Learn how to create a sports soccer website and blog like goal.com, SkySports, NESN, NBC Sports, SBNation, ESPN, SoccerLaduma, etc. The steps to take and ways to make it successful are all explained.
Steps To Make A Sports Blog
Before you launch and decide to open a site or blog in this niche, please note that the approximate startup cost is USD150-400.
Step 1: Chose A Sports Niche
The sports game is a wide sector, and it is better if you can just pick a particular type of sports and focus on it. Do you want a website or blog focused on soccer, football, basketball, cricket, baseball, swimming, etc.; or you simply just want sports blog?
Having a focus gives you speed and helps you to attain and achieve success faster because you have the tenacity and strength to accomplish things and tasks like the speed of lightning.
Goal.com is a peculiar niche and they are primarily focused on soccer, the same thing goes for soccerladuma, etc.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I am assuming you are choosing soccer and so, the tutorial is going to be on how to start a soccer blog/website.
With that being said and finalized, the following are bitter and essential truths you need to know before launching out
- Having the original and pure passion
Passion is powerful, it is the unseen potent force that makes you keep moving ahead despite the odds, storms, and challenges one can be facing. Passion overrides money-making syndrome!!
The number one requirement is to have the passion of the sports game, without it, I will honestly advise that you do not bother starting a soccer website at all. There are challenges ahead, you will be disappointed and feel frustrated in your first 6-9 months ( even to 2 years), and you will not make good money in the first 6 months to 1 year. You will realize that is extremely difficult and involves lots of hard work before one can experience breakthrough and success in this project.
Do not just start a sports blog because others are there and they are making money; be honest with yourself about your ideal passion.
- It is real work, you will work hard
There have been lots of myths about running a soccer blog or website online; people simply say it is easy etc. Friend, the truth is ‘if you honestly desire and crave success, you will work hard for it. Running a successful sports blog and website is not a child’s play, you will need to work really hard.
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You will work hard, there is no luck anywhere; you will commit lots of time on it e.g. working probably 18 hours out of 24 hours on it. Yes, it is very tough to have a breakthrough, you will work hard at it.
- Build a Team after Starting on your own
You will need to start on your own as you are about to build a sports website and run it; and if you have a team already i.e. with people having the same passion as you, then the journey becomes easy because each member of the team will handle a specific task.
Friend, but if you are alone, you will need to carry the burden all by yourself, after running it for probably 3 months, then you can start building a team. Your initial team members should be your family, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife. Do not spend money to hire people at this time because you will not make the money back in the first 6 months to one year.
Successful people and company all over the world have a team that believes in the purpose, vision, and mission statement of the business and project, you need such also.
- You need a little bit of initial investment
I want you to look at that successful soccer and other related sports website and blog out there; can you see their statistics, from writers, contributors, and even their social media networks?
For instance, most of them have insane/crazy amounts of followers/fans/likes on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
Friend, they did not get there by just wishing or sitting down writing just articles or posts!! They did all these things by making an investment (paying to get it).
The painful truth is this: you will need to make some initial investment to get started and to be able to climb up the ladder of success faster. You will make investments on social media networks i.e. on Facebook and Twitter (details on this towards the end of this tutorial).
- Be a Spy
Hmm, this is harsh, but it is the truth; you will need to study your competitors and those people ahead of you.
You will need to study and detect their success factors; what are those things they are doing that you can also implement. You will need to spy on Goal, SkySports, NESN, NBC Sports, SBNation, ESPN, etc; It may be necessary to copy their ways, study what is working for them; rinse, repeats, rinses, repeat till you get your own winning formula!!
There is nothing bad in copying the winning formula of successful people and trying to implement the same!
Step 2: Buy Soccer WordPress themes
In running a sports blog or website, the choice of your website design is of utmost importance. 90% of sports lovers and fans are in the demographic age of 13-55 years of age while about 10% ranges from 51-75 years of age. The point here is that the 90% range watches and views anything sports from their mobile phones and accessories.
