If there ever was an “evergreen niche” with massive potential and the ability to make ridiculous money with; it’s sports.
Today, I will be showing you how I would go about starting a sports blog that earns money, giving you everything you need to know, do and learn to make your sports blogging a successful venture.
Before I get going, I’d like to add a little disclaimer here and tell you I do not currently run a sports blog myself – however;
Back in my agency days as an “SEO executive” and “head of affiliates” (titles sound much fancier than they should be), I was responsible for a handful of sports and sports-betting blogs and;
I got to see first hand how much money a sports blog can earn when I ranked for the “Mayweather vs Mcgregor” fight keywords and managed to generate an obscene amount of affiliate commissions with it.
Also, to get an even better understanding of how sports blogs function today, I’ve invited a student who runs a successful sports blog to share with us his “best tips for starting a sports blog” so lookout for that further down below.
Let’s get started…
How To Start A Sports Blog (Overview)
- Pick Your Niche & Angle
- Pick A Name For Your Sports Blog
- Register Your Domain Name (ASAP)
- Set Up Your WordPress With A “Sports Blog Theme”
- Launch Your Blog (With Your First Post)
Pick Your Niche & Angle
The first step – before you do anything at all – is to figure out what niche + angle you want to target. For example;
There are many niches in the sports industry (too many to mention) but let’s just say you pick “basketball” as a niche.
Ok. What the angle?
- Is it going to be a basketball / NBA news type of website?
- Are you going to cover College basketball?
- Are you going to do basketball shooting tips & tricks – or
- Are you going to be selling basketball jerseys and memorabilia?
Of course, you can also choose “all of the above”.
In that case, you want to pick a “blog name” that does not pigeonhole you into one specific vertical of the niche.
My suggestion would be to focus on just one niche and one angle at a time before you decide to expand your content calendar.
This will allow you to quickly gain notoriety within Google (and with readers) for what you’re blogging about.
If you’re jumping from one topic to the other, it could still work, but you’d be making things much harder than they have to be.
Again, it’s very important you decide on what you want to do before moving on. The next step is to register a domain and then setting up your website.
Knowing what you want to do will make both steps much easier.
Pick & Register A (Domain) Name For Your Sports Blog
Now that you have a good grasp on what your sports blog will be about, it’s time to register a domain name.
I’ll admit, this can get tricky because it may seem like “all the good domains are taken”, which is true – however;
Do not let this hold you back or take too much time.
Get creative, do some research, try out some domain name generators until you find one that you like and that’s also available.
Once you do, you can go ahead and register the domain with a domain registrar and you’ll “own it” for a year.
(Once the year is up, you can then renew it and keep on running the site as usual).
There are many domain registrars you can use, but my suggestion would be to register it via BlueHost as you will get it for free (all you have to do is pay hosting, which is a must).
The good thing about BlueHost is they also offer 0ne-click installs for WordPress sites, which leads us to the next step…
Set Up Your WordPress With A “Sports Blog Theme”
Don’t waste any time trying to find the best blogging platform to use, just use WordPress.
It’s the best one there is, super-powerful, fast, reliable and very easy to use.
Again, you’ll get a free WordPress website from BlueHost when you register a domain so you’ll have your WP site up and running in no time (without needing any technical know-how).
If you’re worried about how to use WordPress, you can see this video-guide below so you get a small taste of how it looks and how easy it is for anyone to manage:
One thing you may want to do (although this is not necessary, at least in the beginning) is to install a sports-related WordPress theme.
A “WordPress theme” is a file you upload to your WordPress giving your website a brand new “look” to it.
You can find a list of free sports-themed WordPress themes here – or;
You can also check out ThemeForest for some themes you may like (although these will be paid themes)
Again, the theme should always reflect what you’d like to achieve with your sports blog.
If you want to have a sports-news blog, then look for a theme that best reflects that.
If you want a “sports tips” blog, you can look for something more simple and generic.
Launch Your Blog (With Your First Post)
Next up on your to-do-list, is to start publishing content (blog posts) on your website.
I’m sure you know that blogging does involve writing and publishing content so this should not be a surprise for you, however;
I do know a lot of beginner bloggers feel they’re not a great writer. That’s ok.
I sure am not, but I have still managed to build a full-time blogging business.
One thing I can tell you is that you will get better at writing if you dedicate yourself to writing one blog post a day.
That alone will give you more than enough content to quickly fill up your blog with content and it will get the ball rolling for traffic to start coming in.
Of course, publishing content is a must as that is what will be getting traffic to your website and that is how you will be making money.
We’ll talk more about how to make money with a sports blog further down below but before we get to that, here are…
5 Great Sports Blog Examples (For Inspiration)
To help give you some ideas, I put on my research hat and did a bit of digging to see what other sports blogs are doing.
I’ve tried my best to avoid the “well known” ones with huge audiences but if you’re a sports fan (I’m not), I can’t guarantee you haven’t heard of them yet.
If you have heard of them, that means you should know what they do right, and what they do wrong so you can use that information to help you create your own successful sports blog.
Whatever you do; don’t try to copy what these guys are doing. Trust me, it won’t go well.
