Early on someone asked me why they should invest their time with Tabletop Wire. They wanted a guarantee that we would be around, that we would be worth it.
I can’t give that guarantee. Just like starting any tabletop gaming business, this will be hard. Good, original news is expensive.
This means we will need to find revenue fast. And at the same time we will need to maintain the trust of the industry. It may work, it may not. Either way, we think it is worth the effort.
We don’t have all the answers right now, but we would like to share some of our thoughts on what we are doing and where we are going.
The Big Questions
Why are we doing this?
While there is an abundance of consumer tabletop media, there are very few outlets covering the actual business of tabletop gaming. We think the industry will be stronger with a legitimate trade news source.
Who is our audience?
Our audience is the industry. We suspect some of our content will be of interest to consumers, but our primary audience will be the people who own, run and work for publishers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, conventions and media. We will also report on media, game designers and other creatives.
Are you hiring?
Not yet. We are paying for stories on a freelance basis. We are paying per word depending on the writers experience and the complexity of the story. Our goal is to have a full time staff of writers and editors. That will take time.
How will you make money?
We are working on a few streams of revenue which will initially include individual support from Patreon and Kickstarter. As we grow an audience, we suspect our revenue will include advertising.
How will you stay independent?
Staying impartial and independent is core to our identity. We are working on processes to make sure we adhere to that. Our reporters will be asked to follow a code of ethics. We are using the Society of Professional Journalists code until we can create one for our specific industry. We will also work to keep editorial separate from the business.
Tabletop Wire Roadmap
These are some of the things we will be focusing on in the coming year.
Understand the industry
We can’t provide for the industry if we don’t understand it. Our first efforts will be to survey people and companies in the industry to understand exactly what we should focus on. What content and resources do they want us to cover and provide?
Build the trust of the industry
People need to understand our motives, our goals. We need them to trust us to be impartial. We need them to trust that we are a vital part of the industry.
Create meaningful content
We need content. We need writers. We thought this was going to be the easiest part of building Tabletop Wire, but it is already turning out to be a quite a challenge. We don’t just need writers, we need reporters. We need people who are curious, and bold. We need reporters willing to put in the time and effort to call sources and build stories. We also need individuals with a fair bit of knowledge. It’s going to take some time to build that stable of talent.
This will not be sustainable without revenue. We will leverage the community to get as much of a start as we can. We are already on Patreon, and plan on launching a Kickstarter soon. Some of the revenue won’t come until we build a larger audience. We suspect that will happen once we are providing original content for the industry.
Leverage technology, social media.
We are working on the best way to leverage technology to provide our coverage in the best way possible. This will include newsletters, forums, social media and such.
As you can see, we have a monumental task ahead of us. We want to be as transparent as we can about our goals, so we will putting our thoughts on this blog. And yes, we will need your help to keep us sustainable.
Here are a few ways you can help?