I still cannot believe that 2019 just came to an end and with it a whole decade. So many things happened over the past ten years – especially during the last year. Let us take a look!
2010 – 2019: The last decade
I finished school, started university, dropped out, three times to be precise, and finally set out to realize the business ventures I always dreamt about. I envisioned so many projects, with software just being one of them, but was always limited by my own technical inabilities and my choice of business partners until I realized that the only way to get where I wanted to be was to work hard on myself and to learn what I sought out in others – which lead to improving myself and my general skill set.
I was always good at managing resources, envision and improve processes and put a plan into action, heck even managing people, but for what I planned I lacked everything. I could not program, I had no clue about data collection nor how to analyze data and create databases. All that needed to change, and that change did occur, but I digress.
The initial idea of this website was born in 2016 but abandoned halfway through 2017 as I was deeply unsatisfied with the technology I used at the time and its capabilities (it was WordPress by the way and since I now am capable of writing code myself, it disgusts me even more). Due to this deep dissatisfaction, I started out seeking help to create a platform that would supply gamers with every information and tool they would need to improve their gameplay and help them make new friends. Sadly, had to discover that not every person capable of certain skills makes a good partner to create a project with.
I went through this process two times until I realized that maybe I am the problem and I should not depend on others to create my ideas. Therefore, I started out working with what little knowledge I picked up during these two partnerships. It was not easy, I did things back to front as I tried to use software intended for very experienced programmers (Zend Framework), but eventually realized that I had to start at the beginning. I got myself a wonderful programing book and started reading. The rest, as they say, is history.
2019: A retrospect
The last year was characterized by many ups and downs – many of which will have a lasting impact on this project but let us be chronological!
The months leading up to May were super busy as I built the first prototype of grindosaur.com and I learned a lot about php and programming in general during that time. It was an exciting journey; I often thought I would not get further as I hit roadblocks but eventually, I overcame them which made me fall in love with what I did. So, I pushed forward to realize my dream!
Then came the 15th of May. It is a date that holds significance to me as I released the first prototype of this site into the wilds of the world wide web. It was ecstatic, I felt like all my hard work payed finally off and it made me feel ready for the challenges ahead; but life had other plans.
The following months became different and my mood set the tone for the second half of the year. I fell into a depressed state as my university exams approached. I realized that I wasted time learning about topics I had no interest in, had no connection to and knew that my degree would not benefit my future life (I studied linguistics, both German and English to be precise).
After countless hours of dread and despair thinking about what to do, I decided to drop out – once and for all. It was risky, but life is ultimately about taking chances and working towards desired outcomes, not about tormenting oneself. So, I took the chance and dropped out.
During that time, I released little to no content at all. No guides, no news, no updates. I made small changes, but never pushed them onto the live version of this site. The little amount of content that was available at the time slowly but steadily increased in rank, but it was only after I dropped out and started to rework what already was available that I saw huge ranking improvements.
Then, my eye sight deteriorated, and I had major issues with exhaustion symptoms. It cost me weeks to recover, as my eyes exhausted extremely fast while focusing on literally anything. Luckily, I recovered and got back on tracks.
In October, I finally was able to pick up where I left, and I started to introduce Digimon World: Next Order content to the site, just because I wanted to play a Digimon game myself after watching Pikasprey Blue on Youtube play the original Digimon World.
What I did not know at that time was that I would strike gold with that content. It blew up. The site experienced a growth from 15 daily users well above 100 in a couple of weeks – and it does not appear to slow down at all. A circumstance that rekindled my spirit which was worn out from the hardships I faced this year.
Ultimately, I decided to quit my miserable job too, to be able to direct most, if not all my time towards this endeavor. A calculated risk – and one I am happy to take as it offers me growth I never experienced prior in my life.
Statistically speaking, I have surpassed everything what I expected of this site. In the beginning, I had high hopes of getting much further, but hit by life and feeling down all the time really plummeted my expectations for this project. Luckily, the statistics turned out much better than what I expected.
First, most of the content that is available on this site ranks on Google’s first result page, many in the range between the first and fourth position, which is extremely good for somebody without any experiences what so ever.
However, I would say that I know what I do by now, simply because I produce content the way I would like to consume content myself, but there are many more factors that go into it. Much has to do with constant research and code improvements, quality of life features and search engine optimization – things that most users never see as it is stuff that runs below the hood – and this is frankly something I love to do, as optimization is my thing.
But let us get into the numbers at hand! I had:
- 3.410 visitors in total
- 5.522 sessions
- 24.487 page views
- Consistent monthly growth rate of approx. 100-150%
This is remarkable considering how little content I produced over the course of the past year and taking into consideration that I had no prior knowledge or skills in this field.
Additionally, a few people already decided to register an account on this site albeit having absolutely no features implemented for them to use (currently, read the next section to see what I have in store for you). It is truly remarkable for me to see this development. It truly is.
2020: A new year, a new decade: What’s next?
So, after getting up close and personal with you about my life, my hardships and reached milestones I think it is time to tell you what I have in store for you in 2020.
The first major goal is to publish way more content on a frequent basis. I currently have a few guides published for World of Warcraft and one in the making for Digimon World: Next Order, but that is pretty much it. This needs to change, so expect more game related news and guides in the following months.
Another major part are my game databases. As time has shown there is a huge demand for detailed game information compiled into database entries. Therefore, I want to introduce far more game databases to the system and expand the ones I already set up. This includes the World of Warcraft database that I started weeks ago but delayed due to the sudden success of my Digimon World: Next Order content.
Lastly, community features! One of the features I want to bring to the site as fast as possible is the users ability to comment on posts and database entries. Additionally, this entails functions like user profiles among other things. Something I want to start working on as soon as possible while maintaining a constant content output.
There is a lot more down the line (like tools), but I do not want to promise too many things right now, since I am currently working all by my own albeit full-time on this project. Maybe I will have the opportunity to get someone on board later this year, but a few things must happen to make that a possibility. I will keep you updated about this development.
So, as you see or rather read there is a lot on my to-do list and many more things that I have not announced yet. Some things are hinted at, some are hidden on this site already, but most will take more time to be introduced to the site. Let us see how it goes. Happy New Year!