By: Chris Hodges, editor-in-chief
One of the things I was always extremely proud of with the Chi-Scroller is that I never let it go too long without new content. In the early days–especially back when I still had help–the site was updated almost (week)daily. I eventually got to a point where I just couldn’t keep justifying the amount of work it took to put up 3-5 articles a week by myself, especially not–if I’m being brutally honest here–on a site that wasn’t earning me a single penny.
Continuing to be brutally honest, failing to make much money once I launched the Patreon page for Chi-Scroller really killed a lot of my ambition to keep plugging away at this thing to the extent that I had been. I did have two backers for a time, of which I am and always will be extremely grateful, but for a site that averages about 5,000 views a month, to only have two people feel like it was worth it to send any money my way was extremely disheartening. If even half of the people who visited this site every month pledged a measly $1 a month, I could make an actual living wage from it.
The fact is, though, that people are accustomed to internet-based content being free. And I’m no different. I certainly haven’t been the best at throwing a few bucks at any of the podcasts that have given me literally dozens of hours of entertainment for free. So I’d be a hypocrite if I expected others to do for me what I don’t always do for others. So it is what it is as far as all that goes.
Ultimately, however, I can only spend so much time on something that is only ever going to be a hobby. But I also didn’t want to abandon Chi-Scroller completely after working so hard on it for so long and never giving up on it even during the darkest times. So I eventually settled in on just committing myself to one article a week, and I at least tried to make sure that article demonstrated a fair amount of effort to make up for the decrease in the volume of the content. I did that for awhile, continuing my goal of keeping this thing that I had worked so hard to build and to keep alive even after the guy who built it with me unceremoniously abandoned it one day. But about a month ago, that stopped. This is my first new article in almost a month, the longest drought without any new content in Chi-Scroller’s 3+ year history.
I’m happy to report that there is a good reason why Chi-Scroller has gone quiet. I finally found myself a paid writing gig. An opportunity presented itself for me to freelance for Screen Rant, and I’ve been doing that for about a month now, currently putting the finishing touches on my seventh article for them. It has been pretty satisfying to have my six articles collectively reach almost 100,000 people already, whereas I was previously stoked to have a Chi-Scroller article pass just 10,000 lifetime views (that distinction belongs to my ranking of the Castlevania games, an article that curiously continues to rack up views day after day with zero new promotion from me). And yes, I’m of course going to link to those articles for those that are curious. To have my writing not only actually earn me money, but to reach that many eyeballs is very gratifying, and something that I’ve always dreamed about. It’s also kind of nice to be able to stretch my legs a bit and also write about movies, TV, comic books, and other facets of my geekiness beyond video games. I even got to write an article about Aeon Flux already, which is pretty awesome. To get paid to write an article about something as obscure as Aeon Flux is something I never would’ve thought was possible.
The Chi-Scroller is closing in on 300 WordPress followers and has over 600 followers on social media, and there are a fair number of people who make a point to comment and/or share every single thing that I post, of which I am eternally grateful. I just wanted to say a quick hello and give an update to the people out there who actually noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately and have been wondering if I was just another casualty of the often disheartening and dead-end nature of blogging. For now, I am going to continue focusing most of my efforts on Screen Rant and see where that takes me. As far as the Chi-Scroller goes, I definitely have no intention of abandoning it. I would love to still have a place to go where I can have an unfiltered voice about things related to gaming, things that would either be too niche or too controversial for a more mainstream site like Screen Rant. Ideally, the content that I do still post to Chi-Scroller will be even more obscure than it already is, with me writing about anything I want and not worry about whether or not it’s going to appeal to more than just a dozen or so people.
So for now, all I can say is stay tuned, keep following Chi-Scroller, and if you wouldn’t mind, keep an eye out for me on Screen Rant as well. If you’re reading this, that means you’re one of the ones who cares, and for that I just want to say thank you, once again. I would’ve quit a long time ago if it wasn’t for you and others like you.