As someone who writes fourteen episode reviews a week most weeks and also throws in whole series reviews and book reviews, the question of how and when to schedule is one I come to over and over again.
When I first started blogging I would literally just watch an episode write something, do a bit of an edit and post. But then a whole bunch of shows would come out on the same day and I ended up starting to schedule posts for following days or else I’d have some days with heaps of posts and then nothing for the next. Eventually that evolved into the process I have now where at the start of each season I work out a rough schedule of each day so I know which posts are going to go out and when. My schedule notebook has every post I’ve scheduled and then published written in it since the 7th of July 2016 and it has served me well with only a few hiccups in the schedule when I’ve miscalculated a time zone or the like.
But that doesn’t stop me wondering if there is a best time to post an anime review. Whether we are talking episode review or a full season review you are left with a fairly big decision. Do you get your post out as soon as it is finished airing to be the start of the conversation? Do you wait a little bit to work through your thoughts and to give yourself and other viewers some time before posting? Or do you distance yourself entirely and let all the fuss die down so that your post isn’t coming out at the same time as about a dozen others on the same anime?
I don’t actually know which approach is best. I know I take the second one. With everything except Sword Art Online Alicization this season I’ve given myself at least a day if not more between when it airs and when I’ve scheduled my post of the episode review. For full series I schedule one a week so it takes me nearly two and a bit months to get through the previous season’s shows and then I review some older anime until the most recent season ends and I start the cycle over again. Is this the best option? Again, I don’t really know.
It works for me because I don’t like feeling rushed. The only reason I review SAO on the same day as I watch it is because I was excited for its return and didn’t want to wait longer to discuss it when it first started airing. A lot of the excitement has kind of fizzled for me since, but given it comes out Sunday morning I usually have plenty of time to watch it, write a draft post and come back to it later in the evening and edit before publishing. So I’m not really inclined to move it at this point. For my other posts I can watch the shows the day they come out, if I have the time, but if I don’t, I’m not worried. I’ve got space in the schedule. And my posts go out on time fairly reliably.
As a reader, I know that there are posts I actively avoid. Given time zone differences, a lot of anime comes out late at night or early morning so it isn’t until I wake up that I can possibly watch it, but I usually do a read through posts and comments first. Anything reviewing an episode I’m about to watch of a show I’m really invested in (such as The Promised Neverland), I don’t open. I’m not paranoid about spoilers but I’d rather not read someone’s full take on the show before I watch it. If I remember I try to go back after to find those posts I skipped in the reader but sometimes I just don’t get back to them.
Being first out for a review is good in that people who are wondering about it or waiting for news will appreciate the timeliness of the post. However, a lot of viewers don’t want to read a post until after they’ve seen it themselves so sometimes being first means your post gets lost.
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In terms of posting later, timeliness is something that needs to be considered. Episode reviews lose relevance quickly unless you are talking about something super popular that people will pick up outside of seasonal viewing. That said, you’ve got people who subscribe and watch things the week of release, people who get access the week after release, people who wait for the dubbed version which is sometimes a couple of weeks behind, and people who wait until the whole show is finished before starting it. So you’ve got a few windows to hit in terms of relevance for an episode review.
As I said before, I don’t actually know the answer to the question of whether there is a best time to post an anime review. All I know is that each blogger is going to find what works for them in terms of being able to watch, write, edit, and post, and readers are going to find what works for them in terms of content they want to read.
However, for other reviewers, I’d love to know how you decide when to post your reviews and what you consider when making those decisions. So please, share your thoughts in the comments below.
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