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Question: This is a bit clichè, but what advice can you give for people who want to run a successful anime blog, akin to yours? From Neha.
I don’t know that I would call my anime blog successful at this point. Consistent in creating content, certainly, which was something I worked very hard on in 2017, and in terms of helping me connect with other bloggers it has been very successful. But, the reality is there are always bigger and better blogs out there.
Still, I have been doing this for nearly two years and I must admit the growth I’ve experienced was unexpected and I’ve spent a bit of time as I approach the second anniversary wondering how that happened. There’s no single approach that is going to work given blogging is about the writer of the blog connecting with an audience and how one writer does that won’t necessarily work for another but from my experience and my observation of other bloggers here are some small bits of advice that might be useful.
01. Be part of the community.
I cannot emphasise this enough. While the very occasional reader will stumble upon you via a random internet search or through a term search in the wordpress reader, most people who find your blog (particularly when you are starting) will find it because you’ve been to their blog first and interacted with them. Maybe more than once before they bother to follow back to your blog. The other way people will find you is if one of those bloggers you have interacted with shares one of your posts or links to you. But it all starts with you actively seeking out other blogs on your topic and interacting with people there.
And don’t be one of those people who just writes in the comments “Great content, check out my post…” That isn’t actually an interaction so much as a really poor sales pitch.
Yes, this is going to take time. Time when you could be writing your own posts or watching anime. But you need to decide whether you want to engage with the community or not and whether you want them to engage with you and the content you create.
02. Timing actually matters.
There’s a few points with timing. The first is your post schedule. I post multiple times a day (and no I don’t actually sit at my computer for 24 hours of the day I just heavily rely on the scheduler and hope nothing goes too wrong – occasionally two posts go out at the same time because I’ve stuffed it up), but this isn’t actually necessary. What is necessary is that your reader’s know when your content is coming out so they can check back for it. If you want to post once a week, that’s fine. Because if your reader’s know that on Sunday you are going to have a new post out, they’ll wait until Sunday.
But if there’s no consistency and people don’t know, there is a chance they will miss your posts. People are creatures of habit and routine. You want them to be in the routine of checking your blog when you have new content out. You want to make it easy for them to find your most recent posts.
I’ve pointed it out before, but the number of posts on my blog actually hurts some times because an individual post gets only a handful of the daily views before it gets moved down the list by the next post. While my features and top 5 lists get hits for a couple of days after they are out, episode reviews are either seen when they are released or disappear into obscurity with some of them barely getting twenty or thirty views before they’ve been moved on. But, because I post content consistently, people know when they visit my blog they’ll come across new content to read. Some readers only check in once a week and clearly go through the list of recently published posts because they’ll like 10 or 12 posts in one go and then I won’t see them again for a week. Other people seem to check in daily.
The final point with timing is what time of day to release your post. This is going to take some trial and error but at least figure out which country your main reading group are from and publish at a time convenient to them. What does that mean? Well, I set one of my posts to go out at 4 am my time. Why? Because that’s when a lot of people are reading blogs in America for some reason, I guess it is the evening there but I am terrible at converting time. When I don’t have a post scheduled around that time, my views for the day drop by 30 – 50 people.
03. The quality argument.
Your post does not have to be perfect. It needs to be able to be read and it needs to get its point across. However, one or two typos are not going to have you banished from the internet. That said, you want your reader to see that you care about the quality of your work and you want to set at least a minimum standard for what you publish. Find a balance where you are producing work that is interesting and thoughtful or whatever you want it to be and edited enough that people aren’t cringing trying to get through the first paragraph and then go for it.
About the only other bit of advice I would give any blogger is to make your blog what you want it to be. I wanted to make a space where I could discuss anime and I think I’ve created a fairly good space for that and hopefully I can continue to make 100 Word Anime a place where people want to drop by to read about and share their thoughts on anime.
Given so many of my reader’s are bloggers, I wonder what have you learned while blogging that you think people should know. Please share your wisdom in the comments below. Or remember that you can participate in my anniversary that is coming up soon where I’m asking bloggers to share their advice with others.
Thanks for reading.
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