We are just passing the year and a half mark here at the blog, and I thought it was as good of a time as any to check in with some thoughts on our progress. When John and I started Play It Forward I'd say we had about five goals we were aiming to hit.
1. Update weekly. I'm a firm believer in scheduled content. I tend to slowly forget about podcasts, blogs, video creators, etc that update sporadically. I'm glad to say this hasn't been a problem. Since March of 2018 every Tuesday a new match has been played forward. We've updated from different states, different countries, heck I was working on the blog on a deserted island in the Outer Banks of NC a month ago. We certainly have not had any issues getting content up regularly!
2. Have fun. Plain and simple, if we didn't have fun sharing these matches with each other, maintaining the blog and social media accounts, leaving each other voicemails complaining about how hard it is to find a great under the radar Ultimo Dragon match, and so on, this would have been a short lived project. A good example is the Facebook account. It started to feel like a chore after a while (like most things on Facebook) so we largely phased it out. Otherwise, we've been having a blasty blast.
3. Discover great wresting. This ties right into #2, but we've already watched so much great wrestling in our lives I was curious just how much we'd be able to dig up for PIF. Would we be diving into our own collections and uploading matches? Would we reach dead ends with obscure wrestlers? In the long run the research element of PIF might be the most fun part. It can be challenging, but most weeks there's an overwhelming amount of options to pick from. We've only dipped into our personal stashes a few times. The vast majority of the time we're exposing each other to wrestling that's totally new to us, and we've already found plenty of great matches that will stick with us for a long long time. With plenty more to come!
4. Network and build an audience. Number 4 and 5 are where we still need to improve. Since shifting our social media focus to Instagram we feel like we're starting to join a larger community of equally nerdy fans who are open to what we're doing and are sharing great content themselves. In terms of promoting the blog on message boards, Reddit, or possibly eventually Twitter, there's lots of room to grow. If you have any suggestions, want to partner up to co-promote something, please don't hesitate to shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or leave a comment! In general it seems like there are so many pro wrestling fans out there right now but there's also a million different outlets they're digesting content through. Hitting a significant portion of fans is no easy task.
5. Monetize. This is where we have totally failed. And it's important to stress that this is very intentionally last on the list. But I personally hoped that through AdSense we'd generate a little income to make the investment of time all that much easier to justify. Well AdSense banned us with no explanation, as it seems they are prone to do, and the other ad companies we've used (PopAds and Infolinks) have largely been spam bullshit. For the time being we're going ad-free and instead we've added a PayPal donation button to the top right hand side of the main page of the blog. We're looking into other options long term like Ezoic but our traffic is a long way off from qualifying. I could see some small amount of merch down the line but it would probably also be a long ways off given our current audience. Once again, if you have suggestions, don't hesitate to hit us up.
We're having a great time and see endless potential for future Mason Dixon Tri-state Outercontinental WWKD Champions. If you feel like throwing us a buck but don't see the donation button, it's probably because it only shows up on the desktop version of the site (http://pifprowrestling.blogspot.com/?m=0
). We certainly don't expect much, but John and I are blue-collar family men who love pizza and beer, and won't turn down some cash to buy said pizza and beer to fuel our late night wrestling viewing sessions. Like the one pictured below from just two weeks back.
CJD & JJZ
aka the FanCam Connection
1,200 miles were worth it just to mark out over Demolition VS Mil Mascaras/Tito Santana