Erik Twice in review: Year 2020

Last year I wrote 35 articles, more than I’ve ever done. Facing unemployment during the pandemic, I decided to make the best of my time and work on my blog. Every day, I’ve woken up, turned on the computer and wrote as if it were my full-time job. And it paid off! As the year comes to a close, three times as many people have read my blog as they did the year before.

ARTICLES

It’s not just quantity, the quality of my articles has gone up as well. Pictures are nicer, my analysis more in-depth and I no longer drive my editor mad with my awkward phrasing. I even managed to sneak some variety in there.

My favourite articles of the year were:

  • Wingspan – This is one of my most well-rounded reviews. I’m in the minority when it comes to this game, so I wanted to cover my issues in detail. I think I succeeded!
  • Root – I liked Root, but not as much as most. Like with Wingspan, I wanted to discuss my issues with it and explain why it didn’t work for me. Several people wrote to me to say they appreciated my perspective, which was exactly my goal.
  • Brass Birmingham: The most common beginner mistakes – While not my most popular strategy article, I think it’s the best I’ve written so far. My first guides were a bit experimental and it took a while to find the right way to do things.

Still, my most popular article was my beginner strategy guide for Terraforming Mars. In fact, it’s my most popular article of them all! The “Cult of the new” and the AAA hype machine may dominate gaming, but there’s still room for those who like to dig into the games they already own.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Some of the areas I’ve worked the most on aren’t visible. Working on SEO so my articles appear on Google or migrating to a better server may not be as flashy, but they matter more than a new strategy guide. After all, what good is writing an interesting article if the site crashes when people read it?

A year ago, some couldn’t even access my site because it didn’t have SSL. Without that little lock on the URL bar, some browsers marked it as unsafe. Now everything’s in order, the site loads fast and all the pages are perfectly translated and connected to each other. I no longer have to think about it, because it works.

I also updated some vital parts of the website. But who is Erik Twice? now has an actual picture of myself as well as links some of my articles and my Code of Conduct. This last bit was important. It’s a topic I feel very strongly about and I wouldn’t have felt comfortable accepting review copies, such as the one for The Crew, without having written it down.

It’s especially important because I have a Patreon now! A few kind peeps are supporting my work and they deserve to know where I stand on issues such as review copies and publisher relations. The thought that someone would enjoy my work enough to become a patron is incredibly humbling. Can’t thank you enough.

NEW YEAR GOALS

I want to keep improving and that’s why I’ve set up new goals for this year. Here’s what I have in mind for 2021:

  • More even in my coverage – I often make the mistake of focusing on a certain kind of article. I can go long stretches without posting a review and then publish four in a row. I’ll revise my schedule to keep things more even.
  • Video Games with crossover appeal – Last year I played games like A-Train that could interest both boardgamers and video gamers alike. But I did not write about them. This year I’ll try to cover them in a more timely manner.
  • Strategy guides – My strategy guides are my most popular articles but so far I’ve only covered a handful of games. I would like to cover more: Power Grid, Hanabi, Dominion…the possibilities are endless. I’ll need to practise a bit more for some of them though!
  • Talking about recent releases – I’m going to take steps to play newer releases. I have more access to early copies than I used to and I can now talk about newer releases, like I did for The Crew. While writing about older games is important, it has been more of a limitation than an actual goal.

With the beginning of a new year, what would you like me to write about? What were your favourite articles? And which games would benefit from a strategy guide? Let me know in the comments!

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