The question of how to start a sports blog is a simple one, but the answer depends on what kind of sports blogger you want to be!
Sports fanatics often have opinions they want to share with other sports enthusiasts. Imagine speaking to millions at a time and getting paid to share your thoughts! A sports blog helps you do exactly that.
For people with abundant knowledge about sports, becoming a sports blogger can be second nature. And the benefits of blogging are abundant! But before you start, you’ll want to know all that is involved in starting a sports blog, including some of the more technical aspects.
Here’s a guide to help you make it happen!
7 Steps to Starting a Sports Blog
There are a number of steps you’ll need to follow in order to start your sports blog. We’ll take you through each of these seven steps for a better understanding of what to do.
Step 1: Choose Your Sports Blog Niche
Let’s say you wanted to purchase some apples and searched for “apples” online. Instead of seeing apples that you could buy, you were shown how to make apple juice, how to plant apples, or some random facts about apples. Not very productive, is it?
This same concern with searcher’s intent applies to your sports blog. While you may be knowledgable about numerous sports, it is never advisable to write about every niche related to sports under the same umbrella site. If you try to cover too much, it’ll be harder to build up a community around a specific topic. Choosing a targeted niche will make your blog clear and easy to maneuver for your audience.
While you can read up on how to choose a niche for your blog, here are some niche ideas we suggest to get started on your sports blogging career.
Based on a Specific Sport
One of the best methods for choosing a sports blog niche is to select one sport among the multitude. Posting about more than one sport within the same blog site can quickly become chaotic. For example, anyone wanting to read up on football would find it annoying to see blog articles about cricket or golf when they visit your site.
While you can choose an even more niche topic, the first thing to do is decide if there’s a specific sport that you want to write about. If so, you can further specialize in one of the niche ideas below, or combine them all under the sport of your choice!
Reviewing Sports Gear
As a sports gear reviewer, you can blog about multiple products and get your audience interested by writing unbiased and honest posts based on your opinions. Imagine if you’re a reader thinking about buying sports gear: rather than taking the risk of purchasing something and discovering the pros and cons themselves, many sports enthusiasts will choose to read reviews and comparisons to find out which product is best suited for them before they buy.
Sports journalism is not a new niche. There are quite a few blog sites that provide news and information about sports on a regular basis. However, you can try a different route by adding your own two cents to the news and starting a debate that can help build engagement.
The more you allow others to engage with your content, the higher your reach is bound to be. You can also make room for opinions by other bloggers and sports enthusiasts to build the credibility of your site.
Every sports fanatic has, at one point or another, offered their insights and analysis about a game. With sports analysis as your blog niche, you have the perfect opportunity to share your opinion on the latest games and current events in sports. Further, you could use this as a platform to start debates and discussions on your analysis of the sport.
Every sports enthusiast has opinions and insights, so this could be a great way to drive traffic to your site.
Of course, with a site like this, your content may not be as evergreen. To get around this, you can post new blogs on your social media accounts and tag people to start debates with them, raising awareness about your site in the process!
This is one of the simplest ways to start a sports blog. Unlike some of the other niche ideas, where you may have to provide an unfiltered opinion, this niche is simply offering some words of wisdom! Your sports tips could range from warm-up exercises before a game to keeping sports equipment in top shape.
Among the niches we’re covering here, a blog site offering sports tips is the widest category, allowing you to explore a lot of different content topics.
Fantasy Leagues Blogs
Fantasy league blogs have become quite popular lately and for good reason. With so many tournaments being played online, the number of people engaging in fantasy leagues for different sports is much higher than those choosing to play the sport physically.
Using this as a foundation, you can start a sports blog that focuses on fantasy leagues of a chosen sport, and connect with official pages to increase your reach and make money in the process.
Covering Sporting Events
A number of sporting events take place on a regular basis, keeping sports enthusiasts entertained all year round. Your blog can be a platform where you talk about these events and open the comments segment for discussion. You can also use this as a means to provide minute-by-minute commentary that you can post as a blog as a reaction to the game.
Step 2: Create Your Brand Name
Remember that while you can rethink the name of the blog later on, it may come at a cost.
So, here’s what you need to remember:
- Your niche and personality will resonate with the blog name.
- Looking at what your competitors have chosen for their blog name can help you with a direction for your own sports blog.
- Your blog name can eventually help you branch out to start other niche blogs under the niche you have chosen. LADbible is a clear example, having multiple blogs branched out from one.
Choose a sports blog name that can grow with the blog. However, make sure you stick to the niche. It’s not always easy to strike a balance between relevance and specificity, but it’s worth taking some time to figure out the perfect brand name.
