All posts by Tim

Scott Podsednik is my favorite baseball player.

Making Money with Your Own Website

I’ve been reading a lot on how to making money writing online. Since I’m partial to writing and not getting out of bed it’s the most ideal gig for me. So far I’ve made the majority of the money I have from writing relying on other websites. This is safe, just like working for an established business as opposed to starting your own. It’s also limiting as you don’t have full control.

As a writer, you should always look for as many streams of revenue as possible. I barely make anything from the Cleat Report. The moment I was able to get WordAds onto the site was also when is started writing at SportsBlog where I make decent money. WordAds, while simple, can be tough to get accepted to (or so I’ve heard). There are other options though and it requires you to build your own site from scratch. This is unfortunately not something I know much about however I can point you in the direction of what you should do to make money.

Ads are the best way for a writer to make money along with the acceptance of donations. I prefer ads because I have enough trouble getting people I actually know to lend me cash. I’m sure you’ll find the same problems early on in your writing career. Ads are great because the money is paid by big corporations plugging a product. When you ask for donations, especially early on in your blogging adventures, you’re asking your cheap friends to pay.

There are plenty of different ads to include on your site. Unfortunately with a simple WordPress.com blog you are limited to WordAds like I am here. If you create a site through WordPress.org though, you can explore different options. I’m in the process of planning out a site where I will experiment further with these.

The best ads at the moment are the ones that target your readers based on their search history. They’re known as Native Ads. Sites like Taboola and OutBrain are the big ones. If you Google alternatives to these you’ll find different resources pointing you in the direction. You can decide rom there which ones work best for you. Many you can add to your site immediately without any traffic requirements. Others do unfortunately require you to already be a big shot.

These ads are the ones you’ll see everywhere now such as the “From Around the Web” ones that try to trick you into clicking on them. There are many different kinds similar with many imploring the same strategies. It’s actually a smart way of marketing as it relates more to your content and different websites you’ve been to.

I’ll let you know more about my experience with these types of ads once I actual use them. For now, feel free to share any input you have on this topic.

My Twitter Lists You Should Subscribe To

I’ve been neglectful in offering some writing advice lately and this will continue today. I just wanted to let you know you should totally follow my two Twitter lists I created if you’re a baseball writer. Right now I have one for Baseball Writers and another for MLB Players. You can thank me when you start writing posts and breaking news before other websites.

Baseball Writers Twitter List

MLB Players Twitter List

If you have any questions on how to use these, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Querying Major Sports Websites: I Have No Advice on This

By the time this posts I will have queried a major sports website on joining them as part of the writing team. Spectacularly, I was actually planning on doing a blind one (without their call for new writers) in the coming days when I actually saw they were looking for writers. It’s a site I do think I could fit in with if only given the chance.

Querying is tough to do. I’ve queried publishers in the past along with agents and managers in my pursuit to get books published. I never got a real response back other than stock messages provoking me to quit. I couldn’t. Writing is something I can’t give up at this point if only because I don’t have any other hobbies, very many friends, or desire to follow any other dreams.

Thus far my attempts at getting an actual regularly paying gig as a writer have been tough. There aren’t many out there anyway so I don’t feel like a complete failure. This particular one almost feels like destiny. Of course, that could just give me an even greater fall when I never hear back or end up publicly mocked.

I’ll keep you update. If you never hear from me again assume I got the gig right away or died from crying.

Dealing with Internet Trolls: We All Do

Internet trolls are everywhere. I’m pretty sure the Internet was created just to give them a haven once people stopped crossing bridges to get across small rivers by foot.

We all do become these wild, untamed monsters at some point in our Internet surfing. A rule to follow to ensure you don’t grow too much hair is to never actually become a bully. By this I mean you shouldn’t pick on someone smaller than you. Leaving a trollish comment on a big company site or a well-known writer is a little different as they’re in the position to actually handle your negative comments which is where you should hope to get to.

Internet-Troll

When I first began writing on the Internet my skin was much thinner than it is now. But hey, I’m sure I have consumed more donuts since then.

Every troll comment, whether genuine or not, did dig at my soul. Eventually I had so many people say negative things it no longer seemed to bother me. It was after publishing my first article on Yahoo Sports when someone suggested I must have penises for fingers because my writing was so poor. This was the first comment I ever received on a “high-profile” article and obviously hasn’t left my memory if only for the amusing image. Oh and many people agreed with him too.

The best advice I have for Internet trolls is to laugh about it. My take is if they disagree with you, you still win because you actually went out and wrote about it. All they did was make a quick comment without much effort. For the outright nasty people, imagine them with penises for fingers living an awful, lonely life. Anybody who is going to be rude to you on the Internet doesn’t deserve your time anyway or to see you cry from their hurtful words, even if they’re honest.

Most of the time I don’t read comments people leave me anymore. On Innings Eaters, where I don’t get too many anyway, I will since they need to be approved. I do the same here on The Cleat Report. If ever I do write somewhere with dozens of comments I’ll avoid reading them. Writing sports means you’re going to have people disagree with you often and usually they have awful things to say about your mother in the process.

Just remember, their mother gave birth to a child with penises for fingers. Don’t feel bad when they disagree with your opinion on who should bat leadoff for the New York Mets.

Creating Twitter Lists for Your Sports Writing

Twitter lists are a good way of navigating through the mud and finding the users you follow that you don’t want to miss. For your sports writing career, it’s essential to use this feature.

