Ok so I’m not taking this Halloween themed week seriously enough… I did the same thing last year. I tried to pass a blood type personality post as “spooky”. For the record I’m still AB. It’s scary how accurate that thing is!!!
How about this fun little activity we can all do in this month of fright! Let’s figure out if my blog is going to die soon?
Even though I haven’t exactly been around forever, I have seen a number of wonderful blogs disappeared in my time on the platform. Some of them even had time to come and go. One day you’re just cruisin’ along, enjoying all these wonderful posts, feeling lucky to be living in the golden age of blogging! The next, a beloved friend has just vanished and no one’s calling the police. Creepy…
It can get a little destabilizing. The blogging landscape is ever-changing and unreliable. It’s like a Game of Thrones plotline. Sometimes it can get hard to keep track of whose still alive!
I’ve made my peace with the ever-changing nature of the blogging landscape. Keeps you on your toes. Although there are a few blogs I have come to regard as pillars, who would really leave a big hole behind should they ever pack it up, and a few bloggers I have come to consider friends, who I would miss on a personal level.
All of this has lead me to occasionally consider the potential longevity of my own blog. I realize that a lot of blogs that predate mine don’t post as much as they use to, or have moved on to different formats and topics. I see bloggers get discouraged by what they see as lack of return on investment compared to the old days or different platforms such as YouTube. And of course, we all tend to loose a bit of enthusiasm once something is no longer new and shiny. Sometimes it can feel as if your wandering a dark street full of blog ghosts, wondering if you’ll be next to get picked out.
If horror movies have thought me anything, is that my best chance at survival, is being able to see the signs! I don’t watch horror movies. They’re scary you guys. I like being able to fall asleep. This month’s been rough on me….
So how can you tell if a blog is going to be next?
****Based on random observation, there is no basis in reality here. Never was!****
Ingenues and Veterans
It seems pretty much everything is at its most vulnerable when it just came into being or after some hard use. I’ve seen so many blogs hit the ground running. Full of p*ss and vinegar, ready to conquer the world! They put out long, detailed, usually very well written posts and plan to do so on a regular basis. And just like most resolutions, the motivation drains out of them within a few tries. If they don’t get instant results, or once they realize the actual amount of work involved, the entire venture just seems a lot less worth it. On the flip side I’ve also seen more than a few blogs I would consider venerable (5 years +) just fade away. Post less and less, stop interacting, and then get frustrated when that’s reflected in their blogs. So sad how we pray on the weak, newborns that haven’t found their footing, mature ones that may be a little tired..?
Outlook: Goodish. I’m still in the mid range, I could hold on a bit longer.
By far the most common frustration I hear from bloggers, is that they are not getting the results they wish for in terms of views/follows and/or comments. Whenever I see someone who really cares a lot about these, who DMs me out of the blue to ask (usually demand) that I promote their blog after a single post, who goes on non stop about how good or bad their stats are, I worry about them. It’s one thing to want your blog to get big numbers, it’s another when it’s the only thing you want. These situations tend to go one of two ways. Since fame is a fickle b*tch, they won’t necessarily get the recognition they feel they deserve, even after putting in some honest effort, and boom, frustration eats them up! Almost just as frequent, they do get it, catching up to blogs they looked up to (at least in their standards) and they suddenly don’t have anything to strive for. Without a goal to aim for, the whole thing just doesn’t seem as exciting. Oh the terrible torture of ennui…
Outlook: Great! Lack of ambition finally works in my favour! I never expected this blog to be a “success” so I’m already way beyond my wildest dreams and I’m curious to see where it goes, at the same time, as long as their’s still a chance of sharing a laugh with a reader old or new, l will always consider it worth it.
Life strikes back
Once a blog has hit its stride, the most common reason for its sudden demise is that the blogger has some type of change to their every day life. Starting college or a new job usually. Or getting more unexpected responsibilities. A real life relationship often takes precedence over virtual ones. Once in a while people need to set things aside and take care of themselves. Of course they do, it’s normal! If they come back, I’ll be here to throw them a party!
Outlook: depressingly great… I’m, for lack of a better word, steady. I was already working long hours at what’s considered a fairly stressful job to begin with and the blog is a form of self-care for me. Of course something unexpected could still come up but it’s less likely than average.
