By DB Ferguson of the No Fact Zone
DB Ferguson is the webmaster of No Fact Zone, a Stephen Colbert-centric news blog and fan site. DB and her husband live in a tragically hip loft in downtown Dallas, Texas, with their 2 cats and 11 tarantulas. By day, DB works as a purchasing agent in disguise for the second largest large format copy company in the country and holds a completely useless (but impressively framed) Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Texas A&M Commerce.
You’re the #1 fan of your favorite musician/TV show/movie star and you want to start a blog about it. Doesn’t everyone? There is nothing more fun than sharing your passion for a celebrity with others, and making some money along the way. But what’s the best way to build the best fan site for your object of adoration?
As the webmaster of a Stephen Colbert/Colbert Report fan site called No Fact Zone, my site started simply like most fan sites do.
In the Summer of 2006 I started to watch “The Colbert Report” on a more frequent basis. I realized very quickly that this was a show, and a star, that I enjoyed enough to get online and find other fans who shared this same passion for the show as I did. ‘The Colbert Report’ was not even a year old and the fandom online had one small message board, a couple of small fan sites, and no real center of fandom activity. I looked for the the epicenter of the Stephen Colbert fandom online and couldn’t find one. After gnawing it over for a few weeks, I decided I should make a web site of my own. Little did I realize the adventure I was about to take.
I learned a lot along the way and I’d like to share some of those lessons with you on how to turn a fan hobby into a a credible news source appreciated by people in the fandom. Some lessons were easy, others were quite hard, but all have been valuable. Here are some of my tips on how to start and build your fan-based site the right way.
Before starting your fan-based blog, there is criteria and elements you need to have in place and give some thought to.
- You need to cultivate your passion and understand what that passion really means in terms of building a fandom site.
- You need to understand your competition, the others covering your subject on the web.
- You need to create a game plan.
- You need content.
- You have to understand the laws and rules for copyright.
- You have to consider the social in the social online world of today and how to build a community.
- You have to take into consideration the crazy fans out there.
- There are a lot of connections you need to make and keep.
- You need to be clear about establishing your credentials as a legitimate fandom site.
- It will take some cash to get this going and keep it going, which is about continuing on for the long term.
That’s a lot of Cs so here are my 10 Cs for how to start your own fan-based blog beginning tomorrow.
By DB Ferguson of the No Fact Zone
Articles in the Series
- Introducing the Art of the Fan-Based Blog Article Series
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Cultivate Your Passion
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Competition Means Collaboration
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Create a Game Plan
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Content, Content, Content
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Content, Content, Content Part II
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Copyrights for You and Your Content Sources
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Community Wins
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Crazy Fans
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Connections Make the Blog and the Community
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Cash is Necessary
- The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Continuing to Fight the Good Fight