Step 3: Install WordPress and Theme on Your Web Host
- Download the WordPress package.
- Open and upload the package on your web hosting account.
- Create the database and user.
- Fill in the required details in WordPress.
- Run the installation.
- Install WordPress.
Once you install WordPress, you can get to choosing the theme. Here’s how.
- Consider your blog niche.
- Look for a layout that helps you achieve your goals.
- Choose a theme that offers flexibility in terms of image use.
- Opt for a theme that reduces the chances of clutter and keeps the blog site looking neat.
Important things to remember when installing WordPress:
Now that we have covered how to install WordPress and the WordPress theme on your web host, it’s time to focus on a few important things.
Have a Backup Plugin
Imagine losing all your hard work due to a server issue. While rare, it is a possibility! One way to avoid this is to install a plugin like UpdraftPlus or BackWPup on your WordPress dashboard that backs up all your data, ensuring that nothing you post is lost in the event of a hack, server failure, or other issues out of your hands.
Website Speed is Crucial
Your choice of web host is important. Sometimes, the wrong choice of web host can lead to a laggy website with a low loading speed that could cost you conversions and traffic. Opt for a web host that helps improve the speed of the website. Once you find the right host, get to installing WordPress.
Install a search engine analytics plugin
Search engine analytics help you keep track of your visitors and increase conversions, making it a vital part of blogging. While you install WordPress, make sure you also look for an analytics plugin to improve your content and performance in the long run.
Step 4: Conduct Keyword Research
For any kind of content, keyword research stands as a crucial part. A blog without the right keywords is like food without salt. While your blog may still get a visitor or two if well-written, you will have no chance of scaling up without conducting thorough keyword research and targeting a primary keyword for every post.
Choose a Good Keyword Research Tool
A keyword research tool is a vital part of blogging, considering how the integration of a single keyword can improve your ranking significantly. We recommend Ahrefs as a comprehensive SEO tool for everything from tracking your keyword positions to building backlinks for your sports blog.
Find Sport-Specific Keywords Based on Your Topic
While there are a number of keywords related to sports out there, you need to identify the ones relevant to your niche and topic. This can be done using your keyword research tool, which can help you narrow down all the keywords that are specific to the niche you write for through keyword suggestions and competitive research.
Filter the Keywords
Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to filter out these keywords to implement only the ones that will be most beneficial for your blog. Most tools make it easy to filter keywords based on factors like search volume, number of words, keyword difficulty, and relevance.
Ensure the Use of Long-Tail Keywords
Many people make the mistake of ignoring long-tail keywords. However, making use of longer keywords and key phrases can help your blog rank faster for specific searches. While ranking is difficult with competitors who use similar keywords, long-tail keywords give you the edge you need.
Avoid Keyword-Stuffing Like the Plague
Yes, using keywords make a great deal of difference. But, no, it does not mean you need to use hundreds of keywords within a single blog.
Imagine writing a 500-word blog and stuffing enough keywords to make up 200 of those words. All you will accomplish is losing your credibility.
Search engines are smarter than they used to be. Recent changes in Google’s algorithm have emphasized quality more than ever. Where you could get away with posting an array of keywords in a blog to rank higher, these manipulative tactics just don’t work like they used to.
Now, you need to be smart while you blog and implement the right set of contextual keywords in a high quality piece of content. In other words, to be noticed by search engines, you need to remember that content is king – and write accordingly.
Step 5: Write Relevant Content
Any content you post has to be relevant to your audience, first and foremost. Second, it needs to be well-written to boost engagement. Here are some tips you can consider in order to write relevant content.
No one will give your blog the time of day if you don’t make it interesting enough. Writing a sports blog does not mean being serious and formal in your approach. You can get your point across while still keeping things light.
The word choice and tone you use can help you come across as fun yet informative. Using quirky phrases and a conversational voice can help retain the attention of your audience!
Follow the Right Blog Structure
While there are a number of blog types you could try, remember that every blog has a structure you need to follow. These may include:
- Informational/pillar articles
- Product reviews
- Buying guides
- News and announcements
- Case studies
Whether you’re trying to curate a video or upload a case study based on the latest international tournament, you should use the right blog structure for every sports blog post you publish.
Eye-Catching Headlines are a Must
The headline is the first glimpse anyone will have for your content. Even a blog as exciting as the World Cup finale will go unnoticed and unread if you fail to catch the attention of your audience enough to have them click on the link.
A catchy headline should pique their curiosity so they click and read long enough to know that the article is, indeed, worth their while.
Don’t Be Too Verbose
Too much of anything is harmful. The same goes for your content. Large chunks of content clumped together is only going to create an aversion among readers, making them choose not to read any further.
