Posts Tagged ‘Musing’

Interesting things…

Posted on February 18th, 2018 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Hello and welcome to Inso’s World again.It has been an interesting week. In fact, it has been one of happenings and things getting done.To start with, I have talked to some local, reputable and recommended, double glazing people and this coming week I …

Focus… focus… focus…

Posted on February 11th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

Hello again and welcome to Inso’s World.This week has been a pretty strange one, with snow coming to make an appearance in Cornwall. Obviously, Cornwall ground to a halt because of ice on the roads so it was definitely an interesting week, weather wise…

Social Media Strategy for a Gaming Website

Posted on January 31st, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

As a Content Creator, I really want others to read my articles. One key element of the distribution of my
The post Social Media Strategy for a Gaming Website appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Chaos reigns!

Posted on January 28th, 2018 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Hello and welcome to Inso’s World again.This week has been fairly good… I have managed to get quite a lot of sculpting in and have finished Sgt Harker:Click the Pic!The next one up will be Dutch; the platoon commander for the little Vanguard detachme…

The dust has settled.

Posted on January 7th, 2018 under , , . Posted by

Hello and welcome to a normal Sunday at Inso’s World.It has been a quiet week again but I have needed it in order to land after a rather boozy Christmas and new year. Luckily, I have made a pact with my son to go dry for January and put what I would ha…

Welcome to WordPress

Posted on January 6th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

In my last post, I talked about the advantages of Blogger over WordPress and why I started this website on
The post Welcome to WordPress appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Why Use Blogger?

Posted on January 5th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

When anyone starts a Blog, they have to make a decision of what Platform to use for their website. When
The post Why Use Blogger? appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Why Use Blogger?

Posted on January 5th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

When anyone starts a Blog, they have to make a decision of what Platform to use for their website. When
The post Why Use Blogger? appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Why Use Blogger?

Posted on January 5th, 2018 under , . Posted by

When anyone starts a Blog, they have to make a decision of what Platform to use for their website. When I faced that choice, I chose to go with Blogger.This post is aimed at people planning to start a Blog or people interested in my choice of Platform …

Happy New Year – 2018

Posted on January 1st, 2018 under , . Posted by

Happy New Years to Everybody!!! I hope that 2018 brings everyone plenty of success and happiness. Happy New Years from
The post Happy New Year – 2018 appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Happy New Year – 2018

Posted on January 1st, 2018 under , . Posted by

Happy New Years to Everybody!!! I hope that 2018 brings everyone plenty of success and happiness. Happy New Years from
The post Happy New Year – 2018 appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Happy New Year – 2018

Posted on January 1st, 2018 under . Posted by

Happy New Years to Everybody!!! I hope that 2018 brings everyone plenty of success and happiness.Happy New Years from Must Contain Minis! Above is a picture of a snake man that I base-coated for Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago. This figure is by RAFM. He …

New Year’s Eve?

Posted on December 31st, 2017 under . Posted by

Hello and welcome to Inso’s World on New Year’s Eve.Seeing as it has been Christmas week, I can safely say that I have done very little, other than to make merry and enjoy the festive period with family and friends.I have shared a wonderful year with s…

Boxing Day – 2017

Posted on December 26th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Christmas has come and gone and today it is Boxing Day. If I get around to it, I may go
The post Boxing Day – 2017 appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Boxing Day – 2017

Posted on December 26th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Christmas has come and gone and today it is Boxing Day. If I get around to it, I may go
The post Boxing Day – 2017 appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Boxing Day – 2017

Posted on December 26th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Christmas has come and gone and today it is Boxing Day. If I get around to it, I may go out looking for that Canon Rebel Camera that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. That said, there are a number of companies out there offering Holiday Sales witho…

Merry Christmas from Must Contain Minis (2017)

Posted on December 25th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Merry Christmas to all from Must Contain Minis!!! I hope that you have a wonderful holiday doing whatever makes you happy. Perhaps you
The post Merry Christmas from Must Contain Minis (2017) appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

Merry Christmas from Must Contain Minis (2017)

Posted on December 25th, 2017 under . Posted by

Merry Christmas to all from Must Contain Minis!!!I hope that you have a wonderful holiday doing whatever makes you happy. Perhaps you are spending time with family or friends, or just plain out relaxing. Generally, christmas is a time fo…

Christmas Eve… already?

