06 Apr Making Your Voice Heard: Starting a Sports WordPress Website
Seemingly, there is a never-ending thirst for sports media content: be it podcasts, blogs, or giving an insider’s edge on NFL odds, there is always something sports related to talk about, and people want to consume it. As a sports fan, you know your stuff, that stats matter, and they don’t, and there’s no crying in baseball.
So why not create your own space in the sports media landscape, producing content on sports that you want?
There are many website-building programs, and WordPress is among the best for helping you create content and generate views (and potential revenue). We will help you navigate starting your own sports-based WordPress website and make your voice heard, starting with the hardest part: focus and scope.
Defining Your Focus and Scope
To be successful, you will need to have a focused topic and figure out the scope of your coverage or how deep and fragmented you are going to go into your sports coverage. You need to start asking yourself questions like: will you upload visual or audio media? How many sports do you want to talk about? How many sports do you consider yourself a true expert in? Stats: any or how many?
Remember, you are a one-person show to start, and most people want to hear expert opinion analysis. When starting your sports WordPress site, start with the few sports you specialize in! Don’t cover NFL lines if you don’t make bets on the NFL yourself.
The next step is to figure out how many different pages you will need to cover everything your site’s visitors could need from your website. This is helpful for actually building your site.
You’ll want to consider creating and acquiring a domain name at this stage. As your site grows in popularity and generates revenue, you’ll want to own the domain name you’re building brand value.
Starting and Building Your WordPress Site
After signing up for WordPress, you’ll want to select a template to build from. There are numerous options available on WordPress while googling “WordPress templates” will unlock a world of design options.
Ensure that you are downloading the template for a secure location, and after downloading, simply select to add a template in the WordPress design process.
From here, you’ll need to select a color scheme. Choose what you want but make sure the area where people will be reading the text is easy to do so. People will not read pink text on a black background for too long, even though black and pink often complement each other.
Now that you have your template set up, you need to build the content on the site one page at a time.
You will obviously have a homepage for people to land on with an image carousel of recently uploaded or updated content. However, how many pages you are going to have on the site is entirely dependent on how wide your focus and scope are.
We highly recommend keeping your website simple and utilizing WordPress’s simple-to-use menu-building functionality, which helps you quickly and seamlessly combine similar pages into a dropdown menu.
To add a page, click on add a page on the left-hand taskbar. From here, you need to give the page a simple title. This can be as basic as the type of sport (i.e., Hockey, Basketball) or the league name (NBA, NFL, EPL).
Each page is going to have subpages directly related to the sport. How many subpages depend on how many different ways you want to split your coverage. For example, you can have an NFL page and then have a subpage breaking down all the Vegas NFL odds for that particular week.
You will also want separate pages for video, audio, and evergreen content like contact us and a frequently-asked-question page (if applicable).
Adding Images and Videos
Images and Videos are important to help tell stories and keep people interested. You will want to add an image to most all pages and posts, which will be attached to the posts and used in any image carousels you use on the home page.
WordPress has simple drag-and-drop functionality, so regardless of where you record your podcast, video, or images and art you’ve sourced or created in Canva or other graphic design programs is easy to do and takes four clicks to add to your site.
Formatting images and videos in WordPress is quite simple, with large visual icons helping with alignment, while resizing and captioning the images starts with clicking on the image itself.
Adding Social Media
WordPress makes this simple and allows you to add social media buttons and an onsite Twitter feed with easy-to-download and install plug-ins.
Important Things to Do in Every Post
To build a successful sports-based WordPress site, you’ll want to do certain things in every post you create. And it all centers around keywords and search engine optimization (SEO).
When creating a post, you’ll want to use a keyword or phrase that people will be searching for on a search engine that will bring up your content! Keep it simple and relevant.
Use subheadings: Subheadings are available in a simple dropdown menu with other text-based editing options. Using subheadings helps make your content more readable while giving you the subject for the content in that subsection.
Make sure to use the keyword or phrase in the post’s title and the caption on the featured image.
Create and assign categories relevant to the content so it can be searched for on your website.
WordPress’ SEO optimizer will help guide you to include internal and external linking and maximize your keyword density in the content to improve your SEO rating. You don’t want to overdo the SEO optimization, as this tends to read as artificial and will drive people away from your content.
Affiliate Codes and Stores
Once your website is successful enough, you will be able to earn affiliate codes or buttons while having the ability to sell merchandise to faithful fans.
WordPress has a 4-step E-commerce shop set-up process that makes creating a place to monetize your sports content with merchandise easy.
An affiliate code will generate revenue when people click through to the site. When you have the actual affiliate code, you’ll want to add an affiliate code by switching from visual to text using the button on the top right of the writing area.
You need to be careful, as doing anything in the text view changes the actual code on the website. Code goes wrong, and you will make mistakes. Be prepared to start the adding lines of code process from the start again.
When writing content, edit and review what you have written. If your writing is error-filled–either in construction or content–you aren’t going to create and maintain fans. Be clear, be yourself, and people will come to you!
Most importantly, have fun with your sports-based WordPress website. Keeping it fun will keep you engaged and pushing forward even when times are tough.