There are three things sports fans like: watching sports, reading about sports, and “talking about sports” with other sports fans – the last of those being a euphemism for praising teams when they’re winning and trashing them when they’re doing badly. Sports blogs are great places to connect with other sports fans to talk your talk. You might have even thought about launching one but maybe you got stuck at “how to start a sports blog?”.
It turns out that the process of starting a sports blog takes less than the duration of a football game. In fact, you can even do it during the halftime intermission. And we’re talking about a regular NFL game, not the Super Bowl. Sound interesting?
We’ll begin by discussing how to choose a specific sports niche, along with examples of actual sports blogs you can check out. After that we’ll share some tips on what to consider when choosing your own niche and also what elements you’ll need to start your sports blog.
If you prefer to skip all of that (although we don’t recommend it) and get straight to the action, then feel free to dive 🏊 into the five steps to create a sports blog below:
- Sign up for hosting and choose a domain name
- Install WordPress
- Pick a theme
- Install plugins
- Plan your content and start producing
How to start a sports blog: strategy and niche
If you want your sports blog to succeed, you have to set it up correctly. The most important thing is choosing a strategy and a niche. According to one study, 26% of Americans are avid sports fans, while 44% are casual fans.  But how do you tap into the right audience?
What are the most popular sports in the USA?
According to Statista, 51% of Americans enjoy watching football, while basketball and baseball get 40% and 39% approval, respectively .
So, what sport to choose, and do you need to choose at all? 🤔
General sports blog
There are plenty of general sports blogs out there, and beating the competition is hard. You would have to provide something others don’t (in terms of UX or content), and it is difficult. However, if you have a good idea that you believe would work, you should go for it. The market loves game-changers and mainly reacts positively.
theScore is one of the most popular and influential general sports blogs.
Another popular general sports blog, Yahoo! Sports offers insights, results, and articles about most popular sports.
Specialized sports blog
Specialized sports blogs give newbie webmasters higher chances of finding the right audience and genuinely connecting with them. If you are wondering how to start a sports blog with a more focused niche, here are some interesting examples:
As the name says, MWSN focuses on pro and college sports in Midwest USA.
This is a very interesting blog because it focuses on inspirational stories from the world of sports – you can also find quotes and stories of good deeds and overcoming obstacles.
This Australian blog’s main characteristic is that it focuses on analyses. Roar features both expert-written articles and edited fan-submitted work.
What strategy and niche should you choose for your sports blog?
As you can see, general sports blogs have an enormous amount of content. Getting there takes a lot of time and money, so if you have limited resources, you might want to avoid it. Another thing is that you should start a blog about a subject you know well and are passionate about. While thinking about how to start a sports blog, keep in mind that readers can spot true fans and fakes.
If you manage to create a community around the blog, your subscribers can be your contributors, further expanding your reach, creating a strong bond, and solidifying your position. It’s also much easier to get your blog noticed and create a community of devoted readers when you cover a specific subject, such as local sports or a particular team.
How to start a sports blog: elements you need for a successful one
The elements you need for a successful sports blog are defined according to your niche and strategy. The examples of specialized sports blogs we’ve mentioned above show that perfectly – they are all different. In general, we can say that a good sports blog should have the following:
- Tables with game results and rankings
- Info about players and teams
Some blogs also include betting tips, sporting good reviews, locker-room gossip, etc.
So, what elements should you include? We suggest taking a broad approach initially and then filtering out topics your fans like. That’s why it is important to choose a theme that enables easy customization. We are going to cover that topic in the following section.
How to start a sports blog with WordPress in five easy steps
WordPress allows you to create and run blogs easily and efficiently. You can have a sports blog up and running within minutes if you follow these five simple steps:
1. Sign up for hosting and choose a domain name
The first step in our “how to start a sports blog” guide is to sign up for hosting. While WordPress is free, hosting is not. Luckily, there are several affordable and reliable options around, with Bluehost probably being the best. The basic plan will cost you $2.75 per month, and it will automatically install WordPress for you if you ask it to.
