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

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

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

community

people

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

Relax

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.

notebook

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:

Tags

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?

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Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

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

  1. Thanks for this Irina! I’m getting back on blogging and would like to start anew. This is superb a big help. You gather up lots of valuable advice which will help me and the others. Love lots~

  2. “Do it sooner.”

    “Lewds get good views”

    I can see these bloggers know what they’re talking about! My tip: don’t use too many plugins or scripts. It makes your website slower and the more you have, the less secure your website is.

  3. Thank you for including my feedback in this wide scope feedback project of yours, Irina! The data is really interesting, especially the one-off response about constructive criticisms when everyone just agrees with you.

  4. Alot of gems in this post. It’s also nice seeing where people are in there blogging journey. It’s been four years for me and I feel like I’m barely scrapping the surface. The more I learn the more I realized what I don’t know.

    If I could offer a snippet of advice: always remember why you’ve started this journey in the first and when things get rough think back to that remind yourself why it’s worth it.

    I hit the wall more times then I liked to admit but reflecting on my why keeps and kept me going.

    Another bit of advice: There is no right or wrong way to blog. The answer of how to do it “right” is tailored to what you want and what your process allows.

    I like to include slang and acronyms in my writing because that’s how I communicate with my circle. I like to writing like I’m talking with friends. Some people might find that taboo but what’s what works for me.

    BTW I need to reinstall Grammarly 😂😂

  5. Awesome post! These are some great pieces of advice. Funny how you posted this as I’m going through all my old posts to fix a lot of old mistakes. lol

    The three things I’d tell new-blogger!Me though it’s nothing really new:

    “Dear God, learn to format.” My eyes are screaming. Why did you do this, past!Me?! Formatting isn’t really hard and it’s so much more pleasing to the eyes of your readers, and, quite frankly, easier on you. Now, I have made templates and break my long posts up with images, but wow, my old posts. Related: Proofread, proofread, proofread, dammit.

    “Don’t release reviews etc. unless you’ve had time to sit on them at least for a little while.” You’ll think of more/better things to say, and you’ll stop yourself from saying things that are harsh, biased or unfair…..sometimes. The only one really putting a deadline on you is you, so if you feel the article would be better later, wait.

    “Embrace the community, don’t be afraid of them.” To this day, I’m paranoid of getting negative comments, but I very rarely ever get them. I have literally rewrote entire articles and not even posted some of them because I was afraid of people hating it or picking it apart. People here are pretty chill and cool, and one of the best parts of blogging is the conversations you have. Plus, commenters provide all sorts of new information, unique perspectives and interesting ideas that will better your writing as you go on. 🙂

    1. Good advice. I don’t think I could ever follow n2 myself (even though I should). Im a stream if conciousness reviewer. The few reviews I decided to hold back on in order to flesh out and appreciate have now been in my drafts for over a year. And I do work on them regularly….FMA….

      1. I try to always keep a backlog of posts to help with N2 so I don’t feel pressured to post things that are so new, even if I want to. I absolutely need to write reviews as soon as I’m done with watching/reading whatever I’m reviewing, otherwise I forget a lot of things and draw a blank on what I want to say about it, but posting’s a different beast. I’m just not disciplined enough in my posting schedule lol

        I, too, have a lot of stuff I’ve been sitting on for way longer than I originally intended, but not because I’m waiting for it to cool down in my mind but because my posting schedule screws some of my series over. Some of my series have a lot of backlogged entries from old, old, old postings while some of them are brand-new and are posted as I go.

        I still have a lot to learn and iron out in that regard. That’s another fun thing about being a blogger: There’s always room for improvement and learning. 🙂

  6. Such great advices from this community. Great post.

    I personally have to work on my social media, although I can navigate twitter pretty well, forget about instagram or facebook, and I get forgetful on Pinterest.

  7. Great post! My two would have to fall under ‘don’t be afraid to engage with the community’ and ‘start learning about SEO and how to actually use twitter’, the first one is me battling my nature a bit as I do have a tendency to just sit in a corner and not talk to people unless someone talks to me first, the second is stuff I’m going to need in the near future, especially if I want to write full-time at some point, so I wish I’d taken the opportunity to practise with my blog before now. Still, I’m starting to change so I’ll just take it as part of the learning experience and it’s been fun, which is the most important part.

    1. I’m looking forward to the answer to this one as I’ve only just really started trying Pinterest and haven’t a clue what I’m doing.

    2. Pinterest is a beast I havent cracked yet but when I first started using it. I filled my folders with other people’s pin for a few days straight and then mixed in my own pins and continued the cycle. I got alot of analytical date and saved pins. But not on stuff was posting myself. I ended up focusing more on instagram and twitter. But what learned about Pinterest is thats it’s artist hub. (randomly I might add) My personal pins that I made specific images for did better then the ones that I used just sourced images for. So if you have any graphic design skills you could definitely monopolize off that. If you don’t, there are free mobile apps that provide free templates that you can tweak and make work for you.

      Good luck and I hope this helps.

      1. Thank you, that is useful. I seem to do okay on pinterest, but much the same way, mostly in other people’s pins. Instagram I’m just starting to try growing now.

  8. Not much to add here over and above what’s already been said! The advice I follow the most — and that I would underline in red pen then go over with a fluorescent highlighter — is to do it for the love. Write from the heart about what you’re passionate about rather than what you think you “should” be writing about, and you’ll have a much more satisfying time of it.

    That and reach out to the community. It’s much more fun if you have people to share stuff with and talk to!

    I tend not to worry too much about SEO because having been part of the professional writing biz for a while, I can spot an SEO-optimised article a mile off and it always makes me feel less like I’m hearing the author’s true voice; it’s writing for an algorithm, not an audience. A lot of the old SEO tricks don’t work any more, either, especially on Google, so if you do decide to do this, make sure you’re reading up-to-date advice.

    On a related note, though, one great way to attract attention is to cover something no-one else has. My articles on Honey Select Unlimited are consistent traffic magnets even though I wrote them ages ago. Why? Because no-one in the mainstream has written about the icky porn sex simulator, least of all in as much detail as I have. Those articles aren’t SEO-optimised at all, but because I’m one of the only people to have written about it, people come to me to find out about it without me needing to do any active promotion whatsoever.

  9. This was a really fun read, happy to see it turned out so well. Really what an esteemed and insightful group of bloggers we have here… oh and I’m here for some reason! Glad my inclusion can keep the group modest, but really thanks for having me.

  10. I feel flattered for the mention. It felt as if I got the recognition I’ve been lacking. These advices I’ve read are good to take note because I’m still learning. Thank you, Irina.

    P.S. Seeing you doing this at Karandi’s blog is a suprise!

    1. I do posts like this on my blog rather regularly, I thought it was a good choice to pot over here for a change. Besides it takes the community feel even farther

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