Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Top Sports Writing Jobs And Videos For Week Of March 25, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Visit the Jobs Page for updated job postings.

Hello everyone, and welcome to my jobs/video special. Once again, sorry for the gap between posts, but I'm working on some things to make the blog better. Your e-mails and comments help me exponentially, so keep sending them please.

Here are my Top Five Sports writing Jobs:

1. Read the page from top to bottom and you may find a very good opportunity for a writer interested in providing material for an on-line sports site.
2. Writer needed for top magazine in Charlotte, NC. Competitive pay!!!$$$$
3. Company needs articles about NFL/NCAA, NBA/NCAA, and Baseball submitted weekly. Good pay for quality articles.
4. Once again, read the page from top to bottom. Some good leads for magazine writers in various categories.
5. Online blog service looking to hire many writers for such subjects as sports, technology, etc. Hourly pay based on experience and quality of submitted work.

Most everyone watches the news from time to time. So this weeks videos are some of my favorite interviews and news clips. Just more proof that this job can be stressful, entertaining, and very, very funny at times. Enjoy!

Sometimes celebrities and reporters just can't get along.

Then again, reporters have bad days too.

Then there are the things that are completely out of anyone's control.

That's all for this week. Hope you've enjoyed the post. Write on!

"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only does not exist."--Friedrich Nietzsche(1844-1900)German-Swiss philosopher and writer

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sportswriter HQ Update

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Sorry about the down-time everyone. I've been working on some new things for the blog. Tomorrow I will be posting a video/Top 5 Jobs combination. Should be interesting. I'm still working on that link list for you too. I've received some good requests from readers and will be answering some of them in time as well.

So be on the lookout for new material and some good posts about writing too. Please keep sending your requests and posting comments. It enables me to know what you like and what you want to know about. Think of it as Burger King. I want to do it your way. Write on!

"Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny."--Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882)American poet and lecturer

Monday, March 16, 2009

Top Sports Writing And Freelance Writing Jobs For Week Of March 16, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Once again, here is my 5 -n- 5 for you all. There are some really good job leads here so make sure to look closely and you just may find a good opportunity.

Sports Writing Jobs

1. Fast-growing Web 2.0 company needs writers for sports and news content. This is a part-time position.
2. Brand new site looking for sports enthusiasts to spread the word! Good incentive program.
3. Company needs writer for sports news and re-writing articles. On-going opportunity for the right applicant.
4. If you are funny AND love sports, look no further. Write sports satires and get paid for it!
5. Work from home sports bloggers needed here. Prominent company needs writers with Superior sports knowledge!

Freelance Writing Jobs

1. The Examiner is searching for freelance writers to supply content on various subjects. Residents of Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area need to check this one out!
2. If you watch "Lost", "Heroes", "24", etc., get paid to write about it. Looking for @ 10 articles per week.
3. Blogger needed for FlashDen users. No experience required, but is preferred. Topics can vary, and pay is $350 per month to start. This is a stepping-stone to what could turn into a higher-paid position for someone.
4. Golfing website seeks freelance golf writers for site content. If you like writing and playing the game of golf, this is an awesome job!
5. Blog and write tutorials for a newly refurbished site. Starting at $100 per tutorial/in-depth article.

That's all for this week. Next week I plan to start putting together a list of links to help bloggers and freelance writers. Stay tuned!

"I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it."--William Faulkner(1897-1962)American novelist

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Top Sports Videos For The Week: The Slam Dunk Collection

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

This week we have some of my favorite slam dunk videos. A few of these dunks seem outright impossible, but they pull them off with style. Enjoy.

These guys are awesome. They do some of the most insane dunks I've seen. No car, but watch for the motorcycle.

"Superman" himself, Dwight Howard's portfolio of dunks during season play. Great compilation!

This video proves again that you don't have to be tall to be a dunk master!

Well that's it folks. Hope you enjoy this weeks videos. Until next time. Write on!

"If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden; If you want to be happy for life, plant a tree."--English Proverb

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of March 11, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Visit the Jobs Page for updated sports writer and blogger postings.

Sorry for the delay everyone. My wife and I celebrated our birthdays this past weekend. Her's was March the 7th, and mine was the 9th. Fear not though. I have some good jobs this week, plus I threw in a bonus freelance job I think you'll enjoy.

1. Major sports blog needs writers for part-time and full-time positions.
2. If you love Fantasy Baseball (as well as the real deal of course) and want to write about it, this is the job for you.
3. Blogging company needs writers for sports, entertainment, and much more. Pay is based on experience.
4. Top-notch company seeking experienced writers for web content and print! A great opportunity for the right applicant. $$$$$$$$
5. If you already have a sports blog or are thinking of starting one, this could be a good source of extra revenue, and get you some site promotion to boot.

Write reviews for print, magazine, and broadcast media. Pay starting at $200 per month. This is not a sports related job.

That does it for this week. Next week will be another 5 and 5, so don't miss out!

"I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can."--Ernest Hemingway(1898-1961) American Writer

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Top Three Sports Videos For The Week: More Crazy Sports Videos

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

You asked for more and here they are. My picks of the week. Enjoy!

Sports bloopers and out-bursts done German style. I have no idea what they are saying, but the clips are great!

These guys define "Unsportsmanlike conduct."

This is a good collection of different clips. Some, funny, some painful, and some downright awesome footage here.

That's it for this week. Keep sending your requests and I'll keep answering them.

"I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze."--D. H. Lawrence(1885-1930) English Writer

Monday, March 2, 2009

Top Sports Writing And Freelance Writing Jobs For Week Of March 2, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Visit the Jobs Page for Updated sports blogging and writing postings.