That is why it is important you have a website design that is mobile responsive (i.e. giving viewers the ability to view and check your site on their mobile devices and gadgets without having to strain their eyes and/or scroll up and down).
I will be recommending to you WordPress themes, they are professionally built ready-made templates that is SEO ready and they are 100% mobile responsive.
Forget about having to write or build your site writing codes or programming language, simply follow the trend and the trend is in the use of WordPress software and its accompanying tools (WordPress themes and Plugins).
The following are some premium themes (they are ready-made and built especially for a sports blog or website) I can remember right now, just check them out and see if they fit the kind and type of idea you want for your project.
You can get these themes/templates at the following reputable companies (I use them, so I am recommending them);
When you are there, just search for the particular templates you need, view the demos and make the right purchase. After making the purchase, you will need to download the purchased templates either as a ZIP file or standalone WordPress file, save the download file on your PC/laptop (we will come back to it later, let us move to the next level/stage).
Step 3: Buy Domain Name/Webhost
Goal.com is a domain name; the name of the site is called ‘Goal’ and the website address is ‘www.goal.com’;
The same can be said of YouTube; the domain name is ‘youtube.com’; the name of the site is ‘YouTube’ while the website address is ‘www.youtube.com’;
The above are simple illustrations to explain the meaning of a domain name to you. Your first step to making a sports blog and soccer website is getting a domain name for the project; and taking a cue from other successful sites, you need a name that is simple, easy to remember, unique, the name should not be too long and not too short.
Pencil down different names you want to use for this project and start checking them one by one to see if they can be used or whether someone else is using them.
To do that, use the Bluehost domain name checker form below:
If the name you have in mind has not been registered by anybody else and is free, I honestly recommend and advise that you register the name immediately. Registering the name immediately guarantees that the name is yours and no one else can use it.
Most times, a delay is dangerous because at the same time, millions of people are on the internet and they may be searching for what you are also looking for. Waste no time and get the domain name registered immediately.
The best Webhost for a sports website and soccer blog is Bluehost Company‘
Web hosting is the process of having a presence on the internet by buying a web server space that will accommodate and houses the domain name and the contents you are going to upload on it.
When you buy a host using the Bluehost Webhosting Company, the domain name registration becomes free. This is a nice gesture from the Bluehost hosting company just to appreciate its customers.
During the registration of the domain name, you will be asked if you also want to host the name; I recommend you accept this option and register for the hosting.
I am recommending Bluehost Webhosting Company for the following brief reasons:
- Bluehost is economically friendly ( with USD3.5 per month), it is the perfect host for you as a starter; as your site grows in traffic, you simply upgrade the hosting plan that will accommodate the increased traffic. Start small and scale up gradually.
- Bluehost has the best customer support services amongst its peers in the industry. You can reach them 24 hours non-stop through instant chat, email, and also through direct phone calls from anywhere in the world.
- They have a refund policy that is not matched in the hosting industry. Anytime you cancel your hosting, they refund your money back to you.
- They have excellent security features, unlimited email address features, including Apps
- With Bluehost, you are guaranteed almost 100% uptime of your site (they have zero tolerance for any downtime)
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With successful payment for your hosting packages, the next step is the installation of the WordPress software that will power the site. This is discussed in the following step 5.
Step 4: Install WordPress
You will install and activate the WordPress software, just follow the guidelines below (image guidelines)
In summary, Bluehost does the entire installation in about 3-10 minutes and your site will be ready. At this stage, it is now online, so if you type your domain name on the browser ( Firefox, Safari, or internet explorer, or even Google chrome), the site will show up and open but of course, it will be blank and plain.
So, we will need to start arranging and filling it with required details, images, videos, and texts; that also brings us to the next stage which is step 6.
