Blog Growth, the Eternal Struggle

mary and the witchs flower

I occasionally get asked for blogging advice, as I assume you all do, and I do my best to answer even though I’m still a rank amateur, albeit a veteran one. By far the most common question I get is how do you reach more people/get more followers? I’ve also noticed a trend in the comments. People pointing out how long and difficult it is to get even one new follower.

I don’t know about Karandi, but in my personal experience on my blog, it’s pretty much an eternal struggle. There are days I lose readers and end up with less at the end of the week. I know it doesn’t really mean anything. A long absent person who may never have read my blog deactivated their WordPress account and boom… I’m a little bummed that day for no actual reason. I try to figure out if my latest post was that bad. Sometimes I have a follower dance, gain one lose one, back and forth all week. Usually whenever I get excited about being close to a milestone, those last 5 followers take forever!

And to this day, getting someone new to want to follow my blog is exciting. I won’t deny that it gives me a little thrill.

But let me tell you, unfortunately it doesn’t get any “easier”. At least not in my experience. I thought that there would be some type of feedback loop or something of the sort that would make it so that the bigger a blog got, the more it grew naturally without any effort on my part. Nope, very wrong. You get complacent, you stagnate.

kuroko drowning
took me forever to find the right pic

Now I’m not going to rehash all the things you can do to gain followers but I will tell you the things that have worked for me and why they don’t get easier.

– Sidenote, I really wish WordPress would make it easier to like and comment without a gravatar account. I understand that the follow mechanic puts your blog in the person’s reader app so their would be no point in anyone following without having the app installed but I do regularly get comments to my posts on twitter because it’s easier for the reader, instead of my blog, and I miss them half the time. I think this is one aspect that cuts down engagement and ultimately follower count.

Back to what I was saying though. One of the most effective ways for me to get followers has been community engagement. Following other blogs, reading and commenting on their posts, chatting with bloggers. That sort of thing. As I’m sure you’ve heard though, that takes time. I have a full+ time job, a social life (I know, even I’m surprised), I write regularly, not to mention all the anime to watch and games to play. At some point, you just reach a point where following a new blog and interacting regularly with them isn’t really possible without leaving someone else behind. I know first hand how depressing it is to loose a follower so I rarely stop following blogs but eventually you have to make tough choices.

Then again, when I started out I followed everyone who followed me, something a few bloggers were exploiting, and as such I still follow a bunch of blogs on subjects I really have no interest in and who have obviously never been on my blog at all. I should probably trade them out for fellow Anime bloggers who at least have similar interests… This said I know I can’t follow unlimited blogs and as such that particular strategy for growth has it’s limits for any blogger. Now I follow blogs I like whenever I find a new one or from readers I interact with. I won’t just blindly follow everyone anymore because it gets out of hand.

The other strategy to gain followers is straight up promotion. I’m bad at this. I do projects without insisting on credit or links back. I have been told that promoting other blogs diluted your readership but I have always enjoyed sharing other blogs with readers. And if I lose readers to those new blogs, I figure they probably would not have stuck around anyways.

thanks for stopping by

On the other hand, I’ve never been great about making sure other sites end up linking back to my blog and I’m super lazy about promoting my posts on other platforms. This is my own fault. But I’m just busy with the games and anime and stuff…

If you have the energy and the hustle, you can enlist other bloggers to advertise for you. I personally don’t like when people use comment sections just to plug their own blogs, especially when it’s completely irrelevant to the post, so I never click on those myself but I bet that works as well. I don’t like it because I think you should at least ask a blogger before advertising your own blog on their platform. But that’s just me. And if your own post is relevant than that’s a different story.

This said, no matter how many followers you already have, getting more is always hard work. I can’t say my blog has growth has changed in any way and the moment I stop putting in effort, it slows down. Some people might get lucky with a viral post or something and get explosive growth but for most of us it’s a slow (I cannot emphasize this enough, it takes time) hard climb. So if you feel like you’re at a standstill, don’t worry about it too much. We are all in the same boat. It’s hard for all of us and sometimes feels like a gargantuan task! You shouldn’t worry too much about those numbers anyways, eventually people will find your blog.

*If you get tired of it you can always write for someone else’s blog and make the follower thing their problem..? cough cough…

anime coughing
had a tickle in my throat

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Irina on 100 Word Anime


Hi guys,

How are you today? I hope you’re good. Happiness is contagious and there’s never enough around.

Today, I would like to have a little chat with you. Just a tiny update on my adventures in 100 Word Anime in case you are curious. First, let me tell you how all of this came about. I would like to clarify that Karandi did not ask me to write on her blog, it was entirely my initiative. I had been following 100 Word Anime for a while and had developed a healthy respect for Karandi as a blogger and reviewer. She had this enviable work ethic and managed to be respectful and mindful in all her writings and commentary. I thought I could learn a lot from her, and I still do.

Moreover, I had collaborated a few times with her and we worked well together. Our approaches to writing posts are alike which makes it easy to coordinate. What was most interesting to me though was that Karandi and I have somewhat similar style and generally aligned ways of thinking but very different tastes, with the exception of certain Yokai seeing young men.

I love comedies and sports! but am not yet grown up enough for most dramas. I will put up with objectively bad writing if it’s intentionally funny or if the technical merits of the anime are there but tend to lack appreciation for raw emotional writing if anything else is even slightly it of step. I’m often baffled by Karandi’s preferences (which I shouldn’t be because they are quite reasonable), as I’m sure she is by mine. But that has never bothered either of us in the least. That’s particularly special. It makes us complementary which is great.

