A year of blogging in review; wondering where Falcon Reviews can go from here.
If any of you haven’t already picked up on this, I take my hobbies very seriously. Before I started this blog, I focused primarily on gaming as a hobby, and my methods haven’t been simple for some time.
I had a thought last night as I was sitting on the couch about looking at game cases, and I came to the realization that I haven’t even looked at the back of most of the games I purchased lately. I have just finally taken a look at the product information on the back of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘s case for instance. I remember going to the electronics section of a store like Best Buy or Target and looking at the PC game boxes. I can recall the time I went to Wal-Mart to buy my first Xbox 360 and choosing Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as my first two games, knowing next to nothing about them.
Fast forward to today, when I spend hours researching games before they even release. I read dozens of articles covering different aspects of the game before the thought of even considering to buy the game crosses my mind. This tendency for intensive research and preparation has spilled over into my new hobbies: Dungeons and Dragons, and running Falcon Reviews.
I spend hours working on my posts, and even more time preparing for them by taking notes for reviews and article ideas. Many of the posts I have started never make it onto my blog, as I constantly prune away at the ones that I feel aren’t developing well. Falcon Reviews has become a big part of me… Something I pour my heart and soul into.
My Reviews can take days to simply collect notes for them, and I often never use half of the notes I take. It puts me at a bit of a disadvantage when competing for views, but I prefer my methods because I feel that taking copious notes helps me collect my thoughts more effectively and keep me focused. My Mass Effect 2 review had over two pages of notes, one full page for the story alone.
Interestingly, my Impressions and Opinion posts take me the longest, because I spend much more time researching the information I need to complete them. For example, my Scalebound article took me to over a dozen articles covering the game’s development.
My goal with my Impressions and Reviews is to make them as informative as possible, while still being entertaining. Sometimes I think I veer a little too far onto the serious side, getting too bogged down in the details. My Opinion articles tend to be a little more freeform, but I worry sometimes that I tread too closely to being boring by attempting to not be confrontational.
If my work on Falcon Reviews were a job, I’d be employed full time. Many of my articles go through the process of me taking tons of notes, writing the article, deleting whole sections, rearranging, searching for appropriate images, and on and on… Like I said however, many of the articles I start never get posted because I don’t feel like I could get the right thoughts out. Many more that I want to write, I never start.
Taking Stock Of Falcon Reviews
Input from readers is incredibly validating. You all, including anyone reading this as their first visit to Falcon Reviews, have contributed to convincing me to come back again and again to write new posts. I’ve loved every successful piece I’ve written, not out of smug satisfaction that I got likes or views, but because I have the feeling that someone else valued my work and drew entertainment from it.
Despite my lack of experience with running a blog or website, I’ve been met with a measure of success. Back in August of last year for instance, Falcon Reviews broke 1000 views, and it was a momentous point for me. It isn’t much in the grand scheme of things with bigger websites getting thousands of hits per hour, but it’s exciting to me. A special call out to my Elite: Dangerous review for being the post with the highest views on the blog ever.
That said, there are a number of things I’d like to change. It’s my intention to make some changes to this blog in the coming year. The most drastic of these changes will be securing a normal domain to turn this into a full website, which is something I’d love to be able to do as soon as possible. Telling people about this blog by giving them the WordPress domain name is a mouthful and doesn’t make it easy to gain traction I think.
It’s my desire to make this blog look more professional as well. I need to go back through my older posts to fix headers, include more links to other articles, and perhaps figure out how to make it easier for non-Wordpress visitors able to subscribe.
Feedback From You
So I have a favor to ask of you all, both my long-time readers and those that have just now discovered Falcon Reviews. Please take some time to comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (whichever you prefer), and leave me some feedback regarding this site. Your feedback is going to help me greatly, whether it’s about the layout, blog post formats, text size or type, flow, favorite/least favorite topics, tone, etc.
Please review Falcon Reviews, but most importantly, thank you for reading!