Since the time I shared my concerns about the state of the blog, I fell anxious about where my blog is headed. Sure, I have tried making some improvements. However, I still feel the bottom is coming underneath me as the pandemic delayed a lot of titles. I fear that this could be the end of my blog. It’s not too surprising since there would be less content to cover, thus fewer comments and likes. The thing that really upset me today is the lack of comments in my recent posts. This is despite the hours put into writing these reviews and even an editorial nobody bothered to leave a like and/or a comment. I became upset that I complained on twitter in several tweets today. I felt that I can’t let this go on any further.
Believe it or not, at some point, some anime bloggers probably faced these issues. When he or she look at other blogs, they have no problem receiving comments and likes. It does make one feel that the effort one put into creating content is going to waste. Of course, this is not the only problem that can cause a blogger to become frustrated and/or even quit for good. Instead of continuing to vent on Twitter and going nowhere as I did this morning, I want to share my thoughts in a rational manner.
Believe it or not, things are not as dire compared to 10 years ago when I started my blog. If you check back in 2009, while the quality of my content was not that good, my posts received a lot of comments. Believe it or not, I was really active in the anime community back then. Besides commenting on other blogs, I participated on anime forums such as AnimeSuki up until around 2014. Nevertheless, the blogosphere was really active, mostly because social media haven’t replaced blogging for most people. Believe it or not, AnimeBlogger was a thing back then and there were many active blogs on that platform.
Sadly, the blogosphere changed in the mid 2010s. AnimeBlogger eventually shut down in 2019. Since then, a good number of blogs have either gone on permanent hiatus or the author gave up all together. This is probably true since most of you probably haven’t heard about the Aniblog Tourney. It’s basically a competition that allows voters to pick the best blog. Sure, it’s a popularity contest, but it gives you the context of the state of anime blogging. Now, probably 90% of the blogs that were in the competition are now dead or on permanent hiatus.
So, why anime bloggers go into hiatus or worse, quitting blogging all together. The reason is simple. Creating content whether it’s a review or an editorial, which requires some research takes time. The same goes with creating any type of content such as recording an audio podcast or video, drawing art, etc. You need to create the draft, make corrections, and then publish it to the world. This is probably why I type all my posts in Microsoft Word first before moving it to WordPress. That way, I can do all the proofreading and utilize the spell and grammar check to improve the quality.
While anime blogging is an enjoyable pastime since I can share my thoughts and interact with others, it’s not without challenges. Yes, one has to make the time to create content. I knew that when I started working on my master’s degree in Information Technology, I couldn’t write posts every day. This is especially the case when I started working full time and working 40 hours a week. Thankfully, my life and work balance is better since I work for a federal government. Regardless, free time is still a luxury.
Eventually, I became complacent by not growing my audience while becoming less active in the community and on social media. It eventually became a self-fulfilling prophecy of endless frustration over the lack of comments and likes. Not only that, I also facing declining Twitter followers.
I have to admit that I become jealous when I look at other blogs that receive more comments. Yes, even more than 50+ in some cases. Meanwhile, I’m having a hard time with most of my posts receiving none. Yes, this is just as frustrating as Aqours receiving 0 votes in a competition. I feel the same way when I receive no appreciation for my work through comments and likes, even on editorials I spent hours writing. Moreover, I also notice this with the declining number of awards I receive, if any at all. Even when I comment on other people(s blogs, the author of the blog do not leave a comment back. It makes me feel that I am not worth their time. Of course, this does not help when I became a hermit thanks to my job search woes.
I do realize that this does not have be this way. Sure, life can be busy, but one can make time to interact with others. I blame myself, especially since I became more introverted since losing my job in 2016 despite being a Leo. I spent a lot of time lurking on the internet instead of interacting with others. However, I can’t lose hope, and I want to regain the trust in others and rebuild my audience. Of course, this means that I need to work even harder to get back where I was 5 years ago before the stagnation began.
Of course, becoming upset over comments, likes, and page views is not the only reason why bloggers go into burnout. There are a variety of reasons. This can range from health issues, lack of time, stress, writer’s block, or lack of topics to write posts about. Of course, time can heal solve some things. One can resolve things like writer block by taking a short break or reading other’s content to look for inspiration. Others like lack of free time, stress from making content daily for instance, not so much. Only a sizable break will resolve these issues, hence a hiatus. Also, some can simply lose the passion of anime blogging for various reasons as mentioned before.
However, going on hiatus, even for longer than a week can hurt one’s blog severely. Besides losing readers and cause page views to drop, it becomes harder to start blogging again. Believe it or not, the longer a blog goes on hiatus, there is a good likelihood that he or she will never return. Even when the author comes back, it becomes difficult to gain the attention of readers when they release new content. People would move on to different blogs, making it harder to stage a comeback.
This is why I am heavily against a long break, even if it’s a week long. I know if I did that, it would become harder to gain back the subscribers, page views, comments and likes. I would rather prefer reducing the frequency of publishing content each week, so I won’t lose the reader’s attention. That way, you can reduce the workload without losing your subscribers and tanking your page views.
