Starting an anime blog is easy.
- You find a domain name you like.
- You buy it,.
- You install software.
- And you’re all set.
But what comes after that is the hard part of starting an anime blog… It’s the part nobody talks about.
And It’s the reason 10’s of thousands of anime blogs quit and die within MONTHS of beginning. And years in other cases.
To help you avoid starting an anime blog that’s destined to die before it’s given life, there are 15 questions you need to ask first.
Ask These Top 15 Questions Before Starting An Anime Blog:
1. Are you committed to the long-term? (3-5 years minimum)
The truth is I could end this post right here with point #1, because it’s that important.
In the end, an anime blog (or any blog) comes down to how committed you are.
I run Anime Motivation. Which has up to 90,000+ 100,000+ visitors a month (and growing) within less than 2 years of starting.
It’s been featured by sites like Japanese station, the biggest anime site in Indonesia.
Over the years I’ve seen a mind-blowing amount of websites and blogs vanish into the dark abyss.
Never to be seen again.
Some of these blogs I loved, others I thought had potential. I even contributed to some of these websites…
But they died, and the reasoning is simple: they weren’t committed to the long-term.
Blogging isn’t something you do for 30 days and end up on the BBC or the mainstream news 30 days later. So if you’re not committed, quit now and save yourself the trouble.
Otherwise start an anime blog you’re willing to run for the long-term.
The best anime blogs are those who’ve been around for years (ANN, Random Curiosity, etc).
2. Is your anime knowledge specialized or broad?
One example I’ll use for “specialized” knowledge” is Otakukart. A website with 100’s of thousands of followers on Facebook.
Unlike websites like Honeys Anime or ANN, Otakukart focuses on:
- One Piece.
- Dragon Ball Z.
- My Hero Academia.
Do they occasionally blog about other anime? Yeah, but they’re best, most frequent articles are of OP, DBZ, Naruto and MHA.
The writers have specialized knowledge in these areas.
And they even have the most shared articles on the internet when it comes to these types of blog posts.
Not even ANN competes in terms of social media shares.
On the other hand – websites like Honeys Anime have “broad” anime knowledge.
They don’t specialize in any particular topic, but they do cover a lot of anime-related topics and shows.
Here are some examples:
- Anime recommendations.
- Anime news.
- Top 10 anime posts and listicles.
- Anime interviews.
- Video game news (related to anime).
Which style will you choose?
Both of these approaches work for different reasons (multiple contributors, big niches, etc). But whatever you decide, choose the style that reflects your knowledge best. And go with that.
Neither one is more wrong or right than the other.
3. Is anime a hobby or a passion?
It’s easy to confuse hobby with a passion, but they’re not the same thing.
A hobby is something you do for fun, when you feel like it. There’s no commitment or strings attached.
You do it because you feel like doing it at any given time.
Passion is different. When you’re passionate about anime:
- You’ll spend more time on it, learning as much as possible about the industry and so on.
- Your passion will push you to be a part of the industry and contribute (whether it’s a blog, business or working in the industry).
In the hobby stage the idea of “blogging” sounds fun. But only a passion for blogging about anime will carry you through the BS along the way.
Without passion, you won’t push through if shit hits the fan. So unless you have passion for doing this (which is another word for drive), don’t do it.
4. What makes you stand out from 1000’s of other anime blogs?
Like I said before, I run Anime Motivation.
Here’s a question: what makes this different from any other anime blog?
I’ll tell you:
- The main focus of the blog is anime quotes and inspiration. Not 1 anime site is even comparable when it comes to this.
- Another blog topic is anime life lessons. Again, this is something no other anime blog competes with. There’s no competition at all.
- The recommendations and news shared on Anime Motivation is unique.
- If you compared it side by side with another site, you’d either fail to find similarities. Or you’d realize there’s nobody else doing it in a way that’s different.
- The only “commonality” among news is about anime merchandise or products.
My advantage is I’m able to see and spot opportunities others haven’t thought of.
The above post is popular for a reason, because nobody has ever done it. That’s just how my mind works.
What about you? What will make YOU stand out from other anime blogs?
I can’t answer that for you. Nobody knows you better than yourself. But whatever it is you have to offer, use it to help you stand out.
That leads me to my next point…
5. What are your MAIN skill-sets?
My main skills revolve around creativity, strategy, innovation, long-term thinking and learning.
Creativity is the reason I’m a natural with writing, creating and self-expression. It feels easy for me.
For you it might be different.
Maybe your MAIN skill-sets are:
- Technical knowledge.
- Your good with numbers.
- You have a statistical, logical approach.
- You’re GREAT on video because of your charisma and personality.
- You have a great voice and can communicate extremely well.
- You’re a designer and can draw your own characters.
- You know how to edit and create top-notch videos.
How is this helpful to your anime blog? You can mix these skill sets with your writing style, topics, view points and selling points.
