Anime Blogging may have a fun aspect given that you are sharing your thoughts to the world, but in reality it takes a lot of time and dedication. The blogosphere is so vast that you might find thousands of Anime Blogs out there to read. However, it’s the blogs that stands out the most get the most attention.
You may ask, why are you writing an editorial about reading other people’s Anime blogs in the blogosphere? You asked a good question. I’m writing about it because I read a blog post on it. Additionally, I had an idea that reading other people’s blogs gives a blogger an idea on how to improve their own blogs. After all, everyone wants to be successful Anime bloggers and get as many readers out there as possible.
What criteria you use to subscribe to other people’s blogs?
I don’t subscribe to any blog out there just because it’s an anime blog. If I did that, my Google Reader would be filled with items that would be left unread for a very long period of time. Thats why I cherry pick blogs to subscribe to so I can remain satisfied. Here is what I go by:
- Content – As they say, Content is the King, especially on blogs. The anime and the genres of the show the bloggers covers are very important because people have different tastes. I wouldn’t read a blog that covered hot-blooded shouen and mecha anime since they don’t appeal to my tastes. However, I would subscribe to a blog that covered drama, comedy, and romance anime since it appeals to my tastes. In addition, content quality also matters too. A poorly written post is not a good thing since it gives the reader frustration from grammar and spelling mistakes. As a result, it reflects badly for the blogger and the blog itself. Even though blogging is informal writing, the blogger should read over the post and use the spell/grammar checker before publishing the post. This is what I usually do after finishing my draft so I won’t look bad.
- Design – Design is the second most important thing besides content since readers like a well-designed blog. If you look at blogs like Listless Ink, Major Arcana, Mainichi Anime Yume, Sea Slugs Anime Blog and even this blog you are reading for example, they have a unique and clean design. A good and clean design gives a sense of professionalism to the blog and blogger. So, if you have your blog self-hosted or on a blogging service that allows you to design your own theme like Blogger or Tumblr, take the opportunity to customize your blog (just make sure your content is still readable). Lastly, use the right tools in making your banner. MS Paint is an improper tool to make a banner given that the program has limited functionality. If you can’t afford Adobe Photoshop, there is always Paint.net and The Gimp that can give you similar results as if the image was done in Photoshop.
- Blogger’s Writing/Blogging Style – We recognize that different people write in different ways. The most commonly used styles of writing in anime blogging are episodic, review, news and opinion/editorial blogging. Episodics are probably the most commonly used writing style with everyone writing long summaries and less on the thoughts. Unless they consist of mostly thoughts, a good number of people aren’t going to be interested in them since most of the big Anime Blogs for the episodics since they are published hours after the episode aired. As a result, it’s a better idea to lean for the review or opinion posts as they express opinions that some people might agree or disagree with and it leaves for a good discussion.
What blogs do you subscribe to considering the criteria you listed?
From the blogs you see on the right under “I read,” this is all the blogs I have subscribed to in Google Reader. Then again, I don’t get the chance to read and comment on those blogs given that I am busy programming stuff for Melative (to a lesser extent, MyAnimeList) and doing college work. This is the main reason why I limit it further to just four blogs including the interesting posts on Anime Nano and Twitter:
- Mainichi Anime Yume – Since most of her posts relate to the Anime Fandom, it’s pretty easy to give my thoughts about it.
- Major Arcana – The content in this blog is pretty interesting and they go in depth on the topic they wrote about
- Anime Instrumentality Blog – I have a strong interest in music, especially Japanese Music… which is one the main reasons I am subscribed to this blog since they focus on Anime and Japanese Music
- Aloe Dream – Random stuff that Ryan A posts on his blog.
How does reading other blogs improve your own blog?
By reading other blogs, it gave me an idea on what direction my blog should head in. They can give you a good idea of what areas you should improve on the blog. For example, if the writing/blog style looks disappointing compared to the blogs you are reading, try using some of the elements the blogger use to improve the style of writing you want.
Additionally, looking at other blogs can also give you an idea what a well-designed blog look like. Blogs that are successful will always follow the simple rules of web design such as a well-designed banner, good readability, easy navigation, consistent/clean design and a quick load time. If your blog design does not look professional or you have a hard time reading/navigating your blog, you want to fine-tune your theme or use a different theme. For example, I redesigned the blog after I found out year later that the theme didn’t look so great. After hours of work, the blog loaded and look better than the previous theme.
Lastly, if you decide that you want to implement some of the ideas that another blog has, do it in a fashion that it will feel unique. It’s never a good idea to emulate every idea from the blogger not only because its wrong, it wouldn’t be creative or feel like your own work (tl;dr: Use the ideas to help you improve and make your blog unique so the readers have a reason to subscribe. Don’t emulate, put effort in it!).
Fanart Note: Fanart used in this post was made by ふぐの.