Most of you probably know, but for those who are new, my name is Doug Gray. I’ve been running RedsMinorLeagues.com since January of 2006 where I have covered what’s been going on in the Cincinnati Reds minor league farm system. It has been mostly a full time job for me for several years now. Since 2009 I have been a credentialed media member for all of the full season teams that have been affiliates of the organization.
I've been keeping an eye on Patreon for over a year now as a possible replacement option for the sites previous subscription model and I have liked what I've seen. After months of deliberation I decided to make the jump to this platform, hoping that it's the best thing for both myself and for you, the readers of the site.
Perks of donating
All content on RedsMinorLeagues.com is going to be free for everyone moving forward. Those who donate and support the site will however get a few perks.
- During the season – morning emails with notable performances and notes from the previous night’s games will be waiting in your inbox.
- Early access to interviews and scouting reports that will go up on the site days later.
- The ability to submit questions for player/coach/minor league development guys for interviews, and mailbag questions in the format that we have done in the past in the All Questions Answered topics.
Why the move to Patreon?
As many of you know the site has been supported by both advertising and a subscription based model for the past few years. The subscription model that I’ve been using hasn’t kept up with the rate at which the sites traffic has grown over the years. One thing that I’ve heard from more than a handful of people over the years was because it was difficult to sign up for with the system that was in place. Patreon represents a much better way for those who want to support the content to “donate” or “subscribe” than the current system does. It also seems like it will make things easier for me when it comes to the workflow of providing the content to the readers.
There is certainly some risk involved in making this move. Without requiring people to pay to access the content on the site some people will choose to not support it via money that otherwise may have. With the previous model, I had built up a small amount of subscribers that provided me with income that along with the advertising money was enough to scrape by. Changing the entire format and asking all of those people to re-sign up for a new format, as well as asking those who haven’t supported things via that model in the past could leave me on the wrong side of things.
My hope is that being open about everything (both monetarily and the reasoning behind everything), and providing quality content for everyone will move this venture forward and let it grow beyond what the previous model was doing. Making everything available to anyone who shows up, and making the content easier to find for those looking in search engines for it, will continue to grow the user base, which in turn will also make the site better and easier to provide more quality content.
The goal of the new model
The main goal is to keep the website going. As noted above, the growth in traffic has been strong over the last few years. While that has helped out, between the subscriptions and ad rates (which vary wildly from month-to-month), it’s gotten tougher as I’ve gotten older to continue to operating the site on the amount of money it’s brought in.
I will be fully committed to keeping the site going for the rest of the year regardless of how this new model turns out. I am hoping for the best and with your support, to keep the site going forever. Either way, it’s going to continue through at least the end of the year no matter how things go.
The other goal is be able to just provide more content. That will require enough people to be interested enough to support everything that goes on at the site. Expanding the in-person coverage, adding other contributors to the site and provide overall better and more in-depth coverage of the players, organization and individual teams.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me: [email protected]