But before going to step six (6), you need to take note of the following points during the WordPress software installation processes:
- Know your domain name; yoursportsite.com (this is just an example)
- Know the URL address of the domain name: www.yoursportsite.com
- Name of the site: yoursportsite (I am just using this name as an example, it will be your domain name)
- WordPress login: www.yoursportsite.com/wp-admin/ (please, do not forget this WordPress login format, you will be needing it anytime you need to access and login to your site). If you type the WordPress login on the browser, the image below will show up on your screen.
- On this page, you will need username and password; please know that your username is your email address or ‘admin’ and your password is basically the password you made during the installation process.
Step 5: Build A Sports Website Blog (Setup)
We are going into full set up of the entire sports website and blog; this is where your full attention is highly needed. For practical explanation, I will be making use of the template below;
In this practical teaching instructions, the following are areas of interest that will be explained:
- How to upload the purchased WordPress themes- Including Demo upload
- Change the default permalinks structure
- How to adjust the header, the footer, and the logo
- How to adjust and set up your menu settings
- FrontPage Design
- Image and video upload- instructions
- How to publish news, stories; including page and category set up
- WP plugins
- Widget Settings
Brief analysis and explanation!!
Step 5 (1)
How to upload the purchased WordPress themes- Including Demo upload
We are going to move at a fast pace. We are simply going to upload and install the demo contents of the purchased WordPress themes, doing this makes everything easy for you and you will be able to start editing and adding your contents straightaway.
In addition, doing this makes your sports blog/website to look exactly like that of the templates (WordPress themes) you bought.
Follow the guidelines below to do that:
- If you have bought the template I discussed above, then we can carry on.
- Go to appearance, look for themes, and once seen, click on ‘Add new themes;
- Select the box to upload and locate the purchased templates (it is a downloaded file, mostly in a ZIP file folder)
- Click on the file and it will be uploaded; after about 9 minutes, the whole installation will be completed.
- Click on activate and it will go live!!
That is the first step, now the second step;
Demo Upload and Installation
- Go to the ZIP file, remove the ZIP and locate the demo file; it is usually an XML file or it can simply be named as ‘demo’.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard, go to tools and under tools, and click on import.
- From the import page, install and activate the ‘import WordPress plugin (though it is old, it still works and we are only using it for this purpose, after this, you will need to delete the plugin from your plugin repository).
- After installing and activating the plugin, use the plugin to import the demo file or the XML file; the plugin automatically uploads this and installs it for you all within 5-10 minutes (depending on how heavy the demo maybe).
- Click save; go to your homepage, refresh the page by clicking on Control F5 and the imported demo will be showing live on your site. However if pictures are not showing it means it is not imported, then you will have to handle that aspect manually one by one.
If you encounter any issues of a problem just contact me and I will be glad to help out.
Step 5 (2)
Change the default permalinks structure
When making a sports website, After the successful installation of the themes and the upload of the demo, the first thing you will need to do is to change the default permalink structure.
The permalinks affect how your URL looks like to both search engines and also to human understanding. For the purpose of SEO, we are changing the permalinks to the standard SEO practices.
Just follow the image below:
By following simple guidelines you can do this;
Go to settings, and from settings, click on permalinks, and then follow the image above to effect these important changes.
Step 5 (3)
How to adjust the header, the footer, and the logo
I think you should have a proper understanding of what we are doing now. Your site is ready because we made use of the imported demo, but we need to edit and change this imported demo (including its settings to suit yours).
We have done that of the permalinks, the next important step is to edit the header, footer, and the logo; see the image below describing the header and footer to you.
Now, the header and footer are very important parts of the whole site structure. The header contains vital building elements such as the menu, the logo, adverts area, etc. The header is important when designing the soccer website and blog.
The footer is the base area of the site, and it also contains important pages which serve as important navigation to the site (as seen above).
