Sports Writing 201 | Get published for the first time | Nikki Parsons | Skillshare

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Sports Writing 201 | Get published for the first time

teacher avatar Nikki Parsons, Digital Marketing Manager

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Project

    • 3. Starting off and working your way up

    • 4. Project Part 1 - Create a list of targets

    • 5. How to reach out to publications?

    • 6. Project Part 2 - Reach out to publications

    • 7. After being accepted as a contributor

    • 8. Conclusion & Next class

    • 9. Bonus interview: Chris Trapasso, NFL Draft writer at CBS Sports

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About This Class

If you love sports and are looking to get paid for your passion, this course is for you!

Nikki is an Editor and Senior Sports Writer at La Liga News UK and freelance sports writer for It's Round & It's White. She'll teach you about how to get published for the first time as a sports writer.

In this class you'll learn:

  • Why write for a small/medium publication?
  • How to reach out to publications?
    • You'll get an excel template for outreach
    • You'll get pre-made templates for email and social media outreach
  • What to do after being accepted as a contributor

This is the sixth course in the series on "How to become a sports writer".

The series is for people who are looking to get into sports writing, whether you are passionate about sports and want to get paid for your passion as a full-time career or as part of your freelance side hustle.

Before taking this course, you should have taken all the intro-level sports writing courses:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nikki Parsons

Digital Marketing Manager


A digital marketer living in Basel, learning about the latest trends in marketing and project management.

I learned on-the-go when launching my own mobile app startup in Barcelona, following that with a role in the healthcare industry working for GC Aesthetics as their Digital marketing manager and now I work at Bachem as the Director of Digital & Event Marketing.

I've come to love both the strategic and executional side of digital marketing, there are always opportunities to keep learning which gets me excited about the future possibilities!


What can you expect from this channel?

As I come from a startup/freelance background, I developed a habit of working to constantly upskill myself and my team, which is why in my ski... See full profile

