The Plight of the Small Creator

I know I keep talking about supporting your favorite creators on twitter. I keep harping on it. Let me drop some knowledge, and explain WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Whether you create reviews, videos, books, movies, blog posts, maps, or really any form of content, you are prolly aware of just how rough it can be to get your content in front of those who may enjoy it.

Its the worst part of being a small time content creator. You have this amazing kickstarter, say for a DND Book. Or a dice box. You know your product fills a need, but how the hell do you get people to see it? In general, the only solution is to spend money on advertising.

You see, despite people building followings on places like Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets, getting your followers or fans to actually share your work can be near impossible.

For example: I have 1900+ followers on Twitter, about 200 on Tumblr, about 200 here on WordPress, and 355 on Youtube. I dont post enough on Tumblr or WordPress however for these people to really matter, so lets pretend its just the 1947 twitter followers and 355 youtube subs.

Wanna know how many people pay attention to nearly ANYTHING I do? I am not even talking about when I mention my own content. I am talking almost ANYTHING.

Bout .5% on twitter, and 10% on Youtube.

Thats it. Think about that. No one really shares my own work, or comments. The comments I see on youtube are from the same 10ish people. I can get 30-40 views on a video, but maybe 10 people hit the like button. On twitter its even WORSE. I barely bother promoting my own videos beyond the day I post em, because I know no one is going to pay attention to it. Instead, I use twitter now to talk about other peoples work, and it seems to help a great deal. And what do people do on twitter? They hit the most useless button they can.

The like button. I hate that little bastard heart. ITS USELESS. Its maddening. On youtube, the like button has a purpose. Youtube considers that as part of its algorithm in regards to promoting videos, mostly due to like to view ratio.

On Twitter the like button might as well not exist. No one sees that you liked a tweet unless they expand it. Creators need those Retweets. We need those shares. If no one shares our work then we cannot grow. We cannot expand.

Whats interesting is how many people tell me how awesome I am. But they wont share my work on their own. And its not just me affected by this in the slightest. I see it ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE! I see people commenting “Oh I love your art!” or “I love your comic!” or “This Kickstarter is amazing” but they do nothing else. They dont go out and share the item or anything. They don’t try to convince people that its worth looking at.

I try to make sure that if I think something is awesome, I hit that retweet button. I make it a point to share things on my own if I think they are worthwhile. I try to promote people I feel are worth a damn. Because that is what you should do with something you love.

If you really care about the creator, then help them. Spread the word. Tell your facebook friends about that awesome dice blog you found. Tell your twitter followers about that amazing comic you read. Link to them. Tell your tumblr followers or blog about em. SPREAD THE WORD.

IF you never tell others about the content creators you love, we will never get anywhere. We, as creators, can only do so much. And let me tell you something else: The internet HATES self promotion. It DESPISES IT. Why do you think Ad Blockers are so prevelant? We, the internet, HATE advertising.

Word of Mouth is really what works. But it only works if YOU do it.

Please help us. Hell I dont even care if you promote me. What I want to challenge YOU to do is this: Without prompting, without warning, pick someone whose work you adore. An author, a comic artist, an artist, a youtuber. Someone small who could use the help. And tell the world about them. Post about them somewhere. Talk about WHY you like them. Dont just say “This guy is cool” but try to explain WHY they are cool. If you dont, who will?

Help and Support your favorite content creators. So they can grow, and succeed, and continue to make the content YOU LOVE. Otherwise, eventually, they will give up, and fade away.

An Update on Life 5/18/17

So first off, I have compression gloves which do in fact help quite a bit with my hand pain. Its enough that I have been able to do some very light gaming with my wife via World of Warcraft.

When I say light I am talking one handed, mouse driven, her using a mount to cart us both around (The Chopper to be exact), and me barely doing much of anything cept casting shields and occasionally casting Penance (Disc Priest atm). So literally barely using my hands. And I still have to stop after an hour or two max.

So suffice to say I feel confident that in a few months I may be able to game a bit more here and there. Which is nice.

However, I feel that I am done with video game based stuff on my youtube. I really would prefer to do tabletop gaming stuff, rpgs and board games and choose your own adventure books and all that stuff. It appears to be what most of my fans want. That is not to say I wont review say upcoming PC RPGs in the future, but that will be WAY down the line once I am sure my hands have recovered enough to make sure activities worthwhile.

