Sports writing career is not the most lucrative job opportunity, even among professional writers in general. However, while the average salary is just enough to support the costs of a decent human existence, there are distinct perks that make the job easier to get through. You get to visit important sporting events, meet people that make sports history, and even build such a strong personal brand that your commentary has the power to influence future developments.
There’s no secret recipe for success, however, there are certainly professional and personal outlines that are common for writers that achieved long and prosperous careers as football or sportswriters in general.
Be personal but stay objective
It’s not uncommon for a sportswriter, especially among those that cover football topics, to have a favorite. After all, it’s the interest in sports and love for football that drives the best commentators, writing is just how that love is harnessed. Therefore, don’t be afraid to insert your personal opinion on anything that you consider worth commenting on.
However, try to stay objective and compare arguments when you write. You might have enjoyed the way a player made a pass but that doesn’t mean you should ignore that the ball ended up with the player who was caught offside. Criticize authorities whenever there’s a reason for it, but don’t do it only to indulge the audience. If you start pleasing the crowd it might undermine your authenticity as a writer.
It wouldn’t hurt if you had a football history, even a short one like a few years of goalkeeping in a college football team. Several decades ago, ex and sometimes even active football players were among the best writers and reporters around. Some of them would even run to a phone straight from the pitch during an away game only to report to their editors like the legendary Serbian football player and journalist Rajko Mitic who played for Red Star and wrote for a weekly magazine “Sport”.
If you don’t have a football career behind you, start football weekends with your friends because playing football would give you a perspective on the challenges that professional players meet during the game. It’s easy bashing an overpaid superstar for missing a penalty, but you should experience a similar situation to understand the pressure and difficulties that could cause you to miss your mark. If you wish to stay objective and know what you’re writing about, you should experience it firsthand.
Focus on a specific league
The football world is vast and diverse, therefore it’s better to focus on a specific football league, preferably the one you’re best acquainted with, and start building your reputation from scratch. To start writing about sports, practice or read sample articles and essays on sports. Many writers and students recommend Samplius as a free knowledge base with thousands of sample essays on a variety of topics including football and sports. Depending on your career goals, covering lower divisions would allow you to start at a less confusing level of play.
For a young writer, Italian Serie A competition might be too turbulent, confusing, and difficult to cover on a competing level. As you grow, top tier divisions will open up as your experience provides insight into more aspects of the game that you can research and write about. A career-long development as a writer whose work is focused on a specific football league in such depth gives your voice the authority and authenticity that can’t be matched by any trained professional.
You become a brand that people would connect to a specific football league and that gives you an audience, job opportunity, and a chance to dig your foot so deep into the pitch that football fans always remember you were there.
These two simple pieces of advice hold within a very complex set of activities, techniques, and challenges that you should overcome during a long period of years in your pursuit for a successful writer’s career. Of course, the definition of success is different for various people; however, research, advancement, dedication, and a professional approach to your work will allow you to achieve whatever goal you set as the pinnacle of your career.
James Collins is a freelance content writer with experience in creating and editing academic assignments related to different subjects. James writes articles that offer informative and practical value to the audience. His work is based on reliable sources and objective perception of all arguments, giving the readers a unique point of view.