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1. Introduction: in this section, we're going to be putting these new social media profiles to the test as we reach out the publications to get your first article published on an external bloke. It will first create a list of publisher targets, and then we'll begin reaching out to them so that by the end of this week you've become accepted as a contributor at a small publication. And this is the first step to getting your foot in the door so that later down the line, we can apply toe larger publications and ultimately get you paid for your writing. So this will be quite a short little skill share class just taking you through the steps so that you can write for a publication, and we'll talk about why you would even want to write for a small or a medium sized publication in the first place. We'll also talk about how to reach out to them. I'm gonna provides you with an Excel template that you can used in your outreach on Die have some pre made templates, both for email outreach on social media outreach, and then we'll talk about what to do after being accepted as a contributor because there are some things that you want to keep in mind. The prerequisites to taking this class are simply toe. Have a understanding of basic English spelling and grammar onto have taken all the 100 level sports writing classes in this skill share Siri's. So there are 500 level classes, and you want to have taken all of those before you move onto the 200 level courses. And this is Class two a one throughout this on all remaining final sections of the course. Please remember what we learned in the last section on social media. It's really important to keep having fresh content on your social media pages while we do this outreach so that you look relevant and responsive. So last but not least whom I will. My name is Nicky Parsons. I'm a freelance sports writer based in Barcelona, and I'll be your instructor for this course on the whole school share. Siri's all about how to become a sports writer, but this course is sports writing to a one how to get published for the first time. So my background in sports I'm a pundit on the local TV chat show here in Barcelona the week in football where we talk about our local teams, which means Barcelona, Gerona on Espanol. I also participate on the 19 in football vlogs on YouTube. We have over 70,000 subscribers. I'm basically we do little flogs from inside the stadium s so you get a fan's point of view off the match, which is really fun. And, of course, any excuse to go to camp no is definitely up my street. But of course I have a very strong background in sports writing. I'm the editor and senior sports writer at Lonegan News UK. I also contribute, as a freelance writes it to its round, and it's whites and other sports things. On top of this is I have a mobile app here in Barcelona, where we help people find a bar to watch football. I'm really excited to see which publications you get accepted to contribute to 2. Your Project: your project in this class is simply to share with the rest of us which publication you got accepted to write for. So you want to add in your gallery the publication name and you are well and also reflect a little bit on how the process waas So how was your experience reaching out publications? How did you feel? How many publications did you reach out to before getting on acceptance? 3. Starting off and working your way up: before you can even contemplate getting a paid role, you need to get some more experience under your belt. We've already written our first match reports and feature pieces, but you need to get even more experience so you can do that by either practicing more writing on your personal log or by writing for small publication, most likely in an unpaid role. And I really recommend the ladder because it can give you some invaluable experience that you'll use later down the line. The benefits of writing to a smaller publication are one. You'll learn how to work with a team, whether you're interacting with other writers from that publication or learning from that publication's editor. Working with the team helps you improve your communication skills. A self skill highly valued in any workplace. Two. You'll learn discipline when writing for a small publication. They might ask you to submit a minimum number of articles per week or to follow a specific team. Make sure to keep up with your commitments and turn yourself into a valuable member of that team. If you can keep up with the requirements of a small publication, one that you've chosen to write for without any monetary compensation. You've saved yourself a lot of time because this career path probably isn't for you three. You can network with other writers. As we heard in the last Sections interview with Jerry Johnston. In this industry, networking is everything that's my social media is so valuable to us as journalists. Writing for a small publication has the same effect because now you can network with your fellow writers and you have contacts in the world of sports. If your fellow writers here about an opportunity, they'll happily share it with you. For example, in my case, when I was just a few months into writing for the even use UK, one of my fellow writers posted in our team, what's up group? That there was an opportunity with 90 men found voice. And so he introduced me to that contact so that ultimately I was able to get free. Barsa tickets be featured on the 90 men YouTube page on well opened up a whole new realm of contacts for me. Number four, you'll improve your brand image. No longer are you a one man or one woman show the optics look great for your Brent. Now you have experienced that you can put on your CV your linked in or your Twitter bio. You're no longer an aspiring writer. Now you really are sports writer, and this will open the doors to you being able to write for a larger publication in the future as we know how valuable it can be to get a writing position of one of these small publications. How can we actually find which small publications air hiring? Well, most small publications are actively looking for more contributors, and many of them also have a dedicated landing page to attract new writers to their site. Try Googling right for us, plus whatever sport you want to say, you'll find a ton of these small publications pop up in your search results. You can also try searching or posting on Twitter that you are looking for open opportunities. Many of these small publications attract writers with claims of exposure, But don't use that as your main reason for contributing. You're unlikely to get much if any exposure from these small sites that don't have a big following. Your goals at this stage are the practice. Your writing, improve your grammar and yourself Skills network and get a reference for the next step because they're unlikely to become a writer for a global newspaper overnight, you just need more experience. 