Between the day-to-day stuff at OTF and trying to add more content at Hockey Gear HQ, I've got a pretty full plate normally (outside of my day job, family responsibilities, and anything else I'd like to enjoy in life, too!). But something unusual came up over the last couple days which I just had to jump on. It will prove to be an interesting test case for my ambition to someday make all this online stuff a significant (nay, primary!) source of income at some point***.
It all started with a column which Eric Duhatschek ran at the Globe & Mail, talking about the apparently insatiable appetite of hockey fans for trade rumors:
Somebody was missing a sure money-making opportunity by failing to register the domain name NHLFaketrades.com. There is so much interest in what happens at the trade deadline – and so much wild speculation about who may or may not change teams – someone may as well create a forum so people who dream up stuff can post it somewhere.
So I figured "what the heck", checked on the status of that domain name, and sure enough, it was available. I quickly registered it and set to work burnishing a Google Spreadsheet I had cobbled together in 2009 and 2010 to generate fake NHL trade scenarios.
The funny thing is that by applying one simple bit of common sense, this "Trade Rumor Generator" came up with scenarios which turned out correct 5.5% of the time. The site HockeyBuzzHogwash.com tracked Eklund's success rate that season as 3.2%, so just that one criterion that I applied (matching upcoming unrestricted free agents from non-playoff teams with playoff-contending destinations) added more value to the trade rumor conversation than any of the "insider access" which the anonymous rumor-mongers use to sell themselves.
The investment, then, was about $10 to register the domain name, and several hours to get the site set up, and the Fake Trade Generator updated for the current season. I'll fill it out with a few more posts over the next couple days, and see if there's a way I can allow reader input, as well.
For revenue, I've just set up 3 Google AdSense boxes on there. I'm sure I could do a few different things to monetize it more effectively, but this is a quick & dirty test more than anything else. The test is to see how much revenue a traffic-only site can generate (as opposed to Hockey Gear HQ, which is specifically about helping people buy hockey-related products online, and earning a referral fee for doing so).
I lost a few hours because I initially registered & hosted it with GoDaddy, which promptly got hacked and redirected to some Russian malware site (I'm in the process of moving all my stuff away from them and over to HostGator, thanks to a tip from Codey of Section303.com). So a word of caution there... don't get sucked in by the low prices, GoDaddy just plain sucks.
Stay tuned, as I'll return to this topic in a couple weeks with traffic numbers and AdSense revenue results...
*** One central idea here is that it will take a multitude of things coming together to make that happen, rather than one big "home run" idea.