As an aspiring sports journalist, I wanted to create a project that combined my love of sports and writing, the craft I’ve dedicated years to develop. Several of the job postings I’ve looked at ask for candidates with WordPress experience. I decided a sports blog could combine my two passions and help me become familiar with WordPress.
To stand out from the millions of other sports blogs on the Internet, I knew I needed a niche that hardly anyone has touched but one that would still excite me. Immediately, I knew I needed to launch a women’s sports blog. I have been a women’s sports fan since I watched the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team compete in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In July 2011, I remember sitting in my family’s hotel room at Great Wolf Lodge, watching the U.S. play Japan in the finals. I begged my mom to let me stay in the room to keep watching while they enjoyed the waterpark, but she said no. I remember being so disappointed. Over a decade later, I still prefer watching women’s soccer and basketball over men’s.
I decided to write a series of feature articles about women from various roles in the sports world. I spent hours researching and reaching out to potential subjects, which was the hardest part. Mainly using Instagram and the media relations departments of teams, I contacted 20 women that were either athletes, coaches, broadcasters, or scouts for various sports, but I struggled getting responses back.
Because I wanted this project to be something I could proudly show employers, I knew the quality of the features was more important than the quantity, so I buckled down and wrote about the three women that responded while I waited to hear back and finalize interviews with the others.
I interviewed Joey Benson, a beach volleyball player at Boise State University, for my first feature. Her mom also joined the interview, so she served as my second source. I conducted this hour-long interview over Google Meet.
For my second feature, I chose Jamie Council, a woman kicker on a men’s indoor football team. I interviewed her over Google Meet, and then interviewed her head coach Brandon Tate over the phone for about 10 minutes. My interview with Jamie lasted approximately an hour.
For my final feature, I interviewed Cindy Brunson, the play-by-play caller for the Phoenix Mercury[KE1] , for about an hour on Google Meet. As a second source, I interviewed one of her Pac-12 Network color analyst partners Joan Bonvicini over the phone. This lasted approximately 10 minutes.
Using the information from the interviews and outside research, I wrote 1,000+ word articles. The longest feature is just over 2,000 words long. These were then posted on my blog. I built the blog using WordPress. The website took about 10 hours to learn and perfect. Besides getting people to respond to my interview requests, this was the hardest part of the project.
I’m hoping my career as a sports journalist will allow me to continue writing about women’s sports, but if not, I would love to continue this blog. Check it out below: