Tired of hearing that videogames are a waste of time? We are too. TED Talks has offered seven discussions to date regarding the fascinating benefits of gaming; from brain behavior to philanthropic motivations, children intelligence to extending the years of your life, there are many scientifically-backed reasons for why one should get behind videogames. But there’s one aspect of gaming TED has yet to speak on: the lucrative opportunity it presents to make money. Want to know how? Keep reading.
Play Games, Make Money
Before we go through a list of less obvious money-makers, did you know that you can simply get paid for playing games online? We didn’t stutter. Swagbucks will pay you to play and it’s entirely free to get started—they even give you a $5 sign up bonus when you create an account.
Most large studios have regular job openings for beta testers. This is your opportunity to see behind the creative scenes, hunt for bugs, and offer insight on games in development. Be warned, however—the job doesn’t pay much, and it can get a bit dull to replay the same section of a game over and over. But hey, you’re still getting paid to do what you love!
Create a Gaming Blog
Creating a gaming blog costs virtually no money at all, and it’s a great way to attract readers and gain credibility among gamers. This strategy works much more effectively if you target a specific game and niche audience, so try to limit your scope of the reviews you write and advice you give. Once you have a large enough following, consider creating and charging for game guides or tutorials which could help others. A blog can also act as your hub for external revenue streams through services such as Google Adsense which gets you paid per click.
Use Affiliate Products
Your blog also provides the opportunity to get paid through affiliate marketing. Make an agreement with a company, and embed a hyperlink to a game, product, software or service to collect a fee each time one of your readers makes a promoted purchase.
If you don’t feel like blogging, start a Youtube channel instead. Make money by reviewing a product and including a link with the cheapest price you could find it online (but be sure to incorporate Adsense to your channel account). Better yet, use your Youtube channel to promote your blog for double the traffic—and double the profit!
Sell In-Gaming Items
Those alternate character skins and rare weapon drops are hot commodities in the gaming world; consider selling them to players in need for a little extra income. In MMO’s, building up characters is a significant portion of the game, and people are willing to buy these characters as well to save themselves the lengthy step. Explore online gamer markets such as Player Auctions and opskins.com to see how much money you can make; you might be pretty surprised!
Use the community you’ve built online and feed it into your Twitch account. You’ll need a reliable gaming desktop and a good webcam, but this source of cash simply cannot be ignored. Twitch allows users to either donate to their favorite gamers or pay for a monthly subscription to your stream for access to the latest content.
Professional gaming is usually the end goal for those who want to make it big time, but it might not be as difficult as you’ve been led to believe. Correct: you’re not going to start pulling in $25k overnight, but you can start taking baby steps to work your way up! Set up online competitions in which you pay $X to play, and if you’re in the top three players, receive $XXX back. Move from competitions into gaming tournaments that on average pay out $650 per 5-game tournaments.
Become a Developer
Instead of making money playing other people’s games, get paid to make your own! Take advantage of easy-to-use game engines like Unity that allow you to design scripts, then upload it to DIY sites like Steam and charge people to play it for a small fee. $1 per play can generate some serious profits if your game is good enough and attracts enough players!
The next time someone tells you that you’re wasting your time on games, you now have nine reasons to counter with. Go get started and turn your passion into profit today!