"As you can see, two of our Packers friends from Liverpool, England, were reading our site Sunday afternoon. And we were thinking that it probably wasn’t Paul or Ringo.Editor’s note: Proceed with caution – this is a piece of unashamed promotion of lombardiave.com, not necessarily because we like to toot our own horn, but because we want to show you how far we’ve come with the help of you, our readers and because we have such a diverse and interesting group of people writing for the site. Believe me when I say the monetary rewards for producing this site are literally pennies for the amount of time spent, but the overall rewards are immeasurable. Yes, we love doing this because first of all, we love the Green Bay Packers, and second of all, because we feel that there are so many of you out there dying to soak up any news about the team that you possibly can. This is all for you."
To you, the readers here at Lombardiave.com, I have two simple words: Thank you!
You see, we’ve worked really hard over the past couple of years raising this site from the ground level up to what it is today – what we feel is a great site covering the Green Bay Packers. That’s because of two things – you, the reader, and the great staff we’ve added the past few months. Without their timely and sometimes unusual takes on one of the oldest of NFL franchises all of this wouldn’t be possible.
And without you, the reader, we wouldn’t be here at all.
So, again, Thank You!
The reason I write this is because of what I’ve seen developing recently. Yes, the bulk of our readers come from across every state in the Union. However, we also have international readers. I’ve noted them in Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Far East and, of course in the British Isles, among others.
In fact, today, at about 2:30 p.m. CST, I noted two readers from Liverpool, England (see photographs). For a moment, I thought it could be Paul and Ringo, but then thought again – I’m sure they don’t still live in their hometown, now could they?
I’m not being flippant, because I know that all of our readers are friends and fans who love the Green Bay Packers – well, at least most of our readers are. So, I’m sure the two folks in Liverpool are just that and are clicking on our website because they want to see and read about what’s up with the Packers.
With that said, I’ve also got to provide you a piece that was recently posted on our parent site, fansided.com. It’s a piece spotlighting Lombardiave because of the great growth we’ve had over the past year – again due to our readers and our great staff. As an aside, I also ask that you visit all of the NFL-related sites that are a part of fansided.com. You talk about an awesome network of football sites – good gosh, you won’t find a better group of people and sites on the planet – and I really mean that.
Though I feel we have much work to do to continue to improve our site here, and this piece is provided to show how far we’ve come, I feel that the future for more growth is just around the corner – with your help, of course.
I must also add that a great extension of our home site is the addition of our social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve been able to connect with many of you through these sites and have extended our reach by leaps and bounds by sharing content with people across the globe. It’s truly an amazing connection. If you haven’t already liked us on Facebook and followed us on Twitter, please do so. We will follow back and correspond in a timely and respectful manner.
Anyway, here’s what was posted at fansided.com. I blush a bit at the self-promotion, but know that our success is because of you.
FanSided Spotlight: Lombardi Ave
-Patrick Allen (He’s the Vice President of Content for the FanSided Network).
One of the great FanSided NFL success stories of the 2012 season was Lombardi Ave, our Green Bay Packers site. It might be easy to think the site’s success is simply due to the fact that it is devoted to one of the NFL’s most popular teams. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Covering a good/popular team guarantees you nothing and covering a bad/unpopular team doesn’t keep a site from being one of the network’s best. Lombardi Ave is a testament to that fact.
Ray Rivard has been leading that site for us for a little over a year and a half but at first he was just meeting the minimum posting requirements and didn’t have much of a staff to help strengthen the site. While even a minimum level of consistent content was an improvement over what the site had received, the site was a mediocre to poor performer within FanSided NFL and it wasn’t ever going to get Lombardi Ave to the 90,000 visit mark the site hit last month.
As editors, I think it is easy to focus on our individual posting requirements while pushing other responsibilities of the editor position to the back burner. Ray’s work at Lombardi Ave is a perfect example of what can happen when an editor embraces the totality of his or her role. Perseverance in staffing has paid off as Lombardi Ave now has a great group of writers (shout out!) that are nearing 100 posts per month and a commitment to using facebook and twitter as an active way to interact with fans is paying off in a big way.
We talk a lot about how being on top of hot news stories can pay off with big traffic numbers. One of the big changes at Lombardi Ave has been taking that message to heart but extending the concept beyond just posting on the site and applying it to social media as well. I told Ray earlier this week that I would be working on a spotlight post on him and the site and asked him for a few thoughts and this is one of the things he touched on:
"Much of the growth of the site has been accomplished by being on top of huge stories. There are three recent events that really helped us. The first was 12-12-12, better known last year as Aaron Rodgers Day. We posted like crazy on that day and were also closely connected to Jennifer Brilowski – the woman who started the Aaron Rodgers Day movement and had a Facebook page with literally thousands of followers. Because she was so impressed with lombardiave.com and our Facebook page, she gave us plugs continually and many of our followers came from her connection.The second was Donald Driver’s retirement celebration. The event was broadcast live and I posted on Facebook and Twitter pictures and comments live as they were happening. Readers loved it. As a staff, we also prepared several posts about Donald Driver that we planned and put up at various times throughout the day. The fanbase’s love of Donald Driver was incredible and our efforts really paid off.The last was just this past week when Charles Woodson was released by the Packers. I caught wind of it within minutes of Woodson tweeting about it. I quickly put a post together about it and the hits on the site went through the roof. From there, we put together posts about Woodson, his future, his past, pictures, videos, the whole works and it REALLY paid off."
Getting connected with other fan facebook pages and an active approach there has allowed Lombardi Ave’s facebook page to explode to over 1,800 likes. Facebook accounted for nearly 6,300 visits to the site last month. Overall, the site has posted five consecutive months of increasing visit counts.
Ray closed his email of thoughts to me with what I believe to be the best advice any site editor can take to heart:
"In addition, know that it doesn’t come all at once. It takes hard work, it takes passion and the belief that you can have the best team fan site out there. Fansided provides the base from which to start, but it’s up to you to make it happen.Take the ride … it’s a blast."
Great words, Ray. I couldn’t have said it better myself.