Our target audience is in their teens, they are pop culture savvy, and not afraid to tell it like it is. We primarily cover articles in the fuzzy area I like to call “mainstream nerd”.
What is “mainstream nerd”?
“Mainstream nerd” covers a pretty big group, and given you’re here, you likely share at least some similar interests and fandoms with this group.
2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an example of a film that crosses into this “mainstream nerd” category. The Force Awakens grossed $2.068 billion worldwide breaking box office records around the globe, it was the highest grossing film of that year, and the third-highest of all time. Another example is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) which, from 2008 to 2016 grossed $10.912 billion worldwide across the 14 films released during that period. The universe has also spawned a long list of network and streaming service TV series which attract tens of millions of viewers in the United States and around the world.
No longer do sci-fi and comic book movies and shows appeal to just a niche audience, their huge successes over the last decade have pushed these genres into the mainstream while still maintaining their niche appeal. Nowhere on the internet is that crossover more apparent than on FANDOM.com’s hundreds of thousands of wikis dedicated to diving into the particulars of any fan-related topic or subject. As a result, Fandom has grown to become the world’s largest entertainment site, and the dedication to these wikis is all due to hard-working and passionate fans like yourself.
Some of our top performing articles of 2016 should also give you a good idea of the type of fandoms our audience are the most engaged with:
- Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke?
- Butch Hartman Draws the ‘Danny Phantom’ Trio – 10 Years Later
- ‘Game of Thrones’: Explaining Hodor’s Time Travel Paradox
- 15 Must-See Fall 2016 Anime
- How ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Will Solve its Protagonist Problem
- Five Theories About ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s Sister Location’
Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Marvel and DC universes, Pokemon, Overwatch, Fallout, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, the Arrowverse - these are all the types of properties that our audience engages with. That’s not to say you should exclusively write about these shows/movies/games, but if you know people who are into any of these (or, more likely, you are one yourself) that’s who we’re aiming at.
When you’re writing an article for FANDOM, always keep in mind that your reader may not have the same encyclopedic knowledge that you do. Just because you have a deep knowledge about a topic or fandom, like Fallout 4 mods or specific sub-genres of anime, doesn’t necessarily mean your reader does too. Remember when you were just getting into some of your favorite fandoms? Many of these have been going for decades and have volumes upon volumes of canonical content, so not everyone will be as up-to-date as you might be.
Avoid turning off readers and alienating them with too much “insider” information, jargon, or terminology. Cut your reader some slack and take the opportunity to gently guide them into the magical world of your fandom. On the other hand, you also don’t want to talk down to your reader either. Invite them into the journey and show them the reason you care and why it’s a good reason they should care too.
In some cases and with certain topics it's going to be impossible to avoid using jargon. A general rule of thumb to go by is if you think the average reader won't immediately understand what it is, link it to a wiki page.
Senior Games Editor, Henry Gilbert’s article about ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ – 5 Tips For Starting The Game is one such article that deliberately eases newcomers and long-time players alike into the game by using these easy to follow starter tips.
But Don't Oversimplify
While we want to be as inclusive as possible with our content, there's no need to oversimplify your article either. If you're writing about Game of Thrones, for example, you can assume that the reader has some knowledge of the main characters and events of the show. Finding the balance between giving too much or too little information may take some getting used to, but reading other published Fandom articles and taking note of editorial feedback will help you get that mix right.