshit you get EXPOSURE line. Running your own blog does that almost as well, and honestly, most people who use that line are just using their writers for their own gains.
What I will give you is a careful eye watching over your work. I’ve been writing about video games since 2001, went semi-professional in 2006, and went professional in 2009. I know what quality is, and I’m willing to work with new writers looking to get their break in terms of making their own work quality. I hired an editor specifically for the purpose of checking our work; not even my work goes up without slipping by her eyes, so take heart that you will receive constructive feedback on what you submit.
We do sometimes get games for review, but considering that I have absolutely no intention of being an extension of AAA publishers’ PR firms, don’t expect many big-name games for free. It’s not our priority, but if you come on, you can expect free stuff. If you attend a convention or otherwise expend money to get into something selective, as long as you give me an exclusive story about it, I comp the payment for that as well. For example, one of my writers is getting his virtual Blizzcon ticket for free.
Sounds good! What do I need?
First, you need to have some writing ability. Simply put, you need strong English writing skills. I don’t care if you’re technically trained — I’m not — but you need to be able to at least put your thoughts down coherently into words that people will want to read.
Secondly, you obviously need to have a strong interest in the games industry. Not just the games, the industry. I don’t necessarily want people who think, “New game, yay!” so much as I want people who think, “New game made by this company who’s done this and that in the past, yay!” I want people who can think beyond what they see on store shelves.
Lastly, I need people who are willing to write content daily or semi-daily. This is crucial, as a large part of what I want to do is have up-to-date content appearing every day instead of just the odd review here and there.
Awesome! I— wait, daily content?
Here’s what I’m specifically looking for in a writer:
* The ability and willingness to write an average of a couple of news posts a day is a must. When I say that, I don’t mean I want two posts a day because we all have other things going on in life. What I do mean is that I need at least something on most days. Since this is volunteer, I’m not going to hold anyone’s feet to the fire, but I’m not going to bring on someone who posts only occasionally.
* I also need to make this clear: when I say news, I mean news. A lot of what you see from most sites is not news, it’s crap. Posting screenshot galleries, video trailers, rumours, and people talking about their own games is not news and I’m not interested in it. I want actual news. An example of the difference: I’d allow a post about announced DLC for Duke Nukem Forever, but not something where Randy Pitchfords is talking about DNF. The former is something relevant; the latter is just Randy Pitchford spouting off.
* In terms of features, I’m pretty open. I like editorial pieces and don’t mind if they go outside the box. In fact, that’s preferable. As long as it’s written well, I’m happy. For an example, check out Crystal Steltenpohl’s pieces on gaming addiction.
* For reviews, PC reviewers are at a premium because we tend to receive most of our games from indies, but a person with a good PC box is definitely someone I’ll be looking at. Outside of that, we’ll take anything, though we have a lot of guys with Nintendo systems already.
* Finally, location doesn’t matter one bit, but if you live close to New York or in California, you’re at an advantage because most events happen in those locations. Remember, if I send you to an event, you’re getting comped.
Great! I want to apply! What do I do?
Send in a sample piece to chris.bowen AT gamingbus * com. Find a news piece on the site and write to that template; that’s the one with the news portion above with analysis down below. It can be on any relevant news topic. If you have any other work, by all means, let me know.
Good luck, and I hope to work with new and exiting people soon!