By DB Ferguson of the No Fact Zone
If you’re going to build a fan site, it’s assumed that you have a passion for the subject of the blog. You don’t have to know everything about the subject of your site, but you do have to really be passionate about this journey you are about to take. If you don’t have the motivation, your site will reflect it. It’s as simple as that. But if you’re considering building a site to help have a venue for your fandom, you’re probably already where you need to be in the passion energy department to get your site going.
With passion as your driving force, you need to seriously sit down and figure out your motivations for wanting to build a fandom site.
Are your intentions pure? Or do you have ulterior motives? Everyone does everything that they do for a reason. You need to think long and hard about what it is that is driving you to create a fandom site. What are your motivations? What do you hope to accomplish? What need of yours is being fulfilled by creating this site?
How do you think your friends, and your family, will react to your participation in a project like a new web site? It is conceivable that you will spend least 2-3 hours a day responding to e-mails and creating blog posts and other site business, every single day. You may even end up dedicating entire weekends completing major projects related to the site. Are your family, friends and spouse understanding enough to allow you to dedicate this type of time away from them and with your new hobby?
You have to go in with the assumption that you will blog for a long time before anyone will read your blog but you. Are you okay with that reality?
Are you creating this site with the hopes of obtaining “perks” that may never come? I’ll tell you right now, your blog will not get you closer to the object of your fandom, or get you an “in” to get better seats, or backstage passes, or any other special treatment.
What is Your End Goal?
With the passion driving you forward, what is your end goal for your fandom blog? You need to be clear to your core purpose or you will lose your way and get lost in the clutter of fan blogs.
Many of us go through phases of, shall we say, “enthusiastic focus” for our favorite movie stars, actors, television shows, musicians, and singers. The difference between a truly dedicated fan and just infatuation is similar to the difference between dating and marriage. Dating is infatuation. Marriage means you are in for the long haul, with all the good, bad, and ugly over time.
Starting a fandom blog with an eye on making it a success means making a marriage-style commitment for several years, not a few months. Make sure your intentions are honest and pure, and that you are ready for the commitment.
My goal started out, and continues to be to this day, to honor Stephen Colbert, all praise and glory to his name, peace be upon him. And that’s it. Everything else, the link love, the income, the growth of site traffic and RSS subscriptions, is all gravy.
Whenever I start focusing on stats, or getting links on other sites, or trying to raise my income, the quality of my site suffers and it is very demoralizing. When I bring it back to center, when I bring it back to praising all things Stephen, my blog is more focused, and I am more satisfied with the site.
Do a little soul-searching and think long and hard about what you want to get out of your site before you even begin. It’s important to keep your original passion as the compass for what you are trying to accomplish with your site so that you plan appropriately every step of the way.
By DB Ferguson of the No Fact ZoneDB Ferguson is the webmaster of No Fact Zone, a Stephen Colbert-centric news blog and fan site. While DB blogs an insane amount every week, she also makes it a high priority to have every Monday-Thursday from 11:30p-12:00a EST free so she can watch her very favorite television show.