Natsume Yuujin-chou San - 13 - Large 06
having friends is an underappreciated gift

But there’s nothing surprising about anything I’ve written here. I’m sure a lot of people would choose 100 Word Anime to write for if they wanted to write for another blog. The question is why write for another blog in the first place. Originally I wanted to try something new and since advertising is the part of blogging I enjoy least, I figured writing for another blog would be the perfect way to only keep the parts of blogging I like. I also thought it might be a way to cut back on my blogging time before it got too much… Let me tell you how that worked out.

I must say, as far as point 1 went, it’s been a smashing success. Karandi is a dream to work for. She is a distinctly unobstructive and hands-off editor. I’m essentially free to write whatever I want. I chose the posts which I think will work well on this site and so far Karandi hasn’t turned down a single submission. I format them myself and chose the images so I have full control over the look of my posts. I try to be careful not to clog up Karandi’s media library too much with my unhealthy love of pictures but she never even mentioned it. Really the only aspect that is not 100% up to me is scheduling but Karandi always runs it by me (even though she doesn’t have to).

Basically posting here is just like posting on my blog but easier. I can just complete my draft and forget about it. Karandi once mentioned she doesn’t see what I get out of it so let me try to explain even though we work very individually, I still feel like I’m part of a team in a way I hadn’t before through blogging. Karandi makes sure my posts are advertised through her usual channels and she even helps me answer comments sometimes. I don’t have to worry about any of that which takes a lot of the pressure off.

And it’s great for my moral. When a post I’ve written seems to do well on 100 Word Anime I’m just as happy as if it was on my own blog, but when it generates much less interest than I would have thought, I’m not disappointed. Since at least Karandi liked it enough to publish on her blog (a blog she cares about a lot so that’s a huge compliment) in my mind, the post is already a success. Anything else is icing. It’s allowed me to have a more relaxed attitude towards blogging which makes the experience more fun!

nyanko fun
nough said

So why do I still have I Drink and Watch Anime? And publish there so often at that? I have thought of porting my archives and followers here and just becoming a 10 0word anime contributor full time. I may still do that in the future. There are really Only 2 things holding me back really. One is my specific readers. For the most part, Karandi and I tend to share the same WordPress reader base and commentators. However, when you look at the “silent majority” we do tend to differ a bit. Our referrers are not the same and our keywords searches are very different.

Karandi obviously knows how to SEO and she gets searches usually on episodes or animes she has reviewed. On the other hand, I get a ton of super random almost incomprehensible searches, inquiries on specific little known characters, specific elements in series no one cares about anymore. It’s fascinating and for some reason, I feel a great kinship towards my offbeat readers, those that Google stuff like “let me do this”, and I would miss them if they weren’t around.

The other reason is that I’m superficial. I like messing with the way my blog looks. I like adjusting the layout and finding new headers. I like trying on new themes for hours just to not change anything. And in case you didn’t notice, I like having a zillion pics. I’m lazy so I just have a boring premade overpriced plan, instead of a fancy schmancy .org or other self-programmed one because I don’t want to learn how to code. (I should). I do however have the highest tier plan which gives me access to plugins, alternate themes and unlimited media. I don’t want to lose those perks. (cause I have screencap issues)

These two minor considerations are really the only things keeping tied to my blog right now. But they’re important to me, so I’m pulling double duty. If it wasn’t for my own stubbornness I would have switched over to Karandi’s blog completely and be taking it nice and easy right now!

I’m not sure if any of you wanted to know about this stuff but I love reading behind the scenes posts. I hope some of you thought it was a fun read!

Natsume and nyanko

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Expanding beyond WordPress


I think this post belongs on Karandi’s blog as it’s 100 word anime that originally made me consider this question. But I m getting ahead of myself.

Some time ago I realized that although the WordPress community is absolutely wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it remains for lack of a better word, “limited”. In numbers, not in wonderfulness. For a blog to *keep* growing and getting new readers, sooner or later they have to attract people who are not already on WordPress.

I was reading this very blog (100 word anime) back when I was a wee baby blogger. As I was watching it grow into the 4 digit follower range, I figured Karandi would soon exhaust the amount of WordPress folks interested in anime. Since I knew she was thinking of eventually making a living off this, then she would need to get those readers somewhere else. I started considering myself, how to get followers from some other avenue than the reader app.

This isn’t simply a question of getting your blog out there. I think I’ve spoken enough on SEO and cross-platform promotion. Besides, I was woefully unqualified to do so in the first place. This is more of a question of broad appeal. Once you get new eyeballs your way, how do you keep them coming back?

Dakaretai Promo3
just a suggestion

You see, posts about blogging tend to do very well on WordPress because most of us are also bloggers. (Not all but a pretty high percentage). As bloggers, we are of course interested in articles that apply to our hobby and could even potentially help us build a better blog. But to everyone else, those posts are generally uninteresting. Maybe the more talented writers could still make them entertaining enough for the layperson, but I probably wouldn’t have been that interested until I got my own blog.

