Starting a sports blog or any blog for that matter is a wonderful experience since a blog enables you to put your ideas, that otherwise remain mere thoughts, in front of a receptive audience. If you wish to know how to start a sports blog, you are in the right place.
You can start a sports blog in 3 broad yet simple steps and the entire process is far easier than winning your favorite game of sport.
These three steps are: 1. Pick a domain name 2. Get web hosting 3. Setup WordPress on your web host
I will breakdown these 3 broad steps into multiple mini-steps to make the process of creating a sport blog a breeze.
Towards the end, I have also listed some practical methods to earn money from your sports blog.
So let’s start.
Step 1: Sports blog ideas (Reasons for starting a sports blog)
Before starting a blog, you should answer the question, “why am I starting this blog?“. The answer to this question will provide different ideas for starting your sports blog. In other words, your answer will help you to decide your blogging niche.
There are multiple reasons for creating a sports blog. Some of the ideas for a sports blog include:
- To create brand awareness: Let’s say you’re a budding sports coach or a sports equipment manufacturer. Your sports blog can help to create awareness about your brand among your target audience of sports enthusiasts.
- To sell a product or service: Once your brand is popular among sports lovers, what is the logical next step? To sell your products or services. A sports blog can help sell more of your sports products. It can even land you your dream job as a sports coach or consultant and achieve many other things that you want through your sports blog.
- To generate interest in a particular sport: Let’s say you’re good at canoeing and you wish to generate interest among the local population in canoeing. What better way to do this than through your own canoeing blog?
- To start a sports new website: You can start your own sports news website centered around a single sport or a general news site covering all sports. Or maybe you could cover the sports events in your city?
- To create a sports club blog: Maybe you wish to launch your sports club or you already have a sports club and wish to build an online community around it. A blog would be the perfect place to start.
Each of these answers can lead to a specific blog setup. Let’s say you’re a sports consultant and wish to attract the right clients. Then your blog should be designed to highlight your skills and achievements. On the other hand, if you wish to promote certain sports goods and equipment, then you should set up an eCommerce blog.
Knowing your blog purpose beforehand will also help to select a proper domain name, which we shall see in a short while.
Now that you have selected a sub-niche for your sports blog, let’s go through the actual steps of setting up a sports blog for success.
Step 2: Pick the right domain name for your sports blog
You will need to get an address on the internet for your sports blog like www.mikesbasketballblog.com. You should be very careful about selecting the right domain name as this cannot be changed later on.
Going back to the first step, let’s say you’re starting a canoeing blog. Then you could include the name of the sport in your website name. So, you could include the word canoe or canoeing in your website name like www.thecanoeblog.com.
On the other hand, if you’re starting a general purpose sports blog that covers a variety of sporting disciplines, then I will advise against including the name of any particular sport in your domain name.
If it is an individual blog and you wish to get your name in front of your target audience, you can consider including your first name in the blog name like www.johnssportsblog.com.
If your blog is an extension of your company’s brand, then you should include your company’s brand in the domain name like www.geosports.com. Or maybe, you’re targeting a local audience, then consider including the name of the city like www.seattlegymequipment.com.
Another method to select the right name for your sports blog would be to imagine an ideal capability that your readers would develop once they start following your blog.
Let’s say that your blog is about sprinting or running and you want to turn your readers into legends of sprinting. Then you could name your sports blog “sprintlegends.com”.
Once you have decided on your blog name, it is time to register your domain name. There are hundreds of domain registrars but I trust NameCheap for all my domain registrations. There are some reasons for this:
- NameCheap offers domain registrations starting at $0.99.
- It offers first-class support, including chat support, to all its clients.
- It offers free Who.is privacy protection so people cannot snoop around for your personal information.
- It has the fastest time to live whenever you make any DNS changes. Hence, once you make some changes like changing your domain’s hosting address, the changes will go live almost instantly.
So, go ahead and register your domain.
Step 3: Get hosting for your sports blog
Once you have registered your domain name, you will need to host your blog someplace. Right? Since, in this guide, we will be using WordPress for creating your sports blog, you should sign up for an affordable and WordPress friendly web host.
Another thing to know is that WordPress is a free Content Management System (CMS) where all your blog data including blog posts, images, and files will be stored. WordPress is completely free to use.
But you will need a web hosting account where WordPress i.e. your blog will be setup.
Remember that getting a domain name (that renews annually), and a web hosting plan are the two basic requirements for starting your dream sports blog. A domain name might cost anywhere between $0.99 to $12 per year while a monthly hosting plan can cost between $3 to $12 depending on your requirements.
If you wish to minimize your monthly website hosting costs, I suggest that you sign up for an annual or biennial hosting package with a reputed WordPress hosting company that I will reveal next.
There are thousands of web hosting providers where you can host your sports blog. But I suggest just one hosting company to bloggers creating their blog for the first time: Dreamhost.
Dreamhost is one of the most popular and trusted names for WordPress hosting. They include a one-click WordPress setup, which makes creating your sports blog an effortless process.
As with NameCheap, there are multiple benefits of hosting your WordPress blog with Dreamhost:
- Unlimited WordPress installs (sites)
- Unlimited website storage
- Unlimited website traffic (bandwidth)
- Unlimited email hosting
- Free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates for all websites
- WordPress auto-install, all-round security, and specialized WordPress support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
There are many more benefits of hosting on Dreamhost that you should check out before moving onto the next step.
