What's in it for me?

As the Founder of FTW, I've tried to promote the FTW Blogger Group and the hobby whenever possible. On more than one occasion, I've emailed other folks I though might be interested in a mutual promotion type thing. Nothing serious, nothing financially binding, no 400 page contract with addendums and clauses. Shared promotion.

And you know what comes out of it more often than not, they ask (if in round about terms) "What's in it for me?"
Having trouble believing this to be true my dear reader? Try it for yourself, contact one of the "big boys" and see just how far you get.

It appears that FTW doesn't quite offer what some of the bigger boys are looking for. For those interested in knowing what that is, it's hundreds of thousands of visitors a day with just as many if not more page views. There are some other conditions I've been given before but those are the big ones. Where does your blog fit in? How many do you have a day?
FTW doesn't have that many.

I'm probably living under a rock though. I mean really, what blog doesn't have hundreds of thousands of visitors a day? They probably aren't worth promoting much less reading if they don't.

And that's the unfortunate part really. There is the potential to connect so many of us (bloggers and hobbyists) together if the first thing out of most people's mouth wasn't "What's in it for me?"

Now there have been some that have said "Absolutely!" I've got them listed under Supporters in the right hand column of FTW. We promote each other to the best of our abilities, ten page views or ten thousand a day. That's not the point of blogging, we're not out here to see who has the most page views or the most unique visitors... we're here to help each other and share what we've learned.

Please don't mistake what I am saying, advertising is not bad. I have advertising on FTW. Those are different kinds of agreements. What I'm talking about is supporting each other. I try to support all Bloggers with the hobby and will continue to do so as long as I can... whether it benefits me or not. Like I said, that's not the point.

In fact, if it weren't for some of the smallest blogs out there, I wouldn't be able to do what I do now. I wouldn't know all the little tricks I know or have a huge resource of Tutorials to go to when I need help with something. I wouldn't have the inspiration I get from the FTW Blogger list on a daily basis.

So take a minute and look at the small guys out there, there's a wealth of information and help out there, I know for a fact there is. I ask you readers, make sure the first thing out of your mouth is NOT "What's in it for me?" when someone comes to you with an idea.

And for those who are in this for themselves, I wish you the best in the blogging world, the rest of us will continue to work together to make the 40k online community something worth being a part of. You will always take second seat to those who really do work to improve the online 40k community.

UPDATE: This post is fairly old and FTW has since experienced a number of changes. Sometimes it's nice to look back at where you came from and where you're going.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I think you might be surprised at how much money some of the big sites make from advertising. I am sure they don't get rich...but money is money.

    I get about 300 page views per day, which I think is fantastic! Much of it from here and other member sites.

  2. I know you're too professional to spill the beans on exactly who you're referring to, but I'd still be intereted to know who turned up their noses at FTW. I'm all about spending my money (or not spending my money, as the case may be) at places that support the hobby.

  3. Samurai: This is not a knock on adverstising... this is more like disgust for people not willing to help others without first seeing what's in it for them.

    Jonnathan: Sorry, no can do... don't get me wrong, those places say they support the hobby, but they support themsleves first and foremost and the "hobby" is a distant second.

  4. I'm about 10-30 visitors a day, tops. But I am happy to have a little blog never the less. I haven't painted in a little while unfortunately, on account of moving soon, but I hope that I can start updating again soon. As in updating *with* pictures. We all love them pictures!

    What's the criteria for "joining" FTW and what would be asked of a joinee? Just curious :)

    Oh, and this is the internet, can't take anything personal. I could get into the psychology of it all. I could show my complete lack of psychology training. But I will just say this: If you let anything on the internet upset you, you are on the loosing end of the deal. The only sane way to deal with it is to look at the positive things and concentrate on them.

    For instance, I like your blog posts and think you do a lot of really cool stuff. I wish you'd paint me some Eldar :)

  5. Ron-

    F-them, seriously. If you play 40K and you're into the Hobby, you're stopping by here everyday. Hell I don't play 40K and I stop by here everyday. Sooner or later they'll be asking your for input.

