Category Archives: The Gazebo Patreon

Patreon, Locals & A Kickstarter (Not Mine)

It’s Friday so here’s a little bit of self promotion.

I posted a little tiny preview of something coming up on the blog in both my Patreon and Locals. Yes, it is behind the paywall on Patreon. Remember, I’m basically using it as a tip jar. Locals is free to sign up and not behind a paywall yet. There may be some plans for that in the future but I really want to grow the Locals community more since there’s a few easy bells & whistles that Patreon doesn’t have.

Now onto that Kickstarter. I don’t shill these very often but I’m feeling good about this one. You may have noticed that I’ve gotten back into the whole mini’s and terrain thing so I’ve been on the look out for decently priced and interesting US made and shipped mini’s. And I stumbled upon Tomb Guardians Miniatures. I order four resin mini’s last week and just got them. Heck, I haven’t even had time to prime and assemble yet.

I picked up the Skeletal Tomb Guardian, the Vampire Queen, the female Vampire Mage, and the Hobgoblin Wizard. First, let me say great customer service. They to swap out the metal Hobgoblin for the resin version. I didn’t notice until later that they had actually called me first. Yeah, if I don’t recognize a number I usually don’t answer. The mini’s are clean prints and have decent details. They are on the same scale as the Wizkids minis so they are a bit smaller than some of Reaper mini’s. No biggie but the arms are a bit “spindly”. I’m sort of person that paints mini’s to be used at the table so they may be a bit delicate. But overall I’m pleased and it was a good buy.

Now onto that Kickstarter. Tomb Guardians has Kickstarter and there’s some decent prices. Most importantly, I saw these Evil Cultists and said that I just must have these.

Alright, let’s have a great gaming weekend out there. Roll dice and have fun!

Patreon VS Locals, Odysee Vs Youtube etc

What do do? I have had some craziness in life recently and I really started thinking. I know you’re expecting gaming content here. Well, this is about delivering more content and keeping the good old blog afloat.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My goal is not create a second income. Sure it would be nice but I want to be realistic. I’m very niche in what I post and what I like. I’d just like to set the reasonable goal of covering the costs of web hosting and occasionally buying some RPG product that I might not otherwise for a review. Nothing super spectacular there. So what to do?

I already have Patreon and Locals pages. There are pro’s and cons for each. Patreon is more popular and many folks are more comfortable with it. Locals does have a few more features available like native live streaming. It’s my personal feeling that Locals is much better than Patreon when it comes to building a community. Patreon feels much like building a virtual storefront or subscription service.

Of course, going a long with this thought process is video. Yes, I started a Youtube channel a long time ago and the pandemic blew things a part and I haven’t uploaded anything in a couple of years. But a lot of things have changed. It does take a bit of extra effort to do a decent video and I was just thinking is Youtube really worth my time as a primary video hosting solution? There’s a huge sound to noise ratio on Youtube. There’s just so many folks on there. It’s good but let’s face it, half of your task as a Youtube creator is working the algorithm and the other half is trying to keep up with what Google decides is the community standards of the day. I have plans of going of the deep end but heck if I want I should have some choice in the matter. Plus Youtube has made it even more difficult to reach that golden point of being noticed and maybe making a few cents off your work.

I’ve looked around at various alternatives and there really aren’t that many. I’m leaning towards Odysee. Sure there are a bunch of crack pots on there. But so are there on Youtube. And I suppose I could just use Youtube as back up for the Odysee videos and see what happens. As mentioned earlier, yes there are more people who use Youtube but there are so many and with Google’s algorithm the chance of someone finding it are about the same.

I did do a little experiment last year. I stopped sharing blog posts to Facebook. Yes, the blog does have a Facebook page that still gets auto posts. But I was also cross posting to a few fo the more popular Facebook group. I stopped doing that and just started posting on MeWe. Guess what? It didn’t affect the blog’s traffic. I had fewer pissy comments. And what’s even more interesting, blog traffic has actually gone up this year.

