Get to know our plans for 2018 and get an overview of our website’s performance in 2017. Also, you can officially lend us a hand in our revamped donations system.
We decided to update everyone on what’s changing for The Hand That Feeds HQ, a breakdown on what’s improved on our website and what are our plans for this and upcoming year. We believe in being transparent with our readers, hence we’re back with another article like the one we posted back in August 2017. This is a long post so buckle up!
Some of you might not know this but our website is live since 2011. We started as small blog in which we reviewed a bit over 20 releases a year and 50 articles written per year, to a full-fledged website that now reviews 12 releases per month with over 800 articles written per year. Over the years we have improved our website, adding more seiyuu to our lineup as well as covering 2.5D idol projects, something that wasn’t common back in 2011 and that we’d never thought we would have to delve in. Seiyuu endeavoring to the music business was a rarity back then as well.
In the past 7 years, the number of seiyuu with careers as solo singers has more than doubled and the number of 2.5D units has increased by almost 10 times. That means that we initially covered a bit over 20 seiyuu/2.5D or seiyuu units/bands on our website and today, in 2018, we cover 317 seiyuu (including solo artists, bands, 2.5D units, seiyuu units). That’s because:
We live in the golden age of seiyuu as complete entertainers.
Last year, in May, we published a survey in which we asked several questions related with our website’s performance, content quality, content availability, special corners and more. There’s something that stood out: most of you wanted new content on our website – more reviews, covering more projects and work more on our social media engagement. Then, in August, the infamous plagiarism case happened, being the catalyst for all those changes to take place quickly within past months of August, September and October. We changed a lot around here in those three months and, at the same time, answered to most of your requests from that survey back in May.
These are the new things we have on our website since August 2017 up until now:
- Expanded the number of seiyuu covered on our news articles and reviews from 180 to over 300 (currently 317 seiyuu + 2.5D units + seiyuu units + bands)
- Added the following franchises to our lineup of reviews and/or news: Idolmaster SideM, VAZZROCK, Star Revo, I-Chu, IDOLiSH7 (up until then we’d never delved completely into this franchise), Ensemble Stars!, Readyyy! Project, Yumeiro Cast, Band Yarouze!, Idol Fantasy, Dear Vocalist and Hypnosis Mic
- Further improved our social media engagement by adding “seiyuu birthday celebrations” on Twitter, facebook and tumblr. We’re still improving this feature as we have a whole lot of seiyuu missing from our birthday list.
- Added twitter live reports (for some events that we can cover within our timezone)
- Provided better and quicker support on our Facebook page
- Improved our brand value with a new logo and professional social media assets (changed just recently)
- Created the “Lifestyle” tag and with it we started to include news articles about upcoming seiyuu magazines, live events, DVD releases, movie or TV series cameos, modeling, special collaborations and more
- Started translating live event reports (although we currently don’t have the time to do more than we wished on this topic)
- Kicked off the weekly and monthly Oricon Chart reports
- Improved our Seiyuu Digests with more content and updated some of the old ones (currently updating some from 2015)
- Cleaned some tags and corrected missing or wrong tags on articles
- Proofread and corrected some of our previous articles
- Changed our comments policy – banning users that were spamming our comment section, as well as those that were directing hate towards our team or certain seiyuu on this website.
We did all these changes based on suggestions by our readers so, a big thank you to all of you for your input.
After these changes, our website’s monthly views doubled and we have reached a wider audience on both our website, Twitter and Facebook accounts. At the moment we have a bit over 18.000 monthly views on our website (had a bit over 2.000 a month back in August). 784 Facebook likes (had a bit over 200 in August), 657 Twitter followers (had a bit over 125 in August) and 665 Tumblr followers (had 300 in August). All of these are organic numbers, we never paid for bots and never paid for sponsored ads on Facebook to increase our likes. These numbers reward our efforts and we’re eternally thankful to everyone that has been following this website and has contributed to these impressive figures.
While we won’t do another survey like last years’ any sooner, we’d like you all to know that we’re working every day towards further improving this website, polishing what we consider to be our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, adding more information on this website, reviewing more CDs and – hopefully – covering even more seiyuu/2.5D projects than we currently do.
With all being said, we want to keep working towards improving this website’s quality as well as its coverage. We read your comments and e-mails and we’re well aware of what’s missing on this website.
Here’s what we want to add within this year:
- Cover more news on new, up-and-coming and veteran seiyuu / 2.5D unit projects (i.e DearDream and Kurofune that a lot of people have been asking for)
- Review more releases
- Improve the quality of our Seiyuu Digests and continue to update the old ones
- Continue to strive for a toxicity-free reader community on our website with further control over abusive users and directed hate
- Work towards launching a new corner (teased last year in August, later scheduled to launch in the second quarter of this year but due to lack of free time from our team, it has been postponed for later this year, early 2019). You can read more about it HERE.
Regarding the “Review more releases” point we’re politely asking you, just like last year, that you consider donating to our website. Be it through our Paypal account or Patreon page (links will be put at the end of the article).