Even when everything else falls into place though, bloggers can be their own worse enemy. Packed and strict publishing schedules can quickly become difficult to sustain and the whole thing starts feeling like a job. A job you’re not getting paid for. No one wants a job you’re not getting paid for… Then you put pressure on your shoulders not only to come up with new posts on a deadline, but to provide a certain standard as well. If you usually write 3k words per posts a mere 400 makes you feel like you’re holding back on your readers. If you offer dozens of screen caps per review, getting it down to a handful will always leave you feeling cheap, even if no one says anything. You have to be careful. Burning out is a definite risk. There’s danger everywhere.
Outlook: I might be in some trouble here. I only post once a day but I do stick to long form even in my episode reviews.. which doesn’t sound that smart. I also post everyday. Jobs are scary.
So far I’ve looked at warning signs but let’s flip it. One of the thing’s I’ve noticed long lasting anime blogs to have in common, is a pretty well defined post format. The most common being episode reviews. There’s a reason even professional anime blogs feature mostly seasonal episode reviews and a lot of older and bigger blogs go by that format as well. Some occasionally mix in different style posts, but they are still known primarily for that. Then there’s full series reviews. These tend to post less often but have longer posts, for obvious reasons. It seems a much less popular way to go and I have sadly seen some of those disappeared over the last year. Still it provides for a wealth of material to chose from. The third and least common format in my experience, is the personal diary of an anime fan. These are bloggers that write about their lives and feelings, and it just happens that both of these include a lot of anime.
Of course not every long running anime blog falls neatly into one of these categories, but it seems that having clearly defined post formats to fall back on is a great way to always have a next post in mind.
Outlook: uh Oh..I have a schedule but the bulk of it is essentially “misc”. Present post: case and point. There are a lot of blogs that do random long form essays however those posts are occasional fillers. New blogs will sometimes pop up with loose thesis: seeing race relations through anime…. But those don’t tend to last in my experience. It’s not looking great guys…
Horror movies have been warning us for ages, always favour substance over style. Pick a layout that works for you. Make sure it’s functional and easy to upkeep and stick to it. You want something where it won’t take you (…an hour..) just to format a single post to your blog template’s needs because you simply won’t be able to keep it up and half the time it will not show up like you want it to on your readers’ browser anyways…
Outlook: Run. I put way too much time on my layout and I keep messing with it. The only reason I don’t write for a different site is my layout addiction… This won’t end well.
Conclusion, I might be ok as a blogger but my blog itself is doomed. It’s a collection of established mistakes that all lead straight to doom. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Remember me fondly guys. Also, I’m not going anywhere! I would miss you all too much.
42 thoughts on “Is my blog dooOOoomed?”
I’m glad to see your not going anywhere! What you do is awesome! More recently I’ve come a distant from my blog and the community simply because of offline responsibilities so I’ll admit I’ve been worried as of late about loosing a connection with others through stuff like comments and such. I love my blog and the anime community on here though so I know it won’t suddenly just disappear into thin air! It’s sad to see some blogs come and go but I’m so happy to know you’re not going anywhere! 😊
I love your nerdy travels! I’m pretty sure a lot of people do!
Aww thanks Irina 😁 it makes me happy to know that!
I suspect boredom is an important factor. Just lost interest, better things to do with my time. Ah well! You really need to enjoy the act of writing itself to keep plugging away for a long time. Just enjoying the subject you are writing about may not be enough.
Even doing blogs of naked dancing girls with furry accessories who wear glasses would bore me after a while. I’d have to toss in some naked dancing boys for variety. Variety is the Lowery Seasoning Salt of life.
I know I’ve only been blogging for a couple years but I’ve been writing one thing or another ever since DOS 3.0 and Wordstar word processing software with spell check. My typing skills are zero despite the horror of typing class. My body just doesn’t have things like the proprioception needed for touch typing, so without computer assist I’d never write anything longer than a grocery list.
Although I personally agree i did just write a post about how blogging isn’t about enjoyment of writing for everyone… I know a lot of very active blogs that treat it more as a business. Personally though, i also think that if you don’t enjoy it on some level it’s almost impossible to keep up
You nearly gave me a heart attack!