So with all those thoughts, what’s your opinion? What’s your experience? Or any other thoughts?

The Future of Patreon, YARC, and more

II admit that I haven’t pushed or done much with my Patreon the last few months. And I know I’ve complained about the sales tax thing. But it’s time to get over myself and dive back in.

I’ve been looking at all sorts of alternatives to Patreon and just didn’t quite anything that I liked or felt 100% comfortable with. So let’s relaunch this bad boy.

So what the hell does that have to do with YARC? Well, I have been asked if I’m going to publish it and I thought about it. And the answer is Yes and No. Right now, we’re kicking the tires and play testing and tweaking ideas. But so much of it really isn’t hard, crunchy rules. Here’s what I’ve come up with. The big plan is to do a “Basic” version that’s very much the kissing cousin of the good Basic Editions of D&D and put that up on Drivethru. The more “advanced” and crazy bits will end up on Patreon.

This doesn’t mean that YARC will be the only thing on the Patreon. I’ve got crazy stuff that didn’t make the blog. Stuff that I’ve redone from the blog. That stuff will go there to.

I’m still going to play around on Locals too. While there differences, I might have to adjust a few things. We shall see.

And while I’m not sold on restarting the Playing It Wrong Podcast. I’ve thinking about doing the occasional video as well. For that, you really need to thank Joe the Lawyer.

Just like with Patreon. I looked for a good alternative. Nothing seemed to fit the bill. Now, I may use Odysee or Rumble as a back up, I don’t know. But I know I do need to reshoot an intro video. So we’ll see what happens on that.

So what do think guys? Start up doing videos again? Keep pounding the pavement with Patreon?


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Navel Gazing Part 2: Blog, Patreon, And More

I said I was going to do more with this and here I go.

Well, the blog does well enough more when it comes to interaction and traffic. I don’t really spend a whole lot time looking at stats but I do keep an eye on it to get a good feel for what’s going on. As I mentioned before I basically stopped cross posting to Facebook Groups since it was pretty much a waste of time. I still post to the blog’s page but thanks to Facebook if you’re even following the page doesn’t mean you’re going to here about it. So I’ve been thinking about either creating a MeWe group or maybe even take that deep dive into setting up a Discord Server but both of those plans are way down the line and put it into the “Let’s see what happens” category.

The Playing It Wrong podcast is basically dead. Anchor was a flash in the pan and few folks still regularly post. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, (IMHO) podcasts get all lumped together. Search engines and the podcasting ecosystem makes it difficult for a user to hunt down an episode or even a whole podcast on a specific topics unlike videos.

And speaking of videos. I haven’t posted anything to the Youtube channel in a long time. I had some plans for episodes and then COVID threw everything into chaos. I think I’m going to get back into that a bit but only when a topic is more geared towards a video format. You really don’t need to see my ugly face when I rand and philosophize on various gaming topics. And I’m going to do a bit of weird approach to this and post across platforms rather than throwing all my virtual eggs in one basket.

Patreon and Buy Me Coffee. I use these basically as tip jars as I’ve said before. Neither has been a great success. I’m going to take some time to sit down and rebuild the concepts and goals of the Patreon. How knows get enough Patrons and may run with the Discord idea. We shall see and I know the success or failure of it depends on me.

DrivethruRPG and others. I publish a few PDF’s on Drivethru and do the POD stuff via Lulu. Early on I tried to mess with POD on Drivethru but it turned into such a pain that it wasn’t worth it. I’ve been thinking about putting a few of my PDF’s on Itch.io and I’ll probably move ahead with that after the New Year. I’ve just so many of these things on my plate right now. I’m working on two projects for Cepheus, a class supplement for Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery, and my YARC old hack on the to do list. And I know that more ideas will pop into my head as I’m working on that stuff to keep me busy.

