If you know me or listened to any of my podcasts I have a deep love for sports, basketball in particular. In addition to starting Lakers Fans Unite, Twitter has given me the unique opportunity to meet some sports bloggers/media and get a first-hand perspective of covering athletes for a living. I admire how these professionals both view their role and have built their personal brand/following. A little over a month ago, I met Rey Moralde a.k.a. The No Look Pass for coffee and we chatted it up about basketball. I asked him if I could interview him for my “How to Build Your Personal Brand Series” and he graciously agreed. I hope you enjoy his story and can learn from him how to build your personal brand the right way.
1) How did you get into sports blogging as a career?
I just kind of stumbled onto it. I used to be obsessed with playing ball years ago before I rolled my ankle severely. While on the shelf, my friend suggested I write and blog about the NBA. After a couple of weeks, my little writings somehow caught the eye of an old sports blogging network called Most Valuable Network. It went from there and here I am, still writing and blogging nearly six years later.
2) What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?
I don’t think I’m the best technical writer, far from it. I don’t think I’m the best basketball tactician, either, and I’m definitely far from that. But I do think that basketball is fun and writing about it should be fun. I like keeping it lighthearted and, at the end of the day, we use basketball (and any form of entertainment) to escape from the real world. People get so invested over sports that it turns into something we get angry over and that’s just unhealthy. I like to keep it fun and I’m glad that people have recognized that. So I would say “not taking it too seriously” is my biggest strength as a writer, if anything.
3) What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
Trying to avoid burnout. You need breaks every once in a while and I get obsessed, sometimes, over this entire thing. While I do say that not taking it too seriously is my strength, I also feel you’re “only as good as your next write-up.” And it can be a marathon; the NBA pretty much goes every day for eight months (playoffs included). I’m going into my 7th season and I think about quitting every summer, believe it or not. It becomes more of a relief than an accomplishment after the final game is over. But when the summer goes too long, I clamor for the NBA to come back. Figure that out. I’m hoping to pace myself better this season. But, yeah, avoiding burnout is my biggest challenge.
4) How would you describe your style/personal brand?
Fun. Silly. And it should be. I’m not sure if I’m a universally funny guy but I do like to make people laugh. You can see that attempted poor humor on my Twitter feed and in my blog entries. I think my style does stand out because I have no problem integrating things like 90s music, video games, teen dramas, wrestling, and my dating experiences into my NBA talk. Besides, having everyone do the same ol’ thing gets boring, anyway, right?
5) What advice would you give to other bloggers trying to build their audience/brand?
Be yourself and don’t give up. Never apologize for being yourself. That’s definitely helped me along the way. If you’re a serious guy, then be serious. If you’re silly, then be silly. Stay in your lane. And blogging about a sport takes a lot of time. Not only do we have to write but we also have to watch a lot so that we know what we’re talking about. What we do isn’t easy; we don’t snap our fingers and produce a blog entry over 45 minutes. We honed our craft over the years when it comes to writing and being a student of the game. People can definitely do it; if I made something out of it, I don’t see why others can’t.
Oh, and don’t burn any bridges. Because you never know if you’re actually going to need that person’s help down the line.