  6. Great post. I agree with the points you have made too. I myself am the owner of a small blog, and it does me just fine. I don't have the fantastic tips and tutorials you offer as in all honesty that is beyond what I can do, but I can also say that every model I have painted has been inspired by someone else's work whether online or in person. There are such fantastic ideas out there, and even more great people willing to share them. I think a few of these bigger blogs, yours not included, seem to believe that they are GW incarnate and act as if they run the show. What they forget is that without a community, the only views they get are test screens when they update their sites.

    It's great being a part of this community. I don't paint my army to keep the colours to myself, I want to share and experience just as much with like minded people.

  7. Flekkzo: I know there's a way to post links in oomments but for the life of me, can't remember. At the top of FTW, there's a link under the logo... all the info is there.

    Jon: True, this is my portal to the 40k world... side note, loved your post today.

    73rd: I't what I tell everyone when they say to me "Good job with FTW..." I tell them, "It's not me, it's the 40k community that makes this place what it is."
    Test screens when they update their sites? Ouch.

  8. Good post: I heartily agree.

    And what's in it for me? Well, apart from anything else I've had a bunch of strangers in the last 24 hours telling me they think my painting's improving.

    That's quite pleasant!

    Thanks for all you do.

  9. Drax: One of the people I really do owe a great deal to. You know I actually had a mini frost today and I was able to save it promptly.

    Thank you Sir.

  10. Hi Ron,
    Unfortunately this "whats in it for me" attitude is so prevelant in our society these days it's sad. What happened to helping out your fellow man, or hobbyists, without thought of any gains for yourself...
    I've always enjoyed helping out fellow hobbyists, because I really enjoy seeing peoples skill sets grow and improve. Because generally when their skills improve so does the enjoyment they have for their hobby.
    I visit your blog daily, as I find your hobby output levels to be outstanding and the quality of your work great, and I really enjoy your posts!
    Keep up the great work Ron!!

  11. @Ron You mean like this? :) Now I know better what it is about.

    How does a mini freeze? I'm still so new to all this, there is always stuff that confuses and amazes me :)

  12. Another good post.

    I am very new to the whole blogging thing, and until the beginning of July hadnt really read any Blogs.

    This site inspired me to start blogging as a way to just put ideas up for other people to look at.

    Without this site I probably wouldnt get any views, and I certainly wouldnt have seen about the number of people and all this awesome content.

    So really just wanted to say thanks Ron.

  13. You make some good points there there Ron. I joined originally to promote the hobby and im a firm believer in knowledge should be free. As you said and its true for me, lots of my tips and tricks ive learnt from blogs or ppl who wanted to share. Therefore i do the same. I think alot of ppl on FTW are in it for the hobby and just like putting there stuff there! I havent really come across the 'whats in it for me'. Perhaps i dont float around the net enough.

    While i have one bit of advertising, its mainly because i offered it for free from a guy who has provided me excellent service and i offered it for free! Im all about sharing the love!

  14. This is absolutely true. I think that FTW is a great thing and kudos to Ron for keeping it going. FTW forms a core for the community and like many supporters/members I check in regularly (read daily)to see what cool things everyone is up to.

    Drax: Just looked up your post on fixing frosting, I will certainly try it out if I have it happen.

  15. Ron,

    No nock on advertising intended. I am all for it. I just think people start to only think in terms of traffic. This, I think, leads to what you are experiencing. Basically, the site is no longer the point for these people, the traffic is the point.

  16. I'm a small blog, and if I'm not posting on 40k or miniature gaming in general, I'm posting on goofy things like gardening. Without FtW I would not have made the friends I have (yes, friends, not just viewers) and I would not have been able to share what tricks and tips I have. Plus, just through the blogs I follow, I pick up on a lot of things I didn't know were out there previously, so thanks Ron!

  17. Don't take it to hard Ron. As far as quality hobby blog posts go FTW is ahead by a long shot. I would suspect the big boys see you more as competition because that's how they choose to do things. I'll keep coming here for cool modeling projects and tips. I'll stop by those other guys when I want to hear GW's puppets tell me when the new thing is coming out.

  18. Ron, I know exactally what you mean... When I ran the Aftermath online campaign a few years ago I was sending out E-Mails and trying to get people interested in it. It seemed that almost every large 40K site had that "What's in it for me" attidute while the smaller sites seemed to gather up and come out in droves to support it. We did get 800 people interested, but it was disapointing to see that people (much less those same people that are partaking the same hobby as we all are) would have such an attitude.

