Sports website owners from around the world are regularly looking for reliable writers to produce content on topics ranging from badminton to basketball.
To ensure you catch their eye, we’ve come up with a list of three simple tips to help get you started in the industry.
Every sports writer needs a blog
There’s arguably no greater way to showcase your writing skills to a potential client than your own blog. A recent survey by the domain provider branded.me revealed how 61 percent of respondents had received a job offer because of having their own website.
Before you choose the layout and begin writing, think about whether you’re going to provide regular vlogs or images alongside your written work. Chances are you’ll find knowing what you’ll write etc., will radically alter your chosen design/template.
Develop a content strategy
It’s also important to develop a content strategy from day one. Set yourself goals and be clear about how you expect to achieve them. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Am I going to write about a niche area of a sporting industry or choose something broader?
- How can I make sure my content always gives a unique or beneficial insight?
- How many times a week am I going to post?
- How am I going to build relationships with the blogging community?
- How am I going to make sure my work is read?
Stick to whatever strategy you choose as much as possible. Small alterations are fine, but your content shouldn’t shift dramatically from what your readership has come to expect. You wouldn’t, for example, visit BBC Sport’s website and expect to see a recipe on how to make lasagna.
Every piece that you do write should be well-researched and include link referrals to other high-performing blogs/websites. This approach will help to encourage other website owners to visit your blog.
Always actively encourage comments at the end of your pieces. Ask open-ended questions that you know will stir debate. Over time, this will eventually lead to more comments and shares that will enable your blog to grow.
Finally, always display clear links to your social media profiles. The more followers you have, the bigger your voice will become.
Grow Your Online Presence
As we touched on above, social media is a great way to grow your “brand” online. When recruiters are looking for sports writers they tend to look at sports bloggers. In fact, around seven out of every ten recruiters will view your online profile(s) before deciding whether to employ you, so it’s key that you use appropriate language and highlight your passion for all things sport.
Following reporters that produce work in your chosen area of interest is a great starting point. They’ll regularly post their own work online, so replying with your own opinions is an easy way to attract their attention.
If you wanted to take things a step further, try writing counter pieces to a journalist’s work. For example, suppose The Times’ chief sports writer Henry Winter published an opinion piece on why Mohammed Salah should win the Ballon d’Or. In response, you could write your own compelling argument as to why Cristiano Ronaldo should win the award instead. Afterward, simply post a link to your article on social media, tag Henry Winter, and ask for his opinion.
Once your blog is up and running, it’s time to start applying for jobs. Local newspapers and online freelancing websites should always be your first port of call.
Any reputable sporting website will ask for evidence of past published work, so having your name attached to something is better than nothing.
The boom in online gambling over the last decade has meant that betting websites, such Stakers are often on the lookout for freelancers to help produce sporting previews. Remember, bookmakers exist around the world, so don’t be afraid to send inquiries beyond the borders of the country you live in.
Visiting whopayswriters.com will give you an idea of which sporting websites are on the lookout for freelancers and their rate of pay.
Chey Coscolluela is an outreach specialist at EAK Digital, London as well as a freelance writer.