How to Build Your College Recruiting Brand

Blogging is a great way for high school athletes to get more college recruiting exposure.

One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the college recruiting process is: What do coaches know about you, and how can you get that info in front of them?

A simple answer is to have a personal blog. A blog is a great way to share your experiences during your high school career. Blogging will give college coaches an easier way to find and learn more about you.

Every RecruitLook athlete has their own personal blog on their recruiting profile…for free! College coaches live a very busy lifestyle, and it is difficult for them to keep up with all their possible recruits. RecruitLook helps to bridge that gap with athlete blogs! College coaches can read athlete blogs for quick, real-time information on their potential recruits. Same thing applies for athletes. Athletes can now share their achievements to the coaches recruiting them as well as coaches that are yet to discover them.

Why should an athlete blog?

If an athlete is relying on their talent to do the recruiting for them, then they run the risk of never being discovered. With an abundant amount of media outlets vying for recruiting coverage, college coaches/recruiting coordinators are using the internet to search for athletes. Coaches will search for certain recruiting needs, or they could be searching the internet to learn more about certain recruits. Furthermore, to answer the question as to why an athlete should be blogging on RecruitLook…RecruitLook ranks highest amongst keywords than their competitors.

RecruitLook blogs are ranking high on Google search with a good amount of those blogs landing on the first page of Google just days after their post date. Let’s take a look at two different examples.

1.) Blog Title : Jayson Tatum Recruiting
This was a blog about one of the best high school basketball recruits in the entire 2016 recruiting class. Jayson has thousands of articles and web mentions on the internet. Within 2 days after posting the blog, it appeared first page Google and #6 overall. The only sites that ranked higher for Jayson Tatum Recruiting search were ESPN, Rivals Network Sites, and Yahoo Sports. This is valuable for athletes that are landing on college coaches’ radars. A coach will find your blog immediately after searching Google. Then they can start to read about you and further evaluate you. Look at the photo below:

2.) Blog Title : Top Long-Snapper for 2014
This blog was written by a RecruitLook member trying to get more college recruiting exposure. RecruitLook Scouts advised him to blog about all his recent accolades at a position (long-snapping) that is difficult to get recruiting attention for. This was a strategy that has paid off. His recruiting has picked up significantly with a blog with the above mentioned title. College coaches in need of a 2014 long-snapper are finding him through his RecruitLook blog. If you search for anything with keywords pertaining to ‘2014 Long-Snappers’ then you’ll see his blog. His blog ranks 4th overall on Google search just days after posting it. The blog shows up behind 2 nationally renowned long-snapping schools, and it appears before 24/7 Sports, ESPN, and Youtube clips for long-snapping.  See picture below:

RecruitLook blogs will appear in two locations for the athlete. One is on the RecruitLook homepage, and the other is on their Recruiting Profile. This gives coaches a direct spot to access athlete blogs, and more recruiting exposure for athletes when the blogs are on the RecruitLook homepage.

Top blogs will be promoted on the RecruitLook homepage on the feature blog section.  The 2 main scrollers in the large boxes, and the mini-scoller along the right side of the page.  This is a great chance for athletes to get their blog posts read by college coaches and fans!

Screenshot 2015-09-14 11.10.59

Blog posts will also appear on the athlete’s recruiting profile.  This is very important for student-athletes that are trying to get recruited.  The more that athletes are blogging about how wonderful they are, the more college coaches can learn about them.  College coaches are doing as much research as possible on new recruits, so having a location on a recruiting profile that can give the coaches important information is paramount.  Below is a screenshot of where each blog will appear on a recruit’s profile.

Screenshot 2015-09-14 11.23.46

What athletes should blog about for more recruiting exposure

Blogs need to focus on topics that will increase your recruiting potential. Don’t blog about what you had to eat that day or about your summer vacation trip. College coaches do not need or want to know that information. You should be blogging about topics that a college coach will be interested in.

Here are a few ideas:
1.) Blog about a big athletic performance.
2.) Blog about an athletic award you won.
3.) Blog about academic achievements.
4.) Blog about showcase events or combines that you’ll be attending.
5.) Blog about the results of showcase events and/or combines.
6.) Blog about your experience on official and unofficial visits.
7.) Blog about your upcoming season.
8.) Blog about game results.
9.) Blog about donating your time to charity in your community.

As you can see there are a lot of different things you can and should be blogging about. These blogs will give college coaches a better insight on you as a recruit. Plus, they’ll find you easier when searching for certain athletes on Google. And, yes, college coaches do use Google to find and learn more about recruits.

How do athletes maximize blogs for search engine rankings?

2 easy ways: A good blog title and well written content.

It is very important that you blog, and it is just as important that you label your blog properly. In order to rank higher in Google you’ll need to have your blog titled properly. The blogs mentioned earlier in this post were able to rank highly in a short time because they were titled properly. If the long-snapping blog was titled “I’m a long-snapper” then Google probably wouldn’t have ranked it; however, since it was labeled with what people are searching Google for, it was able to rank first page.

Here are a few examples of bad and good blog titles:

masonmurray3Bad: I had a huge football game
Good: 2015 football recruit scores 3 touchdowns

Bad: I did well at my combine
Good: Voted 2015 running back MVP at Chicago Football Combine

Bad: I am doing well in the classroom
Good: Selected to 2014 academic all-state team

Bad: We won the game!
Good: Riverside High School beats Glendale to win Districts

Bad: Off to see Penn State
Good: My golf recruiting is taking me on a visit to Penn State

After you master titling blogs you need to focus on writing good content for you blog. In the online world there is a slogan “content is king”. Which means, the better your content is the more likely you’re blog will be found on Google. You’ll want to write the blog with descriptive sentences that will help get better search results, and better content in your blog will also make coaches happy.

Here is an example of a bad and a good paragraph:

Bad Content:
I did well at my latest combine this summer. I was voted a top target after running a 4.45 40-yard dash. The event was fun and I made some new friends. I’m excited to see what happens from here.

Good Content:
As a top 2015 running back recruit from Georgia, I performed above expectations this past weekend at the Nike Elite Combine. My combine scores earned me a top 5 ranking for my position, and my 40-yard dash time of 4.45 was the fastest among all 250 participants. I was nominated as a top target to watch for the 2015 football recruiting class, and I am one of ten recruits that got invited to the All-Star game.