Anniversary Special – Looking Back at The Third Year

Earlier in the week I celebrated my third anniversary for 100 Word Anime. For me, that was really exciting because each year I kind of feel like I’m learning more and figuring things out and I also feel like my posts are written a little better than they used to be. Okay, there’s still typos and the like, but I feel like my posts are a little clearer and more focused than they used to be (for the most part, there’s still the occasional ramble that gets through).

Today though I want to look at how the third year went on the blog and then set a few goals for the new year. If this is anything like previous years, other than the goal of ‘have a great time blogging’ I will probably fall short of most of these, but I’m still going to set them anyway. I love having something to work towards. Besides, I think as long as I keep kicking the goal of having fun I’m still coming out ahead.

2018 ended up being a very solid year for my blog. I wrote over 1000 posts and the number of comments and likes increased in general. of course, the length of my posts just keeps getting longer though I think I’ve kind of found the right length for my episode reviews so they don’t go on too long but also give enough information. Occasionally an episode needs more words and sometimes there just isn’t that much to say so I think it all kind of works out in the end.

April of 2019 is quite literally the only month since starting the blog that a post didn’t come out everyday. Even July last year where I took a mini-break still had one post a day scheduled for the week. And in terms of views, it is very clear that I wasn’t posting in April as it is one of the worst months I’ve had in the last two years. However, I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve managed to maintain daily posting for all but one month out of the last three years and I’m really happy with the growth my blog has had.

Yes, April was a disaster.

Still, over the last 12 months I’ve had 4 months where I hit the target, or exceeded it, of 10,000 views in the month, so that goal was well and truly smashed and I can not express how excited that made me. I know it is just a number but it just kind of made me feel like I really can build this blog into something more sustainable long term.

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But now we need to set some goals.

Number One: Continue to have fun with the blog and anime.

This goal is pretty self-explanatory and is pretty much the same as every other year.

Number Two: I’m going to tentatively set a goal of 20,000 views in a month. It will probably be a couple of years before I hit that, but it still seems like a nice target.

While I get views aren’t everything, realistically, the more people who visit or follow my site, the more chance there is of generating revenue through either ads, affiliate links, donations, or people choosing to become patrons and supporting the site. I’m very grateful to those who have financially supported the blog over the last year and this financial year at least the blog is on track to have earned enough to cover all blog related expenses.

Run With The Wind Episode 16

Number Three: Learn more about social media.

Over the last six months I’ve been reading a whole range of websites and guides about how to effectively use social media and while I just don’t have the time to put a lot of the advice into practice, I’ve been working on Twitter at least to build up the number of people who actually follow links back to my blog and that has worked fairly well (let’s not talk about April though). I’d like to continue to explore ways to use various social media sites to bring visitors to my blog and just learn more about what I could be doing.

Number Four: This one is a very tentative goal, but I think I’m at the point where I need to expand beyond being a solo-blogger and need to look at bringing in some other writers to the site.

Over the last six months I’ve really been thinking about what I can do to improve and increase content and broaden the range of content on offer to readers but the reality is I’m doing as much as I can already. In order to do any more I am going to need to look at having other contributors in one form or another. This one is tricky because clearly the blog isn’t earning enough to pay anyone decently for their contribution, yet, and also because I do not want to lose what makes my site what it is so I have no intention of just opening the doors or rushing to expand at the expense of what I love about my blog.

Still, the first baby steps toward this goal are already in motion so keep your eyes open.

And that’s it. That’s the current state of the blog after three years with some vague plans for the fourth year. I’d also like to throw in there that I’d also love to collaborate with other bloggers when I have the time for it as it is great fun reviewing a show with someone else and I also want to find more anime related blogs to read as I always enjoying finding more content. Hopefully everyone enjoys the next twelve months and as always, if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to use the contact to send me a message or DM me on Twitter.

