Friday, July 20, 2007

OWO gets props

The Palm Beach Post ran an article today about sports blogging, and one of the featured bloggers was none other then Off Wing Opinion's Eric McErlain.

In 2002, McErlain launched his Washington Capitals blog, OffWingOpinion.com, from his one-bedroom apartment in Reston, Va. He occasionally went to games and watched the rest on television, blogging whenever he wasn't "busy with stuff that paid the bills."

Three years later, his blog was ready to yield rent money.

As McErlain retells it, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis discovered it at the beginning of the 2005-06 season while doing a Web search on Washington left wing Alexander Ovechkin. Intrigued by the site, Leonsis invited McErlain to join him in his luxury box for a game.

"I asked him questions all night long and he was very forthcoming," said McErlain, who works in Web communications for the Nuclear Energy Institute, a policy organization. "As a follow-up, I wrote to him that blogs are a great way to reach out to the fans."

Eventually the dialogue between McErlain and Leonsis turned to the topic of a season-long media credential. Like any pro sports team, the Capitals already had a clear policy for mainstream media members, but not for bloggers. As a condition for access, the Capitals asked McErlain to write a "Bloggers' Bill of Rights" - bloggers must demonstrate a solid track record of covering the team, submit readership statistics, and act professionally while in press areas - before agreeing to issue a full-season credential in 2006-07.

"I wrote about anything I might see," said McErlain, who drew more than 50,000 unique visitors last month. "As soon as the game ended, I published my notes and then ran down to the locker room. More often than not, we were the first site with coverage up after the game.

"I'm to the point now where I have to declare income from my blog on taxes. The profits outweigh the expenses and the blog has driven other work to me that I wouldn't have otherwise gotten: a weekly column on NBCsports.com and I'm the lead blogger at NHL Fanhouse on AOL."

I really enjoy Off Wing Opinion and if you have not read it, head on over there. Eric really has his ear to the ground of the hockey world. Woot for Eric!

2 comments:

knicksgrl0917 said...
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knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here