How To Make Money Freelance Writing For The Gaming Industry

How To Make Money Freelance Writing For The Gaming Industry



An Interview with BRIAN KONRADT,​
author of​ Freelance Poker Writing:
How to​ Make Money Writing for the​ Gaming Industry

Q: Tell us about your book.

BRIAN: Freelance Poker Writing is​ the​ first book showing freelance writers how to​ make money writing for the​ gaming industry.

Q: So it’s not just writing about poker?

BRIAN: No,​ it’s writing for the​ gaming industry in​ general. This includes all types of​ casino-style games. I focus more on​ poker in​ my book because it​ is​ the​ most popular game and writers make more money covering poker and the​ influences of​ poker.

Q: Tell us about your writing career.

BRIAN: I’ve been a​ professional freelance writer since 1992. I’ve written for many publications and companies in​ several industries. I am mainly skilled as​ a​ copywriter,​ since most of​ my clients were corporations and ad agencies who hired me to​ write their marketing materials. I’ve been reporting on​ new trends in​ freelance writing since 1998. I don’t do much freelance writing for clients anymore because in​ the​ last ten years I have branched out into other areas. you​ can read about my writing career at​ my website,​ www.BusyEntrepreneur.com.

Q: How did you​ come up with the​ idea for your book?

BRIAN: I became addicted to​ Texas Hold’em when the​ Travel Channel began airing poker tournaments on​ TV. I then started playing poker for fun and became even more addicted. My poker addiction led me to​ research more about poker and the​ gaming industry. During my research I met freelance writers who were making money in​ this growth industry. I was interested in​ how they broke in​ and what it​ was like freelancing in​ this industry. I wanted to​ tell their story. This is​ what gave me the​ idea for my book.

Q: What was the​ writing process like?

BRIAN: it​ took me close to​ seven months to​ complete my book. I spent a​ lot of​ time researching the​ industry and interviewing writers and poker players. Because I run my own business during the​ day,​ I wrote this book in​ my free time.

Q: What obstacles did you​ face when writing your book?

BRIAN: Getting some of​ the​ information and facts correct was difficult,​ especially writing about the​ gaming laws. Interpretations of​ some of​ the​ gaming laws conflict with one another and don’t make sense entirely,​ depending on​ who is​ interpreting the​ law.

Q: Who designed your book cover and website at​ FreelancePokerWriting.com?

BRIAN: I did. I love graphic design as​ much as​ I love writing. the​ two skills go hand-in-hand with me. I learned a​ long time ago if​ you​ offer both services to​ corporate clients – writing and graphic design – you​ can make a​ lot more money. the​ skills I had developed from my freelance career made writing and designing my book a​ lot easier. I also have two negative traits that work in​ my favor: I am a​ control freak and I have a​ (less than) zero attention span. I enjoy controlling all aspects of​ a​ project (writing,​ editing,​ designing,​ publishing,​ and marketing) as​ well as​ juggling several other projects throughout the​ day. I get bored very easily,​ so staying busy creatively is​ my cure.

Q: Can you​ make a​ living writing for poker magazines?

BRIAN: you​ can make some money,​ but don’t quit your day job just yet. Poker magazines (the ones on​ the​ newsstand) don’t pay high rates. Average rates are between .10 and .15 cents per word. Established freelance poker writers earn between .35 and .65 cents per word. Unless you​ are a​ writer with many clips and lots of​ experience,​ it​ is​ very competitive writing strictly for poker magazines. Poker trade magazines,​ on​ the​ other hand,​ do pay more and are less competitive,​ but this requires you​ to​ know the​ business sides of​ gaming.

Many writers look outside the​ scope of​ poker magazines to​ other magazines that cover topics related to​ poker and gaming; these include magazines on​ women’s issues,​ men’s issues,​ lifestyle,​ sports,​ betting,​ gaming,​ technology,​ travel,​ entertainment,​ law and so on. Many writers do make a​ living writing for these magazines. Pay rates are much higher,​ up to​ $1 per word and sometimes more.

Q: What other writing gigs exist for poker and gaming writers?

BRIAN: Tournament coverage,​ such as​ WSOP and WPT; SEO writing (writing search engine optimization copy) for businesses and affiliates; copywriting (writing for casinos,​ ad agencies,​ and gaming companies); ghostwriting books and ebooks; and,​ of​ course,​ magazine writing (which includes writing for newspapers,​ special publications,​ websites,​ and blogs).

Q: Which pays the​ most?

BRIAN: That depends. Covering a​ big tournament can make you​ plenty of​ money because you​ can generate many articles and news pieces with exclusive content and interviews. Plus,​ networking at​ tournaments is​ priceless. you​ can almost guarantee yourself you’ll walk away with more writing gigs. However,​ covering a​ large tournament requires a​ lot of​ time – or,​ should I say,​ a​ lot of​ non-billable time.

Many writers find that SEO writing pays well. a​ client will ask a​ writer to​ write 20 articles at​ 300 words each on​ a​ topic (using certain keywords) for $10 per article. a​ skilled SEO writer can whip out these articles in​ less than three hours. That’s $66 an​ hour. Many SEO writing gigs are not for me because I write slowly and I prefer writing articles that entertain and educate readers.

Freelance copywriting in​ the​ gaming industry pays well. the​ average hourly rate is​ between $25 and $45 per hour with three or​ more years of​ related experience. Many freelance copywriters secure copywriting gigs from ad agencies in​ this industry.

The most popular writing gig,​ I would have to​ say,​ is​ freelance writing for poker-related publications,​ both offline and online. Poker and gaming cover so many topics,​ and many writers sell their articles to​ a​ variety of​ media outlets.

Q: How do writers break into this industry?

BRIAN: I answer this question extensively in​ my book,​ so I will be brief. Some writers start their own blogs. Other writers pitch an​ article idea to​ an​ editor. Yes,​ that’s it. No real big secret. of​ course,​ you​ have to​ know your stuff. you​ can’t fake it​ till you​ make it​ in​ this industry.

Q: What is​ the​ most effective marketing strategy to​ publicize your writing services?

BRIAN: Online and offline social networking is​ the​ least costly and produces the​ best results to​ build a​ loyal readership and to​ build relationships with prospective clients. Online and offline social networking includes blogging; networking and schmoozing at​ poker events and tournaments; participating in​ discussion forums at​ poker websites and writing-related websites; joining a​ writer’s association to​ network with other members; creating a​ personality profile at​ MySpace.com; posting informative articles at​ AssociatedContent.com to​ generate free publicity for your services; and so on. There are so many variations of​ social networking these days,​ I can’t list everything.

Q: What makes your book unique or​ what adds value?

BRIAN: That’s easy – the​ entire premise of​ the​ book is​ unique. I feel what adds value is​ the​ interviews with freelance writers and poker players. Many of​ them are at​ the​ peak of​ their careers. They exemplify success in​ every imaginable way. I was very fortunate to​ pick their minds. All of​ the​ writers and poker players I interviewed were eager to​ share their experiences so they could help other writers to​ succeed.

Q: What’s next for you?

BRIAN: I am currently under contract to​ ghostwrite two books,​ one on​ small business funding,​ and the​ other on​ Internet marketing strategies. This should keep me extra busy for a​ while.

Thank you​ for your time.




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