You love basketball, you follow the NBA, and you probably even play the game yourself. But did you ever consider becoming a freelance writer and getting paid to share your passion for basketball with the world? Maybe someday you will if you follow these simple steps.
Join The Scoop Market Circle
To begin, you need to join the scoop market circle. This is a group of about 50–60 different media websites and blogs that choose to work together to find stories for basketball writers and broadcasters. There is no cost to enter the circle, and it’s open to all comers. Simply go to http://marketcircle.com and click on the “Join” button to get started. Once you join, you’ll see a series of interviews over the next couple of days from different perspectives such as players, coaches, celebrities, and more.
Make Sure You Meet The Right People
Now that you’re in the circle, it’s time to make sure you meet the right people. For that, you should friend people that you think might be able to provide you with exclusive content or tell you about exciting opportunities. Never disclose your trade secrets, be professional, and make sure your friends know what to expect from you.
Find Out What’s Available
It’s important to understand what’s available before you start pitching. On the left side of the website, you’ll see a gray section with various categories and sub-categories. Among these are “Feature Requests,” “Writing Samples, “Product Review Samples,” “Editorials,” and more. These are all the different types of content that you can contribute to the different sites in the circle. Take some time to browse the different sections and see what’s available.
Make Sure You Have The Right Stuff
You also need to make sure you have the right stuff to write about basketball. Are you a diehard sports fan that follows the game closely and is able to provide unique insights? Or are you a generalist that can provide quality coverage of the game with just a small amount of research? The truth is probably somewhere in between. No matter what, make sure you have the skills to write intelligently about the game you love.
Find Your Niche
Once you have the skills to write about basketball, you can start to find your niche. Simply go through the different sections available and find the ones that interest you. If you’re unsure of what type of content you’ll be able to produce, ask the website owner. Most of them will be more than happy to give you a hand. Don’t worry too much about being original with your ideas. Instead, focus on proving to the different sites in the circle that you’re a skilled writer and make sure to show them your work. After all, that is the best way to get hired.
Create A Portfolio
You’ll also want to create a small portfolio to show potential employers. This can be in the form of a blog post, a few magazine articles, or even a professional portfolio. What you need to keep in mind is that these are all examples of work you’ve done for free. As such, they all need to be perfect. This is especially important if you’re applying for a job as a writer for a newspaper or magazine. In most cases, they’ll expect to see some previous examples of your work.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a sports columnist that is looking for someone to help him or her write content for a living. Once you’ve found that person, take some time to pitch some story ideas to him or her. Even if you don’t get the story published, being able to show that you’re willing to pitch helps.
Hopefully, this post gave you enough information to get you started on your journey to becoming a freelance writer. The above steps should get you most of the way there. From here, all you have to do is apply in the appropriate places and believe in yourself.