Are you a passionate sports fan?
Have you ever wondered how to start a sports blog and make money writing about your favorite sports, athletes, or fitness activities?
Then you’ve come to the right place because in this post I want to share with you how you can start your blog and get your first blog post online in less than an hour from now.
There’s no denying that sports are popular all around the world and people from every nation are interested in watching other people compete, whether it’s at the Olympics or a global soccer tournament, or just watching local sports teams duke it out.
The audience for sport blogging is enormous, arguably one of the biggest online audiences, and there is a lot of money in sports so there’s plenty of ways that you can make money with a sports blog.
The hardest part is actually getting started, so after reading this helpful guide I hope that you’ve taken the steps to get your blog set up and that you’re passionate enough about sports that you’re going to keep blogging about them into the foreseeable future.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a professional writer to start sports blogging, and all you need is just a love for the sport that you want to write about and you’ll be good to go.
The best way how to make money sports blogging is to actually learn by doing, so use this guide as your starting point and begin your journey towards becoming a professional blogger.
How to Start a Sports Blog
Here’s a quick look at the different steps you need to take in order to get set up with your sports blog or website in less than an hour.
- Choose your niche (do you want to blog about a specific sport or everything sports-related?)
- Come up with the name for your blog or website
- Set up your hosting (Bluehost offers a free domain when you get started)
- Install WordPress on your brand new Bluehost domain
- Select a specific website theme (I recommend using XXX for themes)
- Install your new theme and any WordPress plug-ins that you want to use
- Set up the different social media platforms related to your blog name
- Come up with some blog post ideas
- Start learning and implementing SEO
That’s really all there is to it!
Now let’s dive into a more in-depth guide I’m getting you up and running with your new sports blog!
Choose Your Niche
The first thing you want to do when you’re getting started is to come up with a specific niche, or topic, that you want to create your website about.
Depending on your current interests, this might be really easy, and if you’re really into a specific sport or activity then you already know what you’re going to start off with.
For example, if you love basketball more than every other sport then of course you’re going to want to create a basketball blog.
In the Internet marketing world this would be known as a niche blog.
On the other hand, if you love a few different sports then you’ll be better off creating a website that covers all of them, rather than just focusing on one.
In the Internet marketing world this would be known as an authority website.
In my opinion, I think it’s a better idea to create an authority website because you can cover a wider range of topics, reach a larger audience, and since there are so many different sports and sports related things you can talk about you’re a lot less likely to get bored in the long run.
It’s very important that you’re passionate about whatever you’re hoping to write about, because otherwise it’s not going to be fun and exciting for you to create blog content on a regular basis and you’ll be much more likely to give up.
There are quite a few bloggers out there that recommend choosing something really specific to blog about, rather than going with a more broad approach, but for your sanity and monetization capability I’m a huge fan of the broad approach, so it’s what I recommend.
Unlike many other niches out there, just about every sport has a huge following so there’s no need to worry about whether or not you’re going to be writing content for no reason.
People are always going to be looking for more information on even the most obscure sports, including things like fencing or table tennis, so there’s always going to be in audience available for you to target.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of big names in the sports blogging world so try to think of ways that your own blog is going to be different from all the rest, rather than just trying to blend in.
Naming Your Blog or Website
Once you have decided whether you want to go the niche or authority route, it’s time to come up with the name for your blog or website.
It can be pretty hard to find a name that you actually like, and it’s made even harder by the fact that some of the best domains (URLs) have already been taken.
Try to come up with a good list of different ideas in case some of your favorites aren’t available just so you have something to fall back on when it comes to choosing a blog name.
Here are some things to consider when you’re trying to name your blog:
- Use a .com suffix. This is the standard choice and people are a lot more familiar with .coms so it’s going to benefit you in the long run to use one.
