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?

44 thoughts

  1. I swore I would shut down magicalgirlsandcerulean (a Tumblr of mine) after Boueibu had its heyday, which I predicted was in 2 years from the last episode (based on Samurai Flamenco’s fandom basically being barren 2 years after it aired). I got overly invested with it, it became my best-performing Tumblr and then…s2 came along. Then an OVA. Then a stealth sequel. Now, there’s Fairy Ranmaru, a similar series by a lot of the same creators, coming in spring that could see it blowing up all over again (although not much is currently out about Fairy Ranmaru, so I’m going to wait a bit)…it’s now been 6 years since Boueibu first aired and it’s still alive! So it’s safe to say if you care about a blog and don’t shut it down out of rage (or whatever), it will continue to be there for you when you need it.

    Essay-type posts require a reader to be “switched on”, which is why they’re likely to have higher returns comments-wise if you’ve picked the right topic, but less likely to produce comments if you’ve argued your point solidly enough. It’s an odd void, really…

    1. I’m not sure if it’s about how well crafted the essay is as much as the one. I find that when essayist try to come off as very academic on a subject they can sometimes inadvertently sound like they consider themselves experts on the subject and for some readers that can give the impression that they do not welcome differing opinions or even complements to the information.

      I can understand that impulse. Sometimes I can read something and it really does feel like the author wants to teach me something rather than learn something and they might take comments on the content as slightly insulting or something. It’s probably super silly for me to think that way but I can still understand it.

  2. Nice point about essays, when I first got into blogging, I assumed most people are not going to bother with in-depth stuff. I would say there are more people like that, than I would have assumed.

  3. Very nice article. Especially the first point, the quitting in a month thing. Even though it feels as if over my two years in the game, it seems like I’ve almost quit a lot, I keep coming back. The stats thing as well. Sometimes I get surges on some posts, and follower counts aren’t exactly telling, since a lot of people tend to keep up with blogs without following them, kinda like on youtube i guess. The essay bit really hit home as well. I’d say ninety percent of the posts on my blog are essays and stuff, so I don’t really do reviews, and damn, some of my most viewed posts are the longest ones on the website.

  4. I’ve noticed a few people “liking” my posts within seconds of my posting it, which tells me either they are champion/superhuman speed readers, or – obviously – they haven’t read it at all. I am guessing this might be the same for others there too, though this makes me wonder what is the point of spending all that time writing a post if nobody can be bothered to read it.

    My overall visitor/follower stats are pretty pathetic anyway so maybe I should just take this as a pyrrhic victory in that it “looks” like somebody has seen the post to any other visitors. that may or may not drop by. Similarly, by being so under the radar means I am not targeted by trolls so there is a plus to being invisible. :-/

    1. You get all those industry perks though. That’s super nice! And it must mean that people have respect for your writing.

  5. I swear it’s like you took the words out of my head lol These are exactly my thoughts too haha~

    I didn’t really put too much thought on followers and likes. Although I do admit that I always assumed that other than our blogger friends and a handful of IRL friends, we didn’t have many people check out our blog. It didn’t really bother me though, and I personally didnt mind that our likes and follower numbers might seem on the lower side. I still posted things because I enjoy it~ I like sharing my thoughts and the kind of discussions I’d have with my friends. Plus it’s nice to look back later on to see if my thoughts have changed~ With 2020, our blog had alot of views and visitors, but no real changes in followers or likes. I realized though, that like you said, that doesn’t mean people don’t enjoy our blog. There were a bunch of times that random readers from outside of WP would send me messages through my SNS like IG, or email me. They’d just send me messages saying they enjoyed the blog and our posts, and we’d have fun conversations about things. So I realized most of our readers were just lurkers from outside the WP crowd. So yeah, just cuz there’s no engagement from likes or followers, doesn’t mean our work isn’t being enjoyed by someone~

    I also went into blogging pretty blind and clueless when I started. I still am haha~ I originally just started blogging to help out the BAYOG Bros, and I joined later. I never thought I’d be a blogger, and I figured it would just be a temporary thing. I didn’t think I’d be posting very often either. Yet, 3 years later and I’m still here haha~ I still don’t know what I’m doing. I’m still just going with the flow and winging it as I go along. Still, it’s been really fun~

    I don’t review anime so much since I leave that to the BAYOG Bros, but I do know reviews are really hard. I’m always struggling with my drama reviews too. I always figured they’d be easy, but they’re actually pretty time consuming for me haha. It’s just hard to be descriptive and actually say something other than “I liked it”, “It was alright”, or “I didn’t like it”. ^^”

    I also didn’t think people would be all too interested in my essays or rant posts. I just did them for myself. But surprisingly those are also the top posts for our blog as well. I feel like essays are fun because they seem more personal~ It’s just interesting to read and see someone’s perspective on things~

    All in all, blogging can be really hard, as well as time and energy consuming. It’s different from what we expected, but it’s still fun~ All that really matters is that we’re enjoying ourselves, and it’s also great to make such fun friends along the way too!~ ^^

    1. Well that’s entirely true! Like most hobbies, you can get out of blogging what you put in it and as long as you’re enjoying it, it’s all good. I’m glad you are!

  6. Yay late response once again even if I liked this post earlier. Hmmm.

    But yeah, all of these are true. Especially stats. I’m still amazed by the amount of people who have a smaller follower count, but still get thousands of people in traffic. It’s crazy.

