How to Write a Professional Football Blog
by Alec Rothman


A professional football weblog (a.k.a. blog) is an online recording of football events typically posted shortly after the time of the event, intending to acquire the largest reader base possible.  Writing an effective blog requires more than just knowledge of football.  It is more than just writing an introduction, body, and conclusion like what your teachers taught you throughout your academic writing days.  It requires constant attention to everything circulating the NFL, from injury updates about Michael Vick’s ribs to Troy Polamalu’s criticisms of commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s safety policy.  Thus, writing an effective blog requires constant attention to news happening about football.  Blogging about football is a competitive race to publish because readers find the first blogs available, however, if your blog isn’t organized efficiently, readers will quickly click to another blog.  So, the key to writing a succulent football blog is efficiency.

Here's a step by step guide to writing that winning blog:

1.      Create Catchy title

Readers will click on your blog if you have an eye popping title

Your title could:

a.       Answer a problem

b.      Provoke a debate

c.       Ask a question

d.      Be humorous


An example of a humorous title:

Timeout for T.O.

My personal favorite: Plaxico Burress pulls a Cheddar Bob and “shoots himself in his leg with his own gun” (Check out the Cheddar Bob link—hilarious)

*Be wary to not go off topic on your title, though, because readers won’t be able to find the blog if key words such as “Burress” and “shoots” aren’t in the title.

2.   Write First Sentence

a.       Ask a question

b.      State a fact

c.       Quote someone

d.      Paint a picture

e.       Tell a story

f.       Present a problem

g.      Create a paradox (humor works well in this sense)


An example of a humorous paradox:

You can find Tom Brady on the cover of Details magazine,
with his Victoria’s Secret supermodel wife,
or at Gillette Stadium winning his 25th straight home game,
but one place you won’t find him is in a barbershop.

3.      Post One Message

Simplicity is essential.  Every blog post needs one message.  After making one clear message, you should elaborate as concisely as possible.  Readers will not keep reading if they are confused about your purpose.  After rereading your blog post, you should be able to identify the purpose of your post by referring to the message you wrote about.  More often than not, you will find several messages in your post.  If this is the case, cut the other messages out from the post and save them to be worked on in future posts.

4.      Conclude

a.       Speculate about the future- Many football blogs will predict the future of a team or player such as ESPN’s blogger Paul Kuharsky does in his “Rapid Reaction”blog

b.      Ask a rhetorical question

c.       Make recommendations

d.      Call to Action- Readers need you to tell them to act.  A call to action such as a question at the end of the post such as, “What do you think?” and a space for readers to leave comments will actively engage readers.  Because many readers don’t get to the end of your post, issuing a call to action somewhere near the top of the post can also be effective.  Create an incentive for people to comment.  Example: “I may include your comments in my next post.”

*It is important to note that there should only be one type of a call to action per post because you do not want to ask the reader to do too much.

5.      Design Blog

If anything is going to keep readers glued to your blog page, it’s your blog’s design!

a.       Visual aids- Videos and pictures entice readers.  Decorate your page so that it is visually pleasing.  Especially glamorize the comments section so readers can easily figure out where and how to contribute.

b.      Chats and diagrams

c.       Bullet point lists and steps

d.      Headings and subheadings

e.       White Space- Leave open space to ease readers’ eyes.

f.       Short paragraphs

g.      Comments section

h.      Make your blog “scannable”- Readers tend to scan blog posts instead of reading every word.  If your blog looks like one chunky block of text, nobody will want to read it.  Strategically place images and videos so that as the reader scrolls down the page, new images begin appearing.


*Note that pictures can guide readers to the end of your blog post.

6.      Post at Right Time

Because professional football is played on the Sunday, Monday Night, Thanksgiving, and sometimes Thursday, these are the times football fans are reading your posts.  If a reader is concerned about who to start on Sunday for his fantasy football team, he will look to the most recent blog posts.  For example, fans will read about how Michael Vick is dominating the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football while the game is still going on.  To acquire the most readers, you should post shortly before, during, and shortly after football games.

7.      Contribute to Comments

If you contribute to your blog comments, readers will be more involved and excited to continue reading and responding to your voice as well as others.

a.       Ask and answer questions

b.      Paste external links

c.       Offer opposing points of view

d.      Email contributors- If someone comments on your blog, email them if people respond to what they are saying because many times people will not look back to the comments otherwise

e.       Restrict profanity (delete vulgar posts so conversations stay relevant)


The Good:

      Use tons of external links

      Be Funny

      Bold, Italicize and underline for EMPHASIS

      Reread your blog post out loud before submitting

      Have someone else edit your post

The Bad (Don’t do this):

      Don’t write too much

      Don’t take yourself too seriously

      Don’t rely on yourself as an editor

      Don’t use clichés

      Don’t forget to enjoy writing the blog

Some samples of professional football blogs:

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