4. Project Part 1 - Create a list of targets: for this activity, Please download the excel it's attached in. The resource is of the activity will be filling in and researching information in this Excel during this activity. And just in case you don't have access to Microsoft Excel, I'll also include a link to a Google sheep. So in order to complete our list of targets, I'll ask you to fill in this Excel or google dot whoever you choose to use it. But essentially, I want you to try and find at least 20 companies, 20 publications within your niche, aiming for small publications. If you find a Monica if it's football or something like that, you know that's already probably a little bit out of your league at this stage, so I would aim for small or midsized publications. Essentially, I want you to find 20 so that at the end of this section, we can prioritize them and say, Okay, these are the top top five, and the may be the top five through 10 that you could apply to, and these are probably the ones have linked in company pages that are actually hiring up things that can make you look good and make you improve your writing. So I walk you through an example of putting a publication Onda putting a contact into here . And if you ever forget what one of these are later on, you can always come down here to the reed. May on. There are just some examples of of what those mean. Okay, so you see the column and how How about is to find All right, let's walk through an example with that again, use UK. Obviously, you know the editor of this publication's It's Pretty Easy breast. So Lady Gaga News UK is the name of the publication. The niche it's in is La Liga. You might have a niche like a cricket, or you might have the championship in the UK, the second division. It was kind of stuff the website is really gonna use. Don't go to UK. It's got a little bit bigger, but I handle is a leader News English company. Lengthen Page. Yes, it should have a LinkedIn page, so we have a company linked in page. You can like the five year sports writer here to publication, and so we have a little bit stuff going on. It's great. So I will copy the URL, and I will put it in here. Sources How do we find out about this publication? It could be a friends recommendation. You could have found it through Google. You could have found it through Twitter, all kinds of things. So when I originally found out about this publication, it was through Twitter hiring writers? Yes. At the moment, they're hiring writers. Paid role, not paid. Role apply via In their case, if I go to the lady good news website, there's actually dedicated landing page for writers, which most publications have Andi. It outlines the process of five trial posts. So we're actually very picky about who we accept on you Basically send those trial posts to me, and then I will edit and approved so edit via, in this case, email. Then we scroll across here and now I want you to put the contact. If you can find a contact at that company, that is ideal. Hopefully you can get in that way to the contact, at least in La Liga News UK, as you can see, is Nicky at living in is OK. So in my case, I'm Nicky Parsons. Um an editor. You have my email and then basically, you want a research about this person. How would you really know that I'm an editor? You would search by the company, and then you can actually see who are employees at that company. That's most likely how you would find me. Or you might go to Twitter and type in La Liga Knees UK and see what is there to see if there's any links to me in any of the articles, this kind of thing. So in my case, my Twitter handle. Similarly, let's find my LinkedIn. So let's go to all employees and lengthen. All right, there's Nicky Parsons and then you have my girl there. So if you're not connected, the person it's great to reach out and connect. And then these last three contact medium day of initial our region Date of follow up. Don't worry about for now, they are in the next activity. When we begin our outreach, we will take a note of how did we reach out to this publication? So was it actually via email that we apply in this case? It should be, but maybe we have to apply through a website for more. Maybe we did a direct message on Twitter date of initial average that that's gonna be the date when we actually send them our application on the date of follow up, in case they don't respond right away. A week later, we will follow up, and we just kind of keep a record of the states. So for now, in this activity, keep these last columns of P Cuban are blank, but keep them there, they will be used in the next section. So basically, the idea is that you continue to go through filling these 20 and then once you have all 20 rows, you can actually analyze it. And you can say, OK, this company doesn't have a LinkedIn because you haven't put anything in this in this column, so they're probably gonna removed to the lower of the priorities. But this company has linked in hiring writers and maybe they're even paying Well, okay, then they're probably gonna be my my top choice, right? So that's the goal of this activity. So do your research on then. Once you have the 20 think critically on, actually prioritize them. And if you need any help with prioritizing your targets. If you're not sure which one will be a better target or better toe, learn from then feel free to reach out, and I'll be happy to help you in to give you my advice. 