The project showcases how effectively a band of like-minded individuals can work together in the building of a community. Markus, Software Specialist for CQMS, has been collaborating with one of his longtime (and best) friends to assist in putting a site together that would allow a handful of people to exert some creative energy under the video gaming domain. Since its inception in October 2016, Scholarly Gamers has grown immensely, powered by the technology CQMS has provided for its foundation.
CQMS Services Used:
- Application Development
- IT Services
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Page Development
- Social Media Marketing
- Web Hosting
- Website Development (WordPress)
Scholarly Gamers Year 1:
Going live to the public on April 10, 2017, Scholarly Gamers is a hobbyist venture that aims to take a unique look into the world of video gaming. Too often are gaming-related sites full of ‘fluff’ articles such as Top Five Reasons You Like Mario’s Hat or This is Why Game XYZ is Bad, and Scholarly Gamers hopes to make some waves by delivering a critical, analytical, and educated views on some of the hot-button topics within the industry. In addition to establishing a website for journalistic articles to be published, members of the Scholarly Gamers team are often streaming their gaming sessions online and/or recording them to publishing on YouTube. For the website, however, primary attention is being given to the journalistic articles published every day at noon (Eastern time), and a rebuild had been planned from the onset, scheduled to arrive around the one-year anniversary of Scholarly Gamers, after sufficient usage information had been gathered and website use streamlined.
CQMS supports scholarlygamers.com through a number of means, both formal and informal, which admittedly complicates its ability to objectively feature as a portfolio piece of ours. Markus, as noted above, is heavily involved in the project on a personal level, sitting as one of the two remaining founding members. His successes for the site and community can be considered successes for CQMS, however, as every bit of experience earned with Scholarly Gamers is brought back to fuel CQMS’ growing repertoire of skills and abilities.
In addition to being a regular provider of original content (review articles and features, news, etc.), Markus is currently managing a team of nearly four-dozen volunteers to bring forth an analytic approach to gaming. This experience has been (and continues to be) an invaluable training tool to gathering greater understanding of high-level operations across a mid-size company. Technically, speaking, however, this project has been the battle-tested strategy development that forms CQMS’ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methodology, to outstanding success.
Scholarly Gamers has spent exceedingly little on paid marketing and advertisements, as the entire project is still cost-neutral; no monetization options have been added to the website as of this writing. The founding team (and mid-tier management staff) agree that the content must stand on its own through its integrity, and grow naturally into a community of gamers marching under one banner before monetization options could be considered. As such, Markus has developed an SEO strategy that is applied personally to each and every website post, be it a review, feature article, YouTube video, or anything else. Through rigorous attention to detail in his SEO strategy, Markus has driven search-engine results from 0% (at launch) to over 60% and thousands of unique page hits each and every month.
Scholarly Gamers: Year 2
As noted above, the original website design and template was always planned to be succeeded by another, more professional rebuild. Rather than steer the website into where the Admin wanted users to consume content, trends and site usage were measured and added to user feedback that was coming in from both visitors and staff alike. Loads of nice-to-have features were planned, sourced (via plugins and a new WordPress theme), and included in the rebuild effort. Markus, again, built the v2.0 scholarlygamers.com site himself, working with the staff to make sure that as daily users of the site they would be proud to share this with their friends and colleagues.
Since the rebuild, members of both the staff and community have been complimentary of the overall design, functionality, and responsiveness of the new website. Through the integration of caching, image optimization, content SEO grooming, and site page load speeds, the second iteration of scholarlygamers.com has been indexed quite favourably within the search results of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
“Powered by CQMS Inc.”
At the bottom of the Scholarly Gamers website a banner states ‘Powered by CQMS Inc.’ with a link back to our site. Though it is not uncommon for site developers to be provided with a ‘credit’ at the bottom of the page for their efforts, ‘powered by’ goes a step beyond simple site design. CQMS offers its own web hosting packages, and Scholarly Gamers is the first to grow large enough to require and sign up for the Gold-level subscription.