Many thanks to both Irina from the excellent blog I drink and watch anime and Ospreyshire from the also excellent blog Ospreyshire’s Realm for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award, which I believe was created to recognize bloggers. As always, I’m grateful for an excuse to go on about myself. This also happens to be the 200th post on my site. You’d think I’d have posted more considering the blog has been active for over six years, but some years I didn’t post a whole lot, and I also took a few months-long hiatuses. So yes, this is post #200. Not a bad time to look back on what’s happened and what’s still to come and all that stuff, though I’ll save the big retrospective for when I hit the seven-year mark.
The rules are as follows:
1) Say thanks to who nominated you and leave a link back to that person’s blog.
I can check this one off the list. By the way, if you’re not following Irina and you’re into anime at all, you should absolutely be following Irina. Ospreyshire also writes on anime and entertainment in general and posts original spoken word and musical works. Check it out!
2) Give the story or history of your blog.
I might have recounted this already, but I started this blog as a way to have something else to do while I attended law school. I can’t say how much writing here helped me retain my sanity. In fact, it still plays that role, helping me to deal with circumstances. This is one place where I can truly be myself, where I don’t have to pretend at all to be what I’m not. It means a lot to me that people care to read what I write, in part for that very reason.
Over time, the focus of the blog narrowed a bit to primarily anime, games, and music, with an obviously heavy emphasis on the weeb material that you can find from the very beginning. I’ve also recently shifted over from reviews to long-form commentaries and analyses, so if that’s more your style, I’ve got plenty more of it on the way. Not that I’ll stop writing reviews, but it’s become harder to find time to play new games with my work schedule. I still have a massive backlog to work through, though. One day I’ll get it cleared out, I hope.
I wish I had a more dramatic story to tell, but that’s really the whole thing. As stated above, the blog did go inactive a few times for months-long stretches, but I always felt the urge to return, and now I’m dedicated to posting on a consistent basis, even if that means only posting once every week or two.
3) Give two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
First: write about something you care about. I know this might seem like painfully obvious advice, but you may be surprised how many people disregard it, instead choosing to chase after trends that they may not necessarily give a damn about only for the clicks. This is probably more of an issue among Youtube video creators, since that’s long been a far more visible and potentially profitable platform than WordPress or other blogging sites — it’s full of people chasing those trends and mostly burning out, likely because they never had any true desire to create such content in the first place.
If you’re creating a blog strictly to generate ad revenue, then I totally understand this approach. Make maximum use of SEO tools, go for the clicks, promote yourself everywhere, and get that money if you can. But if you’re doing this strictly as a personal thing or a stress reliever, and you find yourself writing exclusively about mobile games, or Youtube drama, or Apple and Samsung product updates because “that’s what people actually care about,” you’ll likely end up hating it. Remember: unless it’s part of a broader business venture or it’s a collaborative effort, your blog is yours, not someone else’s. The same goes for creating podcasts, Youtube videos, and every other form of popular media. Write about what you like, and stuff everyone who tells you otherwise.
And second: be yourself.
I don’t know if there’s a worse cliché around than this one when it comes to advice. Just to be clear: “be yourself” is not advice I endorse when it comes to living your everyday life. Of course, you shouldn’t try to be someone else, exactly, but you also shouldn’t expect members of the general public to accept you just as you are. Maybe “try to be the best version of yourself” is better advice in that case. On your blog, however, you have the freedom to completely be yourself, especially if you’re maintaining relative anonymity with your username and associated social media accounts. You can write about whatever you like without being forced to put on that mask most of us have to wear when we go out to our jobs, see our relatives, and deal with our respective cultures. Or maybe you’re one of those lucky free souls who doesn’t need to wear that mask, or you have enough money to not have to worry about what other people think of you — in which case you don’t need this advice.
This piece of advice ties into the first one pretty well, so I’ll just leave it at that before I start rambling on and on about nothing. I do believe, for what it’s worth, that without following these precepts I would never have made it to 200 posts on this blog. I care about everything I write about here, and you can be sure that I’m always giving you my honest opinion. If you do the same, you can go far in creating something of real value. You might not get a million views a month, but you’ll make something that’s meaningful to you, and as a consequence it will likely be meaningful to other people who come across it.
Anyway, I hope I’m not giving new bloggers the wrong advices. This is what worked for me. It might not work for you. If you want to achieve financial success through blogging, you sure as hell shouldn’t listen to me.
4) Nominate 10 other bloggers and link their blogs.
Shit, ten blogs is a lot to ask, especially considering how well this tag seems to be doing. But I’ll do it. As usual, if you’ve already been nominated or don’t feel like answering this, feel free to ignore the tag. All of the following are well worth checking out:
And a few of the usual suspects (I know I probably tag you all too much, but here’s another one if you want it):