Sports writing: Martin Whiteley interview

martin whiteley

Martin Whiteley writes for The News Hub, as a sports writer. Here Stephanie Cox interviews him about his interest in sport, the industry and being a sports writer.

1. Please give us an introduction to yourself and your previous work.

I have always been a lover of writing, ever since I was in school, and have always been passionate about sports. I first started writing to make some extra money while working as an assistant to the golf professional at Springhead Park golf course in Hull. Since then, I’ve contributed to golf magazines and have written for Beyond the Benches, Exclusive Sports Media, IRL Media, and others. My latest project has been writing sports articles for The News Hub.
There is a rapidly increasing number of online platforms for news writing and reporting, and this is especially true of sports writing.

2. How do you combat this to make yourself and your writing stand out?

With the number of websites covering every topic imaginable growing daily it is becoming increasing easy to find one that covers the subject that interests you. The same can also be said if you wish to write about your passion.
The problem is, the chances of the site paying for your submissions are also very high and not in a positive way.
The most popular subjects are inundated with thousands of websites all promising you the chance to ‘get your work noticed with a large following, that will ‘build your portfolio.’ The only problem is when you ask them, ‘What do you do to advertise your site? What marketing are you doing so that the articles can be found?’ you usually never hear from them again! As most people can write it is seems a quick way to earn money with the impression of not having to do much work!

3. Tell us a little bit about The News Hub.

The News Hub pays $50 or £30 per article and with a bonus of $150 or £100 for the top six contributors each month, TNH lets you covers anything you want to write about. Before all the ‘Jane or Jonny-come-latelies’ go rushing off to sign up, they have one important rule. You must be in the top 10% of the category of the subject you have covered!

4. What is it that makes The News Hub unique?

With a lot of sites, even if you contribute regularly, the likelihood of your work being spotted is very slim. Over time when people fail to see positive change or impact, the amount of content subsides, or the person running it gets fed up and decides they would rather go down to the pub with their mates that upload the article that you have spent time preparing.

I was drawn to The News Hub because they do a lot to promote your work as well as give you lots of ideas of how your articles can be seen by the masses. What is unrivaled is the commitment they have to not only having a website that has outstanding work on it and not just any rubbish that people class as acceptable, but written by people who share the same passion as they do.

The onus though is totally on the contributor to find the best way of maximizing this for their own work. No writer can expect all of the work to be done for them. Half of a writer’s job in today’s publishing climate is marketing yourself, where once it was the publisher’s job to do it for you. It’s about that balance.

5. What do you think sports and news writers need to do to have a good chance of becoming successful in the industry?

In two words – determination and perseverance! Every writer worth his or her salt will have a box full of rejection slips and only persevere because they love writing and are not just looking to make a ‘quick buck.’

Article writing is hard work and until you build up your own networks of communications there may not be a great deal to show money-wise for a while.

To read more of the interview, head over to Stephanie’s blog: Words are my Craft.

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