In the end, anime blogging or content creation in general is not a sprint, but a marathon. It takes time to build an audience. On the flip side, you can easily lose your audience easily as well. This is especially the case with a hiatus or neglecting the community. I hope people will realize the challenges I face and give me a second chance. Believe it or not, I want to participate more in the anime blogosphere and community. I can’t do it without people commenting on my posts or start interacting with me on social media. It’s obvious that I do not want to feel left out in the blogosphere. I kind of feel this way with the declining followers and lack of comments.
That said, depending on my life situations, I plan to make further improvements to my blog. I am still planning to do art commissions for my new mascot, which will be this blog’s identity. If you know any artists I should ask. I have finally received the first payout from the ads, which will cover this. Either way, I plan to have this done sometime during fall of this year.
With that, have you faced any difficulties in regard to anime blogging that caused you to almost burnout? Also, feel free to share ways you have dealt with burnout, writers block and lack of content to write about in the comments. If you like what I wrote, please show your support by liking and leaving a content.
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Old Otaku Spot admin here. I can relate to this.
Many other attributes contribute to loss of motivation to blog. In my own case, not only did health issues arise, but getting a new comment once in the blue moon only for it to be something less than wholesome sort of killed my drive to write about things, among other hobbies. I don’t know if I’ll ever return to blogging, at least in full time capacity. I’ve been thinking about returning for very limited bursts, though. Back when the anime blogosphere was active and thriving, it was pretty fun and I remember those times vividly. Now everyone from the AnimeBlogger days I only ever see sometimes on Twitter. I’m pretty sure I don’t like the western anime fandom anymore, at least for the most part, but there are still various anime and Japanese media-related topics I still want to ramble about in my own space, like translation and whatnot…
I wish you luck on continuing to make good content on this blog.
I can understand. I don’t know, but I have been doing blogging so long that I still manage to do it despite the challenges. I still face health issues since 2011 after being diagnosed with autoimmune disease, hyperthyroidism, which causes all kind of things such as anxiety, unexplained weight loss, high heart rate, etc. It’s definately a challenge dealing with this since it had some effect on my college performance and my last job somewhat. Thankfully, my new job I started isn’t as stressful and is closer to what I did in college with a better work enviroment and people. Also, the thyroid disease is being controlled with medicine.
But yes, there is always going to be bad apples in the fandom. I received nasty comments really early on my blogging career, but in reality, I haven’t really received any nasty ones in the last 5 years. But I don’t really participate in forums anymore, mostly because I don’t have ample free time like I did in college. Even without this Covid stuff going around, about 2 hours of my life during the weekday is gone since I take a train into Washington DC, where I work. I can understand why some bloggers aren’t as active anymore because he or she is busy with work or raising a family. Yes, I am getting old although I don’t look 30 at all since I am Asian. But despite how frustrated I am, I am not giving up yet since I spent a lot of money on hosting throughout the years and don’t really want to waste all that effort put into it. Maybe I will retire if I really don’t have anymore time to do it or there is no more anime left to watch.
But yes, I am going to slow it down for a while, probably until the end of this month or the end of the Spring season. Hopefully Summer won’t be as bad with some of the delayed titles coming back with some new ones that managed to complete their productions on time. Hopefully, the comment situation will be a bit better.
“I have to admit, in the earlier years, my blog did a lot better thanks to various reasons, besides the blogosphere being really active back then.”
I think it’s important not to understate this.
I check about 350 sites every week. Engagement is way down across the board. I see a lot of quiet posts — they’re good, but they aren’t generating comments.
Every season, I do a throwback review. This season, I’m reviewing Campione!. One of the features of my reviews is that I link to three other reviewers’ sites so my readers can get a variety of opinions. Random Curiosity reviewed Campione! as it aired, and their reviews had dozens of comments. Now, Random Curiosity’s posts have far fewer — but the quality is still there.
BTW: When I reviewed No Game No Life, I linked to your site! You had more comments, too!
I think it comes down to your goals. If it’s to get comments or likes, then blogging’s probably not the right platform. YouTube is where it was a year or two ago. Not sure where it is now — Discord maybe?
Yet, blogging has a niche. Is that niche consistent with your goals? It is for me. I’m cultivating the habit of writing all the time. I plan to trick myself into writing novels, since I’ve been so adept at avoiding it for 40 years.
Hope springs eternal and all…
I like your posts. I occasionally comment (which itself is saying something, given how hard it is for me to do). So I’m pretty sure the quality’s there.
That said, if you feel like shaking things up, go for it!
Of course, we living in a strange time since we are living in the Covid 19 pandemic, which has impacted probably 80% of the productions for this season. This can explain why engagement is down across the board, except for those who have a good readership. Still, I noticed that for some blogs that are usually active see a noticeable decrease. Maybe things will turn around in the summer and especially the fall.
