Ho boy. You see that kitten? That means it's time for another friendly PSA here on the TAY.
Todays topic is all about getting featured on the Kotaku front page and in the daily round up. Now, do you have to write articles that will appeal to the masses? No. Absolutely not. In fact here at the TAY I'm glad to say we have a mixed bag of widely accessible content and some that is more fined tuned to us as a community.
But let's say you wanted to try and get your work featured. Views aren't everything, but they can certainly help you get some serious exposure if you're attempting to get noticed. Plus, it's just kinda nice when lots of people read the words you took the time to type up for free. I'm not trying to make this sound like work, and I'm certainly not saying we need more quality articles on TAY. Far from it. I'm just here to give you some tips on HOW to get featured, should you want to try.
Cover something Kotaku hasn't
Chances are your review of that AAA console game isn't going to be featured as its own article on the Kotaku front page. It may be mentioned at the end of a Kotaku Review or in a round up, but if you really want to get your own audience you need to post something Kotaku hasn't. For example - Kotaku did not cover Inazuma Eleven, thus Zarnyx got a full feature of her review on the game. This doesn't just apply to reviews either. Try to pick a topic the main site hasn't hit upon to capture the interest of the Kotaku writers.
Write on topics others can relate to or get them interested
Why would someone click on your article? Is it funny? Does it have an fascinating view of some new or old title? If your article only covers something very very niche or something that's kind of a TAY inside joke odds are others aren't going to take the time to read it. A great example of this would be InvadingDucks "Quick-Quack: Why I Love Terrible Games" article, which was promoted on the Kotaku Facebok page. Even this article could have potentially gotten more views had it not been for the "Quick Quack" at the start. If you are trying to get people interested in a very specific or irregular topic make sure you can convince them it's worth the read with an engaging title and opening paragraph. Speaking of which...
Use a title everyone can understand
When I posted my interview with David Wise it was originally titled "Serious Monkey Business: An Interview with David Wise". Then I thought Do everyday gamers know who David Wise even is? Will this title pull them in at all? I decided it wouldn't, so I changed the title to "Catching Up With the Man who Made Donkey Kong Country's Brilliant Music". It's certainly a mouthful, but it does include a more direct connection with the world of video games. Millions of people know the DKC series and remember its music, so now they'll want to read my article about David Wise and his contributions to the series! Try your best to make the title something accessible to every Joe Shmoe with a dualshock.
By which I mean write well. This one is kind of a no brainer. If your writing is full of errors or it doesn't flow worth a darn then don't expect much of an audience (unless that is a part of your gimmick). I will always step in to make minor grammatical and spelling fixes, but the admins aren't going to overhaul your whole article for you. This usually isn't an issue on the TAY, so keep up the solid writing folks!
Include relevant and alluring pictures
There are loads of images floating around the web for one to choose from. Adding a picture here and there to break up the text can really help the flow of an article. Place pictures throughout and try not to over do it. This can change depending on the subject, but just use your best judgement. Remember - the magic number for pictures is 640 pixels wide, assuming you want to get rid of that pesky "expand" button.
Don't expect news to be featured
This rule is pretty straight forward. Unless you're doing an in depth analysis of a newly released trailer chances are you're not going to get featured on the main page.
Bonus: You just got featured!
Congrats! You must have written something truly fantastic. Your inbox may be blowing up with comments and recommendations so keep a cool head. Also understand that this opens up your article to all sort of idiots and trolls across the web. If anyone is harassing you or trying to pick a fight just let one of the TAY admins know and we'll do our best to handle the situation. We have no qualms with banning jerks. On the other hand try your best to respond to those who took the time to leave positive comments on your article, assuming you can keep up. It's also nice to recommend the comments of the grey folks at the bottom so their voices can also be heard.
Obviously if you hit all these standards the odds you'll be featured on your own are much higher. If you hit most of them then you should at least be in the running for the daily round up. No guarantees, of course. If you have any more tips you think I should add to list feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll look over them.
Thanks for listening!