When you write, separate the content into readable paragraphs that are small yet full of meat. Don’t add fluff for the sake of it. Make every word meaningful.
If there is a lot of information you wish to share under a certain sub-section, break it down into smaller paragraphs that are easy to comprehend and not jarring to the eye. Also use lists bulleted lists, images, embedded videos, and subheads often.
Use Jargon Sparingly
Even in a sports blog, your audience isn’t necessarily as knowledgeable as you are. So when you write content full of jargon that very few understand, you aren’t catering to your ideal reader.
Over time, you’ll learn who your audience actually is by checking the analytics, but expect that your audience is diverse. They could be any age, any gender, and from any part of the world. It is your responsibility to make the content as approachable as you can to help every reader get the most out of it.
Make the Content Comprehensive
How well your reader is able to understand you is your qualifying point. The easier it is for your audience to read through and get the gist of what you’re trying to say, the more they’ll want to follow you.
NOTE: You don’t have to do all the content creation on your own. Here at BrandBuilders, we’ve created plenty of content in sports niches like golf, hiking, and more. Check out our premium content creation services!
Step 6: Promote Your Sports Blog
Promoting your blog involves both organic and paid promotion. Since paid promotion requires you to shell out money, let’s focus on some organic methods of promotion that you can stick to as a beginning sports blogger.
Comment on Other Blogs
One great way of promoting your sports blog is to comment on other blogs frequently.
For example, a blog that caters to sports products would greatly benefit from a comment on it by a blog that offers sports insights.
Look for other blogs specific to sports that you can interact on and post comments that are informative. You are bound to catch the attention of the audience visiting that blog through your expert insight and gain an audience of your own.
Guest Post Often
Clearly, guest posting can help you reach a great number of people and boost your site traffic significantly.
Guest posting is, perhaps, the best way to build backlinks that lead to your website!
Find out guest posting sites that are sports-centric and take a look at the kind of content they post. You could also read up on tips to strategize your guest posting campaigns! This will help you find out what the readers are more interested in reading and help you create content catered to them.
With guest posting and outreach, you can drive brand-new traffic to your site and catch the eye of your target audience.
Post on Question/Answer Sites
Question and answer sites like Quora are perfect for people trying to promote their blogs. Not only do you have the liberty to answer queries already posted on the site, but you can also create your own and post answers that allow you to reference your blog in it.
The relevance of your answers will be enough of a nudge for readers to visit your site and gain more insight from you as a sports expert.
For almost every blogger, the intent behind blogging is eventually to monetize the blog. With all the methods available to make money blogging, established bloggers have a number of ways to monetize blogs. Some of the most common approaches are:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored ads through networks like Google Adsense
- Selling digital products
- Selling courses and ebooks
- Offering coaching services
Keeping your unique niche in mind, you can opt for the methods that are most suited for you.
What You Need to Know to Start Your Sports Blog
It Takes Constant Effort
Unlike what people tend to believe, blogging isn’t something you do just when the fancy strikes. So, if you’ve posted a blog and left the site unattended for the next two months, you’re barely any closer to achieving your goal than when you started the blog in the first place.
Blogging takes constant effort. In order for search engines to promote your blog in the SERPs, you need content that is frequently posted and updated. There is no magic bullet that will make your blog rank high in the search results or get the attention of your readers without a good amount of effort on your part!
Take Cues from Search Engine Analytics
Knowing what works for your blog and what doesn’t is important. It can tell you what brings people onto your website.
Search engine analytics tools like Google Analytics help you do away with the guesswork and identify the most-viewed content, as well as the least useful content, and any number of other valuable metrics. This information can help inform your content strategy to make a sports blog that resonates with readers.
For example, you can also find out which channel your visitors came from before landing on your site. You can even track user engagement and boost your conversions. Don’t forget the importance of analytics in making your site successful.
Build Your Email List From Day One
Most bloggers wait until they become successful to start creating an email list, not realizing that their email list can help them reach that stage of success much faster!
With a catchy sign-up form, you can build an email list from all the visitors on your page and reach out to them through newsletters and updates every time you post a blog.
Your loyal readers are sure to respond to their updates and get on your blog site to read your latest posts. By building the list from Day One, you will have a better chance of reaching your audience at a later stage when you’re reaching the pinnacle of success as a sports blogger.
Make On-Site Optimization a Norm
On-site optimization should not be limited to just once in a blue moon. You have a better chance of ranking higher on search engine results if you constantly optimize your blog posts, add hyperlinks to link various related blogs on your site, and update content that is dated to keep it relevant.
Implement SEO strategies on blogs that have already been long posted to keep the content fresh for readers. This way, your readers will still find every content piece you post relevant and evergreen.
