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.
65 thoughts on “Top 5 Things I Learned From my First Year of Aniblogging”
All of these points are definitely something we bloggers pick up after a year, but man, you’ve got a way with words, my friend! I ESPECIALLY relate to that third point; hours and hours (well, more like a couple minutes but still) I pour so much time into formatting, taking a visual step back to see if it looks too cluttered, or too spacious, or too full, and to what avail? Not much, honestly, especially after it gets shuffled and jumbled around in the reader (plus my wordpress theme actually hates me…should I change it?). You’re so right, but I guess that just means we both care a lot about content and cosmetics, right?!
You know I love you theme. I actually tried to figure out which one it was but the website told me it was not a standard WP theme… But I do feel your pain.
Why not play with it? it’s fun
It’s called Reddle and according to WP themselves, it’s a retired theme.
wow – thanks! Great detective work
Addition: i.e it’s around to use, but don’t expect the theme to be supported. Or something like that.
My current theme is “Reddle.” I believe Matt’s blog Matt-in-the-Hat has the same one, actually. (I did it first tho)
Well I know what to do next time
Same. When I tried to schedule things out too much and make myself post on certain days I got nothing done. Now I have a super random schedule and a bunch of random posts. I think that fits my brain a bit…
You can’t shackle the muses after all
Amazing points! I try not to worry about stats, but on the days where I’m putting up posts for an author and I know that they will be checking in on it to see how much I’m helping them out, it’s embarrassing when NO ONE is looking at it! Ha ha! It’s like “I swear people like me!! Right?? PEOPLE!!?? *tumbleweed crosses* *crickets chirp* it’s hard when you’re writing to try to get someone else notoriety and not getting the feedback that you wish for them after all their amazing hard work! I’m glad that you’ve learned all these lessons, though! I still have about 5 more months or so until I’m at a year.. So, I still have time to learn. 😉😂😂🍻
wowee – I cannot wait for your anniversary!
Ha ha!! I’m sure it won’t be as momentous as yours! 😁 I’ll be surprised if I even remember! I have NEVER had a notification from WordPress on stuff before… Sorry, I may have receive one WAAAAAY back when for something, but I haven’t had any for follower # updates or any of the things that other people seem to get 😕
I haven’t started watching Black Butler, but I always wondered why some people don’t like S2. Congratulations on the anniversary by the way! I like to make my blog simple and easy to read when people visit.
I guess you’ll find out some day…admittedly, there are reasons
I should really find a day and check this anime out.
Just went back and redid the design of my own blog after reading this. Hope I actually improved it.
oh wow – now I want a vacation. It is so calming
Let’s hope that your body can handle all that drinking in the future, cause your blog is going to be going on for much longer than a year. I can guarantee that
better sart training!!
I totally noticed your layout! And quite admire it too. You have quite an engaging way with your narrative voice too. Alas not all of us have that but its okay. I don’t blog because its easy for me. I like that you don’t compromise WHY you are here blogging! ❤️
Congratulations on you’re anniversary. We’ve been blogging for three years and I still feel like I haven’t figured out anything. But I’m glad to here that your still enjoying yourself. That comments and interaction still makes you happy. Hold on to that, makes the uphill climb more bearable. I took some time to look at your layout. It’s pretty. Nice job
Thank you so much – I’m currently butchering said layout but I appreciate you taking the time!
Happy Blogaversary! May it be the first of many! 🙂
Thank you – it’s actually on Sunday!
Hey, you’re the one who brought it up a day early! 😉 😛
I don’t think anyone else has told you a favourite random experience with aniblogging, so here’s one: I tend to have a “blogging senpai” on whatever platform I’m on (in this case, “senpai” is only “someone who inspired me to move to that platform”). So before the move to WordPress, my blogging senpai for the platform I used to be on showed up after years of absence (+ degradation of their custom blog theme) and I sent them a message saying they’d inspired me. It was pretty much as embarrassing as admitting to TPAB I was a previous lurker of his…but the warm fuzziness of when senpai notices you is unreplicable, no matter what the time, place or platform.
…and of course, when it comes, congrats on the 1 year.
That’s super sweet! hank you
I have the confetti cannon ready!
That’s why you’re my favorite!
Way to go Irina! Keep up the superb work! 😀
Thank you Jon
Oh come on, mom will always be best mom, and no way you will feel clingy sharing fun stuff with us.
oh yeah – then wehre’s my mother’s day gift? Huh???
