In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I reminisce while having a chat with Douglas Linn from QuietSpeculation.com, a website and community that serves those who are interested in the popular card dueling game called Magic the Gathering, or MTG for short. More specifically, he and his partner's site provide a platform and information for selling, trading and price forecasting of MTG cards used in the game.
A lot of you know I was (and forever will be) a marching band nerd ever since high school. Well, in addition to that, I was also a hardcore Magic the Gathering player throughout middle school and high school.
Now that I think about it, maybe that's why I didn't have my first girlfriend until my sophomore year of college…
Anyway, joking aside (sort of), MTG an awesome game and I'm not afraid to admit that I played. Over 12 million other people know where I'm coming from, and although this was a hobby for me, for some people it became so much more. Expert players have made a career out of it.
For Doug and his partner, the game has allowed them both to take a hobby they love and monetize it to earn some decent cash on the side. They each still have their full-time jobs, but the site is growing steadily and more than that, it allows them to get paid to do what they love and bring people together to share the experience.
When it comes to monetizing hobbies, we've already been inspired by people like Lain Ehmann (from Podcast Session #37) who is making an incredible 6-figures in the scrapbooking industry. Doug and Kelly's monetization model, specifically for a hobby niche, is something we haven't yet covered on the SPI podcast. Their shift from a free blogspot blog to what is now a self-hosted, membership website is extremely educational, and I think it's useful to hear it from the vantage point of someone who still has a full time position elsewhere.
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- How QuietSpeculation.com progressed from a blog with free information, to a membership site and how that affected readership.
- How Doug and Kelly get their members to stay paying members for an average of 2.5 years!
- Why a staff of writers is extremely important – for themselves as the owners, the community of paying members, and the writers too.
- Analytics and calculations used to determine the health of their business.
- Pricing strategies for old and new members for a hobby community.
- Why Doug refuses to use exclamation points in his emails! <-hehe
- How they botched an attempt to sell an eBook to their subscribers, and what they learned from the process.
- Plus much more!
Click the button to the right to download the whole episode in PDF form from start to finish.