Market yourself and be ready to grab any opportunities
I never planned on being a full-time sportswriter. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have spent four years working to earn a degree in marketing. But if it weren’t for my background in marketing, I might not be writing this post.
Funny how things work out.
I stumbled across Bleacher Report in the fall of 2011 as a sophomore in college, and I’ve gone from sports fan with a blog who was overly enthusiastic about the Boston Red Sox to full-time sportswriter.
How did I do it? I sought out opportunities to get noticed and marketed myself.
When MLB Team Leader Stephen Meyer asked me if I wanted to try out to become a Red Sox Featured Columnist just a few weeks after I gained permission to write for B/R, I couldn’t believe it, but I hit the ground running.
If Stephen sent out an email at 10 p.m. about a piece, I’d be sure to respond saying I was available. I wrote every day despite only having one assignment per week. Then, when I found out that there was a B/R internship for the summer, I immediately submitted an application.
With the Bleacher Report Sports Media Program, I began expanding my comfort zone—writing about some sports that I had never even remotely followed. But I put all my effort into each article I published.
Fast forward a few months and I am now working with B/R’s Breaking News Team, writing about sports 40-50 hours per week. You can’t beat that.
I got here because I took advantage of opportunities and marketed myself as a strong writer who would be an asset to any team. If you want to succeed in this industry, you must take advantage of the opportunities on the table and seek out those that aren’t so apparent.
Go the extra mile, especially when you aren’t asked to do so. But make sure to remember your limits. Quality always comes before quantity.
Finally, please tell my parents that my college degree wasn’t a complete waste of money.
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One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask our interns to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned in the B/R Sports Media Internship that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.