To succeed in sports media, you have to stand out from the crowd
I started my sportswriting career in perhaps the most conventional fashion possible: with a blog. My decision to start writing about sports made sense, as I’ve always loved, played and followed sports, and writing has always been my forte.
In fewer than six months, I’ve written hundreds of articles and grown tremendously as a writer.
But that growth hasn’t come solely from sitting down and writing. I’ve received tremendous feedback from a variety of sources, most notably my journalism professors at Northwestern and my editors and writing coach as part of B/R’s Advanced Program in Sports Media.
With this guidance and frequent practice, I’ve picked up on some valuable lessons when it comes to being a successful journalist. The one that stands out to me most is how important is it to distinguish yourself from the masses.
This is particularly important in online media and sports journalism.
That doesn’t mean I try to take a ridiculous stance on any given subject. Rather, I look at how I can put forth an opinion I feel hasn’t been considered yet.
I generally find inspiration by looking at controversial and popular news stories, like Johnny Manziel being destined for a failed NFL career or why the Golden State Warriors are overrated, and examining the supporting points that go against the grain.
Taking unconventional points of view prevents my writing from growing stale, but most importantly, it increases the quality of my work because I’m covering a topic about which I’m truly passionate.
And I’ve found that there is no better way to improve as a writer than to write about something that you truly believe in.
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One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask members of the Bleacher Report Advanced Program in Sports Media to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.