In two months, Pirates Prospects will be turning ten years old. The site was created in January 2009, and has now covered ten seasons of the Pittsburgh Pirates and their farm system. There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout that time, with some related to finding the best approach for this site, some due to the current media landscape, and some tied to the success or struggles of the Pirates.
Today is Small Business Saturday, when the theme is to support small businesses. The best way to support us is by word of mouth. We also have some deals on the 2019 Prospect Guide, gift subscriptions, and previous Prospect Guides.
Like I do every year on this day, I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for their support over the years, and illustrate how important that support has been.
This site started as a side project, but I quickly tried to turn it into my full-time job. That happened in 2011 after the first release of the Prospect Guide. There were only about 200 copies sold that first year, but that was enough to pair with the advertising money to allow me to focus on this full-time.
At that time I was fortunate enough to have very few living expenses. I lived in my grandma’s house after she had to move in with my parents. I borrowed a car from my parents when I needed to go somewhere, such as when I was taking a road trip to cover games.
The site continued to grow, to the point where it was a real job that paid for all normal expenses. By 2012, I could afford my own car. By 2013, I could afford my own place. The ad money started to decline around 2014, so we switched to a subscription site in 2015, and we were able to cover a lot more around the organization.
I breezed through a lot of years there, but in each year there were ups and downs. There were times when I had to find another source of income, or sell things to make ends meet. That increased the last two years, as interest in the Pirates has declined.
This is a common story. It’s the story of a lot of small businesses. You take an idea, build it up from nothing, and even if it works out, you’ve got a constant struggle to keep it going. And the thing that makes all of this work is the customer.
Without you guys, this site would have never gotten off the ground in 2010.
Without you guys, this site might have been dead after 2-3 years, rather than seeing steady growth.
Without you guys, this site definitely would have been dead in 2015. Instead, we saw a successful switch to a subscription site.
The last two years have been a reminder that this site doesn’t work without you guys. Without the support shown during the hard times, this site wouldn’t be open right now.
This site also wouldn’t be open right now without our corporate sponsorship with Giant Eagle. They’ve got some great deals going with their Curbside Express program, with free pickup, and deliveries starting at $5.95. This site is brought to you by Giant Eagle, and this is a case where the “brought to you by” part is literal, as the site might not be around without them. So show them some support as well, and definitely take advantage of the deal they have going.
You guys fuel this site. You’ve made it all possible from day one. So for that, I thank you on behalf of myself, my family, and everyone who has worked for the site these last ten years.
Today is Small Business Saturday, and the theme is to give your support to small businesses. The best support we can get is word of mouth referrals. So if there’s one thing I could ask of you today, it would be to tell one other person about Pirates Prospects and why you follow the site.
If you’d like to do more to support the site, we have a few deals for the weekend:
**You can pre-order the 2019 Prospect Guide and get the Mid-Season Top 50 for free.
**All previous Prospect Guide eBooks are reduced to a huge discount.
**Gift Subscriptions are also discounted to our lowest rates.
**If you are a business owner, contact us about sponsorship opportunities so that we can promote your business on the site. Email email@example.com for more information.