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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Anniversary Follower Feature: Kapodaco

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: Kapodaco

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Kapodaco is an amazing blogger and I’m so happy that they continue to follow my blog. Their blog, Criticism and Thoughts, consistently provides some really interesting insights into anime and movies and their comments on my own posts are always appreciated. What I love is the Kapodaco is incredibly honest in their opinion of both anime and my posts and I trust that when I’ve dropped the ball they will tell me, in the most supportive way. I’m really glad Kapodaco volunteered to be a part of my anniversary as they have been a great supporter of my blog and I’ve really enjoyed discussing anime with them.

Anyway, if you have never checked out Criticism and Thoughts you really should jump on over there and do so, because it is an amazing blog. Great content and a wide variety, regularly updated, with well written and insightful posts where Kapodaco makes their views heard and supports those views well. A few example posts you could check out include: Updated Thoughts on Another, Wolf Children, and Early Impressions Sakura Quest. That said, there are heaps of other great posts to check out.

I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. Kapodaco said:

“Karandi has a dedication to her work that I haven’t seen within the aniblogging community. Her almost obscene work ethic is outshined only by the quality she puts into each post, whether episodic reviews, overall reviews, or discussion posts that range from a wide variety of topics. A knack for both serious criticism and lenient enthusiasm, Karandi’s work gives something for everyone, even an occasional post outside the topic of anime. She’s come a long way in the last year and I’m glad to have followed her. I look forward to seeing more of her work in the next six years or so.”

Thanks Kapodaco for participating in the anniversary and for supporting 100 Word Anime.  I really do hope you are still following in six years and I kind of hope I haven’t grown tired of either blogging or anime.

That actually wraps up this series of follower features but I’d like to thank all the participants as well as the readers who have joined me this week in celebrating my blog’s anniversary. Just one more ‘What I Learned’ post to go and the anniversary week is done.


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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Anniversary Follower Feature: Aldael

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: Aldael

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Aldael runs a great blog called Aldael’s Attic and while they post a range of content, their weekly Musings and Reflections are fantastic fun to read as Aldael takes us through what they’ve watched and their thoughts on the seasonal shows. If you’ve never come across one of these posts I’d recommend checking out their End of Winter 2017 post. It’s great how Aldael’s voice and opinion comes through as they succinctly discuss a range of anime.

Throughout most of my time as a blogger Aldael has been a regular commenter and supporter on my blog (as a side note I think Aldael’s Attick had its one year anniversary about a month before 100 Word Anime). It’s been great getting to know their tastes and sharing ideas about anime. I was very happy when Aldael sent me their write up for the anniversary special. For more to check out than just the musings and reflections, Aldael recommends: Flying Witch – The Brilliance of Slice of Life and Scattered Thoughts – Nijigahara Holograph, Haruki Murakami and the Appeal of Inio Asano.

I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. Aldael said:

Anime is cool. Why? Endless storytelling possibilities, extremely flexible visuals and themes to suit everyone’s needs. It’s cool for it lead me to this blog, too. And Karandi is also very cool. Why? I’ve no idea how one can be so productive – I haven’t seen anyone else who would be able to participate so actively in the blogging community as well as unceasingly provide content that’s amazingly varied, always on time and always to the point. I’m very happy to be in the same community. Congratulations on the anniversary and please keep on – you’re one of the kind!

Thanks Aldael for participating in the anniversary and for supporting 100 Word Anime.  It is definitely the readers that keep this blog going.


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If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Anniversary Follower Feature: Raistlin0903

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: Raistlin0903

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Raistlin0903 is another blogger who I owe a lot to given the ongoing support he gives my blog. He’s one of my very regular visitors and commenters and I’ve had a great time over the past year discussing anime and various films with him (and it turns out we’ve both got a weird liking for films that others might consider to be b grade). Raistlin reviews anime, board games, movies and a range of other things.

What is particularly great is the sheer range of material Raistlin covers and I’ve got quite a few international movie titles now on my list to check out as well as some older films and TV shows I may have missed when I was younger. If you haven’t checked out Raistlin’s blog before here are some posts to get you started: Lethal Weapon, Erased, and Coppelion.

If you’ve never checked out Raistlin’s blog, definitely hop on over and spend some time checking out his reviews (his site actual has a really nice menu system which makes finding older posts in the category you want nice and simple).

I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. Raistlin0903 said:
“When I saw that Karandi had reached 1000 followers I could not help but smile. I have been following her blog since I started blogging myself. She has managed to rekindle my interest in anime through her great and insightful reviews. It is only fitting now that she has achieved this milestone. She always has a kind thing to say in replies, and besides reviews has great feature posts (most recently man vs…), which are a delight to read. I hope her blog will continue for many years. I will keep following it, which will hopefully be another 100 (word anime) years”.

Thanks Raistlin0903 for participating in the anniversary and thanks for your ongoing support for 100 Word Anime. Looking forward to sharing thoughts with you for another year on anime, movies, and whatever else comes up.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Anniversary Follower Feature: Arria Cross

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: Arria Cross

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I doubt there are many people in the aniblogging community who haven’t come across Arria at some point and if you haven’t jump on over to her blog: Fujinsei. In addition to being an active member of the online anime community, Arria runs monthly blog carnivals which gives so many of us a chance to share our posts and to find other anime bloggers. It’s this kind of community spirit that I have come to love since becoming a blogger. If you’ve never participated (though I think there is a carnival open now) then you should check out last month with the 11th Carnival. So many people have nominated great posts to read so if you were looking for an anime blog or just something new, you’re sure to find something in the carnival.

