Starting your Crowdfunding Campaign

Posted on Mar 31, 21 at 3:24 pm / No comments  

So you’re twisting and turning in bed at night, your head buzzing with ideas…then, finally, one of them slaps against the wall like a raw steak, and it sticks! You’re convinced your business idea or product is gonna be awesome and your mom will be so proud!

But there’s one itty bitty problem….you’re broke. Or least you ain’t got the disposable funds to fuel your totally awesome idea. But hey, don’t be sad. I mean, we live in the age of crowdfunding! 

Yep, there’s people out there willing to fund your project or product, if you can get them to see your vision and just how awesome it is.

Kickstarter is probably the most well-known crowdfunding platform, but it does come with its own drawbacks


Now you’re probably already familiar with stuff like Kickstarter, but that’s not your only option. In fact, there are benefits in ditching those popular platforms and hosting a crowdfunding campaign solo on your site. What are those benefits? There’s 2 main ones: 

  • Avoid Extra Fees
     Yep, with popular platforms, you have to fork over an additional percentage of your earnings to the site. Take Kickstarter for example; they charge a fee for their services — 5% of the collected funds, as well as a 3–5% fee for payment processing. Same with Indiegogo. Why share your hard-earned cash with a platform? Keep the funds (as much as 10% more!) by bypassing the popular sites and running your own campaign.
  • Retain Full Control
    Normal crowdfunding platforms set the ground rules for your fundraising campaigns, often leaving you with rigid parameters that restrict your campaign length, payment processing methods, branding, and more.

In short: why not have your cake and eat it too? 

But now let’s take a look at some ways in which you can get people behind you and your vision, all while retaining control of the ship.

1. Think about your total investment goal

Seed money for your campaign is vital, but don’t aim higher than necessary

When setting your investment goal, try to make it as low as possible. Calculate how much money you need to cover your campaign goal and any extra expenses. Do not look at crowdfunding as a way to make profit at this stage. A target of £800 that is exceeded is much better than a target of £5,000 which is unsuccessful. 

2. Market your crowdfunding campaign

Marketing your crowdfunding campaign is probably the most important step. People won’t give you money if they don’t know about your project, or don’t know enough about it. Set aside time before your campaign launch to use social media, press, networking, exhibitions, local radio and promotional materials to create a buzz around your project. Aim to have a number of interested investors ready to back your project on day one of your campaign.

It is also very important to plan promotion of your crowdfunding campaign during the campaign as you may experience a lull after the initial launch. And with stuff like instagram, twitter and Facebook, marketing is easier than ever, it just requires persistence.

 3. Gain social proof for your project

No matter how good your idea sounds on paper, it needs the approval of others to work

Talk to your friends and family about your project – are they willing to invest in your project? If the answer is no, it is unlikely that investors with visibility of thousands of competitive projects would want to back you. Ask your family and friends for feedback and learn from it.

If your family and friends are interested in investing, this can be a great sign that you have a good idea – make sure that all these people are ready to start funding your project on the first day of the crowdfunding campaign. This will help to create a buzz around your project and can encourage other potential backers to invest.

4. Research similar projects for inspiration and tips

Some crowdfunding platforms don’t take down campaigns once they have finished (whether successful or unsuccessful), this is a great opportunity to research similar projects to your own and see what works well and what doesn’t. 

5. Create a video that captures your audience and promotes your project clearly

Most people are visual creatures. Slap them with a wall of text, they’ll probably zone out. Show them a cool and concise video, and you have a better chance at getting them on board. So set aside a video budget to make sure that it is interesting and clearly presents the benefits of your project. When planning the content, create a video that can be used for future marketing opportunities to get the most for your money.

6. Communicate effectively and honestly with all your backers and potential backers

Make sure you communicate clearly about what your project is, what it is trying to achieve, how much money is needed to make it a reality and what you will deliver and when. Answer all questions that are directed at you. When possible answer the questions publicly but in some cases you may prefer to reply privately.

When you do have backers, make sure that you keep them up to date with your product and always let them know if you do not think you will make a deadline you had previously set. Transparency will win you the trust of your backers. 

7. Be creative if you are offering rewards

People take a gamble when they back your project, so you gotta incentivise them with more

If you decide to go for reward crowdfunding, let your potential backers know what’s in it for them and make your rewards interesting if you can. One option is to offer different rewards for different levels of investment – this can encourage a potential backer to add more to their investment.

8. Make changes based on feedback

One of the most important things you can do before you try to crowdfund your product is make sure you’ve taken the time to have people test and review your product. You may have an amazing product, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be even better with a little extra work.

It’s no secret that crowdfunding campaigns can be a lot of work. And yeah, it can all seem very intimidating. But crowdfunding allows you to sell your idea directly to the people without corporate BS, and with the right structure in place, you can meet and even exceed your funding goals. 