I just started doing this and I must say as tedious as it was to go through the 400 or so people I follow in the site, putting the baseball writers in one batch was worth it. Now, instead of seeing tweets I don’t really care about, I can go straight to the ones I don’t want to miss.

It’s simple enough to set up. Go to the people you follow, click on the grey gear icon next to the name, and add them to whichever list you want. For the first person you’ll need to create the list. I recommend keeping the names simple. Something like “Baseball Writers,” “Philadelphia Sports,” “People I Know” works and will be what I use on my own list aka don’t copy me or else I’ll sue.

Now with this setup I no longer have to see retweets about things I don’t really care much about until I’m prepared. I can get straight to catching the latest free agent signing or trade.

I’m still learning other ways to best use Twitter to help advance my sports writing career. This is one of the essentials everyone should take the time to do.

Appearing on SB Nation’s Twinkie Town: Add “One Blogger” to My List of Aliases

I’ve noticed Innings Eaters popping up on sites like Fansided and SB Nation on a regular basis lately. A few times I’ve been credited by name. The most recent appearance was something new.

twinkie town

See that one about Tyler Clippard going to the Minnesota Twins? The “one blogger” they’re referring to is me. Here’s the article they’re talking about.

The above is a screenshot from Twinkie Town, the SB Nation Twins blog. Amazingly, most of the comments in reference to my suggestion of the Twins signing Clippard were not meant with insults. Instead, many of the readers embraced the idea. This is pretty shocking to me because I fault this idea was yanked out of thin air. I wanted to write about Clippard, saw a match with the Twins, and it landed on the daily round-up post.

While it hasn’t landed too many hits, it’s always nice to know you’re reaching some die hard fans.

A Different Way of Looking at Social Media to Promote Your Sports Blog

One place where I suck is harnessing social media. I don’t have many Twitter followers, Facebooks likes, or an active Reddit account. This doesn’t mean I’m unable to pass along a few tricks or necessary information that can benefit you and your sports writing career.

Aside from the obvious mentions above, there are other social networks where you can help spread the word about your sports site. Forums are one great and underrated place to find like-minded individuals who might read your work. Putting a link to your blog in your signature is a subtle way to promote your work without actually spamming.

You’re hopefully familiar with spam by now as the term is almost universally known by everyone who has touched a computer or seen a Monty Python film. You have to be clever in your promoting and avoid appearing like someone desperate for attention. I see some writers, let’s call them bloggers because they seem far more interested in views than actually saying something worthwhile or putting together something well-written, pop up all over the place. It’s annoying and only allows for a few moments of glory.

As an aspiring sports writer, your writing should remain the most important part of your routine. Strong content always defeats everything else. Imagine a pretty girl only three men ever see opposed to an ugly one on a billboard on Times Square. The pretty one will get discovered some day as the ugly one will be constantly ridiculed–possibly for looking like me in a wig.

Social media shouldn’t be used to promote yourself, as is the most basic understanding. Instead think of it as a place where after people discover you they can come back for more. Let me try to explain this a little better.

On Innings Eaters I always end my posts with the site’s logo and link it to my Facebook page for the site. Far from a no vacancy sign in the window, some random guy likes the page every week or so. This slow build is a very simple way to get people to come back while also stroking my ego ever so slightly.

The more active you are on social media the chances of you gaining more followers increases. It’s a pretty basic formula needing no further explanation. However, keep in kind even the best hashtaggers aren’t guaranteed to succeed.

I’ll re-iterate it a thousand times: content is key. Nobody will want to read your work unless your writing is actually attractive. And after all, you want to be a writer and not a social media guru, right?

Motivation to Write: Barstool Sports Creator David Portnoy on Reddit

Finding the motivation to write is always a problem that arises for all fans of the written word. Writer’s block, rejection, and everyday activities like responsibilities (paying bills, day jobs, brushing your teeth, etc.) can kill the thrill of creating something awesome as they sometimes have to take priority. As often as I write and dedicated I believe I have become, I too need to find the motivation at times.

One place I managed to find some great motivation to write was on Reddit. Of all places, a site I barely use, I found something from Bartstool Sports creator David Portnoy. The posting is from 2 years ago and includes lots of insults, inflammatory language, and derogatory words as is the style of Bartstool Sports. Among them was a question about Portnoy’s average day.

Not quite at the level of some of the online sports websites, Bartstool Sports has grown a lot in the last year. In part, it is because of Portnoy’s own dedication to writing.

David Portnoy Barstool

I thought I was writing a lot, but Jesus! Portnoy’s diligence through 13 hours a day writing, surely with a few breaks in between, not only gives me motivation but also delivers some really sweet feelings sliding down my throat and into the pit of my stomach. A life like this sounds like a really fun one.

After a long holiday break that included lots of writing, I’ve headed back to the grind of a day job while slipping in the writing time when I can. I have bills to pay, a day job to slave away at, and teeth to brush. A full day of writing will have to wait, for now.

With any luck, we’ll be able to put in a 13 hour work day writing about what we love.

Jay Bruce Trade Rumors Article Lands on Fansided Page KC Kingdom

My Jay Bruce traded to the Kansas City Royals post that made it onto Bleacher Report last week also turned up on KC Kingdom. This is the page on the Fansided Network dedicated to all things Royals.

kc kingdom

I have nothing else to say other than writing sports is a small world. You can also be a nobody, write in your underwear, and still land on big time websites as a credible source. Just keep writing and put your best work out there.