Here are some of my favorites.
This is a great example of a sports-themed website that’s not just about the news but rather sports merchandise that can make a lot of money with a clear target audience and clear way to make money (using the Amazon affiliate program).
This is a mix of bot sports (football/soccer) related news and also helpful information and guides about sports teams, upcoming games, etc..
In football (soccer), player transfers are a big thing and people love to speculate on who is going where and why. This blog provides detailed information about football player transfers.
This is another great example of both news and informative sports content done right. They’re super popular with tennis fans and they provide a lot of information about the tennis world and tennis players.
The RacingPost.com website is a sports blog dedicated to horse racing (mostly) giving you news and also betting suggestions on what, where and who to bet on in the world of horse racing.
How To Make Money With Your Sports Blog
Next up, I want to talk about how to make money with sports blogging, and there are plenty of ways you can do this.
One thing you have to keep in mind here is that you can pick all of these below methods, not just one.
Yes, it does depend on your niche (& angle) but most likely than not, you’d be able to use each method in a variety of different post-styles.
Adsense (or banner ads) are a great way to monetize a blog which is mostly news based since there will not be a particular product you can promote.
The first stop would probably be Adsense by Google, but once you’ve grown your traffic, you can even try out Ezoic or Mediavine for ever higher CPMs
✔️ Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is – by far – my favorite way to make money online & there are plenty of sports-related affiliate programs (in a wide variety of different niches) that you can promote.
- Check out Amazon (which sell just about everything under the sun)
- Share A Sale is bound to have some sports companies listed as well – and;
- ClickBank (which has a lot of sports-related courses you can sell)
I even have a fantasy sports affiliate program round-up list which is a huge niche in its own right.
✔️ Gambling (Also Affiliate Marketing)
This is huge, and yes – it does deserve its own mention.
Online sports betting is MASSIVE and if you have a sports blog, try to figure out a way to include some sort of gambling-element to it.
I have seen first hand how quickly you can make money as a gambling affiliate. Just signing up a few “big players’ to an online sportsbook, will be enough to make a full-time income.
It’s not rare to be making $5000+ a month from one single player.
Trust me, give this some serious thought if you’re planning on running a sports blog.
Another way to make money is by allowing people to sponsor content on your website in exchange for free products or money.
This will likely come at a later stage when you have amassed a huge following so there’s no point in going in-depth about it just now.
However, if you’re interested – you can see how to get blog sponsorships here.
How Much Do Sports Blog Sell For?
There’s one more way you can “make money’ with your sports blog, and that is when you sell it.
Typically, a blog sells for 30X to 50X its monthly revenue, meaning;
If you make $100 a month, it can sell for $3,000+ minimum.
This is good to keep in mind at the beginning of your sports blogging as it can get a bit un-motivating working hard and not making any money.
Just know that if you build a decent-sized blog, it will get traffic and it will make money.
& even if it doesn’t make money, you can still get a decent amount for your content (if or when you decide to sell it).
To learn more about how to build websites to sell them later, check out my linked guide.
BONUS: Expert Advice For Newbie Sports Bloggers
To finish this off, I asked my friend Tyler O Shea who is a sports blogger and runs the JokerMag.com blog where he covers “underdog stories in sports” to share with me some of his best “beginner’s tips” whilst building out his own sports blog.
Here’s what Tyler had to say:
First, in terms of picking your niche, go small. If you think you’re going too small, you’re probably still not going small enough. A book that really drove this home for me (and helped me find my theme) was Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi. That book is basically the Bible for my sports media brand.
In the book, Joe talks about finding your “sweet spot”, which he describes as a mix of something you’re knowledgable about + something you’re passionate about. In my case, I’m knowledgable about sports and I’ve always had a deep passion for underdog stories. So I combined the two, and that’s my sweet spot. The idea is that you find something that you love to create content around and is also narrow and focused enough to build an audience around.
Second, don’t get caught up in the small stuff (logo, site design, etc.). Everything is going to change as you mature and settle into your sweet spot. Also, social media is not nearly as important as you think it is. Followers on a social platform do not matter nearly as much as a dedicated email list of passionate, loyal readers. I’d much rather have 1,000 subscribers on my email list than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
Third, commit to this for the long-term. You’re not going to get much – if any – traction in the beginning. There are going to be times where you wonder why you’re even doing this. That’s why finding your sweet spot is so important. It needs to be something you’re extremely passionate about. You need a purpose behind your work, otherwise, you won’t stick with it. The great thing is, nothing is ever set in stone. And in the beginning, not many people will be paying attention so you can try a lot of weird things and pivot like 50 times if you want to.
Lastly, I’m not an expert by any means. I’ve only been building Joker Mag for two years and we’re still very much in the early stages of growth. But if you found this helpful, or have any follow-up questions, feel free to contact me @JoeFundo on Twitter.
That’s all from my end today.
I hope the information provided in this guide (along with other expert contributors, videos and additional links for more information) has been enough to show you how to get started with a sports blog (and make money with it).
If you have any questions, be sure to let me know down below.
I’ll leave you to it.
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