Happy mother’s day…?
you get ONE
Wow, I can’t believe it’s nearly been a year for you!! I was shocked when I found out that I’ve been blogging for 9 months or so and I feel like you’ve always been around. Congratulations!
well I have around for more than 9 months so I guess from your perspective I really was always here!
I’m sorry my comment is going to be a little bit shorter than what you are used too: but today wordpress decided it would be fun to not be able to read anything on my ipad so I am now reading and commenting on my phone which I am not quite used to 😭
But….I really don’t think there is anything more you can learn: you can only teach as you have truly become a master of blogging. You are an inspiration for us all and I wish I could write posts with only half the skill that you have. Keep doing what you are doing and I look forward to the celebration: and many,many more years of following you and your amazing blog 😀
no ways – not learning is boring! For instance – I wanna learn how to be as active and supportive as Raistin
Aww…thanks …you of course totally made me blush here again 😊😊(but payback is on it’s way…huh? What was that? …oh nothing…just me talking crazy again…*whistles a happy tune *).
I’m looking forward to your anniversary (I still can’t believe it has only been a year). Thanks for sharing what you have learned with us.
I’m a child…I’m getting so excited
I remember how excited I was for my first anniversary. I couldn’t believe the blog I’d more or less started on a whim had become such an important part of my life.
Can’t wait to celebrate with you. It has been amazing meeting you.
Just over the halfway mark to a year myself…
The thing about no one reading your favorite posts thing is still too relatable!
Bane of my bloggin existance….
Happy early anniversary, Irina. 🙂 These are great things you’ve learned. Thanks for sharing them with us. I love what you said about us being different, and how we have our personal styles. It’s probably the thing I like the most about reading blogs! If everyone wrote in the same style or had the same opinions, it wouldn’t be very interesting to read then!
There’s something much more personal about blogs, it really is much more like chatting with friends. Sometimes they tell you nonsense but it’s all part of the fun
It’s good to hear other thoughts about blogging. I really enjoyed this one as you hit the nail right on the head about everything. I’m on 7 months now and if my blog can be half as good as yours, it’s progress. Great read.
You flatter me sir and I truly appreciate it 😁
Happy anniversary and congrats on your blogs’ success in it’s first year! Your success is an inspiration to the ani-blogging community. Here’s to an even more successful 2nd year!
Thank you so much!
Since I’m being on vacation and probably won’t be able to be here in your blog anniversary – Happy anniversary eheh!
I’m going to be straight with you… I’ve been following you since almost day 1 of my blog… which means more or less 8 months and well, you completely gave a jump in your content in the past few months! Everything is excepcionally well written, all posts are interesting (I don’t know where do you get all these ideas to be honest) and even your pictures are getting more in point!
It’s true that you don’t want to go pro, but let me tell you, you could easily do it! You are in your own league and that’s why you are becoming the main influencer in the Anime blogging community here in WordPress!
I know that you are going to disregard most of what I’m saying because you are humble as that, but I just want to make sure that deep down you know this (IAlthough, I think you already do) xD
That’s so sweet of you. I feel like i haven’t changed at all to be honest. I’m thrilled to hear there’s actual improvement
Has it really almost been one year sense you’ve started? It seems like you’ve impacted our community so much in that amount of time and you’ve learned so much.
Can’t wait to celebrate with you on Sunday, but I haven’t bought you a blogiversary gift yet.
Awww so sweet to pretend I haven’t been anoying you about it for weeks!
I would have thought you’ve been around for more than a year! You seem really used to blogging.
I /totally/ get that point on layout, I spent so much time retheming my blog before finally settling on one…
Agree with the top point, although I think you’ve probably ‘maximised’ much of your blog already, with relatable images, attractive headers, and engaging topics unique to your blog.
Oh noes – I found you in my spam but I rescued you!!!!
I think I spent an entire week on this layout – choosing themes, colors, fonts, widgets…Just to have l,ong time readers admit they’ve never actually seen it. And I don’t blame them. Reading posts on the reader app is just so much easier…
Thank you so much for your kind words though. They mean a lot
Happy Anniversary, dude!
I hope I can make as much progress with my blog as you did, because frankly, I think it’s impressive this was your first year!
The actual year is on Sunday – I’m sure you will. For me it was very sporadic. Like war. This burst of activity will long periods of calm in between…