This is a guest contribution by Kevin McClelland of The Sports Geek . If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
So you want to start a sports picks website?
The first thing you want to do is separate yourself from the countless fly by night websites that offer sports picks and over promise, under deliver, and don’t stick in the business long.
If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you are looking to create an actual business (even if it’s just for a small side income) that has the possibility of being around for more than a year or two.
I’ll teach you what I’ve learnt over the last 8 years about running a legitimate sports picks website, that continues to grow year after year and brings back thousands of regular visitors on a daily basis.
First a little bit of a background about me and my website.
My name is Kevin and I run a sports picks website called The Sports Geek. The website started in 2008 when I was running a few online poker resource websites, and wanted to dabble in sports betting – which was a big passion of mine along with poker.
It took a couple of years before I started to really focus my time and efforts on The Sports Geek, but once I did the website grew at a pretty quick pace. Fast forward to today, and my website now has thousands of regular visitors daily, I’ve got a large email list that I can get in touch with in a matter of minutes, and I continue to make a passive income month after month.
While my sports picks website is a small success story, there are countless of people just like me who have tried to run similar websites, only to get nowhere and quit within a few years. I want to help you make sure that you are one of the success stories.
Here are 5 tips for building a reputable sports picks website:
1 – Offer Free Picks
I won’t get into the discussion of charging money for sports picks or advice today, but whatever business model you decide on I think it’s very important to provide free picks. Providing free content will benefit you in a few ways.
The free picks you are posting on your website as blog posts or articles will be indexed by Google and have the chance at ranking and getting free search engine traffic for whatever term you’re writing about. For example, if you write an article titled “Seahawks vs Panthers Week 2 Betting Pick” you may get people searching for that term on Google landing on your website. The search engines also love websites that post content on a regular basis, so by offering content not behind a pay-wall you will be helping out your SEO efforts in that sense as well.
You will also build up a following of people who are simply casual bettors looking for free advice. Although they aren’t a paying customer yet, if they continue to visit your website they may click on one of your affiliate links or banner, or become a customer of any paid services you offer in the future.
2 – Never Guarantee Results
I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this article you realize there are no “sure things” in sports betting. No matter how confident you are in a certain pick, you may be wrong. Avoid using terminology such as “Lock of the Week” or “Guaranteed Winner” when talking about your picks. When you are wrong with those picks you will probably lose a few visitors for life.
You can get a similar point over simply stating something like “This is my favorite pick of the week” and if you’re wrong you most likely won’t lose future visitors.
3 – Be Transparent
This ties in with the previous point – always be transparent with your picks and past results. Sure talk about your winners and how you’re on a 5 day winning streak, but also be sure to mention your losses as well. No one likes talking about losing, but you will gain a lot more trust with your visitors.
The people following your picks last night know that you went 0 for 3, so instead of forgetting to mention that the next day try starting your article off with a little recap of how you went 0 for 3, what went wrong, and how you’re going to try and correct that mistake with tonight’s picks.
Again, we’re looking to build a long term business here and if you aren’t transparent you are never going to build up a good following.
4 – Put a Face To a Name
I’m a big believer in this one, but a lot of people don’t seem to be doing this for whatever reason. Put a face to your name so people know who they are listening to, even if it’s just for written articles.
This can be as simple as including a headshot type picture of yourself at the bottom of your articles along with your author byline, or even just a picture of yourself on your “About Me” page on your website.
If you want to take it a step further – get in front of a video camera for some website content. This way people will really feel a connection with you and the next time they are reading your email newsletter or picks article they will be able to picture whose content they are reading.
I’m not the best on camera, but since starting my Sports Betting YouTube Channel I’ve noticed more longevity from my email subscribers and more repeat website visitors. When people feel like they know you they will often like you more, and with that comes building up a following.
5 – Be Consistent
Publish articles or content on a daily basis. Us sports bettors love to have some action pretty much every day of the year. Even if we’re not around to watch the games on the TV, we are now connected to scores through our phones, making it fun to bet on games whether you can watch them live or not.
If you’re content posting schedule is all over the place, and people visitor your website to find that you haven’t posted anything the past few days they may forget about your website completely and move on to another that posts daily content.
At the very least post updates or send out emails on days you can’t publish full sports picks articles, that way you don’t leave your followers waiting for your next pick.
That wraps it up. Follow the 5 tips mentioned above and you will be well on your way to running a successful and reputable sports picks website. Good luck!