This week, as promised, I have for you a list of what I feel to be the best 10 jobs for this week. Some pay a lot, some pay a little, but all of them will provide good experience for you. They aren't going to be around too long, so start sending in applications and resumes a.s.a.p!

Sports Writing Jobs

1. New sports site about to be launched needs sports writers for content articles. 1 to 2 assignments per month to start. $25 per article.
2. Well-established company seeking writers for various sports related assignments. Substantial compensation package provides good starting pay. Don't pass this one up! $$$$$$
3. Looking to hire regional sports bloggers for site content in most major east coast cities (Charlotte, Boston, New york, etc.) but open to other locations.
4. Sports ranking site needs writers for content. Not too picky about qualifications.
5. Company in search for sports writers and bloggers for a number of their sites. A variety of choices here for sports writers of different genres.

Other Freelance Writing Jobs

1. Prominent website is looking for writers in a variety of fields. They provide all the help and resources needed to begin and sustain a writing career.
2. If the thrill of conquering a mountain drives you, check out this job. Write about, hiking, camping, kayaking, and much more. Basically, anything to do with the great outdoors.
3. Can you interview people and write about it? This finance-based company wants to hire you then. Great pay ($200 per interview!) and benefits. $$$$$$$$$
4. Get paid weekly writing how-to articles for this company's vast network of sites. Another good way to build your portfolio while making a little money.
5. Write different evergreen articles for this site and keep 60% of the advertising revenue your articles generate. Good experience.

So another week is under way and I'm looking to write and make some money. I hope these job links help some of you to accomplish that too. Writer's Unite!

"I am paid by the word, so I always write the shortest words possible."--Bertrand Russell(1872-1970)British Philosopher

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's Happening In Sports Today? Friday, February 27, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

I checked around and here are some of the Top Sports Stories in the media today. I'm going to start doing this every day if possible, so check back often.

1. NBA News--Upon being released from the Knicks, Stephon Marbury signed-up with the Boston Celtics. Having not played since January2008 following the death of his father and a severe ankle injury, Marbury is expected to be available for play tonight. Read more...
2. PGA Tour News--Tiger's road to redemption was stopped dead in the second round of the WGC Match Play event in Arizona. The number one player in the world was sent home due to faultless play by South African, Tim Clark. Read more...
3. NFL News--Redskins sign All-Pro lineman Albert Haynesworth to a 7 year, $100 million dollar contract. The contract also includes a record $41 million in guaranteed money. Read more...
4. Pro-Tennis News--Andy Murray withdraws from the Dubai Tennis Championship because of infection. Also, Novak Djokovic advanced to the semi-final rounds. Read more...
5. Pro Sports Videos and News--This is an awesome site with sports videos in different categories. I recommend it to all sports fans out there. Check it out....

That's all for today. Check back tomorrow for an update. If you have any suggestions for a featured site, leave a comment or e-mail me and tell me about it. I promise to answer all correspondence.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Top Three Sports Videos Of The Week: The Insane, Miraculous, And Funny Collection

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Everyone needs a good laugh (and a good cringe) now and then as far as I'm concerned. So here is a compilation of some of the most insane, miraculous, and downright funny moments in sports. Enjoy.

This last one is not for the squeamish. Be warned!!

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."--Tom Clancy

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of February 23, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

There seemed to be an influx of job postings this week. One again I have sifted through them and found my favorites for you.

1. This one is merely for experience. Not much pay, but you have most of the control over your posts.
2. Someone's dream could come true at this Video Sports Journalism job. Good pay, and a career.
3. A variety of sports are covered on this blog-site. Passion for sports is a must!
4. You can become a Sports Marketing Project Manager if you land this job. $$$$$$$$$
5. If boxing is your sport of choice, then this is the job for you. Not many positions though, so you'll have to fight for it!

That's it for this week. Next week will be a 10 job special! I'm going to do 5 sports writing jobs, and 5 regular freelance writing jobs! Become a subscriber, and keep track of events so you won't miss out. It's just going to get bigger and better! Enjoy the journey.

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations."--Charles R. Swindoll

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Put the "IT" Factor To Use For You And Your Writing

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

What is the "IT" factor you might ask? "IT" is what we all have at our fingertips every day, but not all of us use it. I'm talking about Information Technology of course. So much information is passed back-and-forth on the web, through cell-phones, lap-tops, etc. Not to put this resource to use is a downright travesty of major proportions! Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the point.

I remember writing when I was younger. Trips to the library became a normal occurrence for me in those days. Nowadays, I just go into my office, and turn on the computer. When that screen comes on, I know that there is a world of knowledge, countless libraries of information, at my fingertips, and it feels powerful.

As a writer, this is a very valuable resource indeed. You can build a social network of like-minded individuals striving for the same goals.

When I first began this odyssey of becoming a writer, I had no clue. Thankfully, I had a desire to succeed along with a computer. I now have the capability to get in contact with a doctor in Singapore or Golf-Pro Phil Bundy. The possibilities are endless!

There is a veritable treasure trove of resources available to writers. Selecting the right ones for you, and putting them to use will greatly help in your activities.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Monthly Top Five Sites And Services For Freelance Writers And Bloggers

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

I believe in helping fellow writers out as much as I can. So when I come across helpful sites I keep track of them. I'm going to start posting a monthly list to spread the word about these services.

Here is this month's top five.

1. The ultimate goal of everyone is to have your own business someday. There are a lot of steps involved in order to accomplish this. This site simplifies the process a little by providing services that help manage time, do research, analysis, and expand your business.
2. Another great site for Professional organizing, business coaching, training seminars, and more. Take away some of the stress and things will flow better. This site helps with that.
3. This is a great site dealing with social marketing, media strategy, etc. Some very valuable information and links here. Get some help with web page design too.
4. If you are an entrepreneur, this is an awesome site. The articles alone will help you with marketing strategies, business development, and much more. A very good site for the entrepreneur in us all.
5. I confess, I love gadgets for my browser and so forth. I'm constantly looking for new ones. If you're like me, then this is the site for you. Loaded with all sorts of useful (and playful) gadgets to make life easier and more interesting.

