So you think you want to run a web site for the SportsWar network of college sports web sites?
If you’ve got the talent and are willing to work hard, we can provide you with the tools to build a strong web site with a good following, and you can make some money at it, too. You can run a site as a free blog and make some advertising revenue, or you can run a full-fledged, pay-content, subscription web site, with the potential to earn a living at this.
We’ll set you up with a site that uses WordPress as the blogging/content system, and we’ll integrate it with our own custom message board/forum system.
But there are some things you need to know first, before you email us and tell us you want to run a web site for us. Read this first.
What You’ll be Doing
In order to maintain a site, drive traffic, and build a following, SportsWar site GMs will be required to do the following.
- Post original content regularly on the web site (see Content Requirements below). Content should focus on, at a minimum: football, basketball, and recruiting.
- Create and maintain football and basketball schedules on the web site.
- Interact with fans on the site message boards, initiate and propagate discussions, and drive traffic to the boards.
- Assist site visitors with customer service related to accounts, site usage, etc.
- Maintain active Twitter accounts for the web site and for all individual personalities who contribute regularly on the web site. Drive traffic to the site via links posted on Twitter, interact with fans on Twitter, etc.
- Maintain a Facebook page for the web site. Drive traffic to the site via links posted on Facebook, interact with fans on Facebook, etc.
- Post at least one original piece of content per day, preferably more.
- Post important news items as appropriate.
- Report recruiting news and recruiting commitments, and provide recruiting analysis, in football and men’s basketball.
- Recap football games and men’s basketball games.
- Provide analysis and commentary on football, men’s basketball, and recruiting.
Prospective Site GM Characteristics
Anyone can run a SportsWar web site, but preference will be given to candidates — or preferably, a team of candidates — who possess any or all of the following qualities:
- Experience with sportswriting, commentary, and analysis, whether in a professional capacity (as a current or former member of “traditional” media) or as an independent writer/blogger.
- A built-in following from an existing blog, web site, active Twitter account, etc.
- Familiarity with the WordPress content management system.
- Aptitude in photography, video, video editing, and basic web programming (HTML and CSS).
- Skills and experience in graphic design, Photoshop, etc.
How to Succeed as a Site GM
Our number one piece of advice: don’t do it alone! A properly-run sports web site requires a 24/7 presence to build an audience and drive traffic. If you try to do it alone, you will quickly burn out. It’s better to have a team of people to share the workload, especially if that team consists of people who have aptitude in different areas: writing, analysis, photography, video editing, etc.
In the early days, as you’re trying to build a following, it can be discouraging when you’re working hard, and it feels as if no one is paying attention. If you’re part of a team, and you enjoy collaborating and sharing the effort with others, then this will be fun, and the next thing you know, others will join in the fun, and you’ll have an active, busy web site with a good following.
Our number two piece of advice: We’re not Jim Rome fans, but he’s dead on when he says, “Have a take, and don’t suck.” If all you do is regurgitate news that’s already out there, and your opinions are dull and boring, then you’re not going to succeed at this. Say something interesting! Find a different angle. Educate people. Entertain people. Which leads to our next piece of advice:
Have fun! Your number one goal in running a web site should be to enjoy what you’re doing and enjoy the creative process and interacting with others. If your goal is to “make a lot of money” or “get the current coach fired” or “make fun of (insert rival’s name here),” then you’re coming at this from the wrong angle. Have fun, love what you’re doing, and the rest will follow.
Be balanced. There are too many angry sports fans out there, with an axe to grind or a negative opinion to express. There are also too many people who think their school, coaches, and players can do no wrong. A site will be more successful if it includes both positive and negative commentary, and a balanced outlook. Balance brings credibility, and credibility builds an audience.
Lastly, work hard. That one speaks for itself. In today’s cluttered world of web content and social media, laziness is not rewarded. Hard work is. Nuff said.
If you made it this far, and you’re still interested in running a site for SportsWar, then put together a proposal for us. Tell us who you are, why you’re qualified, who you’re going to work with, and what skills you and your team can bring to the process of running a web site.
If you’ve got what it takes, we’ll provide the rest: an attractive web site, the tools to build an audience, hosting, and technical support. You’ll be able to concentrate on the content and build a following.
So make that proposal strong. Don’t just send us an email saying, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to do that!”
When your proposal is ready, email it to Will Stewart, President and CEO of SportsWar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!