You run across it sometimes. Posts or comments that mention good vs bad reasons to start an anime blog. This actually exists in a lot of communities. Notions about having the right intentions behind a YouTube or Twitch channel are occasionally floated. And it’s sort of an odd concept. Like, do you really need to have some type of moral authority to pick up a hobby?
Personally, I don’t think there are any bad or wrong reasons to start a blog. Actually, wait, let me rethink that.
If you start a blog in hopes of luring children into some sort of kidnapping ring, That’s wrong! That’s a bad blog. I’m putting my foot down! Also, creating a blog full of viruses in hopes to get personal information from everyone who visits is also not great. But short of actually nefarious or illegal reasons, everything else is fair play if you ask me!
If you tell me, you started an anime blog even though you hate anime, for the sole purpose of convincing a cute girl in your class to talk to you. Well, I actually think that’s kind of adorable. As long as you treat her well, I hope she gives you a chance!
And honestly, I believe most people would agree with me. The problem is often not the actual motivation itself, but rather when a person tries to come off as something they are not. Maybe they see that anime blogs get a lot of views (They don’t but just humour me) and simply want to get in on that to make more Adsense. I think that an author who simply states that they are using their blog as a secondary source of income and think that an anime blog would provide that. And then just strives to learn about anime along with the community would be welcomed. I know that I would find it interesting to see someone’s anime journey right from the start. After all, most people who are passionate enough about it to start a blog have been watching anime for years before their first post.
However, if that same person creates a profile or identity to make themselves seem like an expert on the matter and a passionate fan. People will probably feel a little betrayed if the truth is discovered. Especially if those people are passionate anime fans themselves and thought they had found a kindred spirit only to be disappointed.
Although the motivations are the same in both cases. In one I feel like readers would find that motivation to be lacking even though it was fine for the other. I hope that sentence makes sense. It does to me but I’m not entirely sure it would to anyone else.
However, I do think that there’s a sort of blogging natural selection or survival instinct behind these ideas of good and bad reasons to blog. Generally speaking, people seem more favourable to bloggers that are sharing a passion, looking for a community and/or purely doing it out of personal enjoyment. Whereas they are occasionally a little less enthusiastic for blogs that are openly only created for monetary gain or personal promotion (i.e. gaining a fan base), without an actual interest in the topics they cover. Basically, blogs that could and would post about anything if it got them more views.
To be clear, I’m not that familiar with the larger blogging community. Maybe this is not an issue at all with like health and wellness blogs or cryptocurrency blogs… Are there cryptocurrency blogs? Actually, never mind.
But in the anime blogging community, these types of blogs don’t get that much traction. And I think that one of the reasons is that these are just bad reasons to start an anime blog.
I know I sound like I’m contradicting myself. I don’t mean bad as in wrong or evil. I mean bad as in inefficient. The plain and simple fact is that the heyday of blogs has already come and gone. There was a time when popular blogs were all over the internet. They could easily net you advertising deals and promotional contracts, even book deals. But nowadays, most blogs just don’t attract that much attention, especially not amateur ones.
People prefer more dynamic content like Youtube, Tik Tok or Twitch or more easily digestible content like Instagram. Content you can occasionally just have as background noise while you do something else, or that you can take in in a minute.
I’ve even had other anime bloggers tell me my posts are just too long to read and they don’t have time for it. I have a comparatively low word count and these are like my prime audience. And I can’t blame them, it is tough to keep your attention span focused on posts when there is so much going on in everyday life. It’s way easier to just look at a picture and like it. Before anyone feels bad, I am extremely grateful to people who make the effort to like one of my posts or leave me a comment even though they don’t have time to read them. I think that’s super cool of you guys. And I have a pretty hectic work schedule myself so I fully sympathize with the time crunch.
This tells me though, that the basic person out there is probably not going to seek out blogging content. They are going to look for a YouTube review of anime or maybe even just an instant screencap with a descriptive caption. And if you want a lot of followers for whatever reason or a chance at making a decent living online, these are the formats you need to adopt.
Honestly, if you blog only for money or fame, especially in anime, you’re probably going to quit pretty quickly. It’s simply not a good way to achieve those goals. And up to a certain point, if you blog for the community, it might also become an issue. If you’re the extroverted sort who has the energy to maintain a lot of online relationships through various channels, you will probably be able to find a nice group of bloggers to fit in with. But if you’re either shy or introverted and aren’t as interested in going through Twitter and/or discord, you might get lonely just chatting with folks on your blog. Because there aren’t that many people compared to other platforms.
I think that this is why I have seen so many bloggers make the jump to Twitch as Vtubers. Livestreaming doesn’t require any fancy editing or anything and you can retain your anonymity. Effort wise it seems pretty similar to blogging in general. But I have heard that it’s exponentially easier to build an audience.
When you consider all of this, if on some level you’re not having fun blogging for personal reasons, well it’s just not worth it. At least in my opinion. Maybe there are some unique goals I haven’t considered. Like you honestly believe bloggers are sexy so although it’s a bit of a chore you still do it. Like exercising. I mean that’s a cool reason, I would love to meet someone like that.
Before I leave though, I also want to make sure I haven’t given you guys too negative an image. I do stand behind what I’ve said in this post but it’s mostly from secondhand information. I have not personally attempted to make a name for myself on different platforms, so I can’t compare.
And although the anime blogging community may be comparatively small when looking at anime communities on other platforms, I have found that it is delightful. One of the advantages of smaller communities is that they generally tend to be kinder and calmer. People that just want to troll or create drama for drama’s sake are going to want a bigger audience. So if you are more interested in finding a few nice people than in getting 1M followers, blogging is actually great for that! Way less creepy than most of the other platforms I have been casually on.