When I first started blogging, I was lucky enough to get some help from more established bloggers and I took the opportunity to pick their brains as much as I could. That eventually lead to a collab post that is still dear to me where Remi and I just talked about the unspoken rules of anime blogging as we saw them. If you’re interested, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

This was one of my first collaborations and I really just let Remi take the lead as he was the expert. And I learned a lot! I’m glad I got a chance to do it.

Now that a few years have passed since that post, I started wondering if it was still relevant. Whether the stuff we talked about it there still applied to bloggers in 2021 and whether my own personal feelings about these subjects had changed at all. And here is what I found out!

who best to promote you than you!

Self-Promotion in People’s comments

My views on this haven’t really changed. Adding a comment to someone else’s post linking back to a post you wrote that’s relevant to the subject is great. It gives readers more information and it even adds links to the post. Win all around.

But when someone only comments if they can link back to their blog, it does start to feel like they might be using the comment section to avoid having to pay for advertisement on your blog. Especially when they don’t return the favour by equally advertising your blog to their readers.

As for how relevant it is. I’m not so sure. After the post came out I had some issues with a troll adding really inappropriate (and potentially virus-ridden) links in my comments and I decided to make it necessary for me to manually approve links in comments to avoid this in the future.

Since then, people have really slowed down in pasting random links in my comment section. I do still get them regularly but they are mostly relevant stuff that I approve or spam which I dump. Also, I think my spam filter has gotten way better at catching stuff since then. So I’m not seeing the issue on my blog at all and I haven’t noticed it in other comments sections either.

I’m a bit curious in fact, are you guys still getting tons of links in your comments?

I was looking for an image to show followers and fell on Midnight Occult Civil Servants…

on Blogrolls and Follow for Follow

My views on this became much more nuanced as my blog grew. I think blog rolls are awesome, but honestly, they can be very difficult to keep up with. I have a widget on my sidebar that directs to posts from other bloggers and that’s been doing most of my heavy lifting for blogrolls.

I do also regularly post blog discovery posts although I haven’t had as much time lately, I do want to take them up again once the season is over. But I really don’t expect most bloggers to do stuff like that. If you like a blog it’s nice to shout them out but you don’t have to is my take, I guess.

As for Follow for Follow. It works really really well. And people use it a lot. Especially if you are a brand new blogger, you can quickly get tons of likes on your posts by just following and liking everyone. And I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with that. But it’s hard… Unless you are able to dedicate several hours a day to liking posts and finding new blogs, it’s likely that the tactic will get very exhausting quickly. I’ve yet to see anyone who aggressively uses it manage to not burn out or cut back on their interactions significantly. If you can do it though, amazing!

I like the little skull, it’s cute

On “Fake” Likes and Comments

Believe it or not, there was a bit of a hoopla at the time with bloggers getting really steamed if they suspected people liked their posts without taking the time to really analyze them. I haven’t seen anyone talk about that lately so I think it may not be relevant.

I personally don’t really care that much. I appreciate all the likes I can get and I understand if someone who reads my blog either isn’t interested in a post or is pressed for time one day, just reads a few lines before hitting like to encourage me. I think that’s fine but I respect bloggers who want to have more accurate representation of their writing.

As for comments, I updated my thoughts on the subject not that long ago so I won’t go into it too much today. I will say however that although I can’t pretend to love receiving negative comments, I think it’s fine for my readers to leave them. I might learn something.

Tag and Award posts

I love getting tagged in posts. I really do. But I don’t always respond. I just no longer have the time for it. But I appreciate it so much and whenever I do manage to get a tag post out, I have a lot of fun writing it. Bottom line, I don’t think you have to respond to tags but it’s fun so why not if you can!

Reviewer responsibility

I think this is in fact a fascinating question. Do reviewers have a responsibility to point out problematic or triggering elements in a work they are reviewing. I’m still not entirely sure what my stance is but I do think it’s a question to deserves discussion. If anyone wants to collab with me on that, let me know. I bet it could be really interesting.

Paper linking use to be such a hassle

Getting Plagiarized and Linking to Other People’s Blogs

To my knowledge, I have only been plagiarized a handful of times. Considering how many posts I have published, that’s really not much. And by plagiarized here, I mean someone else took one of my posts verbatim and claimed the authorship of it. The only reason I found out, each time, was that they forgot to take the links to my other posts out and I got a pingback. Since I have tons of posts without internal links, I don’t actually know how often it happens.