And to help you start your Crowdfunding journey, take advantage of the Skywarriors theme FundingPress! Designed to give entrepreneurs the most control over their campaigns and avoid the restrictions and fees associated with other crowdfunding platforms out there, FundingPress has all the features you need to reach your target audience and bring your ideas to life!

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Sponsorships in Esports

Posted on Mar 20, 21 at 10:01 pm / No comments  

Gaming culture has seen a massive boom in the last decade. Services like Twitch, YouTube, and social media have made it easier than ever for streamers and Esports teams to grow massive followings. It’s no surprise that the demand for gaming sponsorships is greater than ever.

But navigation the world of gaming sponsorships can be tricky and confusing, especially for someone who’s just trying to get their foot in the door. 


Truth is not all sponsorships are created equal.  In fact, the term “sponsorship” is often incorrectly used as a blanket term for all partnerships.  This not only causes confusion in the gaming community, it also prevents streamers and Esports teams from properly securing the correct level of sponsorship to fit their needs.  

Let’s take a look at the 3 primary types of gaming sponsorships and how they work. 

  1. Affiliate Code Sponsorship, a 3way between the sponsor(business), sponsoree (the person or team) and the customer. In a nutshell, the sponsoree promotes a discount code provided by the sponsor to their audience. The sponsor sells its products, the sponsoree gets a commission, and the customers get a discount. Everyone is happy! 
  2. Hybrid Sponsorship, the big sister of the Affiliate code who comes with added perks for the sponsoree, if the sponsoree is popular enough. These perks come in the form of an internal code, which grants greater discounts for only the sponsoree and their internal team members.  Additionally, the sponsor might provide discounted or free product to the sponsoree for use in giveaways, contests, reviews, photo shoots, and attending live events.  This is often handled on a case-by-case basis and is dependent upon the perceived incremental benefit for the sponsor by providing the additional products.
  3. Pure Sponsorship, the big league reserved for the elite pro-level eSports teams and individuals with massive audiences and significant influence. With a Pure Sponsorship, the streamer/team are receiving monthly benefits from the sponsor in exchange for promoting the business. These perks typically take the form of free product, a monetary payment, promotion of the sponsoree by the business, or any combination of all three. 

G-Fuel is an example of a very popular affiliate product in Esports

Now this all may seem very intimidating, especially when you just wanna play games and make some cash while doing it. So we’ll try and simplify it here.

What do you need first and foremost? Well apart from mad gaming skills, you’ll need to focus on your strengths and find what sets you apart from the rest – your unique selling point. Truth is, to be successful you need to stand out from your peers and make an impact on the scene. That’s what catches the eye of potential sponsors and audiences.


It’s always worth having a look at your competition, look at what they’re doing well and what could be improved on. Is there a crack in the market you can spot and use to slip in?  

You have to be smart about it too. You need to identify ideal businesses to partner yourself with. A sponsorship is only as good as the business you are representing. The entire purpose of a sponsorship is to work with sponsors who will support you and enhance the value of your team/stream/channel.  So, selecting the right businesses to work with is critical for your success.

It’s a no-brainer, but you NEED to be a customer and fan of the company or be willing and excited to switch to their product before you should ever consider attempting to secure a sponsorship from that business. 

So you need credibility. Not only that, but you need to know your audience. Ask yourself what your audience would benefit from and what would they be likely to buy. Think of it this way….you won’t have much success promoting meat to an audience consisting primarily of vegans.


But how do you approach businesses and apply for their sponsorship programs? 

Well, head directly to the business’s website.  Almost every business will have a designated Sponsorship tab with critical info.  Typically a form to fill in will be present where you can share your relevant information. It’s like submitting your resume.

Don’t slide into Twitter DMs like, “Hey bros, hit me up with a sponsorship!” Businesses like a level of professionalism. 

Astro is another familiar sponsor of Esports, albeit on the higher end

So go the extra mile and provide a media kit for your Esports team, including stuff like monthly social impression numbers and tournament results.  Keep in mind, this isn’t necessary, but can up your chances of being approved. At the end of the day, the value you are bringing to the sponsor is sales and awareness, plain and simple.


And again, you need to be smart about it. You would never go to a job interview unprepared, why would you apply for a sponsorship without knowing anything about a business?  What do they stand for?  What variations of their products do they offer?  Is there anything new with their business?  Where do they stack up to their competition? 

And once you do get a sponsor or two, it’s important to maximise your relationship with them. It’s all about marketing. Post about your sponsors on your social media channels, do reviews, giveaways, unboxing videos – get excited, create hype. Hell, get creative and start fan art competitions. It’s all about engagement, with your sponsors and your audience. 