Then there’s the personal post. These are tricky. They don’t tend to do that well with search words and the like but on the other hand, it can be a big incentive for new readers to follow your blog. Getting a sense of personal connection and a feeling of sincerity goes a long way. The downside is that this tactic tends to be much more effective when your audience can see you, even if it’s just in pictures. Putting a face to the name makes everything seem more concrete and “real”. Of course, you don’t want to overshare. Not only is it risky it may also turn people off. Finally, you need to make sure new readers can at least follow along if this is the first post they read from you but you don’t want to bore your faithful followers by posting the same thing over and over again.

I have also come to notice that our community tends to form its own little echo chamber. We talk among ourselves and read each others’ blogs so we often end up excited about the same shows or disappointed for the same reasons. However, these perceptions may not be in line with what most fans are thinking.

(As a slightly funny side note, I have now been blogging for the equivalent of 7 anime seasons and 6 of which have been declared “the worst” or at least the worst in recent memory. I have to check but I think I have a particularly beloved show in each of those seasons…)

yeah…this is pertinent

Basically, in order for me to not cap myself on WordPress users, I needed to figure out what other fans out there were talking about and what interested them. I specifically created my Twitter account to interact with readers. I briefly tried following “anime personalities” and accounts to broaden my horizons a bit but found that my readers tweets got completely hurried that way and it degraded the purpose.

I still do get some info that way. When a bunch of mutuals all like the same tweet for instance or when a particular topic gets brought up by a lot of different people. That’s my queue to look into it. I’m usually the last one to know.

Reddit may be the best choice to gauge general Otaku response. And MAL. But it requires a lot of effort. There’s simply so much information there that parsing through it to get an accurate read on what you should be writing about seems like a full-time job. I’ve given up for the time being but I want to get back to it.

The first thing I did when I decided to look into expanding beyond the platform, was to check out the competition. By this, I mean *professional* blogs like Honey, ANN, Crunchyroll, Kotaku and the like… What I found were top 10 lists…Lots and lots of top lists. I’m not trying to talk smack about them, on the contrary, I think it’s a particularly effective format, but it is rather omnipresent.

Tuesday's Top 5
sorry Karandi, it was the most fitting image

***I also publish weekly top 5 lists***

Otherwise what I found was a certain slanted perception of the medium and its fans. A lot of articles were either amateurish or so superficial it left me wondering whether the reporter had really seen the series they were covering. Others were just eager to identify as critics or journalists and NOT part of the anime fan community. Sometimes even showing lightly veiled animosity towards their readership. This tendency annoyed me so much in fact, I wrote an early rant post on the subject which remains one of my favourites.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some very good anime journalists out there. I once read a wonderful and thought-provoking piece on the Flowers of Evil published on Kotaku. It was clearly written by someone who had both a deep understanding of and love for anime. I don’t know if it says something that that was the last article he wrote there.

At the time I realized that there was a niche for a more informal form of anime adjacent content for the wide public. An editorialist who identifies as a fan. Chronicles of an everyotaku if you will. I was so excited about the idea. I even had this vague concept of a weekly diary blog series, highlighting the events of my life from an animecentric point of view. I might still do it, mind you.

However, I’m not smart enough to have discovered something no one else has. If the niche really existed, someone would have filled it by now. Still, I can’t help but think there’s an audience for this type of content, I just haven’t figured out the proper format yet.

don’t get me wrong, I’m still a genius

Now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I have come to see that episode reviews get a huge amount of off WP views. However, I have the sneaking suspicion a lot of them may be trying to watch the episode online. Otherwise, character studies are pretty good for drawing the general public on my blog but do poorly with WordPress readers. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

I’m not yet at a point where I need to reach beyond the BBB WordPress boundaries. However, it pays to be prepared and I would like to find a way to do that without alienating current readers. For those of you who are bloggers, do you have any suggestions? Has anything worked for you?

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Blogging Habits and Losing Momentum

Friday's Feature Banner Image

Irina posed an excellent question in her post when she asked whether blogging breaks work? It was an excellent post, in case you missed it, and one that got quite a few people talking. When Irina first brought this post to my attention, I absolutely loved it because it was something I’d wanted to write about but just hadn’t really figured out how and so I decided I’d write a follow up to Irina’s post on blogging habits.

The problem though is that I still don’t really know where I want to start with my thoughts on this one. Because I don’t know what the best options are I only know what my experiences are. In the end I decided that didn’t matter and I should share them anyway, but forgive me if this post seems a little more rambling than normal.


First of all, for those newer to my blog, I should probably point out that in three years of blogging I have only had one month where I did not post every day. From the very start of this blog until April of this year at least one post was published everyday, even when I was on holidays. I’d diligently prepare posts ahead of time, whether it was answers to a thirty day challenge or similar, to ensure content continued to exist on the blog.

However, that was my choice.

See, I’m very much a creature of habit and for me having things work relatively consistently is a very important part of my enjoyment of them.

Blogging habits, like all habits, only form through repetition and a desire to continue the practice.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 10

At first I posted everyday to make blogging a part of my daily routine. And then, it was a part of my daily routine. It felt unnatural not to log into my blog in the morning before work or in the evening to check comments for the day. I may not have written posts everyday, doing the majority of my writing and drafting on weekends or on days when I watched a number of anime episodes, but I ensured I scheduled posts throughout the week and over time I found my balance at three posts per day.