Well that's all for this month. If you want to be considered for a future post, leave a comment or contact me via e-mail, and I will get back to you. Until then, write on!

"I love being a writer, what I can't stand is the paperwork."--Peter de Vries

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

News Flash: How To Write A Good Press Release

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

As a freelance writer, sports writers especially, being able to construct a good press release is a valuable asset. It's almost an art form in itself. Mainly because you have to capture the reader's attention, and then parlay enough information in as few words as possible, but make them want more. Let me explain a bit.

Press releases are short news stories. They are written in the third-person, and are used to demonstrate to an editor, journalist, etc. whether a story is newsworthy or not. Press-releases can be about various things including, people, sporting events, places, and so on.

I have compiled a few tips to help you create a good press-release.

The Title

1. Look at the title as your personal marquee sign. In as few words as possible, describe what your press-release is about. Make it compelling and attention-getting!
2. Address your audience in the title whenever you can.
3. Include the phrase "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" at the top of the page.
4. Always use present-tense.
5. The first word of the Headline and all proper-nouns should be capitalized.

The Body

1. For credibility, begin with the date and the city the press release is from. (i.e. Concord, NC February 18, 2009)
2. The first couple of sentences (2-3) should sum-up the press release, and everything following should elaborate.
3. It is important that the first paragraph contains the where, when, why, what, who, and how.
4. Press releases are double-spaced and should be at least a page, but no more than two pages.
5. If using company info, include a brief description of the company, it's business policy, and core function.

The Conclusion

1. Simply put, the conclusion should be a couple of sentences that tie the press-release together.
2. If possible, provide links to more information that supports the release.
3. ALWAYS include either "###", or "-30-" centered on the bottom of the last page.

Make sure that you proofread your press release a few times before submitting it. Editors don't like mistakes.

Everyone has their own style when writing press releases, however, the core format is the same. Following this simple outline will help you with the basics. Now you just have to put a little of your own uniqueness into it and see what happens.

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."--Ernest Hemingway

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of February 16, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

There are some good jobs this week. Somebody's dreams are about to come true, I can feel it!

1. Freelance sports writers needed in 21 major cities. Check the list and apply!
2. Major League Baseball looking for freelance/full-time reporters and columnists for website. $$$$
3. Georgia based company is looking for sports bloggers. Proficient and professional applicants a must. Top pay!
4. Awesome site where you can post on various subjects and get paid for your posts. No out-of-pocket cost! Money to be made here.$$$$$$$$
5. L.A. based magazine seeking freelance writer for Extreme Sports. Could turn permanent.

That's all for this week. Thanks to all of you who sent in requests. Keep on sending them, and I will answer as many as I can.

Till next week:
"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else."--Gloria Steinem

Friday, February 13, 2009

Helpful Videos For Freelance Sports Writers

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

I love scanning other websites for helpful information pertaining to the writing industry. On occasion I find nice little gems to share with my fellow writers.

While scanning YouTube today, I came across a couple of videos that nicely describe some of the aspects of being a sports writer. I think they are worth the watch, and they are not long so it won't take to much of your time.

1. Short job description for sports writers.

2. The pros and cons of sports writing.

3. Information on the pay for a sports writer.

I'll keep searching, and if anyone has any suggestions, leave a comment or contact me via e-mail.

"The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish."--Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Secret To Making Your Articles Irresistible: Tips For Creating An Engaging Headline

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Having a good Headline is paramount for capturing readers' attention. You have to make them want to read your article. Now there are a variety of ways to go about accomplishing this. Being the gracious person that I am , I have shortened this list and am going to share it with you now.

I. Use "trigger-words" and superlatives in your Headline---Grab the readers' attention with "catchy" words and phrases. Examples>>>the truth behind, secrets revealed, most exciting, one-and-only, etc.

. Adhere to the Four "U"s of writing Headlines implemented by the trainers at American Writers and Artists, Inc.---1. Be Useful to the readers. 2. Provide a sense of Urgency. 3. Make readers believe the main benefit is Unique. 4. Do all of this in an Ultra-specific way.

. Use "specific" key-words and phrases---The more you use specific key-words, the higher your article will appear in the initial search results. Count how many times I use the word Headline in this post.

IV. Before and after you write your Headline, ask your self these questions---"Is my Headline intriguing enough to make the reader want to read further?"--"Is a reward of some kind offered to the reader in my Headline?"--"Would this Headline make me want to read more?"--"Does this Headline connect with my audience?"

I believe that following this simple, yet very effective, list will increase the numbers to your blogs, websites, etc. Oh, and one more tidbit of information for you. Research has proven that longer Headlines produce more traffic than shorter ones. It's common sense. The more information you have in the Headline, the more a reader will want to view it. Don't go all Section 8 on it though. Be somewhat subtle.

"Either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."--Benjamin Franklin

Monday, February 9, 2009

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of February 9, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Here's the list for the week. There are some really good jobs here. $$ to be made!

1. Website looking for writers of various niches, including sports. Apply here.
2. $$ Sports bloggers for Golf, Football, Basketball, and Hockey needed immediately! $$
3. Interview top names in sports,(i.e. Jerome Bettis, Terrell Owens), for well-established website.
4. Sports Journalists needed to write for a premiere-website. Apply now, they won't be hiring for very long.
5. Make $10 per post at this sports blog site. Every penny counts!

