A Guide to Starting a Blog on Your Sports Team Website
Even those living under a rock have probably heard the phrase “content is king” before. For good reason. Content is a great way to promote yourself and get traffic for your website — sports team websites included.
A proven and effective tool for creating inbound traffic through content are blogs. Many people, websites and businesses are using them and sports teams can do the same.
However, how do you start a blog? What benefits does blogging offer? And what should you write about? These are all questions that we will address in this article.
In the following, we will go over the many reasons to start a blog for your sports team, how to start a blog with WordPress as well as ideas for blog posts and starter content.
Sound good? Then let’s get cracking.
5 Reasons to Start a Blog For Your Sports Team Website
Before talking about how to start your own blog, let’s have a look at reasons why you should consider creating one. As it turns out, running a sports team blog offers many benefits.
Grow Traffic and Attract an Audience
Blogs are an awesome tool to promote your team online and bring more people to your site. Blog articles are one of the most trusted sources of information on the Internet and readers are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest posts in their area of interest.
Not only human visitors but search engines like Google also love blog content and long-form content in general. Thus by publishing high-quality blog posts, you can signal to them that your site is an important resource.
Not only does this increase the likelihood of your site ranking high in the search results, it also creates additional opportunities for others to find it. The more articles you have online, the more likely it will turn up in someone’s search result. If they like what they find, they might even link to it, giving your website an additional SEO boost.
Finally, blog posts are also great material to share on social networks (just check our Twitter account for proof). People on there are always looking for new content to share with their followers. If you can deliver something of interest, they will be happy to do so.
Build Your Online Brand
Blogging is also a great way to build your brand. By writing blog posts, you can offer additional information about your team, its story, values and what you are all about. They can help define your profile and show who you really are beyond your team logo.
In addition to that, a blog is also a prime spot to find and refine your brand voice and will help you stand out from the crowd. Not many sports teams can boast with an excellent and engaging blog, so if you do, that’s a strong differentiator.
Show Expertise and Establish Contacts
Blogs are not only suitable for showing who you are but also what you know and can do. By writing on relevant information about your sport and related areas, you can provide additional value for visitors and show that you know your stuff.
This not only gives you more authority in your field but also makes you look more professional. That’s good news for finding sponsorship as professionalism is a quality sponsors are looking for before making an investment.
In addition to that, positioning yourself as an expert also increases the likelihood that others will get in contact with you for partnerships, support, joining your club and more. In short, a well-run blog is a great resume that can create many opportunities.
Talk to Your Fans and Get to Know Them
Contrary to popular belief, blogging doesn’t have to be a one-way street with one party preaching and the other listening. Most blogs actually live off of the lively conversations in the comment section.
By opening your comments, your fans and audience can chime in, give their opinion on things you write and start discussions. It lets them be a part of your team culture and talk directly to your team and its players.
This, in turn, builds rapport and engagement and allows you to learn what your fans think and how they feel. Great material for market research!
Also, a blog is an effective tool for growing your mailing list. Access to the latest updates and articles can be a great motivator to get fans and visitors to join your list, giving you a direct pathway to communicate with them.
Learn More About Your Sport
Finally, running a blog is usually very research heavy. It will force you to come up with topics relevant to your audience and dive into them deeply. On the search for blog topics, you will need to find out what your visitors are interested in and talk to them about it.
While this surely involves some work, it is also a great opportunity to learn more about your sport or discipline and share it with others. Running a blog is one of the best ways to become more knowledgeable about your area of expertise.
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How to Start Your Own Sports Team Blog
Convinced? Then let’s see how to you, too, can start your own sports team blog.
If have build your sports team website with WordPress, you are way ahead of things since the WordPress platform offers extensive blogging capabilities.
To get started, just follow the steps below.
1. Create a Blog Page
Running a blog with WordPress can be done in two ways. Number one is to make the blog your homepage so that the latest blog posts will appear right in the front of your site.
This option is best if you want the blog to be the main attraction. It’s usually what people choose when they want to build a standalone blog instead of using one as an additional resource for their website.
This option is normally the most suitable solution for sports teams. It allows you to have a static homepage with information about your team and a dedicated blog page like we have it here on the ThemeBoy website. We will show you how to do this now.
As a first step, we need to create a blog page. This is as easy as going to Pages > Add New and typing in a title for your blog page (“blog” is an all-time classic).
If you want, you can change its permalink in case you want your blog to be located at yoursite.com/news or something. Once you are done, hit Publish.
Ready? Good, then it’s time to move on to the next step.
2. Change the Reading Settings
Next, we need to designate our new page as the blog page. This way, all blog posts that we publish on our site will appear there. All of this is controlled under Settings > Reading.
Here, first look for the part at the top where it says Front page displays. In order to use a dedicated blog page, you need to switch this option to A static page. If you are already running a static homepage for your site, you might have already done that.
Under Front page and Posts page you can now use the drop-down menus to pick which pages will be used as the homepage and blog page. You can set the front page to whatever you want (or leave as is if you already made the necessary changes earlier) and pick the newly created page as the posts page.
After that, adjust the rest of the settings to your liking. Pay special attention to these two options:
- Blog page show at most — Here, you can set how many blog posts you want to show on your blog before it will be split up into several pages.
- For each article in a feed, show — Pick whether you want to show the entire content of your blog posts on the page (in which case need to use the read more tag) or just the excerpt. Usually, the first option is the better as it gives you more control over what shows up on the blog page.
