Golf is a sport that can be played by anyone at any age, making it popular with both young and old alike, and every age in between. According to Statista, as of 2014 there were about 26.88 million golfers in the USA alone. The World Golf Foundation estimates that about $84.1 billion is pumped into the US economy via golf each year.
In a CNN interview, World Golf Foundation chief executive Steve Mona, shared that the golf industry is bigger than both spectator sports and performing arts together.
Golf is one of the most popular sports around, and is a money making powerhouse. If you love golf and are looking for a topic to blog about, this niche has a wide audience with somewhat deep pockets.
Tony Korologos, also known as the Media Guru behind Hooked on Golf Blog, started blogging in 2004 because he had a true passion for the game. His best friend suggested he blog about it, and the rest, as they say, is history.
One of the first blogs about golf, over the past 11 years or so, Tony has posted about 5,000 golf posts and more than 20,000 photos related to the game. Tony took some time out of his busy blogging schedule to share a few tips with WHSR readers.
“[It's important to find a unique angle or niche because] the blogosphere is full of noise. Being unique separates your blog from the rest.
Tony has an excellent point with this advice. Darren Rouse over at ProBloggers often offers tips to new bloggers on how to improve their website traffic and make money from blogging. In fact, he hosts the largest blogging conference in Australia each year where he trains bloggers. His advice lines up with Tony's. Rouse shared some pointers in 13 Quick Tips to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd. His top two tips? Choose a unique topic and develop a voice unlike anyone else's.
When asked what makes his blog successful, Tony had a few things that he believes contributes to his success.
“Hard work. Attention to detail. Good photos. Having a rock & roll edge. Not being politically correct. Knowing how to spell.”
Those may sound like simple things that anyone can do, but you have to do these things consistently over and over again. New bloggers often give up when they don't see immediate success, but it can take months and sometimes years to see any impact.
In his guide to starting a blog, Jerry Low shares a story about his first attempt to make money online. Although that attempt wasn't successful, he kept trying until he found the right niche and was able to find a topic that needed covered and to monetize it.
As Tony Korologos told us, “Blogs don't succeed because they are blogs.”
You have to put time, energy, research and so much more into a blog to succeed.
Neil Sagebiel, author and blogger at Armchair Golf Blog, had some tips to share with our readers as well.
Through his blog, Neil began to meet golfing greats such as Jack Fleck. He then went on to talk to many golfing legends, such as Errie Ball, Billy Casper and Doug Sanders. He shared these stories in his book “Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish that Shocked the World.”
When Neil started his blog in 2005, he had a simple goal. He just wanted to learn about blogging.
“Choosing [to blog on] golf was secondary at the time – a sport and a topic I knew about from my youth. The fact that it grew into something significant was definitely a surprise.”
Neil's approach was smart for a couple of reasons. First, he focused on writing about what he knew and what he knew well. Second, he focused on learning his craft and about blogging in general.
When asked why finding a unique angle is important to blogging, Neil shared this advice:
For one thing, there are a whole lot more blogs these days, so you need a unique niche or voice in order to stand out. My sense is that having a certain blogging personality and approach are what helps build a readership and why people keep coming back. I think readers feel as if they come to know you and enjoy what you share [on] your blog.
Neil is right. This is another reason why it is important to stick out blogging for the long haul. Over time, readers get to know you. They understand your writing style, what topics you might cover and your unique sense of humor. Just like with people in real life, it takes time for people to get to know one another.
Just glancing at Neil's blog, there are several things that make it a blog readers will want to return to. His navigation is uncluttered and simple. The reader can clearly see what books are available by Neil, learn more about him, or contact him.
Another smart thing Neil is doing is to allow readers to sign up for RSS feed updates and get news on what he is posting. This is as simple as typing in your email address and hitting “Subscribe”. Also, he has his Twitter follow link up front and center. He also says the secret to his success is:
Just keeping at it, for one thing. I kept adding to [the blog] and writing about golf. I also think my voice and personality come through, that I have a sense of fun and love for the game.
Finding Your Niche
There are numerous golf blogs out there, so if you want to one, you need to:
Find a unique niche that isn't being covered or isn't covered well.
Find your voice. How do you write differently from anyone else? Are you serious? Funny? Sarcastic?
Study your competition. If you plan to write about golfing for kids, then look at what is being done out there on the blogs. What isn't covered and how can you cover it better?
Once you figure out the focus of your blog, everything else should fall into place. You'll also want to decide your mission with the blog. Do you want to monetize it? Reach readers? What is your overall goal.
Ideas for Monetizing Your Golf Blog
There are many ways to monetize your golf blog (or any blog really). You can use a few or all of these, but it's a good idea to add just one new thing at a time. See how much of your time that thing takes and what the payback for your time is and then decide to keep it and add more or toss it and try something else.
Write a book and sell it. You can sell it on your blog and also sell on sites like Amazon with their self-publishing platforms.
Video tape lessons and sell them as a package.
Create a members only area with the really unique content. In order to access those items, readers will have to pay a small membership fee.
Add affiliate links. Since you are talking about golf, you'll want to search for affiliate programs that pay to sell golf items. Be careful here, though. Make sure you have tried and like the product or you may lose your readers' trust.
Accept private ads. Is there a local golf course that might want to advertise on your site?
These are just a few of the ways you can monetize your blog. There are also the typical AdSense ads and Amazon links.
Is a Golfing Blog for You?
Although it is a full field, if you truly love the game of golf, there is always room for another great golf blogger. As Neil Sagebiel said, “Be yourself and have fun. It's your blog, after all. Write and share on topics and stories that stir your own interest and passion. This will be evident to others and hopefully attract an audience.”
About Lori Soard
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.