That's it for this week. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have suggestions, such as a longer list, other types of jobs, etc. and I will try my best to deliver.

A New Kind of Pro: How 43-Year-Old Phil Bundy is Connecting With and Inspiring Others Through New Media

On January 1, 2009, Phil Bundy began in earnest his quest to make it on the PGA Tour.

The skills and desire are there. He’s physically fit. His priorities and perspective give him an advantage over younger players. To ask the question "Will he make it on the PGA Tour?" would be a waste of valuable time. There’s no reason why he can’t. He’s more prepared and ready than most PGA Tour pros his age, or half his age, who are teeing it up this week.

He’s already been a champion golfer as a member of the 1986 NCAA Champion Wake Forest University golf team. He’s been successful in business for many years. He has a wife, a young son, a beautiful family. Why, then, is he trying to make a go at the PGA Tour "He (his son Charlie, age 5) also loves golf," Bundy explains, "and if I don’t do this, someday he will ask why." Most people who know him would ask the same thing.

Certainly, he’s proving something to himself and setting an example for his son, but he’s doing much more. On a practical level, he’s committed to supporting charitable organizations and putting on junior golf clinics in conjunction with PGA Tour events. On another, more existential level, he’s proving that anyone can chase (and catch) their dreams, not blindly, but with preparation, desire and forethought. He’s spreading the word, and inspiration, about his quest by using technology, social media, and his personal blog. Phil’s use of technology is potentially reaching more people in new ways than anyone has done.

Recently, Phil was kind enough to spend a little time with Sports Writer HQ and answer a few of our questions.

SHQ: How have you prepared for your quest to play on the PGA Tour?

Phil Bundy: After my son provided the final inspiration to embark on my quest, I decided to recruit a "dream team" to help me prepare. My advisors are helping me with all facets of the game, including my swing, fitness, nutrition, and mental game. I have also extended my team to include experts in social media, marketing, and public relations.

SHQ: What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced since you began preparing?

Phil Bundy: As I made swing changes, I initially had difficulty playing with my new swing in tournaments. On the driving range and in practice rounds, I swung with ease, but in competition, I suffered from paralysis by analysis. Finally, on the 10th hole in a small event in Virginia Beach, I told myself to relax and just do it. On the back nine, I shot 33 and won the tournament for my first of two mini tour victories.

SHQ: Why the blog? What role is it playing in the mix of things and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

Phil Bundy: As passionate as I am about golf, I also love reading, writing, and technology. While playing tournament golf is my primary focus, I hope the blog will provide a way for me to share my journey with other people.

SHQ: I know you like technology and the Internet and that you use social media. What have websites like Twitter done for you and your career?

Phil Bundy: Twitter and other social media websites have helped me to reach out and build an audience. As I have interacted, I have been truly amazed by the number of people who are interested in my quest, who have offered encouragement, and who have, in turn, touched and inspired me.

SHQ: It's only been a month or so, but have your efforts been as successful as you had hoped at this point?

Phil Bundy: In the short time since launching my quest on January 1, I have been overwhelmed with the support that I have received, including well wishes from so many old and new friends. Sponsors are coming forward to help fund expenses; I have been fortunate that reporters and bloggers have embraced and shared my story; and I am looking forward to my upcoming tournament season.

Although not as important as the larger issues of teaching his son and helping charitable interests, his use of new media to attract a following is an example of how blogs and social media have become mainstream. Quality blogs are not only "mainstream", but effective and a first choice for Phil in telling his story.

Follow Phil’s journey at his blog, I know SHQ will (and we’ll keep you informed).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Short and Sweet of Writing An E-Book

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Scanning any number of blogs or web pages that are updated regularly, you can find all of the ingredients to write an E-book. Talking about something you enjoy, like explaining the mechanics of a chip-shot with detailed instructions, are the beginnings of an E-book.

All you have to do is to bring your ideas together with a Title, Introduction, Story, and Conclusion. This may seem like a hard task to undertake, but I assure you it is not. Let me explain why.

Once you have an idea of what you will be writing about, there are a few choices to be made. First off, do you want to control everything from writing to publishing, etc.? If so, you'll want to get a program to help you accomplish this. Something like this one maybe. It costs a little money, but it's an easy step-by-step system. Not a bad investment.

If you know enough and want to save a little money, try a free service like this one. This site is like the T.J. Maxx of the E-book world. Great deals on software, and lots of free stuff! An overall good site.

There is a good article here that explains a little more. The services offered by the site are top-notch and well known. The owner of this blog, Alan Hammond, is a writer for this web-site. Take a look and see what you've been missing.

Writing an E-book can be a good source of income. Just put your time and effort into it, and anyone can write an E-book.

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another."--Sir James Matthew Barrie

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Internet: A Freelance Sports Writer's Assistant Coach

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Having the power to find almost anything you want with the click of a button, the Internet is an invaluable tool for the freelance sports writer. The problem is that with so much information out there, finding the right information can be a daunting task. Building a network of like-minded individuals is paramount to success as a writer of any genre.

So, to make it a little less stressful, I have a list of sites to help you develop the skills and build the social network needed to make it as a freelance sports writer.

  • Like the site above, there is no pay involved here. They make up for that with over 1200 topics and a great social media. Participation in discussions and site maintenance is required. Good learning tool for new writers.

  • When you are more content with your work, joining a discussion list here will gain you valuable business contacts. Get listed as a member, and look for jobs on the wanted list.

  • Get a subscription to newsletters such as these: 1 and 2

Registering at a site like is another quick and easy way to network.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a far greater amount of resources on the Net. Hopefully, this will help get you started or improve an already established business.

You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you've got something to say.”--F. Scott Fitzgerald

Monday, February 2, 2009

What Makes a Great Sports Blog?

