In The Blog: Eighteen and Five

by Neil Sherwin

In the Blog returns with another new kid on the block as we speak to Karl Matchett of Eighteen and Five, a blog discussing Liverpool amongst other things.

Hi Karl, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How’s it all going?

Thanks, all going well. Reader numbers slightly increasing on the blog with each new post, coming from a variety of sources.

The site has only been live for a month or so. How have you gone about getting your name out there?

Twitter is the first one – don’t have too many followers but some friends have a larger number and are happy to RT any links to new articles. I also post my articles on the Liverpool FC website’s own social network, The Kop, with links to 18and5. Likewise my most-read work on BleacherReport all carries links to the site.

I was recently published in Well Red magazine, with a footnote about my writing on Bleacher Report; future articles will carry the 18and5 link instead.

First and foremost you are a Liverpool fan but your blog aims to look at a lot of things from further afield. What other areas of the game interest you most?

All and any of it – I really am just football mad and will write about whatever comes into my head! Have recently done a piece on Bosman transfers throughout Europe and I follow Spanish football very closely too (live in Spain). Until last season I watched a lot of Argentinean football so I would have happily written about that league, but my channel doesn’t carry it any more. Statistics, match reports, tactical pieces – I am happy to cover all of it and will do so whenever I can. Am also open to ideas from other writers who I have gotten to know and may feature on my blog in the future.

Have you any advice for people who may be thinking about setting up a blog of their own?

To have a specific focus, but to also be prepared to branch out when the occasion presents itself. Try to differ from the norm a bit with your articles; don’t follow the same template that your favourite other blogs use. At the same time I would recommend reading as many as your time allows you to as it can broaden your views on what can be written about.

Where do you see the blog heading in terms of direction and long term plans?

As long as I have a relatively low number of readers or for the first few months of the blog, I will probably write about mainly tactical, statistical or “big news” features. If there are a larger number of regular readers I would certainly put up some sort of poll to see the favoured type of news and aim to cater for that.

As mentioned previously, I would also like to bring in some writers to contribute to the site in their particular area of expertise. Additionally I would like to have a regular set of days when new articles are published – at present I write when I can as I run my own company and can usually only write at night time, meaning fewer numbers are around to see the creating of it and the initial automatic link broadcast on Twitter and the like. Also as I genuinely believe (and not just as a blind supporter!) that Liverpool are at the beginning of a journey to great success, I expect a lot of great times ahead for the club to write about.

Finally, and it may seem like a long shot at this time, what happens to the site name if Liverpool win another league or Champions League trophy?

Not that much of a long shot hopefully!! I don’t mind going one of two ways – either keep the name if it is popular, as a reminder of where LFC were when it began, or keep the name and redirect anyone who lands on it to an updated version – nineteenandfive or whatever it needs to be!

Thanks Karl, and best of luck with everything.

Thank you and the same to you too!

You can follow Karl and Eighteen and Five on Twitter.

Author Info

Neil Sherwin

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com and BackPageRugby.com. Writes mostly on Premier League, A-League and MLS with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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