Have you ever wondered how to start a sports blog? As a loud and proud sports fan, you love nothing more than to discuss your favorite teams. And this passion makes you the perfect candidate to create a sports blog.
As an essential component of sports marketing, this collection of articles will help you demonstrate your athletic authority while building an engaged audience. Keep reading to learn how to start a sports blog.
Benefits of starting a sports blog
You have strong opinions and crave an equally passionate audience. A properly optimized sports blog will help you find exactly that. Meanwhile, once you learn how to start a sports blog, you can embark on a passion project that gets you fired up.
Key benefits of starting a sports blog include:
Appeal to an enthusiastic community of content-hungry fans
Few blog audiences are as passionate as sports fans. Eager for insights, celebration, or sympathy, these enthusiasts will go out of their way to find and support blogs from fellow fans who share their love of the game. Supply them with the quality content they crave, and they will quickly become loyal followers.
Support and grow your digital brand
Blogging can form the cornerstone of efforts to build and nurture online communities. Although popular for personal use, blogging provides excellent opportunities for many types of businesses, such as sporting goods and apparel shops.
Expand digital outreach
Your blog may be just one component of a comprehensive digital presence. New posts can be highlighted in social media updates or referenced in email newsletters. If you know how to start a sports blog, you can also promote podcasts, YouTube videos, or other content.
Tips for creating a quality sports blog
You’ve decided that you’re ready to launch a sports blog that will send fans flocking to your website. Now, it’s time to take the next step.
Rather than jumping in with your first blog post, take some time to gather your thoughts and determine what you want to accomplish with your blog. Be prepared to dig deep to develop an in-demand niche and compelling ideas for posts that will get readers talking. These tips on how to start a sports blog should get you started:
Choose a niche
Avoid generic sports blogs, which will fail to attract the committed readership you need. At the outset, specializing may seem easy, like focusing on a specific league or team. Often, however, further tailoring is needed to set your blog apart from the competition.
When possible, look for topics that capture the attention of the most passionate fans. Don’t hesitate to use a unique tone, particularly if your area of choice is already extensively covered.
The popular blog Surviving Grady stands out, for example, not because it covers the Red Sox, but because it provides humorous and often edgy commentary. Categories such as “winning is awesome,” and features like the beloved Puppetcast keep Surviving Grady readers chuckling as they hate on the Yankees.
While many blogs focus on specific teams or leagues, it’s also possible to draw a vast, committed audience by bringing rarely covered angles to sports commentary. For example, the Athletes & Advocates for Social Justice in Sports blog examines concerns such as the treatment of student-athletes and the need for more women in leadership roles.
Focus on stats and analysis
Serious sports blog readers don’t want surface-level observations. They can accomplish as much by watching game highlights or checking their Twitter feed.
Go beyond basics such as touchdowns or goals to include the details sports enthusiasts crave. Examples include:
- Sabermetrics stats. Referencing the Society for American Baseball Research, these figures are used to analyze in-game activity. For example, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) takes the quality of the other players out of the equation. Meanwhile, Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) measures the batting average exclusively when the player hits the ball. Both can add depth to your baseball blog.
- Assist percentage. In basketball, this metric helps you explain various players’ passing skills. This can be influenced by court time and game pace, so nuance will be needed in any blog post based on this metric.
- Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). An excellent option for a comprehensive blog post, this stat can be broken down to determine several facets of team effectiveness. In general, however, it involves comparing single plays to averages within the league.
- Key passes. In addition to tracking pass rates in general, soccer blogs should highlight key passes. This metric reveals which players provide opportunities for their teammates to score. This is just one of the many advanced stats that can be incorporated in soccer content, which can be just as heavy on the analytics as articles about baseball or football.
Stats are important, but they alone won’t keep readers engaged. Blog visitors want to know what exactly led to the highlighted metrics and why this information matters. Instead of simply listing key metrics, weave them into an intriguing analysis that tells the story behind the latest game or season.
Not sure how to expand on basic stats to develop an interesting narrative? The following are a few concepts that call for extra discussion once you’ve revealed the numbers:
- Whether a potential draft pick is right for the team. How do the backgrounds of prospective players demonstrate that they are a good match or that they would be better suited to a different organization? The Green Bay Packers’ Jordan Love, for example, is perfect blog content, as his potential can be analyzed in the context of Aaron Rodgers’ ongoing involvement with the team.
- Contrasting two NBA players from different eras. Many fans find the idea of pitting historic superstars against current athletes intriguing. For example, a basketball post could draw on usage stats to compare and contrast Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Commit to keyword research
Your in-depth analysis won’t impress anyone if people never find your blog in the first place. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for reaching new readers in this competitive corner of the internet. This process involves designing your website based on search engine algorithms.
Keyword selection plays a huge role in this process. Use a keyword research tool to determine which terms gain the most traction with your target audience.