If you can design for example, you have a massive advantage. You could create your own blog images, setting yourself apart from 10000’s of anime blogs without much effort.
If you’re good on video, you can upload videos alongside your blog.
If you love numbers, you could create infographics and charts to express the points your making about your anime topic.
Whatever your MAIN skill-sets are, you’ll usually notice it’s easy for you to do. And you probably take these skills for granted.
6. Are you willing to learn the “technical” side of managing a website?
When I started my first website in 2012, it looked like an apartment with spaghetti stains spread all over the wallpaper.
It was a fucking mess.
That’s normal when starting your first website (unless you spend time learning beforehand).
Even then you can only learn by doing.
The idea of starting an anime blog is sexy, but nobody thinks about the technical side to running an anime blog.
Are you willing to deal with that? Are you willing to put up with:
- Your website crashing because of 1 TINY tweak you made?
- Website errors on the backend?
- Learning HOW to create pages, blogs, and use plugins + software?
- Understanding what it means run a website with a “web host”, how to use your website, etc?
None of this sounds like fun. That’s why most bloggers don’t think of it. But the reality is: you WILL deal with it.
The definition of a website is technical in of itself. So you can’t escape it.
That doesn’t mean you’ll have to be a tech genius. But it does mean you’ll need to know the basics.
7. How often will you publish content as an anime blogger?
On Anime Motivation content is published every single day of the week. And at the least there’s content going out from Monday to Friday.
But what about you? What can you deal with, and how often will you publish content?
Here’s something to keep in mind:
- How often you publish content will set up expectations for your audience.
- If you publish once a week, that will be the expectation.
- If you break those expectations without explanation, people will lose interest and leave.
- How consistent you are with your anime blog determines your success.
- There’s no right or wrong in terms of quantity, but if you get the balance right your blog will grow.
You’re in the driver’s seat, so it’s up to you how “fast” you want to drive your blog. And how often you feel like doing it. So decide what schedule will suit you best.
8. How much time can you dedicate to anime blogging?
Continuing from my last point, everybody has the same 24 hours, 7 days a week and 30 days a month. With one exception: our lives are unique.
Your schedule is your schedule. And how much time you’re able to dedicate to anime blogging is also unique to you.
One thing I’ll say though is: the better you get at blogging, the faster you’ll be able to create content.
It takes me no time at all to write over 1000+ words. And I can create tons of posts within less time than most (not just “junk” either).
In the beginning you’ll want to spend maybe 20-30 minutes a day writing.
Or if you want to do it weekly, make it 5 hours.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you dedicate at least 20 minutes to an hour blogging to help you push the snowball up the hill.
Or else you’ll always make excuses and “put it off” until another day. And nothing will ever get done.
9. Will your blog be run by you, or a team of contributors?
Some of the biggest blogs on the internet are run by one person. That’s what makes blogging so convenient.
Some bloggers choose to open up their blog to contributors. And others hire writers a few times a month or more to write.
The choice is yours. I will say though:
- If your blog is run by contributors, make it obvious. Make sure the contributors are highlighted (like Huffington Post’s blog).
- If you run your own blog, do the same. You don’t have to use your own “real” image, but it helps you stand out for obvious reasons.
I confess. In the past, Anime Motivation was open to contributors, but it didn’t work out well.
In the future this is something that “might” happen again. Which is to say: whatever choice you decide to make, you’ll make mistakes.
Learning from your mistakes will help you (and your team if you have one) evolve.
10. What will your MAIN topics be?
I mentioned how Anime Motivation covers quotes, life lessons, inspiration and recommendations.
Aside from that you’ll also see unique anime news and resources.
The reason a MAIN topic is so important is:
- It’s the reason people will keep reading your blog.
- Your MAIN topic is what makes you stand out.
- Your MAIN topic is what differentiates your blog from other anime blogs.
- Think of Anime News Network… Their MAIN topic is anime news. It’s the reason they exist.
- Your MAIN topic is what keeps your blog “focused”.
- Without it, it’s hard to understand why fans should pay attention to what you have to say.
Alongside your main topic you can also have secondary topics.
So if we’re talking about Anime News Network, their main topic is obviously news. But their “alternative” topics are reviews.
The reason secondary topics are important is: without it, you’ll eventually get bored and tired of the same topics (your audience might too).
Secondary topics help to keep your blog fresh, and that will give you the motivation needed.
11. How much are you willing to spend and invest in your blog?
I see it all the time.
Bloggers will use websites like WordPress.com or blogger.com to host their blogs.
Usually with domain names like: animeblogger.wordpress.com
Hosting your websites like this is free. But FREE is a bad investment if you’re serious about your website for the long-term.
Are you saying I’ve got to spend £1000’s to have a professional blog?
LOL. No, and anyone who says so is trying to scam you out of your money.
It costs as little as $3.99 – $9.99 to run your own blog (per month).
In fact I used to run my websites on as little as £29.99 PER YEAR. Though they weren’t ecommerce sites, which need more resources.
