In The Blog is back for another edition as Ollie Jackson from Our Beautiful Game chats to us about his site which is coming close to its first anniversary.
Hi Ollie, thanks for giving up a few minutes to talk to us.
No worries, it is always good to associated with the guys here at Back Page Football!
Tell us a bit about Our Beautiful Game and how the site came about.
Our Beautiful Game was launched in August 2010 and began really as a way in which I could publicise my content surrounding the facets of the global game. After a successful launch it became evident that Our Beautiful Game could establish itself as a credible writing platform in which aspiring journalists, keen bloggers or even simply football enthusiasts could have their personal content published without the need to build their own blog or website, which can be a deterrent for people not as familiar with digital media and web design.
At the turn of 2011 the website evolved once more which allowed us to build a steady influx of visitors who were intrigued by our content. We now boast several regular contributors to the website, most of whom have received academic recognition for their exploits in the journalistic field.
The layout of your site is very slick and we particularly love your Transfer Ticker. How important is a good design to help market/promote your site?
About three months ago I made the decision as the Editor, to overhaul the website with regards to the design and content. Given that Our Beautiful Game operates amongst dozens of other similar websites I knew that a sleek design and engaging interface was crucial to attracting and retaining visitors. After deliberating over an appropriate theme I decided to take a gamble with the colour scheme. As a staunch Manchester United supporter the very thought of creating a website with a distinctly blue theme is truly inconceivable, but after testing the design I was sold – but if anyone asks it isn’t a blue design it is cyan!
The new theme has been a great success and has received praise from frequent visitors, it has also helped to promote Our Beautiful Game because it is vibrant so when you are browsing twitter for example, our profile is instantly recognisable which is important when attempting to publicise content via social media.
You’ve got a good number of contributors so far. Do you find it difficult to find a balance between writing your own stuff and editing that of others?
Our Beautiful Game is really fortunate to have such great writers, one or two have been writing for the website since its inception and we are continually introducing new writers who have all enjoyed success with their own blogs. Essentially Our Beautiful Game is optimised to allow content from various other websites to be pulled to one location that is functional and focused on readability.
I have no problems balancing writing and editing because it is a simple process. Columnists and supporting authors can simply upload their content for approval without leaving the website. It is also very simple for other keen writers who are visiting the website to instantly submit their publications. The Instant Submit feature was recently introduced and allows people to share their content with visitors from over 100 countries without the need to be affiliated with Our Beautiful Game.
There are so many great blogs out there now. Do you keep an eye on many others in the hope of learning from them? If so, what are the most valuable tips you’ve picked up?
Other blogs are valuable and perhaps the most useful tip that I would suggest is to establish ties with other reputable blogs as this is recognised by readers. Conducting an interview such as this is a great way to promote your content to a wider demographic.
Testimonials are also favourable as it allows readers to see what other people have to say about your website. I have been in contact with the fantastic guys over at In Bed With Maradona recently and they have spoken positively about Our Beautiful game and were even kind enough to provide us with a few words that perfectly encapsulated the nature of our website.
It is also good to keep an eye on other blogs in order to identify content that is popular at the minute and therefore allows you to tailor your personal content to attract readers.
Finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for Our Beautiful Game?
Our Beautiful Game has no plans to retract from its role within the vast spectrum of football blogs available and the recent boost in readership along with the talent of contributors suggests we would be foolish to do so. We will continue to publish diverse content and we hope to identify a niche in the field of blogging that will propel us into a new league with regards to the overall approach of Our Beautiful Game.
Thanks Ollie and best of luck with it all!
Thanks Neil, here’s hoping Our Beautiful Game can achieve the same success that Back Page Football has enjoyed!
You can also follow Our Beautiful Game on Twitter!