Well folks, the op-ed piece I wrote about the MLS potentially coming to Atlanta seemed to resonate and I hope to have picked up a few loyal readers. But that piece reminded me of Step 1! In the growing universe of soccer blogs out there, content is indeed king. But what is content?

I'm trying to figure that out myself. The way I see it, much like a newspaper, there are a couple of different types of content.

1. News (recounting events that have happened either to you or someone else)
2. Opinion (picking a subject and talking about it)

In order to gain readers, you have to add value to either of those categories. How? In writing, there are only a couple of ways to add value to the reader: Unique subject matter or good writing style. That's really it.

Gruffgoat's Football Blog is a sports blog, focusing on one sport. Sure there are nuances in that the sport is soccer and there is always drama when you talk about soccer in America, but are people in London tuning in to my blog to re-read the same news they can read from the BBC or Guardian? I doubt it. So how does one differentiate the news to make it more valuable or interesting? First, let's look at the types of news:

News on Me! - probably the most common blog type is the news update on...you. This is the personal journal blog. For the first time in history, this medium call the "blog" has opened News on Me up to the entire world. What you're reading now has an element of that.

News on Niche Stuff - unreported on mainstream news channels (i.e., US Open Cup news, a lot of the Atlanta area soccer news, etc.)

The rest of the News - reported on mainstream news channels, but I try to add some editorial content that adds to the reading experience

As far as news reporting goes, I don't have the resources to travel the world and provide proper journalistic first hand updates, so I pull selective stories from sources and retell them in my own words.

The other type of writing is the Opinion stuff. For Gruffgoat's Football Blog, this is an important area of writing. Floating opinions on subjects as wide ranging as the Offside rule, MLS expansion, or the Future of Spectator Soccer in America, is one of my whole purposes for starting the blog.

Who knows who is reading this material. But, if Don Garber gets word that there are people in Atlanta who think the only way Atlanta sports fans will get on board with MLS is if there are two teams, then he may just dismiss that as poppycock, or he may, somewhere in the back of his mind, start thinking about the challenges of geographic dispersion on a sport that requires roots in fan intimacy, and consider what it means to have a cross town rivalry.

At any rate, until I can bring a cadre of crack reporters on board, the near term future of Gruffgoat's Football Blog is less focus on mainstream news, and more and more focus on the unique news stuff and the opinion stuff. Happy Reading!

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