When I started my blog, I really had no idea what I was getting into. After all this time I now have some idea. It should be said that everyone’s blogging experience is a personal and unique experience, but there were definitely some things that I thought, that turned out to be less than accurate.
As always, your mileage may vary as these are only from my experience. However, these are the top 5 misconceptions I use to have when I started blogging!
5. Likes and Followers Will Tell Me How Popular My Blog Is
I use to think that stats were very straight forward. The more likes a post gets, the more it’s liked. The more followers a blog has, the more it’s popular. I have found that it doesn’t work quite that way.
First off, most of the blogs I know that have the most impressive numbers of views or visitors, don’t necessarily get tons of likes or even have that many followers. If someone is good at SEO (I wonder what that’s like) they are going to attract tons of readers from outside of WordPress and those are much much less likely to have a gravatar account and to interact with the post beyond reading. It doesn’t mean they didn’t like it. I spent years reading blogs religiously without ever making my presence known. Apparently even with less than 100 followers, you get between 2 and 4k visitors a day! Whoa! And with thousands, you can get 200. There no way to know.
Moreover, it’s no secret that follows for follow works extremely well on WordPress. As such, you can have bloggers with thousands of followers who don’t necessarily all have a huge interest in the subject matter.
What I’m saying is that likes and follows are nice and they are not meaningless but they aren’t the only thing to take into account.
4. Anime Reviews Are Easy
I thought that telling people what I think about a show I saw would be the easiest thing in the world. After all, I was already doing it in verbal form. Oh, poor deluded little me!
Beyond the fact that writing reviews is a skill that not everyone has. There’s the fact that once I sat down to actually write reviews, I suddenly realized that I didn’t necessarily have all that much to say about every single anime. Surely, we’ve all watched a show and come away with the brilliant impression of: It was okay...
However, the most unexpected part was that watching anime is hard you guys… Finding the time to watch entire series of anime and then review them isn’t quite as simple as I had figured. Just logistically. It takes a surprising amount of discipline. I hadn’t realized that.
3. Trolls Won’t Bother With A Tiny Blog
Nopes! It seems that people do have time on their hands and even when I only had a handful of followers, I would get the occasional troll comment. Not all of them were mean spirited. Some were just confusing or random but it happens to pretty much everyone.
This quickly leads to a second misconception. Where I thought that if I got any sort of growth on my blog, I would soon have to disable comments for the good of my mental health. Having heard so many horror stories about the hate and toxicity of online communications.
Happily, that was wrong as well. I get the occasional biting comment or aggressive response but that is completely overshadowed by the amount of earnest conversation or outright support I have gotten.
2. People Wouldn’t Care About Essays
I honestly thought no one would read my blog at all. But I figured, if it’s an anime review, I may occasionally get an otaku looking for something to watch to stumble upon it. I figured that’s information people could conceivably find useful. And I certainly hope it is. I still really enjoy writing reviews.
So when I first started my blog, I wrote like a dozen reviews of shows I had watched over the years before I made the blog public and then just kept on reviewing. I sue to just publish full series reviews every day. As you can imagine, I quickly ran out of material. Sure I had watched a lot of shows but the bulk of them I had seen years ago and I hadn’t thought about reviewing them while watching so I really didn’t bother noticing the details. I also didn’t remember enough to make drinking games and let’s face it that’s the only part that matters.
I wrote my first random op-ed post (In Defence of Fanservice) because I was still in the middle of watching my latest anime and wasn’t ready to write a review. And I was bracing for…well not much. I was still pretty small and as such, I figure the couple of readers I did have would politely ignore me. But I got quite a few comments. Oh well, I thought, people love fanservice after all… I went back to writing full reviews every day for a month or two.
And then I wrote my very first character study. That post got little attention at the time from the WordPress community but the views were crazy. It’s still in my top 5 most viewed. Slowly I started adding more essay-type posts and I found that they got a lot more likes and comments than the reviews. I was baffled but grateful!
1. I Will Quit After A Month Tops
One of the few things I actually got right about blogging, is just how much of a commitment it is. Both in terms of time and energy. I have a pretty time-consuming job and family/relationship obligations as it is. As such my hobbies tend to be either pure entertainment like gaming or anime, things I have to do anyway like cooking, or things I can just pick up once in a blue moon when the mood strikes me, like music or painting.
I was certain that anything that required a definitive and regular investment on my part would get dropped immediately. Especially if I didn’t stand to gain anything tangible from it.
But I was wrong. And I still can’t understand how come. I have no clue what made this hobby stick when I give up on D&D games, get too lazy to go skying more than a handful of times a year and stopped playing MMORPGs because guild duties were too demanding. Maybe it has something to do with the amazing community. Cough..
So there you have it, 5 of the 3 billion things I was wrong about. And in many respects, I was really glad to be wrong about them. In some ways, it’s made blogging more challenging than anticipated but also more fun.
Did you have any blogging misconceptions when you started out? And if you don’t have a blog, do you have any blogging presumptions at the moment?