Tag Archives: Baseball

Writing Good SEO Titles with Your Sports Articles

SEO is a term you’ll see a lot when learning about writing online. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the generic way of saying something is written well to the point where search engines will pick it up. Think of SEO as the friend who fixes your hair for you or points out there’s a booger on your shirt before a big date. It’s your best friend when writing online.

A lot of SEO depends on the site you’re writing for and takes a lot more than following the basics to get the full benefits. Sites with built-in SEO are incredibly helpful as nobody is quite sure how to keep up with all of the constant changes by Google. Along with backlinks and those other fun time consuming things you should do to get more readers, creating strong titles are necessary and a really easy way to grab attention.

Let me give you an example of a good title and one that needs work. We’ll use New York Yankees’ pitcher Andrew Miller as an example since I wrote about him recently on Innings Eaters and took it into consideration.

Photo Courtesy of CBS New York
Photo Courtesy of CBS New York

Good Title: Andrew Miller Trade Possibilities

Bad Title: Possible Andrew Miller Deals

The same amount of words with the name present and sending the same message, there’s a big difference.

“Andrew Miller trade” is the real key. Anything else practically doesn’t matter. Maybe you’d want to list out some of the teams he could possibly get dealt to with a comma between each. You want to deliver keywords, the basics of SEO, but also remain very clear in what your article is about. A lot of people try to get too creative and smart for their own good. Use your actual writing, not your title, to show-off what a great writer you are.

I don’t like the second example because “Andrew Miller deals” is not a strong sports term with a clear message. Deals means a lot more than trades. It’s called MLB Trade Rumors for a reason and not MLB Deal Rumors. Deals are what we get on food at the shopping market. Although we think of them as synonyms in the sports world, as you should when making sure your vocabulary is stretched, when putting a title to your article it’s not going to help you any.

Of course, one you have a big following, this doesn’t matter as much. Still, you’ll want to follow these practices as it certainly does help you get more hits through Google, Yahoo, and your Bing using grandmother.

Let’s look at one more example while we’re at it. Bad titles are a pet peeve of mine because I’ve seen some perfectly capable writers fail at it. Here are two more about a made-up trade involving Miller and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Good Title: Andrew Miller Traded to LA Dodgers

Bad Title: The Yankees Send Andrew Miller to Los Angeles

There are a few things wrong with the second one. First I want to go over why I like the first. The first is good because it starts with the simple statement letting everyone know Miller was traded. When people are searching on the Internet keep in mind they will half-ass their searches and not type in verbs. Sometimes, to sound intelligent, you should include them. I know I do often to keep from people realizing I’m a complete moron.

In the case of the bad title, the use of “the” at the beginning is completely unnecessary and looks bad. You’re writing the title to an online article; leave it out. I also have a problem with the word “send” as it doesn’t strike me as a sports-centric choice. Go with trade, always. In your actual article you can and should mix it up.

Hopefully you also noticed another problem with the title even in regards to basic grammar. Saying the Yankees sent a player to Los Angeles is not clear. First of all, you should stick with cities or team nicknames in the title, not switching between the two. When the city has two teams, like Los Angeles does, you’re better off going with the nickname to avoid any confusion. Plus, nicknames are more sports specific.

There’s a lot to learn about SEO. When I write about a certain subject I’m always mindful to use the big piece at least one other time in my story. WordPress offers plug-ins that can help you with this where you can specifically target search terms to direct people your way. There will always be new information on SEO so make sure you read up on it. Use keywords in your title and keep things as simple as possible. Read other successful news-related blogs for ideas on how to do this to the best of your ability.

My First Bleacher Report Article…Sort Of

I noticed on Innings Eaters I was getting a couple of hits from Bleacher Report, one of the most popular sports websites out there. Unfortunately there was no way of knowing exactly which article it was getting all of the hits, but I had an idea as one post I made about Jay Bruce as a possible replacement for Alex Gordon was climbing up the charts. Some research on their site and I determined this was indeed the case.

bleacher report story

I’ve noticed a few of my articles linked to other sites lately. Last week one was on the Baltimore Orioles’ page. This is a pretty big deal as the linking gave me a couple thousand views.