In addition to just being an amazing person for hosting the carnivals (and reading every entry and highlighting posts that she enjoyed from the carnival), Arria posts some very funny articles (okay, there are also quite serious posts and news and lists and product promotions) but I absolutely love her sense of humour in some of her posts. Her 13 Signs That You’ve Watched Too Much Death Note and 10 Signs That You’ve Watched Too Much Yuri On Ice are both funny and probably more true than most of us would like to admit.

However, for a more serious discussion, Arria recommends “Racewashing in ‘Attack on Titan’ Films & Other Adaptations (OWLS Blog Tour)“. It’s a great read and looks at the importance of racial identity.

I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. Arria said:
“I’ve been watching anime ever since I can remember. I don’t even remember the first anime that I watched because I was too young. Watching anime was precious family bonding time, especially with my dad who was crazy with Dragon Ball at the time. Anime, simply put, is a big part of my life.

After a stint as a book reviewer, I decided to become an aniblogger and created my blog Fujinsei. Almost 3 years later, I’m still having a blast combining my love for anime and writing. But what I love the most is the community of fellow anime fans and bloggers, including Karandi here, whose friendship I’m always grateful for. I hope that I can continue being an aniblogger with these amazing people, and of course, watch more anime!”

Thanks Arria for participating in the anniversary and thanks for your ongoing support for 100 Word Anime. A special thank you for everything you do for the online anime community.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Anniversary Follower Feature: D

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: D

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I was really happy when D from D Talks Anime agreed to be part of my anniversary. D has the distinction of being my most frequent commenter pretty much every month and it has been a joy exchanging thoughts on anime with them.

What initially drew me to D’s blog were some of their more analytical pieces where they discussed an issue with or raised by a particular show. One of my favourite posts was their discussion on Noragami: Some Unsettling Implications. While I personally loved Noragami, this post was well thought out, well argued, and well justified and it really made me think about the show again, which was probably the point of it.

Recently, D has begun watching series based on votes, and giving their episodic thoughts on them. Currently D is reviewing Diabolik Lovers and Blood Lad and both have been a great read as D has progressed through the series.

Basically, if you haven’t checked out D Talks Anime, you really should. There are some fantastic posts and D is always up for an exchange of comments around a particular show.

I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. D said:

Karandi said I should talk about why I like anime or her blog and here I am, doing both.

I’m not a veteran anime watcher with hundreds of titles under my belt but all the same, I love it immensely, from the art style that opens up a wealth of possibilities to the sheer stunning variety of it. I also love how it led me to the aniblogging community which is just amazing. Karandi is one such amazing blogger and the first I interacted with. I will never cease to be amazed not only by the quality and quantity of the content on 100wordanime but also the way Karandi makes time to visit and comment on a myriad of other blogs. The way her blog has grown so much in less than a year is nothing short of spectacular.

Thanks D for participating in the anniversary and thanks for your ongoing support for 100 Word Anime. Hopefully you are still enjoying my blog when I get to the 2nd year anniversary.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Anniversary Follower Feature: Remy Fool

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As part of my 1 year anniversary, I’m running a series of posts on some of my amazing followers who have volunteered to be a part of the celebration. I often say this in my monthly reflections, but without the followers and the wonderful bloggers I’ve met since starting this blog, 100 Word Anime wouldn’t still be around so I really wanted to do something during this week to highlight the amazing people who have really made blogging a rewarding experience.

Follower Feature: Remy Fool

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 In case you haven’t encountered Remy Fool’s very cool blog “The Lily Garden” you should definitely take some time to check it out. While there is a focus on Yuri, Remy covers a wide range of anime and manga and I really enjoy their episodic reviews even if I’m not following the show. Remy’s also been a fairly regular commenter on my blog and I’ve really enjoyed exchanging views on anime with them. I was very glad when Remy Fool decided to participate in my anniversary special.
However, what I really love are the occasional articles where Remy discusses or deconstructs an idea or issue. From March, one of my favourite posts was a discussion about Tropes and Deviations from the Audiences Expectations. If that post doesn’t grab your interest, Remy has suggested checking out this post: “Three Lines Seen in Anime and Manga Which Piss Me Off: Ramblings About Heteronormativity in Japanese Media“. Whichever, Remy Fool’s blog is well worth spending some time on if you aren’t already following it.
I asked participants to give me a quick 100 words about what they like about anime or my blog. Remy Fool said:

“The world of anime is broad. Despite only focusing on a few specific genres, I always feel overwhelmed over how many shows there are to watch and review. And yet Karandi James manages to keep a consistent blogging schedule while reviewing a large variety of anime series. Amazingly enough, she also manages to share entertaining weekly features including Top 5 lists, discussion pieces, and community round-up posts highlighting other bloggers’ content. Honestly, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before she would reach 1,000 followers. Thank you for being such an active member of the anime blogging community!”

Thanks Remy Fool for participating in the anniversary and thanks for your ongoing support for 100 Word Anime.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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1000 Follower Thank-You

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So, I actually didn’t notice when this happened until Raistlin nicely pointed it out and then WordPress sent me a cute little notification. But, at the start of the year I set a goal of reaching the 1000 follower mark and now it’s happened.

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So, pretty much I just want to give everyone of my followers a huge thank-you (I guess times 1000).

But while I’m writing I might as well do a quick reminder that my 1 year anniversary for my blog is coming up on the 1st of May and I’m looking at running some special posts in that week with the help of some of my followers.

If you are interested in being a part of my blog’s anniversary (because the followers are the reason the blog keeps going), please contact me. I’d like to feature a post about your blog and some of your posts and then have maybe 100 words that you’ve written about why you love anime, or what you like about my blog, or whatever. I’m happy to discuss.

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Of course, if you’d like to support my blog in other ways, please check out my patreon. I really would like to look at doing more with my blog but need a little more time that can be dedicated to it if I’m going to expand my content. A big thank-you to those who have already chosen to offer support.

Once again:

Thank-you for following 100 Word Anime!


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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