Shivam of @MCraftGuide hosts a Minecraft platform which helps Minecraft players become better builders. In two months, Shivam has built out a full website and launched an Instagram page with over 23K followers. You can check out the full site here.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and MCraftGuide.
My name is Shivam and I am from Indian family. I recently started a media company called MCraftGuide to help Minecraft Players. I haven’t been playing Minecraft that long – I actually just started seven months ago after I saw my brother playing one day.
He explained the game’s infinite possibilities, adventures, the ability to engineer with redstone, and so on. When I first downloaded the game, I could not have been more confused. To me, it was harder than coding an app or a site. It took me a few days to understand everything through the internet and social media. I was able to practice and become adept within a few months. The great thing about the game is that there is always something new to do or learn.
Would you rather build a castle or pirate ship, and why?
If I had to choose between a castle or pirate ship I must go with a ship. A castle is ordinary because there are some common patterns you can follow. Ships are more free form and it would be cool to build something that floats on water.
What’s your favorite Minecraft biome?
My favorite biome is the mesa biome/badlands. I really love playing in the mesa biome, mainly because it looks so awesome. It’s also a very unique biome – most biomes have select blocks like dirt, sand, or grass. Meanwhile the mesa has terracotta, which is dope.
The mesa biomes have a lot of mineshafts and the rails will help you make routes to the villages. It’s also easy to make mob farms here due to all the spawners.
Also important – gold is most common in mesa biomes!
What’s your favorite kind of build?
In creative mode I like huge builds in which everything looks simple but there are numerous patterns.
In survival mode I prefer to build actionable structures. Also a few aesthetically pleasing structures that are easier to build.
Is there a general strategy you follow while building?
Building is all about making something notable and using the right kind of blocks.
To become a good builder, you just have to decide what to build and what blocks fit the situation.
Let’s use flooring as an example. I always prefer slab flooring. I may use diorite slabs, andestine slabs, and occasionally granite. I always use the polished form of these blocks.
If I were to make something like a medieval castle, I’d use stone brick blocks.
In general, if you want to get better at building you should follow some good builders – on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.
How did you first come up with the idea to make guides? Did any content creators inspire you?
When I first started playing Minecraft, I needed some help. There was a lot to discover and not everything could be self-taught. When I started my journey, there were no proper resources in which I could find answers to all of my questions.
This is why I decided to create MCraftGuide, so users can find answers to all of their Minecraft questions.
How long have you been making guides?
For about two months thus far. We don’t produce a ton of guides because our focus is high quality content over a high quantity of content.
What’s your strategy for making guides — do you come up with a plan from start to finish?
First, I understand the need. I see what people are searching for and if the niche already has information on it.
Second, I create the content. As I mentioned, we focus on high quality content. Once we find a keyword that is repeated in searches, we start creating a top-tier guide.
Third, I format the content. After we’ve made a guide, we give it life with images, screenshots, videos, and more.
How long does it take to make a guide?
There are a lot of nuances to making guides; usually they take around two days. They may only take a few minutes to read, but they require days of work.
How do you decide what guides to make?
This is an important process because there are many other people/groups making guides. If you want to stand out you need to write what others don’t write about but people care to read.
We try to analyze the competition and make sure a space isn’t too crowded before making that guide.
Do you think you’d ever make non-Minecraft guides?
I think if the current platform is successful then I may create a new platform for another game. Currently, I’m just focused on growing this particular site.
How do you plan to expand your site, what’s next?
Currently, I’m focused on ranking my site as the top position on Google because organic reach is better than anything else. At the same time I’m trying to grow MCraftGuide on social media because gaming websites get 90% of their traffic from social media.
It is always better to establish yourself on social media. We are trying our best to be on most of the major social media platforms. I recently started Twitter and YouTube because I think these outlets offer a lot of potential for us.
We don’t hire our social media managers externally - I’ve become an expert on Instagram and Pinterest.
For a few days I’ve been focusing on SEO to rank my site in the search engines.
If everything goes well and site traffic picks up our next target will be an amazing server. We want to make it the most popular server on Minecraft! Let's hope for the best.