5. How to reach out to publications?: great. Now we have a list of publisher targets. How can we take that next step and actually reach out to these publications to become a contributor? Well, many of these small publications have a landing page on their website designed to attract writers, which outlines the process for them. It might be through submitting a form when their website, it might be through emailing one of their contacts. A sample of your writing, all those more publications air almost constantly searching for new talent. Even the smallest of publications might ask you to submit a sample article, but these are actually the best targets for you because they're going to be the publications that give you feedback on your articles and help you improve. Remember, we're writing for the small publications to improve our grammar. Are soft skills gain a network and a digital reputation, so you're actually also choosing them. You're choosing a publication that's going to help you achieve your goals. If there's no scent contact process lined up on their website, weaken simply reach out through the generic info at email address, and if they don't have any email listed on their website, we can try and reach out to some of their writers or editors through Twitter and Lincoln. And as I know, reaching out to people you don't know on Twitter linked in and email can sometimes seem a little bit daunting. We have some standard pre made templates that you can use when reaching out to contacts at these small publications. So in some of these resource is, for example, we have one document, which is just email outreach templates. So, for example, this 1st 1 here, this is to be used if you're uncertain how to apply or if they're even hiring. So I would say something like the subject of becoming a contributor to the name of the site . Make sure it's personal because it will call their attention more and just have a very short email with high. So and so I'm reaching out as a fun of your website. Nana Nana on, I'd love to become a contributor. Are you recruiting new writers of the moment? Thanks a lot, and then my name Nicky. And the purpose of this is that it's just very short, sweet and to the point, because we don't want to be like, Oh please, tell us how you apply and everything because they might not even be the right person's. So first, let's just see if they even respond to this message. And so, if you scroll down, you have some other examples. Like if you're uncertain how to apply, where if they're hiring or if they're even the correct contact, Maybe you know they're a writer, but you're not sure if there an editor, so they're probably not the best person to get in touch with. For one. If you know they're looking for more writers, you can be a bit more concrete. So you could say hi So and so I saw that your site XXX was looking for new contributors. I'd love to become involved. Please see attached to link to my medium blogger. Have some example, much reports and feature articles. I'm happy to provide you with a trial article on a subject of your choice as well. Just let me know. Thanks a lot. I was quite like ending the e mails a bit informally with this. Thanks a lot, because I know if you're applying toe a big job or a big publication, yes, you need be bit Mawr, dear So and so and sincerely or best regards. But they just more publications, either in formal, you want to speak the language. They're speaking. Andi. I think it's just nice to be a bit more informal at this stage. I think that this is more effective then being too for more, because then sometimes it seems already that you're not a good fit culturally, maybe for the publication. Have another example here if you know they're looking for more writers, but you don't know if this is the recollect contact person on. Finally, I also have a little follow up message here, so if they don't respond to your first message within a week, you can go ahead and include. This is your follow up. There are also some templates for Twitter and lengthen outreach. These templates are very similar, but they're slightly shorter, so they work for social media outreach when connecting to people you don't know. On Lincoln, there is a character limit to this first message, also on Twitter. Not everyone has their direct messages open, so you might need to paying them first publicly, and then once you condemn them, then you follow up I recommend looking through the email on social media outreach templates and customizing them. However, you feel comfortable because we'll be using these templates in the next lesson to reach out to our publisher targets. 6. Project Part 2 - Reach out to publications: Okay, we have our list of initial targets on our email templates. Ready to go. Now it's time to bite the bullet and start sending out messages or completing contact forms when applying or messaging a contact. Make sure to note the date you're reaching out and how you reached out. Was it through email? Was Twitter or Lincoln? I would recommend staggering your messages. You don't want all 22 message back to join, and then you've taken on too much, and you actually have to say, Oh, never mind to a few of them. So today contact only your 1st 5 companies, and these are the five in your priority. So they have linked in profiles, and they're really gonna do something to help your Brian this well here. Wait around a week, and if you still haven't heard a response, then send a follow up message. And remember, you have a follow up message prepared in the email templates. Remember to be patient when sending follow up messages. If you send messages to close together, you can risk coming off his unprofessional and kind of annoying respect. People's time and the fact that most writers for small blog's don't work on them full time . I mean, neither will you if you get accepted. If you do get an acceptance from one of these publications, that's great. In the next lesson, we'll talk about the next steps to becoming a contributor. But if you don't have a response a few days after sending your follow up message, don't panic. It's just time to reach out to the next five companies on your priority target list. You might find that a company take several weeks to respond to your initial application request, but in this case, they're really not the best target, as they're not monitoring the site very often on day probably don't have the time to give you personalized feedback on your articles. Hopefully, you'll have been accepted into another role by then, anyway, so in this case, just politely declined their offer and say, unfortunately, have accepted another role. But do follow up with them and always be respectful and polite. So be patient with this process of outrage. You have 20 targets on your target list from very confident that at least one of these small publications is gonna get back to you and ask you to be a contributor 7. After being accepted as a contributor: once the company gets back to you and ask you to submit an article for the site. This is when the real work begins. Work with the publisher to understand how they're article submission process works. It's different for each site. They might ask you to submit directly on their content management system like a WordPress, or they might ask you to simply email them the articles you write. It's important not to overwhelm these smaller publications with contributions. In the beginning, I know you're excited to be submitting content, but try to send only one article at a time, wait until it is published before sending another one. So why do I recommend this? