As we’ve pretty much come to the end of my anniversary week other than one more follower feature and a things I’ve learned post coming tomorrow (yes, I did take a whole week to celebrate the ongoing existence of my own blog), I’m wanting to look back on the journey as a whole from where I started to now, particularly looking back and my early posts.
The name of my blog clearly states that my initial plan was to only write posts of around 100 words. Mostly it was a writing exercise because I didn’t really expect anyone was going to read my posts. While I wanted to discuss anime with people, I didn’t really have anyone to talk with and I’d pretty much given up on the Crunchyroll forums for a conversation. So the blog was born out of a desire to say something about anime, find other anime fans, and maybe have a conversation. As the blog started growing and I started having quite a bit of fun with it, I expanded into longer series reviews, features, lists, and pretty much whatever I wanted to do.
My very first post came a few weeks into the Spring 2016 anime season on May 1st. I think I was a little too optimistic about my ability to actually keep my thoughts down to 100 words per post:
This blog is going to follow some of the anime out this season and offer an episode by episode review with the occasional retro review thrown in, whenever I have the time. As the title indicates, I’m going to try to keep the reviews to 100 words.
Now, for some fun stats. That post has received a total of 15 views ever with 0 likes and 0 comments. For some that would have spelled the end of the blog. I’ve seen so many first posts or introductory posts that never, ever get a follow up post and then the blog vanishes from sight. For me, that was more or less what I was expecting and I was actually surprised it even managed 9 views in the first 2 days.
First Episode Review
Also on May 1st, because once I start something I get just a little bit obsessed, I posted my very first episode review and now that I’m looking back I’ve discovered that the first ever episode review was for Kiznaiver episode 4.
…I’ve been routinely disappointed as the anime used shocks and (un)comedic moments with a cast that has been difficult to like. Episode four finally overcomes the latter with the cast starting to feel more genuine in their roles even as two of the characters fight it out for title of king weirdo.
This post actually got some views, 19 in May and 28 total, and even a few comments. It probably helped that Kiznaiver was one of the most talked about anime of that particular season and amazingly enough tagging your posts with key words people search for actually does help people find your blog.
First Series Review
By May 3rd I’d decided to tackle a review of an anime I’d finished watching prior to starting the blog and I pretty much threw the 100 words out the window when taking on a whole series. First series review was The Devil Is A Part Timer for the simple reason that I’d just finished watching it over a long weekend.
While some of the characters remain one dimensional and the basic premise never really evolves beyond Lord Satan is working part time and somehow believes he will one day rule the world, this series is more than entertaining enough.
12 whole views of that post in May. Wow! I’m thinking the lesson I’m learning here is that blogs don’t grow over night. And even though sometimes I wonder if I’m working hard enough at growing my blog, when I look back at where it started I’ve actually made some good progress.
First Friday’s Feature
On May 6th I decided to write a feature. Actually, I just wanted to further discussion around anime and a 100 word episode review didn’t seem right so I created a feature and being ambitious I called it Friday’s Feature, thus dooming myself to having to think of a new topic each week to write about. Seriously, I enjoy writing those posts but some weeks inspiration is a little dry. My first Friday’s Feature asked people Why do you? and focussed on reasons for watching anime.
Why do you watch anime?
I often wonder why this question ever even gets asked. Its like walking up to someone standing on a football field in their uniform and carrying the ball and asking why they play football.
The thing was, that was my most popular post in May with 27 views pretty much on the Friday or over the following weekend. Even now, my feature posts get significantly more views and comments than most of my other posts (with the possible exception of some of my Top 5 lists). So in terms of igniting a conversation, I think the feature has very much served its purpose and hopefully I can continue to come up with useful and engaging topics, though clearly not all of them will be gems.
First Tuesday’s Top 5
Skip ahead to June 7 and I launched my very first Top 5 Tuesday’s Top 5 post starting out with Top 5 Red Heads (Female). I’d thought about it for a little bit before adding this feature and I’d drafed up a fairly lengthy list of potential lists because I didn’t want to get a few weeks in and run short of ideas.
As the title suggests I’m going to attempt to do a top 5 list every Tuesday. Why did I start with Red-Heads? Because it was an easy list to write and really shouldn’t lead to too many people wanting to tell me exactly how many different ways I am wrong. I could be wrong about that, but time will tell.
List writing has become one of my favourite parts of this blog. I don’t want to do more than one a week but just thinking about possible lists and candidates and writing down the names and crossing them out is very relaxing. Anyway, this post got 48 views in June and some of my Top 5 lists have become amongst my most viewed posts.
Over time I’ve tried a few different things with the blog. I used to do words of wisdom, sharing anime quotes. Mostly I ran out of quotes that I wanted to share and to be honest a post with just a quote wasn’t really adding much to the overall discussion about anime so I scrapped it. I’ve also occasional promoted a release of a DVD, done some links to AMV’s, and of course I do my weekly overviews of what I’ve been watching and the in case you missed it posts where I link to blogs I’ve read during the week.
What I Learned
For this whole anniversary week I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned through blogging but I think the number 1 thing that I will take away from this is that blogs take time and effort but it is incredibly rewarding. At first it will feel like you are just casting words out into the abyss and hoping someone somewhere might respond, but as you build up connections with your readers and other bloggers you will realise you aren’t alone and that you are actually part of a larger and fairly vocal community that for the most part are highly supportive and also just wanting to find someone to talk anime with.
Thanks to everyone who has joined me this week for the anniversary specials and remember there are a couple more to come out tomorrow to finish off the week.
Here’s to 1 year on 100 Word Anime and hopefully I’ll see you all throughout the 2nd year.
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