How to Turn Your Sports Blog into a Career with WordPress

The global sports industry is worth up to $620 billion. There are entire towns that seemingly paint themselves in the local team’s colors.

You’re one of the people that can’t get enough. It’s growing fast, and since you love sports, you started a blog on WordPress.com. This was your way of having a little extra fun, taking your love of sports to the next level. 

You’re really enjoying it and even gaining a bit of traction, leaving you wondering, “Can I get a little piece of the pie? Can I turn my love of sports into a career?” 

The quick answer — absolutely! And WordPress.com can help you every step of the way. It might seem like a fantasy, but turning your love of sports into a job that’s more play than work is an absolute possibility. 

If your goal is to turn your sports blog into a money-making venture, this guide is for you.

Can you monetize a sports blog?

For some, blogging may seem like a hobby, but it can be much more than that.

Research shows that amateur bloggers earn an average of $16,267 in revenue, with pro bloggers making an average of $185,975.

Former blogger Bill Simmons is an outstanding example of someone who utilized his passion and knowledge to build a rewarding career. He began blogging part-time while working as a bartender and waiter. After he grew his site to 45,000 hits per day, he landed a more permanent position at ESPN, eventually making a multi-million dollar salary. His net worth is now $100 million. Although Bill Simmons is the exception to the rule, you can also embark on a rewarding journey.

What’s the key to monetizing a sports blog in today’s competitive market? 

Do something different. Find a unique angle, concentrate on an area of focus, and choose a niche.

Ask yourself. What type of sports blog do you want to create? The sports industry is vast. If you don’t start with a more specialized area of focus, your blog could quickly fall short. Creating a niche blog will also allow you to focus on a narrowed target market. This can be highly beneficial from a marketing standpoint.

For example, if you love baseball, you can decide whether you’ll cover major leagues or focus more on college ball. You could even narrow things down further, highlighting a specific local team. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t publish pieces that cover the history of baseball, current trends, or league news. However, the majority of your content should cover a niche topic. Become an expert on that topic!

The goal here is to choose something you’re passionate about and get more targeted traffic. This will increase your chances of making more money with your sports blog.

How to monetize your sports blog

Your goal is to turn your blog into a source of income, so the question remains: How do you achieve that? Treat your sports blog like a business.

Know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The most profitable sports blogs combine several monetization strategies. Here are some of the top suggestions.

Advertising

Third-party ads are incredibly common on the internet, offering a fairly automated, but effective revenue strategy.

To maximize income from this revenue stream, lean on platforms such as WordAds. As the leading advertising optimization platform for WordPress sites, WordAds delivers a reliable revenue opportunity.

Large advertising networks, like Google AdSense, Yahoo, Criteo, and AppNexus, all bid to display their clients’ ads which drives up the potential revenue for your site.  

This option is a good fit once your site generates thousands of page views each month. To get started, you’ll need to fill out an application. Once approved, the install is simple. In just a few clicks, you can start making money — no coding needed! 

Although these ads will not necessarily be sports-related, they will be targeted towards each individual visitor. This means that they see something relevant to their needs and are more likely to click. 

Affiliate links

There’s nothing quite like passive income streams. It’s the type of money you can make while you’re sleeping.

One of the best options is affiliate marketing. When you create your content, you can include affiliate links throughout. These links may recommend a service, digital product, or physical product offered by other companies. When someone clicks the links on your site and makes a purchase, you get a cut. Simple as that.

For example, you may be interested in water sports. Your niche may focus on the tech gadgets that are revolutionizing surfing, windsurfing, swimming, sailing, and wakeboarding. You could easily plug products in your blog posts based on what you think your audience would find valuable.

Here are some examples of the best sports affiliate programs in 2021 to help you better understand how these programs work and what type of partnership you should seek.

Of course, you only want to recommend products you would actually use yourself or think are high enough in quality to warrant your support. You need to think about your ongoing reputation as you work towards establishing yourself as a credible source of information.

Sponsored posts

A sponsored post focuses on the promotion of a specific product or service. The company you promote will typically pay you to publish that post. Sounds simple enough, right?

For example, your blog may focus on athletic health. Nutrition companies or physiotherapists could benefit from partnering with you while still sharing information your audience will find interesting.

Create a page that promotes this option to potential advertisers. On it, make it clear what you bring to the table. Highlight who your audience is, how many people you reach, where they live, etc. You need to show sponsors how they’ll benefit from working with you. 

One important note: Don’t go overboard with affiliate links or sponsored posts. Too much of a good thing often feels spammy. Check your host’s terms of service for any restrictions they may have regarding this type of content.

Premium content

Once you’re creating the type of content readers can’t get enough of, it’s time to consider a monthly or yearly subscription. These paid subscribers will gain access to select content.

With WordPress, this isn’t a complicated process. The Premium Content block will allow you to restrict content on a page or post so that it’s only available to subscribers who can pay one time, monthly, or annually.

Reverting to the athletic health blog example above, make your blog available to everyone, showcasing plenty of free, valuable content. You may cover topics over several categories, like conditioning, diet, injury prevention, etc. As your traffic increases and your fan base grows, offer premium content based on your most successful posts. Dive even deeper into the subjects your readers love.

You might offer paid video tutorials that focus on the best strength training exercises according to a guest athlete, an eBook that highlights the top 100 healing foods with recipes, or lengthy articles that share industry tips and tricks.

Read more: Start a Paid Subscription Blog to Monetize Your Content

Sell merchandise

Blogging is about creating a brand, and with a big enough following, you can consider merchandise. Whether you’re selling t-shirts, mugs, or beer koozies, it’s important to capitalize on your growing brand.

The WooCommerce plugin will help you achieve your merchandise goals. It’s the most popular open-source eCommerce solution and is free, flexible, and customizable! There are plenty of success stories within the WooCommerce community, including DVO Suspension, South African Rugby Shop, and IMP Sport, all of which are making waves in the sports industry.

DVO Suspension website, built with WooCommerce

Whether you live for your favorite sport, love helping other athletes be their best, or can’t get enough of the latest sports tech gadgets, your blog could be the next big thing. Your dream career no longer needs to be just a “dream” — WordPress.com can make your vision a reality.

You’ve got the passion, the know-how, and the support of WordPress. It’s time to make money with your sports blog, starting today!

Let our experts build your custom WordPress.com website.

Whether you need a landing page or a full ecommerce site, an online learning academy or an interactive informational site for your business, we can build it for you.

Apply now

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

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