All Hail the Skulltaliser!

6 May

Ok, if you have been reading this blog of late, you’ll be aware that I have a plan to pull in $99 to monetise this here blog, and before I reveal the Skulltaliser in it’s glory, I want to clarify a few things.

So, I’m probably not the best at putting what I mean across in the right way, and I think that some out there might have assumed that since this scheme is down to me not having a pot to piss in, and that I can’t afford $99, I’d like to put things straight. The reason I haven’t had the inclination to get this blog monetised before isn’t due to not affording it, nor is it due to my business model and plan being wrong, more to my own organisational skills and the way I prioritise things. I had and have every intention to pay up, I’m just tight (I’m from Yorkshire, it’s tradition!)

I have neglected this blog, and took the decision to not only stump up the cash to get the job done, but to spend some time blogging for once. As you might know, blogging takes time and effort, it can tax you mentally with things to blog about, and sometimes I don’t feel as though I have anything constructive to say or post that would be worth reading. Which is why I started the entire conversation.

The Grinning Skull, and by extension, myself also, must be seen as the tongue in cheek way I meant it, which maybe I should make clearer at times. This attitude can be taken as not intended, or I may seem as though I’m saying something else, but combine this with I brainfart and just blab out whatever is in my tiny mind. I do confuse, of which I am sorry for, but I can’t say that I entirely understand the ways of the internet.

My intent with these posts was to start a conversation about what if’s, you know, what if I did this, what if I did that etc etc… The experiment was to expand my knowledge of stuff I’m not familiar with, seeing if there are indeed some good ways of raising extra cash through means other than what I’m used to. I probably didn’t explain well enough, but, you know what the web is like, one statement can be interperated in many ways.

Since the whole subject was Monetisation, why not fund the monetisation with alternative methods? So if I confused you, sorry bout that! Can’t promise I won’t do it again, but my tendency is to babble shite, I am the Grinning Skull after all, you should expect it!!

Anyway,  I think that while the plan is a bit random, it could provide interesting an excercise into quick money making (and how effective it is) , and entertain along the way, which is my goal.

Without further ado, may I present to you, ladies and gents, boys and girls, the magnificent SKULLTALISER!!!

As you can see, the task I set out is to raise $100 (Well $99, but $100 seemed fitting) Starting at the base of this mountain of skulls, I’ll mark each significant time any money goes in the pot toward the total, and detail what (if any) methods were used to raise it. it’s an excercise in thinking outside the box, and while I can easily raise $99 from all sorts of tried and tested means if I really wanted, I want to try and use other methods that so called “Web experts” set out in blog posts and info sites, and see if these things are actually true.

This way, we can discover (if any) how much effort is needed from things such as Fiverr, or other methods along the way, and I’ll share the results. I’ll accept donations for the total (although I truly don’t expect them! But any such donors will be given a shout out and thanks) and other ideas you have if you want to share and explore. Maybe we’ll unlock some webby secrets,or hatch a cunning plan that’ll change the world! (well, not really)

I’ll keep you updated with the latest, and continue to explore more around this subject.




New Release: 100 Strange Magical Items for all fantasy RPGs!

6 May

Yet more PDF goodness from us here at Grinning Skull Design Studios, with the second of today’s releases, 100 Strange Magical Items for all fantasy RPGs, a collection of 100 unusual and sometimes downright bizarre items to throw at your players!

Check out this new title by clicking this link or visit our publisher page for our other titles here:

New Release: 100 City Encounters & Adventure Hooks for all fantasy RPGs!

6 May

It’s shameless plug time, otherwise known as release day, so I wanted to let you know about the latest Grinning Skull Design Studios PDF to our ever growing range of RPG supplements.

100 City Encounters & Adventure Hooks is a great new title in the series, and is perfect for GM’s who want to add some side quests into their players city wanderings!

Check it out by visiting–Adventure-Hooks-for-all-fantasy-RPGs or check out our publisher page for more of our titles.

Seriously though, would YOU be willing to be my Patron?

2 May

So, I like talking shit, and if your a regular here, you’ll agree! So earlier, I asked the “lovely and not at all aloof” forum posters on a well known RPG forum, if they could offer any suggestions to add to my mad, get monetised quick scheme. As you might imagine, it’s good job that there exists those stalwart fellows on the ‘tinternet, as i didn’t feel at all as I might have wasted time trying to explain my point (well, thing is…) or did I explain, cos’ in my tiny British brain, I may as well be regurgitating porridge whilst reciting “I’m ‘Enery the ‘Aif I am”, cause I got diddly squat out of the effort.

Ok, so I know I’m pedantic, sometimes manic, and confuse (on purpose) but maybe I wasn’t making sense as the language barrier could have been a problem, but I’m pretty sure that, it felt as I was being looked down on. Whatever it was, the advice so far is pretty shit. Listen, I have come to the conclusion that you should never let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t go for your ideas, just from someone else’s opinion (unless it’s way too stupid/dangerous) But, if you think you can do it, then fucking do it. Screw the doubters!