That was what I found worked for me and as part of my routine and habit, maintaining that, mostly, is fine. There are some weeks when the day job is exhausting me or I have actual real world social engagements (they do happen), or over the last year my health has been a little less than stellar causing me to need a little more actual rest than normal and I find that routine a little tiring, but mostly I enjoy it and find it comforting.

Blogging has become my comfort food.

It is definitely part of what has helped me maintain my energy and focus as a blogger. It is just a part of my routine, a daily habit, like brushing my teeth or feeding the cat. It is something I miss when it isn’t there and fondly return to once I have access again.

I’m certainly not saying every blogger needs to blog everyday. Everyone has different circumstances and is blogging in their own way.

But I do think, however much you blog, you need to make it a habit in order to maintain it. Whether you blog only on weekends, every second day, the third Tuesday of each month (that would be odd, but sure), making it a habit and part of your routine can make it significantly easier to handle.


Unless you are one of those people who find routines make things dull in which case stick with what works for you because the last thing you want to do is kill the fun of blogging. I couldn’t handle blogging without a routine. I certainly couldn’t have kept the blog going consistently for the last three years without it becoming an ingrained habit. But that is me.

Then we get to April of this year.

Yep, I went to Japan. It was a trip that came up relatively unexpectedly because the person I stayed with only had a few months notice and then I had a couple of months before I went to visit. That might sound like heaps of time (we are talking months) but for me an overseas trip is something that nearly a year’s worth of planning goes into.

Going to say though, an overseas trip definitely has to go under suitable reasons to take a blogging break. Get out and enjoy the country you are visiting.

I also didn’t know what anime, if any, I’d be able to access in Japan and it was the start of a new anime season so I didn’t even know which shows I’d pick up to watch.

Throw in some poor health in the months leading up to the trip and my work getting incredibly busy, and I had to make a few choices.

One of those was to not work to schedule posts for while I was away.

That was a really tough decision.

inquire 4

I agonised over whether it was the right decision. Just short of the third anniversary I was going to not post daily? It seemed like a crazy thought and yet less crazy than pushing myself to the limit writing fast and poorly thought out content just to claim I maintained a daily posting schedule.

That wasn’t what I wanted for my blog.

Still, I definitely worried whether I would lost momentum by not blogging consistently for nearly a month.

In terms of blog growth and views, I definitely did lose momentum. April was one of the poorest months ever for my blog and each week the views and visits shrank even though I did post a few updates from the trip.

stats weekl
Yes, April was pretty tragic all round.

Understandable if there isn’t new content going out and people are starting to review the new anime season. Why visit a blog with limited new content and not covering the new season?

The other loss of momentum I worried about was losing my habit of blogging. However, there were two things that I think made sure that didn’t happen.

The first is that I had a definite time period for which the posts were stopped. The time that I was in Japan and the time it took for me travel home. It was a clear and obvious end to the ‘break’.

The second thing that really helped was that I wasn’t taking a break because I disliked blogging or had lost my love for my blog. While I did enjoy having a small break, and will probably schedule at least one break each year from now on as it probably will help keep me going, by the time my plane landed back in Australia of all the things I was eager to get back to, my blog was fairly high on the list.

Run With The Wind Episode 12 Celebration
Seriously, I’d hug my blog if I could.

Interestingly enough, the first couple of days were a little challenging, and I’m certainly out of future drafts that I used to have saved up for weeks when I was busy, but my habit and routine came back swiftly and May was a fairly solid month for the blog.

I find it interesting though that we always talk about losing momentum or steam. We seldom discuss the opposite. Gaining momentum. Over three years of blogging I have noticed that views and growth tends to come in waves but each time in my blog they have gotten that little bit higher. Consistent posting and being present in the community has meant that slowly but surely growth has happened and momentum builds on itself.


My break in April taught me a lot of things. First, I don’t just write my blog because it is habit to do so. I made it a habit because I loved it and I wanted blogging to have a place in my life. Second, when you take a break from blogging, you certainly do lose momentum, however that isn’t an irreversible thing. Just as momentum can be lost, momentum can be built. And finally, if you are considering taking a blogging break, have a plan for when you return and returning will be significantly easier.

But as I said at the start, this is just my experience. It won’t be the same as other people and people take breaks for all sorts of reasons. Still, if you are looking to take a break, as Irina said in her post, maybe look at the reason why. Maybe changing something up would work better than a break. Or maybe you actually do need a break.

I’d love to know your thoughts about blogging habits, momentum, or taking breaks from the blog so leave us a comment below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Do Blogging Breaks Work?


There’s really only on gif to use for this occasion, isn’t there?

You know guys, when you’ve been around the blogosphere for a while, you start to recognize certain patterns. Signs if you will. When you pay attention, you can sort of tell when a blogger is no longer as excited by their blog as they use to be. Then again, some bloggers really manage to take us by surprise. One day everything is business as usual, next thing you know, they haven’t posted in a month and you have no clue why!

I’ve been reading a lot of “how to blog” posts from my esteemed colleagues(?)… fellow anibloggers, as of late and I noticed that quite a few recommend taking breaks to avoid burnout. On paper, this makes perfect sense. I cannot think of a single reason why this wouldn’t be great advice and in fact, it may be great advice.

In practice, however, every time I’ve seen a blogger announce a hiatus it’s usually followed by another, then another until they become indefinite, if the blogger comes back at all. As if once the momentum is broken, it becomes exponentially more difficult to get it back.

