Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday Sermon: Would you pay to read this stuff?

In the top of the right hand column is now a contribute button.

Don't worry I'm not going to force anyone into subscription fees, or some sort of pay per view arrangement, primarily because I don't think anyone would pay them. Rightly so too, it's also highly cheeky and not the sort of thing I'd like to get involved in. I'm under no illusions here that what I do reaches a limited number of people, and maybe only a smattering of them will think what I do is worth anything at all, and at best only half of them might be willing to contribute anything. But, I've been having a chat with a fair few people who have said they'd actually like to contribute some money to my Blog to:

  1. Say thanks for the effort I put into my articles.
  2. Say thanks for all the impartial advice I give out in the comments sections, as well as my artilces.
  3. Pay to ensure I will still do more review / opinion / painting / whatever articles.
  4. To help me out with my running costs with the Blog, because I am now incurring running costs.

Now I have to be brutally honest here, it wasn't something I'd actually thought of at all. So having somebody else say "hey Frontline Gamer I appreciate what you do, and would like to chuck some money your way to say thanks and to support you" was a bit bizarre. I've sat on this suggestion now for a few months, 6 to be precise, and in that time more people have contacted me to say it's a shame there's not a 'donate button', or a way I can make money out of my Blog. This suggestion has come up an awful lot. I'm sure many of you know only too well that I'm currently still unemployed, and as such am totally skint. This presents me with a number of problems, not least of which is paying the mortgage! But, for the moment we (Dr Brainiac and I) have got that just about covered at least. No, more importantly people like reading my reviews and articles, and given the current state of my finances I'm not really able to 'review' as many things as I'd like to. Plus, I dedicate a lot of my time to not only writing this Blog, but also communicating with everyone and answering questions, and it would be nice for that to be recognised, so I can keep on doing it.

Ensure Tybalt has more stuff to test to destruction.

I guess one way around this would be to actually get more pro-active with asking for freebies to review, but that leads me into difficult territory I guess. Does somebody then say, "ah yes we'll give you this to review, but we want a good score and an Approved by Cats award"? I mean I've been really honest about where my stuff comes from, and what I think of it all, regardless of whether it has been sent to me free of charge to review or not. I've been honest in my appraisals. I'm always open to a bit of free promotional stuff to review as well, and as you have seen recently I'm more than willing to share the 'love' with my readers and followers when it comes to 'free'. I'll make a commitment to you all here and now that I will continue to do so as well, for as long as I can keep this Blog going. But, it's fair to say I am now incurring costs, my reviews are picture heavy and storing those pictures costs money. Talking of my pictures I'd like to be able to make them better. I'd like to get some new equipment or software, and maybe even some photography training to improve the quality of my photography. It's been an annoyance to me that I'm so poor at taking snaps of stuff. It's an area I know needs improvement, but I feel it'll cost me money to do so, money I just don't have. So how do I get it?

Help keep the Cats entertained
I've considered selling links on my Blog, you know, those hyperlinks with double lines underneath them that take you to products not associated with what I'm writing about, like Viagra adverts, or maybe sanitary towels. But, such things annoy me personally, and I guess they'd annoy the majority of you too, so I ruled them out. Then there was sponsorship from a company, again something I'd considered, but felt it could get awkward for me. I mean I like to speak my mind and talk about what I like and what I don't, so if I was sponsored by a shop or a game could I realistically do that? Even if I could, and I did, would you guys still believe and trust me? Nope, my impartiality is important to what I do on this Blog and I think you all appreciate that I can be honest, and more importantly that I am. I think you appreciate that I'm honest about where my review stuff comes from too, in fact you've told me you are in hundreds of emails. So that's that idea ruled out. I could still go the Google ads route, and overload this Blog with adverts, clutter up the look of the place and face the exact same issues as I would being sponsored in effect... Am I impartial?  How can I be with adverts for game 'X' plastered all over the place, or shop 'Y'? When I've asked for emails and feedback off of you all, my honesty and impartiality are two of the most cited reason people actually read my Blog. I can't do anything that could potentially harm that.

Princess Dinah Bear needs maor boxes to sit on.
No this leaves me with trying something out that's a little bit different, and hell, maybe even a little bit radical... although I've seen other Blogs do it, so it's worth a shot. I will be putting a contribute button up using PayPal, whereby you can make a contribution to support me at any time for any amount you like if you think what I do is worth paying for. If you don't think it's worth paying for, or you can't pay anything, don't worry, I'm not expecting anyone at all to make any contributions. It would just be nice if some people did. With so many people telling me I should do it I thought 'what the heck, let's give it a go'. Of course it's not going to be mandatory, and I wouldn't want it to be. Frontline Gamer will always be free to access. So what am I hoping for? The ultimate aim would be that enough of you actually thought it was worth contributing a regular sum of money to cover the costs of running the Blog, getting things in to review, and helping support me to put in the time and work that I do to create this Blog. Maybe even pay the Internet and phone bill I rack up chasing various bits of information to put up on the Blog and stuff. I doubt I'm going to make enough money to turn this into a full time job!!! I'm certainly not that naive, but it'll be interesting for me at least to see if any of you think there's any monetary value in what I do. So what does this mean?

Please help us to keep Poppy distracted... or she'll eat us!!!

Not a lot really, it's just an experiment for now. I'm not begging for money off of anyone as I know times are tight for us all. But, I do put a hell of a lot of effort, work, time and passion into my Blog as many of you point out to me, and I've tried very hard of late to step up the professionality of what I do here, and I'll be striving to improve things even more. I do make regular quality posts and I'm working on having a good spread of regular articles soon, and I have a totally fantastic back catalogue of articles that acts as a really good resource, if I do say so myself! My Blog will always be free to view and access, I want to be clear on that. So if you think what I do is worth you chucking £5 a month or even $1 if you've found an article useful in the past, then I'd rather be 'owned' as it were by the people who use my Blog, and appreciate it for what it is. I just feel this is a much better option than having my Blog plastered full of adverts, etc. that could call my impartiality into question. Plus, as I say, if I was going to feel loyal or beholden to anyone I'd much rather it be you lot, my readers. So there it is: my next big experiment with contributions. Thanks for all your continued support, I'm fully expecting this to fall flat on it's face but I thought it might be worth a go. Please let me know what you think, as always I appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Peace out!


  1. Popped in a sandwich or two. I appreciate the work you do, even when we differ.

    I wonder if there's some kind of benefit you could offer to people who did subscribe? Become a little bit of a publication in a more traditional sense.

    For example, I'm a "Publisher's Club" member over at The Escapist - that costs me about £15 a year, and in return I don't see ads on the site, I get access to some content early, I get better quality videos, etc, etc. I know it's not comparable (the scale is WAAAY off), but it might be worth putting some thought into if there's something you could offer that is a "nice to have" benefit without your non-paying readers feeling that they're being punished.

