We love Fanposts here at Windy City Gridiron and would like nothing more than to see the Fanpost section of our site expanded and flourishing.
You may notice that in our recent redesign, Fanposts have been given a prominent spot on our front page. In addition to that, WCG managing editor Lester A. Wiltfong, Jr. has stated he’s planning on expanding on the promotion of fanposts to the top of the front page to award exceptionally good articles.
Should you write a Fanpost? As Lester pointed out a while back in this article, if you are wondering if you should take a shot at writing a Fanpost “the answer is a resounding, Yes.” Lester continued “Windy City Gridiron has a very active membership, and the comment threads are always a good read. Many times it's the comments that generate even more discussion on a particular WCG article, and often times the thought provoking comments are from members that never write Fanposts. Some of the comments are so lengthy and detailed they could be stand alone posts. If you've ever wondered if you should write one, we say stop wondering and Do It. Do It Now.”
I’ve got a bit of advice for people who want to give writing an article for Windy City Gridiron but don’t know exactly how to get started in the form of eight tips to point you in the right direction.
8 Tips for writing a great Fanpost:
1) Don't bury the lead. This is one of the first things they teach budding journalists at J-school... don’t make your readers wait until the fourth paragraph to figure out what you are saying, lead with it. Notice what I did at the top of this article? I went right to the lead. This isn’t the ONLY way of effectively writing an article, but it is one sure-fire way to get your point across.
2) Know where you are going with it. Have a definite plan of attack before you start, and follow through on that. Pick a topic and stay on topic, whatever it is.
3) Keep it clean. We do have Community Guidelines here, and we ask that you follow them. Besides, this is WCG, people don’t come here for profanity laced articles...
4) It's a FAN post, be a fan! Fly that Bears flag! When talking about our team, use words like “we” and “us” to describe the Bears. This IS your team, so be inclusive.
5) Put some of yourself in your story. Share your ideas, but also tie it in with yourself... use a story from your personal Bears experiences to illustrate your point. Here’s and example: “It seems like every other play I was yelling at the TV screen because a Bears wideout had yet another drop. Did we really have that many? Well, when I went back and looked at the stats I found that...”
6) Keep "what is realistic" in mind. Example of what is realistic: Could the Bears have moved up in front of the Rams and taken Aaron Donald a few years ago? Yes, absolutely. Can the Bears trade up every year to get their person? Probably not. Example of something unrealistic: “The Bears should be able to pull 5 starters out of every draft”. In truth, a large number of draft picks bust league wide, and there’s a ton of data out there to explore, compare and contrast... it’s an interesting topic, so if it interests you, start your research and Fanpost what you find!
7) Attribute your sources. If you use statistics or numbers of any kind, put a link to where people can find the original source data. This both gives you credibility, it also rewards the source (they get click throughs increasing their exposure) and your reader gets more information thanks to you.
8) It's OK to promote your Fanposts in the Den. I know the Denmaster, he’s OK with that.
These are just a few quick tips, if you have any questions or if you need a bit of help on a fanpost, we have contributors and editors here that will be more than glad to give you a hand.
Bottom line, if you’ve ever considered doing it, give it a try! Who knows, it could end up at the top of the WCG front page!