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Monetising Your WordPress site with Google AdSense

Posted on Mar 10, 21 at 9:34 pm / No comments  

With a website up and running, the primary goal of most people is to monetise its use in one way or another.

The most obvious option is selling some type of product or service. Whether this is feasible or not, the second option is selling advertising space.

In 2019, $299bn was spent globally in the digital advertising market (source: VisualCaptialist) and though that market dipped during 2020 due to the global pandemic, market analysts project that 2021 will see it bounce back just as strong as before. So even as a supplementary source of revenue to the site, Ad Space can be a lucrative business.

The most profitable route can come from direct selling – either approaching a client or having them approach you and directly negotiate pricing. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, especially for relatively new sites that are still building their audience. Thankfully Google has a program to simplify this – AdSense.  This streamlines the process of getting advertisements on your site and gives you a large degree of control over the whole process as well.


What are the benefits to AdSense?

Google does several things to make it as easy as possible. Starting with curating. They tailor your list of ads to display to keep them as relevant to your platform and audience as possible so, for example, visitors to a Gaming News website are more likely to see an image for the new FIFA title instead of something irrelevant like gardening tools. You can also filter the ads personally and block ads you deem unnecessary to your site. They also give you full control on their placement and optimise them for mobile devices on your behalf too so no extra work is required. 

Is it difficult to get AdSense?

Signing up for AdSense is as simple as the program itself. You need a gmail account, some contact details and a little patience. Google takes time to review your application and the time can vary, but once approved you can dive straight into using AdSense! 


Is setting it up on my website hard?

Once again, Google has taken the steps to keep the process as easy as possible for all users. They now have a service they call ‘SiteKit’ which connects your WordPress directly to Google Products and services like AdSense or their Analytics system. You can find Google’s own instructions on installing this plugin here. With this plugin, you can automatically place ads on your site as soon as your AdSense account is approved to make sure you can start earning revenue as soon as possible!


What is the best way to use AdSense?

AdSense can run perfectly fine by itself with very little interference from the site owner. But to truly make the most of AdSense, you want to opt to use the customisation and control it offers you.

Test various placements. The best performing ads are those seen fastest – that is, seen with little to no scrolling on a page required. These can be along the header of your site, or down the side bar. But you need to be careful, making them too big and obnoxious can be off putting to visitors. Along with that, Google doesn’t want users filling the top halves of their sites (Above The Fold) with too many adverts and it could impact your ability to monetise with those ads. 

Google offers analytics on the performance of your Ads too. It is worth checking them regularly and adjusting accordingly. Do ads perform better when placed in some spots but not others? Move them. Are you getting less clicks from a centre category? Block it! Analytics are powerful tools and should be checked regularly to keep on top of the best performance for your ads. 

Lastly, don’t neglect the rest of your website. Once you start seeing revenue from advertising come in, even if it’s only nickels and dimes, it’s very hard not to get excited and start trying to go all in and focus on the best way to squeeze every penny out of your ads. But the adverts aren’t what bring visitors. It’s your content. You have to remember to keep the quality of your website up and importantly, update it regularly and post often. Your visitors need continuing reasons to come back to your site to be able to interact with the adverts in the first place.


With how easy it is to set up and maintain using AdSense, there are very few reasons that you shouldn’t opt to make use of it to boost the revenue generated by your website. As long as it’s monitored and adjusted regularly, you can expect to gain a lot from the use of AdSense and selling advertising space on your website. 


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The Top Esports Games in 2021 – Part 2

Posted on Mar 01, 21 at 3:38 pm / No comments  

We are back with the second half of our list of Top Esports Games! If you missed part one you can find the link here!


Now to continue with our list! Shifting genres again, this time we’ll start with Fighting Games


  • Fighting Games


Fighting Games. The OG competitive games from the arcade days of yore. Still going strong in 2021, these are our picks for the top fighting game choices for esports events.

Starting with the newcomer to the scene – Dragonball FighterZ. Few people can deny the cultural relevance of DragonBall. It’s seeped into more forms of media than we care to count. Most of its games have been duds, except for their Tenkai 3D fighting series, but Dragonball FighterZ came out of nowhere to be one of the most solid fighters out there. With an excellent 2D feeling using 3D models, its simple but highly faced paced combo-based style with a 3 player team became a game that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master encouraging play from a wide audience. 3 years on it’s still getting regular tournament play.


Next up we’ll check out the staples of the genre. Starting with Mortal Kombat 11. Using the refreshed engine built for the Injustice games, MK has been highly polished for its last 2 entries and is now boasting a massive roster thanks to it’s sponsored character DLC including the likes of The Terminator or horror icons like Freddy Krueger. It’s modern graphics now also offer the goriest finishers ever for the more morbid gaming fan. Thankfully its competitive nature has remained as simple as ever which makes hosting events online quite straight forward and an easy choice for esports. 


