Most people dream about being paid to do what they love, but for the majority of them, it remains a dream for the rest of their life. However, sports fans should consider themselves to be pretty lucky. For them, turning their passion into a career is considerably easy.
Now that there are hundreds of online sports publications, starting out as a sports writer is even more real. The great news is that you don’t need any high-level connections in this industry to begin writing about sports. Find out how to make a living out of sports writing right now!
One of the biggest benefits of building a sports writing career these days is that you can get in touch with all these amazing people who share your passion. More importantly, these people can give you the career boost you need. The secret here is to build a writer’s portfolio before getting hired to write for money. The best way to do it is to start contributing to a small but recognizable sports blog for free.
Most online sports blogs, whether they are tiny or more established ones, are always looking for contributions from new writers. They may have a page dedicated to encouraging writers to get in touch, but even if they don’t, you can always ask whether they are looking for contributors. Contributing an article to a sports blog for free actually benefits both parties. A blog gets an excellently written article to share with their readers, and the writer receives the first professional writing experience and can add a new piece of writing to their portfolio.
It goes without saying that in order to get accepted, your article needs to be free of any mistakes and fit the tone of writing of the particular blog. The blog editor may ask you for a writing sample beforehand to test your style and use of language. If you want to make absolutely sure your writing is spotless, you can hire a professional paper editor who will proofread and edit your work to make it match the highest standards of writing.
Now that you have a few successfully written articles for smaller blogs, it is time to move up the career ladder. Finally, you can get paid for your writing by contributing to larger online publications.
The first thing you need to do is research bigger sports blogs to see whether they are hiring new writers and on what conditions. Since it is unlikely that you will land a permanent position and will most likely remain a freelance writer, you shouldn’t leave your job just yet. Instead, you can contribute up to 2 paid articles a week for sports blogs. Ideally, you should also continue writing for small blogs for free, so that your portfolio continues to grow.
Now that there is a change in your status as a writer, make sure it is visible! Update your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages to add your newest accomplishments. You can also use these websites to get in touch with the editors from your target publications. Simply write to them directly and ask whether they are interested in your contribution. Attach links to several of your best articles to show what you have to offer.
We have already mentioned how to use social media websites to land the coveted jobs, but you can also use them to strengthen your profile as a sports writer. As you begin to contribute to more popular sports publications, you will start gaining a following on your own. People will follow you on Facebook and Twitter to see what else you have to say about the subject of sports. Make sure not to disappoint your readers by doing nothing but sharing links to your articles! Your followers will be looking for your opinions, and not just on sports — they will also want to know more about you as a person.
A winning combination of your Facebook and Twitter posts is 80/20: only 20% of your posts should be various links, while the remaining 80% should be your personal opinions, news, questions to the audience, and so on. That way you will build stronger following around you as a writer, which will also help you in your career prospects.
Both small and larger online publications are looking for writers with a powerful social media presence. The more followers you have personally, the newer potential followers the publication will have. Your active use of social media and the ability to build a rapport with the readers will attract the attention of high-profile sports editors, who will be more than happy to give you a chance to shine on their platform.
The only real way to make a career in sports writing is to write as much as possible. As you go from writing for small blogs for free to contributing paid articles to larger publications, your writing skills and social media savvy will continue to improve. Never stop writing about what you love and becoming better at what you do, and who knows where your new career will take you next!