If it wasn’t for the help of some of our readers that reached out to us via e-mail (you know who you are, Thank You!), or some close friends that have sponsored us their original CDs since day one, this website would barely have any reviews and would, quite possibly not be around right now. If we want to review more releases, some that even our readers have asked us about, we need your cooperation because we can’t handle the costs of all releases in a month, much less for a whole year.
To help us out you can:
- Turn off any adblocker software you have when visiting our website or whitelist our website: we pay our yearly WordPress plan with the few bucks we make out of ad revenue. We need this plan because we have a lot of space occupied with HD cover or artist photos dating back to 8 years ago! (yep, some of our articles are that old). The ads ran on our website by WordPress aren’t intrusive and don’t include anything R-rated (it’ll be based on your cache and browser history). We need almost 50.000 real impressions on our website to make just a little bit over 10 USD in one month. While impressions don’t equal the views we have per month (over 18.000 views and a bit over 25.000 impressions), we believe that if everyone that visits our website has it whitelisted, we can make a bit over 10 USD/month and, in that way, pay for our yearly WordPress plan by the start of next year. This is the simplest way you can help us because you don’t need to spend anything dollar/euro/pound on us.
- Support us through CDJAPAN: as you might have noticed, we’re affiliated partners with CDJAPAN since 2011. With almost each article we provide links to the official albums, DVDs and magazines available on CDJAPAN. We do this because we want you to support your favorite seiyuu, as well as this is a source of revenue for us, as CDJAPAN will pay us a 5% commission with each a successful purchase on their website via our affiliated link. Anyone that clicks on those links isn’t charged extra on their purchases. CDJAPAN simply pays us a commission because we brought a new customer to their website, that’s all. Although it’s difficult to earn a consistent amount of money to support our website, it ends up helping us purchasing two or three CDs to review every 4 or 5 months (we need to hit a 5000 yen threshold to enable us to use the money earned as affiliates). If you happen to want to purchase something through CDJAPAN, please consider clicking on one of our links before doing it. It helps us by making CDJAPAN pay us a commission.
- Donate through Paypal: that’s the simplest way you can help us, the most common way online to donate money to someone. Some people don’t like to donate online and we totally understand you. However, if you happen to have a Paypal account and want to lend us a hand, even 1€ /1 USD / 1£ makes the difference by the end of the day. Just imagine if each of our readers would donate 1€, this website would be powered for over 3 years with no ads!
- Be our sponsor: if you happen to purchase CDs from your favorite seiyuu/2.5D units and notice that we haven’t reviewed any of those releases or are late in reviewing those (those delays are mainly due to us being waiting for our CDs to arrive or just because we simply decided to not review that release because we can’t afford it), and don’t mind sharing a copy of your original CD with us, please reach out to us via the “contact us” page. This will help us tremendously in saving money for other releases. A reminder: as soon as you contact us and sort out all details with us, you can’t pull back from it (at least on that specific release you contacted us about). It’s a matter of respect, if we’re going to allocate our money to other releases because you promised to help us, backing out last minute will make us spend double the money we initially wanted to.
- Be our Patron: now if you visit our website daily, look forward to our Seiyuu Digests and reviews, all around enjoy the work we have done on this website and want to be more active in supporting us, this is the thing for you. On Patreon, each of our readers can donate whatever amount of money they want per month, with that donation being recurring each month after that (of course you can cancel your “subscription/pledge” anytime you want). Although the rewards we have available are not the most impressive, the fact is that you’ll be helping us closely and making this website stay alive.
What we’ll use the money for:
Any amount we earn through Paypal donations or Patreon is going to be used to:
- Purchase new singles/albums [PRIORITY!]
- Pay for our WordPress yearly plan (we already paid for 2018’s)
- Further improve our website
Donations received through Paypal can be used right away to purchase CDs to review. However, Patreon‘s pledges can only be withdrawn if it hits the $20 threshold. Revenue earned through CDJAPAN‘s affiliate program (can only be withdrawn when it hits a 5000 yen threshold in commissions) and WordPress ads (can only be withdrawn when it hits the $100 threshold) will continue to be used to pay for our WordPress plan and some CDs to review.
On Patreon we have the complete list of our goals, including a revamped stretch goal that will allow us to fully dedicate our time to this website, turning it into the most amazing thing on the web, the-go-to place on the web for all male seiyuu fans and a full-time job for us.
You can find our Patreon page here (click the logo):
Or donate via Paypal (click the logo):
Please consider supporting us by any of the means above mentioned. We know that articles like this are off putting to some people and most will just read this – if they do – and ignore it completely. However, we believe that there are people out there willing to lend us a hand in whatever capacity they’re able to. For those that can’t afford helping us monetarily, please consider not using Adblock on our website (if you don’t use it, thank you for supporting us). That alone is a small help for us.
Everyone, please keep looking forward to our Seiyuu Digests, Reviews, Year-end polls and daily news. As long as we’re able to, we’ll be working tirelessly on this small website to provide everyone with the best contents on male seiyuu music.
If you have any inquiries about the donations, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment section below or through e-mail.
With this we complete our overview of THTFHQ’s 2017 performance and 2018 plans article.
Thank you for your time and continued support,