Do you ever want to tell the whole world why your hometown team pulled off a bad trade? Do you find yourself breaking down how your favorite point guard’s improved assist to turnover ratio will lead to a championship? Chances are good you are a natural born sports writer.
Sports writing is a complicated niche. It takes creativity, versatility and time management skills to stay on top of your game. That’s why contributing to a sports blog can be a good avenue for getting a foot in the door. It gives freelance sports writers a chance to build up a solid resume and convince editors into giving them a chance to move up the media ladder.
Creating a good sports blog requires using the right playbook. No sports blogging playbook is complete without featuring a few guaranteed winning plays.
Show Your Passion
The no. 1 rule in writing is to write about what you love. It might be tempting to pursue a trendy niche to draw in tons of eyeballs. That’s not the smartest course to follow. Focus on a sport or a sports related topic that grabs your attention and fuels your passion. If you love following NBA trade chatter, for example, focus your blog on reporting NBA trades and trade rumors. It helps to focus your content and gives you a chance to develop expertise in a particular niche.
Create an Information Hub
Blogs work best when they give people a reason to read. Make your blog a leading informational resource for your chosen team or sport. Create blog posts that go in-depth and take your followers behind the scenes. If you decide to blog about a college football team, for example, you can create an insider’s feel by doing game recaps, player or coach interviews, injury updates, and camp reports. Giving the inside scoop can show editors at other websites and publications that hiring you offers minimal risk and maximum reward.
Never feel afraid to search for the best story. Go beyond the typical “fan rant” and find stories other people are not covering. A good example of this approach is writing about an athlete who plays an important role on a team, but outside the spotlight because they are not the star. Sometimes, those end up being the better stories because those types of athletes are more accessible and more willing to open up to a blogger or reporter. Taking chances on content will enhance its value and help your blog draw more followers.
If you want your blog to be taken seriously, you need to establish professional standards. It means acting like a journalist. Work to verify everything through sources before you post that information. Offer balanced coverage instead of acting like a cheerleader or offering up an endless string of angry rants. Creating a balanced and credible sports blog lends you authority. Readers will read what you write because they can trust it is accurate.
John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.