If you are an avid gamer, chances are you’ve thought about launching a website dedicated to your favorite franchise. A site where fellow fans can gather and exchange resources like walkthroughs, Easter eggs, and miscellaneous goodies related to the game. Perhaps you are interested in building a community, complete with forums where users can talk about their experiences and befriend one another. In any case, it’s important to do research before taking the plunge, because if you want your fansite to stand out against the competition then it’s going to take a lot of time and effort.
Think It Through:
Although it seems obvious, the most important thing to do before developing any website is to make a game plan. There are a lot of fan sites out there, and many of them serve different purposes. The most prominent ones succeeded because they catered to a niche audience rather than competing with already established communities. In other words, if all you want to do is run a forum, it’s going to be pretty hard to attract users because there are most likely dozens of already populated message boards related to the game at hand.
Content Matters Most:
Once you have a direction, creating original content is vital to your fansite’s success. Work in as many forms of media as you can. Fan art and video walkthroughs are a great start. If you can get in touch with the developers they may even give you an interview. Keep in mind that building a community takes time, so don’t get discouraged if a few months go by before your website becomes populated. Just make sure you keep updating it, inactivity will scare potential users away.
Nurture a Community:
When your website starts to become active you may want to think about implementing a forum. Be careful though, moderating a message board is a lot of work. If ignored, it won’t be long before the spammers and trolls scare all the good denizens away. If you can manage to nurture a healthy community and forum then half your job is done for you. User created content will help ensure that your site stays up to date and relevant. If your game supports multiplayer, consider throwing support behind an official site clan. Gaming together will bring your website together as well as attract new fans looking to
Remember To Have Fun:
Being an administrator comes with a lot of responsibility, and sometimes it can be an extremely frustrating task. Keep in mind that you started this website as a fun hobby. More than likely you aren’t making enough money from advertising to pay for your development and server costs, so having fun should be your number one priority. We’ve all been witness to an otherwise great community soured by a nasty moderator. Don’t take your daily stress out on your users, but remember at the end of the day it is your site, so don’t be afraid to put the banhammer on individuals who stir up trouble.
About the author:
Blake Taylor is a Colorado State University graduate who spends his free time to playing video games, making lists prices for gold in ESO, producing music, and spending far too much time on the internet.