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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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