Tips For Starting a Big Brother Fansite

Starting a Big Brother Fansite
Yeah, there are a gazillion Big Brother blogs/ sites/ forums, and this season there are more than ever. So Doc over at BBCouchPotatoes.com created a tip sheet to help those just starting out, or those thinking about creating a blog dedicated to Big Brother. It's quite useful and has some great tips to become a successful Big Brother blogger. So without further ado, here's Doc!

The 11 BIGGEST Tips for Starting a Big Brother Fansite

As we dive in to another summer of Big Brother, some of us have noticed an inundation of new Fansites, Twitter accounts, and Blogs popping up out of nowhere. And while there really is no set of OFFICIAL rules to follow, there does seem to be a sort of decorum that most of the bigger sites should be directed to follow. It's not printed anywhere, so we decided to put our heads together to give those new start-ups a little primer on some etiquette to ponder over to help them possibly grow into something the Big Brother community can get behind and be proud of.

Whether you are a fan of ANY Big Brother, or are just a fan of your countries version (Big Brother USA, Big Brother UK, Big Brother Australia, as the most popular) these “rules” apply to all.
Disclaimer: These bullet points WILL NOT guarantee you success as a blog/website/Twitter, but they will definitely help you along the way.

Read more after the cut!





11) Don't use the show's network name as your chosen account name.
Example: CBSBBFan, or Channel5BBUK2013 are no-no's. It's unprofessional and links you to the network which COULD have legal ramifications if they get a burr up their craw.

10) Don't step on the toes of those fansites/blogs/Twitters that have been already established. These sites have been around for a long time, and have worked hard to build up a following and reputation. You asking for Retweets, or begging for mentions only makes you look like you don't want to put in the work required to have a successful place for people to go to get information. You can ask for help in emails, or other social media. But to do business like that in public just looks bad.

9) DO NOT CHARGE MONEY! The ONLY way to make money on Big Brother is to either place annoying ads on your site, or (in the case of BBUSA) you can sell Live Feed subscriptions. BUT PLEASE, have a fan base before you sell the feeds. If you don't, all you are doing is stepping on toes and watering down the system for others. Be patient. The hits/follows will come if you work at it. Don't expect it all to come in a week or two. ALSO, DO NOT ask for donations. It makes you look pathetic, and people aren't going to throw money at you just because you've posted stories that 50 other sites have posted. One last point: If you are getting into Big Brother for the money, we won't help you. It's nice to be paid for your work, but let the visitor decide that. Not you. Only a handful of sites out there actually make a living out of covering Big Brother. You most likely won't be one of them.

8) Do a link-swap with other sites. You post a link on your site to their site, and they'll do the same for you. That's been going on since the start of Big Brother. If people go to your site and there is no other place for them to go, they see that you don't support the BB community, and in all likelihood, won't come back.

7) Get your own niche! Come up with something that nobody else is doing. Posting Feed subscriptions, or links to other sites is too easy to do. What can you offer the community besides the same stories the others are posting? Can you get an interview with a former Housemate/Houseguest? Can you begin a podcast? Can you do a video webcast? Make your site YOUR OWN with your own unique personality and ideas. Don't be a cookie-cutter site. Those are a dime a dozen, and frankly, is the reason we are writing this.

6) Actually WATCH the show you are covering. If you've only seen 1 or 2 seasons of Big Brother, then you need to go back and watch ALL of the seasons. You MUST be knowledgeable in what you are covering. Just because you were a fan of Dan Gheesling last season, doesn't make you an expert on Big Brother. Brush up on trivia. Watch past seasons. KNOW YOUR SHOW! If you don't know who won Big Brother 5, you better go find out and make it part of your knowledge. Believe me, it will come in handy one day. If you don't do this, then you look like a silly little site that isn't taken very seriously.