    I'd happily sign up to chuck in a sandwich a month if you can keep this quality going, but I suspect you're going to hit the free rider problem without SOME benefit (well, you already have hit it or you wouldn't be putting up a donate button).

    1. Ant I think you might be right. I very much doubt that I'll accrue much in the way of contributions. But so many people have told me they would contribute that I thought I'd give it a go.

      I'm not so sure the Blog is popular enough to offer 'unique perks' to those who do contribute something. And I'm not entirely sure what I could offer within the confines of Blogger... or even if I'd want to do that.

      As you say though, I have hit the point that when I look back at my diary of what I do in a day, I'm genuinely getting close to giving this Blog 5 to 6 hours a day of my time, 7 days a week. That is genuinely a hell of a lot of effort for no fiscal reward. If I was charging a consultaion fee at the rates I have in the past i'd be charging roughly £180 a day for the effort I put into this Blog. Currently I'm get £0. So perhaps it's worth a shot. We'll see.

    2. You're more than welcome.

      Another idea that occurred while I was out (I make no claims as to the quality of the ideas, but figure any idea could be useful):

      You don't want to be producer owned, but rather community owned, to that end maybe something like a sponsored blogroll? I know a lot of your commenters are also bloggers, and I know your current (rather over-subscribed) blogroll generates traffic. I've no idea of potential market or pricing, but some people / companies might be interested.

    3. I had thought of a sponsored Blog roll actually Ant, but as nobody actually suggested it too me I wandered whether instigating such an idea would just be a big huge faux pas. I know many people on my Blog Roll report they easily get their most hits from my Blog. Is that worth something to people? Honestly I don't know, would it have been worth something when I was starting out and still employed? Actually yes it would have been. I'm not too sure how much though. Maybe I'll throw it out there and ask people if they'd be interested in that.

      Another thing for me to consider though is that I do want this Blog to become a sort of hub of hobbyists... how do I do that IF I say hey it costs this much to get onto my Blog Roll. How does that work and what does that mean. Perhaps I have a two tier Blog Roll system a Blog Roll for contibutors to my Blog and then a smaller one further down the page for those who don't contribute?

      I've also considered producing one of badges like the Blog network badges you see for many Blog networks with an approved by cats badge, and a message tailored to your Blog from one of the Ministry of Cats members. Would that interest people? Honestly I don't really know, and if it did how much would people be willing to pay for that? Again it's all things t throw into the mix. Thanks for the ideas though, at the moment I'm all ears as to ways of making money out of this Blog and the work I put in, without having to sell my soul.

    4. I think it would have to be two-tier, given what you've said you want from this endeavour. People should pay for prominence, not membership.

      I also think the e-Zine concept Aeria_Gloris is fielding is a potential idea - the worry there is just what to paywall and what to display for free (Oh hello Free Rider, back again?).

      As a bit of a back-track, from my point of view I'd have no problems with you selling ad space or links to companies as long as those companies were ones you were in favour of. If Studio McVey (for instance) wanted a link, I don't see that as a conflict of interest, and I think most of your readership knows you're impartial (as would your sponsors). If a link to a certain online retailer recently mentioned (for example) showed up though I think that would be crossing the line you've drawn.

    5. The two tier idea isn't actually a bad one Ant, I guess theirs no harm in having two Blog rolls is their? One with a title 'Blogs Aprroved by Cats' or something similarly prestigious.

      Ad space is something I have an issue with, and actually a fair few people have contacted me to say that they too would feel it a bit odd if I went for ads. I wrote an article a fair few months back now about monetizing this Blog. I got a lot of really useful, supportive and insightful feedback that I really appreciated. Strangely sponsorship of certain aspects of my Blog seemed like something people would be more supportive of, which is a bit strange... but there it is. As always Ant your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

  2. I'll admit I really hadn't thought about costs such as uploading space for pictures and stuff like that. Somewhere in my strange little brain I have this association between 'writing a blog' and 'spending free time'.

    Not trying to sound like an ass here and I'm not saying that's the way it is. I realise it is more like a job, considering the time and money you invest in it. And as such, I will be contributing.

    I'll be honest, if you were just writing battle reports and 'gw can do no wrong/right' articles I probably wouldn't. It is the level of writing I find here. I didn't realise this before your sermon, but I'm viewing your site less as 'a blog' and more as an online magazine in the vein of Ravage.

    Hell, I bought the first english version of Ravage and my first impression was that I prefer your style of writing and in-depth coverage.

    Unique perks might be difficult, considering the scale we are talking about (I'm comparing you to Beasts of War and here). The only thing I can think of is doing a survey on future reviews. Not in the sense that contributers decide what you buy and thus what you review. But a choice out of games, books, miniatures that are going to be reviewed anyway. Like how you were going to do a review on Dark Age, but SinSynn convinced you to do Dust: Warfare first. I have no idea if this is feasable though.

    I really do hope you get something out of it though, the quality of writing deserves it.

    1. Ironically you are now the fourth person to tell me that they prefer my style of writing and my articles to Ravage magazine. That's interesting. I've also been told people have stopped reading other magazines and started reading this Blog instead. Well I guess if I've saved you dropping £6.50 or whatever it is to buy a physical publication, perhaps people might be willing to throw some of that money my way? I can only hope.

      I think a lot of people don't realise the work that goes into not only writing a Blog like this but also the support you have to put in to generate the sort of community I have. Obviously not everyone will appreciate that, and why should they if I don't tell them of the amount of work involved, and even if they do, not everyone will believe it's worth spending any cash on. That's fine too.

      As to offering perks etc. it is difficult. However, when looking at editorial content I'll be brutally honest here, I am more likely to ask those who do contribute some money to supporting this place over those who don't. For instance I can do mail shots to contributors asking them for feedback. Doing that without the sort of database that PayPal will provide me with would be difficult, and time consuming, but more importantly I guess I'll be honest here I'll naturally value the opinions of those who tacitly support what I do here. Why wouldn't I?

      Also thanks very much for the compliments, they are greatly appreciated, and it really does make me feel like what I do is worthwhile... it's just now the money helps too. :)

      So thanks

    2. That's basically what I had in mind. Treating your blog as an online magazine and 'buying' it every month. Perhaps you could raise enough money to buy a printing press! ;) With pink cover of course :p

      Indeed. Most things tend to look easy when you don't have to do them yourself. In the end it is something everyone has to decide for themselves. I'm actually very interested in how this plays out.

      I think it's only natural you would value the opinions of contributers, as they will probably be most likely to be psychologically invested in yout blog.

      No, thank you for taking the time and effort to ensure quality content. I hope you will be able to keep it up and that this initiative will help you do.

