How To Run a Football Blog (Part 2 – Writing and Structure)

22 May

This is Part 2 on “How To Run A Football Blog”. You can read Part 1 of How To Run a Football Blog – Setup here.

In Part 1 we looked at how to set up a football blog. In this part I will focus a little bit of design, structure and tips on writing.

I’m not going to tell you how to write a football blog! Blogs appear, blogs go, blogs evolve. What you start writing about may not be what you end up settling on. Plus do you read my crap? I can hardly offer writing tips!

Instead I’ll offer you an overview on site structure, adding sidebars to your blog, and methods of adding some structure to your writing.

Site Structure – What To Use?

With WordPress blogs you have two things that you can use to categorise blogs – Categories & Tags.

  • Categories are a small number of headings for your blog. These headings can have sub headings, and sub headings, and sub headings of sub headings. These are very structured.
  • Tags are quick and easy way to associate your content based on what you write about. These are a lot more fluid.

The sidebar with all the teams on it are my "tags"


My advice would be to use both. However, I say this with two caveats:-

  1. There should be no crossover – You shouldn’t have a category with a tag and vice versa. A good example for Football Blogs will be similar to You’re Supposed To Be At Home – have the categories be leagues or competitions, and tags being the teams mentioned.
  2. Only One Should Be Indexable By The Search Engines – by default, it is usually categories. You shouldn’t worry too much about this.

Customising Your Sidebar

Depending on the theme you choose, you may have 1, 2 or more sidebars. If you pick a good theme, they will be widgetised, which means you can drag and drop sidebar elements to change the site.

The Widget Screen in WordPress

To access the sidebar widgets area, go to “Appearance>Widgets” in the WordPress Administration. Simply drag the widgets from the left hand side of the screen into the right “Sidebar” area. A small amount of customisation may need to be done on the widget to get them right, but good widgets will talk you through this.

Good Ideas for Sidebar Widgets

Here’s sidebar widgets I recommend:-

  • Date or Category Archives
  • Banner Adverts (more of them in a later guide)
  • Links to Twitter/Facebook Accounts
  • Twitter streams – I use a modified version of Lifestream for mine, you can use what you want.
  • WP Email Capture – To capture email addresses.
  • Recent Posts
  • Recent Comments
  • A Search Script

Here’s a few that I don’t recommend

  • Meta Information – Useless, and you should remember the URL for which to login to your blog
  • Tag Clouds – They are ugly!

Structuring Your Writing – Making Things A Little More Serious!

You know how it is, you’re struggling to write and maintain a blog. Unfortunately, a sign of a good blog is consistent content. You shouldn’t have to write every day, however if you consistently write, people will expect it and visit your site more often. As such, to make it a little easier to structure your writing, here are some tools I recommend.

Backing Up Data Online – Dropbox

Dropbox - Lifesaver on more than one occasion!


An absolute lifesaver. Dropbox gives you 4 Gigs of free space for storing data online. Use for photos, documents or whatever you use for your blog. It installs a small program on your computer in which you can drag and drop files. Install the program on any other computer, mobile or tablet device, login, and you have your files there for you. Great if you’re always switching computers, a life saver if you take a few photos.

You sign up for 4 GB for free, or with the link below for extra 250 Megs for free. Paid plans available.

Click Here To Visit Dropbox

Idea Taking – Evernote

Evernote can help you write posts a lot quicker


Evernote is bloody marvellous. It is a quick and easy online note taker. I use this for everything, taking notes of ideas, copying blog posts for reading later, and clipping recipes I find out on the internet. Evernote works via a syncing system, so if you write something down on it – be it PC, iPad or phone – you don’t need to be connected to the internet: it will upload it when connected. Likewise you don’t need to be connected to read notes. It’s simple, and great.

It’s free, but there are paid packages available. I’ve never needed them.

Click Here To Visit Evernote

Tasks List – Remember The Milk

Remember the Milk has seen me get more organised.


In order to remember what to write when, I use Remember the Milk. This task list website syncs with my phone and tablet, and sets me reminders of what to do when. You can tag tasks, repeat tasks and generally organise your life.

I use it to schedule updates for my blog, to set aside deadlines for writing (which I must admit, I’m not that strict to adhere to), and also when to carry out updates on my site.

Again, a free version exists. I am on the paid version, and I love it!

Click Here To Visit Remember The Milk

All Done!

Although not quite as epic as last week, I hope this week has been helpful in helping you run a football blog. It’s mainly some timesavers this week, as these are important. Time is precious and you need time to do promotion of your blog. That is next week! Check back in next week for the post, or sign up to the newsletter to get it into your inbox next Friday. See you then!


About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

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