Friday, 19 May 2017

Must Contain Minis becomes One-Year Old!!!

Exactly one year today, I wrote the first post on Must Contain Minis. Since then, I published 180 articles with a total pageview count of over 190,000. Not bad at all!   :)

In today's article, I am going to write a little bit about Must Contain Minis origins, write a little bit about me, give a few shout-outs of appreciation, and answer three of my most Frequently Asked Questions.

A RAFM Figure infront of a 4Ground House
Above is the very first picture ever posted to Must Contain Minis.

The Start

Must Contain Minis started as a side project of mine to practice my writing skills while focusing on a topic for which I have passion. When brainstorming what to write about, I asked myself what is my favourite hobby. At the time, it was board games, but not just any board games - but specifically board games that contain miniatures. Hence the name, "Must Contain Minis."

My intention from the start was to make "Must Contain Minis" a Reviews and Battle Reports website focusing on both Miniatures Games and Board Games with Miniatures in them. I achieved that goal and am very pleased with the response from the gaming public with the website. For those wondering, it is my reviews and showcases that get the most visits.

A Little Bit About Me

I was a little hesitant to start Must Contain Minis. It took the encouragement from my wife to help start the site. She mentioned for years that I should do a Blog or Podcast related to my gaming. This encouragement spurred me into creating the site. I also started this site for personal development and the retention of my writing skills.

Right now, I work for a very good company doing mostly end-user support for meeting rooms. I deal with video conferencing, web conferencing and projectors on a daily basis. What I like best about the job is the interaction with people it gives. The job is also related to many of the courses I took in school. I went to college for Audio, Visual and Multimedia Production and hold a Professional Certification related to the AV Industry.

While I use my Professional and College training daily at work, I do not take advantage of my University Degree or my University Level Writing Certificate (the degree is in Media, Information and Technoculture [Technoculture is the study of how technology and culture affect one another]) during the course of my usual day. Must Contain Minis is my venture to reawaken skills acquired from this training.

Must Contain Minis also allows me to actively participate in marketing and promotion for the website, which is something that I enjoy.

A Little Bit of Help

I have been very upfront about the companies that help Must Contain Minis with Review Products. Today, I want to take a look at a different group of people that helped me along the way. They all deserve a shout-out and these people are friends.

Anyone who plays a game with me and lets me photograph it for the site really helps me out, but today's shout-outs go specifically to...
  • Dave Lamers. Dave helped provide terrain for the convention games that I ran at Hotlead 2017 and Broadsword 3. He lets me bounce ideas off of him for the website and is one of my main opponents in the site's Battle Reports.
  • Jeremy Cada. Jeremy is one of the owners of Forbes Hobbies. He has been very supportive of this website from the start and is always up for a chat about Bolt Action or the Hobby in general. I photographed most of my Battle Reports in his store. He also does some commission work for the site including the awesome Frostgrave Demons for Hotlead.
  • Brenden Brown. Brenden is a very active in the Historical Miniatures and Flames of War scenes. He has been tournament organizer for the last two Flames of War Tournaments that I attended and I feature his miniatures in my "Brenden's Flames of War Showcases." 
  • James Palmer. James is a member of the local board game community and his interests in games overlap my own. We both really enjoy miniatures games that cross the lines between board games and miniatures games. My Dreadfleet, Project Elite, and Dropzone Commander posts were all done with his games.    
  • My Wife. As I stated earlier, my wife was the one that originally suggested that I start this website. I dedicate a lot of time into Must Contain Minis and I am thankful that she is supportive.
Must Contain Minis Turns a Year Old - Frostgrave Picture
Jeremy Cada helps paint some of the Miniatures for Must Contain Minis. Above is a picture of an awesome Centipede Demon that he did up for the site!
There are plenty of other people (in addition to those above) that deserve thanks for contributing to the success of Must Contain Minis. The ones listed above are the ones that go above and beyond in keeping the site going. Thanks for all of the help everybody!!!

Thanks also goes out to my readers as your visits and comments help encourage me to keep posting!

Frequently Asked Questions

When I meet fans, I find that they have some similar questions. Those questions include:
  • Will you be starting a YouTube Channel?
  • How Can Readers Support Must Contain Minis (do you take tips)?
  • What upcoming products have you excited?
Below are answers to those questions.

Do I intend to start a YouTube Channel?