Every time, I asked to be credited but I honestly never got a response from anyone. The posts I do know about didn’t get that much traction so I let it go. A small part of me was flattered anyone even wanted to take credit for my writing. This said, if someone actually managed to build a blog on the back of my uncredited work, I would be very upset. I think we can all agree, this is not the best practice.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a lot of blogs reblogging my posts out of the blue. They aren’t taking credit, and their posts redirect to mine, so it’s absolutely fine by me. But I wonder how I would feel if a blog with views opposed to mine were to reblog one of my posts? Has that ever happened to you?

But what about linking to other people’s blogs. I do it a lot with discovery posts. I tell you about a great blog I found and I link to it. Generally, if I find something relevant I link to it. I have always done this with good intentions. Because I wanted to share something with my readers that I thought they would enjoy. Maybe give some publicity to my fellow bloggers.

However, in writing this post, I realize that I really didn’t take the time to consider that some bloggers may prefer not to be associated with my blog in any way. I’ve never received any complaints but I might want to consider getting proper approvals in the future. What do you guys think?

As you can see, my feelings haven’t changed all that much. They have kind of softened on a lot of things. I appreciate how little time bloggers have a lot more than I did back then. There are also a lot of things that just don’t bother me as much anymore.

If you have your own views on any of these points, please let me know. I always love a good blogging discussion.

20 thoughts

  1. This is a rabbit trail, but I hadn’t even considered blogger etiquette before!
    I often post links in my comments… but I never even thought to ask.
    Irina, how do you feel about my posting links in my comments?
    Please let me know if you would rather that I didn’t.

    Back to your post, I think you have handled your reviews marvelously!
    You give your opinion, and you often point out something that you don’t particularly care for, or that others might get hung up on, but you don’t dwell on it.

    I do not believe that you are not responsible for your viewers since we all have so many differing opinions and tastes.
    What you are responsible for is keeping yourself healthy and well so that we can bask in your lovely company when you share your posts.

    I love your posts!

    1. I have no issue with relevant links. I do have issues with links to viruses or suspicious sites that have nothing to do with the post. Personally. But for bloggers that are trying to monetize, I can see how that’s a bit of a pain. Some people sell advertising on their block, including sponsored links and having someone just use their comments to avid paying might be annoying I guess

  2. I respect the necessity of pointing out triggering and problematic content for many reasons but the main one is that I know a lot of folx appreciate the warnings before going into a piece of media or literature. It can prevent a really sudden and traumatic reaction that can be more damaging mental health wise and it’s important for me to provide that protection or caution whenever I’m able to do. Especially since there are certain things that I cannot engage with at all without getting super traumatised or setting off PTSD reactions.

  3. I am finding it a lot harder to have the time to read and comment on other bligs. Work committments have eaten the extra couple of hours I used to use in the morning to browse through the wordpress reader. I still try to read posts but find myself hitting the like more than writing a comment unless I really have something to say. While I would prefer to interact and have discussions with other bloggers at the end of the day you can only do what you have time for.

    1. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure every blogger out there is in the exact same place. Myself=elf included, Sooo tired..

  4. Concerning fake likes, I have spoken out against them a few times.. but I don’t mind all fake likes.. there is stuff when I write ” 3 fish beat pokémon” and you get 7 likes from aquarium site just because you used to the tag “fish”.
    I do think within the community though it can feel demoralising. Say if Blogger A likes your post about Natsume that you put so much effort in.. and then you end up sharing a picture on Twitter and they react with “Oh my gosh you like Natsume I never knew” that can be demoralising for writing.

    I know I use other Blogger names a lot, and link to their posts if it’s relevant, but I tend to only do it when it’s relevant, like naming you in my highlights of blogging. I personally like the idea of having a bit of a sense of community. I know many bloggers do a “great posts I found this week” thing, so I kind of assumed it was okay to tag others. I’d figure if they had problems associating with me they can just ask me and I’ll stop. I like the idea of being a community .. blogging neighbours and such.. I’d rather be overly friendly than overly reserved but if people mind being included by me, they can ask and I’ll stop.

    Assuming people would not want to associate with you might devalue yourself and at least my psychologist told me to not do that.

    I tend to do follow for follow, as long as the Blog in English, I don’t follow blogs in languages I can’t read.

    On reviewer responsibility, I’d say it’s a hard no for me! If you love Natsume so much that you are not bothered by the slow start and it doesn’t bother you at all, I don’t think you should mention it. A review is giving us your opinion of a product , at least that’s what I consider a review, if you add in points that are not your own it muddles a review. We no longer get your opinion, but more you guesstimating what is going to be everybody else’s opinion. If you love something don’t be afraid that others may not love it as much. I’d get more sincere info of you loving Natsume and Bob-the-Blogger hating it.. than you both of you guestingmating nuances… like pointing out a flaw in a masterpiece… we can see it’s a masterpiece ..but also see the flaw because you pointed it out?

