One of the easiest niches to get into is sports â€“ itâ€™s a market with the perfect ingredients for a blog. You have:
- Fanatic demand (sports fans are crazy, emotional, opinionated and active community members).
- Low competition (most fan blogs are â€“ in my view, crap. The sports industry as a whole is crying out for quality fan-produced content, and thatâ€™s where you come in. To add to that, there is very little being done in the search marketing space with sports blogs â€“ I know this from personal experience).
- You have a lot of opportunities to earn money from this niche, provided that you are creative (selling affiliate goods directly will not work for example, as sports fans are exactly floating in money all the time).
So, with one eye on the 2006 Fifa World Cup (thatâ€™s soccer to you Americans), letâ€™s talk about what you need to in order to blog about a sporting event.
Create a Timeline
Obvious as it may seem, you can get a lot of benefit out of creating a timeline for the event and breaking it down into distinct sections. Once you have the event divided up into sections in time, you have a much better idea of what stages your coverage will go through. You will also be setting separate goals and objectives for each of these stages, but not yet.
First, you need to find your focus.
>Pick your Theme
Pick a theme for your coverage. Do you have a favorite team (team sports) or a favorite athlete (individual sports)? If it is a multi-sport event, pick your favorite event(s). In simple terms, pick out a few specific, identifiable themes from the event that you are interested in (or barring interest, you think would be the most interesting for your readers).
This will help you find your primary focus for your event coverage. Throughout the sports event, it is going to be very tempting to try to cover all the news â€“ using these themes, you can reorient yourself and focus on only that in which you are truly interested. For the rest, you can setup a daily â€˜linksâ€™ or â€˜briefsâ€™ post in which cover all the interesting news that you did not have time to cover.
Set specific goals for the event, with respect to the following:
- Individual themes
- Each â€˜stageâ€™ of the event
- The â€˜big pictureâ€™ / overview of the event
- On creating interest in your coverage of the event
It is important that you set yourself these goals â€“ they will keep you on track as well as keep you motivated throughout the event. At the very least, this is going to be a heavy period of blogging, so you should also think about your other responsibilities. In my case I have delayed projects and taken time off from most of my other blogs in order to immerse myself fully on covering the World Cup.
Iâ€™ve said this before, and Nick and Chris have said it time and time again:
To be successful, you have to be able to execute on your plans. This meets meeting your goals, not only for each stage of the event but also for the themes you have picked (the focal points for your blog).
If you do something like this, and if you plan on covering it properly (that is, following news and actually providing timely updates instead of putting up a â€œall-links-lumped-togetherâ€ post at the end of each day, then this will take a lot of time and effort. For me, the World Cup has not even begun yet and Iâ€™ve already spent two full days working on my football blog (albeit half of that time was spent redesigning it).
Make the best of your resources to â€œget the job doneâ€. It will pay off in spades by the end.
Make a list of 4 to 5 different things you can do (other than just blogging about the event) that will generate interest in your readers. If you are programming-inclined you could put together a scoreboard widget (like Microsoft did for the World Cup). If you are a designer you could put together a new design for your blog specially in anticipation for the event (something that I did for my football blog).
Thereâ€™s a lot more you can do â€“ podcasts, picture galleries, strong opinionated content and more, but the key here is what I said earlier regarding execution: you have to be able to carry out your plans fully. Itâ€™s no use setting yourself lofty goals if you cannot keep up with them. Work hard, but remember your limits.
It really, really helps if you have a team of bloggers. They can share the blogging load, contribute in different ways (images, programming, etc) and best of all, it always helps to have alternate opinions on a blog.
If youâ€™re going solo, then good luck. Youâ€™ll bloody well need it.
This post is actually inspired by another post I wrote on blogging elsewhere. In it Iâ€™ve shown exactly what goals Iâ€™ve set for myself (and the blog) for the World Cup and how I plan to accomplish them. If you are interested, hereâ€™s the link: blogging about the World Cup.