Joshua Bacott started the JoeSportsFan blog at www.joesportsfan.com in 2003. But it wasn't until he met Matt Sebek three years later that the site really took off. "I have no Web-design skills at all," Bacott admits. "It looked horrendous."
Sebek was a Web designer who just happened to be interested in blogging about sports. And in one of those only-in-St.-Louis details, it turned out that the new acquaintances had actually attended the same high school a decade before: Saint Louis University High School.
The new-and-improved JoeSportsFan boasts contributions from Bacott, Sebek and freelance contributors Jason Major and Aaron Perlut, along with Sebek's clean, user-friendly design. It notched 1.2 million pageviews in 2010 and has attracted national attention, with both SportsIllustrated.cnn.com and Yahoo! linking to its posts.
There was another bit of national recognition that Bacott might have been just as happy without: In 2009 he found himself on the cover of PARADE magazine's annual "What They Earned" issue.
Like many bloggers, Bacott has never been tempted to quit his day job. A commercial real estate broker, he's happy that the site makes even a bit of money. It's a labor of love more than a business.
PARADE wasn't necessarily interested in that context. It reported that, as a sports blogger, Bacott made just a little more than $10,000 annually.
"I was proud to say I was the lowest-paid man on the cover," he says.