Is there one thing that makes a sports blog great? Is there something that makes you say "Wow" when you read a sports blog for the first time?

Is it the content? Or, the videos? Or, the images? All three? Something else?

Here's your chance to tell us what you think makes a great sports blog. Feel free to leave a comment, a link to your blog, or a link to another great site. Everyone is always on the lookout for that next great blog to add to their daily reading list.

I look forward to seeing your comments!

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of February 2, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

New week, new list. I will try to post new and current jobs each week.

1. New magazine is seeking sports content, and other niches.
2. College and Pro-sports writers and bloggers needed. Many positions available.
3. Seeking a college basketball writer for the Charlotte 49ers.
4. Sports website needs a copy editor in Charlotte. Top pay!
5. Well-established web site hiring for a Proposal Coordinator/Editor. $$$$

That's it for this week. Search the blog for previous posts, and check back every week for an updated list.

Friday, January 30, 2009

When A Good Interview Goes Bad

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Conducting interviews can be a memorable experience for any sports writer. What fan wouldn't want to meet and talk to the players that they look up to and idolize? Just like everything else, however, interviews can also go horribly wrong, or become very awkward.

Since everyone is different, there are no set-in-stone rules for conducting an interview. There are a few guidelines to follow to help make things run a little more smoothly though.

  1. Be on time. Realize the importance of an interviewee's time. They may be giving you an hour or so of their day, but the rest of the day is packed full of other appointments, etc. So when you are late or try to take longer than they have allotted, things could take a turn for the worse.

  2. Be prepared. Make sure you research who it is that you are interviewing. This is also a good way to come up with the questions that you will be asking. Be sure the questions are relevant. Nothing makes an interviewee more upset, than talking about something in their past when it isn't relevant to the course of the interview.

  3. Don't get intimidated. The best way to do this, is to not look at your interview as anything other than a conversation. Talking to people, and getting information from them is part of human nature. When calling a friend or relative, usually the first question is, “How/What are you doing?” Just because you may be interviewing someone like Tiger Woods, he's still a person, so why not start off the conversation the same way? The more comfortable you make them feel, the easier it is to get them to open-up to you.

The main thing to remember is that YOU are the one in control. The moment it becomes evident, that they are trying to take over, you must reassert yourself immediately or lose control for the rest of the interview.

I'll leave you with this. There are good interviews, and there are bad interviews. The only thing to take into account, is that no matter which one you find yourself in, it will be remembered one way or the other. So I would try to make at least most of them good ones. Common sense, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Do's and Don'ts Of Freelance Sports Writing

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Having a love for sports is not the only thing that makes a good sports writer. You must also have the ability to communicate well with your writing. That being said, the question I get asked the most is, "What am I doing wrong?" The answer to that could be any number of things.

So I decided to make a little guide, if you will, listing some of the major Do's and Don'ts for freelance sports writers.

Let's start with the Do's.

1. Tell a story instead of just "listing" events. No one likes to read instruction manuals, especially sports fans. Try to work a personal experience into the material that readers can relate to. Doing this will help them to see you as a person, rather than a robot spouting information.

2. Have up-to-date material. The Super Bowl is right around the corner. Fans don't want to hear about games from a month ago. They want all the information they can get about the play-offs leading up to the big day. Injury reports and so forth are hot topics right now.

3. Do your homework. I can't stress this enough. Having knowledge about players, coaches and stats will give you more credibility when writing. I feel that historical information is a big plus when it comes to sports writing. Being able to slip some history into your piece makes for an interesting read.

Now for the Don'ts.

1. Don't assume who is reading your work, cater to the audience as a whole. Even though most people associate sports with men, that's not always the case. My 80 year-old grandmother was the biggest fan of baseball that I've ever known. She could quote stats, player line-ups, and final scores going back to the late 40's.

2. Don't focus on play-by-play too much. Instead, integrate highlights into your work. Play-by-plays are great for awesome moments in sports, (ie. Tiger on the 18th, about to win The Masters for the first time), but highlights are just as catchy and help to break the monotony.

3. Don't force your opinion on your readers. Everyone wants to express their opinions, writers a little more-so than others. Let your opinion be known, but not in a "my word is law" type of way. As a writer it helps to be the mediator for your readers' opinions when discussing different topics. This creates a social network of like-minded individuals swapping opinions and ideas back and forth, making the audience a part of the whole story.

I hope that this helps some of you. If you have any other questions, feel free to write me anytime. I can be contacted via this blog or regular e-mail. Write on!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Importance Of Developing A Business Plan

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Every remarkable idea that has helped us along through the years started as a plan. Being able to consciously plan out our actions is one of the aspects that make us unique as a species. So why should starting a business be any different?

When I started freelance writing, I was a bit clueless as to what I needed to do. Hindsight being 20/20, I know now that the first thing should have been to develop a business plan of some kind. Having something in front of you in black and white that lays out the direction you want to go, is invaluable.

When you start freelancing, YOU are the business. Like any business, you have to market, develop, and gain a client base. Planning a course of action gives you a guideline, so that you aren't just twisting in the wind. By looking at your business objectively, you can see what your strengths and weaknesses are and act accordingly.

It's not hard to create a business plan. You can even pay to have a company do it for you. My advice is to do-it-yourself. The more you are involved, the more you will get out of the finished product.

No matter which route you decide to take, setting time aside to develop a business plan will give you an advantage over anyone who doesn't.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Top Sports Writing Jobs For Week Of January 26, 2009

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

I will try and update this list every week. Check back regularly and see what's new!

1. Company seeking a Freelance Golf Writer for an E-commerce site.
2. Content writer wanted for new Mixed Martial Arts Website.
3. Seeking a sports writer to help with designing and building a Pay-site$$.
4. Help market Squash as a healthy sport. This one pays well.
5. Writer needed for a Sports Calendar website.