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to write a lot in the beginning and grow your portfolio even faster? Well, actually, in my experience, it's better to pace yourself. I've seen a lot of writers come and go on in particular in the 1st 2 weeks is when I see the most attrition. Many writers come in with a lot of enthusiasm, and they submit a ton of articles in these 1st 5 days, but by the end of two weeks, they're nowhere to be seen, and they've stopped contributing at all. This might be because the editors air overwhelmed with content so they can edit and publish articles in a timely manner. Also, if we receive a lot of submissions from just one writer very difficult to dedicate the time to provide feedback on each and every article. If at the end of the day, it's only gonna help one writer in proof, so many writers don't feel that they are improving fast enough because they're not receiving enough feedback on each and every article. Another reason that writers sometimes lose interest is simply because it takes patience and hard work to move up. In the world of sports writing, it's very time consuming in order to gain a following. It really does take patience and hard work. And well, after two weeks, many writers realize they don't have this patients or maybe this work ethic. And lastly, another reason might be. If you're submitting a lot of content, maybe you've not looked closely enough at the requirements of this publication, For example, I've had people submitting 10 articles, but no one of them met the word count limit. So once I look at them. I have to send them all back to the writer for more copy, and that's discouraging to both sides. Also, if you're submitting multiple articles per day, the editors might expect that moving forward. That's not really reasonable, considering right now you might have another full time job. And in the future, if you don't have a full time job in writing, you'll probably at least have some freelance writing gigs on the side. And that will be a lot to juggle. If you've committed so much of your time to writing for this small publication now, which actually isn't going to bring you monetary value in this moment, it's mainly building you up for that stage. So don't commit too much of your time right now, or you won't have time. When you have these paid writing offers coming through, organize yourself toe only offer a maximum of around 1 to 2 hours per week that will give your time to practice, but also timeto work on other passions. Lastly, when you were accepted as a member of the writing team, make sure to update your linked in with a new role in your experience and also add a link to this publication in your Twitter bio. So congrats on the new role. Your branding as a sports writer is really coming together. 8. Conclusion & Next class: you're finally on your way to earning money for sports writing. Your digital profile shows you as a professional brand, and you're already writing for a small publication in the next section. We're going to step back to look at writing again. We know how to write match reports and features, but there's one thing missing in our arsenal, and that's how to conduct interviews and right and engaging interview piece. The work we've done in the past sections on social media was critical to get here because you'll be reaching out, particularly on Twitter, to get interviews. People will be more inclined to give you an interview if you seem legitimate and you can even ask the small publication you're writing for. If anyone has any contacts you can reach out to these days, you're probably spending a lot more of your time on sports writing as at least 10 minutes a day you'll be dedicating to social media and 1 to 2 hours per week you're riding for either your personal blawg or the small publication. Keep with it and stay focused. This hard work is gonna pay off by the end of the school share Siri's so I hope to see you for a next skill share class in the series, which is gonna be 202 And that's how to write a compelling interview piece that will go live in four weeks time on Tuesday, June 11th on my plan is to continue publishing more and more courses in this series, probably now with once a month frequency. So if you want to stay abreast of that, please feel free to follow my skill share profile, and then it will notify you off any courses that I release on. The last thing I want to say is just thank you very much for taking this course. I really appreciate anyone who follows comments, engages reaching out to me and social media. It's really, really nice to be part of this community together with you guys. So thank you so much for for taking this course. I really appreciate it 9. Bonus interview: Chris Trapasso, NFL Draft writer at CBS Sports: All right. Thanks so much for joining us, Chris. Hey, thanks for having me, Nikki. No ways. If you could just tell us a little bit about you, who you are and what you do for a living. I am Christopher eso. I'm seeing sports NFL draft analysts. Um, I'm part of kind of a new niche in the NFL writing industry that focuses on the NFL draft year round. I mean, as, ah, probably 3 to 5 years ago, this was really not a position that existed or maybe a few websites and publications had a dedicated draft writer. But just with how big the NFL draft has gotten and that it's really mawr than just, you know, the three days in late April and early May that