I’ve been writing the Kingdom for the last six and a half years. Traffic for the blog is what you would expect for a blog about someone’s personal life. My promotional efforts for the blog have consisted of cross-posting entries to my Facebook wall and Twitter feed and sponsoring a page on BaseballReference.com.
For the last three years (maybe longer), I sponsored the player page of Hideki Irabu. Cost me about $20 each year. According to my Google Analytics numbers, since early 2008, Baseball Reference has sent 271 visitors my way. I wasn’t sponsoring the page for the traffic, but rather to recognize a player that I had been a fan of. The message was simple, something that I had written on the blog about Irabu:
For two months in 1998, Irabu was the best starting pitcher on what would become the greatest team in baseball. King Tom still has two Hideki Irabu t-shirts.
Last week, I got an e-mail from Baseball Reference saying my sponsorship fee was going up to $80. I decided to pass. Today, I went to Irabu’s page and now they’re asking for $135 to sponsor the page for a year. I can kind of understand the hike, Irabu’s name was unfortunately in the news last year.
I don’t begrudge Baseball Reference trying to make some money. Their site is great and I liked supporting them. But at the same time, it’s a lot of money to spend for less traffic than I got from Blogs.4Bauer.com over the past four years. I may sponsor a page in the future (there are plenty of players on the Yankees teams of the 90s that aren’t taken yet).
But for now, I’ll just rely on people Googling Hideki Irabu rather than getting here through his Baseball Reference page.