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Oct 25 / Matt Miller

10 million eyes: My first year at Bleacher Report

Matt Miller

Matt Miller

When you see a number like 5 million it doesn’t seem like much. When you realize that each number represents a pair of eyes, it’s a little different.

That’s the number I stare at today, my one-year anniversary with Bleacher Report. More specifically, 5,110,330 readers. Someone much better than I  at math could tell you that’s a hell of a lot of readers each day.

I introduce my first guest post on the famed B/R blog with this number not to impress you about me as a writer. I don’t deserve that much credit. I tell you this to share what some of you may already know: Bleacher Report is an amazing place to write.

I started here one year ago as a former football coach and scout who had plugged away for nine years running my own independent draft sites. I tried it all to get a constant reader base. There were forums, mock draft contests, prizes and more in an attempt to convince even 1,000 people to check out the site each day.

While failing to get consistent readers I was also failing to make any money as a draft analyst. While I had the contacts in the NFL and a résumé that showed credibility and experience, no one could find my work. That changed when I found B/R.

Sure, that’s corny, but it’s true. I’m writing this blog post as a full-time football writer for the fourth largest sports media site in the United States. I was able to quit my day job and devote 100 percent of my time to writing at Bleacher Report instead of negotiating ad deals with shady ticket brokers and online betting sites in an attempt to break even each month running my own site.

I’m emailed daily and asked how to get started at Bleacher Report, or how to get more readers.

There is no magic answer, other than to work your ass off. I started out here by writing every article with the thought that someone would see it and want to pay me to do more. If you approach every article with that mindset, and put out a product on each assignment that you’re proud of, good things will happen.

Good work gets promoted here, and promoted work means a reader base millions strong.

Working at Bleacher Report over the last year has been the best career decision I’ve ever made. I encourage anyone hoping to get their start or revive their sportswriting career to sign up at B/R. I and a slew of other writers are here to help you along the way.

Matt Miller is Bleacher Report’s NFL Lead Writer.

  • Collin M

    Tremendous advice, Matt! Every writer needs to take this under consideration. Whenever I get e-mails asking how writers can get more reads, my answer is always simple: write more. There isn’t a secret handshake. There isn’t a hidden webpage you can only access with a password that automatically gives you 10,000 reads. It really is as simple as writing as well as you can, as often as you can. I am also a firm believer that this strategy pays off eventually if the quality and consistent effort are there.

  • Michael Schottey

    Reading this and knowing Matt’s story, it always amazes me when writers leave Bleacher Report to “better opportunities” like their own wordpress/blogger site and/or a tiny network site that “can’t pay right now, but we hope to eventually.” Thanks for all your efforts Matt, you’re a great ambassador of the B/R platform!

  • Anonymous

    Wholeheartedly agreed with this piece, and with Schottey and Collin. Producing consistent, quality work will get you noticed, no matter where you write. But “getting noticed” and getting read in numbers that can put food on the table are totally different ballgames.

    I’m convinced that there’s no better place for a sports blogger/writer who produces quality work consistently to make that jump than B/R.

  • Kevinkraczkowski

    Lord I’m trying. I wish there was a magic formula to reach more eyes. BTW, I think you’re being kind of insensitive to readers with eyepatches…

  • Craig Horton

    Good stuff. Thanks for an encouraging post.

  • Doug Mead

    Matt, I wholeheartedly agree.. I just surpassed one million page views myself on Friday night, and it’s a gratifying feeling knowing that I’m writing for a site where you work can be appreciated and seen. I have had numerous requests to join the smaller sites that you mentioned, with the promise of money later on down the line after the site is “up and running.” Um, no thanks…

    I took a big chance in changing careers, working in the private sector for many years before realizing my dreams as a writer. Now, as a paid MLB columnist for B/R, I am finally doing what I set out in life to do over 30 years ago, and B/R gives me the platform and the opportunity to write about the single greatest passion in my life (aside from my wife)….

    Matt, you’re a great inspiration for aspiring writers, and B/R absolutely is a fabulous place to work…