Imagine eating, breathing, and sleeping sports for a living. Does it sounds like a dream job come true? Freelance sports writing may be for you!
You may know a lot about sports, but not every sports fan should become a sports writer. Freelance sports writing requires great writing skills, including how to tell a story that helps the reader experience the moment with you. It’s also better if you know a lot of history and trivia about many sports; the more versatile you are, the easier it will be to get a job.
Freelance sports writers write about games and tournaments; they follow the careers of players and do historical pieces on players or sports. Freelance sports writers often have the freedom to write about whatever they like, within the context of what’s going on in a given season.
Who offers freelance sports writing jobs?
Big companies like CNN, NBC, and ESPN are always looking for great sports writers, but you need sports writing experience to work for them.
To get that experience, check out listings on Online-Writing-Jobs(dot) com. At any given time, this website has a couple of dozen sports writing jobs available in smaller markets. Some are local newspapers, some are people looking for coverage of tournaments, and some are for online sports news sites.
Another idea is to sign up with Suite101(dot) com, Webook(dot) com, and/or Collegesports-fans(dot) com. You won’t make money from them at first (well, maybe a little, but we’re talking less than $10 a month), but these sites strive to publish quality material online, which will help you develop your sports writing portfolio.
The idea is to get as many clips as possible so you can arm yourself with a healthy portfolio of published material and apply at the bigger companies. Be patient – you will eventually get the experience you need to get the high paying jobs.
What pay rate can I expect as a freelance sports writer?
Once you have that all-important experience, you could be in reasonably high demand. Beginner sports writers earn about $30 per article. Sports writing veterans make far more than that – around $60-$75 per hour, plus occasional perks like game tickets and travel expenses.
What’s the best way to respond to an ad?
I can’t stress this enough: you need experience before you can vie for well-paying jobs. Once you have some clips to showcase your writing talent, you must show potentials clients that you’re the right writer for the job.
How do you do that? Let’s dissect a sample ad to see what we can come up with:
A new California sports website is about to launch and we need writers! We want articles about professional and college sports news. If you’re opinionated, good with words, and of course, a die-hard California sports fan, we need you! Contact us ASAP at (address).
Decoding what an employer’s needs are will help you to respond to the ad. The ad tells us what kind of writer they need. For example, you should know about California sports and you should know how to write articles that incorporate good keywords to attract the attention of the web surfers. The overall tone of the ad tells us that you should be energetic and capable to express opinions that engage people in debate; in other words, they want writers with an “edge.”
Your response to the ad might be something like this:
I think it’s amazing you’re starting this new website – it’s just what California needs! I am an experienced sports writer with a real soft spot for California teams (go Lakers!).
For a new website, it’s important to have writers who can help you generate web traffic. My articles are entertaining and thought-provoking. I also love to write about controversial topics that get a real web discussion going. I think my combination of experience, skill, and love of sports would be a major asset to your website.
Attached to this email, please find several clips of my previously published work in sports writing. Thanks so much for considering me as one of your new sports writers. I look forward to hearing from you!
As you can see, writing a reply can be straightforward once you know how to spot clues from a potential employer. Make every reply concise and compelling, and you will find your next freelance sports writing gig just around the corner!