DolphinsTalk.com – source for all things relating to the Miami Dolphins football team
Michael Oliva, Owner/Lead Columnist/Podcast host/Managing Editor of DolphinsTalk.com
Business Name and what it does
DolphinsTalk.com is your one-stop source for all things relating to the Miami Dolphins football team. We are the place for all up-to-date Miami Dolphins news with original commentary, podcasts, and video as well.
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
I created the website DolphinsTalk.com in 2011 to be a one-stop shop for all things Miami Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins are one of the legendary NFL organizations, and being a fan of the team, I wanted to create a place for all Miami Dolphins fans to come to each day, multiple times a day, to get the up-to-date news, rumors, information, podcasts, and video regarding the
latest happenings with the team.
Also, I thought I had a different point of view on the team and what was taking place both on and off the field that others would find interesting. Not having the typical “reporters” background, I felt through my blog and podcasts, I could offer a different perspective that people would enjoy hearing. Share a point of view that was lacking in the marketplace at the time on how NFL teams were covered.
Everything I saw in NFL coverage was very black and white. Good/Bad or Positive/Negative in how news and information were shared with the general public. I felt with NFL coverage regarding players or the games, there is a large area of gray that often isn’t spoken about. Things aren’t black or white or positive or negative; there is a level of nuance that is often ignored. With the success of our website and how it has grown over the 11 years, my original thought was
The challenges the business/market is facing
There are many challenges in the business and marketplace at this time. Back in 2011, there were only a few blogs/websites dedicated to the Miami Dolphins and even fewer podcasts. Now because of improved technology and the ability for anyone to record a podcast or create a website, anyone can start something overnight. Also, more competition means more of a challenge to get people’s eyeballs on your work and ears tuned into your podcast.
Building a brand as we have at DolphinsTalk is not easy, and maintaining it is even a more significant challenge. I often joke that it took me ten years to be an overnight success, and I am kidding when I say that there is a lot of truth in that statement as well. It isn’t only competition for readers and listeners. It is also a competition for advertisers. With the economy the way it is now in 2022, companies have either cut their advertising budgets or reduced them significantly. To lock in an advertiser who wants to promote their product on your platform is more difficult now than it was a few years back.
Also, one of the biggest challenges is “cancel culture.” In society today people are waiting for you to make one slip up or say the wrong thing on a podcast, in a blog, or on a social media platform. And if you do, even if it’s an innocent mistake, they will jump on it and look to target your advertisers and hurt your business. Cancel Culture wasn’t a thing in 2011 when I started this website, and now some eleven years later it is something all content creators have to be aware of. It takes years to gain credibility, but you can lose it all in a matter of minutes.
The opportunities the business/market is facing
Today many opportunities exist in this market for websites like ours at DolphinsTalk.com. For one, sites like ours were once, and not too long ago, looked down upon as “just blogs” or “some guy in his mom’s basement talking about something he knows nothing about.” Those narratives and stigmas are long gone. Many blogs and websites have gone mainstream and have credibility once they reach a certain status.
In the past two years, I haven’t had to reach out to one advertiser who wants to promote a product with us; I have to turn many away as we have filled up all of our advertising space on the podcast and website. They come to us now, we don’t have to go hunting for them.
We have legitimate media members asking us to come on our podcasts as a guest when they have something to promote or if they want to gain exposure to continue to build their brand. We often get asked by local or national radio broadcasts to come on for a few minutes to talk about a hot topic when the Miami Dolphins are in the news as subject matter experts. I was recently asked to be on the local CBS Cleveland station to talk about the Miami Dolphins when the NFL handed down a punishment for tampering.
If you consistently put out a quality product, it is easier in 2022 to get credibility and build your brand than it was ten years ago or so. Social media is a big part of that as well because of how quickly you can reach your consumers and interact with them instantaneously.
Advice to others about business
My advice to others about creating a website like ours and entering this world of blogging/reporting and podcasting is that the path to success is long and hard, but the payoff can be great once you start reaching your goals and milestones.
If you are in this for the money, save your time. You can make money at this, but it will take years to see a penny. In fact, for the first many years, you will work at a net loss and put out more money than you take in, if you take in any at all. If you are doing this for “fame” and hoping to get famous, again, save your time. You may get notoriety in running a successful blog, but odds are you won’t get famous.
There is no shortcut to fame and fortune in this industry!
Be prepared to put in long hours for many years to get a website like the one I have built and gotten off the ground and to be successful. I have invested thousands of hours and done a ton of tedious work behind the scenes that people have no clue about. When your buddies are at the bar watching a game on a Saturday night and having a few beers, you may need to be in front of a computer working on content or creating a graphic or logo for your site. While your friends and family are relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you may have to be writing or recording about breaking news that just happened.
Listening is also crucial. Understand that listening to feedback is ultra-important. And you can’t just listen to the positive feedback either. Yes, it’s nice to receive praise and hear people say great things about you and your product. But listen to the negative feedback and have self-reflection. It is difficult for people to hear criticism about themselves or their work, but if you try to remove the emotion from it and the gut feeling of lashing back, you will learn a lot from the negative feedback. I have learned so much over the years from the criticism and, sometimes, not-so-nice feedback I have gotten. Is it just someone being a jerk to you online? Sure, at times it is but you are putting yourself out there with an opinion, so you have to expect that. But other times, it’s people who are being honest, and if you can take that criticism, realize that is something I can improve on, then work on that and actually improve that, you have just grown as a person and made your product better.
Also, to run a successful blog and podcast, you need to know a little bit of everything. How to build, maintain, and run a physical website. You need audio and video capability regarding equipment, software, and platforms. You need marketing skills, and you must know how to navigate and grow social media channels. You must make connections in the industry and maintain them as well. And for all the things that you may not know right now, you have to learn and be self-taught. And if there is something you can’t learn, then you have to go find yourself someone who can help you.
This leads to my last bit of advice; you can’t do this alone! Build and have a team of people to work with you and help you on this journey. Understand that you are only one person, and while you may be the point person on the overall project, you will need help to build and grow this. I am so lucky to have a great team at DolphinsTalk.com, and many of the staff have been with me for years now. Tom, Josh, Aaron, Ian, Dante, Kevin D., Ryan, Evan, Steven, Kevin T., and Efrain, just to name a few.
Without them DolphinsTalk.com wouldn’t be what it is today.