The only advice worth anything was a link to Patreon, ok so, I haven’t attempted to embrace Patreon before now, simply because I could not rationalise what work I’d need to get done in addition to everything else I  do, time is limited, energy is too. Also, I’m not greatly organised, and I always shunned it because I wouldn’t have wanted to let any would be patrons down (which I could have done if I didn’t think stuff out correctly.) Others seem to have much more confidence in me than I have in myself, so while I always  knew I’d revisit it down the road, I thought that it was about time to throw myself under the train, and get my head around it. Loads of really below par web creators seem to make cash from it, and I’m just as below par as them, so you might as well sign me up for a piece of that Patreon pie!!

I’ll admit, it blagged my head a bit to see what the hell I could do to fit my particular brand of stuff into the framework, and I won’t tell you that I know everything about it, cause I don’t, but I try and look at everything as a way of challenging my brain before I turn into a cabbage. So, with that in mind, I do hope that at least a couple of you actually understand the system better than I, and that I can pick your brains with a few ideas of how I’m going to approach my virgin Patreon experience, so please, be gentle with me….make it special….

I’m not going to put concrete numbers on these reward ideas, I just want some feedback to see if I’d be worth being funded in this way. Am I worth it, or are my ideas, not investible, so suggestions please if you have them, I’d rather these rewards be something useful and worth potential value to those willing to put any faith in me!

Are we ready? Then lets begin!

  1. SUPPORT TEAM GRIMSKULL: This I’d imagine is the lowest tier of reward I would offer, basically it’d be a page with a scroll of honour listing all Patrons of this level. Possibly a single page in each of my PDF publications as thanks to everyone for support.
  2. IT’S GRIM UP NORTH: The next tier up would be an all round news and ramble, keeping Patrons in the loop, behind the scenes at Grinning Skull Towers, humour and general banter. All wrapped up in a entertaining article each month.
  3. GRIM UNCENSORED: These articles will be focused on more ranting, raving, not holding back on offensive content, sarcasm, humour. On a variety of topics across the board, whatever comes into mind as what would entertain will do the job.
  4. DEAR UNCLE GRIM…:A regular Q&A with me, serious or funny, pitch book ideas at me, ask me relationship advice (No, I’m joking, please don’t, I’m shite at it, you should see the state of my marriage, it’s a mess, like a steaming pile of dog crap topped with vomit!) Even ask me on a date! (I am no easy lay, so don’t think your going to get lucky!!)
  5. GRIM’S MAGNIFICENT MANUAL OF MONTHLY MONSTERS: This is sort of like a bestiary, each month I’ll create an imagined creature from my imagination, illustrate it in detail, then write a sizable chunk of fiction, ecological details and background to bring it to life. Bonus will be that eventually there will be enough finished material to republish in book form, and make more profit on it, hell I could even get someone to stat the beasts up with popular RPG games to make it even more useful.
  6. GRIM’S DUNGEONS OF DOOM; THE CONTINUING SAGA!: Yes this is a follow on from the popular article series on this very blog, I know many of you still want this, but there is a lot of time and prep that goes into each one, the photos, construction, planning, painting, instructions and all that can make it quite time consuming, so personally I’m not sure about this one, I think the efforts would make it top tier, but the bonus is that again, the articles can be collected into publications for release later on.

Well, there we have seven ideas for rewards, no idea if they’d prove popular enough to be ok for Patreon or those out there who follow me and my randomness, chaos and twisted nature.

One thing is for sure, it makes sense to pre-prepare about 6 months worth of material before launching. Making it easy to get into the flow. I admit, I still need to ask lots of questions about topics I haven’t covered yet, but so far the potential for this is much better than fiverr, not impressed at all with that shit, maybe I haven’t given it enough time just yet, but from all what I’ve read thus far, this could make a significant additional revenue stream.

I guess the advice wasn’t so bad after all?

But I throw this back to you lot for you to give me your opinions and your views. Would you change anything? Would you suggest more ideas to the mix? What about pricing? Would you be my Patron, or simply tell me to fuck off! Hey, I realize that net apathy applies whenever I ask for feedback, but you never know without asking! Any tips on Patreon you know? Best places to get Patrons etc etc.

Comments in the box below to continue the discussion.

Next on the agenda, get ready to meet the Skulltaliser!!

The Skulltaliser (Otherwise known as, The WordPress Monetisation Rant!)

1 May

So, where to begin…ages ago, as the old memory serves that is, blundering head first into trying to monetise my blog here, I ended up hitting a snag, old readers will remember the Semalt debarkle, and as a result of that rant, I ended up dropping myself in the shit and getting this blog shut down. Reason being, that I had advertisments and affiliate links on site, for which, since I am a cheapskate and pay fuck all for the running of this site, was told unless I payed the yearly rate of $99, I would be breaking the TOCs.

