A Beginner's Guide to FanPosts

Never before has our little Buffalo Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings, been more popular than it has over the past week.  We're averaging between 15 and 20 new users per week these days, traffic is through the roof, and with all of our new Rumblers from Yahoo, things are going to get even crazier (read: more fun) around these parts.  The timing couldn't be more perfect, with the NFL's free agent signing period just a hair over 24 hours away.  It's an exciting time to be an NFL fan, let alone a Bills fan, and we're happy to host each and every one of you who decides to stop by Rumblings on a daily basis.

With new folks comes a more active community, and a more active community means a glut of new FanPosts.  For folks new here, FanPosts are essentially a blog within a blog; they're your spot to post your blog posts, opinions, speculation, etc.  Quality FanPosts are constantly popping up here, and the best of the best get a little face time on our front page.  If you're looking to get your voice heard louder than ever, the FanPost section is the place to do it.  Want proof that your voice can be heard by becoming a quality FanPoster?  Look no further than our high quality editorial staff.  Kurupt, sireric, jri111, Ron From NM and MattRichWarren all got their start at Rumblings in the FanPost section.

There are several unique ways to get your FanPosts noticed not just here, but across the entire SB Nation network of blogs.  Here are some guidelines to posting FanPosts that you might find useful...

FanPosts versus FanShots
If you're looking to report a quick hit news item, this isn't the ideal place to do it.  For those types of posts, please stick to the FanShot section, as these are much easier to bump to the front page and keeps the FanPost section free for the function it's here for: longer-form opinion pieces.  WABillsFan's recent off-season plan is the perfect example of what an ideal FanPost should be at Buffalo Rumblings.

With FanPosts coming in so frequently, quality FanPosts are getting lost in the shuffle.  The quick way to fix that? Recommend FanPosts that you enjoy!  FanPosts that get enough recommends will show up in the "Recommended FanPosts" section; that'll keep the highest-quality work here in a more prominent location for longer.  Want to practice?  Find the "Rec" link immediately above the "Around SB Nation" box immediately preceding the comments section and give it a click.  Do it on this FanPost, in fact - and if you're looking for even more practice, go recommend WABillsFan's work.

Associating Teams/Players
When you're writing a FanPost, you may notice all that extra stuff to the right of the text editor.  This is where SB Nation makes its magic.  If you're writing a FanPost about Trent Edwards, enter his name in the Player field to the right of the text editor, click his full name when it pops up, and voila - the post is now linked to Edwards' profile.  Every NFL player is linkable, as is every NFL team.  This is the best way to get your work seen across other SBN blogs.

Use tags for non-player and non-team specific associated content.  Examples of good tags: "jason peters holdout" or "marshawn lynch legal trouble".

We're entering pet peeve territory, so I'll just say this: please keep headlines as short and relevant as possible.  I was taught as a journalism major to keep headlines under eight words, and if you're looking to get your work noticed elsewhere, it's a good idea to heed that advice.

If you're posting something newsworthy, first thing's first - make sure you keep it to the FanShots section unless you're adding a significant chunk of opinion to keep it FanPost worthy.  PLEASE LINK BREAKING NEWS when possible.  I hate digging for links to avoid lawsuits when y'all are perfectly capable of linking yourself. :)

When FanPosts are deleted
I hate deleting FanPosts, but I've had to do more of it than I'd like over the past few weeks.  PLEASE CHECK PREVIOUS FANPOSTS BEFORE POSTING REDUNDANT INFORMATION (in fact, since FanShots are the right area for news and you've got breaking news to spread, go ahead and do it there).  FanPosts that are in direct violation of the Buffalo Rumblings Community Guidelines will also be deleted, particularly for vulgarity.

Long story short?
- Try to keep newsworthy items without significant opinion added to the FanShots section.
- Recommend the crap out of FanPosts that you find particularly insightful.
- Associate players and teams, add polls, and link back to your previous work.
- Link as often as possible.
- Keep headlines relevant and simple.
- Be respectful, civil, and most of all, have fun in this section.  This is your blog.  Use it well!

Questions can be submitted in the comments section or directly to me via email.  If you're a new user, we've got several power users here who are perfectly capable of answering your technical questions as well.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of