Either way that’s all you need to run a professional blog that runs on a domain that’s official… (Honeysanime.com for example, instead of Honeysanime.wordpress.com).
Paying for a professional theme (like a WordPress theme) costs as little as $20 – $100. Getting a theme designed isn’t much more these days.
Besides those expenses, there’s nothing else you’d need to worry about. Even if you end up with 100,000+ monthly visitors, your expenses won’t go up much at all.
As long as you:
- Manage your blog properly.
- Use the right tools.
You’ll be able to keep your website running smooth like Elvis’s hairstyle in the 60’s. But trying to run your blog for FREE is a bad idea.
You have to invest something. Even if it’s just $5 a month or $50 a year.
12. Do you understand social media? If so, which networks will suit your blog best?
You can’t escape social media in 2018. Especially in the anime industry.
All the best anime websites and blogs use social media to promote themselves. Whether that’s sharing content or being a part of the community.
Depending on your skill-sets, some social media channels will work better than others.
For me I love:
And any social network that allows you to create content. Quora and Pinterest are some of my best platforms for traffic and engagement (for anything I do online).
For you it might be YouTube, a podcast network, Medium, Vimeo, Twitter or Snapchat.
Before you make your choice, decide how you’re going to stand out. And start getting busy.
You’ll know if it works after you’ve started, so don’t get too caught up in the small details.
Also: decide carefully how much time you’ll spend on social media, if any at all. Because social networks will distract you if you don’t use them the right way.
13. Do you have experience with running a blog? (WordPress, etc)
This isn’t a “do or die” priority, but if you’ve run your own anime blog before then it makes things easier.
If you haven’t, well, now’s your chance to get started.
The #1 blogging platform I recommend is WordPress.
When I say WordPress, I’m talking about the self hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.org).
Most web hosts have WordPress pre-installed. So all you have to do is activate it and get started (without too much technical knowledge).
Just to clarify: WordPress.com is for FREE websites, and WordPress.org is for OFFICIAL websites with legitimate domains that YOU own.
14. How will you drive traffic to your anime blog?
I mentioned this a little in the social media section. But in general: how will you drive traffic to your blog?
There are a couple of ways to get people visiting your website:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Which means: writing content people are searching for on Google, Bing, or any other search engine.
- And not just “writing” content people are searching for, but writing content so good Google has no choice but to promote you in their listings.
- Social Media. This is obvious, so I won’t say much else here.
- Social Ads. You pay for ADS on social media, and people click them to your website.
- Forums. Being a member of a forum can help drive traffic. As long as you’re contributing to the forum (instead of being a nuisance).
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing). This is advertising on search engines in particular.
- Guest Posts. You write for other websites, and in return they link back to your blog. And you’ll gain traffic.
- Guest Videos. You collaborate with people on YouTube, and in return you gain exposure.
- Guest Podcasts. You collaborate with people’s podcasts, and you gain exposure.
- Radio. You either advertise (or do a show) via radio, and gain exposure.
- This is similar to podcasts these days.
- Cross promotion. If you own websites, you can use them to drive traffic to your anime blog.
- Partnerships. Find other bloggers (or anyone relevant) to partner with, and in exchange they promote you (and vice versa).
- Send out flyers. This is old school but I’ve never seen anyone make use of it.
- Wear branded T Shirts. This is something I’ve done and it works well.
- Wear a custom T-shirt with your anime logo or website on it. 😉
- You can also go to anime conventions while wearing it.
- Promote your content. Send out emails (or even letters) about your anime blog and relevant content.
- Make sure what you’re promoting is relevant to the website you’re getting in touch with.
Example of GOOD SEO:
As you can see, there’s an endless amount of ways to drive traffic.
Get creative and you’ll be surprised by what you can come up with. Whether it’s an internet based tactic, or it’s something you do offline.
Just make sure you choose the things that match your skill-sets. And choose as few as possible.
You can’t do all of them and expect to:
- Get AMAZING results.
- Have enough time to do it all by yourself.
This is true even if you have a team. If you all focus on everything, you’ll end up with nothing.
Or close enough.
15. What kind of personality do you have?
Why do you think people read blogs in the first place? In fact why are you reading this blog at all?
You might not think about it, but personality comes into the picture.
Without personality, a blog may as well be run by a robot.
I’m the straightforward type. I use profanity sometimes, I have a strong opinion, and I’m sarcastic.
On occasion I piss people off with my controversial, unconventional opinions.
My personality reflects that through my writing (depending on the topics).
You should always show off your personality when blogging, or using any form of self-expression.
It makes it easier for people to:
- Like you.
- Trust you.
- Form an opinion of you.
- Respect you.
- Take an interest in your message.
People want more than just facts and statistics.
We want something different that makes us feel a certain way.
Your personality is the perfect way to make that happen.
What are your thoughts?
If you want to ask something, leave it in the comments.