Fair enough, since I make a big fat zero from here, was fair enough, but it did put me off even trying to step up efforts to improve the blog for the future. Sure, I can advertise my own projects and services here without fear of getting shut down, but it restricts me from helping out friends that need a hand driving extra traffic to their sites (as I cant advertise them, not even for free) and makes me cautious about putting things on here, in case I get banned again by my own stupidity or mistake. This knock on effect, makes me stop before I act, and has stopped me from posting a lot of interesting and humorous articles (well, I think they’d be, I should say crass and offensive)

Never the less, back in January, I promised myself  that I’d pay the $99 yearly fee and level the site up, and at least then I can experiment with any aspect of what goes on here. Trouble is, every time I get any spare cash that ideally would be used for this purpose, it gets eaten away on life stuff, which given my in built practicality, tends to over ride everything.

So, the frustration comes from the fact that if they would let me make some cash so I could pay for the running of the site, then problem solved. But, I can’t, and I’m not risking loosing all the time and energy I have put in here to get it to this stage. Some might think from appearances that it’s fuck all, but while I’m ok at doing this stuff, it has taken me almost 5 years from beginning to now, and at least to me, I’m reasonably proud of how it is now.

I mean, for me at least that is, having a free WP blog, restricts even embedding simple html and site add ons (done for this reason no doubt) so you have to pay the $99 and then they are happy. OK, I’m not against them making money, that’s business, but it’s a cost that I simply has been constantly taken away each time I near it. That is almost like the dream you have about running down the corridor as its end gets further away.

So, I hit upon an idea. For ages, I’ve known about Fiverr, a site that allows you to sell your services beginning at $5 and earn some cash, but never really had the inclination to commit to accepting tons of work it might entail to make it worth the while. I have enough to do, I don’t want to over commit to new stuff unless it is worth doing. Finally, i cracked and thought that, if I got $5 min per gig (thats what they call a job/task there) I would only need to do it 20 times to raise the $99 (well, it’s more if you count they take 20% off you) but the theory is workable.

Only thing is, I have to be careful about the way I promote myself, as if it clashes with the WP TOCs, I’m up shit creek, even though the cash would be used to pay them, i’m forbidden from using the blog to make cash. there’s a fine line I have to walk, and that is more frustration.

I have now hatched a plan, to get this blockage cleared away. The Skulltaliser.

The Skulltaliser is going to be very much in the vein of the old Blue Peter Totaliser from back in the day, a visual reference to a fund raising goal, and over the next few days, it’ll be unveiled. I’ll be putting it proudly at the top of the button menu and updating it as the funds get raised. Knowing my luck,  it’ll be a fail, but I’m British and we are raised to be the underdog, I’ll make it succeed (hopefully)

You’ll see to the side of the page, there’s a shiny new web button advertising my Fiverr services, so please click it and take a look, or click here to check out what I’m offering, and please share if you know of anyone who may be interested in the gigs I’m offering. I may add new gigs if I can integrate them easily to my overall plans, and sorry to say, in order to get the $99, I’ll be pushing this campaign where ever possible.

Also, I’d ask that if you have ever been entertained, or found some use for this website at any time, please even consider donating via paypal to this cause. Anyone who donates this way, will be included in a scroll of honour under the Skulltaliser and given a shout out and eternal thanks for helping the cause. I can’t embed a paypal donate button (html wont embed for some reason) but if you can help, my paypal address is grun577 (at)

I do feel a bit of a scab, doing this, but once the first $99 is done and paid, I have a full year to make the site work for itself, which without restrictions, should easily be done.

Also, if your a company or business that might be interested in sponsoring me with the funds, I would be happy to proudly advertise and so forth (once I have paid the $99 that is) I’d do that for the year in return for the fees, which is pretty cheap for advertising a niche blog such as this (I think the industry standard is something like $10-$20 dollars for a simple text link, so for a good sized prominent reminder in my header logo and more, would be quite a sound investment (hint hint!) So please contact me if you would be interested in that possibility. If things look bleak, I might resort to cup in hand begging and approach suitable companies, which I hope doesn’t come to that, but I will do what it takes to step up my game, some cash flow would allow more stuff to happen here, like an site overhall wouldn’t go amiss, but that’d take me getting some web person in and sorting it, which also involves cash injection, which is my next point…

I’d add that in the event that funds exceed the $99 goal, then all extra will be put in for additional web services to enhance the site, I’d be up for community suggestions, and may do some polls to ask you lot where you think I should go (if things go that way)

So if your still reading, then please, even if you can’t donate, or afford to hire my fiverr services, you can still help me by sharing this article (and subsequent ones about it) on any platforms you use that could get this done. Use the sharing buttons below this post to share, if you know me on FB, Linkedin, Twitter or whatever, please be my Obi-Wan and help me. I don’t ask for help in achieving my goals usually, but think it’s about time the site was allowed to evolve.

I’ll keep you all informed each step of the way, after all, I’d like to see us as a community, almost family, and going forward, I hope to repay each and everyone of you who have been part of this journey so far, with putting the site in the heart of our community and provide resources, info and help to others who might need it (Am I laying this on too thick? Just tell me, yeah, could be a bit too much…)

Seriously though, please think on what I’ve said in this rant, and I welcome all comments, suggestions, messages and support that you think will help!

I fucking love you people!!


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