Monday, October 31, 2011

Youth Sports: So You Want to Start a Youth Sports Blog (Part 2)

So if you are serious about starting a youth sports blog here are the first steps.

1. Pick a topic that you are passionate about. 

I write about youth sports in general, but I focus on select baseball, soccer, golf and basketball. These are the sports my kids play and therefore the topics that I have the most passion and content for.

Here are some examples of other youth sports blogs with a specific focus: Coach Parker writes about youth football, Hockey Mom in Canada writes about youth hockey in Canada. Sports Girls Play focuses on girls in sports.

Before you start your blog, I recommend that you explore many youth sports sites to see what you like and what you don't. Start by exploring the blogs on the blog roll on the right column of this blog.

2. Pick a name for your site and see if it is available.

One of the most important things you need to do is to select a name for the site. You'll need a name that will set your site apart from the crowd. Find a name that reflects the subject and the personality of the site.

If you are serious about blogging, you'll want your own URL, like www.statsdad.com. It is not very expensive to do (less than $10 / year). To get your own URL, you'll need to go to a URL Registry Service like GoDaddy.com, NetworkSolutions.com or Register.com and check to see what names are available and register for that URL. If the name you want is taken, these websites will suggest alternatives. I would recommend that you use a URL with a .com or .net ending. These are the most common and therefore make your site look more authentic and credible.

I choose StatsDad.com because I keep the score books and team stats for the sports teams that my kids play on. Dad blogs are getting big so I wanted the word Dad in the title.

If you do not want to pay for a URL, you can simply use the URL associated with the blog platform that you decide to use (See next section). In that case your URL would look something like this; www.statsdad.blogspot.com or www.statsdad.wordpress.com. You can start with one of the URLs that come with the blog platform and then change to your own URL later. I think that you'll agree that the owned URL looks more professional and credible.


3. Pick a blog platform and design

I recommend using Google Blogger (www.blogger.com), Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) or Typepad (www.typepad.com). All three are very easy to set up and use. Both provide intuitive step by step directions to guide you through the process. You can literally be up and running in less than 10 minutes, but you'll want to take some time designing the site.

The design of your site is one of the most important decisions you can make. A good design will make your site look credible and authoritative. A good design will make the site easy to read and navigate. Always think about the end user, your audience.

Each platform above provides many design templates from which to choose. Pick a template that fits your subject and your personality. Use the template features to make the site look new and different. Experiment with custom templates, colors and fonts. Avoid the cookie-cutter design templates. You can change the look of the site with a click of a button and then switch it right back. Use colors and fonts that are easy to read. Avoid dark backgrounds with light type.

Consider these three blogs which ones do you think look more credible and easy to read. (The first one was masked to protect the source, but this site is now defunct.)

Cookie Cutter Blogger Template
Custon Wordpress Template
Custom Blogger Template


4. Add an analytic service to your new site.

You'll want to know who is going to your site, what key words they used to get there, what content visitors are reading, how long they stayed, etc. This information will help you understand what your readers want and like. Understanding this will help you write compelling content filled with the key words your audience uses. Follow this link to learn how to add Google Analytics to your blogger blog or how to add Google Analytics to your Wordpress blog. I also use and recommend StatsCounter.  

5. Start Writing.

Be honest. 
Be relevant. 
Be authentic.
Be entertaining. 
Be original. 
Share your experience. 
Teach your readers something. 
Post 2 to 3 times per week, every week. 
Use key words that you might want to rank for in search results over and over. I name each one of my posts, Youth Sports: or Youth Soccer: or Youth Baseball: etc. These are the words that I want my site to rank high on the Google, Bing and Yahoo SERP (Search Engine Results Pages)
Be patient it takes time to build an audience. 



The Main Point

Setting up a youth sports blog is very easy to do. If you run into trouble there are so many places to go for help by simply putting your question or problem into Google. Or post a comment here and I'll try to help you.

In one of my next posts, I will share what I have learned about creating a brand for your blog, how to build an audience and how to monetize your site.

The first thing that you need to do is find your niche, find your voice, start writing and start sharing.

Good luck

4 comments:

  1. Just read this post that compares Blogger vs Wordpress - http://www.bloggablestuff.com/2011/10/wordpress-vs-blogger-comparing-two-blogging-platforms/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Useful information! Thanks for sharing it with us. I always read blogs and get some good insights. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to see but thanks to technical improvements I can now observe almost any arrange I wish through a stay watch nfl games online free soccer flow.

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  4. Yeah!!! i have a sports blog for youth and that's why I'm here... Thanks for sharing this nice post...

    also check my blog : The Power Sports

    ReplyDelete

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