To edit the header, footer, and logo; follow the guidelines below:
- Look out for theme options or theme panel (most templates have this separate feature and it is found in the same WordPress dashboard); when you see this feature, locate the header and the footer, including the logo. Guidelines to carry out any editing task is stated there.
- The second option is to check out the widget settings (as seen below);
- When you check out the widgets, you can edit and configure the header and footer
If you encounter any problem, just reach out to me.
Step 5 (4)
How to adjust and set up your menu settings
Let me show you the menu, for you to understand how important it is when building a sports soccer website or blog.
The menu is important because of its strategic positioning; it lies just below the header and it is the main navigational link to all internal pages on the site.
Most successful sites leverage on the menu to increase their conversions in terms of sales, revenue generation, and lead generation. It all depends on you!!
To edit or add anything on the menu, see the image below:
Your menu is already created because of the demo we imported; now to edit this menu, follow the instructions below:
- Go to your menu settings (it is in the appearance link by the left-hand side of the dashboard).
- Just like the image above, you will start adding and removing pages to the menu (the image is self-explanatory).
- Any changes you make, remember to always click save at the bottom of the page.
Step 5 (5)
This is your FrontPage design;
Have a poorly, woefully designed FrontPage and you will see your site getting no visitors!
Your FrontPage/homepage is of significant importance to the overall success you are expecting from this project of yours.
To adjust and fully configure your homepage, the following steps need to be followed:
- Make sure you have pages and posts (news, stories, articles, etc.) that is already published
- Depending on the theme you purchased; on some themes, when you go to the post or publish a post ( news, stories, articles or even articles); right there on the post settings page ( publishing page), you may see an option that shows ‘ make this post a featured post’. When you accept this option, then such a post appears on the FrontPage.
- In addition to the above point, you will need to create a ‘featured image’ for each published post and pages. You will see this option towards the base of the right-hand side of the post or page publishing area.
Other places you can edit and adjust the FrontPage or the homepage of the newly created sports blog are:
- The Widgets
- Theme options
For the widgets, everything you need is clearly written and stated there, you just have to study the widgets and implement the stated instructions there. Even on most widgets, you will see the option where you are being asked if you want featured posts or featured images to show on the FrontPage. I mentioned this earlier. The widget is clearly important in how you set your layout when creating the sports blog and soccer website.
Notable premium WordPress themes developer e.g. Mythemeshop has this special feature. It is a dedicated control panel appearing just below the appearance. On this theme option (panel), you have the instructions to edit the FrontPage and set up everything perfectly.
Your duty is to search and diligently look for all these places.
Step 5 (6)
Image and video upload- instructions
Definitely you will need to upload images, pictures, and videos on the sports website. A site of this niche that lacks the presence of videos is generally a boring site.
To upload any picture or video on the site, just follow the guidelines below;
- Identify and locate the ‘media’; it is on the left-hand side of the dashboard, open it and you will be in the media section.
- The media section is the storage center of all uploaded music, videos, and pictures of the entire site. So, from here, click on the upload box, locate where the video or picture is and you can then upload it.
- If you want to insert any video, picture, or even music/voice note on the page or any featured posts, follow this guideline; however, you will import the image from the media section this time around.
I am taking the time to explain all these steps and guidelines to you so that you can be the master of your own blog and website without depending on anybody.
Step 5 (7)
How to publish news, stories; including page and category set up
Now that your sports site is getting ready for the entire world to know and see, it is important you know how to regularly publish interesting news, stories, and related articles.
There are two issues I will want to clarify here:
Posts and Pages
These two identities are very much different. Now, if you publish news, stories, and articles; you do that for a post.
To publish a post; you will see the link ‘Post’ on your dashboard, move the mouse there and locate ‘Add new post’; once it appears, you can give your post a title e.g. why Ronaldo is better than Messi’. Add featured images, then click on publish.
The same concept applies to a page, however, instead of looking for a post on the dashboard, you will look for a page, and on the page, click on ‘add new page’; give your page a title, add the same featured images and publish it.