Actually gaming. Yes. I finally did manage to get a virtual group together. We get together every other week or so but I’ve been thinking about a second game. Oh yeah. And then there’s all those mini’s that I still need to paint.

So there it is. What’s on my plate now. What I’m planning to add. Wish me luck. I think I’m going to need it.

Happy New Year! 2020 in Review and Plans for 2021

I don’t have to tell you that 2020 sucked but for this post I want to stick to a few more positive things.

Let’s talk about the money side first and get it over with. I admit that I’m not in this for the money. But actually made a little this year. After web hosting and other minor expenses, I made enough for pizza. I know not much and nothing to brag about but at least it’s positive. Digging down into the numbers a little bit more, my three main sources for income were (in order) DriveThruRPG sales, Lulu Sales, and Patreon/Buy Me a Coffee. Amazon was hardly anything and, for me any way, hardly seemed worth the effort.

The blog did really well this year. Better than I had hoped for. Blog traffic increased 37% over 2019. I hadn’t expect that. Oddly enough, it seems that more traffic is coming from MeWe rather than Facebook.

The Youtube Channel and Anchor Podcast. Oh this part is a little depressing. I admit I hadn’t posted a video in months. I had plans but everything in the world seemed to go to hell and I just didn’t bother. Then Google changed the terms of service. Basically, if I wasn’t monetizing the videos with their ads then they would, just not giving me a cut. Sigh. We see enough ads online. I don’t want that extra annoyance on folks. And on the podcasting side, the audience size just isn’t really big enough to warrant the time put into it. This doesn’t mean that I’d done with these. I’m just planning on taking a slightly different approach. I can post and host videos and podcast audio right here on the blog plus I can post some of these things directly on MeWe and Locals. It might be worth the effort just to see what happens. I haven’t solidified a plan yet but it’s mulling around in my brain and just might work.

Patreon/Buy Me A Coffee/Tip Jars. All was going well on Patreon until they decided they needed to start charging sales tax. Sure fine it works great for material goods but they got really vague about things like early access and PDF’s. I personally felt that the way they were going about it wasn’t in the best interest of Patrons. I’m still going to use Patreon as a sort of continuing “tip jar” and I’ll post some exclusive content, free stuff, and special deals or something. I’m also considering adding a PayPal Tip Jar on the blog. I know it sounds like I’m begging but I’d rather do that than have a bunch of ads. As I’ve said before, I ain’t out to make a bunch of money. But I do want to at least break even.

Locals/Discord/Social Media. So Locals is a little bit like Patreon but more focused on building a community. So I could put my Locals behind a pay wall but haven’t done that. I’m not sure if I will. That will depend on how many folks head over there and how far it goes. I do plan on putting some exclusive content up there too. Like some of the other things in this post it’s a plan in the making. As far as Discord goes. Well, I belong to a bunch of servers but I don’t spend much time over there. I really should and don’t have any one to blame on that but myself. So in 2021, it’s time to have some fun on Discord. I doubt I’ll do my own server but may hang out regularly on a few. Social media is really becoming a cesspool. Twitter is where brain cells go to die. The last couple of times I stopped by there it was a total and complete dumpster fire. Facebook is getting just down right annoying. I really like MeWe but sometimes it seems like there isn’t a lot going on . Like a lot of things, I don’t have a solid plan. Part of me wants to ignore Facebook for a month just to see what happens. Another part of me is thinking about posting more gaming stuff to direct Facebook feed. On MeWe, I plan to be more out going. Comment more and interact with folks more.

Projects and Gaming. Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery is my main project. I’m working on it now and it’s going well. I’m already putting some notes down for two supplements for it. So I’d say that’s going to be my main project for 2021. And gaming. Hell, I really need to get some more gaming done in 2021 but about that in another post.

Thanks for sticking around till the end of this and thanks to all who have supported me one way or the other over the crap fest that was 2020. Let’s get some stuff done in 2021 and make it great year.