Having reached the one year point, I’ve decided to spend this week reflecting on what I’ve learned from blogging over the past 12 months, firmly keeping in mind I still have a lot to learn.
One of the things that kept me from starting a blog even after the idea was suggested to me as a way to get back into writing regularly was a fear I had that I wouldn’t have anything to say. Who wants to read a blog about nothing? And writing words just to fill posts doesn’t seem like the best approach either because it is going to become clear to your audience fairly quickly that even though you produce content, you have nothing to say.
The thing is, once I started the blog, I realised I have too much that I want to say. Every post I write leads me to another idea or another thought I’d love to write about. That doesn’t mean every idea is a gem or well received, but there’s always something I want to say. Most days I post 3 posts fairly consistently, though the current Spring season has me posting four posts some days because I didn’t drop enough shows and I’m a little overloaded at the moment.
While I’ll address this more in scheduling, since starting the blog I’ll regularly schedule a feature or a top 5 or even a series review and then some other inspiration will hit me which leads me to either move the original post back (if it is time sensitive like some features are) or trying to think when the new post would best fit into the overall schedule. The end result is a very messy notebook full of scribbles and arrows and a constant weighing up of which posts need to go out sooner rather than later and which posts are even ready to actually go out.
There are a couple of things that really help me with content.
01. I watch a lot of anime. You can’t write about anime without engaging with anime. That one should be a no-brainer except that a lot of bloggers struggle with balancing watching anime against writing about anime because essentially the more time given to one is time taken from the other.
02. I read a lot of other blogs and articles about anime. Once again, you have to engage with anime and the opinions of others on anime and just find out what is out there that you might have missed. My watch list of anime to eventually catch up on was already crazy, since blogging I threw the list out and started over and it still manages to get longer almost daily as I find another review about an anime I hadn’t heard about. Plus, with all the seasonal watching I do, catch up views kind of get sandwiched in whenever I have the time.
03. I write lists. I’m old school in that my desk is literally covered in notebooks. One for my blog schedule, one for ideas for features (if I’m watching an anime and have a question it gets written down, if a random thought strikes me while writing or reading another post I write it down, etc), one for ideas for possible top 5 lists, one for shows I’m looking forward to in later seasons, one for shows I’m wanting to watch and shows I’ve watched but not yet reviewed, one for computer game reminders, etc. I’m literally drowning in notebooks with at least nine within sight and reach of me right now and if I get a sudden idea I grab a pen and whatever notebook is appropriate that instant because ideas have a tendency to run away again. With that in mind, when I get a window of time to write, I always have a lot of things to write about, the problem is narrowing it down to what will actually go well.
That said, I am cutting down my series reviews. I was reviewing a series every 3 days (I know, weird scheduling choice given it means it isn’t the same day in each week but it was working) but going forward, after the 21st, I will only be reviewing whole series on Saturday and Wednesday. Partly this is to make scheduling a little simpler and partly it is because while I still have a lot of series on my list to review, the list is significantly shorter than it was and I am starting to think more long term about my blog (which is something that never occurred to me back in May last year when I didn’t actually think long term was going to be an issue).
The other thing about content that I’m slowly getting my head around is how many non-anime related posts I can throw out there on an anime blog. They are fun to write but I don’t want my blog to become unfocused so trying to balance that content is another consideration going forward. As well as the question of whether I should introduce any other weekly articles.
I’d love to know my readers’ opinions about the content on 100 Word Anime. What you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like more of, what you would like me to hit with a shovel and bury in the backyard (metaphorically of course). Please comment below.
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