Members Posts: The Content Plan (+update)

Hello, 

Firstly I hope you’re well and keeping safe, which is most important. 

In the next couple of days I will be emailing members and posting an update – both the current racing circumstances and an abrupt decision by PayPal to close my business account, have brought forward my plans/decisions RE your subscriptions and the short term future (next 5/6 months) of the blog more generally. 

So, do keep an eye out on your inboxes, AND on this blog – I will post either tomorrow or Thursday with an important update. 

In the meantime, below you can find my thoughts on the shape of Members’ Content moving forwards, once racing returns. 

As always, any thoughts, ideas, opinions are always welcome. 

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Daily Members Posts: The Plan

Below I’ve detailed my plans for the members’ content moving forwards. Further thoughts on my approach to the week and timing of posts etc follow this.

Summary of Daily Post Structure

  1. Tips
  2. Monthly Trainers
  3. Trainer Track Profiles
  4. Other Micro Angles
  5. Horses To Follow
  6. Other/Updates

 

TIPS

Self- explanatory – but there will just be ‘tips’ – a tip is a tip and they’ll be much more focus on using my content as a starting point, as mapped out below. While I’m also busy pondering my approach to tipping (simplifying thought process/approach etc) they’ll be a much greater focus on stats and/or hot form, and not such a focus on staying handicap chases.

 

Monthly Trainers

This section will be more prominent, given its systematic success to date – I think the strength of these ‘monthly’ / ‘times of year’ (1-3 month blocks) angles is that I refresh them regularly. As such unlike the TTP angles and those below, they are not ‘static’ for a whole season /the year and while there will be losing months/runs, with any luck come year end, they’ll have pulled in 50+ points profit BFSP. Of course, the current situation may throw a spanner in the works, as a trainer’s usual habits may go out the window this year – so that’s something to keep an eye on, and given the break.

 

Trainer Track Profiles (TTP)

This section will be changing slightly – I’ve concluded the current approach to the stats profiles just isn’t fit for purpose. They’ve never worked as a collection of micros (although that was never the purpose) but you can’t profit just backing them all. I don’t think they’re that useful in current form. The ‘advised strategies’ have also run their course, and while some positives, generally it’s been a struggle in the last 12+ month. They also over-complicate the offering and my time can be better spent.

 I thought about ditching this section completely but I’m not sure that’s wise as yet – instead I’m working on some sort of ‘track profile’ that drills down into the winning most trainer /most profitable / biggest A|E (Actual vs Expected) – mainly with the aim of finding one or two ‘micro systems’ per track, with some other bullet points of interest – a sort of ‘fact sheet’ – but with any track on the day, it will be a ‘way in’ for trainer X and Y. I plan to post any ‘micro system qualifiers’ here, and while untested and ‘static’ for the following season, should be a decent ‘way in’ if nothing else.  

 

Other Micro Angles

Other assorted micro angles… Trainers / Jockeys / Breeding

Those angles added from research posts, (eg Micro Monday research) through the course of a season/year – Much like the TTP angles they will be static for a time, and very much ‘ways in’ / starting points. They will be refreshed every season and kept to a manageable number. Some may prove their systematic worth. 

 

Horses To Follow

Eye-Catchers + Hot Form  

Those horses from the ‘Tracker Tuesday’ posts that caught my eye from the previous week and/or are from ‘hot form races’. Posted for their next 3 starts/stop at a winner. My hope is that these will be profitable systematically but again, another ‘way in/starting point’ but they have highlighted plenty of winners – I’ll be trying to land on a few with my Tips.

 

Other / Updates

A space for any updates and  any information relating to the Saturday Trends – trends ‘shortlists’ and trainer pointers.

 

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Additional Members Content

 Micro Monday Post – the regular research posts looking at trainers / jockeys / breeding and other areas of interest/suggestions. Some of the qualifiers from this research will be posted in the ‘Other Micro Angles’ section above, as is the case now.

Tracker Tuesday Post – my musings on Horses to Follow from the previous week’s racing – using video and ‘hot form’ analysis, as well as other information.