Simple terms such as “Duke basketball blog” or “Chelsea soccer blog” can be used on your home page or in the “About Us” section. Within the blog posts themselves, keywords should reference your topics of choice.
The best sports blog keywords reflect search intent. What do your readers want to learn? How does your blog address these areas of interest?
Examples of effective keywords for sports blogs include:
- Toni Kukoc hall of fame
- Candace Parker stats
- Did Russell Wilson get traded
- Types of Olympic fencing
- Best baseball manager ejections
Find the best images
Run-of-the-mill stock photos won’t cut it for sports blogging in which images must be relevant to the topics you’re discussing. The instant they spot bland photos of generic athletes, otherwise interested readers will quickly ditch your website.
Relevant sports images can be as costly or as affordable as you want. The best options can be found from AP and Getty Images, but these may be financially out of reach for some bloggers. Thankfully, other options are available, including embedded images from social media or screenshots from broadcasts.
Rich media such as GIFs and videos can also be included. In addition to packing a visual punch, these can underscore any arguments made in your blog posts. For example, an article highlighting the need for a better defensive strategy of your favorite soccer team could include a video compilation of all the latest fails.
Sports blog ideas
What’s one of the biggest perks of maintaining a sports blog? Every time there’s a new game, player, or other development, you’ll have something to write about. Developing content becomes a bit more challenging in the off-season, however. Some fluctuations in traffic are to be expected, but a steady schedule of compelling content should keep readers engaged throughout the year.
To help, we’ve highlighted a few of the most common categories under which top sports blogs might fall. We’ve also included examples of concepts and titles. Let these serve as inspiration as you brainstorm ideas for blogs that will interest and entertain your audience.
Predictions for the upcoming season
From football preseason to baseball’s spring training, the weeks preceding the regular season represent a time of great hope for even the most cynical fans.
Draw on this optimism with a series of blog posts outlining general expectations and specific game-by-game predictions. Your forecast may be based on past matchups, scheduling concerns, and other teams’ prospects for the upcoming season.
While prediction-based blog posts tend to be abundant before the season’s launch, mid-season updates are also popular as playoffs draw near. Consider these examples:
- What will it take for the Cubs to get back into the playoffs?
- Early favorites for the NHL’s Calder Trophy
- Why Bobby Acosta will lead IMG Academy to a state championship
Post-game recap or analysis
Feeling fired up after the latest game? Share your thoughts with a recap-style blog post that summarizes what happened and, more importantly, explains the implications of the latest matchup.
Recap blogs should be drafted and posted as quickly as possible to draw on an immediate post-game surge in interest. This is also a great opportunity to direct readers to previous prediction blogs, where they can determine whether your expectations were fulfilled or not.
Draft predictions or commentary
The draft is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. Much of the appeal stems from the opportunity for off-season updates when fans are seriously craving sports content.
Leading up to the event, craft a mock draft highlighting which players you expect to be taken by specific teams. Opportunities for blog content are even more abundant after the draft when you can dive into the results to show readers how a particular pick will impact your team.
Analysis of specific players
Predictions and recaps are excellent for blog updates, but what if you need evergreen content that remains relevant for several months or even years? Therein lies the power of analyses, where you can dive into the details about current athletes, hot prospects, or even past players who forever changed the team.
Don’t forget the coaching staff and management. From the pitching coach to the offensive coordinator and even the general manager, many people beyond athletes deserve recognition for team successes or blame for major disappointments.
No matter who you reference, keep your long-term analysis posts updated with the latest stats. Yes, these articles can technically be classified as evergreen, but they’ll still feel out of date if they fail to take the latest developments into account.
History-based blogs provide one of the best opportunities for providing year-round blog content that can be revisited long after it’s been published.
This could take the form of “this day in history” posts in which your blog highlights a significant development that occurred on a specific date. For example, a New York Mets blog might publish a post on August 22nd referencing the same date in 2009 when several surviving members of the 1969 Miracle Mets reunited at Citi Field.
When in doubt, the top 10 lists also work well for conveying your team’s fascinating history. Highlight the best athletes, the winningest teams, or the biggest disappointments.
Interviews or guest posts
Readers appreciate your insight, but your blog can gain an instant authority boost if it incorporates viewpoints from players, coaches, or anyone else widely regarded as an expert.
Interviews are a great option when you can score them, although some contributors may be willing to provide their opinion in the form of a guest blog. Look to cover topics that are rarely mentioned in mainstream sports media. This will bolster your reputation as a go-to source for athletic insights.
Hit a blogging home run
Now that you know the basics of how to start a sports blog, it’s time to take the next step. We can help you break into blogging with the tools for building a mobile-responsive, search-optimized website.
To learn more about opportunities in recreation, sports, and entertainment marketing, check out Constant Contact’s, The Download. This helpful resource is packed with information to help you connect the dots and level up your online marketing strategy.