Next up is the most recognisable of the bunch – Street Fighter. As of writing the current version of choice if SF5: Champion Edition. Though it didn’t launch to the best reception, it has since been refined to be the solid fighting game that is to be expected from the Capcom owned series. It gets the widest exposure thanks to the Capcom sponsored events that occur and of course its regular inclusion in the EVO tournament series. Gathering an audience for events for Street Fighter should be as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.


Lastly we’ll check out the Yin to Street Fighters Yang – Tekken. Tekken has always seemed like the other side of the coin to Street Fighter. It’s not quite as fast, and there is more momentum to its intricate combos, not to mention it began with 3D models before changing to being able to actually move in 3 dimensions to and new ways to play, it definitely gives off a distinct feel compared to its contemporaries. As of writing the current entry is Tekken 7, and with new characters announced as DLC with some regularity, it seems like a safe bet to say that Tekken 7 will be the main entry to work with for some time to come. 

  • MOBAs


Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games were popularised with the StarCraft series and have been a mainstay of esports for years. Less accessible than the average game due to its various mechanics and the relative skill levels of the average player, it does have a very dedicated player base. 


First up is DOTA 2. Helmed by Valve, this free-to-play MOBA has more than 100 playable Heroes to take to the battlefield, utilizing that character’s unique abilities and play styles, it’s very rare that a match will play out the same way twice. Bring F2P along with regularly hosted tournaments means this game will reach a very wide audience and should have no difficulty filling an event.


Another F2P option is League of Legends. LOL is probably the most popular MOBA in the world, constantly adding new content and welcoming new players in. Its gameplay incorporates elements of role playing, tower defense, and real-time strategy. With a player base found worldwide and like the other entrants, it boasts a range of sponsored events every year and is therefore privy to lots of exposure. This is likely the easiest MOBA to break into regarding hosting events.


Lastly we’ll recommend the most competitive MOBA –  StarCraft 2. Mostly popular in the Asian countries, StarCraft is not very welcoming to newcomers. It’s taken very seriously and is totally unforgiving in its difficulty.

Due to this, they players take it very very seriously and want their events run as cleanly and efficiently as possible. But if you can pull it off, you can expect to have a loyal base of users returning for future events.

  • Sports & Racing


Finally we come to the sporting category of games. As these genres tend to be thinner on entries we’ve decided to combine them together to help flesh them out a bit more.


Starting out we have the FIFA series. Much like Call of Duty, there is an annual entry to this franchise and it usually doesn’t change too much. Adding to this, EA have implemented the FIFA Ultimate Team mode, which involves buying playing card packs to get new players. This has actually increased the online competitive scene for this game and it isn’t difficult to find organisations hosting their own FIFA events.


Next up in the sporting genre is NBA 2K20. This long running series has been the de facto choice for basketball games for years now. Boasting high quality graphics and a solid physics and AI engine to make as authentic as possible. In 2017, NBA founded their own esports league for NBA 2K with the special caveat being that players have to play the game using only the players they make in MyPlayer. Much like FIFA, it does have a regular release window and added in its own loot box system. But this hasn’t deterred its growth in the online competitive scene.


Moving on to vehicular based esports, we’ll begin with Rocket League. This game came out of obscurity and exploded in popularity after PlayStation Plus gave the game away for free. Despite dropping the clearly superior name from its predecessor (SuperSonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars is just plain better, even if you can’t say it fast 3 times), it has maintained a solid player base thanks to its whacky RC Car meets Soccer approach to gameplay. It’s another case of “Easy to learn, difficult to master” and the competitive players will be running circles around you. But that itself breeds excitement in events to see some top players go against each other. 


On the side of realism we finish with Formula 1 2020. The F1 racing series has always strived to make the experience of racing with these highly tuned engineering feats feel as real as possible and incorporates as many mechanics as possible to make this happen. F1 2020 arrived in the summer to give the My Team career mode a breath of fresh air for a series that’s starting to feel in some areas like re-heated leftovers. Being able to have greater control over team liveries, names, management, upgrade paths and driver contracts delivered an engrossing experience. It also encouraged the competitive players to give themselves more of an identity and desire to create a name for themselves in the space. Creating events for this game can be slightly more complicated, but it will result in a more engaging experience, especially if you feel brave and want to attempt something a LeMan’s style 24 hour race!


There are other titles out there to explore, and even some niche ones you could jump on and lockdown as your speciality, but hopefully we have covered enough of the mainstays to give you a solid grasp on what’s out there and allow you to work with a wide variety of genres to find your feet in the Online Tournament Hosting industry.

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