Saturday, February 28, 2009

February affiliate sales

I'll be giving away my sales statistics in blog posts here, and I'm not trying to sell you anything with them either. These updates are just a little glimmer of hope you can look on if you're trying to sell games as an affiliate without much luck.

Here's how I did selling games online as an affiliate during the month of February 2009. I haven't been doing this for long, and most importantly, I haven't put a lot of work into it either. I've spent maybe 10 or 20 hours maximum on this... other than the time to play through the games I wrote about of course.

Can you expect the same results if you're a beginner to selling games? No. I've got some experience with affiliate marketing and search engine optimizing, as well as friends who were able to help out with the initial pushes. However, I'll be happy to help you sell more in the future posts.

BMTMicro - Around $1,000 in sales
Plimus - $500ish
BigFishGames - $300ish

I've still got many more improvements to make to my game selling strategies, the next couple months will have much better sales. I've been concentrating on BMTMicro for now because of their simplicity. There's no need to be pre-approved for any games if you look for things to sell in their affiliate catalog.

RegNow apparently uses a similar system for selling affiliate games, but I'd rather not help DigitalRiver get any more money. Plimus does have a different assortment of games to sell, many great ones, and it's something I'd like to concentrate more on as an affiliate in the future. One thing I dislike about Plimus is that they call up some of the people who bought games to confirm their sales order.

One more thing to note - I DON'T have a portal site for selling games or anything else like that. None of that reflexive game center solutions default sites. No niche genre sites. These aren't even being sold alongside other games I may have worked on. I'm just throwing up little minisites with custom content and seeing how they last in the water. Some are much more effective at selling online games than others. I'll be revealing some of what worked, and some of what didn't work in future blog posts.

Unfortunately in one way, I did better than expected. It's time to have to go through signing up for an IRS ITIN number thing to keep some of the payments from being withheld by the US government. That accounting & form headache isn't something I'm looking forward to!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How not to sell games

Today's post is inspired by the fabulous people on yoyogames' Game Maker Community boards. More specifically, the "Distributing Games" subforum. It's description is this - Discussion of specific distribution issues related to your freeware, shareware, or commercial GM products". It's mostly used by people wanting to sell their own games.

However, there's also plenty of advice folks give that's more suitable for a "how not to sell games" book. Here's some lovely tidbits:

- Selling games to trick or treaters who come to your door on halloween.

- Going into a gamestop store and asking them to sell your game. Or in some cases, sell your games (plural)

- Putting your demo cd inside of library books. Those aren't free folks, and there's a high cost with trying to sell your games that way. Most of those cds will just find their way into dumpsters.

- Upload onto rapidshare & megaupload and ask for donations instead of selling the game. Pretend its a full version game that was cracked or torrented.

- Join digg and other communities and spam the hell out of them with your game. Those people don't buy games. It's useless trying to sell games to communities that are ALL pro-piracy people... and who really wants to be a spammer anyways.

- Giving demo disks to your kids to take to school and try to sell to other students. If they were in college, maybe, but most of the people on those boards aren't even old enough to have kids

- Selling games at car boot, garage sales and tables at flea markets. People go there for pirated things, cheap stuff and stolen goods, not full priced versions.

- Try to trade them at McDonalds for free food instead of selling the games.

- Hire people to sell them on the sidewalks outside of Gamestores.

The distributing games forum for yoyogames game maker isn't all that bad. There are a few people there who actually do know what they're doing and try to help others sell games. Among them are rinkuhero (Immortal Defense), hpapillon (Cute Knight) and TeeGee (Magi). Their games have sold hundreds of copies and you'd do well to listen to their advice. I'm another poster who's done well selling games too, but I like to remain anonymous over there.