Overall it has been a big month for my Innings Eaters blog. Plenty of Google hits earlier in the month, links from other websites impress me even more as someone took the time to actually select my post. I’m not sure how or why it was chosen yet in doing so I’ve been able to have two consecutive days of over 8,000 views.

Hopefully this has landed me on the BR radar. More than anything, I have to pray there are no decision-makings working for Bleacher Report whom I teased in high school.

I’ll do a bit of research into how to get on their list a little more frequently as the exposure has done a lot of good for Innings Eaters this month.

Writing About Sports Writing

I haven’t written anything here at the Cleat Report for a few months. As it is the first domain I’ve ever owned I feel like a rotten father for neglecting it. Other than a small handful of readers, this site was never something I was very successful with. However, in a new year with a new approach, I hope to turn this site around and into something worth reading with a completely different focus.

My original intent with the Cleat Report was to write about baseball. It was that simple. Anything about the subject was game. The Yahoo Contributor program had shut down right when I was beginning to get better at writing and actually paid to do so. I had no other places I was writing exclusively about sports, baseball specifically, and wanted to be a part of something big.

It’s hard to imagine as recently as early 2013 I had never made a buck writing anything. Countless screenplays, a few books (okay I did make a few dollars off of those), and blogging regularly was hardly a paycheck worth bragging about. A dream of mine to become a writer was very out of reach for the longest time, but right now it does feel possible. And it is my journey as a writer I would like to share regularly on the Cleat Report going forward.

I’m a professional writer. I am because I say I am. It’s all you have to do in the art world; just say it. Although what I made in 2015 writing was also about a month’s salary, which suddenly makes me feel like I wasted a lot of my time, over the last month alone I’ve made tremendous strides and will get a huge total for December. My hope is on this site I can share my successes and strategies with other people hoping to become a full-time paid writer. My focus, of course, will be in the sports industry with a slant toward baseball.

I’ll leave up old posts of mine too and sometimes reference them. Looking back I see where I sometimes went wrong. I’ve been writing about sports consistently for over two years now in many different places. Hopefully from my mistakes you can advance further at a much quicker pace. Remember to stretch before you do. Nobody wants you pulling a hammy.

For the time being the Cleat Report lives and will be a site about writing. My own advice included regularly, I hope others are willing to share what they know too. I’m still in the process of moving along and whatever I can offer to others is fair game.

sports writer

How Kansas City Royals’ All-Star Outfielder Alex Gordon Gave Me $105

I’ve been especially neglectful writing at The Cleat Report and for good reason; I’ve been busy working on Innings Eaters lots. My time at Sportsblog has been fantastic and this week topped any other.

Thanks to Kansas City Royals’ outfielder Alex Gordon, I’m now $105 richer. Gordon, or at least his social media team, reposted an article I wrote for Innings Eaters on his Facebook Page. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking or something I even put significant time into writing. I was just reporting some Gordon news and his camp took notice.

alex gordon facebook

The All-Star outfielder has about 67,000 followers and approximately 4,000 clicked his link. Not only was each click contributing to my bank account, but also helping me move up the a Sportsblog Leaderboards from 16th on June 29th to 12th in 36 hours.

More importantly was my climb into number one on the MLB Leaderboards. Sportsblog has several different places where you can earn bonus leaderboard cash and I took home $55 from the main one for finishing in the dozenth place and another $250 from receiving the most unique visitors from the MLB blogs. This $305 total plus the nearly $80 I made through ads alone made June 2015 my most financially successful month writing as I earned about $385. With this money I can pay half my rent or afford to live in about half of my apartment. Who needs a kitchen anyway?

There’s a major difference between first and second place on the MLB Leaderboards which makes it more exciting. Second place earns $150 with third earning $100. They no longer award blogs further down the list though, which I was able to win some coin from previously in past months.

I had thought second place was inevitable until Gordon’s post launched me ahead in those final hours. I have him to thank for this extra $105, which I should probably spend on memorabilia of his.