Since the anime blogging community is quite dear to me, this state of affairs makes me a little sad. And I do understand that blogging burnout is definitely a problem for us. As such it would be great to have a solution. But if taking a step back from your blog isn’t it, then what is it?

Inquire 3
accurate depiction of how I feel 70% of the time

Again, I’m not saying a break isn’t a good idea, I just think there’s just a bit more to it.

I can’t and shouldn’t speak from personal experience here. I’ve always been a give it your all sort of person and never look back. If I stop blogging for any span of time, I’m much more likely to just pick up a new hobby than come back to this one. For people like me “break” might as well mean ending. And that gets exhausting.

I have found a few tricks that work for me. Instead of slowing down on posts I might pick up some collabs. I find collaborations very motivating and I have been lucky in that the bloggers I’ve worked with are a great source of inspiration. I’ll also take a step back from all the extra blogging stuff. I won’t get involved in debates and maybe ignore twitter for a bit. I’ll read posts but if I disagree, I’ll keep it to myself instead of trying to start a discussion because I know I’m not in the best headspace for it. Things like that. I’ll also write “just for me” posts. The posts I personally want to write because I find interesting, but I know will be ignored by everyone else. They don’t require much aftercare but make me happy and remind me what I like about blogging even when I feel like I’m just talking to myself.

However, these strategies aren’t going to work for everyone. In fact, they might not work for most people.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 12 - Shinomiya crying
wait, we’ll figure this out

Whem thinking about it carefully, the taking a break from the blog approach does seem to work much better under certain circumstances. One of these is the “planned break”. I read Bliblionyan’s post on the subject (I had seen this advice before as well but sadly I couldn’t find the links again. Please feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll gladly add the link), and I really liked this idea. Basically, instead of a loosely structured “break” until you feel like coming back to your blog, you can take blogging vacations. Like a week out of every month or a specific month off that you can announce ahead of time. I’m a strong believer in sharing my schedule with my readers, it makes me feel like we’re part of a team and holds me a little accountable. I have a reason to come back, people are waiting for me (even if it’s just in my head).

Another way I have seen that makes breaks more viable is to pepper them with regular check-ins. If you’re studying for exams or changing jobs and you simply no longer have time for your regular blog posts, you can replace those by short diary style posts. Like little emails to tell your readers what’s up. It’s a lot less time consuming and makes you feel like you’re still part of the community. Plus, it lets readers know what you’re up to. Like dropping a text to friends you don’t have time to see as much anymore.

I send my friends super cheesy pick-up lines like “Baby, if you were words on a page, you’d be fine print.” Out of the blue and without context or explanation. I have gotten a few in a bit of trouble that way… But I always like seeing one of those pop up a Tuesday at 3pm on my phone for no reason.

In a way, a blogging burnout isn’t always about the workload. Sure, you may just be too busy to actually post but if you still enjoy doing it, you’ll probably come back to it. Burning out can often come about because you’re just not having as much fun as you use to. Whether it’s because you feel like you’re not achieving the goals you set for yourself and are “wasting your time” or because the feedback you’re getting isn’t what you need right now. In those cases, just going away for a little while probably won’t change the core problem. It may make the experience less frustrating if you’re not putting as much effort into it, but it might also make it feel less rewarding.

Run With The Wind Episode 14 Fireworks
so how do we change that?

So these are my general suggestions, take them with a huge grain of salt:

  • As I mentioned, plan vacations instead of spontaneously going on hiatus.
  • Keep in touch if you can¸.
  • If you start to feel burnt, try figuring out why:

o   Not enough connection to the community? Maybe try doing a collaboration with a fellow blogger, starting your own tag, joining a blogging group or doing a community project;

o   Not enough views? How about brushing up on SEO and divide your time between creating content and advertising your blog (as in create half the content then advertise it in the time you would have spent creating more), learn about different platforms;

o   Not enough feedback? Make sure you interact with other bloggers, comment on their posts and talk to them in discord or twitter. People are much more likely to talk to you once they get to know you a bit. It’s always awkward to just leave a comment to someone you’ve never talked before out of the blue so forming a connection can really encourage others to interact;

o   No inspiration? This one is a tough one. This is where I get my inspiration, the comments are also great on there;

  • And just remember that breaks don’t have to be all or nothing. You can add shorter sillier posts to your roster. Mix in picture posts if those are easier for you.

This is really all the advice I can think off. I hope some of it is useful. And please, if you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments. I’m sure it will be a great help to your fellow bloggers.


Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

You can also check out Karandi’s follow up post on Blogging Habits and Losing Momentum.

The One Thing We Wish We Would Have Known When We First Started our Blogs – A Community Post

inquire 4

Once in a while, I get messages from bloggers asking for advice with their blogs. Although I feel very flattered and honoured that anyone would come to me for such a thing, I also feel a little bad because I don’t have that much to offer. I can only draw from my own experience which is still fairly limited.

So I asked for help! And because anime bloggers are the best, I immediately got a whole bunch of responses. I reached out on Twitter and asked anyone who wanted to participate to DM me. Then I asked my volunteers the following question:

What is/are the one (or two) thing(s) you wish someone had told you when you first started your blog?