Reminder also there’s a couple of days left to enter the raffle for the giveaway if you haven’t already. Really looking forward to seeing who wins. The winner will be contacted shortly after the raffle closes and I’ll hopefully get the prizes in the mail soon after I get the mailing addresses.

Give Away!
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Karandi James
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Happy Anniversary – 100 Word Anime Turns 3

It’s May 1 which makes this the official third anniversary of 100 Word Anime. Which just means this blog has lasted three years longer than expected and for that I have the community to thank. Writing about anime has been so much fun, but a lot of the enjoyment comes from the people I’ve met and the conversations I’ve had since starting the blog.

So, I’d really like to take the opportunity to thank all my followers, particularly those who take the time out of their day to leave me a comment or to discuss anime with me. It really means the world to me and I’d love to thank you all individually but know that you have my sincerest gratitude.

And an extra special thank-you to those who have been supporting me on Patron or through Ko-Fi. I really appreciate it and you are helping me slowly get to my goal of making the blog my full-time gig.

While April of 2019 was the first month since the blog began that I did not post everyday, 100 Word Anime is still going very strong with the 4th year looking to be another fantastic year. However, to celebrate the year that was, I am going to start us off with the first give-away I’ve ever run on the blog.

For your chance to win either a Cardcaptor Sakura figure or a Haruhi Suzumiya figure (no box – 2nd hand purchase and Haruhi doesn’t come with her guitar, still looks awesome though – one day I’ll be able to offer a more substantial prize), just click the link below and enter.

Give Away!
Cardcaptor Sakura Give AwayHaruhi Suzumiya Give Away

This weekend I’ll do a quick review of the year that was stat-wise and set some goals for the next year for those who are interested but here are some of the highlights of the third year blogging:

  • At the start of 2019 I launched my new avatar as I finally commissioned an avatar just for the blog and connected social media.
  • I reached the goal of 10000 views in a single month, actually managing to hit 11000 views in January. That was super exciting.
  • I published the second e-book compilation with my review content from 2018.
  • The blog got hit with a number of DMCA removal notices that with the help of some advice from other bloggers (thank you) in a similar position were successfully overturned. Fun, copyright laws.
  • I watched and reviewed a lot of anime and collaborated with a number of other bloggers to discuss some very fun shows.
  • I continued to have a lot of fun with the blog and with the community.

I really am looking forward to another year of blogging and another year in the ani-blogging community. Check out the post over the weekend as I set some new goals and targets for the fourth year but for now, I am sending another huge thank-you out to the community for all the support you’ve shown me over the past three years.

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Karandi James
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Travel Announcement

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

This is going to be a super quick post and mostly is just an announcement that in two weeks I am going to be heading off to Tokyo!

As you can guess, I’m super excited about this.

Now mostly I’m getting to go to Japan because someone I know has been over there the last few months for work and I’m visiting (not that it would take much to convince me to go to Japan). As a result I’ll pretty much be staying in Tokyo for the couple of weeks I am there other than the occasional day trip elsewhere.

Tokyo Tower - Sailor Moon Scenery

Still, I absolutely love Tokyo and I’m really determined to spend some time exploring it this visit and maybe visit some of the less touristy places when I’ve got the time to wander about.

What does it mean for the blog?

Well, I don’t really know. With the Winter season ending right before I leave I don’t know if I’ll start reviewing the Spring anime until I get back (unless the internet connection I end up with over there is better than I’m expecting in which case business as usual).

I’ll have some prepared posts that will go out but given how behind I’ve been in my normal posting, unlike previous trips away, I haven’t prepared daily posts in my absence.

I am hoping to update with some very cool photos of my trip while I’m away. Though that will depend on the internet again.

That said, I’m not letting it stress me. I’m really going to have fun on this trip and if I can’t maintain reviews while I’m away then I will catch up when I get back. Hopefully readers will understand and hopefully I’ll still be able to read blogs and post updates.

So that’s all from me and I’ve got two weeks to brush up on some basic Japanese, pack my bags, and then I’m off.