    3. Well interestingly so far this Sunday Sermon has actually been one of the most intensely read Sunday Sermons I've had. You know in terms of actual hits per hour after initial publication... yet it's been one of the worst commented on. Now that is interesting. I'll have to monitor this, but so far I've had 6 people contribute, and I am personally very grateful and appreciative of those who have contributed so far. Honestly it is 6 more than I thought I'd get and that's brilliant. Obviously though I've had nearly 300 contact me and say that in some way they'd like to contribute financially to what I do here and I should post a donate button... yet of the 6 people who have contributed... absolutely 0 of them were people who said they would contribute. So maybe there will be a rush at some point soon.

      But if 300 people contributed the roughly £5 they said they would per month for the work I do here, it'd be a fairly decent wage. So perhaps that's something to aim for, who knows. Either way I'm giving it a bash, people might tell me to shove off and that what I do is worth diddly squat, but at least I'll know.

    4. At the danger of sounding like an idiot, the thought really hadn't occured to me to support you for your work. Before the article obviously. Perhaps it's just me, but I think blogs can very easily be taken for granted.

    5. Absolutely no danger of sounding like an idiot. I myself didn't even think of this, it was somebody else who suggested it to me, even though I had myself often clicked on contribute buttons, so if anyone is the idiot it's probably me for not doing it sooner!!!


  3. Done - didn't even think twice about it, I get a tremendous amount of entertainment (for lack of a better word) out of your work here and am happy to pitch in what I can. Heck you've even plugged my blog from time to time which is really helpful for building my own readership!

    1. Thanks Jarret, your contribution is very much appreciated and very gratefully received. I did wander whether what I've done in trying to help build a bit of a community of Bloggers would be appreciated by some. Turns out for a select few of you so far it is. :)


  4. You could link the payments to the stuff you're going to review, eg: guys, I will need 60$ to buy such and such to review it. The first game to reach the target gets reviewed first. Etcetera.

    I like the donate button: Iám a great fan of Fortress Ameritrash ( and whenever I read a great article I just hit the button and contribute. It's no big deal, but apparently it helps paying the bills.

    1. That was sort of the logic of me putting my own button up. As bizarre as it sounds I've often done exactly like you have done yourself, and that's read Blogs or websites with a contribute button and just hit donate, and given whatever it was that I could. I guess it just felt really bizarre that people would do the same for my stuff. I guess you never really think what you yourself do is as good as what others do. I know I certainly don't and I'm certainly a bit uncomfortable when people give me praise for my work... it's nice and very appreciated, but often it leaves me feeling a bit awkward.

  5. Shut up and take my money! Seriously it's like you're reading my mind...or putting thoughts in there. Last week I was wondering how to get some Heavy Gear stuff to you (being Canadian and all). Being extremely lazy, this is perfect.

    Getting into Infinity brought me to your blog, but the consistently good reviews and articles has kept me coming back. I think that's something that needs to be compensated. A donate button is a good idea, even a voluntary monthly subscription fee would be welcome. I signed up to Beasts of War Backstage when it came out. Even if they don't put out articles that I'm interested in all the time, I think they deserve compensation on the whole for the good work they do, and so do you.

    Just some of my thoughts. Thanks, Greg.

    1. Did you know that laziness was the mother of all invention? Or at least I think that's what the saying is. I would have absolutely no idea how to go about setting up any voluntary monthly subscriptions, and as I said in the article I wasn't sure anyone would actually pay or sign up to such a scheme, perhaps I should just ask people what they think.

      And again seriously thanks for the compliments and contributions, both are very much appreciated. It's nice seeing a few people at least think what I'm doing is worth some of their own hard earned cash. We'll see I guess how long such contributions last, and how much money it will actually generate. I keep on saying I don't expect much, because I don't. In fact I'm genuinely surprised 8 people have supported this Blog as it is.

  6. Getting free stuff from manfacturers and getting paid to review it – genius idea, just gutted I didn't think of it first ;)

    1. Shhhh don't tell everyone!!! You'll ruin it for me. :P

      TBH the vast majority of items reviewed on this Blog actually still remain purchased by me. In fact given recent prize draws on this Blog I've certainly given a fair chunk of the 'free' stuff I get away. In fact I think I'm close to having given away £650's worth of prizes. So perhaps that's something worth supporting?

      Nah... only kidding. I'll give free stuff away because I like spreading a bit of cheer and goodwill to my fellow gamers regardless of whatever happens in terms of contributions.

  7. A donation is on its way to you mate.

    I've been reading your blog for a fair while now, check it all the time and have thoroughly enjoyed it so have no qualms about sending a few quid your way.

    As others have said, a regular monthly subscription would be something I'd definitely sign up for if ever it becomes a possibilty.

    Given the popularity of your recent give aways, would it be possible to do something similar on a regular basis but charge £1 or similar per entry? If you get a comparable number of entries to the recent competitions that should cover the cost of the prize and at least raise some funds for upkeep costs.

    1. o.0

      Why the hell didn't I think of that? That is not actually a bad idea Hendie, actually turn some of the prize draws into raffles as it were? I might give that a go. The only issue being whether as many people would enter if it cost £1 to enter. It's certainly something worth considering though, maybe I'll do a test run on something or other... hmm... what though? I'll think about it.

      For now though I think I'll keep my prize draws for free.

      I'm genuinely surprised a number of people have intimated they would be happy in effect to set up a subscription, even though it might not net them anything extra. One of the options that has been suggested to me in email is that those that subscribe to the site might be exclusively entered into a prize draw every month... again something I hadn't really considered, because I'm an idiot... but thinking about it I quite like that option. Because the more people who subscribed the better the prizes I could in effect giveaway. I could also give away more smaller prizes too.

      It's all food for thought. Genuinely I wasn't sure how this would be taken by people. While I haven't been utterly swamped with contributions, I have been pleasantly surprised I have received any... and that is me being genuine. so once again Hendie thanks for your ideas and thanks for your contribution too, it is very much greatly appreciated.

    2. Just a quick note, taking money for a competition entry puts you under the restrictions of the Gambling Act. I don't know how it would work if your competition is "free to members" and not what the subscribers are paying for, but directly paying to enter a competition is a no-no.

    3. Yes I looked into it last night Ant. It'd also put you in breach of PayPal rules quite significantly. You can use PayPal as a way of entering prize draw / raffle competitions because in effect you are asking somebody to pay for something they might not get... so that's a no, no. It also opens PayPal up to potential being involved in money laundering scams so they frown on that sort of thing.

      So it is back to the drawing board on that one I suppose. I'll see if there are ways round these things, but in all likelihood there aren't going to be. I've had a few further ideas though and we'll see if those pan out, and if they do I guess I'll see how successful they are at generating income.

