My Trials & Tribulations

5 07 2009

EscalatorI started this blog on a whim late last year without much direction or plan in search of finding some success in an industry I loved. I was unsure how to break through and just figured any action was better than no action. Of course I was hopeful this would lead to other opportunities so I set myself a goal of six months. I figured by that time I would have a clear picture of the future and if I were to have success it would be evident by then. If at that time I truly felt I was committed and still saw no progression or promise then I was going to focus my energy elsewhere. Well, this past month actually marks that six month barrier and while I haven’t had huge success I am happy with the progress and sense of worth I have achieved. Follow me as I take a trip through the past six months.

Now while I did set a goal of six months I never really described what the goal would be. Would it be a certain amount of visits each day, week, and month or would it be some type of monetary goal? While obviously that would be the dream and if that opportunity presented itself I would jump at that chance, but it was honestly not what I was expecting. Since I was just breaking into the industry very green with no writing experience or industry experience I knew I would have to work very hard and that it would be a slow process.

During the first few months my enthusiasm was sky high, I would type up anything I felt was relevant with the idea people would flock to hear what I had to say even though many outlets were saying the same thing in a better way. See, I told you I was naïve. However I did have one particular article that continued to get responses and visits each day which inspired me to continue on while also giving me more motivation. Although I soon figured out how extremely difficult it was to provide constant information that wasn’t just regurgitated from other sites. Not that it’s a bad thing, it just wasn’t my approach, and there are plenty of sites to go to for that information that do a better job than I would. So why would anyone visit my site? This question became a reoccurring theme through out the next six months. Instead I started to focus on truly original content and if I would post “news” would at least give my opinion on that news, since at least that is unique. So I sacrificed quantity of posts for quality of posts, at least then people would have a reason to visit, right?

Around this time I began to introduced new features but again found out from experience that those too were already being done. During this time it was difficult to move on, I become “obsessed” with hits which took a lot of my time as I was checking the statistics multiple times a day. Since that consumed so much of my already precious time I had no time to research or write any new articles eventually leading those numbers to drastically fall. It was difficult to write two or three articles a week and still accomplish the many other daily tasks that life presented me. Despite my initial thoughts, writing and maintaining a blog is a very time consuming endeavor that eventually spread and took over other parts of my life. It’s even hard to find time to game when all you are doing is researching, writing, or brainstorming for future articles let alone the multiple tasks involved in having a family and a full time job. During this time it was a struggle to continue but again the small successes that I did have were so rewarding I decided to continue.

The next few months were a transformation not only for me but for my blog as well. I realized what I wanted to do and focused more on the content than the audience, not to say the content wasn’t directed at an audience I just cared much less about the numbers. It was at this time I recognized I wanted to include more personal articles about my journey, ones like these that would not only benefit me but describe the process for all others to follow since it was also their journey. While doing all of this I still diligently played games for review, but since this is done as a hobby it was difficult to release my reviews alongside other more major sites who not only may have gotten an earlier copy but also have the time to dedicate to that game. While that was initially frustrating I understand that reviews are still relevant even after their release, plus believe each review is a personal opinion about the game and by reading multiple reviews can gain a better understanding of that game. Around this time I wanted to provide more post release information on games since that seems to be lacking in the general enthusiast press along with provide interviews with developers and industry professionals. Again I was naïve in thinking that everyone would be extremely helpful and willing to donate their time. While for the most part that is true especially for the smaller type blogs. But for obvious reasons to get the attention of a bigger named industry professional or even developer/publisher I had to face lots of rejection however completely understand their reasoning’s. This was true in many aspects of just starting out, to be taken serious by these developers, publishers, or other media outlets you needed an audience but in order to get that audience you need collaboration with those contacts for information. Despite that I thank everyone that has in the past or will in the future for their cooperation, I am truly appreciative.

Which finally brings us up to present day and while currently the updates are more spread out, partly due to my busy schedule lately, is also due to the fact that all of my posts will be truly original and thought out and the posts that are seen do take time. However I still will be doing reviews, occasional trophy guides and interviews. However I leave the door open to anything since I would hate to pigeon-hole myself to only a few select topics. The same struggles still exist today as they did when I first started. I still ask myself why someone would visit my blog or read my articles rather than another outlet. I still have trouble finding the time to not only plan out but coherently put together an article that people would want to read, case in point its currently 2AM and I have to be up in four hours for work. However I am happy with the direction I am heading, it’s almost as if I am starting over except this time I have a plan and a direction on where I want to be heading. My initial hope of something stemming from this is still alive so for now I will continue to do what I do while honing my skills along with finding different ways to provide content or whatever else the audience desires. During this six month process I have learned a great deal not just about the industry but about myself as well. I am still progressing and developing my skills as a writer but there is no doubt that I have improved. I have also had the unique opportunity to meet some great people who share the same interests as I do which is especially rewarding.

I hope this has given those of you that read blogs an insight on the time commitment and dedication involved in writing and upkeep of a blog, especially these independent blogs with a small staff or sometimes no staff at all. Now, I am not saying any of this to sound negative or unappreciative; it’s just a collection of my thoughts that hopefully can help others that are blazing their own paths. I will continue to jump or avoid all of these hurdles the best I can and learn from the ones that I simply can’t avoid. I have completely enjoyed the past six months and look forward to the next six months and the opportunities they will bring along with the impact I hope to have whether small or large. This is something I have poured my heart into because this is something I enjoy and believe my dedication has proven that. I have learned that this is where I want to be and in some way shape or form I will get there whether or not this is the correct avenue. The sense of accomplishment and meaning this has given me is reinvigorating thus for now removing all doubts of me quitting.

So the last thing I need to do is thank you, the reader, because without an audience there would be no reason for me to continue to write. So Thank you, whether you have visited here once or on a more regular basis I appreciate your support. I hope you will continue to visit as this site continues to grow along side each and every one of us. Will this become something in the future? I still hope so and now that I have a glimmer of hope I will continue to strive to be the very best I can be, since hope is all I need to keep the dream alive.

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5 responses

5 07 2009
GregHorrorShow

Good piece, it certainly is more work than I thought it would be to keep a blog going.

I much prefer to read personal reviews of games as opposed to mass market standard reviews. Keep up the good work!

6 07 2009
BeyondTheD-Pad

Thanks! I also love your work, you are doing a GREAT job. Despite the time and work involved I absolutely love it.

I too enjoy the independent blogs more as well. Thanks again for your continued support.

6 07 2009
Shaha44

It truly is great to hear your journey. I am personally glad you have stuck with your passion. It is honestly always a treat for me to read a new blog post from you. As always, keep up the hard work.

7 07 2009
BeyondTheD-Pad

@Shaha44: Again thanks so much for the support, I appreciate it more than you can imagine. Its people like yourself that truly keep me motivated to continue on. Thanks!

10 08 2009
Month in Review: July « Beyond The D-Pad

[…] My Trials & Tribulations […]

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