Hi guys and gals! The thermometer in your neck of the woods might be topping out in excess of 100° these days, but there are thousands of people evidently looking forward to some skiing and snowboarding in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic in a few months! Here we are in mid August and we are seeing nearly TWICE as many daily visitors to SkiNC and SkiSoutheast as last summer!
I was actually speaking with some potential clients today about search engine ranking and traffic, and I hopped over to our Urchin stats package to show him how the program works and I could not believe it when I saw that we have been pulling nearly 4100 unique visitors per day on SkiNC.com and 6700 unique visitors per day on SkiSoutheast.com. That is nearly 11,000 unique visitors per day on a ski and snowboard website (PER DAY!) in the hottest days of Summer! I could elaborate more on that, but I will save it for another day. The sheer growth of our visitation got me to thinking about how busy we are probably going to be during the upcoming season.
Yours truly has been writing 98% of all of the stories and articles posted on these websites for eleven seasons. That’s more than 1500 days of posting the resort conditions, compiling all of the volunteer reports and photos of the day, and attempting to write something relative to the day. After some 3000 articles and stories I’m exploring the idea of "passing the torch".
Without going into great detail here, my "real business" has outgrown my capability to handle it properly AND spend 5-6 hours a day on the ski websites. Many know that my real job is running a web design company and although we have grown that staff to thirteen full time employees I seem to spend all of my time on the phone dealing with new clients. That is a wonderful problem to have, but I can not foresee being able to give justice to that continued growth AND the nearly 5.7 million visitors that the ski websites saw last season. (During the 140-150 days that we post daily stories we see from 20,000-120,000 visitors per day, with peaks during heavy snows.)
A couple of seasons ago I was discussing my inability to do SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com justice with my good friend, Joe Stevens (who is a regular columnist with this website). If I had my preference, I’d sell my design business (800 clients in 23 states, Israel and Jamaica-MON) and do nothing but visit all of the ski areas and make SkiSoutheast.com and SkiNC.com ten times better than it is now. I’d love to take a leave of absence from October 1st through April 15th or so, but that isn’t really do-able either. Such is life.
So I’m thinking that my options are to:
A. Sell SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com to someone who would grow it to enormous proportions.
B. Hire and incorporate as much paid and volunteer help as needed to do the site justice, with the idea of providing input where needed.
C. Simply AUTOMATE SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com to provide some generic content and the SSAA reports and "buy myself" a year off.
D. Handle both my design business, SkiNC and SkiSoutheast again this year and probably be on the news later this winter for shooting passersby from some rooftop somewhere!
The right money and person(s) would have to come along to accomplish "A" and "C" is not something I’d want to do, and of course I WON’T let "D" happen, so that pretty much leaves me with option "B".
To that end, if you are interested taking over SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com this winter, email me at [email protected]
Requirements are. No wait, let me put that in CAPS – REQUIREMENTS ARE:
1. You MUST be able to write somewhat equal to or better than me! Sample stories will be requested and I will be the sole judge.
2. You MUST be reliable to get up EVERY MORNING – seven days a week – at 6am or so and contact, compile and post the slope conditions for EVERY resort in the Southeast. (Yes even when you are traveling, sick, tired and really don’t want to.)
3. You MUST be able to do a little emailing, photo resizing, posting of all good photos of the day, saving the best submissions, and, oh yes – write a story or two of hopeful interest to the readers.
4. You MUST be unbiased. (I will certainly get a couple of emails here.) But personal favorites and dislikes can’t enter into the picture (or stories).
5. You MUST have some pretty decent patience (JOB-like if possible) to reply to tons of emails from people asking pretty much the same questions daily. (Questions like, "Will it be snowing on December 24th at Canaan Valley?" are common and will need to be answered as politely as possible while chewing on a pencil to prevent tooth wear and tear.)
6. You MUST be able to award all of the contest winners (free vacations and free lift passes) without reading about "Sammy who lost his dog, his wife, his girlfriend, his boyfriend and who JUST needs two lift passes to cure his entire world."
There are other duties too numerous to mention and keep you guys reading, but one of the more important ones would be to keep at least an occasional look at the messageboard to make sure that the guys over there are not posting this month’s Playmate of the Month on the board pages. (Admittedly, they have done an amazing job of self-policing lately.)
There ARE some great perks like dealing with all of the wonderful managers, owners, marketing and communications people at the different resorts of our region. (That TRULY IS COOL…you guys and gals are the BOMB…and quite frankly the reason why yours truly has done the job for eleven straight seasons.) There’s also some free skiing all across the region. That is cool as heck.
Pay will depend on the experience and true gifts that candidates bring to the table. Ability to travel to the many ski areas and help to GROW the websites would be great. Some marketing skills would be wonderful as well. Computer access is a MUST, and some knowledge of photo editing would be helpful although we could train. You can work from home, and the road during the period from the first day of ski season through the last day…and potential to grow into a full time position is possible.
If you’re interested send your contact information, resume, statement of why we should choose you to [email protected] .
WE ARE SEEKING VOLUNTEERS AGAIN THIS SEASON AS WELL!
If you would be willing to share your reports, thoughts, stories, photos and videos of our ski areas this coming season, we need you! Please email or signup to do On Snow Reports again this season. Depending on how we can grow the sites this season, we’ll try to reward our best reporters this season!
Until Next Time…pass the word. And see you at the lake!