the draft actually exists. People want draft stuff during the college football season. You know, during college football in the NFL, and then all the way through January, leading up to the draft in the spring. So and that was kind of a slower time for me. But I'm really evaluating and writing about college football players that are making that jump from college football to the NFL year round. Okay, And could you just tell us a little bit about your career path? How you got started? They've got where you are today. Sure, Yeah. Um, I want to Valparaiso University, which is in Indiana. It's actually pretty close to Chicago. Um, I was a sports management major there, but about halfway through my college career, I knew that I wanted to do something in writing. More so than on the management side of sports. So have a minor in communications or concentration in communications. Took a lot of sports writing classes, public relations classes, professional writing. I knew that I wanted to do something in writing. During college, I started writing for bleacher report when that site really was at its inception. Almost. I think it was less than a year old when I started writing for them, Grow for them for free for a while, then got paid a little bit, Um, some freelance writing, part time writing, Um, and then after the at, um, was a full time writer for them for a few years, and as I was doing that, they always give me the freedom toe. You know, any other freelance or contract jobs? I could get. I was doing that and I'm from Western New York. I'm near Buffalo, New York So I was always writing about the bills on the side. Um, written for fox sports dot com before they kind of went full video freelance for CBS on And then for a few years I actually kind of shifted gears because I wanted to just be as well rounded as possible. I was actually a home page editor for NFL dot com. So writing captions, picking pictures for the front page of NFL dot com. And then after that, I got this job in 2017 as like I said, kind of a new position at CBS Sports, where they realize, Hey, we need someone covering the draft 3 65 So that's what I've been doing. That's kind of my kind of a short version of my career path or I've gotten to today. And why did you do that Change in the middle with the with the NFL position homepage editor it was I mean, part of it was by necessity because bleacher report let me go after three years and I was still writing on this side. Um, I wasn't sure when I got offer when I applied and then offered or was offered the job at NFL dot com. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to take it at first, because it wasn't in the writing field outside of captions and some blurbs, I was not really writing a lot. But I figured, you know, NFL that come to have it on my resume was good and just to get those extra skills and say, Hey, I've I've edited Now I know everything that goes in on the back and of a website and a major website, obviously in the NFL field. So I was still, you know, staying up with the news with the NFL. So I thought it was close enough toe what, exactly what I wanted to do when I was really grateful have that job. I learned a lot. So if anything down the road, you know, comes up, I could say, Hey, I have not just solely been a writer. I've done some other things on the Internet and it was always American football with, like, your passion, or that's why you wanted to go that direction. Did you have any experience any other types of Yeah. I mean, American football has always been my passion just being for Buffalo. It's a pretty rabid fan base for the bill. I grew up as the bill's friend. My dad's like the biggest Bills fan in the world. I'm sure a lot of people in this area say that, but my dad's really up there, so that's that's always been. My passion is my whole family is kind of nuts about the Bills, but actually a bleacher report when I first was getting, you know, started in my career at the outset of it, um, they had me writing everything n. B A. I even wrote a few Kentucky Derby articles that had to put a lot of research into those. So that was good for me that I was kind of broadening. My knowledge, had to do a lot of extra research on some of those other sports leagues kind of big hockey fan. But you know, basketball here and there, baseball here and there. But when I was a staff writer for bleacher report, it was good for me to get that foundation of not just having football but saying Hey, I've written about basketball. I've written about soccer. I've written about even horse racing. So that's really beyond that, though. Everything else that I've done has been football centric, NFL or college football. And maybe it's it's good that you have this this broad base, and in order to know what kind of differences would you say that you Maybe now that you have old experience with writing by American football, that you say, Oh, this is something that only happens to like American football writers is there? Is there really differences like that? Or is it very much similar problems? Similar issues? Some mornings? That's a really good question. I would say I mean again. It was really only the beginning of my career that I was doing like other sports, so I can't really. And that was almost 10 years ago now. So I can't really speak toe any changes or problems, Um, that basketball writers they have today or soccer writers, um, or football, I should say. But I will say that it seemed to be over the past 3 to 5 years, maybe even a little longer than that. That being a sports writer there certainly different niches that that, you know, you could be a traditional writer where you're, you know, following a team. You're more of a reporter. But so much of what fans want today. They want analysis. They want the analytical side that it's kind of shifted, even based on what I was learning in college in the mid two thousands, um, that the ship was happening then. Two. And part of it is the Internet and how much access we have that that act in the day. It was a sport traders job as a journalist to tell fans what they missed because they probably didn't see the game. They were going to read it in the paper the next morning or they didn't have it on TV in their market. But now you can watch a game anywhere across the globe from streaming services from a lot of different broadcasts, so