- Important pages to publish for a sports website or football/soccer blog are summarized below:
- About page
- Contact page
- Advertisement page
- Terms of service
- Disclosure Page
- DMCA ( very important)
However, your stress is reduced because most of these pages are already published because we made use of the imported demo contents. So, just go to the page settings area and edit the ones already published.
Step 5 (8)
WP (WordPress) plugins
I earlier made mention about the importance of WordPress plugins that they are the accompanying tools for the WordPress software. Truth is, WordPress plugins are used in place of codes and that is why an ordinary novice can build an entire website using WordPress by simply using plugins and reading this tutorial you are presently reading.
WordPress plugins powers and gives functions to your site, they are highly important you have them installed and activated.
The following are important WordPress plugins you must have on your site without wasting time;
- Yoast SEO plugin: Needed for search engine optimization. SEO is complex, but this plugin makes everything simple and easy for you.
- W3 Total Cache: Empowers your site to load with amazing speed, nobody likes a slow site, so you’d better install and activate this plugin immediately.
- Akismet Plugin: Spam is annoying, this plugin handles that for you with no stress.
- Jetpack plugin: important for contact page creation (contact form) aside many other essential functions it offers; highly important plugin to have.
- Sumo plugin: For Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ( best social media plugin)
- Real-Time chat plugin: It is optional; very good for instant chatting platform.
In setting the overall layout, changing the sidebar or adjusting it, adding advert codes to the sidebar, etc.; all of these things can be done using the widget.
The widget is a central command unit of a WordPress powered site and with simple knowledge of the English language, you can do anything possible with the widgets.
As seen in the widget image above, even editing of the header and footer, with the FrontPage can all be done from the widgets.
Step 6: Site Maintenance
After building the site as we have just concluded above, what you need to have at the back of your mind is the maintenance of the site.
Maintenance of a WordPress powered site as yours is simple, just follow the steps below:
- Updating your WordPress themes
- Updating your WordPress plugins
To do this, anytime you are on the site, just lookout for a pop-up notification; the notification will alert you that update(s) is available, just click on the alert and you will be taken to the plugin or theme of interest. Follow the instructions and your site will be updated automatically.
Step 7: Google search console- Verification / Sitemap Submission
Take it or leave it, Google determines the success of your site because it is the world’s biggest search engine behemoth. You need to have a presence on their radar because you need traffic from visitors on your site.
No matter how you invested in social media, Google still determines almost 80% of the expected traffic.
The first step to getting this done is by:
- Registering and opening a free account on Google search console
- Go to Google search console ( google.com/console/ ), submit your site, and get verified.
After getting your site verified, you are going to do just two things:
- Create a sitemap and submit on the console
- Get the site indexed immediately using the ‘Fetch as’ features
The Yoast SEO plugin earlier mentioned will be used to create your sitemap, just visit the plugin and you will see the portion to create a sitemap, create yours; after creating it, and submit the sitemap in the section for sitemap submission on the console.
To get your new sports website and blog indexed immediately so that it will show on Google search pages, simply make use of the ‘fetch as’ features, submit your homepage URL ( for example, http://www.yoursportsite.com/)
If you need help, just reach out to me.
At this point, we are done with all the technical kinds of stuff; the next step is the marketing/promotion and steps to take to actually turn the sports website to a successful online business that will fetch you money and become popular.
How to Make it Successful and make money
Massive investment in Quality Contents
Content is King!!
You have to be clear and follow strict principles that will make your site succeed online. There is no shortcut to it. Even, if you are just going to be running a sports news website, you need to make sure the news coming out is not duplicate, it needs to be original, with your interpretation of the news.
That is what will make the difference!!
Do you know how many sports blogs and soccer websites are out there? So, do you want to join the crowds and multitude?
Joining them will not give you the desired results. Follow the painful path now and enjoy the benefits later for as long as the internet exists!