Next on the list is choosing a domain name. Coming up with a good name for a sports blog might be tricky, and that’s where websites like DomainWheel can and will help. “Spinning the wheel” generates new ideas or improves your existing ones.
These are the results we got for a “sports blog” search:
This domain name generator is free to use, so you can experiment as much as you like until you find that perfect name. Don’t be afraid to be creative – try puns and use humor. This article on how to create funny gym names might give you an idea.
2. Install WordPress
As mentioned earlier, Bluehost will install WordPress as a part of the signup process.
You can easily navigate to it in the control panel. Of course, you can also choose to install it manually.
After this, you can begin adding your domain. You will add the website name, a short description, and create a username and password.
3. Pick a theme
Next on the list is picking a theme. A theme doesn’t only determine the way your website will look, but also how it will function. That’s why we suggest choosing themes from established creators with proven records of producing themes that integrate flawlessly and don’t interfere with the website’s functionalities.
Neve is one of the best themes on the market. With more than 100 starter sites, you will undoubtedly find one that suits your needs.
After choosing your new theme, it is time to install it. The process couldn’t be more straightforward. First, go to Appearance → Themes in your WP control panel and choose Add New.
After choosing a theme, click on Install Now and then Activate. Then, navigate to Appearance → Customize to make some changes to your theme:
After that, click Publish to make the changes live. That’s it.
4. Install plugins
There are plenty of plugins that can make starting and running a sports blog easier. Of course, you don’t need all of them. Your specific needs will be influenced by your niche, strategy, approach, and type of visitors, but in general, we can recommend the following plugins:
SportsPress is one of the most popular plugins for sports blogs. You can get results, standings, season archives, create club profiles and player lists, manage leagues, etc.
With Team Rosters, you get customizable pre-built rosters and tables for different sports at high school, college, and professional team levels.
Visualizer enables you to create graphs and charts, which are very important for player and team stats.
5. Plan your content and start producing
Now that you’ve installed your theme and plugins, you can start creating content. The first pages you should make are the Homepage, About page, and Contact page. After that, it is pretty much up to your preferences, resources, and blogging roadmap.
As we’ve mentioned before, new websites should consider a broad approach, create diverse content, try out different blog post ideas, and filter out things the audience doesn’t like or interact with. However, this doesn’t mean you should create content unrelated to your niche and strategy just to reach a broader audience. It will make you lose focus and spread yourself too thin.
How to start a sports blog: valuable tips
Promote your sports blog
Once you establish your strategy and create some content, start promoting your blog. First, you can find websites that complement yours, connect with them, and exchange content. Second, you can post on online sports forums. Finally, you should create social media pages and regularly share interesting articles, trivia, and similar.
Don’t be afraid to express your opinion
People love it when someone agrees with them, but they also like to debate with people who disagree. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to express your opinion. Sometimes, controversial opinions in blog posts can do wonders for engagement and reach. Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard. Objectivity with a pinch of subjectivity is usually the best way to go.
Keep your website up-to-date
Things in sports change fast, and you have to keep track of them. For instance, if you decide to feature live results from games – do it properly. If you don’t have the result on time, visitors will go elsewhere, and you will lose your reputation.
How to start a sports blog: key takeaways 🎬
If you are an avid sports fan looking to share your knowledge, insights, and enthusiasm with the world, starting a sports blog is the way to go. In this guide, we’ve discussed the main steps of creating a sports blog, and we gave you some tips on how to do it properly.
- Choose a niche and create a strategy 🏈🏀⚽🏒⚾
- Get hosting 🖥️
- Install WordPress 🧰
- Install themes and plugins 🎨🔌
- Create content ✍️
- Be positive and honest 😎
The hardest part is being consistent and not giving up. So, to conclude, if you have something valuable to offer, the audience will recognize it.