    Also, everything else is so accurate. Not a lot of troll comments, I thought I would quit too after a short period of time and yet… 😀

    Also writing reviews are hard. Even if I’ve gotten somewhat better and faster at writing them, they are still hard and require hours of thought before even touching the keyboard which is what I think about doing dull job periods. Gah…

    Thanks for showing the realities of blogging too the world 😀

    1. I’m glad people seem to have had similar experiences. It would have been weird if everyone was all like, nope, never noticed any of these…

  7. Honestly blogging seems tough work and not for lazy people like me. I once decided to write a review of a manga that I liked but as I was writing it I noticed that after halfway I’m just writing the next half to get the job done. It was definitely not easy. Then I realized it’s just not for me .

    But I do like reading blogs a lot.
    Keep it going!

  8. I don’t think I had troll comments.. spam sure, but I have no one react bitey or hostile. Not that I get that much interaction on most posts anyway. I do get positive reactions if I get anything though! So that is always nice! The community on WordPress is in general a lot nicer than I thought it would be.

    That being said I also believed it would be more interactive.. YouTube type of interaction, WordPress is much more “reactive” As someone who will start YouTube soon I am wondering what the difference will.

    Like you I have really fell into the Number 5 one.. partially I think it is because of Gamer Brain. Numbers are achievements and while my I have a lot more followers in numbers than I had before, in general it’s about the same crowd that really interacts! Though I do find new people as well.

    There is no such things as easy posts in general I think, whether it is gaming, anime or others. Reviews take a fair amount of time! In December I burned out hard thinking I could easily play 4 games, watch 4 anime series, watch 4 steampunk movies and do about 2 to four steampunk stories! As well as 4 miscellaneous posts the amount of content one needs to consume is massive! So respect for your discipline! I don’t have that much!

    1. Youtube scares me. Those comment sections are just horrid sometimes. I hope you continue to have a positive experience! You probably will, if you’ve never had a troll it’s probably because you don’t attract them!

      1. Well since I plan to start YouTube I don’t think I will keep an AS positive experience! But I do have high hopes! It is kinda scary but for me YouTube is also a bit less “sincere”. I recently saw some Videos of “Just A Robot” who is a negativity vlogger of sorts telling why other channels suck.. so it kinda works both ways.

        I’ll just do my own thing and see if people respond. I do think that is one of the bigger misconceptions of blogging as well, that you have to write for a specific audience. I think at first you have to write for yourself and gain an audience that vibes with that and from there you can grow more into follower based content?

        1. I do think there’s a big difference between people who want to do it is a hobby and those who hope to turn it into a business

  9. You are pretty spot on and personally I enjoy the essay type posts more than the reviews. You cover a wide array of topics in an interesting way that gets me to think.

    1. Thank you, and I think most people would agree. Essays do way better than reviews but my heart is in reviews. after all, I started my blog because no one I knew irl wanted to hear me go on and on about the shows I was watching…

  10. I honestly started my blog as a space where I could rant as I wished to about the books I’d read, you know. I don’t tend to review like most reviewers out there, and I find it so hard to just be polite about my opinions- be it good or bad, so I think I had very little hope for any sort of popularity lol. But given all that, I agree with you on so many points, especially point no 5 and 2! Like ugh, all I want to do is write essays about whatever I’m thinking, and I sometimes have to curb myself because no one wants to read that lol. It does make me ridiculously happy when someone does tho haha. Love love this post! (°◡°♡)

    1. I,m glad you liked it. It is really a thrill when someone actually cares about our stray thoughts, isn’t it?

  11. I agree completely. Especially with #4. I thought at first that writing reviews would be easy; however when I tried to make the time to watch anime, play games or watch dramas (the most difficult since episodes can be one hour long) it was really difficult—especially when you’re trying to balance that with working and studying.

  12. As someone who has tried anime reviews I agree that it’s pretty hard. To watch and enjoy but also analyze and critique. You do a great job. One of my misconceptions was making a post wouldn’t take long. Hell even my short posts can take up to an hour to type, edit, and make a cover photo. It’s so worth it in the end though.

    1. Oh yeah, I average out a few hours a post as well. There’s a lot that goes into it that’s not obvious at first! But as long as you still think it’s worth it, then it’s all good!

  13. I really enjoy the essays, and I think having them sprinkled among the anime reviews is what makes your blog really unique and something I can read every day. After all, lacking your discipline I can’t possibly keep up watching all the anime I want to watch. Even after I’ve lured hubby into watching some of it with me 😀 Most of all I’m glad you’ve decided to stick with it!

  14. Point #3 is always good to remember – if you happen to stumble into the right (wrong?) topic at the right time, there’s no way to avoid the trolls. Just delete/block and move on (at least that’s how I handle it). If someone suddenly feels like discussing something in good faith, they’re welcome to contact me directly and ask to be un-blocked. Strangely enough that’s never happened 🙂

  15. “Surely, we’ve all watched a show and come away with the brilliant impression of: It was okay…”

    I run into that same trouble all the time when trying to write manga reviews! Manga that I found to be “pretty good” (not great, but not bad either) can be really hard for me to find anything to say about.

    1. The good ones are always the hardest. And you don’t want to come off like you didn’t like it, cause you did but then again, it’s not a masterpiece or anything…

  16. I think those are all pretty spot on tbh. Also about the anime reviews , they honestly sound pretty hard . I was considering reviewing a few shows that I really like but… How can i write a good review without giving too much away , and will my regular reader’s taste be exactly like mine lol . Some shows that I watch are probably niche to some people . But I do enjoy reading your reviews as you watch quite a bit of the same shows that I do ✨

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