Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Improved Initiative Needs Your Help!

I regret to interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post, but this is a pretty important announcement.

Improved Initiative Needs Your Help!

Got your attention? Good.

Not quite what I meant, but you get the idea
First of all, hi! My name is Neal Litherland, and I'm the fellow who runs Improved Initiative. I'm a freelance writer and author, but most of you probably know me as the guy who provides interesting content on character builds, obscure rules, and roleplaying flavor. It's been my privilege and sincere pleasure to create content that makes your games better. I fully intend to keep doing that, but there's a slight problem.

You see, my monthly income just took a sucker punch in the face.

What Happened?

I'm glad you asked that bold, italic text. Some of you may have heard of Yahoo! Voices, but if you haven't it's a huge network that pays contributors $2 for every 1,000 hits their content gets. Some of you may have seen my Avengers character builds there. Recently my page views at Yahoo! have provided me with enough royalties that I thought I would be able to relax a bit, start saving, and focus more on blogging and writing a novel.

So, of course, Yahoo! Voices is slamming its doors closed forever August 2014.

Hold onto your nappies, it gets worse.
What This Means For You

When August comes around it means that all of my content (400+ articles at last count) is going to be deleted off of Yahoo's system. I'm currently running helter skelter to try and save the articles that are worth saving. You'll likely see my Avengers articles, as well as my Gotham Knights series (Batman, Robin, Huntress, etc.) showing up on here in the next few months. I'll also keep creating new content and trying to offer shiny, new ideas for your next campaign.

That said, the fact remains that I'm losing a big chunk of income from Yahoo's up-front payments, in addition to losing the royalty check that comes at the end of the month.

What I'm Asking

I need help, and before you start telling me you don't have any loose change, you don't need any. Here's a list of all the ways you can help, and I'm not asking anyone to do more than they're able.

Divine intervention is welcome, if you have a solid track record.
# 1: Become a Patron

Maybe you don't have any cash laying around, but maybe you're one of those folks who has a secure day job to support your gaming habit. If that's the case, and you'd be comfortable donating as little as $1 a month to keep the gaming articles flowing, the stop by my Patreon page by clicking right here and becoming a patron. It's pretty simple; you pledge a certain amount per blog (say $1), and then when I update my Patreon page it will charge you that $1. You can also set your maximum donation per month so that even if I updated this blog every day you'd only ever spend that single Washington on my behalf.

Make sense?

For those who choose to become a patron, you all have my sincere thanks. Since I know those aren't worth very much, I'll also throw in one of my ebook titles for free to sweeten the pot. Lastly, while I will be moving my articles from Yahoo! over to Improved Initiative, all the transfers will be done free of charge! Woo, more content for everyone!

#2: Leave a One-Time Donation

Maybe you never noticed it before, but on the upper right hand side of the page there's a little box titled "Bribe the DM". That tip jar connects directly to my Paypal, and you can choose to drop some spare in there whenever you have it. So if you've got a couple bucks this month, but you don't want to commit to a regular thing, I'll gladly accept any and all donations left in my virtual glass.

#3: Tell Your Family, Tell Your Friends, Tell Your Table!

This one gets an exclamation mark because it's the best way to help, and it requires nothing but your time.

Improved Initiative, like any blog that uses Google AdSense, makes money based on its ad clicks. When someone clicks an ad, that earns a fee. So the more traffic this blog receives, the bigger the chances are that my readers will see an ad that interests them. Also the more traffic I manage to get the better my page ranking will be, the easier the blog will be to find... you get the idea. If your website becomes popular then that very popularity has a way of sustaining itself.

What I'm asking you to do, valiant readers, is to help spread the word. If you see an entry you like, don't be afraid to share it on your Facebook or your Tumblr page. Hell, throw it up on Reddit if you feel compelled to do so. If you have friends looking for advice, send them over this way. Don't be afraid to dig through my archive to see what topics I've covered, and to share those too. In short there's no such thing as bad traffic.

Lastly, don't be afraid to submit your email on the top right and get my updates on the regular. The more followers Blogger says I have, the better I look, the more people see me... you get the idea.

What Do You Get Out of This?

I don't expect something for nothing.

That's why I'm a really shitty bank robber.
First and foremost, you get my sincerest thanks. Since I know precisely what that's worth, you also get my pledge to keep creating great content for your enjoyment and use. If I can manage 10 new patrons I will also do my best to increase my updates to 3 times per week with a Moon Pope Monday feature, a character build conversion, and one of my other features (Crunch, Fluff, or a Table Talk story on a rotating cycle) to fill in the rest of the week.

I think that about wraps it up. Thanks very much for your patience, and I hope next week to return you to your regularly scheduled awesome.

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