Inquiring Minds Want to Know #16

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

I’m pretty sure the question today is one everyone can get behind because we all remember starting our blogs and just how many things we didn’t know. So here we are reaching out to the community to see if we can give an answer to this one.

Can you give a word of advice or two for new bloggers?

Anime Rants
Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

Even after three years I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to give anyone else advice about blogging. All I can do is share what I’ve learned and what has worked for me. Whether that is applicable or helpful to someone else really depends on a whole bunch of other conditions. Still, there are a few points I can share.

Perhaps the most important thing is to clarify what you want from your blog. If you are just wanting to write and you don’t really care who reads it, then all you need to do is write and post. There are plenty of bloggers happy with a small following because they write their posts for themselves. However, after starting my blog and finding out just how enjoyable it is to write for an audience and to grow that audience, I started wanting to make my blog more of a job than a hobby. I haven’t got there yet but each year I work a little bit more toward that goal but it does mean that a lot of what I’ve been doing and learning about blogging is aimed towards increasing views and building a relationship with my audience.

And yet some days it still feels like I’m not getting anywhere.

Still, the fundamentals remained the same. I need to write and have something to share in the first place. At first I wrote very short reviews (hence the 100 Word part of the blog title) but over time I’ve found myself expanding on that and now find episode reviews come in at between 300 – 600 words and that’s enough to say what I want without droning on. Other posts go for as many words as they need but I still try to focus on keeping the post length to something that can be comfortably read fairly quickly but that is my style. Other bloggers write quite extensive editorials or opinion pieces and they are a delight to read but due to the nature of what they are writing they post less often.

However, once you know what you are writing and your purpose, there does remain the issue of getting your blog noticed.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 3 - Diablo
And no, don’t wait for permission, you need to put yourself out there.

While it might seem like the long way to do it, the most consistent way I’ve found new readers is by putting aside a block of time every day to read the posts of others. I read the posts of those I follow by checking in on the wordpress reader and I also search for new blog posts on particular topics to find new audience members. Not everyone I visit ends up coming to my blog or following me, but by being consistent in this approach steady follower growth occurs. And that was mostly all I did for the first year. Posted regularly and visited other blogs leaving comments where appropriate or liking content that I actually liked.

Natsume Yuujinchou
He’s so precious.

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Last year I spent a bit of time researching and reading about twitter and changed a few of my habits on twitter and since then I’ve noticed consistent increase in views generated from twitter. It usually sits just under the readers and search engines in terms of referrers. That said, I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of learning how to use twitter better but it has been fun to figure out and the ani-twitter community is interesting. While it isn’t quite as warm and open as the wordpress ani-blogging community has been with some people genuinely being trolls for the sake of it, there’s more than enough wonderful people on twitter with a love of anime that it has been time well spent learning more about it.

Twitter is quite interesting.

This year, at the prompting of both Irina and Crow and a few other ani-bloggers, I’ve been attempting to figure out Pinterest. I still don’t get it at all but just the simple act of pinning an image from each of my posts and occasionally putting together boards of anime I’m enjoying has seen an increase in traffic to my blog with Pinterest now sitting just under twitter in terms of my referrers and a couple of times over the last month it has overtaken twitter.

However if I was going to narrow my advice down to a few quick points:

  • Know what you want from your blog.
  • Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on one thing until you have a bit of confidence and then try the next.
  • Reach out to the community as there are some amazing people you can meet online particularly in the ani-blogging community on WordPress.

But mostly I’d suggest having fun with what you do. Blogging most definitely has to be driven by passion and if you aren’t having fun there’s very little point to any of it.

Seriously though, let’s hand this over to everyone else as I’m sure they will come up with much better advice than me. I know how many people have helped me out over the past three years and I am very thankful to every blogger who has ever shared their advice, tips or tricks.

As always, if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey below.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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16 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want to Know #16

  1. Write what you enjoy – don’t write for views/hits. That reduces the chance for burnout, and makes your posts much more fun for the reader.

    Also, don’t be afraid to riff off of somebody else’s idea. (Riff off, not rip off. These are not the same thing.) But always, always, link back to the post that inspired you. ALWAYS. Connections build community.

    Comments are a discussion forum, so feel free to reply to other people’s comments on other blogs. The key is participation, and there’s more to that than just replying to the author. In fact, don’t feel obligated to reply to author at all. Just get in there and participate!

    And yes, the last *is* advice to bloggers – because blogging is a community participation sport. When your write a post or a comment, it’s your turn to serve… reply to a comment (or riffing off a post) is returning the serve.

    Speaking of comments… Feel free to disagree (politely) or to ask further questions or encourage further discussion in replies to comments on your posts. Liveliness is encouraged! Sure, sure, nine out of ten readers will simply punt – but that tenth will more than make up for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great advice. As someone who blogs purely for the joy of writing I’d have to say enjoying what you do is the most important part for me, followed by writing however you want to write, don’t write just to impress people. I am starting to work on building more of an audience so I’ll take your other advice on board. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll continue to monitor this post for advice and tips, and thank you Karandi for responding to my question with your own words and also putting it out there for others. I do have fun writing, and like you, I think that’s key. Mostly what I like is to be able to say what I want in my posts, and also interact with the community here. I am trying to expand my audience some, though. Like you said, reading other people’s posts and looking for other blogs to visit or follow seems to have helped some.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the biggest thing with expanding an audience is time and being consistent with your approach. That and engaging with the audience both on your blog and elsewhere. But, I’ve been really enjoying reading your blog and hopefully others find it as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks! Hmm consistency is tough though. I want to be able to write series reviews, analyses, random rants, and some episode reviews all in one place. There’s a consistency to my inconsistency at least. Those are my main categories and I’ve already gotten fairly used to them. I’m not sure if it was a good idea to randomly start the 30 day anime challenge though. I can do it, I’m confidencent, but it’s very unlike the rest of what I’ve posted. See I also have a little issue with impulsivity. xD

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Variety is fine. I also like a range of posts. In addition to episode reviews I do features, top 5 lists, character posts, light novel reviews and full series reviews but I just have a fairly consistent schedule for when they go out so people who like my list posts know that Tuesday is when that will come out and those who like features know to come to the blog Friday and so on.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d echo pretty much everything you said. If they were looking to take the next step then thinking about SEO while putting their posts together is a great place to start.

    That can be the title, how they structure the posts and even down to the blog name. Images are also something to consider. Adding Alt-text to you images will help.

    More than anything, however, is don’t be afraid to interact. You’re already putting yourself out there by blogging, so don’t be afraid to comment on posts and reply to comments. Also ask questions, most bloggers aren’t as scary as they look…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One of these days I’m actually going to look at SEO but I did take a few tips from Arthifis when he published a couple of posts about it, such as adding alt-text to images and the like and it actually did help.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My wife (who, among other things, is a social media expert) just mentioned that “Hey, did you know that Google interprets the heading tags and can boost a search based on what’s in the headlines?”

        So, guess what I’m doing with all my new posts?

        The good thing about Google’s approach is that it _tries_ to reward good content. It’s just a challenge to know how that’s implemented at any given time!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. In my very short time blogging, one thing I needed to learn is that everyone is not going to agree with you all the time. I know at times I can be a bit sensitive when it comes to my blog. I have to remember that I put my thoughts out there for public consumption and everyone that reads it has the right to their opinion on those thoughts.

    Liked by 4 people

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