At its core, content is simply information. And as we’ve all experienced, content on the web can take a variety of forms, both written and visual. Content writers, of course, specialize in written content, but that can range from the typical blog posts and web pages to social media posting, press releases, whitepapers, and even video scripts.
Sports content writers are a subset of content writers, who specialize in writing informative and entertaining content pieces about various sports. These content pieces can be of any type – match analysis, running commentary, match forecasts, player profiles, and so on. If you are the weird amalgamation of a passionate writer and a sports fanatic, I guess you’ve just found your tribe.
Employment to such content writers is generally provided by websites around a particular sporting niche (CricBuzz, SportsKeeda, etc.) With the rise of ‘fantasy sports’ apps (You know which one I am talking about; we are tired of seeing their ads during IPL), demand for sports content has risen a lot, which is good news for you if you want to pursue this career.
Job Profile (A Day in the life of a Sports Content Writer)
If you are working for a company (i.e, you are not freelancing), your work would mostly be done in shifts. At most companies, the Sports Content Writers are divided in 3 shifts, with first shift starting at early morning, and last shift ending around midnight. Official duration for a shift is 8-9 hours (including 1 hour for break, which everyone can take as per their convenience).
Your responsibilities will include writing long and short articles on a variety of events throughout the sporting world. Be it Football or Cricket, you would have to keep checking everywhere for information, and produce quality content regarding the same that satisfies all editorial guidelines, as well as attracts viewers.
The skills that are valued a lot in this field – Experience of writing in ‘Journalism’ style (good blogs from Sportskeeda and other mentioned websites mentioned in the Resources section should help in this regard), SEO Writing, and the ability to deliver content timely. How fast you are and how fast you can write quality content matters a lot in this industry.
There’s no huge hierarchy. Writers work under Editors, who in turn, work under a reporting manager. While Editors usually do the assigning of articles and publishing them after proofreading, the roles are not strictly followed and are interchangeable among peers depending from company to company.
Work-life balance and pay are not motivating enough for entry-level aspirants in the field though. However, if one is seriously passionate about this field, they can go on to become a Sports Journalist for a big media house or a national news/sports channel. And if you get in a privileged list of journalists created by sports boards (such as the BCCI), you have made it to the top leagues. And at that level, you get a separate seat in the VIP box during matches too, among other perks.
Starting salary is roughly 20,000 rupees per month. Monetary growth is somewhat slow if you get a job, and it will only be a steady increase every year until you become a big-shot sports journalist. But freelancing is what pays good money in this industry. You can freelance alongside your day job, and that combination can give you ~50,000 per month right from the beginning itself.
Any particular degree is not really required, but a Journalism degree (such as BMM or BJMC) may be the best for getting into the industry easily.
One thing to love about being a Sports Content Writer
“I loved working and knowing more about the fields I’ve looked upto since childhood – Sports and Writing.”
One thing to hate about being a Sports Content Writer
“Turbulence. There might be days when you just sit and stare screen for 4 hours with no work. And some day you might end up doing whole day’s average work within just 2 hours of shift and then continue at the same pace for whole day.”
Resources and Tips:
- Read Cricbuzz, CricTracker, Athletic UK, Telegraph, and the BBC Sports section on a daily basis.
- Watch a lot of games in English commentary to get a grip of jargon and methods of analysis.
- Make it a ritual to watch pre-match and post-match analysis. For example, if you are going to be writing about cricket, always watch Extra Innings.
- Try to find and store interesting facts about the players to give your writings a flair as well as make them research-backed.
- Write every day, it is the only way to improve.
- A reddit thread on ways of finding work as a freelance writer may interest you.
- Another thread for finding more resources.
Plan of Action:
- Many websites (like SportsKeeda), allow you to write for them and earn money without any prior experience. Start writing on such platforms.
- Get as much writing out there as possible. On Quora, start writing answers in the sports category. When these start getting views slowly, you can claim on your CV that you have X number of views per month on your writings.
- Start freelancing on platforms like Fiverr and UpWork. The pay would be low, but this is just for adding weight to your CV.
- Once you have done all these things, start looking for sports content writing jobs on platforms such as LinkedIn and InternShala, along with the websites of all major sports companies.
- But even if you don’t find jobs related to ‘sports content’ in particular, do content writing for other industries to gain experience and skills. Such a job would not be too difficult to find on LinkedIn. Companies are always looking for content writers.
- Creating a personal blog/portfolio where you post your best sports articles is also a great idea, and again adds weight to your CV.