Trends Thursday Post – my look ahead to the weekend’s ‘big races’, giving you plenty of time to use the stats in your own deliberations. These focus on one or two big (c2+, 14/16+ runner) handicaps but may include other races of interest. They cover my unique stats/trends pointers and the trainer records. In Saturday’s Post (posted Friday evening by 6pm latest) I will provide any relevant trends ‘shortlists’ and detail the runners from trainers who’ve won the race previously.

Big Meeting/Festival reports – trainer pointers and relevant trends races of interest for various ‘big meetings’ throughout the year. This includes the main focus on The Cheltenham Festival but also other Jumps Festivals/Meetings, as well as Flat Festivals.

 Other posts – ad hoc – other racing content & videos that don’t fit into any of those categories above. I can produce ‘how I do X’ videos for every aspect above, including research etc.

 

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Timings/Schedule

  • As with now I’ll endeavour to post Phase 1 of the following day’s post by 6pm. Phase 1 includes the stats / micros qualifiers and horses to follow. (sections 2 to 5)
  • Phase 2 : This will include any tips from myself, found in Section 1. I will trial posting tips at a set time, for example at 9am and 10am on the day of racing.
  • Monday’s posts will always follow first thing Monday morning, by 8am.

 

Changes…

More generally I’ll be introducing some structure to my week with more ‘days off’… (certainly from Sept>) 

  • I’ll be taking Sunday’s off in full. (well, bar the odd big race/day, for tipping purposes) When it comes to any ‘systematic’ content as mapped out above, I’ll be pondering how that may work, including a complete blank day or paying someone to post either in the main post or the comments – esp for say the ‘monthly trainers’. I’ve some thinking to do on that. There will always be a post, that I can schedule on Saturday, to allow discussion in the comments. 
  • No Tip Mondays. The stats content as mapped out above will be posted by 8am but there WILL NOT be any tips/analysis – hopefully two days off from ‘tipping/study’ will have a positive impact on the rest of the week and avoid burn-out.
  • Holidays – TBC but I should try and squeeze in 1 to 3 weeks over a year when I don’t have to turn my lap-top/computer on. That will involve ‘training’/paying someone to post while I’m away, to ensure continuity of the Daily Members Posts.

 

I need to improve the quality of the content and the profitability, especially with my tipping. The stats work will very much focus on quality over quantity I hope. Anyway, that’s where my ideas are at the moment – it isn’t dramatically different from the existing offering – however a few aspects are just not working and need revision/improvement. We are still some weeks away from UK/Irish racing returning however. 

As always, any comments are welcome. 

And please keep an eye out for my next update, which is rather important. 

Josh

 

About This Author

A community committed to making racing fun, enjoyable and profitable in the long term. Josh

12 Comments

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  • Hi,

    Pay Pal do close/freeze a significant number of business accounts for odd reasons. My brother experienced this having run his own business for a couple of years. He received a payment from someone they obviously had issues with and they closed his account and eventually re opened it a few months later when much damage had been done to the business.

    Re racing re commencing behind closed doors, the models in Hong Kong and in Florida and Nebraska seem to be working well. perhaps the answer is to open up ten tracks only and they race for three consecutive days each within a month?
    Who knows?

    Good luck everyone.

    Martin Colwell 29/04/20 9:47 AM Reply


    • Hi Josh. How will this affect future subscription payments made via PayPal?

      Ken McKenzie 29/04/20 11:35 AM Reply


      • Sorry just noticed you will update later

        Ken McKenzie 29/04/20 11:41 AM Reply


      • Hi Ken,
        You may have/should have received an email but i’m about to repeat it in a blog post – but in short, that’s the end of Paypal! I’ll be cancelling everything on Thursday, no more paypal. Everything will be ‘free to air’ for a while, which given the lack of racing and the time I need to sort out admin/back end/software/the future etc may be no bad thing, bar my income stopping dead in it’s tracks- but then i’m not the only one in that boat. I’m not sure i’m entitled to a government raft, but i need to look at that/get my accountant to.
        Anyway, onwards!
        Josh

        Josh 29/04/20 3:35 PM Reply


    • Yes, it appears so ! Well, I was seemingly fine for 5/6 years, and the account has been previously verified/approved, but there we go. I won’t be using them again. Which in the long run will work out fine.