fans don't need to know game recap. Necessarily, it's more. We all watch the game. You're the expert. Tell me what you think about this player or this culture, this team so early on, a lot of what I was doing was interviewing and doing more recaps. And today or And when I say today, I mean, recently it's been a lot more analytical side, just that whole push for more advanced statistics. And I think that's across football, soccer, basketball, every sport. The fans are smarter today, and and they want Mawr than just, you know, uh, politically correct quote from a coach after a win or a lot. They want more than that. So it's been challenging, but it's been fun to kind of dive into the draft to salary cap, toe every aspect, um, trades. Everything like that has been really fun, certainly challenging, but certainly a lot of fun. And speaking of this analytics, then because I saw also that you used to I don't if he still did this, but you write on Advanced Stacked column for the Thursday Night Football game as well. So I really like this idea of statistics. What water is your best source of statistics for American football articles, probably pro football focus, which, ironically, was started by some guys across the pond from us, and they've just done such a good job grading and every single player on every single play in the NFL. They've actually branched out to college now, too, which has helped me as a draft writer. Um, I don't still do that article. That's when I was freelancing for CBS in 2015 and 2016. But that was I mean, a pretty big article for me that I had to spend didn't take that long to technically, right it. But the research at just using pro football focus. There's another site called football Outsiders come where you're looking at more than just passing yards and touchdowns and interceptions. Those guys go really deep and just I mean, I think they employ each over 100 people each. Uh, So they've done a great job providing people like myself in the media, and fans can purchase some of their subscriptions to. I'm just what the fans want, what the media wants today. Don't just show me passing yards and touchdowns. Show me passing yards. On third down, she'll be passing yards in the red zone against which defense's they've really gone deep and had become. Both of those sites have become great sources for analytics. Awesome. Great big because I don't know those one, so that's very useful. Um, also maybe more about your current job as a draft writer. Maybe if you could get us a little bit of insight into how a daily a normal day would be how your workflow is from idea to publication and I'll be useful. Yeah, I mean, although what I'm doing is year round, obviously during football season, starting in like September on, then what's kind of called draft season after the season, all the way leading into the draft from January to April. Those are my busiest times because that's when people are really hungry for draft articles almost every day. Eso I'm usually only doing one, maybe two articles a day, but kind of like I alluded to before a lot of research and film study go into those articles. Um, and I would say about half is editor assigned. They are really good here at CBS. Letting me pitch them articles are ideas that I have, um, during the season, though in September and through December and maybe into January. It's a pretty routine schedule where I just update my player rankings early in the week. I do a mock draft every week, which is, you know, those are super popular today, um and ah lot of it really is watching college football games, taking notes on specific players. And I know our juniors or seniors, Um, and just giving my assessments of them and being able to, um, right about a player, skills, strengths and weaknesses without being redundant updating throughout the season. That's kind of where I've gone as a writer, that it's very technical, but I don't want to sound robotic. I want to still sound like I'm a person behind the computer typing, which can be difficult at times, especially when you're writing about the same quarterback over and over again, describing similar plays similar strengths and weaknesses. So that's kind of where I am during the season and during draft season with the NFL combine in February. I go to that. I was at the draft last year in Dallas, some interviews here and there, But a lot of what I'm doing is really just letting a reader know, Hey, this is who Christa Paso really likes. Here's who he thinks is going to get drafted too early. Kind of stuff like that. Morva. Evaluating these players when they go from college to the NFL and do you often just crank out the articles and a quick schedule? Or is that more during this crunch time that you say or or do you sometimes take a week, two weeks to write a particularly in depth article? How does it work with them? For the for the most part, it's, uh, probably by Wednesday or Thursday of one week, our editors will come out with kind of what they call a budget for all the writers for the next week. And there's ah, guy that I talked to every day. RJ way. He's a great editor for CBS. He's kind of my day to day guy, and we'll go over like I said, he'll give me some ideas. I'll give him some ideas, Um, and then by ones there Thursday, he'll say, Hey, Chris, here's what we want from you Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I could start. Maybe if, you know, Thursday's article is gonna take me longer, and I know that I can start a little bit earlier. Um, but for the most part, it's like film study happens on the weekend, almost during the games, after the games, whenever I can during the week, but in terms of deadlines. It's really day by day this period, though from may Say Middle of May until September, when things are a little slower. That's when I've been getting into some projects, some or research based articles that that can be. Hey, it's Thursday. Get this to us by Tuesday of next week or something like that. Certainly a lot more research and film study go into that. But that's kind of the split in terms of the calendar between football season and offseason on. When you're writing your articles and you doing this research, do you already start taking into account like S e. O? Or is that something that the editor ice You haven't SDO editor And they would take a look at it. Or is that