I figure I can steal these next time someone asks for advice! In the meantime, I’m sharing them all with you, because it’s never too late to learn. I’ve also grouped them in general categories for ease of reference:

Search Engin Optimization


SEO and people are nice

To be honest I’m just too devastatingly lay to properly apply SEO tools and tricks but for bloggers that want views, this really is a must. And the sooner you start, the better. Once your site already has good traffic, it’s a lot easier to make new posts popular.

Also, people here really are great, speaking of which,

Community is important

community as



voice and community

packages and community

I was lucky enough to find out just how great the anime blogging community was pretty early on. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’m still around. So if you’re still wondering whether you should take the plunge and get involved more, well don’t take it from me! Take if from these amazing bloggers.

Both Marth and Naja bring up some other good points as well, but let<s start with Marth.

Hosting and Packages

package and don't compare

I have actually heard this as well. If you have the time and patience, do research your hosting options carefully. It’s going to make your blogging life a lot easier or at least cheaper!

Be Yourself

voice again

your voice

own voice

voice and slow

Finding your own voice may be one of the most important blogging rites of passage. And it is way easier said than done. We all struggle with being true to ourselves but the rewards are undeniable.

And as that Random Editor says, you shouldn’t worry too much about growth. Building a successful blog is a slow process. Probably the most common advice I give is:

It Takes Time

it takes time - social media

Ok, the social media thing is actually great practical advice. I could use help with that myself.

And because it takes time, you should really learn to


proof and relaxrelax (2)relax (3)relax 4relax no schedrelaxrelax 5relax but diff

True story, because of G I R L up there, I have now finally installed Grammarly on this computer. Let’s see if it makes a difference. All of these are really great and my takeaway is, don’t concentrate too much on numbers or compare yourself to others. The blog is supposed to be for fun so just go with the flow. I definitely agree with all of them, except that I live and die by my schedule. That didn’t sound too healthy.

Here are some various responses that don’t fit in any one category. I also wish I had known these:

ask for criticism

I thought Auri’s response was really great and completely unique. I probably would not have thought of this. Asking for feedback is a good way of improving and most of us don’t think of it at all.


I have three notebooks. One to take notes while watching for reviews. I’ll also scribble post ideas I get in the middle of watching a series. One that I carry everywhere and just write ideas down as they strike me. And one is a Google doc with all the tag and collab posts I need to do.

personal issues

I haven’t personally had any privacy issues yet but I have gotten some readers a little steamed. I didn’t do much damage control I’m afraid. I do bite my tongue from time to time. Or my typing fingers I guess.

reader and schedule

Matija speaks my language. I integrated both of these early on in my blogging adventure and I’m very happy I did.

Of course, we have the ever practical Karandi giving us her advice:


I know what she means. I’ve been meaning to clean up my tags forever but I have a lot of posts…and I keep publishing more… and I’m lazy! 🙁

Finally, I figured we<d end on a high note and this one made me smile:

just do it

A huge thanks to everyone that answered. You guys are the best and I’m sure you’ve helped some bloggers new and old, today.

Please make sure to go give some love to all these wonderful bloggers:

In no particular order:

And as always thank you Karandi!

Oh, wait…I never answered my own question. When you find a blogger you enjoy reading, don’t be afraid to ask for a collab. They might turn you down but then again, hey might not! I really wish I had started writing collaboratively much sooner!

Do you have any advice that’s not on here?

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

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.

blog stats 2 3rd year

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.

yuri victor3
blog posts 3rd year

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.

blog stats 3 years
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.


Affiliate Link

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!
Cardcaptor Sakura Give AwayHaruhi Suzumiya Give Away

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Friday’s Feature: The Truth About Blogging (Or How To Raise a Blog From Ravenous Beast To Loyal Pet)


Sit yourself down as I’m about to reveal the biggest secret about blogging. It will change the way you view yourself and the world. I’d be surprised if the evil blogging fairies don’t run over here and steal half my post and banish it to the dark beyond of cyber space because nobody wants this secret getting out.


Okay, maybe not.

Because the only secret to tell you is that there is no secret. No one answer that will solve all your problems and launch your blog to stardom and success. No quick fix for writing all those posts and finding the time to interact with the community.

Fact: Blogging is hard work.


Whether you blog everyday, a couple of times a week, once a week, once a month, or once whenever the fancy takes you, writing a blog post, formatting it, proofing it, posting it, promoting it, and following up with comments is all hard work. You might enjoy it and let’s face it, I certainly do or I would not still be doing it, but it is hard work. Most of us probably don’t ever want to work out the number of hours we’ve sunk into our blogs and while those who continue long term will say they love it (and it’s true), it is a labour of love. Blogs are built on the blood, sweat and tears of the blogger (or at the very least the very smooth finger-tips that have spent far too long pounding on a keyboard).

Fact: Despite your hard work, your blog may very well go unnoticed.


There are quite literally 100’s of millions of blogs online covering every available platform and more that are created every single day. And while you aren’t competing with every blog in existence for a space in people’s awareness, you are still competing with thousands of blogs on similar or related topics. And while you may not think of it as a competition and are just writing for your own sake and the sake of a handful of followers, at the end of the day you started a blog to write on a public platform. Part of you somewhere, wanted to be noticed, even if only a little bit and by a small and select group.

Fact: Neither of the above points matter.