Once you have picked a hosting plan, the major work of starting a sports blog is done. Now, you just need to install WordPress on Dreamhost and set it up. This is exactly what I will guide you through in the rest of this tutorial.
Step 4: Install WordPress on your sports blog
Once you have purchased hosting from Dreamhost, you should login to your Dreamhost user panel. After this you will need to first add the domain that you purchased from Namecheap or elsewhere.
For this, go to Domains > Add Hosting to a Domain/Sub-Domain. Then add the domain details here. Once you’re done, click on the Fully host this domain button to add hosting to your domain.
After this, we need to install WordPress on your newly hosted Dreamhost domain.
In the user panel, go to WordPress > One-Click Installs. Click on Learn More and Install.
Select the domain on which you wish to install WordPress and click the Install it for me now! button.
From thereon the website wizard takes over and helps you with installing WordPress and pointing the name server from your NameCheap account (or any other domain registrar) to your Dreamhost hosting.
The entire process should take no more than 5-10 minutes.
Now that WordPress is installed, your website is already live. So go ahead and check it out by typing your website address in the browser address bar.
But you will notice that this is a bare-bones website with no content except a basic intro page. We need to turn this into an awesome looking sports blog.
So, let’s turn our turn our attention to this aspect now.
To manage your sports blog, you will need to login into the admin area by visiting the URL www.yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php.
Step 5: Install a theme for your sports blog
A WordPress theme takes care of your website’s design and layout. And since you need a specific design for a sports blog, you should pick the right theme for this purpose.
In the first step, we discussed the purpose of starting your sports blog. Your answer will help to not just pick the right domain name but also the perfect theme for your blog.
There are thousands of free themes on the WordPress theme repository. But I will list just a few ones that are specifically designed for sports blogs and websites.
- Sports Club Lite: This theme is perfect for those looking to set up a sports club website
- Sports Blog: This theme looks really nice for a personal sports blog
- MH SportsMagazine: Do you plan to start a sports news website? Then you should surely check out this theme
In case you need a theme with premium features, you can check out some snazzy sports themes on Themeforest, the largest WordPress themes marketplace.
Do not fret too much about theme selection at this stage as you can change your WordPress theme anytime you want.
After selecting a theme, you should install the required plugins for your sports blog. So let’s check out these plugins.
Step 6: Install and activate the required plugins
A plugin extends the functionality of WordPress far beyond its core functions. There are more than 50,000 free plugins listed on the WordPress repository. But you do not have to install every plugin that you come across. Rather, you should pick and choose the plugins that add value to your sports blog in some way or another.
You can start by installing these 11 essential plugins for WordPress.
For your convenience, I am listing the must-have WordPress plugins below:
- Akismet anti-spam plugin
- Wordfence security plugin
- RankMath SEO plugin
- WP Fastest Cache speed plugin
- WP Smush image optimization plugin
- UpdraftPlus backup plugin (optional)
- GAinWP Google Analytics plugin
- WPForms contact plugin
- Sassy Social Share plugin
- Thrive Architect page builder plugin (optional)
- Cookie Notice privacy notice plugin
Step 7: Create the primary pages
At this stage, you have almost completed setting up your sports blog. Kudos to your grit and passion.
You are now ready publish your first post and announce your sports blog to the World!
I will now advice you to configure the important WordPress settings on your blog.
If you have made it this far, it’s time for a little bonus. In the next section, I will share some ideas on how to monetize your sports blog and make money from it.
How to earn money from a sports blog
There are literally hundreds of ways to make money from any blog, including, a sports blog. But you don’t need to try every method under the sky. Just pick 2 or 3 methods from the list below and start earning off your sports blog.
- Promote affiliate products: You can easily promote affiliate products that you have personally tried and tested to your audience of raving sports fans. There are many affiliate programs for different kinds of sports products like gym equipment, health supplements, exercise bikes, etc. You can also join the Amazon affiliate program and start promoting their products in return for a small commission once someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on Amazon. Another option is ClickBank that features many fitness products to promote.
- Sell your fitness courses: Sports and fitness are integral. To be good at sports, you need to be physically fit. You can create and sell your fitness courses around your favorite sport, like football.
- Offer your services: Are you a sports consultant or a coach? If yes, then you can earn a windfall by offering your services. Just look at the insane amount that star football coaches earn to get an idea of the huge earning potential in sports consultancy.
- Earn money from advertisements: Once your blog starts getting good traffic, you can display advertisements to earn money from your sports blog. There are many ad networks that pay publishers and content creators for displaying advertisements on their blogs. The most popular of these ad networks is Google Adsense. You need to sign up for an Adsense account and once you are approved, you can start displaying ads on your sports blog. There are other alternatives to Adsense as well that you can try out like Media.net, Adversal, Skimlinks, etc.
- Start a YouTube channel: If you savvy video, you can consider starting your YouTube channel. Once your video views cross a certain threshold, you will be invited by YouTube to display ads on your videos. Many sports bloggers are making a full-time income from their YouTube channels. You too can join the party.
You have seen the A to Z of starting a sports blog and making money from it. You should now focus on growing your blog audience and getting traffic to your budding blog. The following resources will help you in your sporting journey.
- Set up Google Analytics tracking on your sports blog
- Secure your new WordPress website
- Nine ways to drive traffic to a sports blog
- Speed up a WordPress blog
- The 50 most popular blogs across 10 categories
Did you find this guide easy to follow and were you able to start your sports blog with ease? Let me know in the comments below.
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