How to Build an Audience to Make Money With Sports

By DonShook

Even before the UFC 278 odds were released, some people already knew they were guaranteed to make money on the event. This isn’t necessarily from betting on the fights, but instead as sports content creators.

Sports have always been a big draw, right up there with news, entertainment, and politics. Gambling is legalized in more and more states across America and has surprisingly raised the demand for sports and sports betting news even higher.

Many people have turned to making their income solely by creating sports and sports betting content. This includes blogs/articles, video news/previews, and social media posts.

The best way to get hired by a sports content company is to already have an audience. A person can always work on their writing skills, their on-camera presence, and even their sports knowledge – but a candidate with a pre-established audience is a golden goose.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to build an audience, especially as the supply of sports content producers has an uneven ratio to the demand for these posts and videos. Here are some tips to help build up a loyal audience

1.  Be Good

Easily the best way to start getting more eyeballs on your content is to be good at it. If you can make a claim that you bet on UFC and went 8-2 the last pay-per-view that is going to have people sticking around for your future picks.

Being good at creating content also means being unique and interesting. We live in the ‘hot takes’ era now and professional broadcasters like Skip Bayless and Max Kellerman will take an opposite stance just to rile up the fans. These counterpoints can be exhausting at times, but it’s also boring if everybody has the same point of view. Remember that when writing blogs and doing commentary.

Being good at your content also means having some production value. You’ll be able to get repeat visitors to a website if it is pleasant to look at and user-friendly. The same goes with video posts, using a green screen and having graphics is better than a two-minute video filmed in a broom closet with a flip phone.

2.  Interact

Even if you’ve got high-quality, interesting content it’s still going to be hard for an audience to find you. This is why you have to go out and find them.

Social media interacting is a must in the sports content industry – and other businesses where you are essentially selling yourself. For example, comedians can be booked for a show, but it’s up to them to get people in their seats by doing local morning radio, flooding Twitter with dates and times, posting Tik Tok videos, etc.

The good news is that if you really love sports, getting out and interacting with fans is really just chatting about the games, events, players, etc. You could be on a message board discussing the latest UFC odds, then casually drop your website URL or YouTube page.

When you build up camaraderie and then try to get eyeballs on your stuff it looks less like selling or spam, and more genuine.

3.  Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot

You may set off on a quest to be the world’s most informed MMA expert or an NFL genius, but that’s not always how things end up. You might have 10 videos on pro football that get one or two likes each, but then write a WNBA blog that absolutely blows up because it’s more niche and there’s less supply.

Say you’re giving sports betting picks and you lose 10 straight games. That can be frustrating, but instead of lying about your record just own the fact that you are horrible. Label yourself “World’s Worst Gambler” and people will still consume your content, but so that they can bet the opposite way on games.

Those are just two examples of how you can still find success even if your original plan derails a bit. Finally, remember that it is going to take time to build that audience unless you get punched by a player or have a foul ball drop in your beer and go viral. So those could be goals too.