Posted on December 24th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

Hello again and welcome to Inso’s World on Christmas eve 2017.I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect on, what can be considered, a pivotal year of my life.The start of the big adventure was getting a mortgage and moving into our own home, just bef…

What goes into a Blog Post? (For a Tabletop Gaming Website)

Posted on December 15th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

In this post, we focus on the act of blogging itself. Specifically, I will speak to what I put into
The post What goes into a Blog Post? (For a Tabletop Gaming Website) appeared first on Must Contain Minis.

What goes into a Blog Post? (For a Tabletop Gaming Website)

Posted on December 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

In this post, we focus on the act of blogging itself. Specifically, I will speak to what I put into each and every post on Must Contain Minis. This article is intended for those interested in Blogging themselves or those that want a look behind the scenes at Must Contain Minis.

What goes into a Blog Post for a tabletop gaming website

In terms of time, I put roughly two to six hours goes into each post. This figure does not include my researching products, playing games, taking pictures or promoting my content.

When I started Must Contain Minis, I spent much less time writing posts. In fact, I spent roughly 30 minutes per post created. That is a large difference from the two to six hours per post that I spend on my articles today. Why is there this difference? Well, I spend more time post-processing images, focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and most of my posts now are longer than they were in the past.

At this point in time, I have been writing articles on Must Contain Minis for over a year-and-a-half. Through an Electronic Writing Course from the early 2000’s, my own web research, and trial and error, I have learned what works for my site.

In this post, I will share what elements best serve the articles on Must Contain Minis. Below is my list of what goes into writing a blog post for a gaming website ranked in what I would consider as importance.

I hope that this list will help aspiring bloggers and be of interest to other readers in general.

1. Passion 

I write about what I enjoy. I believe that this passion and enthusiasm shows through in my writing and hopefully better engages my readers.

One of the key reasons that I started Must Contain Minis is to show people that there are other fine game companies out there besides GW. Many of my friends feel that these other games can be somewhat obscure and I aim to bring awareness to these other gaming options.

As a result, I am fairly enthusiastic about most of the products about which I write. My reviews tend to be my most popular posts, but I also write other content

My passion is the main reason that I keep up with the Battle Reports. My Reviews are actually almost twice as popular as my Battle Reports and the Battle Reports take almost twice as long to write as the reviews. I could easily turn Must Contain Minis into a Reviews only website. In terms of reach, profit and efficiency of time, I would be better off not writing the Battle Reports, but there is something about writing Battle Reports that I intrinsically enjoy.

Also, my goal of Must Contain Minis was always to make it a Review and Battle Report website as those are the sorts of materials that I consulted often myself before buying into a game. In a way, it is my way in giving back to the gaming community.

For those planning to start a blog, be sure that you choose something you enjoy as the topic of your site. If you don’t, writing content will quickly become an unsatisfying obligation for you to keep your Blog running.  

2. Images Reign Supreme 

People are visual creatures and having good and original pictures helps draw them to the website.

Websites such as Facebook, Reddit, and even the Mobile Browser that comes with Blogger all use the first image from your site / post as the “promotional image” to help draw people to your site. Because these sites draw on your first image, it is important that you choose a strong image to lead each and every post.

This need to lead with a compelling image encourages me to place titles on the first image of a post and to use an action shot as the first image of my Battle Reports.

This in turn can, in turn, influences my writing style as I discuss and foreshadow what the image depicts right off the top of the post. Below are two quick samples of starting images from some Battle Reports.

Above is an opening image from one of my Frostgrave Battle Reports. Notice that I have a title superimposed over the picture and the image starts the post with the miniatures in action. 