Remember, this is only the first week. As I find more work, the list will grow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Writing A Good Sports Article Can Help Document History

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

It's hard to believe that not long ago, there was no Internet, or sports channels available to get up-to-date information on some of America's favorite past-times. Picking up a newspaper, or catching a radio broadcast was about all people had to turn to.

Thanks to the writers of the time, average people could get all of the information they needed. Some of those articles still survive, thankfully, or most of sports history would have been forgotten. For instance, did you know that when Walter Hagan arrived at Sandwich for the 29th Open Championship in 1922, he was not allowed to change or eat in the clubhouse. Thumbing his nose at British protocol, he hired a stretch limousine, and parked it in front of the clubhouse as his own private RV so to speak. He changed in it, ate in it, and even had a party or two. Hagan went on to beat George Duncan and become the first American-born player to win the Open. Upon receiving his check, he glanced at the amount........ and gave it to his caddie. What a guy!

So what makes a good sports article? Here is a guide that I would use myself when writing a sports article. It's laid out step-by-step, and also has links to other sites to help move you forward into a career as a sports writer.

You may also want to check out Nazvee Careem's article on writing sports reports. In it he explains how to do this in 4 easy steps. A good guide on all accounts.

The main thing to remember is to not get frustrated when writing. It shows in your work. There are many helpful sites, and services available for guidance. If you can't figure something out, just Google it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to Gain Seven Hours of Productivity Per Week

I have a couple of relatively new blogs, at least new to active growth, Sports Writer HQ being one of them. I recently found that, in my drive to attract new readers, more traffic and more income, I had become obsessed with checking my numbers (traffic, revenue, etc.). Sometimes, I would check them several times per hour!

After reading Leo Babuta's popular post, The Essential Guide to Growing Your Blog on Minimal Time, at, I decided to take action against myself.

It may be a baby-step, but I have cut back my stat checking to once per day, before bedtime. At this blog's developmental stage, checking the rate of growth more than once per week may be ridiculous, but the few seconds it takes to check once per day beats the aggregate 40 minutes to an hour of stat checking throughout the day. (could that sentence be any longer?) Sure, SHQ is growing in readership and email list subscribers every day, and I'm smiling, but obsessive stat checking is a real killer to productivity and growth.

One hour per day equates to, yes, 7 hours per week. Seven hours! In that amount of time, I could have written 8 or 10 blog posts, done a boat-load of forum posting, research, social media marketing, or lots of other productive, essential things.

2 minutes here, 5 minutes there, 10 minutes at lunch, and so on seems pretty harmless. Until you add them up, that is.

I hope most of you aren't like me. I hope you haven't wasted months of productive time. If you have, forget about it, change your habits and start growing faster than ever.

Don't forget to join the email list, using the form in the right column. Help me make up for lost time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Benefits of Posting Evergreen Articles

What's wrong with a blog post about the 2009 Super Bowl? Nothing, if your blog has the backing of a newspaper or TV network. Nothing, if you have a Google PageRank of 7. Even nothing if you plan to post something "evergreen" on the heels of your Super Bowl coverage, and I mean RIGHT on its heels.

Evergreen (not the type of tree) Articles

An "evergreen" article blog post is something that will remain relevant and be searched-for and read for several years to come. It's also one of the most challenging keys to success for a sports blog, because sports is so day-to-day, breaking news driven.

Time-sensitive information (like Super Bowl coverage, the Cavs-Lakers game, Zach Johnson's win at the Sony) may be what many of your readers love about your blog. If that's the case, by all means, keep it up! But, a year from now, they won't care how many points LeBron scored in the game and that post will be collecting dust for eternity.

However, they may still be interested in why LeBron throws a two-hand scoop of rosin in the air every game. I can't stand it, but I'd read an article about it. That's potentially an article that would be read and searched for over a few years.

If the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, readers may want to see what you have to say about it on Monday morning. Next year, or even this summer, they won't care how many yards the quarterback threw for. Googlers may, however, care about the role his spirituality played in his success.

The point is, points and yards, maybe even who won, don't matter. The stories behind or within a big game, what makes a player or team tick, how the Super Bowl or World Series enhances our lives, something that shows how sports will always be relevant, maybe even a history of a team, those things will always have readers and searchers. They'll deliver income forever, potentially.

Disadvantaged Independents

What's just as important, is the disadvantage Independent blogs endure when posting about last-night's game. Even though your loyal readers will show up for your Super Bowl coverage, new readers won't find you because potential readers are lassoed by the bigger, network-backed blogs and those that have a high PageRank. I just did a Google search for Super Bowl XLIII and below are the independent blogs that showed up in the first 40 results:
  1. None.
If you want to attract new readers, grow your blog, earn more money, and accomplish lofty goals for your sports blog, incorporating evergreen posts into the mix is essential.

UPDATE July 18, 2011: As an illustration of how evergreen articles can perform over time, this post is the most popular on Sports Writer HQ. It has received nearly 300% more page views than the next most popular, after 2.5 years since publication.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Technorati's Top 5 Sports Blogs

I went through the top ranked sports blogs according to Technorati's "authority" ratings. It isn't even close to a perfect measuring tool, as there are many fantastic blogs that don't have a high authority rating for one reason or another. But, it is reliable enough to key us into some great blogs.