While there are some days where I definitely feel weighed down by my own intense schedule of multiple posts every single day, there are far more days where I turn on my computer with glee at the thought of seeing my blog. Seeing a post take shape, reading through and making sense of my draft ramblings on posts from the previous day, finding the perfect image or capturing a spot-on screen cap can make me smile with delight. Seeing a comment from a dear friend that I met through blogging, or a comment from someone I’ve never heard from before is usually all it takes to give me a warm inner glow and make me want to spend another hour or two or more working away on the posts for next week.

My blog has become something that has allowed me to take joy in writing again, to express myself, to meet other people who have a passion for anime, and a space where I can speak. My blog has become so much more than what I ever thought it would be which was just a collection of writings about what I was watching (more akin to an online journal than anything else).  My blog is impossibly dear to me at this point in time and I am so proud of what I have created even as I strive to make it more than what it is.

And that is another truth about blogging.

Fact: It is never enough.


Blogs are hungry, ravenous beasts. The more words you feed them, the hungrier they become. As they grow so does their appetite. It is insatiable.

At this you might become despairing or feel it is an uphill struggle with a stone that is just going to roll away before you ever reach the top.

But that isn’t necessarily the case. This beast is yours and yours alone. It is loyal to you and while it would happily eat up every word you ever wrote, it will also wait for you to take your time, and perhaps develop a more refined palate wishing only the best of your writing.

It all depends on how you choose to raise your blog.

And that is the one hard truth. Your blog is yours whatever may become of it.

Do you agree?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Jon’s Creator Showcase – June Edition

jon creator showcase 1

Well July has come to an end and so I now have the pleasure of sharing some of the amazing blog posts that came out in May. I once again want to thank Jon Spencer for starting the showcase.

To those who don’t know about the showcase the goals are to:

  • Give exposure to both the host & creators who submit content to the showcase.
  • Highlight a wide variety of content including written word, art, video, audio, etc…
  • Allow for all creators, regardless of skill or current recognition, to participate and share their creations.
  • Encourage involvement from creators across all platforms.
  • Offer a fun and interactive way for people to discover new and interesting creations.
  • Inspire growth and exploration for both the host and creators.

This was such a wonderful idea and I know a lot of us have had fun this year taking part in and following the showcase. Keep an eye out for the next showcase which will be hosted by Moyatori over on the Moyatorium.

Jon Creator Showcase 2

Now to the posts. There were 26 submissions this month (though if I missed some I apologise but twitter was having fun disappearing tweets at times and I had a fairly rough month as well). Here are 8 fantastic posts that were shared during the month.

01. First up we have this excellent post from Dale: Dealing With Depression Using Dark Souls. It’s a fairly personal post from Dale though it does come with a warning that this is a personal experience and isn’t intended to reflect all who are suffering from depression.

That Baka Blog.JPG

02. A Nerdy Perspective shared their review of Watamote. They look at what the series did and what it failed to do and overall it is one of the more balanced reviews I’ve ever read of this series.

A Nerdy Perspective.JPG

03. Kawaii Paper Pandas shares a post about ReCreators and this one takes a deep dive and looks at Magane as a villain. It’s a pleasure to read and the passion for the series is absolutely clear with every word.


04. Ano.Nora looks at the subbed vs dubbed debate with a fairly poetic post that muses about the constant battle for dominance and the reason why ultimately it is a fairly silly argument to have. Quite the fun read.


05. Satired of Anime shares yet another mock news story about the going’s on in the anime world and this one really made me smile:


While it is a short article, there’s something to be said for Satired of Anime’s blog that regularly puts out great content in bite size chunks that really manage to hit their target.

06. Biblionyan shared a book review of A Place Called Hiroshima. There’s some careful attention to detail in the review and you really get a feel for the content while reading it. A great post to visit for book lovers.


07. Hinode Reviews has done some great posts on the Ancient Magus’ Bride and their focus on the various fae in some of their articles has been really fantastic to read. This post is conveniently not only a great read but also links to their other fantastic articles in this series so be sure to check them all out. There is clearly a lot of time and love put into these posts.


08. Ya Boy Jack over on the AniWriter shares a review of Wandering Son and this post really brings home the importance of sharing a wide variety of stories. Once again, there is so much passion coming through in the post and it is just a joy to read.


And here are some more truly fantastic submissions. I had way too much fun reading these and I would have loved to have just featured them all, as well as all the ones I didn’t link to, but apparently as the host I’m meant to choose some to highlight, not to mention, time constraints and all that.

01. Mel Interview Pervy – Mel From Mel.

02. If You Like… You Might Like… From Rose.

03. Chihayafuru Season Review From Scott.

04. 5 Anime I Probably Cried Too Much Over While Watching From The Spooky Redhead

05. Devilman Crybaby Anime Review From Matthew

06. Skip Full Metal Panic? You’re Missing Out Mate From Lita Kino

07. The Real Life Camping Grounds and a Mystery Lake From The Infinite Zenith

That’s it from me and the June edition of Jon’s Creator Showcase but as I said, keep an eye out for the announcement of the next one and be sure to get your submissions to Moyatori.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anniversary Special – Top 5 of Everything on the Blog


Welcome to the second year anniversary top 5 special. Last year I did my top 5 favourite posts that I enjoyed writing. This year I’m being a little more technical and I’m sharing my top 5 posts in each main category that I write. So top 5 episode reviews, top 5 series reviews, top 5 features, and top 5 top 5 lists. This is based purely on views of the posts over the last 12 months.