In other news: I am up to weekly videos again. I have all of Junes recorded, which is awesome. I am up to 8 total Patrons on my Patreon page, with an average of $11 a video. Thats awesome as well. I am also supporting a couple of Patreons of my own, which is nice to be able to do.

I just released a Plot Hook video today (At the time of this posting) which I will link at the bottom. Its my first time trying a video like this and I have a literal slew of the damn topics to explore. I got a good suggestion to try “Mind Mapping” and putting the image in any videos in the future. I might have to try that. I am also up to 350 subscribers on youtube which is…bizarre. I have slowed in growth quite a bit but I also havent pushed my videos at ALL.

Twitter has been still growing. Thanks to a friend, I was given a table sponsorship for my birthday at AcadeCon 2017. This means that my logo will appear on their site (its already there at http://theacadecon.com/) as well as on a table at the convention, like a little billboard. That was cool of him. Best gift I got next to not working all weekend lol

Finally, I am going to be streaming again, starting 5/27/16 at 6pm EST. I will be streaming actual play Dungeons and Dragons. I am running a game for several people I know (Virus, Shelbut, Brax, Saevrick, and my wife) through the Iron Gods adventure path. I have converted that for 5E. It will be once every 2 weeks, for 4 hours a night. Also, TNT might be coming back but in a very different form.

If you were unaware, there is an actual WRESTLING Tabletop RPG, called simple “The World Wide Wrestling RPG” and I happen to own it. I am considering running monthly games of that as well via Stream, where instead of following a bunch of digital wrestlers, instead the game would follow the lives of 4-6 people playing as their wrestlers, with both in ring and backstage drama. Havent made a decision here yet.

So thats my life, as it goes. I am taking everything one day at a time (because thats how linear time works dontcha know) and trying to keep my brain working.

Gotta keep my nose to the grind as they say!

Oh, and here is that video I was talking about.

My weekend was…eventful

My weekend was…eventful

Its been a while since I made a general blog post on here. Most of the time has been updates on my life, and today is more of the same but more focused on my overall weekend.

So late last week I revamped all my Patreon rewards at the suggestion of a friend of mine. I recorded a 4th video for May, and an update video for the people who follow me only on Youtube detailing the issues with my hands, as well as future plans for my youtube channel. Said vid is right here if you wanna see:

On Saturday, I watched Dr Strange finally. That movie was a wild visual acid trip, and with my own hand issues I felt for the good Doctor. I also started researching 1+ player Boardgames, as I still want to game with my wife and by myself at times. While Gamebooks such as the Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf series, or even the Choice of Games series are an option (and an option I am pursuing) sometimes I want to play something a bit more meaty.

I am amazed that there are a few such things out there! Got myself an Amazon wishlist now with a bunch I found that I like as well, so I can start using my Patreon money on those.

On Sunday, I started the work on coverting the Pathfinder stats of creature in the Iron Gods AP to 5E, using a handy utility I found online that makes converting the raw statblocks super easy. Just copy paste. Got a beastiary up and running for myself. Course this does not help me rebalance the encounters but that is going to have a lot to do with how they feel as they go. I will have to do this on the fly I think.

I also watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them finally as well, and honestly I really enjoyed it, even if I feel Jacob got the fucking shaft at the end. Damn American wizards.

Also on Sunday I got my first $5 patron. With my new rewards, I am helping him develop an NPC for him to use in his upcoming Pathfinder / Open Legend game that he is doing. Which is awesome in and of itself. I am not going to spoil anything since his players also read my twitter and interact with me. It must be secret. It must be safe.

This puts my average earnings per youtube video at roughly $11.25. This is based on folks monthly limits and such, which is amazing. That means 4 videos in a month earns me $45. May not seem like much but its exciting! It proves to me, at least in some small way, that people want to see me keep going.

I already have June’s videos laid out in fact. Four more videos coming (Even if there are 5 Thursdays, I am skipping a week), which are as follows:

  • 1st – Skip this Thursday
  • 8th – Review of Nerzghuls GM Toolkit (5th Ed Supplement)
  • 15th – Dungeon Tale: The Chicken and the Rope
  • 22nd – World Building Journal: Aethrin’s Inspiration / World Building Style
  • 29th – Gamebook Review of Slammed! By Choice of Games

I aim to work on those this coming Saturday. I already have the ENTIRETY of May done and uploaded for my Patrons so that’s awesome.