RSS Feeds on The Cleat Report

To save time, I finally figured out how to add the RSS Feeds of two other sites I have been writing for onto the Widget section of this site. I had already secured Liberty Phanatics, a site about the Philadelphia Phillies, and now have Innings Eaters up there too.

I’m still unsure what type of writing I will do here as both of those sites have me pretty occupied. I’ll likely keep up with some Fantasy Baseball stuff and do plan to write more about my old little league teammates when I get around to it.

Baseball for Beginners: Moments Everyone Should Know – Bill Buckner’s Blunder

Not everyone is as big of a baseball fan as you or I. Believe it or not, many people are completely clueless about the game. I know, it seems silly that some of baseball’s classic moments would be foreign to them.

In an attempt to educate the rest of the world about baseball, I’m going to share some of baseball’s most memorable moments whether good, bad, or indifferent.

Today’s installment is Bill Buckner‘s Blunder. In 1986, the Boston Red Sox were one out away from winning the World Series for the first time in a really long time. I’m not even exaggerating. It was 1986, the same year Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out, and the team hadn’t won the World Series since Babe Ruth played for them.

Buckner’s Blunder came in Game 6 with the Red Sox leading the New York Mets in the series 3-2. Some wild pitches and a few fluky plays as part of a Mets’ comeback led to the infamous error.

Mookie Wilson stepped up to the plate and hit what should have been a routine out at first. Instead, history happened:

The end result of Buckner’s fielding mistake was the series continuing to Game 7. The Mets won the game and the series causing Buckner to become one of the biggest goats in baseball history. Only when the Red Sox finally won in 2004 was he forgiven…at least by some.

More Writing about Baseball, Less Everything Else

I’ve been spending a lot more time writing lately and neglecting everything else in my life. Well, not necessarily. Can you really neglect watching Netflix?

My blog Innings Eaters is still entertaining me plenty although I do get caught up too often wondering why after less than a month of writing there I’m not already a professional journalist whose job is exclusively writing about baseball.

When I’m not writing, I’ve spent a lot of time researching on SEO and other internet get-rich-quick schemes. In all of my searches, there doesn’t seem to be any distinct way of becoming an internet sensation unless everyone is making fun of you behind your back like these people:

I think selecting these videos also gives you a good idea of how out of touch I am with current events that do not involve a bat and a ball.

On days like today where I’ve spent the entire day writing on the many outlets that I do, I’m reminded of how awesome it would be if this was a full-time gig. Right now, it’s my social life and something I’m just trying to pursue further in my free time.

I have more projects coming up too with an editor gig in the works. I’ve been very neglectful to my fantasy baseball teams, although I wish I had been a little more and forgot to put Mat Latos in my starting lineup. He really screwed me over this week big time.

As I progress more with my writing, The Cleat Report is probably going to turn more into a personal blog for everything baseball-related/writing-centric going on in my life. I’m also going to post links like I have been to other things I’ve written elsewhere while occasionally delivering some original content here. Eventually, I’ll probably give up on trying to post at least one post per day here and behave like a normal human being. It’s unlikely though because I’ve never been that kind of person…normal.

Love Writing About Baseball? Join the Innings Eaters Team!

Do you enjoy baseball? Do you have a passion for writing? Do you want to join an awesome growing team where we smash your enjoyment and passion together?

Innings Eaters is looking for dedicated writers to join the starting rotation (get it?). We cover baseball news, deliver editorials, writer about fantasy baseball, and observe everything and anything having to do with the world of baseball.

If interested, please check out the site and email me at timboyle109@yahoo.com for more details on how to get started. Please include any relevant links to other works or a fresh writing sample in the body of the email.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

innings eaters

Baseball Twitter Account

I’m trying to be hip, cool, and popular so I have a Twitter account used mostly for baseball talk with occasional other sports references and such. It’s nothing amazing and a work in progress, but I encourage you to check me out on Twitter.

More than anything, I’m less than 3 hours away from not posting anything on The Cleat Report for the day and I can’t possibly live with myself if I miss a day.

I’ll be sure to have some more original content over the weekend when I actually have the time and energy. For now, keep checking me out over at Innings Eaters.