    4. I hadn't really thought of that aspect of it...

      I've been giving this whole funding thing a bit of thought and I have to say; I'm a bit stumped. From a personsal point of view, I have no problem sending a few quid now and again for the service you're providing now as I think the quality is deserving of it but I can imagine loads of people are going to be of the opinion that if they can access something for free then there's no point making a financial outlay so I guess you have to offer some sort of incentive.

      As others have said, whilst I can appreciate the amount of time you've had to put in to the blog, I hadn't considered the cost of upkeep/storage. When donating, I had no idea how much to send; would it be beneficial to give a rough idea of the costs involved so that donaters could decide to send enough to cover the upkeep for x number of weeks/months?

    5. I don't know Hendie. Possibly. Possibly not. Truth is whichever way you look at it I'm relying on others actually making a conscious decision to support the work I do here. It comes down to this...

      Do people think what I do here is worth anything to them?

      In effect I'm always going to be reliant on people being generous with this, unless I can work out a way of offering more services beyond just writing the Blog. I'm working on it.

    6. It's not easy, that's for sure. As I said, I'm sure that the service you provide is worth something but at the moment you're relying on the generosity of others which always makes it awkward and given the fact that you're an online presence, the element of anonymity makes it really easy for people to not contribute.

      Sorry I couldn't offer any more productive comments but if I think of anything I'll be sure to let you know.

    7. No worries Hendie. Sometimes it's just good to have someone there as a sounding board. All the comments, and emails I've had have all been really, really helpful.

  8. There is a small, although admittedly growing, list of hobby blogs I check daily. TTGN and here are tops of that list. I actually think a monthly subscribers only drawing would be a good idea, as would a raffle. I'm happy to help out even if nothing extra comes of it, but the the chance win something is extra motivation for those months when the hobby budget is short.

    1. Yeah the monthly only subscription prize draw is an interesting idea, and the one I'm exploring the most intently right now. However the subscription fee can not primarily be for prizes. So their has to be something other than 'free' goods I'm offering people. I'm already on it sort of, and I'm trying to figure a few things out, and see if I can't get something sorted out ASAP.

  9. I think you should throw up the donate button for sure. No harm in it. I also believe that what Jur said above about being honest and saying "hey all I need $__.__" to get this item so I can review it" is a great idea. Though personally, were I to do it, I would put up a monthly/weekly poll about what items you were going to review, that way the donations could do to what you are interested in, with positive reinforcement in the form of what the crowd wants as well.
    In the end, something as simple as just a Donate button is great, but giving your readers more input (while still keeping the choices of what to review yours by restricting the selection options) would be a smart way to go...
    again, all just my $0.02.

    1. Cheers. I've considered that as an option too. So perhaps it is something to look into I guess. I'm definitely considering that as an option.

      The idea of input is an appealing one to me as well, because I'm always keen to find out what it is readers actually want from this Blog. I mean I've asked the question openly a few times. So I'm seriously considering some form of subscription service where subscribers get access to some sort of feedback system and help shape the content on the Blog. I could also then use the subscription service as a way of disseminating rewards perhaps like advanced Beta tests of games... which is something I've spoken to some games developers about in the past. Or money off vouchers, which again I've spoken to companies about in the past. Of course if the amount of income is enough I could and indeed would look to do monthly prize draws... although going by the current donation levels I'd question the viability of such a scheme.

      But then again I really didn't think anyone would donate a penny, and they have, and quite a few people have been exceedingly generous and that's honestly really humbled me. A lot!!!

    2. That all sounds quite awesome actually, and be assured I'll sign up for something like that. Guess I better get some money into my paypal account!

    3. Yeah that's currently the route I'm trying to explore the most... but that's even more work than just writing the Blog... D'oh!!!

      I want to keep the articles rolling on here and I want to keep researching and looking these other options up. It's a balancing act. Perhaps I need some help.

  10. Yeah do it, I'd be interested to see what happens. I see Donate buttons on bog-standard blogs sometimes and think "that's optimistic" Some people seem stuck in the dotcom era idea that having an online presence = money.

    Blogs like yours though are popular and clearly take a lot of work. Why not give people the opportunity to pay, it's no different to something like Etsy or DeviantArt I think, only the product is literary instead of artistic.

    By the way, I remember when you first started that you used to allude to some "experiment" you were doing with the blog within some timeframe, and I always wondered what that was. Break GW's monopoly on the community's mind? Make your living from blogging? Get 100,000 hits in one year? I'm still really curious about that . . .

    1. You see this is where I struggle. I know I put a lot of work into what it is that I do. But I also can't see what I do as anything but bog-standard. I guess I'm like the pretty girl who when she looks in the mirror all she see's is an ugly fat girl. I genuinely held off putting up contribute buttons and their like because I thought it was cheeky asking people to financial support what I'm doing with this Blog (by the way that's not the experiment).

      I guess though the more I've dissected what I've done and how I've done it, the more I've come to realise that perhaps... just perhaps, what I am doing does have some merit and worth to it. I have a list of emails off of people going into the thousands now saying thanks for recommending game X / product X. So at some level I've actually really helped a lot of people over the past 12 months get more out of their hobby. Maybe I should expect to see a few more donations because of that. On the flip side I've also had numerous companies tell me that they have specifically noticed that when I've given a good review or written a good article about something they produce they've noticed a bump in sales. So it seems money is changing hands because of me, but no one is crossing my palms with silver.

      Now I'll be clear, I didn't start the Blog to get money, and I don't write the articles I do to get a sales commission. Nor would I want one either, but it has made me stop and think about whether what I am doing here could potentially become self supporting. My gut instincts tell me not, that the community is so small, as a whole and that my readership is even smaller that grabbing enough cash from people to make it work as a sustainable living just isn't on the cards. My Blog needs to be way more popular for that to be a possibility.

      But I guess the support / contribute button hasn't even been up 24 hours yet, so perhaps I should wait and see how many people do donate and do contribute first before judging what is and isn't possible. It's just that given the level of views the article has had so far I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been more comments and maybe just a little bit disappointing more people haven't contributed. I guess this sort of article is only ever likely to get the people who think it's a good idea to contribute commenting, and the vast majority of people who think I'm off my rocker will just ignore the topic and ignore any support options I post up.

      By the way the experiment is on going... but I can confirm it wasn't to try and make a living out of Blogging. I'm really not sure such a thing is possible for the vast majority of Bloggers out there, which I definitely count myself amongst.

  11. My wife has been involved in blogs with considerably higher magnitude of readers and followers than I. She has talked to the CEO of a company with 3 times higher revenue than GW that had read her work and we had a new family move in down the street where the mom had read one of her blogs. She has a few button sponsors but she cut back her involvement in one of blogs when we had a second child as the other authors wanted to go more commercial. She was very good at getting sponsors for posts and giveaways but found it too much like work especially for those companies and products she was not really interested in. She said that if she wanted to spend time doing things she was not really interested in she could go back into the official labor market and make more money doing almost anything when you include all the time required to get the sponsors.