  19. Thanks, Ron,

    and Da_Sub: let's hope you never need to defrost!

  20. I guess this could be seen as a big deal, but then again, I found FTW within the first hour of my new blog, which means its got some nice advertising going for it right now =-D

    Yay 2 viewers a day! << not even joking.

  21. Great post! Like you Ron I've put a lot of effort into making the 40k community a better place, hell I drew thousands of £'s worth of art for V40k and never asked for anything other than Donations to keep the site afloat.
    I've always tried to do my part when it comes to promoting others work, in my own way. I'm completely against ad advertising as I feel it ruins a site unless it's connected to the hobby fully.
    I get around 300 to 500 views on average in a day but that's mainly because of what I've done already in the 40k internet world. I really enjoy reading the posts on FTW, much more than the ones on BOLS, hell I don't even read most of their posts any more XD

  22. Well I hate to say it, but it doesn't surprise me at all. Right now I'm working for a company that gets money from advertising, and my boss has suggested and I think I may investigate setting something up for extra money on the side. Setting up something based around a hobby is a great idea, and it seems that's those blogs you've found, they're just people who wanted another revenue stream and just happened to base it around a hobby they're interested in. So don't hate them for it, but I do think what you're doing is great!

  23. Wait, there are 40Kish blogs that exist outside of FTW?

    Really I only follow Ron, people Ron links to, and tabletopgamingnews.com. That's it! Ron is my GW hobby filter. And I help my wife run a retail hobby store. More than a couple items are carried in our store because of this blog - or blogs linked within FTW.

  24. Ron,

    All I know is I am grateful I found FTW, this place got me interested in blogging and has opened me up to the vast amounts of information out there for our hobby.

    I know I am following new blogs everyday, infact I just joined to more just from reading responses to your post.

    FTW is a great community and I thank you for all the work you put into it.


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  26. Ron, don't be dishearten by that phrase, if someone is too much interested in the money then it might no be that worthy fro the FTW blogger group, since it might be loosing the focus on the hobby aspects that makes it great.

  27. I've gotta agree with Drax - the sheer amount of positive feedback and hints and tips I've got out of the FtW community is immense and valuable. Helping each other out with cool ideas and hints and tips has been great.

  28. Ron,

    Without this place I wouldn't have contact to anyone outside the 5-10 people I play semi-regularly at the local GW store.

    This place is the be all and end all of the blog world for me. From here I have access to all sorts of people out there in the big wide world, no matter how big or small they are in the blog sphere, or to what level they are into the hobby.

    Sod the lot of them (whoever they may be). You always know you have the support of the FtW mob - and it's us lot who appreciate the effort you have gone to make this place what it is today.

  29. I'll be honest, I didn't think that I would find this many replies after one night (East Coast, USA).

    Where to begin? Thanks guys. Not for supporting FTW, but supporting the community, supporting everyone else and contributing to the 40k world online.

    I would say the FTW has been a success so far by not having the attitude in question and instead, looking for ways to promote the 40k community as something greater than our individual blogs. This will continue...

    FTW is what I've explained to others as a "hub" and not a "dead end" blog. You can come here and find a hundred other places to go to for even more great 40k stuff.

  30. Ron, it's just something you have to accept. After spending ten years working in Internet Marketing, you get used to the "It's my traffic" brigade.

    For them, they've built a site up, so much so that they're spending cash on servers and bandwidth, so they need to make the site pay, and they do that through advertising. That's when the traffic becomes money, and they become traffic hoarders.

    Initially, you can understand why they would want to know what's in it for them, if they're going to lose money with unproductive traffic leaks then they're going to want something in return.

    Ironically, what I've learned with experience is that approach doesn't work. They may be getting 100's of thousands of visitors a day but they're the same visitors day after day and once they've seen the sites advertising, if they don't hit it on the first few visits then they're not going to hit it and then they just become users of bandwidth.

    It's only by linking with the smaller sites that you get new traffic from new sources and this is the traffic they really need, as it's new to their advertising, and therefore far more likely to click through to the sponsors.

