I get a lot of DMs on social media asking how I got here and for advice on getting there, too. So, I put together some FAQs to help you out! 😄
How did you get started in American Football writing and podcasting?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, something that’s been with me as far back as I can remember. Back when I was just starting in my marketing career, a part of me still yearned for journalism. Unlike many, I didn’t attend college or university; I had been working since I was 16. So, I decided to gain some experience by volunteering. I contributed to a women’s magazine and even wrote for an office secretary magazine. But journalism was placed on the back burner until 2014.
My NFL journey began in 2012 when I started watching American football. I worried that my social media followers, who knew me for my rugby league interests in Warrington, might get tired of hearing about the NFL. That’s when I had the idea to create the NFLGirlUK account around 2014, just before my first NFL game in London. It was a simple concept: I’m a girl talking about the NFL from the UK. The social media handle and domain were available, so I snagged them. I quickly started building a following, and while being a rare female voice in the sport played a part, my dedication to writing and my desire to unite this community of fans played an even bigger role in my journey.
Podcasting entered the picture in 2018 or 2019. By then, I had already been interviewing NFL players in a “Day in the Life of” article style. With podcasts gaining popularity, I decided to give it a shot. I taught myself to record and edit, leveraging my marketing background for planning and promotion.
I won’t sugarcoat it – reaching this point has demanded immense hard work and effort. There were moments when I contemplated throwing in the towel, but I’m grateful I didn’t. I take immense pride in what I’ve created and the opportunities it has opened up.
What skills are essential for success in American Football journalism and podcasting?
I’ll begin by acknowledging that I’m neither a full-time American football writer nor podcaster nor a journalist. My professional background lies in marketing, brand expertise, and copywriting, skills that have equipped me with the ability to craft compelling narratives. While I have friends in the field of journalism, I understand that it’s an incredibly competitive industry. The world of sports journalism is teeming with aspiring individuals, making it essential to truly excel to stand out and secure paid opportunities.
With that said, my advice is to initially pursue American football writing and commentary as a hobby. If you find genuine enjoyment in it and have accumulated a solid portfolio of work, then consider taking the leap into a professional career. Transform your passion into your livelihood! Here are some tips to help you embark on this journey:
- Learn and Enjoy: Keep watching games, reading about the sport, and soaking up all the knowledge you can. Enjoying what you do is the first step to success.
- Start Small: Start with small writing projects or recording practice podcasts for yourself. This will help you build your skills and confidence.
- Write Regularly: Whether it’s game summaries, player profiles, or your thoughts on the sport, start writing regularly. Even a blog or social media post can be a great start.
- Practice Podcasting: If you’re interested in podcasting, start recording, even if it’s just for practice. Share it with friends for feedback and improvement.
- Connect with Fans: Engage with other fans on social media, join forums, and attend games if possible. Building a network of fellow enthusiasts can be motivating.
- Learn the Tech: If you’re podcasting, get familiar with the recording and editing software. There are plenty of online resources to help you get started.
- Stay Curious: Keep asking questions and seeking answers. This curiosity will drive your learning and keep your content fresh.
- Be Patient: Success takes time. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t take off immediately. Keep at it, and your hard work will pay off.
- Seek Feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from peers or mentors. Constructive criticism can help you improve.
- Stay True to Your Style: While learning from others is great, remember to maintain your unique voice and style. That’s what will make you stand out.
- Stay Updated: Stay current with the latest news and sports trends. Being up-to-date is essential in sports journalism.
- Believe in Yourself: Believe in your abilities and the value you can bring to American football journalism and podcasting.
Remember, every successful sports journalist and podcaster started somewhere. It’s a journey, and your dedication and love for the sport will take you far. Keep pushing forward, and you’ll achieve your dream career. Best of luck! 🏈✨
Is there a course I can take to help me build my skillset?
I get asked this a lot, and so I launched two courses (that you can do in your own time) that will help guide you:
1. So you want to be a sportswriter…
This session will challenge you on your intentions/goals, guide you on getting started with a blog, choose how niche to go with your content, how to write an article, and how best to promote it. For more information, click here.
2. How to launch your podcast…
This course covers some key lessons in understanding why you want to do a podcast, the type of things you can confidently talk about, who your ideal listener is, and what value your content will bring to them. It will take you through the type of equipment you need and run through the basics of recording, editing, and uploading your podcast. Finally, it’ll guide you on how to keep content consistent, how to keep listeners engaged, and where to start marketing your podcast. For more information, click here.