This image is from before I started putting titles on all of my opening images. It is another example of starting a Battle Report with a picture of the game already in play. 

You will also notice that I place a logo on every picture. The reason for this is that I found other people using my images on Social Media (Twitter specifically) without acknowledging or referring back to Must Contain Minis.

Finding other people using my images without linking back to my site made me feel like my hard work was being stolen. To combat this, I added the logo so that if people use my pictures elsewhere and forget to link back to my site, at least people will see that the picture is from Must Contain Minis (and hopefully they will visit the website in the future).

To clear the record, I don’t mind people sharing my images – I just want recognition and at least a link back to my site so that people can read the article that the pictures are from.

Now… In terms of working with images for my posts, I probably do not follow the most effective work procedure.

Generally, I will have 30 to 120 images per post and edit them all using a free program called GIMP. When I edit the pictures, I optimize the colours, reduce the picture size to save space, and brand every image. Once done the above process, I start writing the article and insert the pictures as I write.

Obviously, I would save time if I better filtered my pictures before I start writing (and thereby reduce the number of files that I post-process). Sadly, I feel that my writing is a more organic if I don’t limit what pictures I can draw upon while I blog so I follow this more work intensive procedure.

For aspiring Bloggers, I recommend that you reduce the size of your pictures to save space from the start. If you are on Blogger, the size of the pictures will effect how long it takes for your site to load. If you are on Wordpress, it will still influence your speed but you could also be paying to store those images on your host’s servers. I also recommend that you start branding your pictures early on your site as it is a horrible feeling when you first discover other people using your images without acknowledging that the images are from your website.

3. Story Telling and Good Writing

One of the things that I learned from my University Course on Electronic Publishing is that people online expect shorter paragraphs than they would from a print medium. As an online publisher, you will receive better readership if you adhere to that expectation.

You also have to develop your own style and approach to blogging. My style is to focus on stories. There are plenty of Blogs out there that focus on small details and giving readers a play-by-play of what happened in their games. Rather than providing a play-by-play, I try to focus on the salient points that would entertain my readers.

Why? Because people enjoy stories. Stories help readers connect to what you write. That is why my Battle Reports focus on the story that unfolds during a game and why my Reviews focus on what the product is and my experiences with that product. My goal is to entertain while shinning a spotlight onto some really cool products.

Also, by focusing on the stories, the posts widen their appeal. Someone that does not play Bolt Action can read my Bolt Action Battle Reports because they don’t need to know the rules of the game to appreciate the story that was told on the tabletop. Likewise, hopefully my reviews are appealing enough to reach broad audience.

While telling stories is important, if I don’t have decent images to go with the post, the post doesn’t get written.

Another interesting thing about my writing style is that I don’t generally do outlines before I write my article. Instead, I know that topic that I want to write about, have the key points I want to cover fresh in my head, and a library of pictures to draw upon that have already been post-processed to the level that I desire.

When I write, it just flows. For me, the story telling comes organically.

As far as advice for new bloggers, use an outline if it helps. They are a useful tool for organizing your thoughts and in providing a framework for your posts. Also, be sure to develop your own style rather than copying others. If you like to do tutorials, provide help for tournament players, or to score and rank your reviews, than a step-by-step (or play-by-play) style may be for you. For me though, it is about the stories that happen on the tabletop.

4. Editing and Proof Reading

Being a good writer is one thing, but a good blog needs to be polished. To get that polish, edit and proofread your work.

I edit through all of my pieces at least once and proof-read the articles at least twice before they are published. I read them yet another time after they are published in case I missed something and need to make a quick change (that is one of the advantages of electronic publications over print).  🙂

With the longer pieces that I write of late, the editing process can take longer than writing the actual article.

My advice here is quick and simple. Proofread and edit your work. If you are uncomfortable doing this, have a friend or relative do it for you.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A lot of time goes into optimizing my posts for image searches. What exactly does that entail? Well, I mostly focus on my pictures. I give them all relevant file names, Title Text, ALT Text and captions. The ALT Text helps describe the pictures to Search Engines while the file names and other text should help with the relevancy of the file to said search. I try to keep the text of these items unique.

