29 October 2018 | 7 Comments
Nearly 6 years ago I started writing this blog on a consistent basis. Out of the 1000+ articles I’ve posted during that time, today I thought I’d feature those that people seem to return to the most. I’ll highlight the key takeaway from each of them and mention if my perspective on these topics has changed over time.
It’s a complete coincidence, but it seems appropriate that the #10 most-read article is a top-10 list. I think this list hold up really well. My favorites are (a) create a piece of content (blog/podcast/video) that teaches, not sells, (b) comment on someone else’s content, and (c) talk positively about the competition (like I do on my YouTube channel).
You know those icons you see on most game-related Kickstarter projects? They all originated from this guest post that defines what region-friendly shipping means and why backers in those regions appreciate it. I still consider this a must-read post for anyone who is thinking about fulfilling rewards from a single location instead of fulfillment centers around the world.
I think this post has the record for “most updates,” as Kickstarter has changed their approval process a number of times. The heart of this entry remains true: When your project page is 90% ready, it’s a safe bet to go ahead and submit it for approval. You can continue to edit and finalize it, and you can launch any time after Kickstarter approves it. You don’t want to be 100% ready to launch and need to wait several days for Kickstarter’s approval.
The view count for this post might be inflated because I’ve read it myself at least a dozen times. It talks about common mistakes creators make on their project pages, overall philosophies that apply to all types of projects, visual techniques, and a master list of indispensable elements of a project page.
Perhaps this entry just gets views because of the super-long, SEO-friendly title. Or maybe people are just morbidly curious about how many people opted to get refunds for our Kickstarter rewards. The results? Out of 37,823 backers for 7 projects, 22 backers returned their games for a refund. I still think this is an effective way for new creators in particular to gain trust by showing that they’re committed to making something awesome, but it’s pretty low on the list of things to do to make your project successful.
This was the first in an ongoing series of posts outlining what I’ve learned from running a post-Kickstarter company. I discuss why we stopped using Kickstarter (which very little to do with the platform itself), including fulfillment risk, time, and human nature.
Have you ever been curious why we decided to make and sell an empty box for Scythe? This entry is to blame! It’s actually much more than just a poll about empty boxes, as I do a deep-dive exploration into why boxes are certain sizes, why expansions in giant boxes generally don’t make sense, and why we won’t be selling a version of Scythe that includes all expansions, accessories, promos, etc.
This is the first post on my blog that really went viral, not just in terms of readership, but also in terms of the number of conventions that now have play-and-win sections. Play-and-win isn’t my idea–I think it originated at Geekway to the West–but I was so enamored with it as an attendee and as a publisher that I knew I needed to share it with others. It continues to be a huge part of the marketing budget for Stonemaier Games.
I’m not exactly sure why this is so high up on the list, though I know it’s a crucial piece of the crowdfunding puzzle for every creator. When I wrote it, I advocated launching on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and that seems to have gravitated towards Tuesday for many game creators. I talk about the pros and cons of longer and shorter projects, as well as the best time to end a project (also Tuesday?). I think it’s important to remember that there isn’t an exact science to any of this, and data correlation doesn’t equal causation.
Back in the before times, the vast majority of creators shipped rewards by hand. I wasn’t the first to start doing it differently, but I actually may have been the first to use third-party fulfillment centers worldwide (and if I’m not the first, that’s fine–I might not even be the first to have written about it!). If you’re not familiar with that process, I highly recommend reading this post (even though I mention Amazon fulfillment quite a bit, which has been replaced by a number of more effective fulfillment companies).
What are your thoughts about these posts in retrospect?
As a special bonus, I recently had the pleasure of recording a Funding the Dream podcast episode with Richard Bliss for the first time in several years. We discussed the current state of Kickstarter and why I’ve been talking about it in reference to Stonemaier Games.
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