I Love Watching Sport – And Get Paid From it!

Most sports fans think it would be great to be a sports writer – you get to travel round the world watching all the great events live, and then get paid to write about it!
Sounds good, eh?
How about being a sports photographer?
The same thing applies, being paid to go and cover all the top events.
You might even win fancy awards!

The trouble is, that although you do indeed get to travel around the world, that particular novelty soon wears off, and the fact that you may ben in Italy one day, Dublin the next, and Bahrain the next would soon become a pain, living out of a suitcase, with no time to relax or settle.

And yes, although you do indeed get to see all those events in person, you can’t kick back and enjoy them, because you have a deadline to meet, and not only that, the quality of your work is always under pressure.

And let’s not forget that in order to get to the top of those particular ladders, you have had to spend years grafting your way up the ladder.
Anyone can start being a sports writer or photographer, and the competition is always snapping at your heels waiting to take your place.

So although the idea sounds nice, I choose not to follow those careers, preferring instead to relax, watching any sport I want live in the comfort of my own home, maybe with a nice drink in hand!

How do I do this?
I provide information to sports fans, that’s how.
With the advance of the internet, it’s possible to create and distribute information quickly and cheaply, for free in fact, so that’s what I do – I provide sports fans with information about how they can do the same as I do, earn enough money from sport to enjoy it at their leisure, earn enough money to match the earnings of all but the elite writers and photographers, to earn enough money to overtake the dayjob.

So, if you enjoy watching sport as much as I do, you can enjoy it even more by profiting from it like I do!

How to Succeed in Sports Writing Jobs

Sports writing jobs are not only glamorous but highly rewarding in terms of recognition and job satisfaction. They can be so lucrative that many sports stars have considered this to be their career alternative after they have retired from active participation in their sports. Their articles appear regularly in various newspapers, magazines, websites etc.

Online media has emerged as a powerful alternative to conventional electronic and print media, as you can readily connect with your audience with a click of mouse. There are numerous websites, newsletters, blogs and forums which receive immediate feedback from readers, which help the site owners to feel the pulse of the audience. The huge and ever expanding market of web journalism offers incredible opportunities for sports writers, many of whom work as freelancers by choice.

Various sports channels and magazines host their websites to assert their web presence. Apart from them, there are independent web portals that are dedicated to sports and games. These sites hire teams of writers to give fresh content to their readers. They offer tremendous potential for anyone who considers online sports writing as his expertise. With the right skills, you can climb the ladder and earn a handsome package in the long run. Here are some tips that will help you succeed in this profession:

Interest and effort

The basic qualification of a sports writer is his passion for sports. If you sincerely believe that you share this passion, and can write well, you can proceed with your plans and expect success. But this does not mean that you need to be an accomplished sports star. All you need is an interest in various sports.

Sharing this passion is not enough. You need to undertake extensive research on almost every sport that you can think of. Read books, magazines, and newspaper for sports articles. Listen to commentaries and follow the sporting events closely for a better insight into the games. You should understand the subtle nuances of various games. If you are not sure about how things work, you should seek the help of experts. However, it is not enough to know the game alone. You should also be familiar with the teams, players and their records.

Build your network

Once you have decided on becoming a sports writer, you should concentrate on building your network of contacts and sources. They will help you gather reliable information. You can have access to all the scoops and news, which will be instrumental in determining your success.

Other factors

Besides these aspects, a good sports writer also needs to have a great command over the language he uses to express his thoughts and ideas. When language is your strength, your expressions will become eloquent and clear.

Another important requirement of an online sports writer is computer skills. You should be familiar with the web environment and know how to do research. Your typing speed should also be good.

Sports writing jobs demand that you update your knowledge constantly. Stay in touch with what’s happening in the world of sport and keep a finger on the pulse of the fans.

All About Freelance Sports Writing Jobs

Imagine eating, breathing, and sleeping sports for a living. Does it sounds like a dream job come true? Freelance sports writing may be for you!

You may know a lot about sports, but not every sports fan should become a sports writer. Freelance sports writing requires great writing skills, including how to tell a story that helps the reader experience the moment with you. It’s also better if you know a lot of history and trivia about many sports; the more versatile you are, the easier it will be to get a job.

Freelance sports writers write about games and tournaments; they follow the careers of players and do historical pieces on players or sports. Freelance sports writers often have the freedom to write about whatever they like, within the context of what’s going on in a given season.

Who offers freelance sports writing jobs?

Big companies like CNN, NBC, and ESPN are always looking for great sports writers, but you need sports writing experience to work for them.

To get that experience, check out listings on Online-Writing-Jobs(dot) com. At any given time, this website has a couple of dozen sports writing jobs available in smaller markets. Some are local newspapers, some are people looking for coverage of tournaments, and some are for online sports news sites.

Another idea is to sign up with Suite101(dot) com, Webook(dot) com, and/or Collegesports-fans(dot) com. You won’t make money from them at first (well, maybe a little, but we’re talking less than $10 a month), but these sites strive to publish quality material online, which will help you develop your sports writing portfolio.

