Site Updates: Job Openings, Massive Site Upgrades, and Upcoming Coverage

My first goal when switching the site over to a pay site was to make sure we had increased live coverage of every level of the minor league system. So far, that has been a huge success. Not only do we have writers who cover every team, but I’ve been able to travel to Pittsburgh, Altoona, and West Virginia for additional live coverage in the first month and a half of the season.

Under the new subscription model, the site has already brought in more revenue in 2015 than we had in 2014. That’s a fantastic change from the trend under the ad model, which actually saw the site stay at the same revenue pace, despite the addition of three million extra page views from 2012-13, and another million extra views in 2014. And unlike the old model, where increased interest didn’t equal increased revenues, the new model allows us to plan ahead to do a lot more.

With the short-season leagues approaching, we will be expanding our minor league coverage further, adding writers in Morgantown and Bristol. This is a big change from last year. We covered a few Jamestown games last year, but most of our coverage of these players came in extended Spring Training, or during instructs at the end of the year (which was limited due to our playoff coverage — we’ll be able to do both this year, assuming the Pirates pull it together and make the playoffs). This year we’ll actually have regular updates of the draft picks, and well before the instructional leagues begin.

Since the next month is going to be busy with the draft, I wanted to take this time to post the jobs for Morgantown and Bristol. If you live in these areas, and are interested in the position, send me an e-mail (tim@piratesprospects.com) with your qualifications. We’re also looking for more coverage of West Virginia in the Charleston area, so e-mail if you are interested (or pass this along if you know of someone who lives in one of these areas who might be a fit).

Once we add the short-season writers, we will be up to eight writers contributing to the site, along with our photographer, David Hague. And there will be more to come after that. We’re only a little over a month into the subscription model, and I’ve still got some big plans as we continue to grow, with a few deals in the works that I hope to let you know more about later. As for the site upgrades…

Stats Database and an App

I mentioned above that the guaranteed revenue allows us to do more things by planning ahead. We’ve had questions about adding stats to the nightly Prospect Watch, along with other areas of the site. We’re currently in the early process of building a stats database, which will add a ton of great features and resources to the site. I hope to have more information on this subject next week, with more details on the project. The database will cost about $4,000, and is something that was only made possible by your subscriptions.

After the database is finished, we will be adding an app. I wanted to wait on the app until the stats were finished, so that we could incorporate the stats into the app. I’ve never liked the idea of an app that just has a list of articles. I want to do something more when we eventually create our app.

Aside from the new site design, which featured the removal of our rotating ad networks, this will be the first major upgrade to the site. My current estimate is that the combined project of the stats and an app will cost at least $15,000. Once again, that’s made possible by your subscriptions, and it’s an upgrade I want to make to continue providing as much value as I can to those subscriptions.

The Best Ways to Subscribe

For those who haven’t subscribed yet, we offer three value priced plans. The monthly plan is $2.99, which means you get the best coverage of the Pirates’ minor league system for the price of one cup of coffee. The Annual plan is $29.99, which comes out to $2.50 a month. Our three-year plan offers more savings, at $79.99 total, which is just under $2.25 per month. All three plans can be found on our subscription page.

Our best deal for you comes through our partnership with DraftKings. If you are unfamiliar with DraftKings, they are a daily fantasy sports site, where you can win money all based off a one-night fantasy sports contest. If you are new to DraftKings, and sign up through the site, they are offering a free one-year Pirates Prospects subscription with your sign up, and a minimum $5 bonus. On top of the one year subscription, they are offering even more value. Here is a quick breakdown to show how amazing the deal is.

Sign up for a new DraftKings account, deposit at least $5, and enter your first contest.

-You will get a $3 voucher to enter your first contest, and you will get a 100% deposit bonus on your first deposit.

-E-mail Javier at DraftKings (Jvargas@draftkings.com) to let him know that you completed the first steps. He will then e-mail the confirmation to me for your free subscription ($29.99 value).

-As an example with the $5 minimum, you’d get $8 from DraftKings ($3 voucher + $5 bonus) and a subscription to the site, totaling $37.99 in value for your $5. Plus you’d get to use the deposit to try and win money playing fantasy sports.

This offer isn’t just for new subscribers to Pirates Prospects. Anyone who currently has a subscription can also participate in this promotion to extend their subscription. I’ll add the free year on to your current plan. Keep in mind this promotion only works for new DraftKings customers.

Upcoming Site Coverage

I don’t think there has been a week where we haven’t had live coverage on the site. In fact, this last week was one of the slowest weeks of the year so far for live coverage, due to the fact that most teams were on the road, and Bradenton had a lot of guys out with an illness. We still had live reports from Altoona, Bradenton, and extended Spring Training. Here is a rundown of the live coverage to expect in the coming week.

**Indianapolis will be returning home on Thursday, and Ryan Palencer will be covering the games.

**Sean McCool will have live coverage of Altoona when they return home next Friday.

**John Dreker will be covering West Virginia briefly while they are in Lakewood at the start of the week.

**With Bradenton on the road this weekend, I’m taking the weekend off, for my first actual break since before Spring Training began. I’ll have coverage when they return home on Tuesday. I’m also hoping to have more extended Spring Training coverage this week, with more injury updates.

**The DSL season starts next Saturday, and John Dreker will have his preview next Friday. My goal is to have some live coverage from down in the Dominican for a few days this year, with a report on the Dominican Academy.

**While on the subject of travel, I’m also currently planning out my next road trip to see one of the affiliates. This will most likely be Indianapolis.

  • Thanks tim for all the info it is much appreciated. We just got back from watching the marauders in lakeland against the tigers farm team. Cody dickson impressed me with his ability to get out of a jam, mcguire looks like a big league catcher along with jones, osuna and others all look to be on the uptick just like tim said. We hope to go back tommorow and sunday. it looks to me like the pirates future is bright.

  • Tim, it would be interesting to see the number of subscribers and site traffic on a monthly basis.

    • Brian Finamore
      May 22, 2015 2:59 pm

      I think Tim has already been more transparent than he needs to be on his numbers. It’s a business and that’s typically confidential data that he does not need to share with his reader base. He’s been very kind to share some metrics and revenues thus far because some people questioned the decision to move to a subscription model, but at this point I think we should all just enjoy the content and let Tim run his business.

    • Jeffrey Bruner
      May 23, 2015 5:39 pm

      I’ll second that — Tim has already been more upfront than about 99% of website owners. I think that he’s moving ahead with $15,000 worth of upgrades says plenty about how well things are going so far.

  • pantherfan83
    May 22, 2015 11:46 am

    Excellent news and work. Thanks to the team for all you do.

    Do you hear of any pirate management or players/prospects that use this site for reference?

    • Just the Nutting plants monitoring Tim’s shillyness.

      Remember the good ole days when that was an actual thing people thought? Bring back the comment trolls!

      Seriously though, despite my contributions I think the quality of discussion is so much better post-subscription. Glad Tim made the move.

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