In particular, these days I'm very much interested in how I can turn this time-consuming hobby into a bit of a revenue generator. Since I receive a small stipend from SB Nation to run OTF, I declared that income on my taxes last year, and realized that I should also be recording my expenses (for example, parking fees downtown when I go to cover a practice or press conference, mileage, etc.). It was a bit of a reality slap to see exactly how much I was spending on this endeavor, and with 3 kids heading off to college in 9-10 years, there's a bit of a financial imperative to turn the tables there.
So here's a few ideas I'm considering/pursuing:
- A website devoted to hockey gear and accessories, HockeyGearHQ.com. The idea there is to build off the reputation I've developed online to provide news, reviews, and deals on hockey equipment and related items. People stopping by OTF aren't looking to buy anything when they visit, they just want to read about and discuss the Predators, so this site can be more of a straightforward sales effort. A couple examples there are the series on Father's Day Gift Ideas I'm running, and a post pointing people to Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Champions gear that's now available online.
- Setting up another site specifically devoted to the art & science of sports blogging - I've learned a lot of lessons over the last several years, and perhaps that information could be of interest to folks from beyond the world of hockey.
- Kindle Singles - these are mini-books that one can publish and sell on Amazon, typically for $0.99. Perhaps I could put together some long-form pieces of hockey analysis (more detailed than what goes into the blog) and sell them through there?
I'd be interested to get your input on possible directions here. It's not about shoving ads in people's faces, but providing real value to people in appropriate venues, and carving out my fair portion along the way. Is it possible?