The Geek Initiative has gone on quite the adventure in 2017. After losing my full-time work-at-home position in content marketing, I transitioned to editing in a freelance capacity. I LOVE editing, especially when it comes to novels. Beyond that, it seems like life keeps hitting me over the head with an important fact:
I’m in love with game design.
A few months ago, I interviewed for another online work-at-home position, managing and growing someone else’s blog in the geek space. The potential employer asked me a question:
Why do you want to work for me when you’ve already built the ideal blog?
My answer was that I was not monetizing The Geek Initiative and therefore, I needed an income. Our Patreon pays for the hosting fees and I’m able to get our writers some press passes and review copies, but other than that, I’m not really happy with it. I’m not able to pay writers (especially without the old full-time gig), and as a creative person who values the work of writers and other creatives, this is unacceptable.
I worked out a way to get all of my staff writers – and more – paid by this new prospective employer. Fully committed to game design as a career move in the next 1-2 years, I was comfortable with closing down the blog portion of TGI in exchange for ensuring my writers had paying work. Selling some existing TGI content was also on the table.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with that prospective employer as I was not willing to sign over as many rights as requested (essentially anything currently in development). Additionally, I strongly believe in what companies like Learn Larp LLC and The Game Theatre are doing, and I wanted the option to continue working with them and supporting their successes in various capacities. I’m so proud to have contributed (as an editor) to New World Magischola-related projects; as a design team member of Immerton; and as a game master at Dragon Thrones. I consider these to be huge successes and learning stages in my career as a game designer.
When the opportunity didn’t work out, it felt like life was kind of waving in my face, declaring the obvious. You know… use the force! Yer a wizard now, Tara. That kind of thing. So now I’m making games and editing novels.
Here’s what that means for The Geek Initiative, our writers, and our community.
Over the past few months, Michelle Biller continued to write, edit, and schedule blog posts. She’s the one who kept TGI running. In addition to that, she has a great sense for Facebook and grew engagement on our Facebook page. Michelle is the obvious choice to keep TGI on track.
Putting Michelle in the Editor-in-Chief role ensures we still publish stuff. I’m delighted that we can keep doing this, especially after nearly closing up.
This still doesn’t solve the problem of payment. I need to make a living, and so does Michelle! Our writers also deserve compensation for their efforts.
Having Michelle in charge allows me to focus on business development. I’m pushing multiple revenue streams for the site while Michelle keeps publishing like the badass boss she is.
I remain The Geek Initiative’s founder and have hung up my “Senior Editor” hat. Now I’m the publisher.
I’m so grateful to have such a capable team member take on a large leadership role at TGI.
Business Development Strategy
I’ve spent a lot of time coming up with innovative strategies to grow others’ brands and businesses.
Now it’s my turn.
With editing and LARP taking care of my income, I can turn my attention to growing revenue for TGI. We have so much content and influence to harness – and all of our growth was done without paid advertising. That’s quite a feat from a digital marketing perspective.
I’ve also been pretty active over on Twitch and have become a proud Twitch Affiliate, creating the foundation to further monetize video content to support myself and grow TGI. (You can also join our Discord here.)
Digital and Blockbuster LARP Development
Last week, a friend told me that I’m in love with my dreams. That changed my life.
Various circumstances (mostly bad ones) have put me where I am – but there’s one good thing about it: I’m poised to throw everything I have into LARP development. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I’m tired of messing around. I’m tired of having ideas and talking about them and not doing them. I was afraid of abandoning TGI’s editorial side because it means a lot to so many – but as I said, Michelle is the right person to handle that.
So now I only let myself talk about things for so long.
Now I do things.
I’ve launched CHARIOT LARP, an immersive digital sci-fi LARP. My hope is that CHARIOT reflects the merging of different game media and creates an accessible gaming experience – one that people can afford to play while also providing a sustainable income for game designers.
I have BIG plans to scale this and I’m in various meetings about it now.
I do everything as transparently as possible, especially when it comes to game design.
I have more LARP ventures in the works as well, including Intrigue and Independence: An American Revolution LARP. This LARP has already been in development for a year, but it’s coming together full-scale. It’s taken a while because I don’t want to rush details pertaining to cultural sensitivity and history – and it started as a salon game and evolved into something much larger.
I can’t wait to share more details with you in the coming months!
Thank You, TGI Community
Thank you so much to TGI community members for hanging in there. You’ve supported us through two crowdfunding ventures and we have a Patreon keeping us afloat. Now it’s time to take these exciting new steps.
Thank you for helping me fall in love with my dreams <3