Well now, that month (and year) flew by! Hard to believe 2017 has just about come to a close! This month I created a handful of new fonts and managed to get them all pushed through the usual channels (Dafont, Fontspace and Creative Fabrcia). Mostly tho, I’ve been keeping a closer eye than usual on the numbers and traffic that result in font income. I have a few very specific ideas and goals for fonts (and general ad income) in the new year.
My achievements for 2017:
1. I have over 200 fonts on dafont (more than double last years total)
2. I managed to crack the top 10 authors on dafont (staying there requires more consistent font output – I’m closing out the year floating around the teens, currently 11)
3. I cracked the 20,000 daily downloads barrier on dafont (but only during one month, I have yet to maintain those kind of numbers, generally seeing around 10,000 daily)
4. I have over 50 fonts on Creative Fabrica (I like these guys and their monetization system, though my numbers have really tapered off now after the initial surge through Sep-Nov)
My targets for 2018 are:
1. Have over 500 fonts on dafont
2. Maintain a top 20 position throughout the year
3. Crack the “top 100 authors of all time” list (should happen sometime in Jan/Feb)
4. Revamp all my font licenses and promo images for consistency
5. Double my Adsense income
6. Finish and release “Cowgirls Vs Cthonimon”
7. Finish and release my “Voxel Series” of various small mobile games
8. Branch out into Stock Photo work (to bump up those Adsense numbers)
Here’s hoping I can achieve all that, and that 2018 is an even better year than 2017 was!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Wow. This month went by fast. Fonts have been ticking along steadily on all fronts. Creative Fabrica income has stabilized now. Looking at the big picture, it’s clear to me that Dafont is still king of the castle in terms of font visibilty, driving most traffic and sales.
I finally have over 200 fonts on Dafont, which was something I wanted to achieve before the year was out. Now that I have the numbers, going forward I’m going to put a heavier emphasis on quality. I want to nail down my sales method, and license terms too. Unify everything across all fonts. As part of this process I’m going to make minor improvements to older fonts, and give them each a standard set of promo images. I’ll work my way backwards, prioritizing my most popular fonts.
On the games side, there have been no games as such, but I was working with my friend Jack Oatley on his web based Java game creation software. That is coming along nicely now and has great potential. I’ve been providing UI feedback and icon design for that project during the month. More details on that next month.
Behance and those post-mortems are on the backburner as my situation and focus has changed over the month. Both will now be done in my spare time in the New Year.
During October, on the font side, it’s mostly been research, license changes, and reshuffling things to optimise income. I did manage to hit another milestone on Dafont – 5 Million total font downloads – which is nice. On the other hand, having not kept font production up, my position on the Dafont Authors charts has slipped. I am no longer in the top 10. Despite this, October was an even better month for font income than September – primarily due to sales through Creative Fabrica.
Most of my time this month has been spent on organising my portfolio. Having moved around so much, and been through so many computers/laptops/hard drives, gathering all that work into some kind of presentable format is a challenge. Going forward, I really want some kind of solid record of exactly what kind of projects I’ve been involved in, and what part I played in their creation.
I’ve started stripping out elements and breaking them up into categories over on my portfolio page on Behance here – Darrell Flood Behance – tho it’s still very much “WIP”, with a heavy focus on just fonts/logos/icons so far. There’s a whole lot more yet to go up. I’ve also started digging through old files in an attempt to better demonstrate some of my level design work, as many of the games I have been part of are no longer available, so these scattered files are the only hope of bringing any of that work to light.
I plan to get a series of “post-mortems” up here, of some of the more important games, that outline the creative process, challenges, design choices etc. – and support those with whatever layouts and diagrams I can dig up – with an emphasis on mechanics and level design (as they were the areas I tended to be most involved in.) With any luck, I’ll start pushing those out at some point in November.
Other than that, I really feel the need to get back to Games. Fonts have been good to me. They give me a decent semi-passive income, and it’s amusing seeing them used on the likes of fidget spinners in knick-knack shops, but they don’t offer the same sense of satisfaction that creating a Game does. So, hopefully, I’ll have a chance to finally get back to some proper Game work next month.
September was a slow month across the board. I’ve had a lot of “life” type things distracting me. I got a handful of new fonts done, to keep my Dafont position, but nothing particularly standout. I did manage to make a start on a new series of decent fonts based around different countries, but I’m going to spend my time on those, and get them right. Not sure when I’ll get around to finalizing and releasing them.
Shifting from donations over to Creative Fabrica was definitely the right move for me. I’ve seen some nice numbers coming back from that. It ensured that September was my best month for font income to date. Tho the money is still far from a full wage, it’s good to see the effort I put into exploring new avenues with it bear fruit.
For September, my total font income breaks down roughly as follows:
1. Donations and Direct licensing (primarily through Dafont) – 30%
2. Adsense (primarily through Dafont) – 20%
3. Creative Fabrica – 50% (split between Referrals/Affiliates – 20% and Licence Sales – 30%)
So, you can see pretty clearly, that selling through Creative Fabrica has essentially doubled my usual font income. I intend to closely monitor the numbers and do what I can to improve upon them. Creative Fabrica currently has a font count of approx. 4000. I’d like to have at least 40 of my fonts up there, and from then on maintain at least a constant 1% of total font volume, for visibility purposes. I am also still investigating other selling sites/methods.
