Hi there everybody! Sorry about the missed post last week. The final weeks of uni semester are upon me and things have been pretty hectic. But today I’m going to bring up something that I’m sure a lot of people are thinking about, their future. But specifically for me I’m going to discuss the future of this here blog.
Now you might be thinking that this might just be a university project, something to work on for a semester before forgetting about and dropping. But that’s not something I really plan on doing here since I’ve really enjoyed doing these posts, short stories and reviews. That said I would still like to achieve more of a following and maybe even make a career out of what I do. So without any more preamble, here is my main strategy for moving forward with this blog.
Step #1: Finding my Focus
I’ll be upfront with this one. I am not an entirely focused person. But one of the upshots of that is that I have an eclectic knowledge and varied tastes for different media, hobbies, games and music. While I don’t have an in-depth knowledge about every little thing I gravitate towards I still have enough of an understanding to form an opinion on it. And by looking for the more unique stuff out there I can find new things to obsess over for periods of time.
For this blog my focus is primarily on media with integral narratives, both old material and recent releases. Movies, books, games, comics, that sort of thing. So while I really did enjoy making the Spotlight on Steam Powered Giraffe, you shouldn’t expect any more Spotlights like that unless I opened up a Patreon account and offer sponsored reviews for donations. And speaking of Patreon, that leads directly into my next point…
Step #2: Money, Money, Money
So here’s a thing that a lot of people on the internet get their knickers in a twist about: monetisation. Full disclosure, I am one of the person that generally uses Adblock when going around the internet. There are so many ads that are just intrusive, annoying and so clearly manipulative that it just makes you cringe. But over the past few years I’ve come to realise just how important ad revenue is to independent creators on sites like YouTube and even here on WordPress. Disabling your adblocker for sites like these are hugely important for the creators who rely on this revenue not just to continue doing what they love, but to keep up the quality of their content and make a living for themselves. Nobody should have that chance taken away from them.
Once I reach over 100 followers, I’ll begin monetising my blog through ad revenue. A bit of a crappy way to celebrate 100 followers I’ll admit, but that just means that I’m going to have to do something special to thank you. If I get enough of a demand for it I’ll also open a Patreon account so I can accept donations.
Another thing I can see myself doing is sponsored content. This is one of the many things that’s gotten the internet in a bit of a tiff due to the idea that because it’s being funded by the creators of the content being reviewed and so would change the reviewer’s opinion of it because money. But it’s possible to review something fairly and objectively when you’re being paid to do so and not just become a money-filled sock puppet. If a company gets upset that a critic discusses a piece of content’s flaws when they paid them to review their content, then they’re misinterpreting the job of a critic.
Step #3: Budgeting
Reviewing new material is costly. Movie tickets, book prices and the cost for new games all adds up and it’s not something that is sustainable on its own. Once I reach a point where I have a stable income, I’ll create a proper budget which I can base my activity on.
For argument’s sake, let’s have it at $100 per week. 40% goes to movie screenings at the local theatre since there are a lot of movies out there and will probably require multiple viewings to really understand the narrative and catch anything that I might have missed over the initial viewing. 15% will go to books since reading and really absorbing books takes a while which means I probably won’t be buying a new book every week. Another 35% will go towards buying video games to review. There are a lot of games out there that don’t seem to get the attention they deserve, especially on Steam where they can be buried under piles of Greenlight asset-flips or shovelware or overshadowed by more popular releases. The last 5% would be for travel expenses on public transport since I don’t have a car or other personal transport with me in Melbourne.
Step #4: Getting Out There
Like I said earlier, I’m a very varied person so there’s a lot that I want to do. I’ve never really had much of a social media presence before, but that might change if I become popular enough.
I’ve had a YouTube channel for a while where I made various game reviews, first impressions and shitposts. I haven’t updated it in a while, but that might change as I’ve had an idea for a video series where I review other YouTube creators, imitating their general style in the review. All I need to do such a thing is halfway decent editing software and maybe a camera, but if that idea proves popular it’d be a worthy investment.
If I do get a stronger presence on the internet collaborations are also a tempting idea. Even meeting the people who have inspired me would be a dream come true, but working with them as a team would be even better. Of course the quality of the produced material should be the thing that comes first. Collaborations just for popularity’s sake is often just a desperate grab for a wider audience. The thing about good quality content is that it’s an attracting force all of its own.
If I do become enough of a persona on the internet I might even appear on more mainstream sites like Geek and Sundry as a guest creator.
Step #5: Socialise!
Something that I really enjoy is meeting new people and talking with them. But so far I haven’t really had much of a chance to do that with my blog since nobody is leaving replies on my posts. Creating and cultivating a community is probably one of the best things a creator can do. Bringing people together is a part of human nature that I’d love to be a part of.
Something else I’d love to do more is go to conventions. Living in Melbourne at the moment means that I have access to some of Australia’s more populated conventions like Supanova. I can learn from others attending the same conventions and experience things alongside other fans. Hopefully by sharing my experience I can show others what it’s like to attend conventions as well.
Step #6: Housekeeping
There are some miscellaneous changes I’d also like to make if I become popular enough. First of all is getting a custom URL, which is something that I can do pretty easily using WordPress, but then again if the worst were to happen to WordPress, my site would go down as well. So the biggest end goal for me would be creating my own website, but that seems like it’d still be pretty far off in terms of my future plans.
Something even bigger as an end goal would be joining a group like Channel Awesome, geek.com or Normal Boots. The creators from those companies are always of top quality and have almost legendary status within their communities. People like Doug Walker, Lewis Lovhaug, Bob Chipman, Jon Jafari, and Jared Knabenbauer are all personal inspirations of mine and always uphold a standard of quality that I’m frankly envious of.
So there you have it, my plans for the future. If you have any thoughts or reccomendations, suggestions or past experiences, let me know by leaving a reply, by sending me a message on my blog or by Tweeting @plotdotgif. I’ll be sure to reply to whatever you ask. Here’s to the future and whatever it might bring!