I love the criteria you’ve come up with here! I can see a lot of the patterns you talk about playing out even as we speak! Well, in slow motion, of course… I think I could find 10 or 15 sites that would fit neatly into each or your categories!
I don’t see any signs of “end of lifeness” here, though.
I’ll let you in on a secret. Of the 260+ anime blogs I check each week, there are four or five that I force myself not to include in my Other Posts to Crow About every week. Otherwise, I’d give the appearance of favoritism!
Your site is one of those.
Crow you always make my day also reading a little under 300 anime blogs a week!!! Thats insane. Hmmm prattle could use someone like you
I would definitely miss you too. You’re one of my favourite anime bloggers <3 Keeping blogs alive is pretty hard though.
Most demanding tamagotchi I’ve ever had
Accidental genius is still genius÷
Great post. I reckon you’ll be fine. As much as blogging can get frustrating at times, there’s a lot of fun to be had in it, so as long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll keep going 🙂
But I honestly think you just described the “lighting in a bottle” effect. All of your mistakes make you unique. It allows the little nuances that highlights your personality in your blog and writing, which I feel ultimately draws people in naturally.
It is ironic that you post this when I am currently trying to figure all of that out. The right format. The schedule. The content (because I want to talk about so much!) And although I still figuring all that out, I have settled for just writing because I am really enjoying it right now. The most fun I have had since writing poetry and short stories back in the day for fun.
You’ve made me want to double down to make sure I don’t end up stumbling down that dark alley.
No pressure but please do. Some great bloggers have bowed out in the year and a half I’ve been around. We need new ones to take up the mantle
Glad you aren’t going anywhere. While I’ve only been around two and a half years, I don’t intend to let my blog go dark (although I guess no one actually intends for that to happen). Still, like you I’ve seen a lot of blogs come and go in the time I’ve been a part of the community and I’ve certainly seen more than one blogger write a beautiful introduction to their blog and what they are going to do and then either found one follow up post or nothing ever come out again.
At the moment I’m in a little bit of a slow down due to life and work being pretty intense and when I normally publish three posts a day it just makes sense to ease back rather than burn out. Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual schedule next week or at the latest the week after.
I’ve been enjoying your classic posts! I think that’s a great idea to occasionally give yourself a break
Don’t go! We’ll miss you!
I found it interesting that I use a number of the techniques associated with longevity just by accident…Regular schedule and content, lack of concern with outcomes, no goals, simple format. Hmm. My first blog lasted one entry; this one is pushing a year old. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with these observations!
Don’t scare me like that! And just so you know, I very much appreciate the effort you put into the look of your blog. Artists eye and all that. I do hope you are around for many years to come, but if there is one thing I’ve learned in my almost 20 years as a netizin, is that the Internet is always changing and moving on to the newest thing. That said, this is one of the very few blogs I’ve ever subscribed to, stay with, and read nearly every post and that has more to do with your style and personality than the fact that we happen to also have similar tastes in anime. So much anime, so little time. It helps me personally to be able to sort a bit the ones that ought to be at the top of my queue. Of course, it also tends to add to the queue…
Another very interesting, well written, well thought out post about a subject we might not (want to) think about in any depth. Thank you.
Netizen is my new favourite word. Thanks Foovay. We’ve lost a few great bloggers lately. I was feeling melancholy but I’m still here for a bit.
I’ve put a lot of thought into all of this and creating a sustainable yet productive blog was my goal. I looked at how other people write posts and how often, then made a good plan for myself. (uh oh, I’m throwing around engineering terms again. Run away.) I do realize that I will stop blogging someday, but I want to keep this going as long as possible. I hope you can keep going for a while as well 😁.
Best news Ive heard in a while!
Oh you. 😁
Format? Oh man haha. Schedule? Oops. Part of me wishes that those who disappear that I had another connection to them on some other social media. It is almost like a death when they just vanish. Then I’ve don’t my fair share of vanishing….