It is a lot of work and doing this for every picture takes time (especially when you might have 12 to 30 pictures in a post).

Outside of optimizing my pictures, I don’t do a lot for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The rules change and what works now may not work in the future. That said, I am sure that Blogger (the platform this Blog is ran on) helps with SEO in several ways behind the scenes.

For those starting out, I recommend that you just write the content that you want to write and eventually your site will be found on Google. If you want to bother with Key Words and other strategies to get people to your site, more power to you. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.

I chose to optimize the images for SEO because people are visual creatures. Taking it a step further would be a good thing, but I already spend enough time on my posts.  🙂

6. Treat your Blog as a Business

Earlier, I wrote a Blog article about monetizing a Gaming Blog. Why would I want to monetize Must Contain Minis? It is because I want to treat the site as a business.

There are a number of advantages to treating a blog as a business.

The first is that if the site generates revenue, it gives you the resources to keep the site going. If you are on Wordpress and have half-decent traffic, your host provider could easily be costing you $10 to $15 a month. My thought is that the Blog should be able to at least sustain itself. Of course, the dream is to have your site sustain you, and my hope is that Must Contain Minis can help pay for my paints and supplies for miniatures.



Monetizing a Gaming Blog / What goes into a post
Just a quick title slate for my post about monetizing this blog.

The next reason is that in treating it as a business, there is more motivation to post to the site consistently. It is very easy to say “I don’t feel like writing” and then your two to three posts a week quickly becomes one to four a month. If you want to draw in more readers and grow, then publishing often is important – especially when you are just starting out.

I also find it easier to approach brands as I have a business mind-set when I discuss my website.

While I choose to treat my website as a business, there is also nothing wrong with treating your blog as a hobby. It all depends on what you want in exchange for your time and effort. If you are happy just doing posts, then, by all means, do so.

How to treat your site is a decision that you will have to make on your own. If you plan to work with brands though, I suggest you approach it like a business.

7. Promote, Promote, Promote

Once a post is published, I promote it as much as I can. I currently use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and The Miniatures Page to draw people over to my Blog. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it as those sites help boost the reach of my site.

I can honestly tell you that I often spend more time promoting a post than I actually spend in writing the post and do not count that time towards the hours I spend writing Blog posts.

I should also look into doing some guest posts for other sites with links back go my site to help promote my site in general. So far, I have not done any guest posts but I hear that they can be effective.

If you write your own Blog, don’t be shy about promoting your site. It is the best way to get readers over to your site when you are just starting out. Only recently has my daily Google traffic surpassed what came in from my links in various Facebook Groups.

Wrapping it Up…

Counting image processing, writing, SEO, proofreading and editing, I spend roughly two to six hours of writing per post on this site. On top of that, I spend extra time researching for the posts, playing the games, taking photos and promoting the site. In short, a lot of effort goes into Must Contain Minis that I hope my readers appreciate. Judging by my numbers though, all of this hard work pays off.

For those that want to follow in my footsteps, it takes time and patience to get a Blog to generate an audience. Also, writing a good post takes a more effort than just typing for 10 to 20 minutes and hitting that publish button. That is where I started, but all of these tips that I picked up have made for a much better site.

Hopefully my outline of what I put in a Blog Post will help you out with your own website.

For those that don’t have their own Blog, hopefully you at least found this article interesting.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

 

Help Support Must Contain Minis


Remember that Must Contain Minis has Sales Affiliate Relationships with Amazon, RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, and the Wargame Vault. If you visit one of the sites from the links above and make a purchase, a portion of the sales goes to supporting Must Contain Minis at no extra cost to you.

We also take in products for review. If you have a product that you think would fits the site and you would like to see it on Must Contain Minis, get in touch with me and perhaps we can work something out. You can email us at… mustcontainminis@gmail.com.