    One thing she hated was sponsored giveaways where the sponsors are not shipping the prizes. She cut out most of her giveaways since it did not really attract involved readers but her stuff is more general categories and not niche like this one. She refocused her stuff on her crafting projects and I think is getting much more done and is far happier also.

    Now I do not find your button offensive (I just saw one the other day asking for money to go to tournament events which I was definitely put off by.) Maybe some description of what you are intend to do with the money: Buy more games and products for review, cover postage for giveaways, cover show admissions, buy beer.

    1. Ah!!! I knew there was somebody who had mentioned that their wife had experience of this sort of stuff. I just couldn't remember who it was. So it is you! :)

      I was considering maybe trying to get sponsors for article series on this Blog, like if I'm doing painting articles actually get the shop I buy all my equipment from to sponsor those articles maybe. You know link it so that it makes sense. But I've held off because I guess I just want to be sure that it won't affect how people view me and my impartiality / honesty. It's clear people have a high regard for me in that sense so I'm trying to work out what that would mean.

      As for the sponsored giveaways... yeah learned my lesson there I think. Can get really, REALLY expensive shipping things out to far flung parts of the globe. I'm really grateful to those who donated the prizes, but boy did I seriously underestimate the logistics and cost of doing things properly. So I'll be factoring that into things in the future.

      I'm glad people don't find my support / contribute button non-offensive. lol. I was actually really worried people would think it was cheeky. That's why it remains totally voluntary. As for what the money will go towards... well that depends.

      Honestly if the figures I've had come in so far continue to come in it'll cover the costs of storage and a few other things. But I fully expect it to tail off after the initial "spurt" if you will. So it'll go maybe on purchasing equipment for a light box to improve my photography in my reviews. Get a bit more and I'll probably pay for some photography lessons.

      If I could get enough people to contribute and say make £100 per month that's cover reviews of maybe a few products per month. That just isn't looking likely right now and that's not a surprise.

      I mean I've spoken to a few professional Bloggers who have given me some really interesting advice. One has looked at my Hits, my level of effort put in and quality of what I produce and said if I can't get at least 250 people willing to pay £5 per month as a subscription fee for what I do then she'd be shocked. Well that would be £1250 per month, and I'll be honest that would be a wage. Admittedly not a great wage, but hey beggars can't be choosers right?

      In that scenario I would be looking to offer a private V Bulletin message board for subscribers only. Maybe talk more seriously with certain companies abut providing subscribers with discount codes for products / stores etc. and also the odd prize draw for subscriber. As I'd have details of the subscribers I'd just be able to drop them an email and say "hey you just won X". I'd also use the subscription service as a way of getting feedback as to what people would want to see on the Blog.

      Honestly I haven't thought about what I'd do with different levels. As to what I've received so far, it's just about enough to cover one of the cats vets bills *rolling eyes* that wasn't part of the plan. I'm also looking at the moment to maybe buy a board game or two to review. I was thinking of doing a series of articles on cheap fun games, you know disposable £18 to £25 games and reviewing them as cheap options.

  12. I think you're doing the right thing with a contribution button and as soon as I have some spare sheckles, I'll be throwing them your way. Why? Because every week I come to FG to read up on the latest news from within the wargaming hobby. Here I find articles that are informative, while maintaining that element several 'larger' sites seem to have forgotten about: fun. Unlike other such Blogs (why do people feel that is a dirty word?) that put attention grabbing headline-titles for the 'net to pick up on, but then fill the content with about 300 words of insubstantial nonsense, FG gets indepth with each review, really pulling apart the games or models so that we, the consumer/gamer/hobbyist, can make full and informed decisions about where we throw our money.

    Now, after that long intro, do I think people should contribute to Blogs they like and regularly read? Yes I do. I have a button on my own site (though I'll be blatantly borrowing your idea of creating a site specific button rather than the drab paypal one I currently use) and although it doesn't bring in a regular amount (I haven't actually advertised the fact people can contribute till mentioning it here), it has shown me that people are willing to support new endeavours.

    I started the War & Peace blog just to have somewhere to showcase various writing projects as well as talk about my wargaming hobby. This has grown to such an extent that I am about to launch the War & Peace Games Club this week, all tied in to the Blog. I'll be hoping people contribute more regularly now as this has turned into a job, and there are a lot more expenses involved.

    As to site sponsorship, I have one direct sponsor for the Club/Blog: KR Multicase as well as two affilliations: Total Wargamer and The Painted Dragon. When I wrote a review of Project Pandora by Mantic Games I included links to both the Mantic shop and TW. I don't feel any pressure in any form to push my affilliaton - let the people choose. I buy from TW myself, and if I get bad service (so far I haven't) then you can be sure I will mention it in an article.

    The same with KR. I'm about to do a review of their cases (supplied to help the launch of the games club) and I guarantee it will be true and honest. If I don't like something, I'll say it. I made sure the guys at KR knew and were happy with this before agreeing to their sponsorship, and that is the crux of this rather long winded section: honesty. Be upfront with any potential sponsors, let them know you will call it as you see it, but present those faults (as you see them) in a constructive manner with possible solutions.

    So what I'm saying here (sorry for the amount of text) is go for it! This is an age now of taking control away from the large organisations, of shaping your own future, and this is but one way of doing it.

    Good luck and all the best.

    1. Thanks JP. I've had a few people actually say they'll actually consider switching their BoW subscription off and switch that to me because apparently they trust what I have to say more... and my articles are better quality. I know it might sound big headed but actually I do think my articles are better than their written articles. They're certainly better research. But then they have video... which I don't. And I guess BoW really is more of a video site now.

      I try really hard not to go for sensationalist article titles, I have parodied a few titles in my time. I also don't plaster pictures of semi-naked women over my articles, I try not to have no filler articles. So actually what I do is arguably better than some of the so-called bigger sites too. I also don't think Blog or Blogger are dirty words. Somebody said anyone can be a Blogger, like it's a bad thing. Bollocks! It's a great thing, and it is really liberating. Not everyone can be good at it, but those that are should own it and be proud of it. I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved over the last year on this Blog.

      I guess I've donated to Blogs I like in the past and I just never put two and two together with my own Blog. Given some of the pay-per-view sites I've subscribed to and the lack of quality content their, and then looking at what I do, you know what? I actually do think it's worth £5 a month if you read it!!! Obviously I don't think everyone will pay it, but that's OK, doesn't mean it isn't worth it.

      Your thoughts on sponsorship are also interesting, perhaps I should consider sort of relaxing my severe opposition to it? I'm still not 100% sure about it, but I've had a fair few people say now that maybe I should reconsider my opposition to it... so maybe I'll have to look into it again. Properly this time and in way more detail.