something that you really try and do from the beginning? Yeah, that's really good question. It kind of goes from when I'm pitching an idea to my editor or he's telling me an idea were kind of going off a player that's in the news at the time, sometimes, not every time. It doesn't have to be that. But if I'm writing an article about quarterbacks, um, you know, after say Kyla Murray wins the Heisman, we might know that we're gonna put Kyla Murray in the headline. But for the most part, the editors will tweak, um, my headlines. That's not really specifically my job being a headline writer, and they're really good with the S E O. They try not to over saturate it with, like, five players names in the headlines. But that certainly is still something that, even for back in my days in college, that was a big thing. That S CEO is still very important. Um, switching topics. Then just before um, we come to a close here is I wanted to say, like, you have a significant following on social media that could have over 15,000 followers on Twitter. How does that play a role in in what you do is a sports writer and its gigantic I mean, it's It's almost like another job that I can see why, why some tea or by every team you know has social media managers. You know that there's almost a department for every single team Now it's not just one person running social media and for is as big of a site as CBS sports dot com is, you know, it's pretty well known name I always feel, and my others have kind of told me this, um that I need to promote myself. My articles, you know, engage with people on Twitter, instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. There's so many out there even linked in to a certain degree. So it's almost like a side job that is connected to my job, where you write a headline. You know where your articles about and I can take sometimes 5 10 maybe even 15 minutes trying to think of a perfect tease for an article to go up on Twitter. And I've seen times where I haven't had the time to do it, and I just throw it up. Doesn't do as well traffic wise, um, and then the times that I have put more time and effort into it, that it's done better. So it's not just promoting, but really what I've seen, How my following has grown is when you're just interacting, when when when people are replying to you that you don't just blow everyone off, you don't. You're not spending time getting in fights with them, but you're talking back and forth with them about the thought processes that went into your article. While you disagree with this person, why you think that person brought up a good point that social media is such a huge part of this job, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. And did you always take it so seriously or is it really just in the last, like, two years or were you always consistent, like from the beginning out of university, doing stuff on social media? Well, it's funny. Um, I was in college when I signed up for Twitter, and it was actually in a professional writing class, Um, that they had a guest come in and say, Hey, you guys should sign up for this, uh, site called Twitter. He was like a social media expert like set, which is weird to think of. When Facebook was a few years old, Twitter had just started. Um, Instagram was definitely not a thing yet, and I remember, like for the first a couple months, maybe up to a year when I was writing, Um, but a lot of my like initial tweets were just like random college things like saying I was going out for a beer. But then, with Twitter, I realized, like, Wow, like all my favorite athletes are on Twitter and they're tweeting what they're doing. And then I realized the promotional side of it, and I was seeing other writers use it as that tool or that vehicle to get, you know, more eyes on there articles. So really relatively early on, I think I signed up in 2000 and eight. Um, I realized that it was more than just telling people what you were doing or where you were that that there was, you know, some power behind this to have a platform and do not just rely on the website to drive your traffic, but that you could kind of help control that as well. Also, Then I would just say, like as the last last question, what would be like your top advice for a budding sports journalist? Um, I have to two parts of this one definitely chase whatever you're passionate about, whether that be football American football, Um, you know, whatever sport it is, I mean, don't be afraid or unwilling to cover other sports, but certainly don't shy away from telling an editor or someone you're emailing. Hey, I know a lot about football. I want to write about football. I think that's really important, and some people get too worried or that they think they can't follow exactly what they want to do. And secondly, this might sound a little weird, but I think that at some point in your career, you need to be thinking to yourself, How am I doing this? How am I handling going to class, working on the side and then writing my articles at 11 o'clock at night? I've had a few instances where I've had multiple jobs. I actually went back to my high school after I graduated from college because I wasn't making a lot of money at Bleacher Report and I was a study hall aid. Like I sat there and while the kids were doing their homework in class, um, you know, knife, period, the end of the day, and I had to just, like watch over them to make sure nothing was happening bad. But I had a computer, so I was like writing as I was doing that, and I go back and think to myself, How was I watching these crazy high school kids and writing at the same time. I think it's important toe realize that you're not going to get that dream job immediately . But in pursuit of it, you might have to do some other things and then to look back and say, Wow, I was, you know, working at a bar. And then I was waking up in the morning and I was writing my articles when I was pretty tired or I was hungover Whenever. I think it's really important to realize that you might have to juggle you know, your passion and what you need to get by, um, for a certain period of time. Awesome. Well, on that note, thank you very, very much. I will include your Twitter handle in case anyone has a question. Maybe they condemn your sentiment up there. But thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Bye.