By the way, did I mention I’m super excited?!!!! (Yes, multiple exclamation points excited.)

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #9

Inquiring Minds Want To Know Feature Image

A rather intriguing question this week and one I am keen to get into. I’m also excited to know what other people think of this one. As always though, if you have a question you’d like me to tackle please feel free to complete the survey below or follow this link.

If you could reset your memory of two particular anime series — one that you don’t mind forgetting about forever and one that you want to re-watch again without prior knowledge — what would those two series be?

From Mei

Okay, let’s start with the one that I wouldn’t mind forgetting about forever… the thing here is I actually don’t mind having watched most things even if they are bad. That is because it gives me something against which to compare stuff that is only kind of okay and stuff that is actually good. So forgetting something terrible would just make me more critical of stuff that is actually kind of competent.

Still there’s a definite temptation to throw Hand Shakers into this one. I just couldn’t find anything to recommend about that anime and it was an incredible time suck that gave very little back. Diabolik Lovers would be another anime I’d like to just pretend I hadn’t given in to temptation and watched it.

However, anime I’d like to rewatch again without prior knowledge is actually a harder question. There’s quite a few that I’d love to experience again for the first time.

The one that immediately springs to mind is Natsume Yuujinchou. I love that anime and I’ve rewatched the earlier seasons a lot of times and it certainly doesn’t have diminishing returns as that lovely relaxing and calm feeling as well as the general cathartic nature of the anime really hits home each and every time. But the first watch was something special. Watching it was genuinely like experiencing falling in love and while the anime remains amazing after repeated viewings having that initial rush of emotions and that unexpected blossoming love would be amazing to re-experience.

Natsume Yuujinchou

The other anime I’d like to throw in here (though there are plenty of others) would be March Comes in Like a Lion. Meeting Rei for the first time and seeing his growth all over again and how he struggles, moves forward, falls back, is lifted up and helped by the sisters, finds his own feet and moves forward, to continue to struggle… there was just something really incredible about his character journey and while rewatching March Comes In Like a Lion was a great experience, seeing it the first time was almost overwhelming emotionally.

So those are my two picks for the second part of the question. But again, I’d love to know what my readers would choose so be sure to leave us a comment and if you have a question for me it is as simple as completing the survey below.

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A Review of The Blog – 2018 – Part 2

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Fireworks

Part 1 of the review of the blog looked at the general stats for the year but numbers are just kind of that. As 2018 draws to a close I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the posts I wrote this year that people read and to wish all my followers a wonderful night and success in 2019.

Most Viewed Episode Review

This one is and isn’t a surprise. It is the post most often hit by search engines so it kind of explains the sheer number of views this post has gotten. Anyway, this one managed to become my second most viewed post ever on the blog: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 2: Fan Service and Boobs in Fantasy Land. Part of me kind of wishes my most viewed post for the year was one that was slightly better written than this one but still I’m glad that an episode review did get some attention.

Most Viewed Light Novel Review

Again, not so much a surprise with the anime release, but my light novel review of Goblin Slayer Volume 3 ended up being my most read review this year. Timing really worked in this one’s favour but it is a shame because of the first three volumes, volume three was definitely the weakest and the review meanders because of it (it is always hard to review things you have a luke-warm reaction to). Still, I’ve continued reading this series and I am looking forward to getting more light novel reviews out in the new year (and manga reviews as I continue to work through Natsume Yuujinchou).

Most Viewed Inquiring Minds Post

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 13 Rimuru

Turns out there are some topics all bloggers are a little bit interested in and one of those is how to gain followers. I wish I knew the answer to that one myself but I did my best to answer the question about how I gained the followers I have. Of all the post series I’ve started on 100 Word Anime, I really enjoy the Inquiring Minds Posts because the topics are so varied and they usually force me to think about things I would otherwise be writing about or just think about something in a different way. They have been some of my most challenging posts to write and I certainly don’t always get them right, but I’m really glad I started the series and hope my readers continue to send questions my way in 2019.

