Sports blogging and the value of being different on social media

One of the best things about social media is we can follow any event wherever we are and at any time. Being in front of a television, radio, or computer isn’t the only way for sports bloggers to stay updated on their specific niche.

Whether it’s a podcast, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform, every detail about anything can be found. Following your favorite team while being unable to actually watch them live is a huge benefit to those who constantly crave news and action, along with those who have a sports blog that is in need of fresh content.

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There are what feels like a countless number of team-specific sports blogs, online communities, and beat reporters that exist and/or have jobs to keep fans in the loop on everything that goes on with the team they cover.

As a sports blogger, you’re ideally able to sit down and watch every game that concerns your niche. But there are many reasons why every-day life won’t allow that to happen, like if you’re just starting this as a side hustle, or you’re a sleep-deprived parent of young children, or any other reason. However, finding the best way for you to stay updated in real time or in hindsight is necessary.

There are a couple main schools of thought when it comes to providing real-time updates: giving the straight facts as much as possible and posting fewer updates but with a little more color/personality.

A good example of posting as many straight facts as possible is Federal Baseball, the dedicated SB Nation site for the Washington Nationals. Here’s a glimpse of a handful of their tweets during a recent game:

Does providing these consistent updates result in good engagement? Well, sure it does — if it didn’t, they’d probably try something different. It takes a lot of work, though, along with requiring the person (or people) behind those tweets to watch an entire game and be timely with the details.

Other sports- and team-specific blogs should do the same thing if this works then, right? Not necessarily.

If you can stay consistent with these updates and there’s positive engagement coming from it, then go for it. However, viewers/fans/followers can get these kinds of updates literally anywhere. Which brings us to the other option: being less frequent during games, but adding some color and/or personality. Here are a couple of tweets from Anthony DiComo, the beat writer for the New York Mets:

And here’s a way to show some personality while tweeting the final score of a ballgame:

Is there a right way and a wrong way to provide live updates during a game? No, of course not. What’s important is you try different approaches, see what’s most comfortable and helps you engage the most with those in your niche.

The main point here is that there’s not only one way to do things.

Just because an established blog, website, or company provides live-game updates a certain way doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be done. Should you give it a try if it seems to be successful for them? Well, sure — if they’re in your niche and you have a goal of gaining the type of followers they have, that’s not a bad idea.

But solely doing it because everyone else is doesn’t make much sense. In today’s day and age, there are millions of sports blogs, websites, and online communities consuming and producing content surrounding the same material. It’s OK to be different while sharing the same basic information.

That’s what makes you memorable to fans, spurring them to either follow you or come back to see/share what you have to say. While this would be helpful in building a unique brand, it’ll also be a lot more fun along the way.

To get more information and guidance on how to continue progressing through your journey as a sports blogger, check out my Sports Blogging 101 book or my Sports Blogs 101 Udemy course.