The idea is to get as many clips as possible so you can arm yourself with a healthy portfolio of published material and apply at the bigger companies. Be patient – you will eventually get the experience you need to get the high paying jobs.

What pay rate can I expect as a freelance sports writer?

Once you have that all-important experience, you could be in reasonably high demand. Beginner sports writers earn about $30 per article. Sports writing veterans make far more than that – around $60-$75 per hour, plus occasional perks like game tickets and travel expenses.

What’s the best way to respond to an ad?

I can’t stress this enough: you need experience before you can vie for well-paying jobs. Once you have some clips to showcase your writing talent, you must show potentials clients that you’re the right writer for the job.

How do you do that? Let’s dissect a sample ad to see what we can come up with:

A new California sports website is about to launch and we need writers! We want articles about professional and college sports news. If you’re opinionated, good with words, and of course, a die-hard California sports fan, we need you! Contact us ASAP at (address).

Decoding what an employer’s needs are will help you to respond to the ad. The ad tells us what kind of writer they need. For example, you should know about California sports and you should know how to write articles that incorporate good keywords to attract the attention of the web surfers. The overall tone of the ad tells us that you should be energetic and capable to express opinions that engage people in debate; in other words, they want writers with an “edge.”

Your response to the ad might be something like this:

Dear name,

I think it’s amazing you’re starting this new website – it’s just what California needs! I am an experienced sports writer with a real soft spot for California teams (go Lakers!).

For a new website, it’s important to have writers who can help you generate web traffic. My articles are entertaining and thought-provoking. I also love to write about controversial topics that get a real web discussion going. I think my combination of experience, skill, and love of sports would be a major asset to your website.

Attached to this email, please find several clips of my previously published work in sports writing. Thanks so much for considering me as one of your new sports writers. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Your name

As you can see, writing a reply can be straightforward once you know how to spot clues from a potential employer. Make every reply concise and compelling, and you will find your next freelance sports writing gig just around the corner!

Breaking Into Sports Journalism

For sports journalism, as with any other specialism, you need to know your subject inside out, be passionate about it, and have the determination and enthusiasm to succeed. But how do you break into sports journalism? Having a qualification behind you is valuable, but it is practical, hands on experience that tells an editor that you are up to the job. One of the biggest challenges faced by a wannabe journalist is how to build a file of published clips if an editor is only interested in hiring someone with experience.

Building up a healthy collection of clips is important so you can show off your capabilities. Quality is more important than quantity, but it is best to have a wide range of samples. Not just different sports, but also different styles of articles, such as features, news and editorials.

Whether you are still in education or trying to land your first job, getting work experience in the field is key. Take any opportunity you are given to build on your experience by getting a reporter job at a weekly or local newspaper, or finding an organization that will offer you an internship or work experience. Make of the opportunity what you can; seek advice, use your initiative and build up your contacts book. It might even lead to full-time paid employment.

Working your way up from the bottom is a good way of gaining valuable experience and getting your foot in the door. By working in a junior or trainee role, you will be gaining practical experience that will help when you are looking to move into a reporting position elsewhere or help you achieve promotion with your current employer.

It may also give you the opportunity to accompany reporters to events and observe how they go about their job, providing you with knowledge of how journalists work and skills that you can later put into practice. You may even be able to put what you have learnt to the test by interviewing colleagues and reporters about their jobs and finding out more about the industry.

The Internet has opened up incredible opportunities for wannabe sports reporters and journalists. Choose a topic, sport, or team that you are a passionate about and start a blog; it is a great way of beginning your reporting career. Citizen journalism sites, such as The Latest.com, are ideal for taking your first steps in publishing your articles. Not only will you build up your portfolio of self-published clips but you might also receive offers of employment from news organizations.

Sports magazines that have online web presence (ESPN and The Sporting News for example) and team network portals, such as Scout.com and Rivals.com are renowned for seeking sports writers and should be considered when establishing yourself as a sports journalist. Although pay may not be overly generous, there are advantages and these jobs are CV builders.

Suite101 and Allsports are also good places on the web to cut your teeth as a writer. Suite 101 allows freelance writers, non-fiction authors and journalism students to publish 10 articles every 3 months. The site is ideal for any writer wanting to get paid for their work, build their portfolio and be promoted. Site 101 also offer free training on writing for the Web and allow you to work 1 on 1 with an editor. AllSports provides free web hosting and lets you choose what sports, league or team you want to cover. They have won awards for their work, making it a well respected addition to your CV

Entering competitions such as the recent Sportingo.com Student Sports Journalism Award 2008 is another way of demonstrating your skill as a sports writer. Competitions like this provide the opportunity to have your work appraised by a team of professional sports editors and have your article published. If you are lucky enough to win an award there are usually added benefits. These might come in the form of a mentorship programme, the chance to report at leading sports events, or advice and guidance on developing as a sports writer. You might also be presented with a portfolio of your work and a reference, sure to open important industry doors.