Most Viewed Series Review

Noragami Aragoto Yato

I was absolutely thrilled to see that this post that came out in early January ended up being my most read series review of the year. It is an anime that is so close to my heart and I just love it (and where is the next season already). Noragami Aragoto was a delight to watch and I had a lot of fun writing the review. Given the responses, clearly a lot of my readers love it as well.

Most Viewed Feature

How Not to Summon A Demon Lord Episode 9 Shera
The magic of anime hair, and sparkles.

I’m noticing a trend with this and my most viewed episode post. When you write a feature about fan service in anime discussing the currently popular fan service filled anime that is already blowing up your views because you used ‘boobs’ in a post title I guess it is to be expected it will get views. I’m not big on click bait so while I get that these sorts of topics get views, I’m not about to start filling my blog with them because while they have their place it isn’t my main topic. Still, this feature may have garnered some click bait views but it also gained some fairly decent discussion in the comments and that was something I was really delighted about. My most viewed feature of 2018: Is Anime Doing It’s Fans a Service?

Most Viewed Top 5 Post

Sword Art Online - Episode 4

My most viewed top 5 post was looking at my favourite dubbed anime. I’m not much of a dubbed anime viewer (and having recently watched the Yuri on Ice English dub now that I’ve finally got the DVD’s I’m standing by my usual stance of sticking with the Japanese versions of most things), but occasionally there are English dubs I quite like. Clearly lots of people have opinions on this one as it is one of my most commented posts and it remains a post that regularly gets found by search engines.


So that is my look back on 2018. I’ll be looking at my plans for 2019 very soon as Irina has asked me a fun question for my first Inquiring Minds post of 2019. Once again, I hope all my readers have an excellent night and get to welcome in the new year.

Thanks for joining me in 2018. See you next year.

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Patreon – Last Chance To Sign Up For A Dedication in the New Ebook

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Fireworks

This one is a really quick update on Patreon. As you may have seen on Twitter, during December I am running a ‘special offer’ for new patrons who sign up to the $2 a month or higher for December and keep the subscription until at least the first of January or for ongoing patrons who are already paying $2 a month or higher (or choose to upgrade for December and January).

It’s not huge, but pretty much anyone who signs on during the offer will get a shout out in the dedication of my ebook ‘Thoughts on Anime 2018’ which will be released January 20, they’ll also get their name and link added in the thank-you on the bookshop page on 100 Word Anime.

Karandi's Bookshop Feature Image

Of course, they also get access to the episode reviews that have been written exclusive for patrons this year. So Darling in the Franxx episode reviews as well as my first attempt at a video review for the whole season, Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi episode reviews and second (fairly dodgy) attempt at a video review, and the current episode reviews for Bloom Into You. You’ll also get a copy of the ebook once it is out as a thank-you for being a patron (and all patrons are offered a copy of the 2017 ebook on sign up, even at the $1 a month level – all existing patrons prior to December will be offered the 2018 ebook).

Next year I am going to continue to try to build content for patrons, though it is a tricky balance because I do want the majority of my content to remain freely available to my readers. I really appreciate everyone who follows my blog and engages with my posts.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6

For those who would like to support the blog next year but aren’t really wanting to sign on to patreon, you have two others options. You can buy me a coffee or use Paypal donate for a one time payment rather than an ongoing one. I can’t actually run an official special offer on either of those, but if you do use either of these options in December and spend at least $4, I will include you in the book dedication and once the book is available I will offer you a copy via email as a thank-you (which means you will need to leave the means for me to contact you).

As I said, I know it isn’t much, but I am hoping to continue to grow next year. I’ll hopefully be running the blog’s first real competition with actual prizes next year for the anniversary in May (continuing to work on building up some items to use for that – and saving money for postage because I’d like to make sure all of my readers can participate). I am also hoping to continue to try out audio and video posts periodically and let my patrons tell me what I need to work on. While these are definitely side projects at the moment and fairly sporadic given my ongoing work schedule, the dream is to make the blog a full time project and I’m continuing to work toward that.

