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writing for godot

Top 10 Conscious Tips for Young Aspiring Football Journalists

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Written by jakelesterone   
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 22:12

There are plenty of those, who are passionate about football. They watch every game, know about all players, and often hope to build a career in sports. After all, if they’re passionate about writing and know about football a lot, wouldn’t it be easy for them to become football journalists?


image:pixabay.com


Actually, not at all.


Sport is serious business and you have to work hard to get in. Sadly, not all people actually succeed to build a career in sports journalism - but it still shouldn’t stop you from trying. So here’s what you should focus on if you hope to become a professional football journalist one day.


1. The basics matter.

Being passionate about football doesn’t make you able to write about it well. That’s what most of the editors think - and they’re right. If you want to build an impressive career, you need to treat everything seriously. This means not only getting a degree in journalism but also doing your best to learn everything you can during college years.


2. Get all the skills you can.

Sure, you’re going to master some basic skills while studying - but you shouldn’t settle with that. Being a young journalist, you wouldn’t be able to impress the editors with your work experience much - however, you could still look like a good catch if your skills are impressive.


Remember that when it comes to sports the strong knowledge of shorthand and media law is especially important. Moreover, you never know which of the skills you might also need. This could be a certain foreign language, for example, or a knowledge of a certain software, or SEO/SMM skills, etc. Do your research and try building the necessary skills while you have time to do so.


3. Change your approach to reading.

All writers, from novelists to journalists, need to read a lot - but in the end, it’s not the number of books read that matters. To get the most out of the reading you should change the approach itself, not simply scanning every piece of sports-related writing that comes your way, but doing so from the professional point of view.


Analyze the best niche writing all the time. Try to understand what makes it so special, which tricks do authors use, and how can you apply them to your writing.


4. Create an impressive portfolio.

Often a portfolio is your only way of demonstrating your writing skills and earning a job in the industry. The bad news is that it has more value when your works are published somewhere. The good news is that even if not, you can still show something to the future employers.


When crafting your portfolio, remember that your goal is not to cover as many topics as you can but show how you handle different formats, be it news reports, match reports, your reviews, etc. You can also consider starting a sports blog - it could serve as your portfolio and help you build an online reputation as well.


5. Get some work experience.

Most companies want to hire journalists that could start working right away - and this rarely happens if those journalists don’t have any previous work experience. That’s why your goal is to stand out among your potential competitors and get as much work experience as you can.


There are plenty of ways to do so. For example, you can write for a college newspaper or try applying to some local sports newspaper. Remember that everything counts and do your best to make the most out of your job once you find it.


6. Contacts matter.

Of course, contacts can get you far - but how a young journalist in training can build some?


You can start with getting involved with football on a local level - working for a local newspaper, attending clubs, talking to coaches, etc. You can also start a blog and use it to get to know famous niche bloggers. Or you can try contacting them in social media and asking them for tips. This works for famous sports journalists as well: it’s much easier to network with the help of internet these days, so you should make the most out of it.


7. Develop your niche.

This might seem like a certain limitation but this could help you in building your career a lot. When you’re simply looking for a job as a football journalist, you need to compete with so many other writers. However, if your niche is Italian football, for example, you’ll be competing with fewer writers. It would be also easier for you to gain more knowledge about a certain niche than about world-wide football in general.


8. Work to build your approach.

It would be hard to get a dream job if you don’t have any idea what this dream job should look like. Do you want to work on TV? Or do you want to write for a newspaper? If a newspaper is your goal, which one would you choose?


Knowing where do you want to end helps a lot. After you pick a certain career target, you are able to do a more thorough research, developing an approach that would work best for this specific company, niche or position.


9. Master your pitch.

If you plan on contacting the editors, you need to make the most out of your pitch. A good thing to remember is that competition is extremely high - so your goal is to impress right from the first line.


Remember: a good pitch should be catchy - but it should be concise as well. Work hard to develop it and don’t settle with it before you understand it really works.


10. Be as motivated as you can.

If you’re passionate about football, you know well enough that the best athletes don’t give up no matter what. The same should apply to you.


Being motivated and determined doesn’t mean pitching many editors at once or storming into newspaper’s office claiming you’re the right candidate for them. It means not giving up too easily, being willing to prove yourself and to do your best to get a job in this field.


So if you want to build an impressive career in football journalism, keep these tips in mind, don’t give up - and one day you’ll be writing for this website and other, even more impressive ones.

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