    Unfortunately, it'll probably be a while before they get the idea, and by that time, quite a few of them will have crippling costs.

    In the meantime Ron, don't get disheartened, you've built a great community up here and it's going from strength to strength. You're just going to have to built up your own traffic resources, there's alsorts, toplists, webrings, directories. All of them improve the traffic for their members, they're an excellent way of washing your traffic, and by that, I mean that you exchange your dirty used traffic for clean traffic that hasn't seen your site before. If you need any help with these, just let me know, I've built hundreds.

    Keep with it Ron, and don't let them drag you down, they're not in it for the hobby, they're in it for the money.

  31. Whoa, that's a lot of responses. There's really nothing I could add to them, I can only say I agree with all of the above. Col. Corbane makes a very good point!
    It's a great thing your'e doing Ron, seeing as you ask for nothing in return. My blog would still have around 10 people reading it if it wasn't for FTW.

    I'm just wondering, how do you people know how many vists per day you get? Some externall diagnostics site, since google doesn't seem to offer that information?

  32. Hal'jin: Your site management software on the host server side should be able to track the number of visits you get per day and over a month etc. It is usually part of the software they use to monitor your bandwidth usage. You can generally access this via the control panel login and control suite you get access to when you buy the web hosting.
    Or for an easy and not quite as reliable way you can add a counter, but I have never found them that useful IMHO.

  33. Well it is there loss for not having you on the “Big Boy”sites. You really do promote the hobby in every aspect. I haven’t played GW games in probably a year or more but I still check in almost everyday just to see what really cool thing you are working on or showing others how to do something cool. Some of the things that you have put up have helped me with other projects that I am working on. Keep up the good work and let your community grow, word of mouth or in this case (people chatting online) will get the word out about you too.

  34. Hal'jin: Da_Sub is correct. I use Google analytics for my site information.

    To be honest though, I only check them once a week and that's when I remember to do it. It can be very easy to get sucked into the "how many visitors did I have today" trap.

  35. I go to sleep, then go to work and all this happens?? :)

    I'm with John@PL... @#$% em... :) I can't even play 40k for a year but I check your site every friggin day to see what's new. I also dig your links to the other sites... I check em out when something catches my eye.

    BTW, I hope you remember who I am. :)


  36. I've done a post on my blog on this topic


    I'm all for bettering the community, even if I don't have all that much time to add to it myself I do what I can, more features and members are added monthly (we might end up with a forum or the like) and I'm glad to be a part of that.

    FTW FtW :D

  37. @Da_sub and Ron
    Thanks, both of you! I couldn't find it even though I looked everywhere in the google analytics thing and was beginning to think blogger doesn't offer it at all.

  38. Reece: Don't be silly my friend.

    Peter: That's all that has ever been asked of members, they support the Group however they can. Doesn't matter how big or small the contribution, we all benefit from it.

  39. Just chiming in to say:

    I'm a part-time 40K'er at best. I've been reading fluff and websites for two years, been painting for maybe a year and a half, and I've never actually played a game. I might never play, honestly. But either way I'll keep FTW in my RSS reader until Ron shuts it down.

    Keep up the great work, and the hell with anyone who doesn't want in on the ride.

  40. Ron, first let me say thank you for creating FTW. I am a daily or close to daily viewer and I can not tell you how many hours I have spent reading your blog and sifting through your blog list finding some real jems to add to my blog list on Blood and Blades. I follow so many blogs daily now it almost feels like a second job, and its all thanks to you. Thanks again. -Jay

  41. Dear Ron

    I am a small for-fun-blogger. I am having great fun with my hobby. I have already vastly improved my models by reading the blogs in this community and from constructive criticism of my own work - glad you like my disgusting Nurgle green, by the way.

    All the best and many congratulations on this wonderful hub that you run,

    John Lambshead
    John's Toy soldiers

  42. John and HuronBH: That's one of the ideas with FTW as well, making it someplace to come to for lots of hobby information and to see the latest stuff that others are working on. I know I love keeping tabs on other peoples projects.

    Motivation and inspiration with a little bit of practical advice.

    John Lambshead: It's a green that grows on you. And we're all small bloggers when you get right down to it. The hobby is what ties us all together.


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