Gaming Content Creators Now Making Independent Websites
Posted on November 15, 2023 by Aywren
I’ve recently seen two different cases in which popular content creators – a video creator and a group of gaming journalists – have chosen to move away from using a third-party platform to build their own website. I love to see it!
Control Your Content
Most folks know I’m a champion of “control and own your content” which means you not only have ownership over the content itself, but also where your content lives. Posting stuff on Twitch, YouTube, any social media platform… heck, any blogging platform (where you don’t control the files and backups)… means you are at the mercy of that platform.
Think of Twitch and YouTube, who can easily pull the rug out from under your channels if, for whatever reason, they decide to ban you or remove your affiliation – whatever allows you to monetize your content on their platform. Truth is, as long as you host your stuff there, they are taking a cut, slapping on ads, and have ultimate control of whether your channel continues to exist or not.
That’s a lot of risk if you depend on your content to pay the bills. But even if you don’t, you put way too much time into your content to see it taken down for whatever random reason your platform of choice has.
Make Your Own Website
This month alone, I’ve seen two new independent gaming news websites spring up – Bellular and Aftermath. Both are monetized by allowing users to subscribe, somewhat like a Patreon, but for that site specifically. Both offer perks, such as joining special Discord channels and the like, along with access to paid content.
Bellular is a long-time group of popular gaming channels on YouTube… until Bellular got tired of the algorithms that run the site being so janky and fickle. He talks about his decision to move to hosting his news content (stuff that doesn't work on his YouTube channel due to the way YouTube qualifies content) on a user-supported independent website here:
Only a few days after that, I heard about Aftermath, a gaming news blog created by folks who used to be journalists for Kotaku, but have since moved on for one reason or another. They discuss the reason for building the independent site in their welcome post.
While Aftermath works on a subscription model, they also allow you to sign up to the site for free, and read a certain number of posts for free. I’m not sure if that’s a daily quota, or how many that is, since I’ve never hit the cap despite dropping them in my RSS feed.
I’d love to see creators move away from big platforms that currently run everything - a call back to the times when we built our own homes on the Net. Yes, that means that readers won’t always find everything so conveniently listed in a consolidated newsfeed somewhere, but that’s what RSS readers are for – to pull together feeds of places you want to see in one place.
As we start to watch social media platforms flounder (and some implode), it feels like going independent is the smartest thing to do… while you still have access to your content to do it. I hope to see more creators take chances like this, and I hope the best for both Bellular and Aftermath!