So far, things are actually looking up, despite the fact that I can no longer play video games. I suppose I need to take my successes when I can huh.

My Video Gaming Days are at an End for Now

So, this is gonna be a shitty blog post. But I need to explain whats going on so folks kinda understand.

Over the last 6 months my hands, specifically my index and ring fingers, and my thumbs, have been having issues. After prolounged use at work, or after about 30 minutes to an hour of playing games / using a controller / mouse+keyboard, they start to hurt. If I keep going, the pain magnifies.

I talked to my doctor about it a few months ago, and he told me that the tendons in my fingers / hands are tightening from overusage. Basically, I am overworking them and its becoming hard to use my hands. Resting them, heat, and some exercises help to lessen it however. But there is no fixing it. I can’t take most pain killers cause of medication interactions, so those are right out as well

I have tried a variety of things to help ease it. The biggest one is something my wife came up with: taking an Icy Hot patch, cutting it into strips, and literally lining my fingers / hand with em. I have been doing this right before I go to bed, and it helps tremendously…as long as I dont try to play video games.

Typing at work is a tad different then gaming, when you think about it. With gaming, you hold your hands in specific positions depending on how you control it, and you tend to tense up a bit. You can’t help it. When typing your hands are moving all over the place.

I have found it takes longer for my hands to start hurting at work now. I can usually manage about 4-5 hours of constant work (I do call center stuff so endless typing / data entry) with typing before the ache sets in. Then after 8 hours of it, my hands hurt quite a bit, I go home, have a hot shower, and then relax. By the time I go to bed and put the patches on the pain is pretty well gone, and the patches help keep things limber.
Then I wake up and do it all over again. 5 days in a row. 40 hours a week.

By the time I get to the weekend now the last thing I wanna do is touch a game. I know it will hurt. This past saturday (4/22/17) I tried to play Hearthstone, a game that ONLY uses the mouse, and managed an hour before my right hand started hurting. And it didnt stop for about two hours later.

I will no longer be doing my wrestling streams, for example. Setting up the cards / matches requires me to use a controller for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes in a position holding the controller the ache sets in. Its not bad, but after 30 minutes its enough to make me not want to touch it. So I am going to avoid it.

Basically, video games are a no for me for a very long time. A friend of mine has told me he had similar issues. He had to stop gaming for nearly a year to get his hands to settle back down, and let things limber back up. And thats prolly where I am heading. And I may never play video games again (which SUCKS let me tell you)

On the plus side, this leaves me more time to work on things for Tabletop RPGs, like homebrewing a world, running DND games, ect. Nothing major, I still don’t wanna type too much at home. But its something.

Hell typing this up has made my hands hurt a bit. Then again I am at work so they kinda already were. At least I know now when I get home I have some relief.

Thats life. It sucks at times. But all we can do is adapt.

An Experiment Begins

So yesterday, I released a new video on my youtube. No I will not be linking it.

Thats the experiment ya see! I want to see what happens with my views without promoting my video at all. Not here, not on twitter, not on Facebook ect. Zero promotion. Just my subscribers and youtube search results driving traffic.

Now, generally you should expect 10% of your subs to view your video within its first week of going live. For me, right now, thats 31 views. At the time of this blog post, I am at 28 views total after 17 hours (roughly). No idea how many are subs vs non subs though. Won’t know that till Sunday.

This so far is showing me what I kinda expected: My twitter followers and whatnot dont really care about my videos. And that doesn’t bother me. I got nearly 1.7k followers now on twitter (And how that happened I got NO FUCKING CLUE) and if we assume 30% are bots / promotion machines, that leaves 1190 roughly that are humans. Thats kinda nuts.

I have a feeling folks follow me on twitter because of my Tabletop RPG ramblings.

So until further notice, I am not going to be promoting my videos. Or my channel. Or my Patreon. Or anything really. Each entity (blog, twitter, facebook, ect) will be its own litte bubble.

Lets see what happens!