Huge Discounts on your Favorite RPGs @ DriveThruRPG.com

Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ RPGNow.com

What goes into a Blog Post? (For a Tabletop Gaming Website)

Posted on December 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

In this post, we focus on the act of blogging itself. Specifically, I will speak to what I put into each and every post on Must Contain Minis. This article is intended for those interested in Blogging themselves or those that want a look behind th…

Have You Read the Frostgrave Novels?

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I will be honest, one of the things that attracted me to the Original Frostgrave was that the rulebook did not spend a lot of time building a gaming world. I really liked this as it let me use whatever models I wanted and also build my own gaming world. Of course, I used the descriptions in the rule book as a framework for a starting point, but the freedom was there to adapt the setting if I wished.

Since then, Osprey Games sent me the novels Second Chances and Tales of the Lost Isles to take a look through. Thank you very much Osprey sending those. I started reading through Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of the Lost Isles and am enjoying the book.

In today’s post, we are shinning a quick spotlight on three Frostgrave books. If you have read the books (or are in the process of reading them), please feel free to leave your opinions of them in the comments section at the end of this article.

Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of The Lost Isles

Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tale of the Lost Isles Review
Cover of the Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago collection of short stories called Tales of the Lost Isles. Image from Osprey Publishing’s Website.

This book contains nine short stories and a gaming scenario.

As I read through the stories, I find myself wondering if Osprey gave each author a certain direction with rules, creatures or descriptions that they wanted covered in the stories. Why? Because as I read the stories, I recognize the ways that they tie right into the rulebook of Ghost Archipelago. 

I won’t include any spoilers to the novels in this article, but I did talk a little bit about how perfectly the rules fit the descriptions in my post about Wardens vs Wizards.

As I continue to enjoy the book, I see more and more rules reflected in the stories. I find that enjoyable.

Below is the description of the book from Osprey Publishing’s website.

The Ghost Archipelago has returned. A vast island chain, covered in the ruins of ancient and otherworldly civilizations, the Archipelago appears every few centuries, far out in the southern ocean. At such times, pirates, adventurers, wizards, and legendary heroes all descend upon the islands in the hopes of finding lost treasures and powerful artefacts. A few, drawn by the blood of their ancestors, search for the fabled Crystal Pool, whose waters grant abilities far beyond those of normal men. It is only the bravest, however, who venture into the islands, for they are filled with numerous deadly threats. Cannibal tribes, sorcerous serpent-men, and poisonous water-beasts all inhabit the island ruins, guarding their treasure hordes and setting traps for the unwary. 

This book of fiction collects all-new stories set in the Ghost Archipelago.


Frostgrave: Tales of The Frozen City

Short stories is something I have always enjoyed. I read plenty of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and other authors in the past and like short stories because they are easy to pick up and put down.

Tales of The Lost Isles is the second collection of short stories set in Frostgrave. The first book was set in the original setting and called Tales of the Frozen City.

Tales of the Frozen City Frostgrave
Cover of Frostgrave: Tales of the Frozen City – a collection of short stories in the Frostgrave world. Image from Osprey Publishing’s Website.


I missed this book, but below is a description of the book from Osprey Publishing’s website.

Long ago, the great city of Felstad sat at the centre of a magical empire. Its towering spires, labyrinthine catacombs and immense libraries were the wonder of the age, and potions, scrolls and mystical items of all descriptions poured from its workshops. Then, one cataclysmic night, a mistake was made. In some lofty tower or dark chamber, a foolish wizard unleashed a magic too powerful to control. A storm rose up, an epic blizzard that swallowed the city whole, burying it deep and leaving the empire as nothing more than a vast, frozen wasteland. The empire shattered, and the magic of the world faded. As the centuries came and went, Felstad passed from history to legend and on into myth. Only a few wizards, clinging to the last remnants of magical knowledge, still believed that the lost city had ever actually existed. But their faith was rewarded. After a thousand years, the fell winter has passed. The snows have receded, and Felstad has been uncovered. Its buildings lie in ruins, overrun by undead creatures and magical constructs, the legacy of the empire’s experiments. It is an evil, dangerous place. To the few hardy souls who inhabit the nearby villages, the city has acquired a new name, ‘Frostgrave’, and it is shunned by all right-thinking people. For those who seek power and riches, however, it is an unparalleled opportunity, a deadly maze concealing secrets of knowledge long forgotten… This new fiction anthology collects ten stories of wizards and adventures as they venture into the ruins of the Frozen City.

