So, since we're 1/3rd of the way through the year, in hockey parlance I guess this means we're into the 1st intermission. With that in mind, let's review the blogging/internet marketing goals which I set out back in January to see how things are coming along...
#1 - Double traffic at OTF, targeting 5 million page-views for 2012
So far, so good. The first four months of 2011 brought 839K page-views, while this year's figure is just over 1.3 million (see chart here). This should be one of the busiest off-seasons in Nashville Predators history, so there will be plenty of news and discussion to keep the growing Preds fan base engaged all summer long.
#2 - Design templates for displaying hockey stats in OTF articles
This is a summer activity which hasn't yet been started on.
#3 - Publish at least one article per day at Hockey Gear HQ, and earn at least $10,000 there.
I've found some tools to help me automate certain portions of the publishing process, so I've posted 226 articles from January to April. $1,030.23 in revenue has been generated in that time, so it's lagging a bit, but the culmination of the Stanley Cup playoffs is perhaps the biggest opportunity of the year, so May & June will be important months, and the new techniques I've put in place over the last few weeks should help to take advantage.
#4 - Revise and expand my fantasy hockey e-book this summer.
This is a summer to-do, obviously.
#5 - Grow the HGHQ email newsletter list to 1,000 subscribers
I've yet to make a major push on this, but new subscribers continue to trickle in to receive of the hockey coupon codes I share on a regular basis. In the next couple weeks I hope to have a new exclusive offer which will greatly enhance the value of this newsletter, and serve as a greater enticement for people to subscribe. Currently we're at 138 subscribers, so there's definitely work to be done there.
#6 - Produce at least one video blog each week, either for OTF or HGHQ.
Video has become a major push within SB Nation, and I've jumped right into this new endeavor. The OTF YouTube channel is off to a successful start, and I've published 14 videos there so far, so this one is on track. I don't see original video being a regular component at Hockey Gear HQ, but I look for opportunities to leverage publicly-available videos as part of the marketing process, like including a "pump up" video in a post about where to buy New Jersey Devils jerseys online.
#7 - Post at least one article per week here at OTF Classic, touching on issues relating to sports blogging in general (social media, search engine optimization, tips & tools, etc.)
This one I've lagged big-time on, and you have my sincerest apologies for that. The Preds' playoff run and related work for OTF has consumed all my spare time (outside of my day job and family, of course), so this has sat on the back burner. Stay tuned for something on this front which I hope will not only prompt more recent updates here, but make them especially valuable to those of you who are curious about blogging and how to potentially earn an income from it.
All in all, the progress has been pretty encouraging - besides these goals, I have several other projects in the hopper which hold great opportunity as well. My dream for years has been to make this stuff a full-time career rather than just a hobby, and for the first time, it looks like that might indeed be a real possibility.