    1. I use to get demotivated too. In fact I think every single blogger I know has at some point suggested that I watch an anime that I reviewed, and they liked the review, within the same month or two. It happens so often that I don,t even notice it anymore.

      And at some point I realized that I can read between 25 and 50 posts a day. Sometimes I go up to 100. So a week later, I can remember in detail that one post about mechas that I really enjoyed but sometimes I’m not sure if I read it on Scott’s blog or Lita’s or Matt’s. You know? Cause they are all great bloggers and it gets a bit jumbled up in my brain.

      I figure this happens to everyone and there are people who read way more posts than I do. It’s fine if they haven’t memorized all of mine. That doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy them at the time. At least that’s how I think of it.

      As for reviewers responsibility – I was thinking of more practical aspects. Do you mention that a show features rape scenes or that it frames sexualizing prepubescent characters in a positive light for example. So that way if there are any survivors in your readership, they can avoid material that would risk causing them damage or PTSD. That sort of stuff. I worked a lot in mental health fields and I know it can get quite serious.

      1. I do get that 100 blog reading thing and all! It’s not really those people I am talking about either.. but sometimes you just know a fake like is a fake like..

        It happened to me a few times usually with a bit smaller bloogers.. I don’t think the 1000+ follower bloggers are in the same league as me so they are safe.

        The case I am talking about mostly happend to me with real life friends. Or people whom I know well enough to notice a “ghost like” .. IIt’s a bit complicated to explain.. I also don’t remember everything I read but it happened on such a basic level ..

        I know for example you know I like Kamina, you read that..but someone liking all my posts for a while started asking me basic stuff like that… that for me is when fake liking turns sour as I really valued that person as well.. Pretty sure they left the Blogging world now , I am just saying a ghost dislike from the “wrong person” can really hurt.

        As for viewers responsibility, i’d it is a really double edged sword. If you mention you love an anime that had that type of content and people adore you as a blogger, they may still feel hurt, that people can enjoy stuff like that.

        I got an idea for one of such posts in the near future, I think the way I’d handle it is starting with a small disclaimer that it might contain sensitive material and providing an offsite refference to what that content may be. That way people can click away from a post with less temptation of seeing what you think about it anyway? Or just doing a review and telling people to google some warnings aboit it’s content later.. something to keep the venom and the post seperate as it were. That way you’d also avoid triggering people who are not actually interested in the anime itself but read to support you?

        1. Interesting. That’s one way to go. I haven’t figured it out yet and I sadly forget trigger warnings all the time. I also don’t want to discourage people from watching something that has one intense scene for instance. It feels like if I point it out it makes it appear way more important than it is…

          1. Good point, but that might even be a slippier slope! If omit some things and not others, people might take offence at one thing not being mentioned.

            So again rather than informing them about those scenes I would say , encourage people to look more of it up. Instead of doing the Studio, Anime Length etc perhaps provide a link to the Wiki page. Or simply end a review with .. “if my review has got you excited, I do suggest you do a bit of digging of your own” ? I think it is better to let people form their own opinions in those matters, not your obligation. Because that would apply you’d have the same moral standards and those may vary.

            I’d probably find a rape scene pointless, if it isn’t part of the main story and be appalled, but be okay with it if it establishes a character.
            While Kuro might think that’s quite okay and Vanilla.
            Perwinkle might thing : anime is really pushing it a bit faster, so if we’d review the same thing that treshold would be put at a different spot and our readers would do so yet again. If you remind people to think a bit for themselves and not blindly follow your adoration for a show or whatever your opinion is, I think you’d avoid a lot of moral debate….?

  5. “I’m a bit curious in fact, are you guys still getting tons of links in your comments?”

    I’m not setting many links. I’ll occasionally post to another blog if I’m responding to a comment, though.

    “I’ve yet to see anyone who aggressively uses it manage to not burn out or cut back on their interactions significantly.”

    Mind if I second this? I spend about 5 or 6 hours every Friday night to check out everyone’s sites. It’s worth it to me, because I want to stay connected. It also helps me see trends. But it’s best to into it with both eyes open.

    
“I haven’t seen anyone talk about that lately so I think it may not be relevant.”

    I’ve seen a couple of people still concerned about it because they feel like it drives down commenting. I’m in the same camp as you. Even if someone clicks Like without reading the post, I take it as a polite gesture and appreciate it.