You’re saying you want an assistant…
A free one… lol
I struggle with not having many comments on my posts. That can be super de-motivating, and sometimes makes me wonder if I’m a shit-blogger and wasting my efforts. I’m also one of those who puts out the long, detailed posts that you mentioned at the start of this. The effort that goes into this can be severely taxing, but it also helps me to better understand my feelings on the subject matter/anime/book/etc. that I’m discussing, so in that sense it’s far more for my own benefit. Doesn’t change the fact that having some interaction with others would be amazing. I think you have a kick-ass blog and you’ve grown so fast for a reason. You biggest draw is your amazing persona and willingness to chat about tough topics others don’t go near. I have faith you’ll be around for a while yet!
Nyan your blog is often disarmingly pretty. I admitt i often find myself at a lost for words on your more personal posts but I think they should be required reading
Oh, man. Thank you so much, Irina. Now I’m at a loss for words. I’m very grateful. ♥♥♥
I feel your pain. Many of my blogs tend toward being l o n g. I too wish for more responses. But it is what it is.
It’s really sad that most blogs have a limited shelf life. From the hundreds of sites I follow only a few remain active. Great post Irinia. Not only do you list the warning signs that a blog is on its last legs, but you also offer tips on what can be done to make blogging less of a chore.
I admit. I miss some folks a lot. Some of them quit blogging before I even discovered their site…
I can admit I’m a weird combination of all the factors you’ve listed, does this mean my blog is doomed!? 3:
I think you’ll be fine though, I can tell that you love making blogs alot, and to me, as long as you love what you’re doing. You’ll always find a way to make it work somehow 🙂
That’s such a sweet thought! We’ll both be fine.
when my blog eventually dies, im reasonably convinced that i’ll just let it die silently (im probably coming up on that soon). i cant stand ppl who constantly bemoan their lack of views or comments, so i generally strive to avoid that. that said, i wouldnt be surprised if it’s one of the reasons that eventually pushes me over the edge. at the end of the day, i do want ppl to read and enjoy what i have to say if possible.
at the end of the day, i think “unreasonable expectations” really do end up being the worst of enemies. ultimately, i post every day because of a personal sense of pride, and i stop myself from writing about certain topics because of my own self-imposed restrictions.
I do the same…maybe replace pride with neurosis. It does get exhausting. I know for a fact a lot of people and some owls would miss you
Basically, with that “race relations in anime” thing, you’re saying I’m doomed… (sarcastic) But yeah, reviews cost effort and non-review posts cost even more, because you have to pick your battles according to your strengths and what you’re passionate about while not looking too biased towards certain works. A post I’m happy with from start to finish takes…maybe an hour or two? That’s a big time commitment when I could be doing something else instead.
This past year I’ve increased how much anime/manga I consume and yet I still find people leagues ahead of me, no matter what I focus on, but I don’t sweat the small stuff on that front since I’m aware I may never get through every anime/manga in existence I want to see. Heck, when I was on Hummingbird, I remember I was proud of getting 30 days watched…and here I am with double that in 3 years (although it helps that I tried to remember how many episodes of Pokemon I’ve watched and adjusted my list accordingly between then and now).
However, there’s no way my collection is close to complete and I bet there are still lots of books/discs in libraries/stores I haven’t set eyes on yet, so I don’t think I’m disappearing any time soon.
Considering your blogging experience, i think it’s safe to say that you got it figured out.
Going by these… I need to calm down about my stats and maybe I’ll survive a bit longer then expected! lol
Sweet. We got a plan!
I think you’ll be fine! It’s clear you enjoy posting what you post, and that is always going to be the most important thing. I’d love to make my blog into my job, but at the same time it’s also nice not really having any “responsibility” to anyone, and just doing it for myself. Conventional wisdom has it that if you write “for yourself”, like-minded people will be naturally attracted, and that’s certainly worked for me so far.
I look at my blog as a way of extending my enjoyment of my favourite hobby. When I crack open a new game I haven’t played yet, it’s with the intention of writing about it. That gives me incentive to try a variety of things, and also not to become too complacent or passive in what I’m consuming. And with the size of my game collection, I still have a LOT to write about before I’ll run out of ideas…
Well that’s good to hear. Although i never thought you were going anywhere, you would leave a huge empty spot if you were ever to decide to pack it up
Aw, thank you. No, I’m not going anywhere, I’m far too stubborn and/or obsessive to give this nonsense up now. :3