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.