A re you wondering how to start a sports blog? Keep reading. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a sports blog that will help you earn extra money online.
Blogging is a popular way to turn your passion into a side hustle or even a full-fledged online business.
So, if you love sports, creating a sports blog is the perfect way to share your love of the game with the world—and make money doing it!
Plus, starting a blog is easier than you might think. But, if you want your blog to be successful, then you need to set it up correctly.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to start a sports blog, step-by-step.
In This Guide:
What is a Sports Blog?
A sports blog is a type of website where you can write about the latest sports news or share your opinions on sports-related topics.
As a sports blogger, you can describe what happens on the field or court during games. You can also share your thoughts on trades, coaching tactics, draft picks, sports scandals, and much more.
To get a better understanding, here are some sports blog examples:
FanSided is a family-owned sports blog started by two brothers that wanted to write about their favorite football team, the Kansas City Cheifs.
Now, FanSided creates editorial content that goes beyond football. It covers everything from basketball to racing to mixed martial arts and even lifestyle topics.
Bleacher Report is a successful sports journalism blog that covers all of the latest major sports news including rugby, tennis, golf, and much more.
The Bleacher Report shares game highlights and scores along with expert analysis and opinion pieces.
Raptors Cage is a sports blog that writes features, opinions, game coverage, and news all about the Toronto Raptors basketball team.
Raptors Cage also has a podcast so that fans can listen to the latest news on the go.
Now that you have a better idea of what a sports blog is, we’ll show you how to make your own.
How to Start a Sports Blog and Make Money (Step-by-Step)
1. Choose a Niche
The first step to starting a sports blog is to choose your niche. A niche is simply the topic you’re going to write about on your blog.
You can choose to write about various types of sports on your blog like baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, etc.
But, following all of the teams, events, and players can be difficult.
So, you might want to narrow it down to a specific sport when you’re first starting out. You can also narrow it down even further to a certain league, team, or major sporting event.
By picking a specific niche, you’ll be able to better manage your blog, present yourself as an expert, and attract loyal readers more easily.
Here’s a quick list of sports blog niches for inspiration:
- Major League Baseball Blog
- Minor League Baseball Blog
- Olympic Games Sports Blog
- Formula 1 Blog
- English Premier League Blog
- Indian Premier League Blog
- Chicago Bulls Blog
- New England Patriots Blog
- Extreme Sports Blog (Motocross, Free Climbing, Base Jumping)
- Specialized Sports Blog (Archery, Chess, Equestrian Sports)
Think about what you’re most passionate and knowledgeable about to help you decide on a niche.
2. Pick a Name for Your Sports Blog
Next, you need to pick a good name for your blog.
The name of your sports blog should fit with the niche you decided on in the first step. For example, if your niche is skateboarding, a name like World of Skateboarding makes more sense than a name like Team Sports News.
The name that relates to skateboarding will help visitors immediately understand what your blog is about.
Plus, by using keywords related to skateboarding in your name, it tells search engines what your blog is about. This gives you a better chance of showing up in search results and helps people find your website easier.
If you need help coming up with a great blog name, you can use a blog name generator like Nameboy.
With this free tool, all you have to do is enter one or two keywords related to your niche and click the Submit button.
Then, Nameboy will automatically provide you with potential names for your blog.
Nameboy will also tell you if your desired name is available through Bluehost so that you know whether or not you can get that domain name for your blog. We’ll explain more about that later…
Need more tips? Check out this guide on how to come up with a blog name.
Once you’ve decided on your niche and a name, it’s time to set up your blog.
3. Set up a WordPress Blog
To set up a blog, you need three things:
- A blogging platform
- Blog hosting
- A domain name
This might seem complicated and expensive. But, we’ll go over each part and show you that it’s easy and affordable with the right tools.
Pick a Blogging Platform
First, you need to choose a blogging platform.
Many new bloggers think that choosing a free blogging platform is the easiest way to get started. But, there are a lot of downsides.
With a free platform, you won’t be able to get a professional domain name, you’re limited as far as the customizations you can do to your blog, and you won’t be able to make money from it.
That’s why we always recommend using WordPress.org for your blogging platform.
WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform in the world, powering more than 43% of all sites across the web.
With a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you have complete control. You can customize your blog in any way you want with free WordPress plugins and themes. Plus, you can make money from your blog without limitations.
WordPress.org is also easy to install and it’s 100% free to use. All you need to pay for is blog hosting and a domain name, which we’ll go over next.
Be careful not to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. To learn the differences, check out our post on WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
Choose a Blog Host
Blog hosting is the service that will store your website on its servers. This is what makes it possible for your blog to be online and get visited by users.
