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Building Miniature Dreams: Peter’s Tale
Written by: Howard Tillerman
Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Step By Step Business and an award-winning marketing professional.
Published on November 24, 2023
Updated on November 24, 2023
In the intricate and vibrant realm of miniature gaming, where tiny figures lead to grand adventures, exists a digital haven known as the Age of Miniatures. This platform, a beacon for hobbyists and gamers alike, stands out not only for its depth of content but also for its commitment to quality and community. Today, we have the pleasure of diving into the mind of Peter Thuborg, the visionary behind this unique corner of the internet.
Peter’s journey is not just one of passion for gaming; it’s a tale of transformation, creativity, and community building. From its inception as a humble blog to becoming a pivotal resource in the miniature gaming world, the Age of Miniatures represents a labor of love and a testament to the power of following one’s passion. In this exclusive interview, Peter shares the origins of his digital empire, the challenges and triumphs of content creation, and his insights into the ever-evolving world of miniature gaming.
As we explore the milestones, the inspirations, and the forward-thinking strategies that shape the Age of Miniatures, we not only uncover the story of a website but also the narrative of a community that thrives on imagination, strategy, and shared enthusiasm. Whether you are a seasoned gamer, an aspiring content creator, or simply a fan of miniature worlds, join us in this captivating conversation with Peter, where every answer is a step into a realm brimming with creativity and passion.
The Genesis of Age of Miniatures: Peter’s Inspiration
SBS – Can you share with us the story behind your blog and what inspired you to start it?
Peter – The blog started because a miniature game launched that I really wanted to get the local people into. I did a lot of demo games and had to explain some basic stuff over and over again. For some reason, there was not a lot of content on that game, so there was nowhere people could look up information. So, I decided to create a beginner’s guide for the game simply to avoid saying the same things 100 times.
I made the guide and put it on a domain. Without doing anything else, that single article started generating a lot of organic traffic from all over the world. I found that extremely amazing and motivating, so I simply started to write some more articles — and here we are today.
Evolving Beyond a Hobby: Shaping Age of Miniatures’ Future
SBS – At what point did you realize that your blog could evolve into something more than just a hobbyist guide, and how did that realization shape your future content?
Peter – I have always been into tech stuff and knew that you could monetize organic traffic in various ways. So quite early, I started to calculate how much traffic and money I would need to go full time on the project. So early on, I was confident that it was possible to go full-time if it was something I wanted and worked hard enough on.
Influences in Miniature Gaming and Content Creation
SBS – Who have been your biggest inspirations in the miniature gaming community and in the broader world of content creation?
Peter – Good question. I have always tried to look outside my niche for inspiration, as I want to avoid copying anyone else in the space. Also, I actually do not consume a lot of content myself. The WAN show from Linus Tech Tips has been amazing for a general look behind the curtain of a big content creation company. You can get some good insight into video production and scaling a business that way.
Challenges in Diversifying Game Coverage
SBS – What were some of the challenges you faced when transitioning from writing about one game to covering a wider array of miniature games and hobbies?
Peter – This space requires some expert knowledge to keep up with, so I have had to get some help. I simply cannot know everything about every game we cover now. There is also always the problem of focus and getting projects to a finished state before something else shiny catches my fancy.
Selecting Contributors for Age of Miniatures
SBS – How did you go about selecting and inviting other hobbyists to contribute to the Age of Miniatures, ensuring they shared your passion and vision for quality content?
Peter – It might seem complicated, but it was quite simple. I put a small banner on the site saying I looked for freelance writers. That linked to a post with more information and what to write in an application. I then got a ton of good people to sign up and picked the best from that bunch. Turns out, getting paid for doing something you love can make some amazing things happen. Who would have thought it?
Choosing the Right Blogging Platform
SBS – With the abundance of blogging platforms available today, which one did you choose for the Age of Miniatures, and what were the key factors in making that choice?
Peter – I want full control, so I simply went with WordPress and a cheap host to start. This means I have been able to grow in the direction I want to. The plethora of amazing premium plugins for WordPress makes it simply the best solution for a business.
Essential Tools for Content Management and Creation
SBS – Could you walk us through the tools or software that you find indispensable for managing and creating content for your site?
Peter – Sure. I use a ton of stuff, but these are two things I cannot live without:
In terms of plugins for making an affiliate-based website, Lasso is number one. Holy smokes, it saves me so much time each month. Besides Lasso, I have Geniuslink to geo-target my links.
So this is the process: search on Amazon for the product. Paste the URL into Lasso. Lasso cuts any fat from the link and inserts my US tag on the Amazon link. When clicked on, Geniuslink will redirect to the store closest to the user.
