If you're reading this, I assume you want to get your game-loving-butt into E3. Well, I'm here to help! I've seen a lot of "E3 denied"-esque tweets and posts across my social channels lately, and it makes me sad because just last year I was a proud recipient of an E3 Denial email myself. But I dug, dug and dug some more until I figured out why I was getting denied. And once I figured out what needed to be done -- whoosh -- I was accepted into my first *personally* earned E3 Media Badge. (Meaning I didn't utilize the credentials of any other outlet except my own.)
This is for bloggers/website owners/enthusiasts/journos/etc. Just a fair warning -- if you're looking for a way to cheat yourself in, you won't find it here. Getting into E3 generally takes a buttload of work, but you have until mid-June to get yourself to where you need to be. Finally, I'm not claiming to be an expert on this whole shindig -- this is just me sharing what worked for me. Hopefully it will work for you, too!
Get your website on Quantcast
Did you know the E3 Registration Team doesn't accept Google Analytics? The team uses Compete.com, Quantcast.com and Alexa to check traffic flow. Last I checked Compete.com cost a lot of rupees, so I recommend registering your website for free with Quantcast. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this. **NOTE** This could very well be why you're getting denied -- in fact, it was the reason I was repeatedly rejected last year. My Google Analytics said my site was receiving stellar traffic, but unbeknownst to me the E3 Team didn't accept it as accurate data and in came the denial letters.
Also note that an entire month's worth of data takes, well, an entire month to accumulate after your website has been registered, so the sooner you register the better!
Check your trafficEven if your site is registered on Quantcast, your application for a media badge will be denied if traffic isn't sufficient. Last year the requirement for a media badge was 10,000 uniques/badge. So, if you had 20,000 uniques you'd qualify for two badges, 30,000 uniques earned you three badges, etc. ROCKET SCIENCE. I have no clue what the requirements are this year, but my guess is they're either the same, or fall within the 10,000 - 15,000 unique range per badge.
Post and post often
Take a peek at your website. Does it contain news articles, or just memes and silly videos? Now is the time to push news, reviews, previews, etc. While I was speaking with an E3 representative last year (via telephone) she checked my website during the call. She basically said, "I'm checking Quantcast, and it looks like you have the traffic requirements, and I'm hopping on your website now...it looks like you're posting news pieces frequently...alright! Check your email soon for an E3 confirmation." SCORE. I definitely get a kick out of posting memes, funny videos and other industry-related shenanigans myself, but I recommend making sure your website is looking top-notch around the time you submit your application.
***If your website meets these top three requirements apply today. BUT if your traffic is a few thousand under, wait. Getting approved can take more than two weeks, and should you be denied, you'll likely need to reapply. The weeks quickly add up. Better to nail it the first time.
Push. Get on social media
So you're registered on Quantcast and you're posting a few times a day but your traffic still doesn't meet the requirements. Ask yourself, how badly do you want this? If it's pretty freakin bad, not all hope is lost. Like I said in the beginning, you have until June to amp up your stats.
It's time to get active on social media. Does your website have a Twitter account and a Facebook page? Google +? If not, stop everything and set those up immediately. Social media drives a BUTTLOAD of traffic to my site, and without it there's a good chance I wouldn't have been accepted this year.
Twitter: Follow people in the gaming industry. Interact with them. Be civil. Be professional. But let your personality shine through. Build relationships. Talk about the industry. There are some AMAZING, amazing people on Twitter and I've built some of my best friendships over the platform. Go seek 'em out, and share your stuff with the world. But for the love of God, don't spam. Don't do any of that, "HEY @______ CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOG POST!" and proceed to do that with everyone in your timeline. You will soon be unfollowed so hard.
Facebook: After you have that spiffy Facebook page set up, start advertising. Did you know you can advertise for as little as a dollar a day? (That's what I did in the beginning of my BlondeNerd.com days. The likes began to rack up, and before I knew it I had a small audience!) Once you have a crowd, share your website! Share articles. I recommend responding to EVERY comment that is left. After all, if your fans are willing to take the time to check out your website and comment, you can at least do the same! You want these people to feel a connection with you, and you with them. If they respect you and you respect them, they're going to dig your work.
Don't accept "No"
Before I go any deeper into this, by no means do I mean you should blast the poor E3 Media Registration Team with rude emails and harassing phone calls. That's obviously not professional, and the last thing you want to do is taint your reputation in a relatively small pool of industry folk. Here's the point I'm trying to make: had I accepted my original denial email last year, had I thrown in the towel and slumped away I wouldn't have went to E3.
I asked questions, I worked my ass off and I was accepted.
In my experience, the E3 Registration Team consists of very kind people. They're just swamped, so if you don't receive an answer in a week, hell, sometimes even two don't sweat it. But don't let a month go by.I hope these tips help! If you have any other questions I can try my best to answer. Also, I recommend checking out the E3 Media FAQ!