Bluehost offers the best and most reliable web hosting service. In fact, it’s officially recommended by WordPress.org.
Bluehost is also easy to use, thanks to its one-click WordPress installation. This takes all the hassle out of setting up your blog.
Plus, Bluehost is affordable and Blog Tyrant readers get a special discount of 60% off, which comes with a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and more!
We have partnered up with Bluehost to get 60% off for our readers! You also get to register a FREE domain for a year which normally costs around $14.99 per year.Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer
This Bluehost deal comes with everything you need to start a successful sports blog.
How to Set up Your Blog with Bluehost
To get started, click on the exclusive Bluehost offer link above. Once you’re on the website, click on the Get Started button, as shown in the screenshot below:
On the next page, you can choose a pricing plan. Pick whatever pricing plan suits your needs and budget.
Next, you need to choose your domain name. You can either create a new domain name or use an existing domain name that you own.
If you haven’t already purchased a domain name previously, type the domain name you decided on in step #2 under the Create a new domain option. Then, click Next to continue.
In the next step, enter your account information and choose your account plan. The 36-month account plan will give you the best value.
Then, enter your payment information to complete the purchase. After that, you’ll get an email with your login details.
When you’re logged into your Bluehost account, go to the My Sites tab. Click Log into WordPress and enter your login credentials.
Next, click on Create Site.
This will launch the WordPress installation wizard. Simply follow the steps in the wizard to set up your site.
If you want step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to install WordPress on Bluehost.
Now that your blog is set up, let’s customize it and make it look amazing…
4. Design and Customize Your Blog
As we mentioned before, you can use WordPress themes and plugins to customize your sports blog.
We’ll go over both in this section and share some recommendations.
Choose a WordPress Theme
WordPress themes will handle the design of your blog and give it a professional look in an instant. This is important because if your blog doesn’t look nice, a lot of people won’t even bother reading it.
There are tons of free and premium WordPress themes to choose from. So, to help you out, we’ll share a few of our favorites.
Astra is one of the most popular themes of all time. It’s fast and lightweight so it won’t slow down your site. It also comes with a variety of ready-made website templates that you can import in one-click. Then, you can easily customize the template images, text, and other elements to match your brand.
OceanWP is another popular WordPress theme with over 5,000,000 downloads. It comes with lots of pre-made WordPress website templates you can use, including templates designed specifically for sports websites. It’s also beginner-friendly and easy to customize.
SeedProd isn’t just a WordPress theme, it’s a complete theme builder. That means that you can create a custom theme for your sports blog that doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
It’s super easy to use. You can get started with one of the 28+ professionally-designed theme templates. Or, you can start from scratch using the drag and drop theme builder. SeedProd comes with ready-made page blocks, smart sections, and template tags that make designing your blog a breeze.
Read this tutorial to see just how easy it is to create a custom WordPress theme with SeedProd.
Check out our list of the best WordPress themes for bloggers for more recommendations.
Installing Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins let you add additional features and functions to your sports blog.
Just like themes, there are many free and premium WordPress plugins to choose from.
Here are a few must-have WordPress plugins you need to improve your blog:
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is the best SEO plugin on the market. This plugin will help you optimize your entire website for better search rankings in less than 10 minutes.
It also comes with other powerful features to help you increase your website traffic such as XML sitemaps, local SEO, rich snippets schema, TruSEO on-page analysis, and much more.
Find out more in our detailed AIOSEO review.
You can also view easy-to-read reports about other important metrics like new vs. returning visitors, your most popular posts and pages, how people found your site, and more.
WP Super Cache will help you speed up your blog and make it load faster for a better user experience. With this plugin, you no longer have to worry about having a slow blog, which could drive readers away.
WPForms comes with ready-made form templates, tons of form fields you can use, entry management, spam protection, and much more.
Sucuri is a popular security plugin that will scan your site regularly to protect it from hackers and malware. It comes with features like file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blocklist monitoring, and more.
After putting so much work into your blog, you’ll want to be sure it’s protected.
If you’re new to WordPress, take a look at our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for step-by-step instructions.
5. Write Your First Blog Posts
Alright, now it’s time to start writing content. After all, you want the people that visit your blog to have something to read!
If you’re new to blogging, we have multiple guides you can follow to learn how to write amazing blog posts:
And if you’re not sure what to write about, think back to the niche you chose for your sports blog.
If you chose to create a blog about professional ice hockey (NHL), start watching some games and writing recaps.
You can also look at other relevant blogs to get some ideas for your own blog. For example, this professional hockey blog called Pro Hockey News has blog posts about the top players of the season, trade rumors, industry news, and more.
There are also many free blog topic research tools that will help you find blog post ideas that your audience is already interested in and searching for.
Use these tips to create a list of blog post ideas and then start writing them!
