Are you a talented writer and sports fan who would love to make a living from your passion for the written word? You’re not alone. Many aspiring authors cram novels, previews, and reviews around their day jobs. It’s not ideal, but it’s the only way to get your writing fix while keeping food on the table. Well, yes, but there is hope.
According to full-time sports writer Frankie Monkhouse, he explains how he quit his mundane job in a betting office and became a successful sports content writer. The Scotsman has worked on various exciting assignments, from ringside reporting at a small hall boxing match to covering the biggest events in New York betting.
Here’s his advice to getting your talents out there.
Time isn’t always money
No matter how good a writer you are, it’s unlikely you can rock up to the industry and land a full-time job off the back of talent. Being a great content writer is one thing. Still, an editor looks for other vital qualities, including time keeping, how quickly you can turn around assignments, and how much work your article needs after you submit it.
The best way to start is to look for websites with a topic you can relate to and email the editor. Offer to send articles for free, and, in return, you’ll see your work published on the site. Your talents are out there to be noticed. You shouldn’t email the big sports sites. They will already have a full-time team of staff capable of covering all subjects. It’s also likely they receive emails similar to your idea every day and have stopped responding.
The sites to aim at should focus on your niche. They should be popular enough that thousands of readers notice the articles published every day but not too popular that they’re unlikely to respond. It’s about getting the balance right, but the web is packed with the type of sites and apps you’re after.
Go it alone
If you can’t find a site that appeals to you or are struggling to get one that is willing to give you a big break, go it alone. There are enough website builders out there, the point-and-click sites that are easy to use and affordable. You can build a basic site with a few pages in hours or then add it to and improve your page over time. It could be a news site, blog, opinion page related to your favourite sports team.
You’ve now gone from a web content writer to a website owner. Use the page as a live CV, update stories every chance you get, and share the links on social media. Ask your online friends to share the articles, and there’s no saying how far they could go. You can be as active as you like and cover as many topics as you want with your site.
It’s even possible to earn an income off your own site. Insert adverts and affiliates to your homepage with links included in your article, encouraging readers to click. It won’t make you rich and will take time to build up speed, but it’s free, and you have nothing to lose. You could aim to make enough cash from the ads and affiliate links to cover the costs of running your own site.
Become a pest
When you have a few months worth of articles published on a website, you now have something solid to approach the bigger publications with. The sites that are willing to pay their staff for articles on a freelance basis. You have also shown you can stick to deadlines, help advertise pages on social media and have a following of dedicated readers.
It’s now time to start sending out emails to the editors of the sites you want to work for. You may not like ‘cold contacting’ people, but it’s a must. If you want to get noticed, you can’t worry about being a pest. Most successful writers started this way, and many established freelancers still do it. Make your emails personal to the site and even the editor.
Don’t send boring bulk emails. You don’t read them when they drop into your inbox, and neither will an editor who is already busy.
Get writing, build it slowly, start your own site or blog and get your talents noticed.