State of the Site: 2015 Plans for Increased Awesomeness
Hey y’all! Since 2015 is rapidly approaching, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to take this site to the next level. Thanks to a shorter commute, I’ve been able to put more time and energy into the site than ever before, but I still think I can do even more (and since the girlfriend is supportive of my move to do more for the site, it’s a win-win). :) While it’s going to take a lot more work on my part, I won’t be able to do it alone, so there are some aspects of these improvements in which I will definitely need your help! :) With that said, after the cut, check out my outline for how I plan to make this site even MORE awesome in 2015 (beyond the stuff I’m already doing, of course)! ;)
While I’m happy with the site’s content, now that I have more time and energy, I can devote more of both to the site, and that means more content, such as:
- New Video Series – I’ve already begun a couple of these, such as “Brian Breaks Shit” and “Glory to the Gamepad,” but I’m working on coming up with more. I wanna do more than just reviews and previews, you know? :) I want to come up with engaging series that cover various aspects of both general gaming and space gaming. If y’all have suggestions, I’d be happy to hear ’em. :)
- More Op-Eds – I have opinions, and I need to write more of them! I don’t have a ton of experience writing op-eds, but I have to gain that experience sometime, right? These will likely be reactionary stuff at first, but as I get more comfy, I’ll hopefully put out more introspective and interesting topics out of my own head rather than reacting to the topics of others.
- More Interviews – After some soul searching, I’ve finally realized why I have such anxiety when I write Q&A questions: I’m worried that they’ll make me look like an uninformed idiot, or a fraud. I’m not entirely sure WHY I feel this way, but now that I’ve identified it, I can work on it, and that means there will be more written Q&As! Yay! I’ve been damned lax about this, so I really have to get on the ball.
- Game of the Month – Starting in January, I’ll be focusing on one game for that particular month. I’ll do at least one video on it, along with an introspective article and, if possible, a Q&A with the developer at the very least. To start things off, January, 2015s Game of the Month will be 1978’s Super Star Trek! Future GOTMs will look back at space gaming’s history so we can appreciate where we are by seeing where we’ve come from. :)
I need to do a better job with engagement beyond site and YouTube comments, so here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- More Active on Social Media/Steam/Reddit – I have to admit, my engagement on these social platforms have been rather lacking, especially on Twitter, which is undoubtedly the busiest and most successful platform I’m on. To that end, I’m going to work to be more engaged on Facebook and Twitter (I’m trying to learn how to be better focused on Twitter as we speak as well). I need to also work more on our Steam group, along with my curating duties. ;) Finally, I’ve really been lax when it comes to using Reddit not only as a promotional tool but a social tool as well, so I really have to get on the ball with that. All of these should not only help the site gain more visibility, but have the experience of engaging with me and the site be more fun and fulfilling as well.
- Contests/Promotions – I’ve always WANTED to do contests, I’m just not sure HOW to do them. Sure, I could do some simple key giveaway, but everyone does that, you know? I’m gonna work to make some fun contests that will have great prizes and gain some site visibility as well. At least, that’s the hope.
- Multiplayer/Streaming Events – We’ve been having so much fun playing multiplayer X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter that I wanna do more stuff like that. Scheduled events, maybe even tournaments. I’m PRAYING that XvT comes to GOG next year so it’ll be easier to find other players, but beyond that we could find some other multiplayer games to try out. Maybe something like a mining tournament in Elite: Dangerous, for example. Couple this with our regular podcast and other streaming events on Twitch, and hopefully it’ll make for a rockin’ good time. Keep an eye on the calendar for more events!
- More Active Forums – While the forums are awesome, they’re a bit on the quiet side, and much of that is my fault. I’ll therefore try to bring the conversation from the blog to the forum, and vice versa, to make both places feel more connected and more engaging.
As loathe as I am to admit it, money is a fantastic motivator, and while I would LOVE to make enough money on the site to work on it full time (that is the ultimate dream, after all), I’d be happy to make enough to cover hosting costs. ;) To that end, I plan to implement a few things which will hopefully help in that regard.
- Adding Adsense to the Blog – I’ve been trying to find a way to unobtrusively add AdSense banners to the blog, but haven’t yet found a solution with this theme (which I plan on keeping because I do love it). Once I find a place for it, AdSense ads will definitely be visible on the site.
- Swag – Folks have asked for it, so I’ve created a Zazzle account and am working on creating various bits of swag using the SGJ logo! This will of course include shirts, mugs, mouse pads and so on, I just need time to put it all together and make it all look awesome! :)
- Patreon – Yup, I’m gonna give Patreon a try next year. If y’all are unaware, Patreon is basically a tip system, where people sign up to tip a specific amount for each piece of specified content, whether it’s $1 or $5 or $10, for example. I’m still figuring out what the reward tiers will be for each donation level, but rest assured it’ll be fun stuff. Also, just in the interest of disclosure, nothing will ever be behind a paywall or anything here, so this Patreon stuff will be of course completely optional (and appreciated, of course). ;)
Finally, something not completely related to this site, but kinda sorta is…
- Sister Site: Mecha Game Junkie – Jim and I both love mecha games, whether they’re Japanese games like Zone of the Enders or Western games like Heavy Gear 2 (my personal favorite). I’ve had the idea for this site kicking around for a while, but I didn’t think I could do it on my own. Therefore, next year, Mecha Game Junkie will be launched with both Jim and I running the thing. :) Since it’ll be both of us running it, and since mech games are a relatively smaller genre than space games, I don’t plan to have it take much time away from Space Game Junkie at all, if any. That said, I’m thrilled to have a site looking at one of my other favorite gaming subgenres.
So there you have it, my outline for 2015 that will hopefully make this site much more visible, engaging, successful, profitable and, above all else, enjoyable. :) I really want this site to take off in 2015, and with your help, it’ll be the mecca of space gaming I know it can be. Thanks for reading folks, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to hit me up in the comments or contact me directly using the contact form. :)