- Don’t use any hyphens or dashes in the URL
- Try to come up with a broad name, rather than something hyper specific, so that you can write about a wider range of different topics if you ever want to
- You’re better off going with a shorter URL because they’re easier to remember and easier to brand as well
- Use basic words and avoid any words that are hard to spell or understand
- Try to come up with a memorable or unique name for your blog
Some examples on choosing a name could be things like:
Hopefully these help to give you a better idea on coming up with a name for your blog.
Once you’ve decided on some names you like, head over to Bluehost to check to see if the domains are available.
If the one you like is available then move onto the next step.
Set Up Your Hosting
The hardest and most technical part of getting your sports blog up and running is setting up the hosting so that you can get your domain live on the Internet.
Hosting is where all of your website content, such as the theme, any blog posts that you write, images, and everything else related to your site is stored and displayed so that people can access it online.
It’s possible to go with free hosting, but I always recommend going with a self hosted WordPress website because this offers you a lot more functionality and it’s a lot more professional looking.
Keep in mind that there are some costs associated with hosting your own website, although they tend to be quite reasonable and you only need to expect to pay a few dollars per month to host your website online.
Like I mentioned above, I prefer using Bluehost for my beginner websites and I typically transfer over to SiteGround once a blog is getting some good traction and on an upward trajectory.
Bluehost – My Hosting Recommendation
For beginners, it’s really hard to go wrong with Bluehost, and apart from being reasonably priced it also comes with a free domain name so everything is ready to go for you right out of the box.
When you just getting started, I would recommend the Bluehost Starter Plan, and for your first year this is going to be a really cheap hosting plan.
The price does go up after the first year, and this is quite common with many hosts, so hopefully you’re earning enough from your blog that you can offset this slight increase in cost.
Despite all of that, the Bluehost pricing is still quite reasonable, and once you combine that with good customer service as well as a great up-time, it’s really hard to go wrong with them from the start.
To get started, head over to Bluehost.com and follow through the different set-up and installation prompts.
Once you have everything set up with Bluehost you should receive an email with your login information to get on to your Bluehost cPanel, and once that happens you can move onto the next step.
Before you can fully access your WordPress dashboard, you need to actually install WordPress onto your hosting,
WordPress is the most popular and easiest to use content management system, or CMS, and it allows you to do everything you want to when it comes to blogging and sharing content with other sports lovers and enthusiasts.
It’s really straightforward when it comes to installing WordPress with Bluehost, and to get started head over to the cPanel on BlueHost.
Next, scroll down until you see the “Website” section and then select the icon that says “Install WordPress”.
Click on the “Install” button and then choose your domain name where you want WordPress installed.
You’re likely going to be asked to choose a username and password for your WordPress account, so fill that out, and make sure to add the email address that you use most regularly.
Check all of the boxes for the licence and service agreements and then click on the “Install Now” button to finish up with the installation process.
After a few moments WordPress will be installed onto your domain and hosting so you can head over to your email, grab your WordPress login information, and sign on to your WordPress dashboard so that you can start blogging.
Choosing and Installing a New Theme
Once you have logged into your WordPress dashboard you’re going to want to go ahead and get your theme set up properly.
A fresh WordPress install will have a default theme already up and running, but these don’t look very professional at all, so it’s a good idea to change the theme right from the start and go with something that you like.
There are quite a few different free themes available to choose from, also I recommend going with a premium (paid) theme for a more professional appearance and for more customization options.
Paid themes are great because you can customize them quite a bit depending on how you want your website to look and they are also quite reasonably priced, running between $30 and $100 depending on the theme, so it’s definitely an investment worth making.
However, if you’re on a tight budget then you can start out with a free theme and upgrade to a premium one once you start making some money.
How to Install a New WordPress Theme
To install the new theme on WordPress, head over to the “Appearance” menu option on the left navigation bar on WordPress and select “Themes”.
This will bring you to the “Themes” page and from here you can either click on “Add New” to find and add a new theme or you can just activate one that is already there.
To add a theme that you already bought you still need to click on “Add New”, click on “Upload Theme”, and select the .ZIP file from your computer where the theme is stored.
Then just follow through with the installation prompt and once the theme is installed you can activate it and customize it to your preferences.
Once your new theme is ready it’s time to go ahead and set up your plugins.
What’s a WordPress Plug-In?
WordPress plug-ins are essentially tools and special add-ons that you can use to improve the functionality of your blog.
There are quite a few different free and premium plugins to choose from, and thankfully most of the best WordPress plug-ins are free to use so this isn’t an area where you need to spend any money.
Keep in mind that while plugins aren’t completely necessary, they’re good to use and they’re really easy to install so there’s no reason not to use some of the best ones to improve your blog.
Installing a Plug-In
To install a WordPress plug-in you want to click on the “Plugins” tab on the WordPress dashboard.
Beside the “Plugins” title go ahead and click on the “Add New” button.
This is going to bring you to the “Add Plugins” page and you can search through the different plugins to choose any of the one that you want to install.
The best way to find the ones that you want is to use the search bar and after finding one you just need to install it and then activate it from the plug-ins page.
Some of the best WordPress plug-ins that I recommend are:
- W3 Total Cache
- Yoast SEO
There are plenty of other plugins to choose from so make sure to do some research on Google to see if there’s any other one that you think you should be using.
Set Up Your Social Media
Once your website is totally up and running it’s a good idea to set up your social media accounts before you start blogging.
This way you can share your new content on these different platforms right away and start growing your social audience from the beginning.
Having a social media presence allows you to effectively promote your blog, work on building your audience, and it also allows you to interact with other people interested in sports.
These days, there are quite a few social media platforms that you can use.
As a beginner, I recommend focusing on just two or three different platforms so that you don’t get too overwhelmed, and you can branch out from there once you feel more.
If it’s possible, make sure to use your website name as the name of your social media account, and if not then try to use something as close as possible so that it’s easier for people to find and interact with you.
The different social media platforms that I recommend include:
Write Your First Blog Post and Get it Published
Finally, after everything on your website is set up properly, you can start blogging and get your first blog post published.
Adding new content to a WordPress blog is really easy and to do so you just need to click on “Posts” on the left-hand side and select “Add New”.
This will bring you to the WordPress post text editor and you can do all of your blogging from here.
Once you’re finished your post, simply click on “Publish” on the right-hand side and your blog post will get published to the Internet.
For a sports blog, you probably already have tons of ideas on what kinds of content you should be publishing.
If you’re having trouble coming up with blog post ideas, I recommend looking at other sports bloggers and sports related websites for some inspiration on what you should blog about.
Otherwise, my friend Alvin has a really good post on blogging ideas so you can check that out for some helpful tips as well.
Learn How to Implement SEO
The last thing that you need to focus on after creating your sports blog is making sure that is optimized for search engines.
Optimizing your website for search is known as SEO, or search engine optimization, and there is really so much to say about it that to cover it all in this one post.
I recommend taking a look at the Search Engine Watch guide on SEO basics to get a better idea of what you should focus on when you’re first getting started.
However, here are some things you want to keep in mind:
- Write high quality, engaging, and long form content
- Ensure that your website loads quickly for a better user experience
- Use keywords in your content that people are actually searching for
- Link you’re different blog posts together if it makes sense to do so
- Use a custom meta description and unique title tags
- Use images and video in your post
- Share all of your new content on social media
So, hopefully this helpful guide on how to start a sports blog has helped you out on your own journey towards getting your sports site set up and ready for the world to see.
If you need to, make sure to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it if you ever need help with any one of these different steps.
Keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that it’s going to take you quite a while to grow your audience, start getting traffic, and start making money from your blog.
Just make sure that you don’t give up right away and I’m positive that if you put in the work, you’re bound to see success.
If you have any questions, comments, or if you need any help with setting up your blog, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below or just contact me for further help.