Fourth Quarter Rally: Winning the Sports Blogging Game
Every sports fan likes to be a Monday morning quarterback. They live for breaking down big games from the weekend and dissecting every detail related to their favorite team or player. Few things fuel greater passion or spark more intense debate than sports.
Small business owners in the sports industry can tap into that zeal by creating a winning sports blog. They can tie it into particular sports their business serves and offer up a stream of fresh content from freelance sports writers that will make them a coveted information resource with their target audience.
Creating a quality sports blog requires building a solid foundation like you need when assembling a championship winning team. Your blog needs a few key elements to resonate with sports fans.
Think your local NBA team should make a move before the trade deadline? Elaborating on why a certain player needs to be moved and why it will improve the team is a great example of how you can get the conversation moving on a blog. Assign your writers topics that will get readers to care and make comments. If you get them thinking and debating what your blog has to say, they will keep coming back to read more.
Make It Local
The biggest mistake a new sports blog can make is biting off more than it can chew. Competing with ESPN or Sports Illustrated is not a realistic goal for a small business owner. Focus your blog on the community your business serves. One way to do that is to blog profiles of local athletes. Discover the story behind the person with all those impressive stats. Local athletes will appreciate the spotlight and your readers will love getting to know more about their favorite athletes.
Offer an Expert Voice
Find ways to avoid falling into the “fan rant” syndrome that afflicts many new sports blogs. One good strategy for giving your blog a different perspective is to invite experts to participate in interviews or even guest blog. If you are discussing the growing problem of concussions in football, for example, getting a perspective from a local doctor specializing in sports medicine can offer unique insight into the issue. Blogs gain more credibility with their readers when they can provide an expert voice to weigh in on an issue at hand.
Tie It into Your Brand
Ultimately, everything a small business owner does should be about growing their business. Your sports blog should also be a marketing tool. It can be subtle, but find ways to tie your blog post content back to your business in some manner. If you sponsor a local baseball team, for example, you can make a note of your business being a team sponsor at some point during a blog post related to that team. Strike a balance between marketing and blogging. You want your brand voice in the content. But it should not overwhelm the blog.
John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.