Today, we’ve got another more “difficult” prompt: “What type of content do you feel is severely underrated?”
This time around the prompt’s not difficult due to me struggling with words but rather because of the ambiguity of it. Roger pointed in his post out that it could be referencing writing and blogging… but also could be about video games, TV, movies, videos, etc.
But just like Roger, I’ll stick to the first meaning of the prompt as it’s a blogging event after all. Also, I think I might be able to actually work with this interpretation of the prompt in contrast to the other one.
So, at first, I couldn’t really think of how to approach this post… factually, I should bring out numbers and stats that – at least in my case – indicate content that doesn’t do well… despite actually being good. The problem with this is that there are many factors as to why a post is not doing good. Maybe the category that I’m blogging in is just too saturated at the moment and hence, people pick other blog posts over mine. Or maybe I didn’t get picked up by Google or Social Media algorithms, hence not getting as much coverage for my post… another reason for missing views would be a boring prompt or topic… or the post just sucked.
Either way, there are a lot of reasons for a post not doing too well but I know for a fact that a lot of the huge Indie blogs and websites out there rely on specific posts (i.e. tier lists, top 10 lists, clickbait-y articles, etc.) to reel in those views. These posts would be what I’d call “overrated content”.
Apart from “TOP 10 UPCOMING ROGUELIKE GAMES!!!11!” or other posts in that general category that could all be copy-pasted without anyone noticing, there are also other forms of more rentable posts. Recently, I’ve been featured in a “Top 40 Indie Blogs” list on Feedspot on the 11th spot, which I’m quite happy about, but I noticed that a lot of these blogs and websites that are being featured on there are essentially either platforms to buy games (Indiegala, itch.io, etc.) OR forums OR sites like Alpha Beta Gamer that are able to post three posts per day due to the small and compact posts. And there is nothing wrong with that but I noticed that in contrast to that my posts are doing considerably less well… which is because of my lengthy review format.
“In today’s day and age”, people don’t want to read a post for five to ten minutes to get a conclusion on whether or not to buy a game. They’d rather get a TL;DR at the beginning summarizing the most important bits and pieces before clicking off the side. The actual post wouldn’t get read by those people since it’s not worth their time… With posts that are generally 1100 words long, mine are probably too long for most people. Even with my rather colloquial speech and informal choice of words, my posts may not be approachable for “the masses” as they are just too long. And I’m already cutting down on them – after all, it’s not 3.9k words anymore like with my Moonlighter review…
Therefore, I’d call longer In-Detail (see what I did there?… or what I didn’t do there?) Reviews “underrated”, subjectively speaking.
I used to play the games that I reviewed for a rather long time, then spend about three to four hours working on the actual post, writing it up, editing it, and all of that before then working on the layout, the screenshots, and other things that needed to be done. Overall, it took me ages to finish one review. Ever since I cut down on the length and went for 1k words instead of 3-4k, it has become less work although it still requires as much effort since I often write too much and need to cut down on unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs. In the end, it became a lot easier to write up a review or two per week.
If I were to cut down on even more words and essentially just go for a TLDR instead of the full review, I’d end up with micro-posts that could be shipped out daily if not even twice per day. The problem with those is that I’d need to play the games for a time to be able to write about them… unless of course, I do it like some of the bigger outlets that do not even write about their own experience with the game but just report on a game coming out. That’s essentially what I’m doing with the Lookout Post… but I try to be still quite subjective and rather personal about it. I’m not going to turn the posts over there into fact sheets about games coming out and hand out recommendations without actually having played any games.
In the case of Children of Morta, for instance, I received a review key a week before release with an embargo for the review. I played about ten to twelve hours of it if not more before heading to WordPress to write about the game. If I had played more of that, I would have seen how repetitive it could get and how often it can turn into a grindfest of sorts… I also didn’t get to test out co-op at all… so that’s a bummer. If I had played more of the game, I would have known about that, but I also wanted to get the post out while the game is still “fresh” and “new”.
If someone bought the game and would have then regretted it after ten hours because it turned rather grindy… then that would have sucked for them and I would have felt bad for that… I still play it every now and then and I really do enjoy even the grindy aspects of it, but that’s not what my review is saying. Alas, I’ll have to revisit that review and post a follow-up eventually once I played even more of the game and even unlocked the new character.
Bigger outlets, though, didn’t even comment on a lot of the issues that I noted down. They didn’t see a lot of the good points, either. They just commented on this game existing and it coming out with information about the first hour or two of gameplay, which is honestly quite the bummer. The bigger outlets are essentially mass-producing content like that: Short reviews with little to no insights on the actual game and with a lot of things shrugged off. I don’t personally like that and I want to create better reviews in the future and hence am sticking to the underrated content – also known as the long Indietail Reviews (now I did it!) instead of the overrated TLDR-post with 200 words at most and at least five pages so that they can farm more clicks.
Note: There are of course bigger sites that are doing a great job with their reviews… but those usually also care about the quality of their content or they have multiple authors that are doing that for a living, so it should be natural that they’re not shitposting for the sake of easy views.
So, what’s the conclusion of this post… Longer reviews aren’t the best way to grow but I don’t really care because I don’t want to shitpost either. If I look at stats, I can see that a lot of my reviews are doing really well (-> which is something I’ll talk about in a different post) while some others are not doing as well but it just depends on different factors after all… And while longer reviews (I love reading them on other sites) are quite superior despite being underrated, I can still understand that shorter TLDR-micro-posts are the way to go for big outlets that earn money using those posts.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Any thoughts on long/short reviews? Got any other ideas for overrated or underrated content? Let me know!
The next post in the “Big Blaugust Promptapalooza Blog Crawl” (BBPBC?!?!?!) is everwake whose post should already be out since I’m late. Check them and their blog out! You can find Roger’s post over here again, so give it a read! It’s always a pleasure to read a post by him, especially as he’s someone who shaped my view on languages. :)