This week’s peer review is for Great White Sport, a sports blog focused on events and athletes specifically in Canada.
There are a lot of great things about this site that I noticed right away. Specifically, the homepage (which is the featured image for this post) is great because it combines an overview of what the site is about while also including a “Recent Posts” section. I am also a fan of the header and the carousal of images.
Now, I will get into the topic of monetization. In your Process Post #10, you mentioned that you were content with not monetizing your site right now, which I can definitely relate to. However, your site does have potential to monetize, so I will discuss ways you could do that. You mentioned that you do not want so many ads that your content would be covered, and I have to agree- if I was a user, I would probably leave an ad-cluttered site pretty quickly. I think that you could still make a decent amount of money if you filter advertisement to be related to your content. There are plenty of sports-oriented companies that I am sure would love to be featured on your site one day!
Another idea that may work in your favour is crowdfunding/sponsorship from institutions. According to Vauhini Vara’s 2015 article “Survival Strategies for Local Journalism”, advertising alone may not be enough if you want a steady stream of revenue from your site. If you were to ask your readers for a donation to keep your site going, I bet many of them would do it. It is like what guest lecturer Trevor Battye said- people want to help you! The more personal you get in asking, the more likely your readers will contribute to the site.
Next, I have a couple of suggestions that could help your site, regardless of whether you monetize it or not. First, I think you should rearrange your menu order.
All the right elements are there, only “Contact” should be moved to the last position, right after “Pub 101 Coursework”. This seems to be an unspoken rule of the way a menu should be set up, according to our T.A., because normally someone would go to contact you after reading through the written work.
Another suggestion I have is that you install a contact form. You currently have your university email on display, which may attract spam by being so openly available on your site (I won’t include a picture here so that you can keep that information private). Installing a contact form will add an extra level of professionalism to your site (very important if you ever want to monetize); it should be painless if you follow the steps here.
Finally, I noticed that your site is currently unsecure.
I used the Really Simple SSL plugin to solve fix this problem, and it only took a few minutes to do! SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it shows that a site is secure and that the link between the server and the client is encrypted. This is another important step to take to protect the privacy of you and your readers, especially if you do decide to monetize your site.
Overall, I really enjoyed this site. The quality of your work is excellent, and I can tell that you are passionate about sports and running this blog. If you ever change your mind about monetization, I am sure that you can do it in a way that does not interfere with your content.