After a bit of a break the In The Blog series returns as we chat to the folk behind some of the most popular and interesting sites around.
Today Ross Dunbar of Bundesliga Fußball gives us an insight into his niche website.
Hi Ross, good of you to speak to us, how’s things?
Very well, it’s always a pleasure.
How and why does a Scottish Rangers fan come to have such an interest in the Bundesliga? Where did all start?
Difficult to say really. I started following the Bundesliga regularly towards the end of the 2008/2009 season when Wolfsburg ended up as champions. And once you get in the habit of following something, after a while it’s tough to get away from it. The Bundesliga’s very addictive and it always seems to be competitive – which is what a neutral, like myself, is after.
I think the falling standards in Scotland certainly haven’t helped either and over the last year or so, I’ve lost interest in the Scottish Premier League which is a shame. I still obviously follow Rangers but outside of them, you’d probably need to pay me to watch a game!
The Bundesliga, rightly or wrongly, is often placed on the second tier of the big European leagues alongside Ligue 1 and behind the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga. Do you think that people are sometimes dismissive of the league and its quality?
I think so, yes. I must admit, I’m not much of a fan of the Premier League – not just because I’m Scottish haha – but I feel out with four or five teams, the standard isn’t really that great. The thing about the Bundesliga is that you have easily eight or nine teams at the start of every season who could genuinely win the league – I mean, who thought Wolfsburg or Dortmund would win the title?
I remember when I was younger, the German league had a tag of being “defensive” and things are constantly changing in the German game. Since 2000, they’ve really put together something that, in the long-term, can comfortably challenge the top leagues. Eleven years later, the Bundesliga is anything but “defensive”.
Everyone has their own particular interests and I think it’s difficult to pick one league and say that is the best. Clearly, millions of people around the world love the English Premier League, I love the openness and excitement of the Bundesliga, and others love watching Barcelona every week. Each to their own, I suppose.
Looking at the site itself, how have you gone about getting the name out there? Presumably social media plays an important part?
Yeah, absolutely. I think for aspiring journalists or football writers just putting your name and your style out there is so important. Even if your not great at writing, you develop your own styles and after a while, the same people will come back and check your articles out of interest.
Twitter, in particular, is just an essential tool for blogging and putting your articles out there to a wider audience.
Has being so focused on one particular league opened up other opportunities for you to showcase your knowledge?
In some cases, yeah I’d say so. But having only followed the league for just over two years, my knowledge isn’t of the standard of other writers/bloggers who follow the Bundesliga. I suppose that will improve over time, the more you watch teams and do research on players etc.
It’s an exciting time for German football with their European co-efficient improving amongst other things. Presumably you have a lot planned for next season on the back of that?
Yeah, definitely. The site has just started as a blog, then I did a little bit of news to it, and hopefully next season I can up the game a wee bit.
So far, the site and content has received really good reviews and I’m grateful for that.
Thanks Ross and keep up the good work!
As well as checking out Bundesliga Fußball you can also follow Ross on Twitter!