Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So you want to be a soccer blogger?

If you have been following Sporting Kansas City at all in 2011, you probably have stumbled across a few blogs dedicated to our boys in blue.  Maybe you have found more than just a few but a plethora of blogs. It can be a lot to follow and doesn't even begin to account for SKC talk on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Big Soccer.  When looking at other teams we are in the top echelon of fan based blogs.

Some have complained online we actually might have too many blogs, or that the blogs do not do enough to stand out.  Personally I think it is fantastic to have many blogs to choose from, and over the next few weeks as we start through the pre-season I will be giving reviews of the various blogs covering SKC.  If you want to see a list of all the current SKC blogs, check our News Sources post (currently 25 sources). 

But before I begin reviews of the blogs, I thought I would offer some advice to anyone thinking of starting a blog for SKC.  (And just so you know I am speaking from experience, I have been blogging for 6 years on various subjects and seen many different blogs come and go, and have reported on other blogging communities, don't just think it is the 4 months I have been blogging for Ad Astra.)

First of all, yes you can do it, but it does take dedication if you are going to be successful.  Don't let anyone scare you off from contributing just because 'the pool is full.'  There is always room for more insight and opinion.  And we do not all have the same audience.  If you don't believe me check out TweepDiff for an example of how two key blogs have only half of their Twitter followers in common.

Second, come up with goals, a strategy and a basic schedule.  Blogging takes time and if you are going to be successful, it is good to start with some structure.  You will probably hear bloggers say they never did any of that and they are still here.  True but for every successful blog there are hundreds of dead blogs because of a  lack of a little bit of planning and research.  Find subjects and opinions that are not yet being heard in this community or add a new twist to information that is already out there.

Third, partner with someone.  You do not need to be alone in your endeavor, in f act you will increase the value to readers if you have multiple bloggers because you get five things:
1) Consistency: Good partners will keep the flow of information consistent and not dated
2) Unique voices: Partners add something different.  You will each have a different approach and possibly feature different types of posts to contribute.
3) Established commentary: A good partner will post comments to your posts and vice versa.  Someone posting a single comment increases the likelihood that someone else will comment.  And if your partners get into a heated discussion in the comments section it is more likely others will jump in.
4) Promotion: More people promoting their blogs to their family, friends and the SKC fan base.
5) Immortality: Well that may be a bit of a reach, but having partners does allow for succession if any one person decide to bow out.  Your words will live on without you at the blog's helm.
Four, learn the importance of networking.  Work with other bloggers and key voices in and outside of the organization and you will find good opportunities.  You may be ignored or dismissed until you have a bit more of a track record, but keep looking you will find a group that welcomes and supports you.  A well developed network will help you with getting feedback (as comments and behind the scenes) as well as helping with promotion.

Hopefully this helps give you some guidance.  The more we can foster this small but vibrant community the better it is for our team and for all of us bloggers!

Here are blogs open to possibly having more bloggers (let me know if I missed any):
Ad Astra SKC -
South Stand SC -
The Daily Wiz -info -

Please feel free to ask questions about blogging here.  Simple or complex, I would be glad to help.


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