      Josh 29/04/20 3:32 PM Reply


  • Hi Josh, glad to see you’re taking the less is more approach and good luck moving forward with it. I’m not sure if keeping TTP has any benefits other than muddying the waters as most people can easily obtain all sorts of that type of information is widely available elsewhere. I would of thought if you’re keen on embracing some of Mordin’s thoughts then TTP is kind of following the herd is it not?
    For what it’s worth my advice would be to strip it back as much as possible and get used to your updated approach before adding or renewing anything else. Of course you need to cater for the different subscribers so clearly a level of variation is needed but there’s been a noticeable prolonged dip in quality in the past when you’ve tried juggling everything at once.
    What works for me when things go south is to back off or lower stakes rather than look elsewhere for something new to get things back on track. But hey, not that any of this waffle is relevant now as you’ve done your sabbatical and are back chomping at the bit! Good luck going forward.

    Chris Albin 29/04/20 1:41 PM Reply


    • Hi Chris,
      Waffle is always fine, i’m a master!

      Yep, i’ve still some pondering to do on many of those issues! At it’s core I need to get back to ‘thinking stats’ in my tipping process, along with hot form, and actually using my content, or trying to.

      I know what you mean with TTP – it will be good to have some sort of static track stats guide for the season – but the current template is tired and not really an edge I don’t think, on reflection – stats for distance, class, handicaps etc – well, they are widespread and probably built into the odds – and the strategies were not really working – and actually made the place a bit inaccessible, if you handn’t been here from the early days. Whether I can just focus on 1 or 2 trainers per track – which some pointers not in the wider domain – that’s my current thinking, but i’ll re-read my Mordin notes and ponder some more!

      That balance between having enough content, that’s decent/useful, and not too much, is the tricky bit.

      Less can be more, but again, balance – Having a whole day off a week (most of the time) and 2 days in a row of not tipping, I hope may be one of the main missing ingredients – as well as the general move back down south etc But, time will tell – it won’t be for the want of trying.

      cheers,
      Josh

      Josh 29/04/20 3:43 PM Reply


  • To state the obvious, and from my own experience, if you have a site that does provide tips in whatever form of sport you choose, subscribers will to a large extent depend on the success of the tips.
    You can blog and chat and provide other content, which is well thought out and evidenced based, but it does not put nowhere near the number of bums on seats as profitable tipping does. A mix works fine but my work in regard to other sites tells me profitable tipping is the golden egg.
    So, when we get back to action that should be our (not just Josh’s) goal. The level of staking is irrelevant as profit should be measure in ‘points’ whether it be a quid for some or £100 for others.

    Josh,

    if you want to put up an appropriate blog to post to I will start to write a weekly horse racing related piece for you all to comment on, pull to pieces, praise regally, whatever. I can take it.

    Good luck all. Martin

    Martin Colwell 30/04/20 12:41 PM Reply


    • Thanks for your musings as always –

      I don’t agree with all of the tipping point as such – but the general point is that there are a few options you can take to running a racing service etc – mine was rather organic with the free posts etc, and posting what I enjoyed looking at etc, developing over time – and that community/engagement element was important early on – I like responding to comments, and engaging with everyone etc – (and I need to ponder ways to enhance that, including RTP Race days, which a few have suggested before, possibly more online engagement/chat options via webinars, Q+As, or general video chat etc) – there is a skill in dealing with people and creating/encouraging a ‘community’ – and throughout here / Uni Student Union President days etc i’ve never been too bad at that side.

      There is space for ‘non tipping’ services – that try to provide useful information, and a sense of community (which many Tipping services lack) – but that information has to be decent – and as well as the tipping side, the reality is that much of it hasn’t – i am for example hoping/will be working at, the ‘monthly trainers’ being a stress free ‘system’ to follow- all those Strategies etc were getting a bit ridiculous – it would be nice to simply say to any readers and newbies – my tips are here/ if you want a micro systems to follow start with X (monthly trainers) / and engage with community|or read comments etc below – while maybe enjoying reading my various content/watching videos etc – that should be the minimum in reality – and a solid foundation with which over time readers ‘could’ build from – especially as ‘starting points’ –

