5 Important Tips for Making Your Own Anime Fansite

Before You Create Your Own Anime Website, Read This

Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands - The Complete Collection DVD Cover
Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands - The Complete Collection DVD Cover. Pokemon Company, Nintendo, Creatures, Game Freak, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku

When you love a series or movie so much, it's natural to want to express your fandom online. Many fans will participate in online forums while others will simply interact on social media but a few, more dedicated fans, will commit themselves to creating their own fansite.

Creating an anime website from scratch can be an intimidating task and making sure readers actually discover it and return to visit it on a regular basis can be even harder.

Here's five good bits of advice to help newie web designers get started, and more importantly, be successful.

  1. Find a Niche: While it can be tempting to make a fansite for a super popular anime series like Pokemon or Sailor Moon, there are literally thousands of other fans who have got the same idea. To make your website really stand out, niche it down. Focus on a small aspect of the series that you can really dedicate a lot of time to and explore. Don't make a fansite about the entire Dragon Ball anime. Don't even focus on Dragon Ball Z or Super. There is so much to cover that it will spread yourself thin very quickly. Instead think of something more specific such as Dragon Ball video games or T-shirts or maybe even the numerous DVDs and Blu-rays. By finding a niche, you'll become a valuable source on that specific topic. You'll also rank higher in search engines.
  2. Provide Original Content: Now that you've decided on a niche, you need to make sure that no one else is already covering it. If someone is and you think you can do a better job then by all means go for that topic too but if your competition's coverage is so extensive that it will take you years to catch up, it would be best for everyone for you to choose something that you have a chance of succeeding at. It's also important that when you do start creating content that you aren't just copying ideas from other websites and definitely aren't copying text word-for-word. Even if you give credit, copying content is generally frowned upon by other website owners as well as search engines which will assume your site is a bot (fake site) and delist it.
  1. Buy a Domain Name: Gone are the days when having a domain name was considered special or exceptional. Now it's a minimum requirement to be taken seriously online. Domain names can be bought for between US$5-10 a year nowadays and there really is no excuse not to have one.
  2. Use Social Media A LOT: Social media has changed the way people consume content dramatically. So much so that many professionals recommend spending around one third of your time creating content and two thirds promoting it on social media and making connections with other creators in your niche and more importantly your readers. Recommended social networks are Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. Those with extra time may want to invest in Ello, Tsu, and Vine but these haven't really proven themselves to be invaluable tools in marketing just yet.
  1. Be Real: Another important shift that has happened in recent years has been the increased importance of the author platform over a website's own name. Readers are now much more interested in an individual's opinion on a topic and less so in a giant brand. Unless there are some legitimate safety concerns (and there probably aren't) everyone should be using their real name online and using a real photo of themselves in their bios and social media profiles. Readers connect more with a real person. Calling yourself "UsagiLovesMeatballs3876" just won't cut it anymore.

Interested in making an anime blog? It's a little different than making a website.

Edited by Brad Stephenson