How to Monetize a Sports Blog
So you want to turn that love of baseball or football or hockey into a sports blog? And you want to monetize that sports blog to break the stereotype of bloggers living in their parents’ basements?
Someone did a calculation of that, by the way. In case you need encouragement.
Before you jump off the deep end of how to make money on your obsessive love of the New York Jets, read this to find out how to do it the smart way.
First Steps to Monetize a Sports Blog
Step one: don’t just start a sports blog.
There’s an art to writing a blog, and an art to monetizing a sports blog. Jumping in blind won’t help you on the path to having your passion pay your electric bill.
Let’s start from the ground up. Before you ever type one word about baseball, you need to have the right framework.
It starts from the moment of building your website. Because if you want to outcompete the thousands of sports blogs in existence, you’re going to have to play smarter.
Build Your Website
If you want to build a house, you’ve got to build the foundation.
Or, in this case, register the domain name.
Your domain name should only be relevant to your sport of choice – don’t name your site hoopdreams.com if you’re interested in football.
It should also be something catchy – easy to remember, rolls off the tongue. A reader should be able to hear your blog name and immediately recognize it.
You can search for a domain using Google’s domain service, or go straight to the site you plan on using to host.
Add Killer Content
Step two to monetize a sports blog: write some killer content.
Let’s have some real talk about blogs. No successful sports blog ever became a successful sports blog without high-quality blog posts to back it up.
So, how do you write blog posts that don’t skunk up the place worse than the Detroit Lions? Or, better yet, how do you write blog posts that are actually, you know, good?
Start by checking out this list of 7 tips. You can also post related game updates, news stories, and even sports videos (with the right permissions).
As a rule of thumb, you want to only post information that your readers would find useful. You could, for example, post information on what to do for sports injuries or link to relevant sites for injuries, like Axis Health.
Oh, and while you’re at it? SEO. SEO like a pro.
Next Steps: Ideas to Monetize a Sports Blog
Now that you’re done batting for the little leagues, let’s move on to how you actually monetize a sports blog.
A lot of this comes in handy after you’ve taken the time and effort to build a strong community around your blog. If you provide genuinely useful and interesting information to your readers in a readable format, they’ll reward you for those efforts.
Here are four ideas to get you started.
This one only works to monetize a sports blog if you’re also selling something.
Translation: if all you’re doing is reporting the events of last night’s LA Lakers game, you’re going to have a pretty hard time using targeting to sell yourself.
How do you find out if targeting might work for you, you ask? Simple: ask yourself if your visitors have a need which you could meet through a product or service you sell.
And no, a subscription to last night’s sports scores when someone could Google it for free does not count.
Wait, what in the name of the Stanley Cup is affiliate marketing?
Here’s how it works.
You use a product. You like a product. You become an affiliate of the company or site that sells it, and you have an affiliate link on your website. You get a cut of sales every time one of your visitors uses your link to buy that product.
So, you’re essentially getting paid to recommend a product. It’s a great way to earn recurring income without even trying.
A word of advice about affiliate marketing: no one likes spam. Don’t be that person who spams their site with affiliate links. Take the time to use products, review them and only become an affiliate marketer of products you’re genuinely hyped about.
Sell Your Own Products
Ah, the golden rule of making money blogging. Sell your own stuff.
Now, if you’re knitting coasters with team logos on that, no one’s that interested in finding a website just to buy those. Leave that to Etsy.
If you want to take the time to sell your own products, make sure they’re products that are actually worth people spending what you charge. Otherwise, all you’re really doing is wasting money in the production process.
And a side note on the production process: make sure that you have the production system and overhead costs already ready before you dive in.
Alright, this one isn’t so much a reliable income source as a friendly suggestion, but it’s still worth keeping in your back pocket.
If you’ve built a strong online community of loyal, dedicated readers of your posts, many of those readers would probably be happy to support you in return for putting out the content they love so much.
Just don’t be obnoxious about asking.
Welcome to the Big Leagues
So you’re ready to go big or go home, are you? Good for you.
We can help with that.
ArticleCity covers a range of topics to help your fledgling blog shine (and a few topics that speak to the true sports fan in all of us).
For ideas on how to write killer content, check out the content strategy section of our blog for posts like 5 tips for attention-grabbing online content writing.
For posts that speak to the sports fan in all of us, check out our recreation and sports posts like the guide to the latest fantasy baseball draft.