Monday, March 23, 2009

Walkthroughs that Sell

Lately I've been experimenting with some different forms of affiliate sales pages. Do game walkthrough pages sell games to people looking for help with them? I wouldn't have thought so. Turns out I was wrong.

Friends & I created a few minisites for basic game information, and these were intended to sell similar games to the readers that find them using google. However we came into an interesting observation: These game walkthroughs were also selling the games themselves that they were supposed to be about!

They give some basic information on how to play the game that only people who've already played it would be interested in. Another interesting thing about these mini walkthrough pages: no "buy" links, and most don't even have screenshot links.

According to the statistics programs they visit these pages, download demos again, then buy the game. None of these game buyers are probably pirates who decided to change their mind... I wonder why these people go through all that hassle instead of just buying the game from the demo they already have.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as a strategy for selling games, but it's fun to play around with. The walkthrough affiliate sales numbers aren't yet high enough that it was worth the time they took us to make - months will tell. It could also be a sign that these demos have very poor upselling / landing pages / trial endings or are the types of games people will think about later.

If you've made a game of your own - you should definitely set up some mini walkthrough pages somewhere. It might even sell games, or keep affiliates who do stuff like this from piggybacking off your potential customers. If nothing else it'll keep sites like JayIsGames and CasualGameGuides that throw walkthroughs and hints into their titles of every game they want to affiliate sell further down the search engines.

You could even try selling game walkthroughs of your own - Jeff Vogel from Spiderweb Software does okay with the ones he creates according to recently released sales statistics from him. The walkthrough pages can also be used to sell sequels and other related materials... even if it's just links to things on Amazon.


  1. So that's why the Jay Is Games blog says the reviews are walkthroughs? Genius.

  2. bigfish is now posting walkthroughs on their blog =(