      Thanks for the compliments and also for wising me luck with it. I'll almost certainly need it. :P

  13. I'm suprised you hadn't done this sooner tbh.
    It's hard to find a quality anything on the interwebs now a days and I myself check your blog probably a couple of times a day (just in case). You are providing a service that 800+ people are using soooo....


    Have you thought about a members only subsite or maybe a downloadable PDF mag that people could buy from you? Sorry I'm not very good at generating income, just spending it. But I've clicked the button and will do again ^.^


    We'll have to hook up for a coffee one day.

    1. I have thought about a members only message board, that you'd require a subscription to access, and use that to help influence what I do on the Blog. Also as a way of having a more involved discussion. Many people have said the problems wth message boards are they're in effect a public space... so what if I provided a good private space? I'd also look to perhaps provide further perks as well if I could. Just not sure what those are. I wouldn't offer unique Blog content because I still would want this Blog to be free to access.

  14. No, don't do sponsoring nor subscription. That is heavy weaponry compared to the donate button and burdens you with obligation, restricts your freedom of expression and limit the amount of people who follow you. It will become like work.

    You are not in it for the money and I'm sure you will receive enough from donations to do what you want to.

    1. Normally I'd say I 100% agree with you. But the fact is the amount of effort I put into this Blog over the 12 months has been huge. I've added it up and its about 2300 hours. So when I look at that and work it out on a 9 to 5 basis Monday to Friday it works out to roughly 8.5 hours a day. That is a full-time job. So while I'm not in it necessarily for the money, if I can get money for it then maybe it might be worth turning it into work. I am enjoying what I do, but there is a risk that I might have to seriously cut things back and potentially delete some of my back catalogue to reduce needs for storage etc.

      Plus it feels to me like most people are looking at my Blog and going, "meh, I get it for free why donate?"... and in a way they're right. The Blog will always be free to access, and I won't change that, but if I can offer something different then maybe people might be willing to pay me for it.

    2. Newspapers have the same problem: internet has effectively made news free. putting up a paywall doesn't work. Look at the free to play revolution in online gaming, look at kickstarter. People will pay, but not for anything. So think hard about what you ask money for. Use this blog to generate the platform to launch projects, and people will happily pay because they value what you do. But subscription? Not so sure.

    3. Yeah, you've had the same thoughts and feelings as I have Jur. I'm not so sure whether there is a way to make money out of this *looks at Blog* whatever this is. If I take my content down and only allow people to view it via subscription I'm clever enough to know some other schmuck will just come along and fill the void left by me and that the cycle will start anew.

  15. Long story short - it´s just a few pounds, have a beer on me and keep the good work!

    1. Cheers Katcher.

      Have you donated then? If so thank you very much!!!

    2. Had. You deserve it. I became serisouly hooked up on your blog :) And I really like the friendly "from gamers to gamers" attitude. Not so many people out there like you...

    3. Do you mean that there aren't many people like me... or that not many people like many, in short that I'm disliked?


      I think you mean the former... or I hope so!!! :(


  16. I would be willing to contribute if you wrote more opinion pieces. You're good at those. But - not having been here long - the site looks like lots of prize giveaways with just the occasional article.

    1. I can understand how the Blog might have given that impression over the last few weeks. Hopefully that will change when I finally give away the Dwarf Kings Hold games.

      I think if you take a look though you might have judged me a bit harshly. I've written and published some 348 articles in the past year... and written I've only written 18 competition articles.

      Although I too share your frustrations. I honestly didn't expect to reach my targets so quickly. Genuinely I didn't. I thought these prize giveaways would take a lot longer. A hell of a lot longer actually. lol.

      Please take a look back through my articles, hopefully you'll see the level of work I've committed to this Blog and the quality of my articles. I think this Blog is a lot more than just prize draws.

  17. Your problem is, you are not aiming high enough.

    If you like doing what you do, you should do it for living and people will help you if you ask, but this aproach is a double edged sword and people will expect improvement from you.

    Donate button is a good way to get started, but give people sense that they are helping you achieve something. You mentioned you need new equipment to make better photos, that's a solid goal, you would need some kind of progress bar or you could use kickstarter.

    I am a consumer not a consultant, but I think you should try reaching a level of a proper magazine. Making inexpensive pdf e-zines with longer articles, reviews, stories etc additionaly to news orientated blog, distribute it in pdf format (or maybe even with help of software like for example flipbook) maybe thru wargame vault? and treat a blog more like a community site and for less time consumming work. I bet that if you would produce high quality content, you could sell ad space in those magazines just like in traditional ones. High quality content is what made me watch Beast's of War, but the problem with them is as Darrell always says they "don't see down side" to anything. When I buy a magazine I want to read a reviews, and to write a review you have to be critical about and honest. I am a gamer and I watch "zero punctuation" reviews in The Escapist by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, because nobody can trash a game like he does :D , I am not sure now but I think he gave a trully positive review to only one game "Painkiller".

    If you want to enhance your blog, there are addons like forums and chats (nabble?, cbox?) that you can integrate into blogger. Giving community some space to talk about anything.

    If you wan't to make better pictures, get a decent light source. Photography means drawing with light. Because you don't need to make a high speed photography you don't need expensive flash lights, couple of continious light sources in softboxes and a tripod would make wonders even if you make pictures with an iphone. I can't recommend a camera, but If you want a DSLR remember that lenses are damn expensive, even exceeding camera price and the kit one is usualy rubbish, but there are older affordable lenses that you can also use in new DSLR with some converters, but those will be manual focus, I've been looking at sony alpha range, as they can use old auto focus minolta lenses and the new cameras has interesting features, but I've seen conflicting reviews about those and people recommend cannonss and nikon's over sony. A good hybrid camera would be more than enough for your needs I think.

    Have you thought about letting people contribute not money but articles?

    Excuse me for my grammar, I've been typing this fast, and I am not native English.

    Anyway. Good luck.

    1. It's interesting you say I should try reaching a level of a proper magazine... I've actually had contact with a print Editor not a few days ago who commended me on the professionality of my writing and also commented that he think's I'm actually a better, more professional writer than many who purport to be professional journalists in our hobby. He edits a fairly well respected multi-format magazine in the Computer Games Industry... and yes I have asked him if he's got a jon going spare!!! :P

      I've also had a long chat with him and he thinks that print magazines are dying. Because there are Blogs out there and websites that can respond quicker and do a professional job now. He advised me specifically away from going down the PDF route or print magazines as what I do here can actually engage directly with my readership.

      As to pictures and photography, my partner is actually a damn fine photgrapher and has a Cannon EOS 5D MKII camera and plenty of lenses. But in my hands its a waste of time. I know about light sources ect. I have two lights and diffusers. But this Blog is a bit of a rush at times, because it's not my soul purpose in life... yet I put way more time into it than most.