Any content you want to publish on your site should be:
- Quality content with unique perspective and interpretation by you
- The content/news/stories/articles should be original, unique and free of plagiarism
- The content should be informative and entertaining with quality pictures and original videos
The reason why I am stating this is that you will need the search engines and without following the rules above, you will not get any visitor traffic from them. Though it is hard to follow the rules, you need to follow it and enjoy long term success.
Do not engage in copy and paste; if you do this, you will notice that even the traffic you will be getting from Facebook will start reducing to the extent that you will not even get at all. Even when you spend money to push this, the traffic will not be quality traffic!!
Massive investment in Social Media
Social media is here to accelerate and speed up your growth and success rate.
Check out the Facebook fan page of leading and popular sports blogs and sites out there?
- Goal : 17 Million likes ( i.e. 17 million followers/fans on goal.com, not even goal.ca or goal.co.za!!)
- Soccer laduma : 2.5 Million Likes/fans
Check out also their twitter and Instagram followers
- Goal; 803k twitter followers
- Soccerladuma : has 635k twitter followers
- ESPN has 33.7 Million twitter followers.
The owners and founders of these sports websites invested massively in social media; the honest truth is this, you also will need to do the same.
Social media is powerful, try all you can to get massive followers and audience.
This is how;
- Go and open a free account on Facebook (Page), twitter, and also on Instagram. Create a powerful profile on them, upload your relevant pictures and images; put the link of your site in the website portion and also in the description.
- Invite your friends and family members to follow you, to like you and also join you on Instagram
- After this, you will need to run Facebook adverts to get more followers/likes (probably in millions)
By the time you have considerable followers, fans, and likes; then you will need to start sharing your content on these sites at regular intervals.
One of the most powerful, but very difficult task to do to achieve success is for you to publish news/stories and articles at regular intervals.
I am not talking about publishing one content per day. You will need to be publishing at least 5 contents every day and keep on pushing them out on social media.
Maintain a consistent publishing schedule and stick to it.
How to make money with a sports website
The easiest way to make money with a sports website and soccer blog is mostly through the use of Google AdSense. All sites and blogs in this niche make use of Google AdSense.
The following are ways for you to make money with this niche;
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling sports-related items on your website e.g. tickets to watch soccer games etc.
- Google AdSense (the best CPC, Cost per Click monetization method)
Affiliate marketing in the soccer and sports niche is different from the other affiliate marketing method. For example, you cannot be an affiliate of Amazon and expect to market their products here.
You can do affiliate marketing and earn high commissions (quality money) by:
- Promotion companies that does marched betting ( Profit Accumulator, Odds Monkey
- Promoting online betting sports company
- Joining ShareAsale and be an affiliate marketer for Adidas ( when you sign for ShareAsale, go to the merchant to promote and search for Adidas, apply to market their products, e.g. real Madrid shirts, canvas, etc.); you will also see various sports-related companies.
Affiliate marketing helps you to make good quality money compared to Google AdSense, however, you can implement both on your site.
Selling sports-related items on your website e.g. tickets to watch soccer games etc.
This is another avenue to make money. Just start selling viewing tickets directly on your site. Trust me, you stand to make lots of money from here.
Google AdSense (the best CPC, Cost per Click monetization method)
Google AdSense is the best and most reliable way to make money online. I have been with Google AdSense for more than 10 years and I am still participating in their program. Just go to google.com/AdSense and sign up for a free account to get started.
However, to make good money (from 4 figures upward with Google AdSense), you need thousands and even millions of traffic on a daily basis.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this extensive tutorial on how to start a successful sports website and blog.
Implement the advice, instructions, and suggestions in this tutorial and you will be amazed at how success will smile at you.
It is not easy, I know; however, attaining success is not an easy road. Just make the initial sacrifice.
NB: If you enjoy the tutorial, please, I beg you to kindly link back to this article, share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+