Please consider becoming a patron, even if only for a short period as it really does help make the blog more viable.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #40:How do you gain a following on your blog?

You know, when I started taking questions, I kind of thought people would ask me what my favourite moment was for Sebastian in Black Butler or questions about anime and stories in general (and I have had a few of those). However, far and away the questions that get thrown at me are about blogging or the industry or fans, and wow some of those are hard questions to answer in any meaningful way given I’ve only been blogging two and a half years so don’t consider myself any kind of expert and as far as the industry is concerned, I’m more interested in the product (anime) than in the goings on in the background. But I guess that’s the point with this sort of content. It is the askers who get to decide what they are interested in.

And I’m thankful for every question that someone has taken the time to send me and I do try to answer as best I can. If you’d like me to have a crack at answering something, or you are just curious about something, fill in the survey below or use the link in the sidebar and drop me a question. If neither of those work for you, use the contact form and just send me your question.

Question: How do you amass such a huge following on your blog? From Rebel.

zombie3

Okay, there are a couple of points here that probably need to be addressed separately. The first is that while my official follower count for WordPress is at around 2400, that many people do not follow my blog. A large number of those (I’d estimate nearly 2000 of them) hit the follow button and then never again came anywhere near my blog. So while it looks like a really nice number, and I was certainly happy to see the follower count grow over my first two years, realistically, I’d say I have maybe 100 – 200 regular followers who occasionally interact with my content and about 50 who regularly interact with me.

And that’s fine. I really love the community I’ve built around my blog and it makes me smile when I see one of the regular visitors has left me a comment. I love it when someone who occasionally comments feels strongly enough about a post to leave a comment, and when someone entirely new drops by the blog and enjoys the content that is definitely cause for celebration. And while I’m certainly working to grow my blog, I’ve definitely realised number of followers is not the measure I want to use. As Irina regularly says in her advice posts, it is quality over quantity, and the followers who really engage with me here are definitely the best.

Still, the question of how I grew to 2000 followers probably needs to be addressed and I’m going to confess I just don’t really know. When I started this blog it was mostly a half-baked idea, a whim based on a half-joking suggestion from someone, and an undefined desire to write something and to embrace my love of anime simultaneously. I don’t think I ever really thought anyone would follow so when my blog started growing I was as surprised as anyone.

chihayafuru_2-08-tsukuba-kanade-chihaya-taichi-nishida-wow-surprise-karuta-tournament-comedy

Realistically, I think a couple of factors helped my blog to grow and even now help people find it:

01. I post multiple times every day (even during my incredibly busy week last week I had at least one post out a day) which means my blog shows up in the reader for existing followers, and for anyone following tags like anime my blog shows up at multiple points during the day which helps wordpress readers find it. I also try to ensure most of my posts are reasonable (I’d love to say I make sure they are good but to be honest some of them really don’t get there).

02. I try to just write what I want to write and what I feel strongly about rather than trying for click bait or jumping on the bandwagon. While it might get my blog a couple of instant hits, it isn’t going to build a relationship with my readers if I’m just writing whatever is going to get me clicks.

03. I spend a lot of time on other people’s blogs reading their content and engaging with them. This one really is important and I cannot emphasise it enough. If I back it statistically, last week I received 600 less views than the previous week. Two things changed last week. One, I wasn’t posting as often, but the second one was that I only had brief moments to read a few other blogs in my reader and I didn’t get a chance to comment on all that many. I certainly wasn’t spending any time searching for new blogs and content which I normally give a block of time to because I like reading new content and I like finding new blogs.

So, while none of these are really a particularly interesting answer or a guarantee of followers, that’s really the best answer I’ve got for this one.

Voice of Fox Episode 1

So let’s throw the question back to the readers: Do you do anything to gain followers? Any tips of clues? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and if you have a question, please fill in the survey.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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