6. Promote Your Sports Blog
Your blog is now set up and you’ve started writing posts, awesome!
But, how will people discover your content?
Instead of sitting around and waiting for people to find your blog, you need to promote it so that you can get more traffic and readers.
Marketing your blog might sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some free and affordable ways to promote your blog:
Post on Social Media
Lots of sports fans are active on social media platforms, especially Twitter, searching for news about their favorite team and talking about the latest game.
So, you should be there too, sharing your opinion and promoting your posts.
Here’s how The Athletic UK promotes its latest blog post on Twitter:
Your social media posts should include an eye-catching image to grab attention, a caption that describes what the post is about and why people should read it, and relevant hashtags to make it easier for people to find.
Take a look at our social media marketing guide for more tips.
You can use a plugin like Smash Balloon to grow your social media following and engagement. Check out our Smash Balloon review to learn more.
Join Sports Forums
Aside from social media platforms, you can also join sports forums to promote your blog. Forums are online discussion boards where fans can ask questions, share their thoughts, and more.
Depending on the rules of the particular forum, you may be able to add a link to your blog posts when you participate in conversations.
You can find forums to join by doing a simple Google search. For example, when you search “golf forums,” a ton of active forums will show up in the search results.
Guest Post on Other Blogs
Guest posting is also a great way to introduce your blog to a whole new audience.
Guest posting is when you write a blog post on someone else’s website. Typically, the guest post you write will have an author bio in it with information about you and a link to your website.
Just be sure to guest post on a blog that’s in a similar niche to yours. For example, as a sports blogger, you shouldn’t guest post on a fashion blog because the audience there won’t be interested in your content.
For more information, check out our guide to guest posting.
Create an Email Newsletter
Instead of only promoting your blog posts to new people, remember to promote them to your existing readers as well.
Your existing readers are already fans of your blog so they’re the most likely to read your posts, comment on them, and share them with family and friends.
So, we recommend creating an email newsletter. With an email newsletter, you can send a direct message to your fans every time you publish a new post. This will help you increase repeat visits to your blog.
To encourage people to sign up for your email newsletter, you can use a lead generation tool like OptinMonster.
OptinMonster comes with professionally-designed templates, multiple form types, drag and drop functionality, exit-intent technology, powerful campaign triggers, and much more.
You can find out more in our OptinMonster review.
7. Monetize Your Blog
Lastly, you might be asking yourself questions like: How do sports bloggers make money? And, are sports blogs profitable?
Well, simply having a sports blog doesn’t mean you’ll earn money. You need to take the proper steps to monetize your blog if you want to make money online.
So, how do you do it?
Here are some proven monetization methods you can use:
Displaying ads with Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways to monetize a new blog.
All you need to do is sign up for a free Google Adsense account. Then, Google will display ads on your site that are targeted to your audience and content. The more clicks the ads get, the more money you make.
Follow this tutorial to learn how to properly add Google Adsense in WordPress.
Affiliate marketing is a popular money-making strategy for bloggers. It involves promoting and/or reviewing a company’s products on your blog. Every time someone clicks on one of your affiliate links and buys the product, you earn a commission.
As a sports blogger, you’ll want to promote products that are relevant to your readers, like athletic wear or sports equipment, in order to maximize your earning potential.
To become an affiliate marketer, you can join affiliate networks to connect with a wide range of merchants in one place. Or, you can go to one of your favorite brands and sign up to become an affiliate directly on their site.
There’s usually an “Affiliates” page, like the one above from Gainful, linked in the footer area of the website.
Another great way to make money from your blog is by creating memberships. With memberships, users have to pay a subscription fee in order to access your premium content, exclusive products, online courses, or members-only forums.
In this example, The Chess Website is selling monthly and yearly memberships that give users exclusive chess videos, puzzles, and practice boards:
To create a similar membership feature on your own blog, you can use MemberPress.
MemberPress is the best membership plugin for WordPress. It’s used by thousands of website owners who together have sold over $1 billion in memberships.
MemberPress is beginner-friendly and easy to set up. It has powerful access rules that make it simple to control who sees your content and what content they can see, based on the subscription plan they’ve purchased.
Other features include customizable coupons, pre-made pricing pages, automated billing, an online course builder, and more.
If you need help setting up memberships, follow along with this tutorial on how to start a profitable membership site.
Also, remember that it takes time to earn money from your blog. But, with these strategies and hard work, you’ll soon start to see a profit.
That’s a wrap!
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn not only how to start a sports blog, but how to make money from it as well.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our post on 101 blogging tips for beginners. It’s the perfect post to bookmark and refer back to during the early stages of your blogging journey.
And don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter for more helpful blogging tips!