Today’s post is actually a celebratory one. This post marks number 500 on Must Contain Minis. 500 Posts and Counting that is!!! How cool is that!?
When I started, the direction of this website was not yet fully set. I had an idea that I wanted to make it a Reviews and Battle Reports website.
Inspired by some of my favourite other sites (including WWPD, OnTableTop, and Meeples and Miniatures), this website took on a bit of a magazine feel. I covered pretty much everything and anything that I already owned. BattleTech, RAFM, and other products all made my first posts.
Perhaps refreshing to the scene was that I did not post about Games Workshop. They do great minis, but I moved away from them a long time ago. Instead, I wanted to promote gaming with alternative companies.
Today’s post is a retrospective about my first 500 posts, the direction of the website and a special thank you to all of my fans and supporters.
Going Against Traditional Wisdom
Although I really like Fostgrave and Bolt Action, I decided early on to let the games take a backseat to other content. The idea was that I would go to those two core games when not writing something else. While this ensured a wide variety of content, it also meant that anyone wanting just a Frostgrave or Bolt Action website might not like my direction.
One of the Youtubers that I follow, Uncle Atom of Tabletop Minions, advised against content creators splitting their focus between games. It confuses the viewer as they start following for the content of one game and then they disappear when you start focusing on another game.
You then have to work twice as hard to attract those followers back. Uncle Atom is right, I can see it in my statistics of Direct traffic. At the same time, the increase in traffic from Referrals and Google due to a variety of content offsets the drop in Direct traffic. Of course, Direct Traffic still exists and will hopefully grow as my focus becomes better communicated.
My goal is to promote and showcase the many gaming options out there outside of those by the largest miniatures company. What I hope for is that readers view my site as a magazine for alternative, historical and indy miniatures games. This is not a site dedicated to a single game – although I do keep going back to my core games.
Forming a Mission Statement
After running the site for a while, I solidified in my head the direction that I wanted to take the website. Encouraging people to play games outside of those made by the biggest players would be my focus. The best way I figure to do this is by reviewing products and giving the smaller companies exposure that they might otherwise not have.
Below is my mission statement from my “About Page.”
Our goal is to promote and encourage miniature gaming in general while showing people that there are more games out there than just those by the biggest companies on the market. This site will shed light onto miniature games and products from many businesses in the industry from large to small. Our hope is that our Reviews, Showcases and Battle Reports will help guide your decision in how to spend your hard earned gaming money. Perhaps our reviews could even save you some money or introduce you to another game that you would like to explore.
This statement continues to help form the coverage I produce for this website.
I just can’t believe that I am 500 posts into the blog. How awesome is that!!!? Time really flew.
Being that the mission of Must Contain Minis is to promote miniature gaming in general and to show off products by smaller companies I’ve been very successful at partnering with some great businesses. Now, none of them give me cash, but they do help cut down my hobby costs by providing me with review products. 21 Companies in total have so far helped Must Contain Minis (MCM) with various levels of materials. Special thanks goes out to all them.
If you hover over the “Sponsors” tab, I’ve listed all of those companies in order of how much support they have given to MCM. That helps keeps things transparent and also gives the bigger contributors an extra thanks for their support. As you can see, Osprey Games, Cigar Box Battle and Firelock Games top the list for companies that have supported Must Contain Minis over my first 500 posts.
On top of getting me connections with many cool companies, Must Contain Minis has also helped me get in touch with other content creators. That is a cool thing on its own. Just getting to chat to the people that you have read and followed for years can be very rewarding.
On top of interacting with these people, my work has appeared on other sites including… Bell of Lost Souls, Guerrilla Miniature Games and St. Andrews Wargaming. You can find links to all my stuff on those sites from my “Other Sites” page.
If you count those articles on top of the ones on Must Contain Minis, then I have actually written and published 570 Posts to date. Wow!
Always Looking To Grow
When working with Bell of Lost Souls and Guerrilla Miniatures Games, I did so in effort to help grow Must Contain Minis and better achieve my objective of getting alternative games and miniatures out in front of more people. These sites extended my reach further than MCM alone.
On top of looking to grow through collaborations and posts on other sites, I also am constantly looking for new items to showcase on my website. Terrain, Miniatures, Rule Sets and Accessories are all things that I am interested in sharing with my readers. If you know of, or have, a company that wants to get their products out in front of an audience, have them check out my Sponsorship Page.
By reaching out to others and continuously getting the word out about alternative miniature gaming options I hope to keep growing this website.
One thing is for sure, there is no lack of items to write about. Our world of miniature gaming is so varied and interesting that one could write an entire lifetime and still not cover everything. 🙂
The Hardest Blogging Challenge
Interesting enough, I found my hardest challenge for my first 500 posts was to actually say “no” to people. There are a lot of small companies all working on interesting products. Most of them would love coverage. I wish I could showcase them all, but I don’t have the time.
Sometimes it is easy to say “no.” There are a number of companies that reach out to me that don’t fit the niche of my site. Kickstarters and some Board Game companies can be bad for this. If they don’t fit the site and it is clear they didn’t do their research, then often I ignore their requests.
While some projects are easier to say “no” to, there are some harder ones too. The worst is when I have to say “no” to projects that really interest me. These are projects that I would be all over if I had the time. That is the hardest challenge for me so far.
If I can, and the product fits the site, I will give the company social media shares and maybe even make a few mentions of them on the web.
While there are companies that I have to say “no” to, there are plenty more that I actually can write about.
Although I have to be selective, I am still publishing three posts a week (two on MCM and one on BoLS) with strong reliability. That means a lot of great products get some great coverage!
Hope For the Future
My main wish for the future of Must Contain Minis is to keep promoting gaming with products that aren’t by the biggest miniatures company. We all know who I am talking about when I say that.
I know I am ignoring a large segment of the gaming community when I do that, so I may end up adding them some day, but for now I am focusing on things a little more niche than our large friend.
Another goal that I hope this site achieves is to make the hobby (and the alternative companies within the hobby) less obscure.
Wrapping it up…
500 Posts!!! What an achievement!
I would like to quickly thank you, my readers, for visiting Must Contain Minis and enjoying my content. I want to be the website that you think of when you want a website that focuses on Battle Reports and Reviews of Miniatures Games not connected to the largest miniatures company out there.
While I don’t like to refer to these games and companies as obscure, my goal is to make them less obscure and to help uncover the real gems.
My Reviews don’t give ratings because I find ratings to be subjective and what I find as a selling feature, others will see as a breaking point. The same goes in reverse too.
My Battle Reports give a good feeling of the narratives that the games can tell when you get them to the table.
While I mentioned that this is not just a Frostgrave and Bolt Action Website, I do have some Bolt Action posts coming in the future and Frostgrave is miniatures agnostic. Being miniatures agnostic means that all of those reviews that I have about miniatures by other companies (like DGS Games, Fireforge Games and Mantic Games) are still relevant to your potential gaming experience.
If you like this sort of content, I please share the site with your friends and encourage people to visit Must Contain Minis often.
Thank you again for celebrating 500 posts with me.
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!