Sports Journalism Career

Setting Up a Sports Blog for Your Sports Journalism Career

If you are passionate about a certain sport, sports team, or sports in general, then you might be considering starting your own sports website or blog. If you want to become a sportswriter or sports

If you are passionate about a certain sport, sports team, or sports in general, then you might be considering starting your own sports website or blog. If you want to become a sportswriter or sports reporter in the future, then starting a sports blog can be an ideal way to build your portfolio and put together examples of your work that you can show to prospective future employers. Starting a sports blog gives you a chance to make a name for yourself in the industry while allowing you to follow your passions and spend your time doing something that you are interested in and passionate about. Starting a sports blog might not be a fast-track way to sports journalism fame and fortune, but it can certainly be an excellent start. If you are interested in starting your own sports blog and creating a sports journalism career for yourself, here are some of the main things to consider. 

Journalism Education

If you are starting a sports blog as you are interested in getting into a future career in sports journalism, then you may want to consider getting an official journalism education. Even with a strong portfolio and proof of experience as a sportswriter or reporter, most employers are looking for journalists with a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. You can get into sports journalism with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, sports journalism, English, or communications. 

Sports journalism is the best major to choose if you are set on this career for your future since it will prepare you for the role with a specially designed curriculum that not only covers the basics of journalism but also gives you a chance to learn more about sports in society, the business side of sports, sports finances, and more. These are areas that the everyday sports fan does not always know a lot about, and this program will give you the chance to develop the sports expertise that you need to succeed in sports journalism. 

Once you have gained a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, you may want to consider going on to get an advanced qualification such as this online journalism master’s degree from Saint Bonaventure University. 

Choosing the Right Blogging Platform

Blogging may not be as popular as it once was, however, it’s still a very popular way to create and publish content online for a wide range of businesses and individuals. The first decision that you will be likely to make when starting your own sports blog is the blogging platform that you want to use. 

Most experts will agree that WordPress is the ideal choice for the majority of bloggers. WordPress is designed as a content management system and has lots of easy-to-modify themes that you can use to present your content in the best possible way, without the need for you to have any previous web design or development experience. You can easily get started with WordPress at WordPress.com, and with this platform powering the majority of websites around the world, it’s one that you can trust with plenty of information out there on how to make the most of it. 

Squarespace is an alternative option that is popular with bloggers. 

Branding Your Blog

As an aspiring sportswriter or sports journalist, your blog is going to be representative of your personal brand. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you know just how important it is for strong branding for your blog. You may want to consider working with professionals to create a logo, come up with a strong brand name, brand colors, and fonts to create a strong and consistent visual brand that people can grow to recognize as yours. While being unique and noticeable is important for your brand, you should also focus on a brand that is relevant to what you are offering on the blog and easy to keep consistent in any other branding materials including emails, social media, letters, and print. 

Building Your Online Presence

To attract more readers to your blog, it’s a good idea to expand your online presence as early as possible. Along with setting up the blog itself, consider any other online platforms that you may be able to branch out onto where you can share your content, engage with potential readers and get a bigger audience for your sports blog. Social media has undoubtedly become one of the best ways to do this today, with various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that you can use to share your content and improve brand awareness for your blog. 

Creating a Content Strategy

Once you have the foundations of your blog covered, it’s important to put together a strong content strategy. Don’t make the mistake of just writing and posting randomly; a good content strategy will improve your chance of increasing readers to your blog by keeping them in anticipation of what you are going to post next. 

Determine what kind of sports content you are going to post. Will you be posting live updates of sports events and games, commentaries, or opinions? Are you going to post about general sporting news, the latest information from events, or a combination of everything? It’s a good idea to choose a day to post on a regular basis, which will help get your readers into a routine of what to expect from you. 

Create Alerts

One way that you can encourage more people to read your blog updates and see your work is through email newsletter alerts. Put an email sign-up option on your blog so that you can collect email addresses from your readers and send them an update each time you post something new. This way, you can ensure that your loyal readers are going to know if you post anything that’s off the usual schedule such as updates on the latest sports events and games or breaking news from within the industry. 

Engage With Readers

Don’t underestimate the power of engaging with your readers and using the information that you gain from them to drive the decisions for your future content. Whether you send out surveys via email, ask people to leave feedback in the comments of your blog articles, engage with them on social media, or a combination of all of these, customer engagement can be a great way to get a better insight into what’s working well on your blog so far and what can be improved. 

Get Interviews

Interviews with sports personalities such as local athletes and teams can really strengthen your blog and give you a chance to show off your skills as a sports journalist in a different capacity. If you can, get somebody to film the interview or invest in some equipment to film it yourself, and create a YouTube channel for your blog so that you can embed these videos into your site, coupled with a written article providing more information. Along with providing more types of content for your readers to enjoy, getting interviews from local school sports teams, charity teams, or local sports personalities in your area can help you strengthen your portfolio, which can improve your chance of finding work as a sports journalist in the future. 

Conduct SEO

Keeping SEO in mind for your blog can be ideal if your main aim is for it to be discovered by a large audience and become a top sports website. If you are using WordPress, there are various SEO plugins and tools that you can use to make sure that your site is ready to go in terms of search engine optimization. 

You may find it useful to work with an SEO professional for tasks such as keyword research or do this yourself using tools like Google Search Console to find out more about which keywords your site is ranking highest for and try to include these naturally within your content wherever possible. Bear in mind that there are several factors that go into successful SEO including a mobile-friendly design, fast loading time, good navigation, and more. 

Regularly Update

Bear in mind that blogs and websites can go out of date quite quickly. To keep your blog relevant, it’s important to regularly check the design, not just in terms of aesthetics but also when it comes to functionality, for example, mobile-friendliness. If your blog is falling out of date, this can impact the number of readers you will get, as, for example, readers not being able to access your site easily on their smartphone can put them off. Test your blog regularly to ensure that readers get the best experience. 

If you are aspiring towards a career as a sports journalist, starting your own sports blog can be a useful strategy for creating a portfolio and putting your work out there in front of the world. A sports blog could also become a successful journalism career on its own with the right strategies, with various ways for you to monetize the blog. 

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