Entrepreneur: Kelsey Demers

Biz: The Tabletop Family

Tilt: Board games

Primary Channel: Instagram (6.7K)

Other Channels: Blog (12K monthly), TikTok (16.1K)

Time to First Dollar: One year 

Rev Streams: Affiliate sales on Amazon, contracts with game publishers for photo shoots

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Serve your target audience: Kelsey unboxed 18 games and repackaged them to save space. Game hobbyists were abhorred by the possibility. But her target audience appreciated it, and the TikTok video went viral.
  • Be on a search-worthy platform: The Tabletop Family started on Instagram. But they quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for audiences searching for board games. So, they created a website instead.
  • Work for your community: Kelsey takes time to respond to direct messages asking for game recommendations. She even turns some of those requests into blog topics.

The Story

For more than 13 years, Kelsey and her husband Adam’s hobby has been board games. They dedicated an entire room to the hundreds of board games they own. As their family grew, so did their love and passion for board games because it was something they could all do together. Connecting as a family – without screens – is essential for Kelsey.

One day in 2018, she received three messages from friends and family asking for help in picking board games. Kelsey knew she needed to figure out a way to put this information in one place. She started on Instagram but quickly realized she needed a platform that visitors could search, so The Tabletop Family blog was born.

Board game aficionados @TabletopFamily started on @Instagram but realized they needed a better searchable platform. So they launched www.TheTabletopFamily.com. #ContentEntrepreneurs #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Narrow the niche

From the get-go, Kelsey knew she had to do things a little differently – to find her content tilt – to set herself apart from the hundreds of other video game reviewers. “I am a woman in a male-dominated space, especially for the people that talk about them,” she says. “I come at it from a perspective of a mom and a wife, so I have gotten more of a female audience which is awesome. Because of that, I’m able to get the audience that is wanting to find out more instead of those who kind of already know about games.”

A lot of blogs target people who want to go deep into the hobby, but Kelsey creates The Tabletop Family to be a place for novices. “What our brand feels like is kind of like you’re hanging out with us in our home. You get to know us and not just the games that we play,” she says.

Talk to your audience

Kelsey worked hard to really know and understand her audience to truly differentiate herself and the blog. For example, she recently published a video that went viral on Tik Tok in which she unboxed 18 games and transferred them in an easy-to-carry travel case. 

“When I made that video, I knew it was going to annoy people that consider themselves hobby gamers. I knew I would get some (say), ‘How dare you get rid of the boxes.’ and all of that stuff,” she says. 

But those critics aren’t her audience. “I wanted to do it because I knew it is going to be helpful to the folks that maybe have just a shelf of games, or they’re out of space, but they want to add to their collection more.”

@TabletopFamily isn't afraid to do something that upsets hobby gamers because her target audience sees the content as helpful. #ContentEntrepreneur #Audience #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

The TikTok discoverability feature also helped her attract more like-minded people to her audience – people who might not have used search engines to find games but appreciated her knowledge of board games.

Connect off your site

Growing her readership and community has been at the center of Kelsey’s success. She is determined to do it authentically. “I try to be (interacting) in the places where, as a mom, I gain value from, whether it’s parenting tips or what to feed my toddlers. I try to be on those pages because I’m getting something out of it,” she says. “I get to interact and make friends there. And then, because I’m there, people will get to know my blog, and then maybe I can help them.”

In fact, Kelsey is so passionate about her community she spends hours each week replying to direct messages asking for board game recommendations. Some of the questions lead to blog topics. “I had a couple of teachers reach out at the beginning of last year asking for activities for their classroom, but they couldn’t be paper (games), and they have to be able to clean it to comply with classroom restrictions,” Kelsey explains. “I was able to come up with a whole list of games that we called COVID-friendly for the classroom that has been a resource that we could share.”

Listen and reply to your community's questions. They may even become great blog topics, says Kelsey Demers of @TabletopFamily. #Community-Building #Blogging #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Kelsey adds, “I don’t ever want to say, ‘Oh, you need to follow me to get help. If you never want to follow me, that’s fine. I’m on social media just as much to be a member of the community as I am to make one.”

Know your why

The best advice Kelsey has to share with aspiring content entrepreneurs is “kind of cliche but know your why. I think it is really important because after the initial rush, right when you start to post, you might get a lot of views or go viral or bring in a lot of followers or something like that. It’s always really exciting. But, that’s not something that happens all the time.”

Growth as a content creator requires creating a lot of content. “The thing that you don’t see when you’re like, ‘Oh, I want to start being a content creator,’ is all the work that goes into just one post. That viral video was a quick seven seconds, but that wasn’t seven seconds to make. It’s a lot of time and a lot of effort and money that goes into it. If you don’t know why you want to do it, I think it’s really easy to get burnout really quick,” she says.

About the author

Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was 6 and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and traveled to over 26 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. Currently, she is based on Maui and, when not writing or parenting, she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.