Frostgrave: Second Chances

The newest Forstgrave book is actually a full blown novel by Matthew Ward called Second Chances. This book is based in the original frozen world of Frostgrave and like Tales of The Lost Isles, features a scenario written by Joseph McCullough.

Frostgrave Second Chances
Cover of Frostgrave: Second Chances. Image from Osprey Publishing’s Website.


The book is described on Osprey Publishing’s website as follows.

Time is running out for Yelen and Mirika Semova. Though the sisters have earned an enviable reputation amongst their fellow explorers of the Frozen City, their lives are haunted by a curse – the more Yelen uses her magic, the closer the demon Azzanar comes to claiming her, body and soul. But Azzanar is not the only one manipulating Yelen and Mirika

When catastrophe separates the Semova sisters, it falls to Yelen to save them both. But in a city shrouded in deceit, who can she turn to for help… and what price will she pay to get it?

For those that want to know more about this book, Osprey has done something very cool and made the entire first chapter free as a sample on the web. Feel free to head on over there and read the chapter to see if you are interested in more.

Hopes for Future Books

Osprey Games remains a company that impresses me. I really like that they created a family friendly environment with their Frostgrave game. I also really like their consistent positive representation of women in their books and art work. Both Second Chances and Tales of The Lost Isles feature nicely clothed women in powerful positions on their covers.

I believe that the next book that we will see will be a novel for Ghost Archipelago if Second Chances sells well. I don’t have an inside scoop, but that is my guess.

Personally, I really like short stories. What I would really like to see, though, is a Frostgrave Graphic Novel. How cool would that be to flip through an entire Graphic Novel full of Frostgrave art work!!!?

Who should pick these books up?

Personally, I am enjoying Tales of The Lost Isles. While the book has my imagination sparked up for the game, I don’t think you need to be a gamer to enjoy the stories.

These books would also be nice for non-gamers interested in Fantasy settings. If they enjoy the books, you could say, “hey, did you know that Frostgrave is also a game that we can play.” 🙂

I am always looking to get more people interested in our hobby and sometimes think of novels based on games as a tool to make the world of tabletop miniatures less marginalized. In fact, that is one of the mandates of Must Contain Minis – to show that there are other great games out there aside from the largest one in most retail shops. I would like to see our community grow and flourish and I think that products, like these books (which are based on the game but something separate at the same time), help with that goal. 


Aside from potentially introducing new people to this game, these books are aimed perfectly at the people who already like the Frostgrave game setting. So far, I have found that the book has only enriched my experience of the game.

Finally, one of the things that I like about these novels is that I can enjoy them anywhere and not get strange looks. That is not always the case when I travel with my rule books. It is always nice when someone asks about the book that I am reading and then I can tell them about miniatures gaming in general and point them to my website, Must Contain Minis, too.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Disclosures…

Osprey Publishing sent Must Contain Minis Advanced Copies of Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of The Lost Isles and Frostgrave: Second Chances.

Must Contain Minis has a Sales Affiliate Relationship with Amazon, RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, and the Wargame Vault. This article includes affiliate links. If you visit one of the sites from the links on this page and make a purchase, a portion of the sales goes to supporting Must Contain Minis at no extra cost to you.

Have You Read the Frostgrave Novels?

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I will be honest, one of the things that attracted me to the Original Frostgrave was that the rulebook did not spend a lot of time building a gaming world. I really liked this as it let me use whatever models I wanted and also build my own gaming world…

More Site Updates – November 29, 2017

Posted on November 29th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Rather than a regular post today, I have been taking the time to work on the website.Specifically, I have been adding affiliate links throughout the pages of this site. The hope is that these links will help monetize the site and keep me posting for ye…