I figured I would do an end of the year blog post. It’s been a long year with a lot of thing changing for my online platform. The biggest change was my move away from Facebook to an actual web page.
I’m very happy for this change. I’d been on Facebook for a little over a year and a half before the move. I was getting frustrated with lack of growth and my inability to have metrics to measure said growth. I made my first post on my web page on July 3rd It was the Silvermoon Summer Mid-reign. You can read it HERE.
I also spent some time rewriting a few of my articles when I transferred them to the web page. Specifically “Baelnorn’s Guide to Feast Preparing“. It was mostly minor fixes, things to make it read better. As for Articles I wrote one before I moved to the new website and 4 articles since I’ve moved.
- Masterhood and Knighthood
- Is Amtgard a LARP
- Cultivating the RP in LARP in Amtgard
- Service Households
- What is Amtgard?
“Is Amtgard a LARP” was my most well read article this year, on day one I had 160 people read it. I imagine it had to do with the subject being something of a controversial topic. There were lots of on going arguments about whether or not Amtgard is a LARP or not before the article and there probably will be long after the article. Spoiler, Amtgard is a LARP and I lay out my explanation in the article.
The second Article in the two part series was “Cultivating the RP in LARP in Amtgard”. It was the second most popular Article, but only had about 90 views on the first day.
The first Article created a lot over conversation on the main Amtgard Facebook page, but reading the comments it made me think a lot of people didn’t really read the article. Very few people actually referenced the material. It was still nice to see that it generated as much buzz as it did, even if the conversation didn’t invoke the meat of the article.
The second most read Article was probably more fun for me to write though, “Cultivating RP in LARP in Amtgard”. It allowed me to flex my teaching muscles a little bit. It also inspired me to work on a reign long story that involves connected battle games and quests. The project is only at the planning stages as I got distracted by other projects but I most certainly plan on returning to it.
“Service Households” was probably second most engaged post on the Amtgard Facebook page. It got approximately 60 views the first day but people were appreciative of the content and it got a few shares. It occurred to me people often ask, “How do I start a Household?” and there really isn’t a guide. In reality it’s rather simple, you just say you are a household and you are one, but for it to be successful there is a lot more to it, which is what I covered. A lot of the material can also apply to starting a fighting company and I occasionally share it when people ask how to start one.
Then there is my last Article, “What is Amtgard?”, which I wrote based off a conversation I had with one of my readers. They often send people to my blog to read about Amtgard. It occurred to me I didn’t really have a cut and dry answer for what Amtgard is on my page, so I decided to write one. This article got a few shares, which was appreciated.
The Web Page
The web page as also changed since it’s first incarnation. I’ve continued to add resources to the resource page. I’ve also added additional LARP platforms such as YouTube and Twitter.
I’ve added a random YouTube video on the side of the web page, along with a Twitter thread. I also added a Patreon Supporters page dedicated to my Patreon Patrons. Additionally I added Books page dedicated to my writings on Amazon.
The web site format also went through minor changes throughout the year. For example I only had one column, which was on the right. As I added additional content I had to add a left handed column as well. I also started to add more tags to each post to allow for better searching.
Patreon and Combing Formats
After a few months of the new website I decided I further wanted to expand what I was offering, as well as combing all of my different projects into one platform. That’s where Patreon came in.
I tried to use Patreon as a way to raise money for my writing and creative projects back in 2017 but had no success. In September I worked on re-branding the Patreon page and on October 4th I made my first post, “Service Households”.
This time I didn’t segregate my various projects. As well as posting my weekly blogs and Articles I’ve been posting behind the scenes blogs and integrating my creative writing. In December I started serializing a rough draft that I’ve been working on for the story called Philip Clowes. Eventually my photography will be added to Patreon, as I get back into it.
So far growth has been slow but there has been growth. I currently have 6 Patrons and I’m earning a total of $20 a month. I’m now in the positive, the cost for the web page is $12 so I’m make $8 a month. Once I reach $50 a month I’ll remove the ads from my web page If your interested in becoming a Patron for the new year it would be greatly appropriated.
