As I said in the December Prediction Contest post right below this one, I'm not sure what the prize for the December contest will be. I have to figure out something that's nice enough to reward and say "Thank You" to readers/entrants but also something affordable enough that I can reasonably duplicate it (or something like it) seven times over during the season without overwhelming my wallet.
You see, I have this grand plan. For a while, at least, every dime I make from advertising at this site will go back into the site. This is my little coffee shop, my little corner bar in this online world, and it's partly yours too. And I want to make it the best one possible. Things like contests and thank-yous and improving the quality and quantity of readership (as well as of my writing) are all a part of that.
Here's the flaw in the plan: there's no advertising yet. Those banner ads you see at the top of the site and on the comments page are 100% for the network that hosts this site. I don't see dime one from them. I'm going to keep doing the contests because they're great fun, and I'm committed to moving forward with other plans too even if it kills me (or more likely my wife will kill me..."Your blog cost us HOW MUCH?!?!?") but it would be easier, and the "Thank You" gestures a lot nicer, with some backing.
I'm not asking for charity here. We get a substantial amount of hits for a site of this nature, and especially for one that's relatively new and not name-branded like Blazers.com or Oregonlive. Our visitors easily run into the thousands every week, and our page views into the tens of thousands. And in case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people who do more than just browse here. They really make it their Blazer home and contribute faithfully and with commitment and heart.
If you own a company that could benefit by a little exposure to, and goodwill from, the faithful Blazer fans from all walks of life that come here, or if you're part of a company like that, or if you know somebody who owns a company like that, consider taking out an ad. If you're a restaurant or a coffee shop or a mom and pop store I'll even push you myself and make sure everybody knows what you're doing.
A couple hundred dollars would keep us in contest prizes for a year. A couple hundred more would make free or low-cost t-shirts with "Blazersedge.com" tastefully placed on the front and this year's motto "Be There, Be Loud" emblazoned on the back available to folks who go to games. And there are more ideas in the hopper too.
That's my shameless plug. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...