Attention community members! Have you ever wanted to blog about the Illinois Fighting Illini? Most of you surely have at some point, but setting up your own web page can be quite a challenge since it takes a long time to build up an audience. Well, luckily, TCR already has some amazing tools that you can utilize!
Every site on the SB Nation network has something called 'FanPosts'. They allow community members to publish content directly to the site, where anyone can view it. Provided they're good enough, FanPosts also have a chance at being featured on our main page and social media accounts!
If this is something that interests you, continue reading for a brief tutorial.
1. Join SB Nation & The Champaign Room
Step 1: In order to actually create FanPosts you'll need to make yourself a free SB Nation profile. This is pretty self-explanatory as you just click where it says "sign up" on the upper right-hand corner of the site. Once signed up, your new account is like a personal blog because all the content you create will appear on your profile page; just click your username at the top of the page to access it.
Step 2: Now you need to become a member of The Champaign Room (also free!). To do this, scroll to the bottom of any article and locate the comments section. Click on "sign up" and accept the terms and conditions and you'll be good to go! It should look like this:
Congratulations! You're a member of The Champaign Room. Now you can participate in the comments section, write FanPosts, create FanShots, and more.
2. Accessing the Online Editor
Now that you're a member of TCR, just scroll down to this box on the right-hand side of our main page and click "Write a FanPost."
How to write FanPosts
Once you click that link, it'll open up the SB Nation editing tool. Here's a picture of what that should look like.
This will likely be overwhelming at first, but -- believe me -- it's very easy once you familiarize yourself with it.
You, obviously, write your post in the "Body" section of this page. The FanPost editor also has several tools that allow you to spruce up your work; between the Body and Title sections are a few buttons that allow you to alter the format of your text (i.e. making words bold, adding bullet points, or attaching a link).
You can also add a poll to your post to find out your readers' opinion on the subject; the "Attach Poll" button is in green a few lines down from the Body section. If any of these tools confuse you, click "show editor help" — it's highlighted in yellow under the Body section.
If you're still having some trouble figuring out how to use the editor, you can send us a tweet (@Champaign_Room) and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. We're happy to help!
A few tips to make you more successful:
- Don't just copy/paste articles from elsewhere. They're owned by someone else so we'd obviously have to delete them.
- Write your posts about topics we or another FanPost editor haven't covered—at least, haven't covered in the same way you would. We all have our own takes and that's fine.
- If you want to comment on a post on another site, link to it and quote a few lines. (On the menu bar, use the chain-link button). Then share your take. Again, don't just grab huge chunks of someone else's story.
- Your point will come across much better if your post is easily readable. Take a few minutes to go back and check for spelling and grammar mistakes. A little time spent editing will drastically improve the way the readers view your post, and increase the odds it gets promoted to the front page.
- Don't forget to preview your post before you publish it, to make sure that your formatting will come through correctly. Use the button right next to "Publish" at the bottom of the page, or find the tiny button at the top of the Body section.
REMINDER: Although we encourage everyone to share their opinions, our only rule is no hate speak towards anyone. Does that mean you can't write about firing coaches? Of course not. If you want to write stuff like that, just try and do it as respectfully as possible.