Plenty of people love sports. However, for some, sports are a genuine obsession.
- Are you that type of sports fan?
- Do you know everything about a range of different teams, leagues, and players?
- Can accurately reference obscure sports history facts immediately?
- Most importantly, if given the option, could you talk about sports for days?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider a career as a freelance sports writer.
Breaking into the sports writing industry doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how to get started.
3 Ways to Break Into Freelance Sports Writing
There isn’t one way to land a freelance sports writing job. However, being proactive and getting out there is a great way to start. Here are 3 key ways to break into sports writing.
1. Pitch Stories
Someone interested in becoming a freelance sports writer probably already reads a few sports-related publications and blogs already.
Make a list of your favorite sports publications. Once you have a list, search for the contact info of their editors by Googling such phrases as “[publication name] masthead,” “[publication name] contact,” “[publication name] editor, “[publication name] freelance,” etc.
You may have to try a few different searches to find all the relevant info. However, once you have the necessary contacts, you can send an email to the editors at these publications, letting them know you’re interested in contributing as a freelancer.
You should also pitch specific story ideas to these editors. Doing so demonstrates you’re the kind of aspiring freelance sports writer willing to take a proactive approach.
2. Demonstrate Experience
As with any sports job, when you contact editors letting them know you’re interested in freelance writing opportunities, you should cite any relevant experience you have. For instance, maybe you’ve already covered sports for your college newspaper or a local paper.
Of course, that may be difficult if you don’t have that kind of experience and aren’t currently in a position to get in the traditional ways.
That’s not to say you can’t qualify for freelance sports writing jobs, though. Many people become all sorts of freelance sports journalists by starting their own blogs first. Additionally, in some cases, blogs attract large readerships. You could leverage your blog to get a sports writing job, or, if it’s popular enough, you could monetize it through advertising and related methods, essentially employing yourself.
3. Apply Directly
Keep in mind that you should also routinely check sports job boards, like JobsInSports.com, to look for freelance sports writing opportunities. Applying to them directly might also help you break into the field.
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How Much Do Freelance Sports Writers Make?
You will need to account for practical financial realities when considering what type of job in sports you wish to pursue. After all, you need to earn a living.
The amount of money you can make as a freelance sports writer varies significantly on a case-by-case basis due to the nature of freelance writing.
First of all, how publications pay freelancers tends to vary. Some pay flat rates for individual articles while others pay hourly rates. On top of that, some publications actively send their freelancers regular assignments, while others wait for freelancers to submit ideas instead, only accepting those they deem worthy of covering.
Statistics indicate the average “hourly” rate for a freelance writer in the United States is $22.07, but again, not all publications pay by the hour. As a result, some freelancers make a decent, comfortable living, some earn six figures, and others (usually the ones who have other jobs) make some extra spending money.
That’s an important point to consider. Freelancing doesn’t involve being a full-time employee of a company. If you want to be a freelance sports writer, but also want the stability of your current job, you can do both, submitting articles to publications only when you feel the urge.
Regardless of the path you take, if you have an interest in sports, a thorough knowledge of the industry, and persuasive writing skills, you can turn your passion into profit by becoming a freelance sports writer. These tips will help you achieve your goal. Just remember that it can take a little while to break into freelancing. Don’t get discouraged if progress comes slow.