Making on-site optimization a norm will help push your blog higher and within sight of your audience.
Keyword Research Should Be High On Your List
We’ve seen a number of bloggers who post great content, but are unable to really reach the right audience owing to lack of keyword research. Great content, no matter how engaging, will make no difference if it cannot be discovered by the right audience.
This is why keyword research is so important. We have already ventured deep into keyword research in the guide above for those who wish to begin blogging. While the guide is perfect for beginners, there is always room to explore more and learn more through your own experiences!
Repurpose Your Content
Let’s say you write a blog that has garners a lot of engagement when you post it. It is bound to lose the hype a few years down the line. So, how do you keep the content in the limelight?
One great thing about blogging is the opportunity to repurpose content. Everybody does it. And it works.
Rather than coming up with newer topics every single time, you could simply choose a broad topic and use already published content as the sub-points that your audience can click through to reach the article.
This way, you hardly need slog on creating a whole new engaging idea while still driving your audience to the various blogs on your page. It’s also possible to take the same idea from a blog post and repackage it as a YouTube video, podcast, infographic, or slideshow. If you can be efficient with your efforts, why wouldn’t you?
Videos Help Boost Engagement
Blog content is not just what you write – it’s what you communicate to others, in any form. Videos are a great method of communication and bloggers have certainly realized the appeal. If you considered the amount of traffic on YouTube every single minute, you would realize how popular videos really are.
Posting videos on your blog can help cater to the part of your audience more inclined towards videos while still keeping them on your site. You could simply post a video on YouTube as the host and use the link to showcase the video on your blog site.
Remember, uploading the video on your blog directly can cause a lag in loading speed. Embedding YouTube videos keeps your page lightweight and offloads the hosting to YouTube, which works perfectly in this case.
Be Consistent in Posting
Infrequent posting is a blogger’s biggest foe. When you post on a consistent schedule, your readers are better prepared to expect something new on your site. Being infrequent and unpredictable will cause them to lose interest in your blog and lead to you losing your loyal audience.
One great example of this is the weekly uploads of fanfictions. Anyone who reads fanfictions knows the eagerness of the audience awaiting the next chapter.
Infrequent posting can disappoint your audience greatly and make them stop following your blog actively.
Have an Editorial Calendar in Place
To deal with the issue of infrequent posting, set up an editorial calendar that tells you which day of the week your next post needs to be published, what topic you need to work on, and what you need to avoid so that no two similar posts go live right next to each other.
Every new sports blogger out there has a number of questions they are burning to ask. So, we have some of the most frequently asked questions answered for you!
What is a Sports Blog all About?
A sports blog can be anything and everything sports-related. You could talk about a specific sport, popular athletes, a specific team that you adore, or even sporting tips in general for other sports enthusiasts to look up.
You could also review sports equipment and other items that are specific to sports, share your individual experiences in a sport, or anything else you dream up!
How do Sports Bloggers Make Money?
Like every other blogger, sports bloggers make money through multiple means: affiliate marketing, sponsored ads, product reviews, and much more.
We have already covered ways to monetize your blog in the guide above. Any of those methods can work best for you once you have established your blog enough to have wide traffic and a high ranking on search engines.
Established blogs are also quickly recognized by companies interested in affiliate marketing, making it easier for bloggers to make money as they blog.
How Much Does it Cost to Start Your Own Blog?
If you’re thinking it’s a lot of money to start a sports blog, you’ll be happy to know that you’re wrong. In fact, starting a blog can even take less money than purchasing cheap branded football sneakers!
A number of platforms and hosts offer a free domain as well as a place to post your content free of charge. Ultimately, you should have your own website, but you can easily choose to start out building your blog on a free domain before making the switch.
Is It Profitable to Start a Blog?
A lot of people often question if blogging is still relevant. And the answer is yes!
Blogging is more relevant today than ever before, considering how much people use the digital modes of communication and information-gathering. Every single thing posted online is being read by someone or other, just like how you are now reading this blog post!
Once you have established your blog, there is nothing stopping you from making money out of it! There’s no way to know which amazing opportunities may come your way after you’ve become a successful sports blogger – the only way to find out for sure is to get started!
How to Start a Sports Blog Wrap-up…
Now that you have everything you need to know to start your own blog on sports, all you need to get started is some motivation and your own creativity! Be sure to follow the guide and to implement the crucial steps like keyword research, sticking to a niche, building organic traffic, and so on.
NOTE: If you need a nudge in the right direction, feel free to schedule a FREE coaching call with one of our experts here at Brand Builders. We have a lot of expertise in the sports niche, with content creation and whole websites devoted to golf, hiking, and plenty of other sports!