I’m sure that most if not all of you have already noticed and clicked on the red section above the livefyre comment box, I hope this post explains why that move was necessary.
The goal of this and many other sites that started last summer was to create a place that allows for us to talk about football without being banned, suspended, or forced to share our private information. It all sounded so easy. Register a name, buy some hosting, and let the fun begin. It really was that easy until I started learning things necessary for a site to survive for the long term.
To survive, this type of site needs 3 things.
1. Members – without which there is no reason to have the site.
2. Content – What keeps the members coming back.
3. Time, Money, & Growth.
The last one gets a little complicated. It’s just as important to have a site that qualifies for advertising as the advertising itself. A site deemed unworthy of advertising drops in the search rankings attracting fewer new readers. In January Google AdSense dropped us and they didn’t give me much of a reason but through e-mailing with them they finally pointed me in the direction of an answer and here is a portion of that e-mail:
You probably also want to read through the forum to see if there is any obviously policy-violating content (for example threads where people are exchanging links for illegal movie downloads, or sharing adult images).
Now adding the guidelines and following them will not guarantee that Google AdSense will let me back into the fold but at the very least it will help the rankings of the site. Google does analyze content to classify where a site will land on search pages and that content includes comments. If we can’t be Google compliant, how can I expect to gather any advertising at all from independent sources?
How important is outside advertising revenue?
To maintain the website and have any growth we constantly need new content. One of the sites shortcomings is at this time it’s unable to pay its Authors. Writing is not something that is quick or easy but our writers put together the material to keep us entertained. We have some very good writers here that I feel deserve to be compensated and noticed and not just by us but by as many people as possible. However, if we don’t clean up some of our act here those writers will not be read from by some expatriate in Bulgaria having to spend the weekend reading about a sheep herding competition instead of American Football.
So my options here are limited. Im not the one to spend every month doing rounds of donations and asking everyone to contribute, the link to PayPal is there and if anyone wants to can, but what i rather have is the site be self sufficient. Most of the costs i am happy and willing to take on like the licensing fees to the NFL, Fox Sports Game Track so we can have an actual Gameday page, servers etc… However, we have 9 authors and several contributors that i feel deserve to get something as well and that can only be accomplished through advertising as my personal budget allows for $300 per month. There are feeds, subscription services, and many features that would all improve our experience and all of them cost money. It would be nice to be able to select a few of them.
Am I ever going to get rich or make money from this site? I doubt it very much but I love being part of it. The members, the writers, the challenges, the sites survival, hopefully it’s growth are all things I enjoy having in my life.
So I hope you understand that the comment guidelines are there for the benefit of everyone. From the beginning I have always felt said that this was “our” site and not “my” site. So please do the best you can on keeping it PG, anything you’re posting about football isn’t going to cause any problems. When it comes to other material just take a moment to think if this is really the place where it belongs.
One last item i would like to mention is for the authors and contributors themselves. I understand the need to be controversial at times to get a rise out of the community now that it is the slow off season, but when we write articles we need to be aware that this is not a “team oriented site” but instead it is an NFL site. Lets not bash an others team for the sake of being funny or to get a rise. Not everyone will see it that way and when someone new comes to the site and reads a negative article on their team filled with troll talk they will most likely not return. I blame myself as well as i have done it before but now i am asking for it not to be done anymore as i learned it is not the best way. One can criticize factually but just leave the personal attacks on a team out of the article.
So thank you all for being a part of the community and your continued support of the site.