I’d love to know which posts you enjoyed reading so please leave me a comment with your favourites or even suggestions about what you would like to see.

Please Note – There are no spoilers this week.

Top 5 Episode Reviews

Number 5: My Hero Academia – Episode 25


Seriously, Bakugo vs Todoroki. This episode was fantastic and given how hyped up I already was about My Hero Academia because the tournament arc had defied all my expectations and been brilliant, this post was great fun to write and I’m glad people seemed to enjoy reading it.

Number 4: Grimoire of Zero Episode 1

I get it, who doesn’t want to check out the thoughts on a very hyped up new season. Episode 1 reviews definitely get more hits than the rest of the season as so many people are trying to figure out what to watch. That said, I wasn’t overly impressed with this episode and it kind of shows in the review.

Number 3: Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor Episode 2

Right, so I hated episode 1 of this and fully expected to drop it at episode 2, and then the episode was kind of decent. Unfortunately for me, this was the high light of the whole season. Talk about peaking early.

Number 2: March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 19


As much as I love this series, I have no idea why this episode review has more views than any of the others. It wasn’t an overly significant episode and the review itself is pretty ordinary. Still, this is the second most highly viewed episode review I’ve written in the last 12 months.

Number 1: Sword Oratoria Episode 1

This is one of those episode reviews that I’d like to rewrite. I state clearly that I have no intention of dropping the anime despite the issues in episode 1. Yet only a few weeks later, this show did indeed get dropped. So, my most viewed episode review is kind of awkward.

Top 5 Series Reviews

Number 5: Madoka Magica


I’m not overly surprised this one made the top 5. It is a well discussed anime at this point and it is one I love. I had a lot of fun writing this review and while I’m still not entirely happy with how it turned out, I’m pretty proud of it.

Number 4: Devilman Crybaby


The only thing surprising by this is how recent it is. For newer reviews it is harder to be here because they’ve had less chance to be found and read. Yet Devilman Crybaby made a splash in the community and this review definitely gained exposure from that. Shame I didn’t much like the anime.

Number 3: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

I’m surprised by how popular this review was, but pleased. I loved this anime and I really enjoyed writing this review. I will eventually get to reviewing the second season I swear.

Number 2: Noragami Aragoto


Another review I’m thrilled was so well received given my absolute love for this series. I had so much fun rewatching and reviewing this series and really, any excuse for images of Yato on the blog. By the way, if you still haven’t watched Noragami, definitely add it to your watch list.

Number 1: Sword Art Online Abridged


It’s a little concerning that my number 1 read review in the last 12 months is of a parody series available on YouTube. Not that it wasn’t great fun to watch and review, but still…

Top 5 Features

Number 5: Are There No New Ideas?

This post looked at whether or not something needed to be shiny and new to be good or whether just telling a story in a meaningful and interesting way was enough. Heavy spoiler warning for Your Lie In April on this post though.

Number 4: On The Man Devouring Woman in Darling in the Franxx


I have to thank a few people who linked to this article for why it had so many views so quickly. I’ll also need to do a follow up post closer to the end of the series of Darling in the Franxx as some of my thoughts have definitely changed since writing this post. Still, I enjoyed looking at the role of women in myths and looking at where Zero Two might have gone and might still go as a character.

Number 3: Strong Female Character?

Again, a relatively recent post but apparently this resonated with quite a few people and the discussion it generated as well as some of the comments were fantastic to read – possibly better than the post. This is probably a topic I’m going to revisit at some point, though I equally want to look at some of the male tropes in anime.

Number 2: Why Believing In Yourself as a Blogger is Easy to Say But Hard To Do

Black Star

Again, this post resonated with readers and I’m glad. Those who have followed me a long time probably already know that in reality I’m a horrendously insecure and socially anxious person so putting myself out there as a blogger is hard. Starting the blog and hitting publish for the first time was terrifying. And that anxiety of whether or not my work is good enough never really goes away, though I will admit the fun of talking with others about anime is definitely winning out over fear that I’ll write something stupid these days.

Number 1: A True Champion Can Adapt To Anything But No Mess With the Source Material


Hot on the heels of the live action Death Note movie, this feature looked at how fans respond to adaptations of things they love. It was kind of topical at the time and so received a lot of views but again, it is the discussion it generated that was the real winner. Some of the comments on this one are great to read.

Top 5 Top 5’s

Number 5: Excuses for Not Writing A Blog Post

This one really struck a chord with the community as we’ve all been in that place where we should be writing a post and we just don’t do it.

Number 4: Anime Vampires


As a topic near and dear to my heart, this list was great fun to put together. I will have to do an update list in a year or two when hopefully there are some new faces to add.

Number 3: Anime That Make Me Cry

Why do we love things that make us cry? I don’t have an answer for that but everyone sure had an anime or two that they loved because of the tears.

Number 2: Anime by Studio J.C. Staff


I’m not sure why this particular list was so popular. Maybe more people like this studio than I expected? Either way, it was fun revisiting some of these titles on the list. I will get to some of the studios I haven’t covered yet in future lists.

Number 1: Anime I’d Like to See Rebooted


Turns out a lot of fans have an anime or two they’d like to see done again but with just a couple of key changes. This list really got a conversation going and I’m certain that we’ve all come up with a few more anime we’d like to see on this list.

That brings me to the end of this special Tuesday’s Top 5. As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the list so please leave me a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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