Finding work in sports can take a long time. You honed your resume, determined your ideal salary, and even expanded your search to other areas you’re willing to relocate to. However, you’re still stuck in this long-term unemployment rut.
The good news is, no matter where you are in your job search, you have a great tool you can use to find work in sports. Also, it’s a great hobby that can be a lot of fun.
We spoke to our job search expert, Champ the Pug, and he suggested starting a sports blog. This is a great way to improve your job search strategy. In fact, our survey found that 26 percent of employers prefer candidates who start an industry specific blog.
Let’s follow Champ’s step-by-step guide to creating an awesome sports blog:
The 3 Essentials
Before starting your sports blog, you need to have these three essentials in place:
- A specific theme or niche you’re passionate about
- A sense of direction
- The name of your blog and domain
First of all, identify what it is you’re passionate about. This helps you determine what your niche will be. The sports world is huge, so focus your blog on a specific topic you love and know (or want to learn) a lot about.
Make a list of your favorite sports topics, then pick the one you want to create content about. It should align with the kind of work in sports you’re interested in. This will give you a sense of direction.
You also want to have a strong purpose for your blog. The ‘why’ of your blog needs to be more meaningful than just ‘I want to impress employers.’
Let’s say you’re a huge baseball fan and want to focus on baseball history. Your ‘why’ could be ‘build a community of baseball historians and enthusiasts.’ That’s a great purpose.
Maybe your direction is more specifically informative, like offering tips on how to strength train as a golfer. Then your ‘why’ is ‘teach golfers how to exercise and maintain a good level of fitness.’ With this direction, you can find the best name for your blog and domain.
Keep in mind that personal SEO is key to your job search. According to our survey, 22 percent of employers search your name online after they receive your application. You want to optimize your content so when employers search your name in Google, your awesome blog is the first result.
Your domain can be as simple as YourName.com or can be specific to your theme, like GolfFitness.com.
Choose a platform and host
The first big step in turning an idea into action is finding a home for your blog. There are several blogging platforms, so research these top options to find the best fit for you:
- They make building beautiful, mobile optimized websites super easy. The downside is they offer a limited amount of plugins and themes, and it can be costly, depending on what plan you purchase.
- This is the most popular option because you can start for free and pay for custom domains. They offer the most plugins and themes, but it comes with a bit of a learning curve.
- Wix is another free platform that offers premium paid options. They offer a lot of plugins and themes, but they have technical limitations that may hurt SEO.
- This free option offers a ton of themes, but you don’t get any plugin options.
- There are several limitations here. You don’t get your own domain. There aren’t any themes or plugins. However, it’s the easiest platform to use and the Medium community is huge. In other words, there’s a built-in audience waiting for you.
- They provide free and premium versions as well. Similar to Squarespace, you don’t get many plugins, but it’s super easy to start and maintain.
The best news about the platforms mentioned — they all provide hosting included in the price. If you want to self-host your blog, consider the following options:
Depending on your platform, you have a ton of different theme options to choose from. WordPress offers several, and you can even purchase premium themes through resources like ThemeForest.
Find the look that works for you and your agenda. You might prefer a simple, clean theme with blocks of text if you want to focus on written content.
If you’re starting a sports photography blog, pick a theme that centers on images. It can include a boxed layout, animated grid, or a gallery look.
Research themes through your platform and find ways to make your blog look unique and specific to you and your personality.
Plan and create content
Now, the real fun begins! Start planning blog article ideas and keep them in a spreadsheet. Your ideas fuel your sports blog, so it’s crucial to capture them all as they come to you. Even if you’re busy shopping for groceries and you think of a new idea, add it to your Notes app on your smartphone or throw the idea into your Blog Article Ideas Google Sheet.
Then, create a content creation process. When you have a workflow, you have simple steps to follow, which makes it easier to be more productive.
Your process can be as simple as:
- Ideation – Write out a working title and summary of the article.
- Outline and draft – Lay it out in detail, then write the article.
- Final touches – Step away, then come back with fresh eyes to edit and restructure until it flows well. Finally, proofread and publish.
- Amplify – This is where social media comes in.
Promote on social
You made awesome content. Now share it! This is how you build your community and followers.
Share your expertise and demonstrate credibility to employers by engaging in conversations with your original content. This is another great way to stand out and earn work in sports. As our survey found, 37 percent of employers say they prefer candidates who share industry content on social media.
Use tools like Buffer to better manage multiple social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook. Schedule posts that share your articles and start discussions with followers. You can even post your content in Linkedin groups to spark conversations with sports industry thought leaders.
It might seem daunting to build a sports blog, but it really doesn’t take much time. The more effort you put into building your sports blog and creating and sharing content, the more likely you are to earn attention from potential employers and find work in sports that is meaningful to you.
What are you interested in blogging about? Share in the comments!