Inside The Mind Of The Football Blogger, Part One

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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17 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    Excellent read Gav. I think we all go through these moments. Before I had to change servers I have easily getting 800 – 1000 hits a day, I’m not sure if that was page views, site views or whatever but it made me happy.

    Then I changed server…and the bots were gone. I got 100 hits one day. I released a piece of work and 37 people read it. Where were the 800 previous people. It made me doubt what I was doing.

    After my holiday (Wedding) in March I found it quite hard to get into things again. Then I went to Bradford and Yorkshire Football Weekends was born. I was enjoying football and writing about it, bugger if any one reads it, I was enjoying it.

    Then there’s the Ligue 1 stuff I do. I wrote a match review on Tuesday night after Lille beat Nice and I hated every second of it. Who cares…just tell me who scored and how.

    I had wrote a piece on Raphael Varane the young Lens defender and to have respected Ligue1.com journalist Matt Spiro say he really enjoyed reading it gave me a feeling that it was worth doing it. A journalist who could easily phone the Lens PR and set up a meeting and do a great job enjoyed something I wrote from my bedroom.

    Gav you enjoy finding these footballers and where they pop up. I enjoy Ligue 1 and the unknown players that no english press pander over. The passion brings the writing.

    Don’t write cause you feel you have to, write cause you want to. If it’s one piece a week that 20 people read so be it, as long as you enjoy it.

    Ramble over.

  2. Ste Dunne says:

    Well, I think you do a fine job…. In a media landscape dominated by national journalists with an agenda, hell bent on settling scores ahead of reporting facts through to regional sports journalists who dare not open their mouths in case they upset the chairman, the need for objective footy blogging has never been stronger. Keep it up.

  3. Natter Football says:

    Superb piece. Really does give “outsiders” an insight into the pain we occasionally go through! Our site is slightly different as we mainly focus on fans writing in but that’s not to say we don’t go through the occasional dry patch. I guess what keeps many of us going is through the love of the game and the positive feedback received. Another thought – if you’re struggling to find the time, remember this overused statement – It’s about quality, not quantity!

    Look forward to part 2.

  4. Albert Ross says:

    I used to run an unofficial Hartlepool United site that was doing quite well for a while – and I can understand Gav’s feelings as a result. There comes a point when you turn around and see how much time and effort you are putting in, often for little or no reward other than the number of people who visit, and wonder how it got like this and why you are doing it. Sometimes you simply have to say that other stuff is more important (I did) – but even then there’s something that calls you back…. Many of us spent far more time fact checking and researching than the average tabloid hack (maybe because we don’t have the same deadlines etc. but also because to us it really matters that we’ve got something right) and yet “the media” often tends to be quite sniffy as we’re somehow not “proper”. Vive Les Rosbifs, and when you’re reading any football blog, spare a thought for the people doing it!

  5. Simon says:

    Fantastic insight, and I’m certainly gonna share this.

    Much like you, I’ve become a stat-junkie, but I’ve tried to ween myself off… Not successfully.

    For us, I’m “satisfied” with 300 hits per day. Obviously we’d love more, and we always seem to get around 20k per month. I dunno, maybe I’m greedy or set my sights too high.

    One thing I will say though, to the aspiring blogger – never give up.

    I found myself enjoying blogging more than my day job… Having showed it to a few people, i’ve just got a job blogging for a living. It’s not sports, but it’s good for someone who only managed a C at GCSE English.

    Fantastic stuff Gavin, really hope Lea Rosbifs continues for a long long time!

  6. thecoldend says:

    Great article. I dream of getting a four figure hit day. The cold end averages 200 – 300 hits a day (i did get a bit addicted and was thrilled when 500 people logged on in one day last year) but I’m not overly bothered now and only check when I can get time. What I do find fascinating (sound like an anorak now) is that someone in Brazil, for example, logs on and reads about Colney Heath v Dunstable Town and then watches the highlights.

    Think the key is enjoyment…. there are some brilliant blogs about that deserve more exposure and to be featured in the Guardian top blogs is a fantastic achievement for Los Robifs.

  7. William says:

    Great piece Gav, and one that will resonate with anyone else who indulges in online writing. As well as the media being in a state of flux, the personal life of the blogger is prone to change too – forcing Les Rosbifs to be put on ice in the past, as you mention. I think this is an important point; I have changed jobs, moved cities, and been unwell during the time I’ve been blogging, and every time this has affected my output it has played on my mind – even though my blog has only broken the three-figure mark for a given day on one glorious occasion. While hits are always encouraging, of course, the hours of work that go into each article can be worthwhile purely in themselves. I began my blog as a sort of self-improvement exercise – to keep myself writing and following football at the same time – and that remains the most important aspect of it to me.

  8. Ebrahim says:

    Very good article for aspiring bloggers. I am interested to know if blogging does pay e.g. Through ads etc.

    I guess a follow on question is how much the mainstream freelancers that we follow in Twitter make. Will then better inform a career decision

  9. Gaurav says:

    Great post. I don’t think bloggers are really all that different from paid writers or freelancers.

    If anything we have to be more analytic, and we make more creative use of our limited sources; but in the end, we write because we love writing and we love our subjects.

    What more can you ask for from a writer?

  10. Excellent stuff and good luck with the move north. As a hobby, I’d say that football blogging compares favourably with any other and has a more constructive element to it than playing Football Manager (enjoyable as I am sure that is).

  11. A very reassuring post indeed given our subject material. Thank you!

  12. John Allen says:

    Excellent article, I know exactly what you mean. In my time I have blogged about Yokohama F-Marinos (when I lived in Japan), the 3 east Asian teams in the 2010 world cup (having lived in two of them) and am now blogging about Seoul United FC (Korean 3rd division amateur football). Who reads my nonsense? Who knows but it brings me a lot of joy to write it and know that a handful of people are enjoying reading it.

  13. Rich says:

    Since everyone’s giving their story….another in the c.500 a day camp (with occasional thousands when something ‘big’ happens).

    I started the site in 2006/07 and it’s been quite successful. This, I suspect, is because Fulham had/have a number of American players, and US fans like to read blogs about their teams. So we kind of got going with some enthusiastic cross-the-pond readership, and to this day many of our readers are from the states.

    Otherwise, why do this? I do an annual (print) every season which is loosely based on the blog’s content, and that just about pays for the season ticket. I like having somewhere to get my ideas down that isn’t a message board, to write whatever I feel like (whether it’s a detailed breakdown of something I’ve noticed or some screen grabs from the last game, or just a youtube video I like).

    For a club like Fulham there aren’t many blogs, but there aren’t many readers, either. At a bigger club you’d get a bigger audience but more competition.

    It’s given me lots of opportunities and lots of enjoyment, and while there are down times, the ups more than make up for that.

  14. Zico says:

    Fantastic read. Really inspiring! Reading this makes me feel my work is shite and got a long road to travel. Looking forward to part 2.

  15. sniper89 says:

    Used to love reading the “Les Rosbifs” site. Sad that it’s no longer around.

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