The other options on the settings page deal with RSS feeds and search engine visibility. We will not go into them at this point since they are a bit more advanced topics. Just be sure to have the box Discourage search engines from indexing this site unchecked on your live site. Otherwise you have no chance to show up in search engine results.
Once you save the settings, you are done here. From now on, any post that you create under Posts > Add New and publish should show up on your blog page. However, there is an additional step before you are done.
3. Add the Blog to Your Menu
Now, all that’s left is to add the blog page to your site’s menu. After all, how will your visitors know about it if they don’t have the option to access it?
So, as one last step go to Appearance > Menus to create a new menu or modify your existing one.
You can find your new blog page in the Pages section on the left side. Mark it and click Add to Menu.
After that, drag and drop it to the right position and change the name of the menu item if necessary. Don’t forget to save!
Boom, now the new menu item is on your site and your blog is ready to go. Yet, what’s next? That’s what we will talk about now.
How to Run Your Sports Team Blog
Alright, you have created a blog. Now what? Setting up a blog is only the first step, running it is a whole different matter. To make your start easier, in the following we will give you some basic blogging tips and ideas for your first blog content.
Learn Blogging Basics
Blogging has been around for quite a while. It is, therefore, an established medium with its own rules, formats and standards. It also means that there is already loads of information about blogging out there. Here are a few good resources:
So, after going through our list of blogging basics, there is still a lot more you can learn to make your blog a success.
- Make it all about your audience — Contrary to popular belief, blogging, like all marketing, is not about you but about the other person. While it’s a good idea to show personality in your writing to make you more relatable, ultimately people care more about their own needs. Therefore, it’s important to make it your goal to help them and not make it all about you. Market research is a good start to figuring this all out.
- Adopt a regular posting schedule — Blogs live off of regularity and consistency. People love to keep up with their favorite publications and come back for the latest scoop. Therefore, it helps to be consistent in your writing schedule in order to keep your audience engaged and happy. Regular doesn’t mean you need to post an article every day, but once a week or once every other week would be nice.
- Write like you talk — Blogging is not like crafting an academic paper. While presenting facts accurately is a part of it, blogging is more about connecting with people. If your writing is off-putting and hard to read, it will drive them away. For that reason, a good approach is to write the way you talk. Be conversational, imagine you are speaking with a good friend, joke, use slang and more. This will make your writing much more relatable.
- Concentrate on great content — Content is at the heart of any blog and there is loads of competition out there. In order to attract visitors, you need to stand out from the crowd. How can you do that? Well, a good option to be different is to be excellent. There are enough mediocre articles already out there. If you invest in crafting informative, unique and timeless content, the effort will pay off handsomely, I promise.
What to Post on Your Sports Team Blog
Now that we have the basics covered, it only leaves the question about what to post. Finding content ideas is often the hardest and most critical part.
In the end, your content strategy will depend on what your fans and audience are interested, in which you will figure out over time. Until then, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Behind-the-scenes posts — Your blog is a great vehicle to give fans insights into the daily life of your team and players. What your social media profiles can only hint at, you can talk about on the blog in more depth. Give your fans a rundown of a normal training day, what happens in the locker room and other things that make them feel connected; like they are part of the team.
- Personality pieces — Your blog doesn’t just have to be about day-to-day things but can also handle broader subjects. For example, the story of your team, how it was founded and how you arrived where you are. You may also spotlight single players, conduct interviews with club members or put together FAQs with the answers to the questions that get asked over and over again.
- How-to content — Tutorials are a classic staple of the blogging world. Many blogs live off of solving problems for their readers and audience, why not yours? If you can make your fans’ lives easier or better, they will be happy to come by more often. For example, which fan wouldn’t like training tips from their idols? Resource collections for different topics are another excellent idea.
- Game recaps — The blog is also a great place to talk about recent events. While social media is a good medium for first impressions and live updates, blog posts offer an opportunity to talk about games in more detail. It’s also a place for fans to weigh in with their opinion, share their thoughts and more.
- Video and image posts — Of course, not everything has to be in text form. Blogging allows to post all sorts of content and it’s always a good idea to at least supplement your writing with other media. Thankfully WordPress makes embedding videos, posting images and using other media really easy so you can go nuts in this department.
- Inspirational posts — Often, teams and players will serve as role models for other athletes and sports aficionados. Fans look up to them, want to be like them and see the sport as a vehicle to achieve greater things. Why not encourage them? Be the friend, the supporter they are looking for. Give them a helping hand, tell them they can achieve their goals, provide some fire up their behinds. They will appreciate it.
The above should be enough to get you started. Of course, many of these post types can be combined with each other to form something new. Experiment and see what your audience likes, tweak as needed and over time you will find winning combinations.
Ready to Start Your Own Sports Team Blog?
Blogging is an established form of online publishing and a great way to connect with fans, promote your sports team and generate traffic for your site.
Running a sports team blog can help build your online brand, demonstrate expertise and establish contacts. It’s also a great place to talk to and learn more about your fans.
As you have seen above, with a WordPress-based website, you are in an excellent position to start your own blog. It’s literally just a few clicks away.
We have also provided you with some blogging basics and given you ideas for your first posts. After that, it’s only about being willing to learn and experiment.
Creating a sports team blog is a great investment into your content marketing. Done right, it can do heaps to connect with your audience and grow your site. It’s also loads of fun, so enjoy yourself.