State of the Tavern – 2012

2012_LogoIt is time for the annual look back at the year 2012 at The Iron Tavern as the New Year fast approaches. The end of 2012 finds The Iron Tavern a little over a year in from opening its doors in August 2011. We have covered a variety of topics this year from product reviews, commentary on current gaming issues and releases, interviews, and more. The Iron Tavern also welcomed a handful of guest bloggers to help broaden the spectrum of gaming products covered.

The Iron Tavern changed hosting providers towards the end of this year. This change was to position The Iron Tavern a little better for future growth and a couple of other plans rumbling in the back room. Overall I have been quite pleased with the decision to change hosting providers and it was worth effort to do so.

Before we look at the year ahead for The Iron Tavern let’s look at some of the top 5 and top 10 lists of posts, referring sites, and search terms folks came to The Iron Tavern for.

Popular Posts

These are the five most popular posts during 2012 at The Iron Tavern. It looks like my post on The One Ring that was actually made in 2011 is still quite popular! The Dungeonslayers review was done by a guest blogger Kelly Davis and rounded out the top five list!

Referring Sites

I removed search engine results from the list which accounted for a landslide of referrals in the list this year. Google+ has a strong lead in referring sites as well. I find the G+ gaming community very personable and much more engaged than the other social media networks. Not only does The Iron Tavern get a large number of referrals from G+, there is also a reasonable amount of discussion on blog posts over on G+.

The Paizo and Goodman Games are result of a lot of Pathfinder product commentary and reviews done here. I also post a fair amount of Dungeon Crawl Classics fan generated content here as well.

The Facebook referrals are often from other company’s or gaming entities who link to The Iron Tavern to highlight a post I did concerning their product. Twitter, unsurprisingly, is towards the bottom of my top five list. Though I maintain an active presence on Twitter I find the click-through rate from there quite low. It feels much more like shouting into the wind compared to the other social media networks.

  • Google+
  • Paizo
  • Goodman Games
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Top Search Terms

The top search terms for the year again favor The One Ring RPG from Cubicle 7. Dungeon Crawl Classics pushes its way to the top of the list as well. I have a large amount of DCC RPG content at The Iron Tavern. Pathfinder products fill out the rest of the list with my Midgard Campaign setting review rounding out the list, as well as my look at the Roll20 VTT.

  • the one ring rpg
  • dungeon crawl classics rpg
  • the one ring map
  • pathfinder beginner box
  • rise runelord pdf review
  • pathfinder iconics
  • dcc rpg
  • midgard campaign setting
  • rise of the runelords
  • roll20

The Look Ahead to 2013

In many ways I feel like The Iron Tavern is still finding its niche, much as I was last year. Finding the balance between getting two to three blog posts up on the site and working on some side-projects, writing queries, and general content creation for the gaming industry continues to be a delicate balance.

Moving forward I hope to continue the trend of getting three posts up per week. Regular followers have noticed I tend to have new posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the week with occasional surprise posts on other days as time permits. I hope to continue that trend in the upcoming year.

The Iron Tavern will continue to focus on the fantasy genre of RPGs. I expect Pathfinder and Dungeon Crawl Classics to continue to be major topics. It looks like Dungeonslayers will get a few more posts and quite likely Barebones Fantasy as well. My interests seem to be drifting back to an OSR feel with less complex systems catching my eye. I am sure there will be the occasional D&D post as we watch D&D Next evolve as well (more if I can find a guest blogger interested in regular posts on D&D). Rolemaster will continue to make an experience as guest blogger UbiquitousRat continues his look at the playtest.

As mentioned earlier, The Iron Tavern did experiment with guest bloggers this year. The results were successful and I liked the different take and broader look of systems that brought to the blog. With that in mind, I would like to pickup another regular guest blogger or two to write regular articles. Interested in guest blogging? Here are the topics I am especially interested in:

Dungeons and Dragons: I tried to keep up with the playtest, but simply have not had time. I would welcome a blogger who can post an article every other week or so with information on how the playtest is going and other D&D events that are noteworthy.

Pathfinder: More frequent posts on Pathfinder products and Pathfinder games would be great. If you are an aspiring blogger looking for an established platform to talk about Pathfinder, contact me.

OSR systems: There are so many great rule-light, old school systems I would be happy to host guest posts on any number of these. Either a look at products, actual play, or commentary on the genre would be considered for The Iron Tavern.

Overall, I consider 2012 a successful year for The Iron Tavern and look forward to bringing even more content to readers this year! Here is to a great 2013!