Below are the top-7 sports blogs and what I think makes them stand out. All 5, as best I can tell, are independent of major news organizations or other large entities that prop them up.
  1. Awful Announcing - There's good reason why AA is at the top. First of all, it has lots of reader participation, but there has to be a reason why people read and take the extra step of commenting on posts. AA has discovered a niche that people love to discuss, sports announcing. We love to complain about Dicky V when he doesn't give enough credit to our team. We love (or hate) to see a new sideline reporter screw up an interview. The key here is loving and hating. There's no middle of the road, which means boring, which would mean people wouldn't participate and visit again the next day. AA is deserving of their top spot.
  2. Baseball Musings: Read through Musings and you'll find it's expertly written and often funny. It has a great mix of time-sensitive news and posts that will remain popular for a long time. It has a simple layout, which makes it easily read. Sure, there are lots of ads, but they are kept completely out of the reading area; if you don't want to see them, your reading won't be interrupted. A blog I hadn't heard of, but one I'll keep reading.
  3. Bleed Cubbie Blue: A member of the Sports Blog Nation netword of blogs, BCB is self-styled as "a Chicago Cubs Fan Community," it is certainly that; there are enough comments on every post to fill Lake Michigan. The site makes use of a variety of media, social media links that make it easy for readers to hype up the site, and expert content that feeds the appetite of Cubbie fans. It's everything a fan blog should be. I'm a Reds fan, but this blog almost converted me.
  4. Minor League Ball: Another member. Minor League Ball only has a Google PageRank of 3, which, though respectable, doesn't denote a massive following. So, it must carry some weight with it's readers to have a good Technorati authority rating. The blog looks at the stats and bios of top minor league prospects, which would lend itself not to a big following, but a devoted following of statistically minded baseball fans. If that is truly the case, and I believe it is, then Minor League Ball fits perfectly into it's niche and delivers the goods.
  5. Mets Blog: "A Grand Central Station for Mets Information" it surely is. Editor Matt Cerrone knows the Mets and it shows. Great content that his readers crave is what he delivers. He does it through good writing on timely subjects, interesting vlogs (video blogs), and a cool Fan Confidence Rating graph based on reader polls.

(Who said baseball is in decline? I know people still love it, but I wouldn't have guessed four of the top-five)

Each of these five deliver 1) strong content, 2) meet readers expectations, 3) are tightly focused, and 4) have a good, uncluttered design. Those things together are a winning combination. Obviously.

Don't forget to join the email list. The form is in the right-hand margin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Writer-Chieftan

Alan L. Hammond, SHQ Editor

This article previously published in the January 7, 2009 issue of my newsletter. You can sign-up through the form in the margin.

As I noted on Twitter (if you aren't using Twitter, you're missing out), I've started reading popular marketing expert Seth Godin's recent book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. I wasn't expecting to find something that fit so well with people who deal in the written word, but an interesting theory occurred to me while reading.

Let me start by saying that I am always skeptical about what the "experts" have to say in their books. It seems that many, if not most, experts are more concerned with driving their personal brands than with improving the lives and businesses of their readers. My skepticism is warranted and that is why I've chosen to, through my blogs, be a "crime fighter," by pointing out the posers and lauding the true leaders.

Having said that, in Tribes, Seth Godin is proving to be a real leader. I've only just started the book, which isn't very long to begin with (151 pages), but with two small children, even a comic book takes as long to read as War and Peace.

While reading Tribes last night, I was struck by something pertinent to freelance writers, editors, bloggers, etc., and something of which we should all be aware.

Godin's book rests on the premise that, throughout history, humans have been tribal creatures. They need to be a part of some closely knit group. Nowadays, most people belong to many. According to Godin, "A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate"(Tribes, p 2). He also believes a tribe can't exist without a leader, and a person can't be a leader without a tribe.

Formerly, tribes used to consist of all the people in some village, a gardening club in Tampa, or the retirees from Bell Telephone in Memphis. In other words, tribal affiliations were largely local. Today, borders have been smashed and people from every location on the planet are neighbors, thanks to the proliferation of the Internet and its increasingly widespread availability. Also, the barriers to becoming a leader have been significantly lowered. Whether five people or five million people, there are infinite groups of people with shared interests for everything imaginable. Those groups need formation, organization, tribal status, they need leaders. They all need Chieftains.

As a writer, regardless of your chosen medium (magazine, blog, church bulletin, corporate ad copy, screen play, web site, etc.), you would not have a job if it weren't for people who want and need what you have to offer. If you write poetry about urban life, there is an audience. If you write a blog about Boston Red Sox baseball, there's an audience. If you specialize in infant safety articles, you have an audience.

The world is smaller because of communication channels. Tribes form and communicate through those channels, which are driven by the written word. Given those facts, the tribal leaders must be writers. There is no more natural tribal Chieftain than a person who can communicate their ideas through writing.

That is a huge opportunity for you in this New Media-driven world. Step forward and take your place. Find your tribe and become it's Chieftain.

Me? I'm finding my place as we speak. Golf, travel, helping people secure their futures in an uncertain world, writing; I have many interests and experiences I want to share. I've been a newspaper columnist, but most of my publishing credits have been through new media; Internet, blogs, podcast scripts, web sites. There are so many ways to reach your audience, each of those presenting its own challenges, but also its reward. What I'm finding is that a sincere approach and a clearly discernable love, ability and enjoyment of subject leads to growing an audience and income. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's groovy, baby!"

You have a tribe, go find it and take your rightful place as its Chieftain!

By the way, join my tribe on I'm @alanlhammond.

Tell me what you think of this post. Leave your comments below.

Friday, January 9, 2009

An Awesome Free Service To Help “Kick-Start” Your Writing Career

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

When I first started freelance writing, I admit, I didn't have a clue as to what I should do. I was pretty sure that I would be able to do my job, but the problem was that I didn't have a job, or know how to find one. I did a couple of Google searches, and after some trial and error, I finally landed my first job.

