Five things you start today to become a sports content writer
Sports writing has been around since the time the first goal was scored, or the first six was hit.
Every sports event in the world - from a simple press conference announcing a sponsorship to a nail-biting match that went down to the wire - has hundreds of thousands of words written about it.
These can range from a simple match report to a long-form journalism piece explaining the story behind the event, player, team or league.
There is a common belief that writing is a talent that someone is born with.
And while it may be true in some cases of an extremely gifted writer, it is also true that everyone can and should become a good writer. Yes, even you, dear reader.
Writing, just like any other skill, requires you to practice regularly. The more you practice, the better you become - just like with any other skill.
Here at Sporjo, we have tied up with some of the best content writers in the industry to bring you programs and mentorships that will help you become a better sports writer if you wish to.
However, to get started on your journey towards becoming a better sports writer, here are five things you can do on your own starting today.
Write, write, and write.
There is a story of a famous sports writer who was asked to take a sports writing class at a college. The professor entered a class full of enthusiastic young sports writers and asked them a question:
“Who all here wishes to become a sports writer?”
Everyone raised their hands.
“Well then,” he said, “I suggest you go home and start writing”
While some may wonder if the teacher did the right thing, the fundamental lesson in the story is this - if you want to become a sports writer, start writing about sports.
You may ask, “Well…what do I write about?”.
The simple answer is, anything you want to write about.
Start sports writing because you want to write, not because you want to be read.
This can be about your favourite sports team, your favourite sportsperson, or even just your favourite sport.
It could be about a winning streak, a recent transfer, or even a tactic you felt your favourite team should have used in the last game.
Do not worry about whether you are right or wrong, or whether you wrote well or not. Just write. Get started.
Read, read, and read.
All sports writers read.
You will never meet a good sports writer who does not read.
Good sports writers read a lot. They read almost everything from articles, to reports, to books, to long blog posts, and everything in between.
Reading a lot helps sports writers in two specific ways:
- It allows them to broaden their mind and creativity
- It helps their originality by identifying a point of view that has not been shared by other writers
As we said earlier, there are hundreds of thousands of sports writers out there.
So in order to stand out from the rest, sports writers have to either seek out a point of view that no other sports writer has expressed, or present a point of view in a way that no other sports writer has.
It is important to remember that when you get started, you are bound to “sound like” another sports writer. This is normal.
But as you continue to practice and get better, you will begin to find your own voice.
Start a sports blog
With sports fans and sports content moving to digital screens, it is important for sports writers to have a presence online.
As a young and new sports writer, you may get fewer writing opportunities than someone more established.
However, remember the earlier advice we shared?
So in order to keep writing, you cannot only rely on external opportunities.
Take the time to start your own sports blog.
There are plenty of free resources online to help you set up, and start writing your own online sports blog.
If you feel it to be too technical to build your own site and blog from scratch, then find a free publishing platform like Medium or Substack to publish your sports writing.
Find a freelance gig - paid or free
There are hundreds of sports sites online today.
This means there are thousands of opportunities to find sports writing gigs online today.
While some websites do offer a small token amount to young and aspiring sports writers, almost any sports content website accepts freelance contributions.
Sure, they may first have to like and approve your article, but if they do, then getting your sports writing published on a popular sports website can do wonders for your future sports writing career.
It is important to not get disheartened in the face of rejection.
That is something even the most experienced and established sports writers face well into a long and successful career.
Just keep writing and publishing - either on your own blog or on a popular sports website - as often as you can.
SporPrep or Sporjo Mentorship in Digital Content writing
We at Sporjo aim to prepare all young candidates that sign up with us for a long and fulfilling career in the Indian sports industry.
To do this, a Sporjo candidate is given the opportunity to interact and learn from experienced and established sports industry individuals.
Our SporPREP and Sporjo Mentorship offerings in the area of digital content and sports writing promise to do just that.
Both programs are curated by experts and designed to teach you everything you need to get started with sports writing.
The SporPREP module covers digital media as a general topic while providing specific knowledge on sports content creation.
While the Sporjo Mentorship Program gives you the opportunity to learn from a veteran and experienced sports content writer one-on-one.