    If they really like (or really hate!) my post, they’ll comment. I try to be as open as possible to differing views on interaction. Heck some folks are hesitant to comment for whatever reason. The Like button gives them an alternate way to respond.

    “I’m still not entirely sure what my stance is but I do think it’s a question to deserves discussion. “

    I really try to give trigger warnings, like I did with Goblin Slayer. The trouble is, I honestly don’t understand what some folks would consider problematic. Personally, if it’s in the realm of human thought, I’m interested in hearing your (or anyone else’s) take. If we can’t talk about things, how can we better understanding things? I want to be sensitive to readers’ needs, but I don’t know how it would work reliably.

    “I think we can all agree, this is not the best practice.”

    Some homework writing service snagged a few of my posts recently. Joke’s on them, though! Pretty sure my stuff won’t receive very high marks!

    “I’ve never received any complaints but I might want to consider getting proper approvals in the future. What do you guys think?”

    Honestly, I worry about that. I try to highlight other bloggers’ work often. No one has ever objected, but I already have a plan if they do. I’ll apologize and remove the content.

    Gotta say: I miss The Lily Garden. Glad you’re helping keep the memory alive!

    1. I kind of see likes a bit like people I don’t know wishing me to have a nice day. Like when I get a coffee or on the bus. understand that they probably do want me to have a nice day but they don’t really care and they are likely never going to see me again, so they’ll never know. It’s not something they thought about deeply and feel in their heart of hearts, it’s just something they said to be nice. The likes are kind of the same.

      Although I have seen one person lash back at someone telling them to have a nice day with: you don’t really care! So I guess it can annoy people.

  6. I follow people back out of courtesy and even if I read people blog post, I dont necessarily always like it but I have tried the tactic of liking someone post but it feels unethical. Why lie to them and hit the “Like” button? It’s fake acknowledgement and false achievement. In my opinion, it’s not the best strategy if you want your writing to improve. In fact it’s more of waste of time when you are not given constructive feedbacks. However if you just want to gain popularity for popularity sake and the numbers do mean something in terms of validating one self esteem, or the possibility of gaining revenue as the end goal, then go for it.

    1. I suppose it depends on what you hope to accomplish with your blog. Some people really are most interested in blog growth or are approaching it as a business venture rather than a creative one. I know that I have met a lot of bloggers throughout the years that primarily wanted a blog with a lot of followers. To each his own, I suppose.

  7. I don’t know anything about anime but I try to read your posts because I like how you write and you actually have got me interested in certain shows with your reviews. I will at times like an article before finishing it just because of time constraints however. My own personal situation chasing a toddler around and work and everything it’s hard enough to write my own posts let alone keep up with blogs I follow. That said, I’ll take the likes even if someone can’t or doesn’t want to finish it. 😂 A gesture of kindness or in my case, pity. Lmao. Great post ☺️

    1. First this is one of the best comments I have gotten in a while. hank you so much. It makes my day. And if you ever do end up watching an anime I recommended – I sure hope you don’t hate it. The pressure.
      And I’m sure you’re not getting pity likes. Pinkie has built up a great reader base….even if I do say so myself. cough.

      1. I don’t think you should worry about the consequences of a recommendation. If I were to take a recommendation and it wasn’t for me I wouldn’t hold it against you. I don’t think any reasonable human being should hold that against a reviewer. And I am super grateful to have met Pinkie. We have a lot of fun and she makes me feel apart of a team or a partner. Very encouraging. I love doing it – it’s a lot of fun. And you’re great at what you do. ☺️

  8. “… I realize that I really didn’t take the time to consider that some bloggers may prefer not to be associated with my blog in any way. I’ve never received any complaints but I might want to consider getting proper approvals in the future. What do you guys think?”

    I’ve had similar thoughts myself since I do my monthly favorites. I’ve never stated it, but I run by the policy of ‘I link stuff I like/find relevant, but would 100% remove a link/mention/etc should someone ask me to do so’. I’ve never had someone contact me to remove a link, but it is food for though. It’d certainly be really considerate to ask before linking, but I think that’d get a bit overwhelming depending on your output posting-wise.

    I’ve found even in my experiance, that in 98% of the link backs, the original author is flattered. (I know I am!) Provided, like you said that the link back is context relevant, and/or adds to discussion.

    1. I’m flattered too when it happens. On a practical basis it could take weeks before you hear back from some bloggers so it would make round up posts much more difficult to put together. Might not be worth it for a lot ofbloggers.

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