I have also made some progress on my creative writing this year. I have published a second issue of Failed Schemes Magazine, which you can buy for a $1 HERE. There is three years between the two issues, but I hope to keep to a much more regular schedule regarding issue publications.
It’s been a while since I have been able to write creatively but I’ve started to do so again in the last few months. Most notable the story I mentioned earlier, Philip Clowes. I originally started the story years ago, but it got to a point where I wasn’t sure where it should go and I let it sit. This fall I was browsing through my files, saw it, reread it and I was reinvigorated. I can’t seem to write as much as I did at my height of creative writing (3-5k words a day) but I’m making progress and I’m eager to share it. If I manage to finish it, it will be the second draft of a novel I’ve written.
As to my first novel, I am still making some progress on it. I have a beta reader, Jordan, who is reading it. I’ve had beta readers before but this is the first one I think that will actually finish it and give me solid feedback. I look forward to getting that feedback.
Next year is looking pretty bright. Not only will I be continuing to do what I’ve been doing, I plan on a few expansions. The first big one is merchandise. I currently have a friend working on a gnome-centric logo which I’ll be selling in the form of t-shirts and other brandable merchandise. If successful I also plan on commissioning more artwork to sell, specifically gnomes themed on the different classes of Amtgard.
The next project is a AMA on twitch. I’ve worked out which game I’m going to play, Terraria, as well as what day of the week, Thursday, and the time, 8pm PST. What I have not determined is exactly which day I’m going to do it. I do believe it will be sometime in January, despite it being a busy month. If it goes well I might continue to stream games and talk about Amtgard on a semi regular basis.
I also plan on continuing my YouTube Channel. I have no current plans to start editing any of the content, but it is a possibility I’m considering. If I do add edited content it won’t be till much later in the year. I do need to create a better intro video than the one I currently have. That is most likely going to be the first edited video if there is one.
Blogs and Articles
As for my regular content I will continue on as always, I plan to continue to put out weekly content. I don’t foresee any multi-month long trips, like I had this year so content should continue regularly. There might be a few weeks that I won’t be at Amtgard, but as always I’ll try to add some sort of weekly blog.
Articles will continue as usual. I try to put them out on a bi-monthly basis, which I did reasonably well at this year, but it’s not a guarantee. I write them as I come up with ideas, which I will admit, I’m terrible at. I often look to my readers for suggestions, so please, feel free to make suggestions. I may not always use those suggestions, but they are appreciated and they often help generate ideas. I have been considering writing a series of articles about running multi-day events, but when I sit down to write it, I find it rather daunting. I do have an outline. Perhaps I will continue writing those articles this year and get them published.
My writing is looking pretty positive. I plan on releasing the third issue of Failed Schemes Magazine. I believe this will be the first issue to feature authors other than myself. I plan on trying to release an issue at least once a year from here on out.
I’m excited to continue writing the Philip Clowes story. The writing might end up going slowly but I plan on writing enough that I can continue to release sections of it on my Patreon on a regular basis. I can’t say for sure that I will finish the rough draft next year but my hope is to do so.
I also hope to work on my first novel again. I really need to wait for Jordan to finish their read through so I know what I should work on. I’ve done a few edit passes but they have been minor fixes, nothing to the plot or character development. I don’t think I’ll get it to a finished state next year but I hope to make some good progress on it.
I also plan to do some random short stories to round out my writing. I don’t have any specific ideas at this point, I just know I want to put out some content. I also need to write some more content for Shattered Kingdoms, so keep an eye out for that. There is one quest in participial that I look forward to writing, it will take the form of diary entries. I will publish them after the event in June.
There has been a lot going on this year and there is a lot planned for next year, which made this blog post rather long. I hope you were able to read it to till its end and you enjoyed it.
I look forward to growing my readership and would invite everyone reading this to help expanded it too. I always appreciate comments, feedback and shares. If I don’t hear from people, I don’t won’t know how I’m doing. I really enjoyed all the people coming up to me at park days, telling me about how they read my content. It makes this whole thing worth doing.
Till next year!