5) Don't just have a Twitter account. That's just too easy, and it makes you look lazy. Have an accompanying blog/website that visitors can go to in order to get needed information. If you just have a Twitter account, it looks like you aren't willing to put in the leg work to make yourself a success. PLUS, most of the time, the Twitter accounts that have no website are just kids having a summer of fun. ALSO, get a real website. No Weebly. No Webs.com. No Wix. Use a professional website and get a professional URL. Seeing “BillsBigBrother.weebly.com” shows your visitor that you aren't willing, or even have the knowledge to build a website and are too cheap to get a $1.99 .com address at GoDaddy. If you are going to just blog, then WordPress and Blogspot are perfect and are FREE. Just make sure you have a professional URL.

4) DO NOT COPY other people's material! THIS IS HUGE! There are sites who work HARD to get screenshots/video clips from the show to post. Just because it's there doesn't mean it's yours. If you DO use their material, ASK FIRST. And then GIVE CREDIT to the person(s) who you took from. Some sites put watermarks on their pics/vids. If you use their material that is watermarked, and you haven't given credit, then you look silly at the very least, and the very most, have tarnished your reputation as someone who can deliver their own material.

3) Get details from Official websites. There are schedules posted at CBS.com for BBUSA, and at Channel5.com for BBUK that have show dates and times. Use this information to alert your visitors/followers of upcoming showtimes/live feeds. MEMORIZE THIS. If there is nothing more unprofessional, its' being asked when the show is on, and YOU DON'T KNOW. You have to look it up. It's very refreshing to be asked by a follower/visitor when a showtime is, and you IMMEDIATELY KNOW.

2) STOP RE-TWEETING EVERYTHING! If you ONLY re-tweet what everybody else is saying, and your timeline is NOT your own, you will NOT get many followers. You will look like a fan who knows nothing and is lazy. It's OK to re-tweet something a host of the show tweets. Or something important you think your followers need to know. But don't let that be the ONLY thing on your timeline. And DO NOT constantly ask your followers questions. We realize you want to engage your followers, but don't do it non-stop. For example: "So? What do you think of the new Housemates?", or "Who's excited for the show tonight?", or "Who is your favorite Houseguest?" or another annoying thing to see is: "Re-tweet if you are watching Big Brother tonight!" OF COURSE THEY ARE! That's why they are following you! Unnecessarily engaging your followers/visitors is silly, and is very immature. Besides, your followers have been asked these things 100 times already. It's very annoying. Be ORIGINAL.

1) ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS! Unless you are an established site/tweeter, or an advanced person in the community, DO NOT let someone see who was evicted earlier in the night. If they haven't seen the show yet, chances are you'll get a pretty nasty response if they see that you posted information they don't know yet. You could choose to be a SPOILER site/Tweeter, but you MUST warn your followers/visitors AT EVERY opportunity that you post spoilers. Let THEM make the choice. It's a very fine line to post spoilers. Most of the time, you'll get a negative reaction. And don't be one of those tweeters that RACE to get the information out first. Nobody remembers how they found out first, and it's not a badge of honor to look down a time line and see 25 people have already tweeted it, and you STILL post it. It's just a very sticky thing to get involved in unless you are known for spoilers and have a fan base firmly established. The rule of thumb normally is 4 hours after it happens, then it's no longer considered a spoiler. If it's breaking news, sure, go ahead and post. EXAMPLE: A Housemate walked out of the house, or a Houseguest was kicked out. But an evicted Housemate/Houseguest post is generally considered a spoiler even though most fans are watching live. GIVE THEM the chance to seek you out for the information. Don't be the site/twitter that spoils something just so you can be the first one to break the news.

Ok. That's about it.
Good luck if you decide to embark on this great journey of Big Brother coverage! You can't rush into this. Your first steps to start a website/blog/Twitter involves planning, design, ideas, logo's, backgrounds, etc. Take your time, and DO IT RIGHT. There is no shortage of fansites/twitters out there. That means our Big Brother show is healthy, and people are still interested in it. There is room for everyone. Don't try to get too big too fast. It never works. People have had blogs/sites for years and STILL aren't as big as some others out there. It all depends on how big you want to be, and how much work and time you want to invest in it. It's not easy work, and sometimes it's thankless and you wonder why you do it. Just keep at it, and maybe someday you'll become like a BBSpy, or a BBDish, or even a Jokers Updates. Remember to let your love of the show shine through because in the end, you are a fan. And MOST OF ALL, HAVE FUN!

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