Before Qrewcial came about, I was managing the Top Class Finish soccer podcast with three good friends of mine: Andy, Oliver, and Quinci. We also had some help from our friend David. The podcast no longer exists, but it had lasted almost an entire year. We worked incredibly hard at it, and some amazing opportunities and memories came from our little endeavor. Most importantly though, it was fun, our fans loved it, and we’re proud of what we accomplished together.
But what we had started in February of 2018 seemed to hit a wall the following November. Listens plateaued. We couldn’t make it profitable. Our fans were loyal but it became a challenge to add more. And the landscape in terms of soccer podcasts was so packed with admirable and respectful peers—go check out LADS if you’re a soccer fan—that it was hard to stand out.
I knew deep down the efforts we were putting in simply were not enough. But I still wanted more. So I quickly went back to the drawing board to develop ideas on how to get us past that wall. I figured written content on top of a podcast would be the key so I built the podcast a dedicated website, hired a soccer article editor, and brought in a team of soccer writers.
The site was completed, articles were being published, and our editor was hard at work. But these efforts didn’t garner the results I had hoped for, and I could sense these efforts could all be for naught.
It was then that I realized the nipping urge for “more” had to be acknowledged and the idea for Qrewcial began to brew.
I envisioned Qrewcial as an outlet and necessary resource to provide solid coverage on what was happening across spaces others and I cared about: politics, music, film, society, culture.
A digital news magazine, or website or blog—call it what you want—seemed the obvious next step. In early December, I stepped away from the soccer podcast, ceased efforts on growing it, and turned my attention to Qrewcial.
That frigid winter month I worked on starting it with the help of my editor at the time. We needed to devise a plan, build a team of writers, and launch a fully-operational news site covering multiple topics by the new year.
The aim was to publish solid content—no fake news, no clickbait—, be choosy, objective, and cover a mix of niche and mainstream stories.
Admittedly these were lofty goals, especially with less than a month to execute. And not all of them were achieved to the degree I had hoped for, let alone at all. I’m fond of a conversation I had with our editor in December about the scope of everything. You can catch a glimpse below.
We may not have achieved 100% of what we wanted to, but a plan was devised, the site was built around the clock, and we diligently worked at hiring an initial writer core.
Qrewcial went live on January 7th. The following weeks and months were hard work but we stuck with it, and I’m happy to say that most of the initial writer core is still writing for Qrewcial today.
But sustainability was always a worry and is still a worry as with any sort of project or business. Setting out to cover a topic is one thing. Setting out to cover them all and do maybe a half-decent job is another.
We’ve had our highs and most certainly have had our lows. But it seems we’ve weathered the storm of getting started.
As quarter one of 2019 comes to a close, I’m proud to say Qrewcial is here to stay for a little while longer. We’ve seen growth and scale that gives me confidence that what we’re doing—whatever that may be—is starting to work and is meaningful to readers.
I can’t thank those who visit and read enough, and I can’t thank the writers enough, nor anyone else who has helped. This has become successful because of the hard work and dedication of those who care deeply about what goes on in this world, not only the writers but the readers as well.
But with any modicum of newfound success comes the burden of an even greater need for survival and sustainability. With that said, I made the decision to begin running ads on the website, both on desktop and mobile. It wasn’t an easy decision; I appreciated the ad-free real estate each page offered. It was clean, it was ours, it was yours, and there were no distractions.
But running these ads also demonstrates that we’ve entered new territory and have achieved a level of growth and staying power that we’re proud of.
It always has been—and always will be—our first priority to provide readers with a reliable outlet to find and read compelling and informative stories. Running ads is a way to ensure we can continue doing that.
They aren’t intended to hinder the reading experience, but rather support the cause and aid in our growth. So with that said, I hope you continue being a part of this community, being a reader, and supporting us in this endeavor.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief