Are you wondering how to start a sports blog?
Or maybe you have questions about sports blogging.
That’s great – you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, we’ll take a look at how to create your own sports blog without any technical experience.
Plus, we’ll also go over some frequently asked questions to make it easier for you to get started.
As for me – I started my first blog in 2011 without any experience.
It took me weeks to get it up and running because I had to Google every little thing.
To make it easy for you, I put together this simple step-by-step guide that you can use for starting your own sports blog.
Start a Sports Blog in 6 Simple Steps
- Decide what you want to blog about.
- Choose your blogging platform.
- Pick the right hosting plan.
- Decide on a domain name.
- Get started with WordPress.
- Design your blog and start blogging!
Let’s jump right into it!
Step 1: Decide What You Want to Blog About
As a sports blogger you might be thinking you already know what to blog about – sports.
The problem is that there are so many sports blogs and websites out there.
How is yours going to stand apart from the rest, attract visitors, and build an engaged community?
The answer is simple = you need to blog about something specific in the sports industry.
For example, rather than blogging about “sports” you could start a sports blog that covers topics such as:
- Youth hockey in Europe
- Canadian football
- Australian cricket
- Gaming and e-sports
This is known as your blogging “niche” and it’s the specific topic that your content is all about.
Here are a few more helpful tips on choosing a blogging topic:
- Blog about sports you enjoy or have played in the past. If you’re not excited or passionate about what you’re writing then you’re not going to enjoy it. Think about it, why would your visitors be interested in your content if you’re not?
- Avoid blogging about something too specific. There needs to be an audience for the content you’re sharing otherwise you’ll never get any visitors. For example, instead of starting a sports blog about “grip tape for hockey sticks” start one about “hockey” and incorporate every topic into it.
- Choose a niche that you won’t get bored of. Assume that you’ll be writing for the next 6 to 24 months with a small audience. Interest and passion need to be present or else you’ll run out of motivation to keep blogging.
The goal for your sports blog or website should be to turn it into the main authority or go-to resource for your niche/topic.
Step 2: Choose Your Blogging Platform [WordPress]
Your blogging platform is where you’re going to share all of your sports blog content.
This includes blog posts, images, photos, videos, and everything else website related.
There are a number of different blogging platforms to choose from. These include:
Each of them have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Feel free to check out this post comparing the different blogging platforms to find the best for your personal preferences.
In the blogging community it’s WordPress that’s constantly touted as the best blogging platform.
Personally, I recommend using WordPress with your own hosting service.
WordPress comes loaded with functionality, plugins, themes, and all of the tools you need for building your sports blog.
Using your own hosting service gives you full control over your website and doesn’t limit your monetization opportunities.
Let’s take a look at getting started with hosting.
Step 3: Pick the Right Hosting Plan [SiteGround]
There are two parts to a basic website = the blogging platform and a hosting plan.
WordPress is basically an app that you install on to your hosting plan to display your website to the world.
So, what’s the best host for sports bloggers?
Since 2013 I’ve been using and personally recommending SiteGround as the best blog hosting for most people.
Head over to SiteGround and start your own sports blog!
(This link will open in a new window – follow the instructions below to get your website up and running).
Step 4: Decide on a Domain Name
Your domain name is the web address, or URL, for your website.
For example, BobbyStefanovic.com is the domain name for this site.
If you don’t have a name for your sports blog already, here are some things to consider:
- Use a .com or localized suffix. This is the standard choice for most blogs. Search engine users are most familiar with .com.
- Don’t use any dashes or numbers
- Use a broad name rather than something too specific. It’s important to be able to expand into different topics as your blog grows.
- Shorter domain names are easier to remember and better for branding
With a blog name in mind you can finish setting up your hosting account on Siteground.
Follow through with the hosting instructions until your account is finalized.
Now you’re ready to get started with WordPress!
Step 5: Get Started With WordPress
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.