The biggest news this month is that I am changing my font licensing model. “Donationware” (coupled with Adsense income) has been working well enough for me, but I want to experiment with some other options to see if I can get that font income up higher. So, I am beginning to shift my font license purchases to a relatively new site – “Creative Fabrica“. Their system revolves around offering % cuts of monthly subscriptions, individual font “seats” (coming in at $10 a seat in my case), and affiliate sales cuts. I am trialling 20 of my most popular fonts to see how it all pans out. I am very interested to see how much of an impact this has on my font income.
Check those guys out here: https://www.creativefabrica.com/ref/74273/
Games wise, there has been nary a whisper (something that I really hope to rectify in September!) but on the font side, I’ve been busy. I released 20 fonts over the course of the month. I also spent some time improving some of my more popular fonts and their promo images, and submitting my fonts to yet another font site that offers Adsense income (that makes it 3 active Adsense sites now: Dafont, FontSpace and 1001FreeFonts.)
A few new milestones were cracked over on Dafont this month:
1. I now have over 150 fonts available.
2. I have managed to crack the Top 10 Font Authors.
3. I regularly had over 20,000 downloads a day throughout August.
4. I now have over 4 million total font downloads.
I’ve noticed that being in the top 10 on Dafont makes a big difference to my Adsense numbers, so I will be doing what I can to maintain that position.
June was a quiet month. Dafont was undergoing maintenance/restructure for 5 weeks or so – and not accepting any new fonts – so I spent most of this month with my family, and enjoyed working in the garden. Some big changes coming soon, so it was good to get out, have fun and enjoy the sun while I could.
I did get around to finalizing (adding missing Euro characters, tweaks to certain letters) my popular “Inversionz” font. I now consider this to be the “definitive” version.
I was pretty busy this month juggling a few things, and looking into some new ad revenue stuff, so apologies for writing this round-up a bit later than usual.
May was a rock solid month on the font front. I managed to get out 20 new fonts, dipping into various styles and font creation techniques. I also hit another milestone on dafont – 3 million total downloads! My daily downloads have been steadily increasing over time, and donations and Adsense income are both ticking along. I am exactly where I want to be with my fonts now.
On the games side, I have been tinkering with some small experiments, rolling around a few concepts, but have nothing concrete to show (just yet…) Tokyo 2048 continues to bring in a small, steady income. Feedback posts for that have passed 1000 now on Android (the vast majority of which are positive.)
I attended BitSummit in Kyoto (a big indiegames convention here in Japan). That was a lot of fun and I met a lot of very cool people there. Some really creative and innovative games and demos on display there. Inspiring stuff! I hope to be in a position to show something off there myself next year. Looking forward into June, I want to wind down the fonts somewhat, and possibly crank up the games.
April was a mixed bag. My Cowgirls Kickstarter didn’t reach its Funding Goal, so I have temporarily put that entire project on the backburner. I will still continue work on it in my spare time, as I believe it has a lot of potential. Progress will be slower however, and the release date has been pushed back. I want to get a playable demo out and build up a community around the game, but it will take some time.
I feel that it was a mistake to “put all my eggs in one basket” with Cowgirls, and will diversify from here on in. I will try to get some much smaller experimental games out much faster, and see if I can get a few mobile “re-skin” games out as well, as Tokyo 2048 continues to be my greatest achievement since leaving YoYo.
On the font front, this site was finally approved for Google AdSense! This is a big deal for me, as now I have money coming in from ads on my fonts on Dafont, which sees serious traffic, in addition to the usual font donations. This is something I have wanted for a very long time, so I’m happy. I am going to ramp up font production next month to push myself further up the Dafont Author charts to get more visibility and get those adsense numbers up. I’ve also been looking into other popular font distribution sites for more opportunities to get my work out there.
I managed to get 8 new fonts out this month – mostly continuing on with hand-drawn ones because it’s quicker to get those wrapped up and out – I squeezed out just 1 “modern” font. Next month I intend to have a much broader mix of modern and standard fonts alongside the usual hand-drawns. Check ’em out over on my page on dafont.
I have been investigating other places where I might get decent ad traffic – such as stock photo sites and art asset marketplaces. Photos and photo edits are of particular interest to me as I enjoy photography and would like to brush up my seamless texture creation skills. I want to get back into digital drawing and painting in general too tho, so lots of things to consider! Next month is sure to be interesting!
Wow, this has been a crazy busy (and productive) month! I managed to get the demo of Cowgirls Vs Cthonimon into a reasonably non-buggy, playable Alpha state, finished off all the KickStarter page promo imagery and text, and Jack Oatley is now properly on board the project, rewriting a lot of the code and generally making the source file cleaner and a whole lot easier to deal with.
Right now, the Kickstarter project is in a ready to go state. I’m just waiting for the submission process to complete before I can hit launch. Should be live any day now, so to those who have been waiting patiently – the wait is just about over!
On the font front, my fonts were featured in two Japanese design magazines this month. With “Chalk Dash” being used on a full page splash. It’s a small thing, but every little bit of exposure I can get in Japan is a good thing.
And finally, I created 4 new fonts this month. You can find these under Darrell Flood on dafont and fontspace. I’m starting to feel somewhat burnt out on the hand-drawn fonts at this stage, so next month I think I’ll go back to my roots and crank out a few more angular/ modern/ clean fonts again.