Whether it is criminally underrated, outdated, or just didn’t catch a lot of attention, sometimes a series just doesn’t have a big fan following. It can be a let down when your new favorite thing doesn’t have the same draw as those big-time fandoms. There is less fanfiction, less fanart, and you may feel like there’s less potential for fan activities. However, there are many benefits to the small fandom experience. From community support to the wildest headcanons, here are five reasons why it’s well worth it to be in a small fandom.

Everybody Knows Each Other In A Small Fandom

Small fandoms are a bit more like old-school fan clubs. You’ll find yourself in a group of familiar faces (or familiar online avatars) before long. It’s easy to make friends and start chatting in a smaller fandom, as many members are eager to discuss whatever criminally underrated series has brought you all together. This makes fan participation fun, welcoming, and accessible. Though there is less content, you don’t have to worry as much about seeing people come and go with fads. Your fellow fans may not always be participating, but chances are they will still want to chat as time goes on. Additionally, you can organize Big Bangs, gift exchanges, and other fan events to build your community and friendships in a fandom of any size.

With A Small Fandom, Fewer People Means Less Drama

From Bob's Burgers, Bob at a convention getting told off by other pony-cosplayers.
Credit: FOX

One of the biggest downsides to being in a fandom is drama. For many of us, fandom is our escape from real-world negativity. It can really spoil the experience when fan content comes with unnecessary toxicity or conflict. While it depends on the group of people, a small fandom has less chance of having avoidable fandom discourse. Everyone is typically just happy to see some fan content. And with a small group, it’s easy to ignore those one or two toxic people causing unnecessary drama.

Creative Takes, AUs, & Crossovers

Small fandoms are rarely picky with headcanons and other creative takes. Anything goes with headcanons, ships, alternate universes, and so on, so share away. This can lead to some really unique fan work. Through your fandom, you may be introduced to something totally new. Not to mention, AUs and crossovers are a great way to get some attention to your fandom. Crossing over with a larger series (Harry Potter AUs for example) puts your fandom in a bigger tag. There’s a better chance that someone may see it and come over to see what your fandom is all about.  

More Visibility For Fan Creations

With larger fandoms, it can be difficult for all of the fanart and fanfiction to get deserved attention.  In smaller groups, you can be fairly certain that your fellow fans will see your contributions.  You may not get hundreds of favs or comments, but there will be people excited to see your art or writing (or whatever you do!)

Ursula from Kiki's Delivery Service sketching birds on a rooftop.
Credit: Studio Ghibli

Everyone is excited to see some fan content, which makes for a positive response. Not only are you giving some love to an obscure series, but you’re also interacting with a familiar group. Putting your work out in the world can be scary, and a tight-knit community can offer inspiration and support to help artists of all kinds grow. And if you create fan works or even merchandise for a fandom that rarely gets any, you’ll definitely brighten someone’s day

There Is Room To Grow As A Community

Fan participation has a lot of potential in affecting a smaller sized fandom. A great aspect of a small fandom is it can develop and grow in size. Communicating and participating helps your fandom grow, but also shapes the environment. Small fandoms present the opportunity to keep your group a safe and fun place as it develops. Communication and visibility are easier with fewer people as well.

There are many different types of fan communities, and with more space to work with, you definitely have a strong say in helping your fandom remain (or become) a positive place. With the potential for less drama and less social pressure, small fandoms have a lot of upsides. Many times a small fandom is made up of more people than expected, so take the plunge and start posting about that obscure series nobody seems to talk about. You may find yourself in a small but mighty community.