Well there’s no burying the lead here. If somehow you didn’t know (why don’t you ever listen to me?), I’m coming up on my very first full year of blogging. I do hope you stop by and celebrate with me if you have the time. It really wouldn’t be the same without you!
In the meantime though, I’ve come up with this little list of general observations from my personal experience. These aren’t blogging tips or anything and they probably won’t apply to everyone. I just wanted to share a bit of the behind the scenes experience with you guys..as if I don’t already constantly do that. Am I too clingy? You’d tell me, right?
5) The blog is work if you make it work
And work isn’t always fun… I started this blog as a hobby and had no intention of ever using it as an income source, as such there’s really no practical reason for me to fret over performance. Yet I occasionally have. Hearing other bloggers get wrapped up in their stats or share impressive but well thought out goals stirs that sense of achievement in me. It makes me want to strive for… something. What that actual something is tends to be nebulous at best but it’s something measurable so I know I’ve achieved it.
At those times I read up on how to increase my blog’s popularity or tried to predict reading trends. I’ve thrown my energy and free time into making this place “successful”. Sometimes, often even, those efforts have paid off. And I’m thrilled by that. However, for me, it’s just not the same as writing a doofy post on some obscure anime that amuses me deeply but I think no one else will care about, and getting a comment on it. This is where I get my motivation and I just don’t enjoy blogging as much when I lose sight of it.
4) Smart people can learn from anything!
I already knew that but I see it applied on my blog regularly. What do I mean? Let me spin you a yarn. Months ago, as I was just starting this blog out, I wrote a post which I rather liked, while having a pretty bad fever. When I scheduled it, I thought it was awesome. A month or so passed by, my fever subsided (thankfully), and the post autopublished in my usual time slot. A few hours later, when I finally got around to rereading it for the first time, I suddenly realized that I must have been way more out of it than I thought.
The basic idea was there, and I still quite liked it, but it just wasn’t developed in any sort of interesting or coherent manner. The post itself was pitifully structured, hard to follow and ultimately a little pointless (more so than usual!). Quite frankly, I was pretty embarrassed and was about to pull it from publication hoping no one had noticed when my eye wandered onto the comments.
Sure, there was at least one who pointed out that I made no sense whatsoever. That was a very fair assessment and said super politely. However, a few more of my readers had somehow managed to ferret out the underlying thesis and restructure it while giving their own thoughts, way better than I could have even without being medicated. Those comments elevated the post to such a degree that I couldn’t bring myself to erase it. When considered as a whole, the read was now interesting and thought-provoking instead of just confusing.
So now, when I feel like I have something to say, even if I’m not entirely sure how to go about it, I still tell you guys. I know that smart people can manage to get something out of just about any piece of information and I have faith that my readers are geniuses.
3) I spend too much time on layout
This one is pretty straight forward. I spend way more time than justifiable on playing and redesigning my layout. I carefully center text, try every possible header style, move pictures before and after paragraphs then zoom completely out to see if the post balances. And then, half the formatting seems to get lost on publishing and the other half is somewhat dependent on my WordPress theme and looks awkward or uninteresting in the reader, where 99% of you read my posts….
I could save myself so much time if I just let those little those little things go. Then again, I needed my lego constructions to look just right as well…. I’m about to do another visual overhaul of the site that very few people will ever see. I’m super excited about it!
2) we are all different
When I started the blog I figured I would meet a lot of people just like me. This was probably the biggest drawback in my mind… There can be only one after all!
Basically, when you dwindle down the population to English speaking people who love anime enough to have a blog, who enjoy writing about and analyzing shows rather than just watching them, and who are interested in sharing all that with strangers on a regular basis – you’d start breathing some pretty rarefied air. We were bound to have A LOT in common by default, so we would most likely also tend to think the same way and enjoy the same things…. Kind of like a cult.
Boy was I wrong. You just need to read a handful of blogs to realize just how unique and individual everyone is. Not only do we have different preferences in the shows we enjoy, we even differ on the reasons and analysis of the same shows. Each blogger has a personal style that becomes recognizable after a while. Occasionally I will read a blog and think, huh, that style reminds me of this other blogger.
For some reason, I think that’s just cool. This notion that we’re all our own people and can’t be reduced to a faceless fandom makes me happy.
1) We’re all the same.
And what makes me even happier, is those tiny moments when I realize we are in it together.
When I share with you one of my crazy theories and someone tells me they always thought that too. That’s like magic. When I discover I’m not the only person in the universe to have seen a particular show, it makes me feel like I’m part of the gang! One day, I will find the other person who enjoyed Black Butler s2, and my world will be complete.
I find it comforting to find out that everyone has their favorite posts ignored or that even huge bloggers occasionally seem to hit a wall. I know we all sometimes feel like we should be doing more and that brings me a deep sense of camaraderie.
Basically, I love the fact that no matter how seemingly different we all are, we somehow managed to find each other. I know that when I read a post I completely disagree with, or get an aggressive and negative comment, the person behind it is someone who just like me loves anime so much they even read and write about it, and that person took the time to share something with me. That’s even cooler!
Well that’s what I’ve got. Obviously, I need to stick around some more cause, I have a lot more to learn! I usually like to make these lists a bit interactive so I would love for you to tell me what I should have learned 😊 Or maybe just your favorite random experience with aniblogging.