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Introducing the Art of the Fan-Based Blog Article Series

I’m a Trekkie. For the uninformed, this means I’m nuts about Star Trek. To misquote Eddie Izzard (I’m a fan of his, too), I’m not a wacko, obsessed Trekkie. I’m an executive Trekkie. The high class, normal type of fan.

This means that while I love reading Star Trek related blogs, websites and fan forums, I won’t start one. But those who do start fan blogs are my heroes. They get to spend their whole day writing about the shows, movies, and celebrities I love. They get to talk to other people about their fan adoration (called “fandom“) all the time. Occasionally, they get to met the celebs that I wish I could meet. They make time to track all the minutia news of their fandom, and I get the benefits of their hard work.

Creating a fan blog is easy. Sustaining it is hard work. When I met DB Ferguson of the , the popular Stephen Colbert news and fan blog, in Dallas, Texas, last year at WordCamp Dallas, I interrogated her about how she runs her fan blog and what keeps her going day after day in honor of her favorite star.

I’m not going to tell you what she said, I’m going to let her in her own article series on building a fan blog.

In the Page, DB shares some of the reasons behind starting her fan blog.

The purpose of this fan site is to aggregate topical news articles and buzz from the blogosphere into a comprehensive Colbert-centric news source. We also feature exclusive interviews, daily Episode Guides, and breaking news updates with live coverage of events.

To honor fan blogs and “executive” fans around the world, DB is going to share her expertise with everyone for the next couple weeks on . She will be talking about the “Cs” of fan-based blogs: cultivating passion, competition analysis, creating a game plan, content building, copyright laws, community building, crazy fans, connection building, credentials, and the cash to keep it going in “The Art of the Fan-Based Blog”.

DB also shared with me some of the things Stephen Colbert has to say about bloggers:

The vast majority of bloggers out there are responsible correspondents doing fine work in niche reporting fields like Gilmore Girl fan fiction, or cute things their cats do, or photoshopped images of the Gilmore Girls as cats. That’s great. Where I draw the line is with these attack-bloggers. Just someone with a computer who gathers, collates and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me.

The Daily Show – Stephen Colbert – Bloggers – All They Have is Facts

Is Your Blog a Fan-Based Blog? It Better Be!

Is your blog a fan-based blog? In a way, all of our blogs are fan-based. If we serve our readership right, we turn our readers into fans, returning eagerly for more. They talk about what we are blogging about, tell their friends, and send their friends in our direction. Within the comment box, they get to know each other. Outside of the comment box, through social interaction and social communication such as Twitter and the like, fans talk to each other about us and themselves, creating a strong community and “fan club” if you will.

We all can learn from the lessons DB is about to sure with us. I’m thrilled to be honored with her insights and I’ve learned a lot from working with her on developing this series that I will be implementing in the next couple months on this blog.

In addition to being the webmaster of the , and watching too much Stephen Colbert, she and her husband live in Dallas, Texas, where she works as a purchasing agent for a large format copy company. She is the proud mother of two cats and 11 tarantulas, and I’ll let her explain that one to you another time.

This is your chance to learn about community and connection building from a expert on the fans, especially a fellow fan. Enjoy!

Completed Articles Series

DB has finished her awesome series on fan-based blogs and you can read them all:

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted November 17, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I’m just curious in asking this. You have an excellent blog (as you obviously know). 😉

    In starting a series of posts like this “Fan Based Blog Series”, do you

    (1) already have all your posts written and ready to go
    (2) have just an outline of the topics to cover (research not done yet), or
    (3) just blog as you go along (which I think not)?

  2. Posted November 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    @ Kian Ann:

    You should be asking the guest blogger, DB Ferguson, this question. Hopefully, she will answer.

    For me, it depends upon the series. Some are totally written before I begin, and some evolve over time and reactions. See Technical Tips for Publishing a Series of Articles on Your Blog for my specifics.

  3. Posted November 18, 2008 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    @Kian Ann

    In this case, Lorelle and I have been working together for quite a while. The series started with Lorelle suggesting after WordCamp Dallas that I do an single article about fan blogging, as it is a very specific blogging niche. I started by writing out an outline of points I’d like to make in the article. The points evolved into full articles, and we went through a couple of pretty major rewrites before we got to the point where we felt confident that the series was complete. We’ve been working together I think about a month or two, editing and changing direction on things, to get to the point where this series was ready to publish.

    So, for the most part with the exception of some minor edits, the whole series was written and graphics suggested before the posting even started.

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