Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Oli Harris, Founder of The Sporting Blog. The Sporting Blog is a sports blog for followers of all sports and games to read and watch. The blog's focus is on interesting, high-quality sports content that answers questions and stimulates debate and discussion.
Can you please tell us more about your journey?
My journey in sports started, I guess, as a kid. I played a lot of tennis, cricket, and golf. Since then, I have always had a keen interest in the business of sport, especially marketing. Something is amazing about the way games we play as children, they become more than just hobbies as we grow older.
To see how sports works as a business, from rights holders down to athletes, is a real eye-opener, and it's also quite scary how fragile that ecosystem is, especially when presented with an existential threat such as Covid-19.
Please tell us about ‘The Sporting Blog.'
I started The Sporting Blog back in 2017 when I thought it might be fun to have a hobby website that published interviews and stories and became a fun place to read things about sports that were not mainstream.
I soon realized just how much work goes into publishing. It was not just the writing and creation of the content, but the sheer weight of promotion needed to make a dent in Google SERPs. I also figured out that building a social media presence in a crowded landscape was very tricky. That ever-changing algorithm made life extremely hard.
I have moved the business on considerably during Covid-19, and we now have the ambition to be the biggest non-news sports site in the World. We publish high quality, evergreen content that provides answers to questions… that is our USP.
We are also the only blog/website that I know of that pays all of its writers. There are some huge blog networks out there who don't pay their writers, just give them the promise of experience and exposure, which I think is unfair and unjust. So we pay people, as it's the right thing to do.
We are now moving heavily into the health and fitness space as well, but not in a typical way. We are trying to help provide motivation for people to get healthier by showing inspirational stories from normal people. By interviewing and doing Q and As with people who have a powerful fitness journey story to tell, we can inspire others.
We have recently added a section for Kids, which helps them and their parents learn how to get into various sports.
Earlier this year, we also launched The Sporting Blog Podcast, and I have had some incredible guests on so far, and more to come in the future. This is a real growth area for us and helps with our reach and our credibility.
We have lofty ambitions, but I never did anything well by dreaming small.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Well, in my general life journey, I would suggest most of my professional success has come from relationship building and making friends from all corners of the globe. There is nothing more powerful than someone that wants to help you achieve something.
Without the sheer number of people I have met through sports, business, socializing, etc., I certainly wouldn't be where I am today.
I also consider the role of working overseas in becoming culturally aware and appreciating what others are thinking and feeling.
I have worked in India, Rwanda, Morocco, and many more places that have very specific identifiable cultural nuances. Being in these places for extended periods of time has given me the most amazing insight into how others live their lives. Listening to others is the best way, in my opinion, to gather knowledge.
Any message for our readers.
Well, I'd love your readers to take a look at The Sporting Blog and find something of interest on there; whether it is football, cricket, NFL, or NBA, we have something for everyone.
I'd also urge any budding writers or content creators to get in touch if they would like to work with us. We are growing every day and are only going to get bigger. It would be great to have you join us on that journey!