Well, here we are cutting a swath into the first month of the new year. As the blog moves into its 6th YEAR I for one find myself shocked that I am still doing this, Wow!
A Look Back at 2017
I could say the 2017 overall was rollercoaster ride Although to be completely honest it was more like a ski lift ever upwards to skydive off a cliff at the end for me. It honestly took me a few weeks to process & come to the conclusion on whether or not I felt I had a good 2017 or a bad 2017. And overwhelmingly the answer is yes I had an amazing 2017 with one hiccup that for a little while nearly ruined it for me.
You see the beginning of 2017 I decided that I would take on the opportunity to earn extra cash as a freelance blogger. I thought this would give me time to improve my writing skills and earn some money on the side & in the end it would help this blog. By the end of the year, I saw I had learned a lot working as a freelance blogger. I came to better appreciate deadlines, writing in other styles, valuing my own writing for myself and most of all I like to getting paid for blogging.
So it never occurred to me at first until begin working on other peoples pages and being paid for working as a Ghostwriter. You have to understand before 2017 ended I have never been paid to write Runkle Plays Games. Granted I have received compensation in samples of products & PDFs as well as a few physical books for my blog. But never had I been paid to write my own content on my own blog.
Freelance blogging was going wonderfully and I had set up a testimonial page to get feedback from the writers of projects I had reviewed over the years. I began to think about how nice would it be if I could just work on my page full time instead of spending my time writing for other blogs.
So I turned to Patreon?
Now, this is where my misstep of the year in my opinion occurred. I had mistaken high blog view numbers combined with tremendous praise from Creator’s Testimonials along with making an income as a ghostwriter. Into a false assumption that this would naturally convert into Patrons.
When it didn’t I was crushed, and honestly, on reflection it was silly. My blog did not grow overnight. Nor did creator base of reviews so why should taking a huge step forward and asking followers of my blog to subscribe have been any different? The icing on that Patreon cake for me happened within a week of me starting my Patreon, The dreaded price changes and the chaos that followed.
Yet while all this crazy was going on A project that I had been planning for most of the year finally came about. I had seen Kickstarter projects for scented candles themed towards gamers but they never satisfied me. What I wanted to see what was 20-sided die candle but more than that I wanted them to be treasure candles. I sorted my molds and got a pile of metal D20s and started making candles. I honestly had no real Idea if anyone would want them. But I thought they would, it turned out I was right. When I went to Mace 2017 it was my first test. We packed about a dozen Crit Candles (The name we gave them) for the convention and hoped to maybe sell a few. In the end, we came home with no candles I was absolutely floored!
With Christmas right around the corner like we got to make as many candles as I could, so at my sold at my FLGS, others on Etsy and a few by word of mouth and Facebook. It was nothing short of amazing. Honestly thought that once Christmas was over candle sales would drop off or slow down, Admittedly they have slowed down a little bit but to my surprise, they continue to sell at a steady clip.
So Here We Are 2018
So here we are looking forward to a new year, so much has changed in the only the last few weeks. Only a few weeks ago I was frustrated that the Patron was not going to be able to provide extra income so I could slow down my ghostwriting and devote more time to my blog. The birth of Crit Candles comes and allows me to do just that!
Over the next few weeks, things will still be slow this year as I am focused on my sons SSI case as we are about to go before a judge to determine if he will finally be granted disability. It has been a long road and we can finally see the end of the road.
After that, I have EVERYTHING Fragged to bring to review for all of you! That’s right Wade Dryer has sent us all of his new Fragged books for review and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you about them!
Additionally, with the revisit of one of my old cipher system games in my RPG group, I am happy to say that I will be updating all my old Cypher Shadowrun blogs. Looking back on them and discussing the old continent with my friend Nick Chapman we have seen errors as well as simplifications to the some of our ideas that will be a great update to a set of blogs that see regular viewing on my page.
Look forward to more blogs along the lines of Homebrew content and crafting including 3D printing projects as I am taking a hardcore look at investing in a resin 3d Printer. More on that to come soon!
I will keep the Patreon going but I have chosen not to rely on it. If you chose to support me through it you have my deepest thanks. As always thank you for your support, it’s been an amazing experience and we are not going to stop anytime soon.
2018 is going to be a good year!
Note: There are so many ways to help my blog other than becoming a Patron. Follow my affiliate links to Amazon, DTRPG and this helps.
Check out what I have on our Etsy or eBay store and support us directly and get something like a Crit Candle for you to show of at your table!
I think it is very difficult to make that transition from working for love to working for money, especially in blogging. A few cents in Drivethru commission is never going to add up to a monthly salary. My blog is for a niche game with possibly only 500 GMs worldwide. It is quite nice to know that it really has no earnings potential at all so there is no point in trying!
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I had never expected or wanted enough to make a salary, My honest hopes were enough to offset the cost of paying for the domain and such each year. I agree that many that look to Patreon go there expecting to quit work and Ironicly now that you mention it that may have been what some people were thinking as I likely never made it clear enough. Something I might go look at now to be sure is the case.
To be fully transparent as you mentioned monthly Salary the Freelance bloging that I do is really only part time work that suplemented extra cash flow. I can see now hindsite 20-20 that for many they would asume that this was in refrence to full time work. Thank you for your comment as always I apreciate your thoughts.
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I appreciate that kind of writing Candle. I love these candles. These treasure candles make perfect gifts!
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It was funny to see a reply to a comment that was 5 years old!
It is equally interesting how things change. I now work full time with my indie RPG business. My previous day job was working in the travel money industry and you can imagine how well that went through the pandemic.
My rolemaster blog spawned a fanzine that I sold through Amazon and DTRPG. From there, I started making small supplements, and that grew into an indie publisher, a patreon, and youtube channel. I had no concept that this was going to be possible back in 2018.
How did the SSI hearing go?