Yadin Bromberg, known widely as Blaze Shadownhorn, has progressed from gamer to gaming professional faster than most people dream of transitioning. His unparalleled dedication has led him to share his advice here in the fourth of five posts in the September Guest Post Lineup.
The transition from being a gamer and blogger into working within the video game and eSports industry has been an interesting one without a doubt. One day I was blogging about my travels through Zafaria and next thing I know I’m interviewing for Blizzard Entertainment and Titan, one of eSports' largest and most recognizable organizations. I want to share my experience with you so that one day if you so choose to work within the industry, this can help as a guideline.
Gaming was always my passion. As a child, the typical routine of waking up at 1am so I could sneak downstairs and play Wizard101 into the wee hours of the morning was seen multiple times throughout the week. On September 12th, 2010, I decided to start a blog, previously known as My Wizard101 Site. Why blog? Leading up to this point, I had always admired the work of Thomas Lionblood aka The Friendly Necromancer and I wanted to share my gaming adventures with a community. Back in 2010, the Wizard101 community was in its "beta" phase and so there weren’t many bloggers. Little did I know that this first step would one day lead to me working with video games as a career and having Blaze Shadowhorn be a recognizable name within the Wizard101 community.
What Does It Take?
Blogging and building up my resume was never easy, it required hours upon hours of brainstorming content and creating graphics to go along with it. Over the years people have asked me about how to get into the video game industry and my simple answer is networking.
Your Network is Your Net Worth
In business, a phrase I always love is "Your network is your net worth." What does this mean? Your connections make your worth and outreach in this case. One thing I always did was try to communicate with other bloggers and entertainers similar to myself. This would be through means of commenting on their posts and giving my thoughts, going to in-game meetups or reaching out to company representatives and introducing myself. You’re only as good as you say you are. If you don’t think you have worth, others won’t as well. If someone likes your content, they’ll share it with another person and maybe one day down the road someone will confront you about it and ask you to work for them!
Importance of Content
Would you follow a blog that only posts once every two or three months? Of course not! This is because you never know when to expect something and it's not consistent enough for you to care. This is when the importance of content comes in. How do most bloggers, YouTubers, or anyone in any field get big? They do so by being the best they can be at their craft. This means spending those extra few hours to create the eye-catching graphics and writing those extra few paragraphs. You always want to be the best at your craft and this takes practice. Share your content with friends, peers, and people in your industry. If you retweet their post, they might retweet yours! As long as you keep spitting out quality content on a consistent basis, people will eventually take notice which will hence forth build into a reputable following.
Moving into Community Management
Community Management means an assortment of things. Within the Kingsisle community, this can mean everything from engaging with other #Twizards and #Twirates, being a blogger for a fansite such as Adventures of the Spiral, or just going to community meetups. Throughout my Wizard101 years, I worked hard to make a name for myself. I did this through running numerous fansites and projects, running a successful podcast, and becoming friends with people more well-known then me (networking). Every opportunity you don’t take is an outcome you will never know. If I never reached out to Friendly Necromancer years ago to get tips on becoming a better blogger, I never would have been able to meet other community members who have helped me get to where I am. What I’m getting at is ask around the community, see if there are social media positions or blogging positions or graphic design tasks for you to complete. Find your skill and be the best at whatever it is you do. This will then give you a reputable project to display to other companies and jobs in your future.
I recently left Titan but while working as the Community Manager there, I did everything from planning and executing content, handling all forms of social media and graphics work as well. I took my skills from many years of working within the Wizard101 scene to a higher level which ultimately got me a job working for one of eSports' most recognizable organizations.
Five Years of Work Has Paid Off
As I conclude this post, know that any of you can be the next big Wizard101 blogger, video game producer, or whatever it is you want! As long as you’re willing to give it 110% effort and know that it won’t happen overnight, you should be fine. It took me five years to get to where I am, and two years to make it in the Wizard101 scene because websites like Wizard101 Central and blogs were still a new concept. Take risks, meet new people, and follow your dreams because anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
While I’m not an "active" member within the Wizard101 community anymore, I’m always looking to give a helping hand. If you have any specific questions, feel free to tweet them to me @ShadowhornGG and I’ll make a YouTube video within the coming weeks answering some of them.
I wish you all the best of luck with your future endeavors and hope to see you at the forefront of whatever it is you chose to pursue.
A big thanks to Yadin for taking the time to write this post and share his knowledge! I hope you enjoyed it! Take a look at Shadowhorn Gaming HERE. Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!