      As to others contributing articles, I have considered it. But for now that's a no, no. I'd have to find somebody with the same kind of ethos as me and quite frankly a similar standard of writing, and I wouldn't want to have to start managing people and editing their work. Right now this is my site and people come here to read articles by me. Not sure what somebody else could add, and it'd have to be different to the stuff I do myself.

  18. I read a lot of these comments, but not all of them, so I'm sorry if this is already been said and shot down.

    I think the reason you're popular is because you are about helping the wargaming community and not wargaming companies, stick with this community vibe and, not for every article, but for big involved reviews have a poll where the community can vote on what they'd like you to review, and at the same time have a review cost beside it, when people have donated enough money collectively for you to purchase the stuff for reviewing or just to pay for your time, then you put the review out.

    I'm a student with barely any cash ever, the last thing I want is a subscription to anything, what I want is to come by your blog, be like ooo, that sounds cool, I'd like to read what Frontline Gamer thinks about that, I'll donate a couple of quid to him, then in a week or 2 I'll come by again and hopefully you'll have raised the cash to release the review I was looking forward to. I don't know how much a review should cost, but this way I'd feel that I was paying for something I wanted, and even more part of a big wargaming community that is about helping the gamers and not the fat cats. I'd like to donate money after I'd read articles, but I'm poor all the time and it's just harder to part with cash after I've had a service.

    I don't know what's coming out that is big in the wargaming world soon except for possibly the new Infinity book. But if an in depth review of that book, plus 2 other big product reviews were options I could vote for then I would vote the Infinity book and send 3 quid your way for sure, even if the product I wanted reviewed wasn't there'd still be a review for something coming out that would be well worth the 3 quid I'd put into your donations pot. Let us know how close to the target we are, etc. This way you are doing what your readers want, not what the people supplying the product want, and we all think you're an honest geezer rather than a sell out. I don't think you're a sell out, and I like your reviews, I've only recently read about these stretch goal money donations at a few wargames are doing and think that if that was scaled down to articles rather than army deals it would be a cool way of paying for your articles. Whatever you do, don't start printing your articles out to sell it.

    Hopefully this wasn't too rambley! :P

    1. It's a really difficult balance Casper. Clearly there are a lot of people out there who read my Blog, and who do so on a very regular basis. So to those people what I do has some merit and worth. But they probably aren't willing to donate to help me out with what I'm doing here. So the question becomes this, would they pay if they had too?

      I've had a print editor tell me I should go subscription only, and that I'd probably make enough money out of it to turn it into a job. He's told me he'd pay £5 a month happily to read and access what I do. As have others... but many aren't donating. It's only been roughly 48 hours I know, but it's clear to me that I've probably maxed out already what people are willing to donate.

      So either I come up with a service or something that will make people want to pay for it... or I take what I already do, move it to a website all of my own, tart it up properly and get it looking exactly how I want it to, because Blogger is way too restrictive and say you need to pay to access it and see if I can turn it into a job.

      For now I don't want to go down that route, as I want this to be a proper community hub, and a place where gamers go to have a chat about the articles and editorials I write. To read my reviews and so forth and so on. If I continue like this though, putting in this much effort and time something will have to give. Not too sure what yet, but I guess I'm moving into a bit of uncharted territory for now. I'm not even sure where I want to take Frontline Gamer next.

    2. If it's a choice between giving up or putting out a service you feel is subpar then deffo go the subscription route.

      If you had the headlines + the beginning of the text, but then had to pay 50p to read more, that would work, or pay 2 pounds for a week pass, 5 pound for a month pass or a direct debit subscription thing for fiver a month.

      Now people who want to read all your stuff all the time can for a fiver a month, people who just want to browse and read the odd article have that option at 50p an article, which is well worth it, if you have a week where you're reviewing a lot of a particular line some one has an interest in but doesn't want to read about all war games then they can pay their 2 quid and get a lot of decent impartial info on a product they're interested in, and for those people who do like your stuff but can't commit to always having the fiver for a subscription (it is hard times) they can pay for the odd month when they've got the cash, the same as if they had the spare fiver for a wargaming magazine.

      It's unfair for people to assume that because it's on the internet it should be both free and worth reading. A friendly pricing strategy on your own well laid out website which continues to have good, impartial reviews and discussions is the way you should probably go. We'd pay for this is if it was printed, why should online shit be free?

    3. I\m not sure whether it's at that stage now. Or if it will ever get to that stage, but... well when I looked back at the effort I've put in, it started to look a bit like a job. I do enjoy this, but when I look at see the time and effort I've put in, and that so many people are willing to part with their cash for.. well a subscription to a site that churns out garbage I do think that what I'm doing right now would be worth money to somebody somewhere.

      Trust me I've had offers of sponsorship and plenty of people want to advertise on my Blog. BUT, as I say in the article I'd rather be beholden to the readers of my Blog. It's just the way I am... but if people don't want to support me in that then I guess I'll have to pursue other avenues. No biggy I guess.

    4. You need to have some faith in yourself, get a glossy looking website and charge people to read your stuff. a Fiver for a monthly wargaming magazine full of interesting impartial articles and no adverts in it is a really good buy, a fiver for just content! That's a lot better than most magazines. If it's a job then get paid for it, and I'm sure we'd all sooner pay you a little bit each then one corporation pay you a lot.

      Stop mwarring about whether people want to read your stuff, they do, and how they arn't giving you money (a lot of us won't pay for things we don't have to because we're poor/tight, make it no other option and I'll deffo pay the odd 50p to read an article) and just do it!

      I'm sure all your readers would prefer you produced a quality piece of work and we paid for it, I mean you'd be asking for less than a white dwarf magazine costs, and you'd have a lot better articles that arn't just "this is a picture of a new GW toy" so just do it! I'd happily design you a website for free and you could pay me a penny every time someone pays for a subscription.

      I'm sure the reason so many of your readers like you is your unbiased position, keep it that way and take our money not the people who make the toys money! No reason you couldn't put your entire back catalogue on the new site for free either.

      Asking for charitable donations will never do you justice compared to 50p an article or £5 for a month pass, and if you can't do that on blogger then get yourself a real website, that person who was going on about your professionalism can't say shit when you have your own nice glossy looking website.

    5. It'll all go into the research bank then. As to Pawel's comments, I didn't take offence at them. Firstly I think he was just struggling to communicate what he meant because he's not a native English speaker. He clarified what he meant and... he has a slight point. Blogger is a free platform though, and investing serious amounts of cash to set up and host a Blog or website elsewhere on the off chance people might pay to view my articles is a bit of a huge gamble. Before I risk anything I need to be certain of why Im doing it, and what I hope to get out of it.