I will say that the first service that I used cost me a little money. I've always been sort of a gambling man. You can't make money, if you don't spend money. Thankfully, the gamble paid off, and I'm able to do something I enjoy.

I try to help out other freelance writers too if I come across something helpful, or interesting. Let's face it, I wouldn't be where I am today without a lot of help from others. So let me tell you a little about a completely free service, that will help freelance writers the world over.

I'm talking about This service allows you to create virtual portfolios. Use the portfolios to display client lists, services offered, and samples of your work. It takes minutes to design your personal portfolio, and then you can begin looking for work, in the job finder.

The best thing about this site is that it is absolutely free! Along with the portfolios, there is an article database with helpful information to freelance writers. Go on, check out, and see for yourself. They have a lot to offer, and it's free. No gamble there at all.

Editor's Note: If you are a writer considering blogging as an income stream, Sports Writer HQ recommends only two products: The Blog Mastermind program, which you see in the right margin and Blogging to the Bank. Click any of the links you see to learn more about Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind program. To read more about the latest edition of Blogging to the Bank, which you can download instantly, click here!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Importance Of Connecting With Your Audience

J. Chad Barnett, Contributing Writer

Audience connection is a must for any writer. Knowing what readers want from you, can make a big difference when trying to come up with topics. While most people think that sports writers are in their own category, they can actually be broken down into a variety of different niches within the sports genre. The trick is to figure out what the readers want to know about in that particular sport, then you have a base to make an audience connection. Considering the fact that time changes everything, constant research is required to keep up with common interests.

I came across a very good article about audience connection, written by Yaro Starak at In it he discusses a DVD from Frank Kern, on audience connection. The exercises discussed can be helpful to all writers.

There is also another article about how to make niche selection easy. This can be beneficial to new writers. Niche selection can depend on a number of variables. The article breaks selection down to make it an easy task. Read the article here.

Remember, your connection with the audience determines whether they read the whole article, or just the first sentence. You want them to read all the way to the last sentence, and if a connection was made you are doing that right now.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

Taking Their Rightful Place: How Sports Blogs Can Become More Than Heretical New Media

Some sports stars are ahead of the curve. We don’t know their true motives for certain, but they apparently "get it." Three stars, still at the top of their popularity, if not their game (in one instance, not even there yet), are using new media social networking sites to interact with fans and grow their base.

  • Lance Armstrong (Twitter ID: @lancearmstrong) is nearing the end of his athletic career and is rumored to be considering a second career (politics).
  • Shaquille O’Neal, though still effective, is beyond the pinnacle of his career, but still as popular as ever.
  • Natalie Gulbis, the professional golfer and budding superstar, is preparing for her best days as a golfer and general celebrity.

These three aren’t the only professional athletes to use new media to reach fans. Greg Oden, Rajon Rondo, are but two stars who use blogs as their outreach. Many others, including Tiger Woods, use their web sites to connect, albeit in a less interactive manner.

Why Star Athletes Choose New Media

Why do they choose to connect through new media? Because they get it. Regardless of their primary reasons for reaching out, they see the opportunities present in reaching out in this way. Certainly, none of the three will pass up a spot on Leno, or an interview on Sports Center, but they wouldn’t use new media if it wasn’t a valid way to connect.

Sports blogs, large and small, should see themselves on that same cutting edge. Recently, sports blog reporters have made headlines due to the controversy over whether they should garner the same locker room rights as traditional media reporters. They certainly should, but that is not the question, nor the most promising aspect. The real point is that it is a controversy. There is debate, there is discussion, which means that there’s likely validity to the argument.

Going on the Attack

All sports bloggers need to do is assert their position. Now, that doesn’t mean draw up some signs, staple them to a stick, and go on the march somewhere. Sure, there’s a time and place for that, for other causes. Sports blogs need to go on the attack, and attack in two distinct ways: by doing many of the things traditional media often (but not always) do; and many things they do not do.

Newspapers and magazines still hold to high editorial standards. Most place prime importance on accuracy, relevance, timeliness. Sports blogs that seek to gain a following should do the same, and many do; in fact, there are few that do not. Of those that do not, most are personal blogs that have no designs on making inroads toward recognized legitimacy.

Those same traditional media editorial standards require sound, technically correct writing. Good writing needs to be a cornerstone of a top-quality sports blog.

Without revenue, a newspaper will, of course, die. Good writing, accuracy, and relevant reporting will ensure they continue to maintain their financial solvency. A sports blog that wants to remain in business must also seek revenues, which is accomplished through sound and relevant content, which grows an audience, which grows relevance and power. It’s all interrelated.

What traditional media outlets do not do effectively, except in a few online instances, is connect with and listen to their fans. It’s often difficult for large organizations to directly interact with fans, unless their own reporters and columnists are forward-looking and insightful and recognize why it is important. That difficulty is an opportunity for the sports blog. Their relatively small size means they are much more nimble and the means in which they connect with fans and readers, the Internet, is the perfect place for constant, often immediate contact. This doesn’t mean a blog should cater to the whims of a passing reader or group of readers. It means they should hold to their particular mission in life, why they started the blog and what it represents, and simply interact through blog comments, social media, email, IM, whatever is at their disposal.

"Crossroads, Seem to Come and Go, Yeah" (Alman Brothers Band)

Sports blogs are approaching a crossroads: stay where they are or reach a new high level. One good blog, or five, or a hundred won’t get sports blogs as a whole to that level. It needs to be a ground swell. If they, we, are to get make the same impact and achieve the same popularity and as other new media like Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook, and surpass them as legitimate reporting and commentary outlets, something huge needs to happen. As marketing expert Seth Godin would say, a "tribe" must form, and it must go on the offensive.

By the way, follow me on Twitter: @alanlhammond.