Lasso pulls in the image from Amazon. I can then use the Lasso block to quickly add a nice-looking widget in WordPress with the correct link, image, button, Amazon link, affiliate link disclaimer, and everything.
For my content calendar, notes, to-do, and everything else, I use Notion. It was a nightmare to merge my to-do and OneNote into it, but it is so much better now. It holds everything about my life. It is also easy to collaborate in it.
SBS – How do you decide what content to create next — do you have a particular strategy for choosing topics that will engage both new players and experienced gamers?
Peter – I have decided to quit using any keyword research tool. They were too expensive, and most of the time, they did not bring anything to the table that Search Console or my gut feeling could not give me. I know the themes and games we cover really well, so I sorta know where the traffic is. So it is quite simple now, really: pick the article I think would bring in the most traffic or the best traffic. But back in the day, it was really hard, and a lot of shooting in the dark.
Approach to Quality Content
SBS – What is your approach to content creation to ensure that it remains fresh, engaging, and true to your mission of being the antithesis of “spammy and awful” sites?
Peter – Very important. So one of the things you need to worry about when you get big is keeping things updated. When people watch video content, they know that content is produced and released at a specific point in time, and then the actual video is very unlikely to be edited further. But because web text is so easy to update, users also expect it to be updated. Keeping up with everything is one of our ways to make sure people have a good experience, no matter where they land on the site. But it is hard work. Sometimes something can happen where we, from one day to the next, need to update 50+ articles. But we have also gotten better at making sure our content is easier to update.
Besides that, we try not to bury the lead (hiding the one piece of info people want way down in the end), nor do we do clickbait, drama, or any of that stuff. We create looong pieces of content about the topics people have questions about. So it is very information-heavy and light on entertainment and opinion.
Maintaining Excellence in a Niche Market
SBS – You’ve built a reputation for quality in a niche filled with variable content standards. How do you maintain and ensure the consistency of high-quality content across your platform?
Peter – We talk a lot about what content we ourselves consume. Are we producing stuff we would read? Is the content helping new people into the hobby? Are we helping remove barriers for people to get into games? Then we are doing what we need to be doing.
Balancing Free Content and Monetization Strategies
SBS – How do you balance providing valuable free content with the need to monetize the site? Can you explain your monetization strategy?
Peter – So the way the internet works is that people expect everything to be free, but there needs to be a payment somewhere for there to be great content. So people are paying with their intention and indirectly via purchases. They pay with their attention via ads and indirectly via buying from our affiliate links.
So far, we have gone with that model, even though I actually hate ads. This is a very simple setup, but it has some drawbacks. Ads are, in essence, awful. They want you to go do something else than what it is you are trying to do, and they want you to buy something that you did not intend to buy. So a vision for our content is to someday not have ads on it. But that requires us to sell a product and that is still a future dream.
Adapting to Rapid Changes in Gaming Trends
SBS – In the world of online content, changes happen rapidly. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest gaming trends and hobbies to ensure your content remains relevant?
Peter – First of all, we try not to do any “news” content. We like to be slow and methodical. Everyone rushes a review out the door on the launch day of a product, but that ends up being a disservice to people.
So there will be a ton of reviews on launch day that say sorta the same thing. While there can be value in that, we try to also do things differently. What does a review look like when you have played a game for three years? Or when you have used a printer for six months non-stop? So, we try not to chase trends and make things with a long tail. Staying relevant is not something we talk about. We talk about how we can help people with the problems they have with their games and hobbies instead.
Tips for Aspiring Hobbyist Bloggers
SBS – Based on your experience with the Age of Miniatures, what key piece of advice would you offer to someone looking to start their own hobbyist blog or content platform?
Peter – If you really want to succeed, you need to figure out in what scenarios you will fail. So, for instance, I have a tendency to leave projects before they are finished. So I needed to figure out methods of keeping myself going past the point where it was suddenly boring. In my case, discipline was, in the long term, a lot more helpful than motivation. Some people need other people to cheer for them and to share with others. I needed clear analytical goals instead and avoided all forums and peer support methods.
Do not get bogged down in analytics. If in doubt, write more content. Keep thinking about how to write for humans and not search engines or bots.
The Fulfillment and Future of the Age of Miniatures
SBS – Lastly, what’s the most fulfilling aspect of running the Age of Miniatures, and where do you see the platform going in the next five years?
Peter – The best part about it is that I can wake up with an idea and just execute it then and there. No meetings. No emails about it. Just go! Also, I get to work alone with no one to distract me, which I really enjoy.
Five years from now? That is a long time in the future. Maybe we are mainly doing video? Maybe we have our own product? Who knows! And that might be the best part, really.
Building Miniature Dreams: Peter’s Tale
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