  19. Blight me, I haven't even answered the main question.

    No I would not pay to read it the way it is now, simply because it doesn't feel professional, but I would support if I saw an improvement. I am not a miniature gaming fanatic, I am a gamer in general, but I think this industry needs somebody who is not afraid to tell the truth, most of the stuff people are so excited about I don't even want to look at. Sure it looks shiny but on closer inspection is either broken, badly balanced or crap in general.

    After Dust Warfare release I lost hope for proper journalism treating about miniature games and I saw fanboys or whatever... trying to take controll over what people say. I am not saying Dust Warfare is so bad that can't be played but saying it's a good and refined game is a lie.

    I would love to see somebody actualy trying to tie the whole industry together and I bet there are a lot of people who are looking for alternatives after they've been awakened from GW slumber.

    Take look at Tide of Iron for example, a board game that has huge potential, with skirmish rules that would be a godsend, don't have to measure because it's on hex, no need for terrain, everything is in the box. The only thing wrong about that game is scenarios...

    PS. random giveaway is pointless, give prizes for something that helps you.

    1. When you say it doesn't feel professional what do you mean. Sorry to pick on that point but you've said it twice now without once actually explaining what you mean. Without context, details or examples that satement isn't useful to me. I've actually had professional journalists tell me what I do is actually at what they'd consider professional quality. Is it the look of the Blog, my style of writing? What? Details would be very useful.

      As for Dust Warfare... I agree. I'm still in the midst of reviewing the book, and the game. Honestly it's not bad. But it's no where near as good as many people are making out. Far too much hype surrounding it for me. Hopefully after I've had a bit more of a play with it and given myself time to judge it properly my review will be out in about two weeks or so. I'm not somebody to rush these reviews on cursory glances to be the first on the Interwebz to do it.

      As to the random giveaways... erm... they have actually helped me. I have more followers, but even more noticeably in the last two weeks has been the increase in readership. It's been steady and growing. Plus there are a lot of people going back through my back catalogue and leaving comments saying they'd wished they found my stuff sooner. So while I think in some respects you are right the giveaways on their own are pointless, they have exposed more people to what I'm doing here. It's up to me with my articles to capitalise on that.



  20. Sorry I had just few moments before sleep and later before work to write those comments. I'll try to express what I think a bit clearer this time.

    I think your writing is exceptional, better than of those who call themself professional's in this hobby and you got a sense of humor too, but you restrict yourself with blogger and its limited functionality, layout, media etc. When I first came here not so long ago what I saw is "another blog"... you see what I've done there? Despite the looks I realy enjoyed reading it so I stayed. I think you would be a right person to make a better site or e-zine, the one that we all are missing, honest and critical.

    I won't agree that blog is better than a magazine, simply because I have no time to check internet every day and I think that would apply to most of your readers, time is precious. I would rather read something once a while but refined with longer articles and better pictures, it doesn't mean you would get rid of this blog, but change its purpose to news and updates. With increasing popularity of Ipads this could be a good idea (thats why I said something like flipbook would be cool... imagine having a e-magazine on an Ipad on which you can actualy flip pages... awesome sauce... don't know if software like this exist myself for Ipads).
    If this is not the case, why there is so many paper magazines in shops?
    This would also solve your problem with additional paid content, as you are not making videos, you could sell those pdf's additionaly to your blog.

    I am not quite sure now what your goal is, maybe you don't want to expand but I think you could push this project further and try making it your job realy if you only wanted, and if money is not the motivation as you said maybe it is worth trying? you can't loose anything.

    You are good at writing, but even if you would work twice the hours you are working now, you still won't be able to put as much content as necessary to make it worth paying subscribtion, and still maintain high standards of pictures etc. So I think donate button could get you started and realy spend this money on things that will releave you from time consuming tasks like making terrain, or painting figures or whatever necessary for you to make articles and just buy them.

    1. I had to split this in 2 parts because there is more than 4096 characters :P

      It would be hard to find another person who has the same style as yours but everyone is different and different styles of writing makes things interesting to read, so I think you shouldn't look for the same style but the same mentality(?) as yours. Another possibility, you could make contests for an article on a specific topic and then give prizes for it, at least somebody who will win will actualy want the prize and it will be earned or in other ways encurage to contribute to the site. Just look at and amount of stuff, house rules, articles that people are posting free. There are people who want to share their efforts with the crowd but have no means and resources to do it and they need help too. How cool would it be to actualy find an article about Tide of Iron that adds skirmish rules and solve the unbalanced scenarios issue? Fixing the game that everybody even publisher forgot about? how many games like this lays on our shelves? I even see one there on your picture, Descent. there is a lot of contents in those boxes but what FFG came up with? reboot the whole thing rather than fixing what they've got... do we all have to constantly look at new shiny things? I bet if stimulated enough community could solve the hardest problems, balance and refine games better than FFG did it with Dust Warfare, its like a supercomputer... it just needs someone who know how to operate it.

      Answering everybodys comments is cool but think what would it mean for you if you had say 5000 subscribers? would it be still possible to write anything anymore?

      Since you have equipment, camera and everything why won't you ask your partner to teach you few tricks to get better photos? Even photos in this topic arent at least straightened.

      I apologize but I have no experience in this matters or how to monetize it, I made a blog for my gaming group but that's only like 5 people and everybody has rights to post so I am not in control but I know how much effort it's needed to write something, I can only wish you the best.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Actualy I take back the words I said before, maybe it is worth subscribing to the blog in the form it is now... looking at Beasts of War and how they are covering Dust Warfare, reviewing every single box one by one even that they are almost the same...

      But there is always room for improvement :D Right?!

      Shame I can't edit my posts...

    4. OK now all of that info was very, very helpful. I agree that the layout of Blogger and indeed most Blogs isn't very helpful in some respects. If I could afford to shift what I do over to my own website... I'd almost certainly do it. But it costs a lot of money to do that sort of stuff. Right now I'm fiddling with the Blogger layout and also getting custom buttons added and stuff... and I hope to continue that. But there will come a point where really I can do no more.

      The next project is almost certainly to sort out my menu side-bar and turn it into a more useful filter of my back-catalogue. That will probably require a lot of re-labeling of my articles and turning the menu into a fully functional drop down menu so people can see what's what under those broad headings. Hell I might even change some of the broad headings. But I'll fiddle about with all that stuff offline first, so it won't mess up for people while they're trying to use my Blog.

      As for the photography... the two of us trying to teach the other anything would be... erm... potentially problematic!!! We're both quite pig-headed, and well... I don't like the idea of sleeping on the sofa for months on end. :P I have taken some hints from her though, but if I think she'll let me anywhere near her expensive camera and lenses I'm bloody mad. lol.

      I'll give your ideas some serious thought though. I'll admit if I do this it's likely to take time because I'm a meticulous planner and I don't do things by half. So I'll need to do my research. Cheers.