      I have built up a large/loyal (200 or so) following who I assume liked much of the above just mentioned – however I was starting to get conscious that as per above, many elements of the content were posing questions –

      BUT- I would agree with you in terms of the importance of any tipping element – even amongst my own overall efforts – many people simply want profitable tips and that’s what they will judge their experience on- which is fine obviously – however, all the other aspects of the content can help subscribers get through losing runs etc – obviously I need to dramatically improve – the next 6/8 months were going to be big anyway, and I suspect I was testing the patience of plenty. And that membership number has been much higher than that -450/500, but the reality is that poor tipping performance and to a lesser extent any prof micros/complexity of content etc – has seen those come and go – although I do think you have to get through many trialists to find the ‘ideal’ long term customers and those who may ‘get it’, in terms of the overall approach/experience- but that takes time.

      Stand alone tipping services have their own positives, and challenges – if it’s 1 person tipping that is high risk, esp with long losing runs – you have to work much harder at churn and customer retention – that takes resource and takes time away from the tipping content – some can also be a bit heartless – and while I may be talking nonsense – I do think there are enough racing fans out there who want more than just a transactional service -or something more engage in addition to any sole tipping service membership. There is a service or two for everyone – and i know many of my members I suspect have joined others to coincide with their experience here, or to compliment, or vice versa. The sole ‘tipping’ world is competitive, and for numerous reasons I’ve never wanted to just go down that route. I think you can only find’just’ following other peoples tips mentally stimulating for so long, and when the losing runs of 40-70+ comes, many are off.

      My racing business head isn’t too bad 🙂

      There is a market for my portfolio/community approach – but simply put I need to improve the content and my tipping. And there’s no escaping that. I suspect many who’ve been here since the start may have been pondering renewing in the next few months etc – and i’m conscious of that, and the need to improve.

      *
      RE blogs – well you’re welcome to send me any material for ‘guest’ posts if you wish and I can judge whether appropriate for here – we can discuss over email or something. But at the moment I don’t have the funds to pay! 🙂

      Josh

      Josh 30/04/20 1:31 PM Reply


      • Hi,
        we agree I think on content make up of the site. I am not looking for money for any content but just to add something. A weekly post on a subject by me can be done via an anyone can join in and post something area of the site if you like. It would not be that long when we, one day, get back to normal as I have several irons in fires re other sports that pay me money and they are time consuming.

        The point I was making re profitable tipping was that it, obviously, gets you new members if the word gets out and keeps them signing up to the site. A numbers game if you like. But we need to get racing again before any of that can happen.

        Cheers Martin

        Martin Colwell 01/05/20 8:12 AM Reply


  • Hi Josh,

    Quick line to say I’m really looking forward to new proposed structure. Going back to basics is the way forward – it’s why I was attracted to the site all those years ago.

    To be honest I had lost a lot of interest in the site over the last 12 months due to the excess content. Obviously i didn’t lose all faith as I’m still here. I don’t want to dwell on the past as it’s clear now we seem to have the old Josh back (not that there was much wrong with the recent Josh!!)

    Anyway I’ll return back to the shadows on the comments page and let the rest of the ‘professionals’ back at it.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Joe Healy 05/05/20 7:46 PM Reply


    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for coming out of the shadows! I suspect your thoughts/analysis are echoed by many others.

      While ideally the circumstances would have been better, if I don’t turn this ‘down time’ into a positive, I don’t really deserve to succeed – it feels as though i’ve just been trapped in a hamster wheel I think, unable to step off , take a step back and actually evaluate what i’m doing , why, and it’s use. I suppose when there’s racing every day, a post every day, and one season merges into another, plus external issues, it’s hard to stop/step back.

      But evidently something needed to change and i’ve been aware of that for a while. I knew the next 6/8 months may have been business defining anyway, but i’ve no excuse now with the enforced break etc. I’ll do what I enjoy studying/posting, i’ll work hard to up my tipping game etc – and come later in the year we shall see if it’s of any worth/value or not! Quite fun really and that pressure will ensure I’m not complacent.

      I’ll be posting shortly on the TTP section, as i’ve done some more pondering and made some further changes.

      Josh

      Josh 06/05/20 7:23 AM Reply


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