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Editorials

Where Armed Gamer is, and Where It’s Going

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A little more than four years ago I started a new job at a small company in DC. A few months after that, the company started Armed Gamer. A little more than a year ago, I purchased Armed Gamer from the company to form Armed Gamer LLC. Four months ago I began work on Armed Gamer full time. Two months ago, the website re-launched, and in the first month received more than 90,000 pageviews.

Ever since I could get my hands on it, I considered Armed Gamer my baby. I worked on it mostly alone with only a little direction. It was my pet project, and I always did my best to do right by you, the fans. Armed Gamer is a project and a community I love. You all have generally been an awesome group of gamers, and I have the utmost respect for all of you. I hope in my years writing for you and managing the community, I have at least earned some respect in your eyes.

This has been a learning experience from when I first started writing (and trust me, when I first started, I was terrible). I only had one clear vision in mind: To be a site that maybe wasn’t the loudest, or the fastest to break news, but a site that would at least try to talk to interesting people and take a reasoned approach to news and the largest headlines of the day. Some days, I think I succeeded. Others, I probably failed, but that vision is one I have always had in my mind.

Today, Armed Gamer stands at 262,000 Facebook “Likes” and it’s growing (almost 20,000 “Likes” in the past year). The other properties (the Twitch page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel) are very slowly growing, but that’s to be expected: Armed Gamer has always been a Facebook community first and foremost. The website looks amazing in no small part to the work done by Uber Motif (seriously, if you want a website done and done well, contact these guys).

The content that’s come out on the website is also content I can stand by. I always ask my freelancers to consider multiple angles and release articles that are interesting. I am super proud of my team.

Ever since I started working on Armed Gamer full time, I have been running it completely out of pocket. I had enough in savings (and got a pretty juicy severance package) so I could afford to do this. I was hoping with a little tender love and care and a shiny new website, I would at least earn enough to keep me going for a little longer. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

In that first month of more than 90,000 pageviews, Adsense underperformed dramatically. 90,000 pageviews translated roughly into $20, which was shockingly low. Depressingly low, really. Google adsense hasn’t improved much since then either. Other methods to monetize (like affiliate links) aren’t faring much better. Forget getting a partnership on Twitch or Hitbox, their threshold is ridiculously high. YouTube videos are okay for monetization by view, but so far it’s been rough getting the views and subscribes needed to really start to earn anything. And granted, a decent amount of that is probably because I’m still learning video editing, and I’ve only really just started to push the YouTube channel out.

As Armed Gamer moves forward, I am trying to find that right balance between achieving the profitability I desperately need and maintaining the content gamers like you have come to expect. I know everyone hates advertisements, and I understand that. Just please, when you get upset about an ad I place on Facebook, or use adblock on the website, remember that there is someone on the other end who is trying to make a living making great gaming content.

I guess this all leads up to the question, though, of “Where’s it all going?” The truth is… I’m not sure. Armed Gamer is here to stay, at least for a while, but the road ahead is rocky.

I’m going to keep Armed Gamer running full steam ahead, even if I have to take a job and run Armed Gamer on the side again. I will also continue to experiment with content and advertisements until I find that balance. Expect more YouTube videos, more consistent livestreams, and hopefully some interesting shows as well! I will continue to try and be more active in the community and to try and make Armed Gamer a much closer community all around.

I have been speaking to the web developers, and if there is enough interest, we will start forums here on the website so you all can share awesome moments and chat more freely about games than what the Facebook page allows. If you want it, let me know either on the Facebook page, or in the comments below.

Video-wise, expect more interviews, goofy videos, and of course, the weekly feature: What’s Brewing. Please tune in to the Twitch page every Friday around 8 or 9 PM EST (we’re bad at being on time but there is always a post on Facebook when we go live), and talk to us about the week’s top headlines while we drink and get belligerent.

If you would like to support Armed Gamer, please follow us on:

Facebook
Twitch
Twitter
Youtube

If you are feeling incredibly generous, you can donate to the page via PayPal or BitCoin, and I swear I will love you forever.

If you have any suggestions, or if you would like to help out with Armed Gamer, feel free to message me at stephen@thearmedgamer.com, and I will be more than happy to take ideas.

Also, please be understanding of advertisements, and please turn ad block off on the website. I try to keep the ads as unobtrusive as possible, and any time I advertise on the Facebook page I always try to make sure it’s a great deal, or an awesome game.

Thank you all for reading this, and I hope you will stick around and support Armed Gamer well into the future!

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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