I got into the world of blogging a little over a half-decade ago, writing about the White Sox over at FanSided’s ‘Southside Showdown.’
I immediately fell in love, and it came pretty easy to me, for someone with zero journalism experience or background. Before long I was running that website and contributing to ‘Call to the Pen’ (FanSided’s MLB website) and ‘Blackhawk Up!’ (FanSided’s Chicago Blackhawks website).
Eventually fellow ‘Southside Showdown’ writers Owen Schoenfeld and Anders Johanson joined me on a project that we dubbed ‘The Loop Sports,’ a one-stop-shop for all things Chicago sports-related. We had a lot of fun, we brought on a lot of very talented people who have gone on to do some other pretty cool things. We gained media credentials, we landed television spots and radio spots.
But from day one, paying people for their hard work was the number one mission there. We were able to dole out small monthly stipends to people for their hard work through revenue secured through Word Press ads and a few podcast sponsorships. While TLS is no more, I’ll always be proud of what we accomplished there, and I will never be able to repay the talented group we had for their efforts in building something from scratch that turned into a website eclipsing two million yearly readers in consecutive years.
The problem with TLS, and ad-based revenue in this industry in general, is that you’ll hardly ever build a fair and sustainable platform relying solely on ads and traffic.
After sitting out for a year and some change while I worked on a passion project baseball and softball training facility with my father and my family, the COVID-19 Pandemic brought me back to writing.
Austin Bloomberg and I got back together through a friendship we built at TLS, and we started up a baseball-centric website that has morphed into White Sox Daily today.
This platform, like TLS, has a very strong group of talented creators. This group, also like TLS, deserves to be fairly compensated for their hard work and talent, in more than just “exposure.”
But, relying on ads just isn’t the way. Even when TLS was hitting multiple million readers yearly, the monthly ad revenue was a few hundred bucks. When you split that up among the contributors and the operating costs of even existing, it’s peanuts. It’s not fair, it’s really not worth it for many.
That’s why we’re moving our brand to Substack and going the way of subscriptions.
Sure, we’re going to forfeit awesome exposure avenues like Bleacher Report’s app among others, but I refuse to watch people like Ian Eskridge who has created our Twitch channel and live White Sox Daily broadcasts from the ground up, work tirelessly for pennies on the dollar, or nothing at all.
People like Benjamin Denen, who worked through health issues and obstacles for the last year, lending his audio wizardry and baseball passion to the site for nothing, in the midst of a pandemic.
People like Austin Bloomberg, Xavier Sanchez, Danny Miller, Logan Hard, Lenny Arquilla, Zoe Jordan, and Mark Orr, chasing a passion and working hard with content creation here.
We’re done with that. If we don’t make it, we’re going down working towards creating awesome White Sox content in a model that adequately rewards those working tirelessly behind the scenes.
So, I ask you today, to join us and stick with us as we pivot to a subscription-based platform. Not for me, but for everyone else on this talented team, and you the reader, listener, and viewer, who will benefit from a more robust and whole product dedicated to your favorite baseball team.
Like the White Sox right now, I wholeheartedly believe we’re on the cusp of creating something special.
Join us for the ride.
Help support independent creators with a subscription to White Sox Daily by the end of the month and receive an additional 20% off the existing 25% discount that you receive when you choose an annual subscription!