I am going to start a series of articles that talk about some of the steps that I am currently taking to break into the sports media business. With no formal training in writing, hell I don’t even have a college degree at all. Armed only with my ambition, and a relentless attitude to get me there. I am well on my way, but I wanted to share this part of the journey with my readers as well.
The first thing you have to do is start your blog. This is where most of my sports enthusiast friends get lost. I promise it is not that hard. Luckily for me, my wife is co-owner in a web hosting company, but when I started my blog, I didn’t get any help from their staff. I didn’t even ask for a discount.
I went to hostboogie.com, and I tried for days to come up with a name and domain that worked. After about a week of learning that every good sports website name that I could think of, I settled on 1ongball.com. “The Long Ball” was my top choice for a name, but those domains were long gone. So I modified it so that I could still use the name I wanted. I don’t suggest using a modified website address like I did, but I wanted to stop using the name as an excuse not to get started.
Once I had the name I bought one-year of hosting. It was $25 with the cost of the domain included because I paid for one year up front. Otherwise, it is $3 a month and about $13 for the domain, so I saved just under 50% by paying up front.
I decided to use WordPress to create my website because a ton of people had told me that it was easy to use and it was, kind of. I also suggest WordPress to you considering the other two websites that I write for; both use it as well. It was easy for me to jump into writing for other places once I was familiar with the tools they were using.
Why do you need a blog?
I was listening to a podcast from Tim Ferriss with his interview of Ezra Klein the founder and editor in chief of Vox.com. Klein’s most notable work came at the Washington Post before joining the Vox Media groups conglomerate of media websites.
I mention Klein here because he had humble beginnings. He started his first blog his Freshman year of college. Klein gushed over writing as much as he could for an audience as little as nine people and was elated when he was reaching a consistent audience of 35 people. He now reaches over 100 million readers at Vox, and it all started with a blog.
To break into media without any formal training, you need to create a following. The best place for you to be able to write and store your content is on a website like this. Social media sites are perfect for promoting and connecting with readers, but it is not great to find old posts. If you have ever wanted to argue with Skip Bayless or obtain a press pass to the sport you love, follow along.