Yes, I do intend to start a YouTube Channel. As to when, I do not know. Right now, YouTube is an idea floating around my head. My hope is that I might target the Fall for a first video.

What holds me back is that I know how much work goes into videos, that I want the videos to be of high production quality right off the start, and that I started Must Contain Minis to practice my writing skills.

To be honest, I shot archival video for 8-years as a profession so jumping into YouTube for the sake of making videos is not my priority. When I make it there, I want the videos to be polished! That takes time and preparation.

Is there a way for Readers to Support Must Contain Minis?

At this time, there is no direct way for readers to support Must Contain Minis. I do accept Review Products from companies (so if you have a company and want to support the site, you can do so that way), but that leaves the average reader with no way to contribute.

I have played around with the idea of using PayPal, but some sites (Blogs specifically) run into issues with the Donations button when it comes time to collect. The issue is that the fine print in PayPal reserves Donations for Charities only. A Blog might be able to squeak in as a non-profit, but I have read some stories of people being unable to collect (or having to jump through hoops to collect) because of this stipulation. There is also a perceived loop-hole that stating "buy me a coffee" near the donation button eliminates the problem. The idea is that this statement turns the "donation" into a "buy," but it doesn't. The proper way around it is to set specific values and have the "tip" come through as a purchase. To me, this does not look nearly as slick as a donation button. While there are plenty of Bloggers that use the donation button without issue, there stories of Bloggers not able to collect the donations from their fans. I plan to avoid the situation entirely by not participating.  

Many other Bloggers and Vloggers use Patreon. Patreon appeals to me, but I am not ready to jump in at this time. I believe that I need to generate more of a fan-base before engaging in a program like Patreon.

For those that want to throw a few dimes my way, I do have an affiliate program with the people at DriveThruRPG an the WargameVault. If you click on either of those links (or their banners on my site) and buy something, I will get a small commission.

What I like most from my readers is for them to "like" and "shared" across the web. If you enjoy this site, please be sure to head over to my Facebook Page and give it a Like.  

What upcoming products am I excited about?

I will admit right away that my eyes are always looking for new games and products to explore. Some of these products are new and some are "new to me." What has me most excited right now is Cigar Box Battle's upcoming Kickstarter for double-sided battle mats. Their regular battle mats are absolutely awesome so making them double-sided will only add to their value.

A teaser for Cigar Box Battle's upcoming Kickstarter.
Blood & Plunder, and Flint and Feather have also caught my eye.

The guys over at Firelock Games plan to do a second Kickstarter soon for their Blood & Plunder game. I played it at Broadsword 3 and it has to be one of the prettiest games that I have ever seen. The Kickstarter will be offering new content and will also likely be offering the original Kickstarter items at a discount versus retail. The other game that I hope to get in on a game called Flint and Feather by Crucible Crush. I enjoyed the Beta version at a convention a few years ago. Now that it is nearing completion, it should be worth another look.

As for expanding on what I already have, I plan to go Island hopping later this year with Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and Bolt Action's new Campaign Books Sea Lion and New Guinea. Blood & Plunder and Flint and Feather might also feature water aspects. I also hope to build up a small gang that I can use in Osprey Game's new Mad Dogs With Guns and in Bolt Action's Sea Lion.

I also plan to go back to the roots of the site a bit and cover more board games. I plan to get Conan painted and am looking at other games too. Fireteam Zero by Emergent Games looks like it would fit the flavour of this site in that it mixes horror and the occult with WW2. Other board games that I would love to review including Massive Darkness, Sword & Sorcery, and Gloomhaven.   

There is so much to look forward to and this is just scratching the surface.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

4 comments:

  1. Congrats!

    That's a significant amount of traffic in your first year. In fact, you got more in your first year than I've gotten in a year, and that's 8-years since starting for me.

    Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Thor. I spend a lot of time promoting the site on various platforms and in person at conventions.

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    2. It shows, and that's an area I really lack in. I've got all the technicalities of my blog setup well for search engines, and I've optimized the hell out of everything. However, I always feel like a bragging d-bag if I push my blog too much, or sometimes at all. I rarely post in FB groups, on Reddit, etc., because I feel like I'm just shamelessly promoting myself. Once I work that out then maybe I'll share in your success with traffic :)

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    3. The Facebook groups work great for sharing posts. Haven't had as much luck with Reddit or Twitter. I would recommend concentrating on Facebook when you get to it. :)

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