Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Unique Mission of Sports Writer HQ

For no other reason than I simply want to, I'd like to mention the mission of this blog.

Sports Writer HQ is part sports, part writing, part business. Freelance sports writing is not limited to game coverage, sport-specific writing, player profiles, and sports news; neither is this blog.

Since beginning my nano-business as a freelance golf writer, I have learned there are a myriad of possibilities with sports writing. Sure, you can cover all of the typical sports topics mentioned above, but as a freelancer, you could go broke. If you want to do that, if you're passionate about it, a sports writing "purist", hit it hard. It will be fulfilling.

If, like me, you're in it because you love sports or a sport, see the income potential and want to find your particular niche, then you're open to a lot of different ideas and concepts. That's what I am trying to provide here. As I experience things, whatever they may be and however they may relate to freelance sports writing, I will lay them out here. You'll see what works (for me), what doesn't work (for me) and through that information, you may see what you can do better than I do. You may see my mistakes and turn my failures into successes for you. I certainly hope so.

As the blog grows, I hope to see more comments, more questions and requests from readers to post their own articles here. I truly want it to be a great resource.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Football Explains America

I just did a Google search for ESPN Analyst Sal Paolantonio's new book, How Football Explains Americaand there was tons of everything from good reviews to scathing, rambling, juvenile junk. What that tells me is, at the very least, it's a good book.

In fact, in my opinion, How Football Explains America is an outstanding example of sports writing combined with a brief history of America. Disclaimer: I am a former History major, as is, as I understand, Paolantonio.

Yes, it was well written; you would expect that most things published in print are. It also provided a viable argument for how what we know as "football" came into being, and how it arrived at it's present state.

In short, according to How Football Explains America the Battle of Midway, Manifest Destiny, American heritage, American culture, everything that is America, is reflected in today's game.

If you want to read a great sports book, one of the best in some time, and you want to be a better sports writer for having read it, this is the one.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebrity Sportscaster Interview

Let me take just a moment to speak to the Kentucky Wildcat faithful everywhere, certainly those in Central and Eastern Kentucky. In a week or so, I will be posting (after my newsletter readers see it) my interview with former CNN Sports Anchor, and current WLEX anchor, Mary Jo Perino.

She's one of the bright spots in our local sports market and a great supporter of Wildcat sports.

I will be talking to her about interviewing, the differences and similarities between broadcasting and sports writing, connecting with the audience, and anything else that comes to mind.

It will beneficial to all sports writers, not just Big Blue fans. If you want to see it first, in the "unpublished" form, join the newsletter mailing list. The link is in the right hand column. It's free.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Think Your Blog is Successful Now? Just Wait.

I rarely recommend products. Take a look at this blog and you'll see only four products, one of which is my own, and another is what I'm telling you about here.

The only way I will offer a product on this or any of my sites is if I: 1) have first-hand knowledge of it; and 2) it will be of great benefit to those who purchase it. There's enough crap "Make Money Fast!" scams out there to fill the Gulf of Mexico, I don't want to extend that any further. What I'm getting at is if I risk my name by recommending it, it had better be outstanding! Blog Mastermind is just that, outstanding.

Yaro Starak publishes a business blog, You'll see a link to it in the blog roll. It has a Google PageRank of 5, which is fantastic for a blog and it has great content. I hadn't been making a push to make my blogs fiscally successful until I began reading his blog and a few others. I recently finished his report on making a succesful blog. I had been wanting to share it with you, but I had to wait to see the results. Now I can do it. I sent this info to my email list this morning, but couldn't wait any longer to put it out to everyone.

Yaro is a professional blogger who claims to make over $5000 USD per month from his blog. Blog Mastermind is his mentoring program for people who want to earn a full time income from blogging part time.

Now, I'm always skeptical of lofty claims, but, seeing my own results, it is highly unlikely that he is making up his figures. There's a free download to get you started, but the real meat of the program is in the Blog Mastermind Program.

I recommend it and hope it does as well for your sports blog, cooking blog, lawn care blog, whatever, as it has for me. Let me know how you do. I can't wait to hear. Click here to join the Blog Mastermind Mentoring Program

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do You Own a Blog? Well, This is a Great Idea.

I've stumbled across a blog called Feverbee. It isn't a sports blog, but it is, according to many, one of the best business-to-business (b2b) blogs on the Net.

How it relates here is found in this blog post, VIP In The Building.

What a great idea! Having a VIP guest, either in an online discussion period, or even to be a guest writer, can give your traffic (and income) a boost. Perfect for a sports blog!

For example, I live in a town of about 250,000 with the state's second largest newspaper and three of the largest television stations. Convincing one of the local sports writers or sportscasters to make an appearance on this blog, accompanied by mention of the appearance on the paper's/TV station's website could be golden!

I'll test it out and let you know how it goes in the next few weeks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The One Key to Writing Success?

Is there one key, one personal quality you should possess to be a success? If so, it is resilience. Here's a fantastic article by Mary Jaksch, a writer for the Lifehack blog about just that.

Resilience: The Key to Surviving Anything

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rejection Opportunity

Or, more accurately, Rejection=Opportunity.

I handle rejection from potential clients, editors, etc. very well, after the initial "I can't believe that (insert expletive, like "big dummy", "insensitive jerk", "mister smarty-pants") moron calls himself an editor," and "What lowly vermin would turn down my proposal."

If you've ever voiced such opinions to the "rejector", you have certainly lost a potential client for eternity. In this economy, that's bad.

If you have responded with no response at all, you may have accomplished the same thing.

If you responded with an email/card/letter thanking the person for her time, providing you with tools to improve your work, the opportunity, and wishing them all the best, then you have left the door open for a future collaboration.

Even better, follow it up with a card around the next holiday, just to keep you on her mind. When the next opportunity arises, and she sees your proposal, you will get a closer look than the others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Pencil is Truly Mighty!

For a writer, web-publisher, or entrepreneur, being organized is a key to getting things done. Many a project, article, business, undertaking has fallen flat before getting started due to our inability to organize thoughts and put them into action. That being the case, todoodlist will potentially change your life.

At the very least, it will give you a clarity you didn't have before, unless you were previously a CPA and you were supremely organized from birth. If you are like me, you need the help. This is that help.

There are plenty of other books at Amazon or Borders that have garnered a lot of press, but this little tome beats them all. todoodlist is the only one that has helped me (as you can see from my more regular posting here at SportsWriterHQ) and I love it for that.

It's only 14 bucks, so give todoodlist a try. I wouldn't give it such high praise unless it can deliver the goods. With the new productivity and earning capacity you will possess, you'll probably be able to buy the rights to it before long.

Put down the PDA and pick up a pencil!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Writing in a New Stream

All of this recession talk has had the effect of making me feel as if I'm in a race for my financial well-being. I know it's not that bad, but it has had some constructive implications. Case in point, I'm now acting on some things that had previously been on the back-burner. Most notably, a potential new income stream based upon newsletter publication on behalf of golf clubs, pros, and so on.

Essentially, I am contacting golf clubs with a sales letter describing the benefits of a regular newsletter and how it can impact their own revenue stream. My role is to be the person that compiles and distributes the newsletter, with minimal requirement from my potential clients.

I'm offering the service at a very fair price, considering that they can generate income from the newsletter in several ways: increased sales, increased play, advertising revenue, and so on.

I'll let you know how it goes.