Sports fans are some of the most loyal and obsessive type of fans, and their willingness to purchase team or sports memorabilia and products is legendary. A sports domain for fans can capitalize on this, offering sports memorabilia, books, videos, and fantasy sports games. Like any other site, a sports fan site lives or dies depending on how much web traffic it receives. Building traffic for any site is a slow process, often taking months before significant traffic is seen. There are, however, ways to increase traffic to a site.
Relevant content is vitally important to any site, but especially so to one for sports fans. Fans have a voracious curiosity about their favorite teams and sports. They want to know everything, from team lists and statistics, to what brand of sports equipment the team uses. A good sports fan site provides such material and more. The domain might include team statistics going back several decades, record and trophy holders, articles on the history of the sport, and any current news pertaining to the sport or team.
Regular updating of information on a sports domain is essential. New scores, rumors, trades, and news reports need to go up as soon as possible. Internet users are notoriously impatient, and if they can't find what they need on your site, they'll go somewhere else. Through regular updates, a fan site assures its viewers that they'll always find the information they need there.
Capitalize on the visual nature of sports by including video clips of events, interviews, and other items of interest (copyright permitting of course). Images and slide shows of sporting events can also increase site "stickiness," or how long visitors remain on the site. Message boards, chat rooms, and regularly updated blogs also attract people to fan sites. A sense of community and belonging is an important part of fandom for many sports fans, so create a setting where fans can meet to share thoughts on their favorite teams. Checking message boards and meeting in chat rooms with fellow fans greatly increases the amount of time people will spend on a sports domain.
If the object of the sports website is to make money, the site owner has several options. Memorabilia and sports-related products are obvious choices for an online store. The site may also be able to offer tickets to sporting events. Fantasy sports leagues are increasingly popular with fans, and fan sites often do well by either offering their own fantasy league or partnering with a fantasy league business. In addition to league subscriptions, fantasy leagues spawn further retail opportunities through books, magazines, and other items that heighten the league experience.
Stamps, trading cards, commemorative coins and other memorabilia are sold on the internet every day, often by collectors who have turned their knowledge and hobby into profitable businesses. There are no hard and fast rules for how to sell sports memorabilia online. Some sellers exclusively use online auctions, such as eBay, others prefer to maintain their own domains focused on memorabilia, and still others sell on auction sites using auction write-ups to link to their main online store.
A winning sports domain for memorabilia offers more than just trading cards or other collectibles. Successful sites are characterized by a love of the collectables and a thorough knowledge of the hobby. The best way to foster these traits is to provide additional content relating to memorabilia collecting.
Web content for collectors' sites can include articles on how to break into collecting, how to evaluate the condition and worth of an item, and how to care for a collection. When building such a site, you may also want to include definitions of standard terminology used by collectors and hobbyists. More personal content might include how you began collecting, stories about hunting down that perfect item for your collection, and breaking news about trading cards or other memorabilia.
Relevant content has two uses: it keeps visitors on your website longer (for every minute they're on the site, the chance of making a sale increases), and the search engines rate sites with relevant and regularly updated content well.
When selling items, you should provide as much visual information as possible. Take several pictures of the item, including close-ups of both special details and imperfections. Sports domains for memorabilia that use small pictures, or lists without pictures, tend to project a lack of confidence in their products to potential customers. The more accurate and complete the information is that you provide for items, the more trust you foster with site visitors.
Websites run by individuals with in-depth knowledge of collectibles can offer custom orders if items are not in stock. Hard-to-find collectibles may take time to track down, but customers requesting such items are usually prepared to pay well for your expertise and legwork.
Another key aspect to building a sports domain for collectors is fostering return business. Offering a free newsletter to subscribers can considerably increase return traffic to your website. When putting together a newsletter, include new product announcements, discussions on collecting, collecting tips from readers, or contest announcements. While newsletters do require your time to prepare, newsletter articles can often be added to the website as well, increasing the amount of site content.
Finally, many sports collecting related websites arise out of the site owner's love of collecting. If your website is an extension of your hobby, remember to keep the website fun for yourself, as well as potential customers. Not only does this increase your likelihood of maintaining the site, but a love of your hobby almost always comes across to site visitors, leaving them with a positive opinion of the website and a willingness to reccommend the site to other collectors.