Tip No. 2: Find your angle.

Internet readers are notoriously prone to Attention Deficit Disorder. If you’re going to build a fanbase, then, you have to give people a reason to stick around—first and foremost by developing a hook that will grab your audience from the opening sentence through the final paragraph.

Although it’s impossible to establish a universal definition of “appealing” content, the most popular B/R articles generally exhibit three essential characteristics.

1. Insight

Quality sportswriting starts with quality sports analysis. An article can only be as appealing as the insights on which it’s based, which means the best writers are those who do the best thinking.

In composing articles for publication, B/R authors are expected to demonstrate cogent reasoning, devise compelling arguments, and draw intelligent conclusions. You don’t have to be Socrates to do your job the right way—but you should at least aim for something a little more thoughtful than, say, Jimmy the Greek. 

2. Originality

For all its merits, the blogosphere tends towards redundancy. A hot story hits the news wires at 9 AM, and by noon every laptop-wielding lay-about has weighed in with his own “unique” take...which more often than not amounts to a bland regurgitation of the prevailing conventional wisdom.

The best B/R writers, on the other hand, do their work on unexplored terrain.

Originality doesn’t necessarily mean writing about topics no one else is writing about; it can also mean providing a fresh perspective on an otherwise well-worn debate. If you can leave your readers with a sense of having learned something—a new truth, or a different way of thinking—you’ll have fulfilled your duties as a creative creator.

3. Passion

The world—and especially the World Wide Web—is full of stuffy and apathetic sportswriters. The fact that you’re writing for Bleacher Report proves that you’re different—and it’s your duty as a B/R writer to showcase that difference every time you publish. 

Passionate content is that which reflects the earnest emotions and fervent opinions of its author. You should never harangue your readers, but you’ll always do well to let those readers know how you feel. Every article you write for B/R will be inspired, at its root, by a singular and singularly-ardent motive. If you do your job the right way, that motive should resonate in every last word of the text.

Tip No. 3: Craft your headline. »