Would you enjoy a job that required you to watch ESPN Sports Center and Monday Night Football on a regular basis? What if you could make a living at it? And, as an extra bonus, what if I told you that you can work anywhere you can find an Internet connection, like, say Maui in March?
In this article, I’m going to take a look at the benefits of sports publishing – specifically, starting and running your own sports website. And while my focus is on sports, nearly all of these benefits mentioned here would carry through to cooking, parenting, or another themed website.
Series of Articles
This article the third part of a series. The first article “How To Start a Sports Blog” provides a hands-on, how-to guide for those interested in a step-by-step guide in getting up and running. The second installment, “Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Blogging” describes some key learnings along my journey. It takes some time, hard work, and luck to make a go of it. Go in with realistic expectations — don’t expect overnight success.
With over 10 years of experience as the founder and publisher of SportsFeelGoodStories.com, I’m going to focus this article on the aspects of this role that I truly enjoy.
13 Benefits of Sports Publishing
1.) The job gets increasingly easier as you progress.
When you first start a difficult jigsaw puzzle, the problem seems immense. But, you put a few pieces together and the challenge begins to take form. Pretty soon you connect the straight-line edges and the border takes shape, and you’re on your way. As more and more puzzle pieces are put together, the task becomes easier and more enjoyable.
That’s the way it works with online publishing as well. The more posts you publish, the easier it is to drive traffic to your site. You not only enjoy traffic from new posts, but also from popular posts from days gone by. You learn what works, and what doesn’t.
2.) You get to be your own boss.
You determine the strategic direction. You decide on the priorities. And, you make it happen.
When you find something that works, and it’s time to “put more wood on the fire,” you’re the one who decides on how it’s done. And, if the blaze burns brighter, as a result, there’s a satisfaction in knowing that you made it happen.
3.) Pursue your passion.
For my sports website, I get to follow and write about things that I’d follow even if I didn’t have the site. I like football more than golf, so I write more about the NFL than the PGA. I write more articles on particular games and sporting events that I like to watch. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and Super Bowl get a fair amount of ink, and other events get no coverage. I can’t cover it all, so I cover what I like.
And, on occasion, I take advantage of media passes for sporting events. It may take some time to generate enough traffic to your site to interest teams’ media personnel, but the game experiences and access to players and coaches are great.
I’ve always liked sharing inspirational stories. In the process of recounting them to my readers, I do feel like my writing and storytelling has improved. And, there are always new challenges in this industry like trying to stay at least even with technology advances.
4.) Multiple streams of revenue.
Once you’ve developed a following for your website, there are several ways to attempt to monetize your effort. My revenue is primarily generated from awareness advertising, affiliate advertising, and website store sales.
I work with Adthrive, the biggest ad management firm in the world. They manage the image advertising on my site by selling advertising programs to top advertisers like Apple, Ford, Kraft, and others. They provide me the code to include on my site and manage the advertising relationships with these accounts.
My affiliate advertisers are specific companies like Amazon.com where when I place an ad and a reader makes a purchase, I earn a small commission. For the two books I’ve noted in this article, I’ll earn a small commission from Amazon if a reader goes and makes a purchase. Below is the actual disclosure.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
On my Sports Feel Good Stories store, I sell a series of digital items including practice plans for coaches (baseball, basketball, softball, football), off-season workout plans for athletes in various sports, and customizable awards certificates for about 20 sports.
5.) Passive income.
There’s a lot to be said for making money while you’re not clocked in on the job. Your accumulative work and effort may pay off at a later time. You’re literally earning money while you sleep.
6.) Increased tax write-offs.
Sporting events in vacation destinations seem to make their way to the top of this editor’s article list more and more frequently. Check with your tax accountant first, but many of these expenses can be written off. Plus, the home office write-off is still there.
7.) No commuting.
Folks might say that they use their commute time to collect their thoughts for the day ahead or enrich themselves with Audible’s best or interesting podcasts. And, those activities can help make the time more bearable. But, it was never a desired activity for me, especially in bad weather.
The extra time saved by not having a commute can be put against Miracle Morning activities like reading, exercising, meditation, etc.
8.) No dress code.
Shorts in the summer, and jeans or sweats the rest of the year works for me. Neckties strangle good thinking.
9.) No time clock.
This is the type of job where you have to put in hours, but the time of day you work those hours is almost always up to you. Want to watch your daughter’s tennis match? No problem. Just work a couple of hours earlier or later after she plays.
As I prefer the warm days of summer to Minnesota’s colder months, I tend to work longer hours in the “ber” months of September, October, November, and December than in the warm days of June, July, and August.
10.) No wasted meetings.
“Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings the better,” Peter Drucker once wrote. He hit the nail on the head in my opinion.
In my current role, I’ve reduced the number of meetings I attend by 95% compared to some of my past jobs. I try to avoid morning meetings – when I’m most productive – and I’m very selective about in-person and phone meetings.
11.) Work with people you love.
You get to choose not only the type of work you need assistance on, e.g. writing, technical help, design work, etc., but also who to work with.
You can rely on past relationships or place an ad and interview to find the right type of folks that you can work with effectively. What’s better than that?
12.) Work as much as you like in retirement.
Managing a website seems like an ideal, early retirement, or post-retirement gig. Cut back your hours and enjoy the benefits of all of your previous work. Although I haven’t reached this point in my journey, I think about it.
Managing the site is not too taxing. I don’t tire of it. I think I could be doing it for a long time. And, I just might.
13.) Work wherever there’s WiFi.
For you fans of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week, this online publishing business lends itself well working in different countries around the world. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to figure out how to get the workload down to 240 minutes per week, but there’s little to hold you down to one location.
Essentially, if I have a good Internet connection, I can do the work I need to do pretty much anywhere. I’ve started to put this to the test, but plan to do so in a much bigger way in the coming years. After all, shouldn’t there be more coverage of the Australian Open tennis tournament in January?
And The Biggest Advantage
Maybe the biggest advantage of this job for me is that it doesn’t feel like work. There is less stress and more fun. When you can blur the lines between work and fun, I think you’re on to something. And, that’s why I keep pursuing it.
By Michael O’Halloran
Prior to starting SportsFeelGoodStories.com, Michael was president of a gift and toy company and worked as director of marketing for The Learning Company. He is also the publisher of GreetingCardPoet.com and co-publisher of ListCaboodle.com.
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