Even so, things were really active in the ealry 2010s, which can explain why there are more comments on posts before 2016. I covered some popular titles back then, but I started to only focus only on shows with a mostly female cast since I grew tired of looking at shows with a male lead or the typical harem romance comedy anime. This can explain some of it.
Of course, I did experiment with podcasts and videos, but I am not cut out for that, I’m a bit too introverted to do that and there is a lot more competition in that regard. It’s hard to probably crack through the most popular anime youtubers out there. Still, I find it a lot easier to share my thoughts in a post. But probably people do not want to read editorials that are just blocks of text as they do in the past. That is probably why I am starting to put more images in and will probably do the same for reviews to make it more present to read.
But still, I think there can always be more that can be done on the content aspect. Besides Anime and those occasional editorials, I do write reviews on Japanese games. Sure, most do get localized and most anime fans play video games. Also, I started doing Manga reviews, mostly titles that are not translated to English primarily Manga Time Kirara titles, but some of them are localized. Because I read manga that is not localized, of course that is not going to get much engagement, although it does probably get a good amount of views. Also, I am not sure I should step in the whelm of reviewing concert performances of Seiyuu singers next. It can always be a possibility if I run out of content.
But yes, I do think that complacency is the source of my frustrations, not made any better with declining Twitter followers. I started to change my approach by being a bit more active on social media, but we’ll see if things get better, especially once the great delays from COVID 19 and the whole pandemic is behind us. But yes, I ended up taking a nearly two week break of creating any content except any shows I can cover until now after getting upset on Twitter, and ended up deleting most of those tweets afterwards.
At this point, I pretty much gave up on getting views and comments and just write whatever and whenever I want. It sucks for my blog, but feels like there’s a huge weight off my shoulders, lol. I’m stretching it out as long as possible, but admittedly, I really don’t see my blog going strong for another 2-3 years.
“I am still planning to do art commissions for my new mascot, which will be this blog’s identity. If you know any artists I should ask.”
(You can google these names on deviantart. They should mostly be on pixiv as well, but I never tried commissioning there)
Kazenokaze – He draws like the cutest, most moe artworks like nobody’s business, and he’s fast as fuck too. You need to catch his open commission slots asap though, since of all the artists I interacted with, he’s pretty much got the most commissioners so far, his slots fill up quick.
Futarinokizuna – Probably my favorite artist ever, and seem to even go beyond and even better than what I visualized in my head, lol. Not sure if commission’s open, but can probably send a note or something.
Daikazoku63 is pretty good and don’t think his commissions are ever closed, lol
Shadow2810’s has a pretty unique style, so you can ask him for one too
From my experience with Kagura-Kurosaki, she’s a little bit on the pricier side but worth the price.
MMrailgun also draws some of the cutest, most moe artworks I know, and I love one of the group artworks he did for me. He’s also the artist for some of the Sakura VNs, lol. Not sure if he’s still opening commissions now, but again, can always shoot him a note.
I can relate to this as once upon a time I did manage a anime website. Lots of hours, money and hardache and for what? A couple of comments here and there? It is a slog that only gets harder if you get more committments like work, family etc.
The covid-19 crisis has actually worked well for me in terms of anime and forum surfing as now I am a remote worker and do not need to go through the daily commute (for now). I would say your blog is good and you do produce quality posts and it is just a shame there are less people posting in it. Unfortunately I can’t really offer advice in improving it (if I knew my website wouldn’t have died lol).
I would say keep up the good work but ultimately you got to think about your well being first. You do write well though and I say this as I am on the lookout for anime blogs, forums and only posted on this one as I found it is better than most sites I have found.
I do think in this day and age most people are moving away from blogs, forums and it is all about streaming and social media. A pity really as I feel the level of discussions is generally higher on the older platforms than newer ones. Thing is these days so many things are competing for our attention that it is hard to keep people engaged for long periods of time. People want instant gratification and forums/blogs do not deliver this. At least not in the same way as social media or streaming websites can.
It’s definitely understandable. With all the anime getting delayed, while people are at home, myself including working from home, I also saw comments on other blogs that other people are having the same issue. I guess with most of the shows being delayed, people are probably focusing on other things.
But even with the age of social media, Youtube videos, podcasts, and streaming, blogging is more of a niche. Even so, I still think they still serve a purpose and perhaps need to think outside of the box.
I kind of blame myself getting upset over this by comparing my blog in terms of comments, views and likes when I said several years ago in an editorial that competition in the anime blogosphere is bad. I think it’s easy to get caught up with page views, how many comments, likes and followers that one can lose sight of the overall goal of creating good content. If one creates good content, eventually the comments, likes and followers will eventually come as they say.
But yes, thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely get on that in the near future. I have some idea of the character design using a certain maid creation video game that I believe is released on Steam, which can also be used in a virtual tuber setup. But I kind of want to make it 2D so it would be more suitable for use on my blog.