Sunday, July 27, 2014

Starting an Anime Blog? 3 Things I've Learned

I've been running Shooting Star Dreamer for over a year now. It hasn't always been easy, but it's definitely been a fun experience. On top of this, I learned a lot from managing something of my own. There's no one checking my writing and telling me what to include or exclude, no one is telling me what to say, and the only ideas I share on here are my own. It's a nice feeling having something that's your own and nurturing it.

That being said, I remember the start of Shooting Star Dreamer being a little rocky. I've always been on this platform, but my blog style was completely different. For one, I didn't use the same colors, and my layout was less interactive and more static. While I had more freedom in what I could add to my blog and customize, it just wasn't for me. I went through of couple of changes, then found this template and stuck with it.

Still, it would've been helpful if I had learned a few lessons from other people. There's many guides out there for blogging in general, but when it comes to a specific genre, it's somewhat hard. I was only able to really find one aniblogging guide that was useful to me, which can be seen here. The single problem is that it left many questions to be answered.

"What Do I Write About?"

What else can you possibly write about when your blog's focus is anime! It's easy to write about anime, but what if you don't want to write reviews? This was one of my hardest experiences with blogging in the beginning. I looked at other blogs for ideas and inspiration, but most were filled with reviews on episodes, thoughts on episodes, thoughts about new series. While this is fine, I never liked the basics. I didn't want to give my opinion on things, and let that be the deciding factor for my audience. I wanted to examine the complexities of anime, the things that people usually don't focus on. Examining the lessons hidden in each episode, the work put into the characters, and the connection between the audience and the fans. 

I had to draw most of my inspiration from myself, but I found out that interacting with people who like anime, and even those who don't, was a great source of new ideas. As I started college, I was faced with new challenges when it came to being an otaku. One of them was being around people who don't enjoy the same things, but still being open about my likes and dislikes. Their responses turned the gears in my head and helped improve my writing. 

So if you're lacking inspiration on writing I can give a little advice. Read, interact, and get outside! You can learn a lot just from interacting with people, even if they aren't interested in Japan at all. Every experience can be used for learning.

"I've Gotten My Ideas, But I Never Remember Them!"

I have even more trouble with this one; once I get the ideas I end up losing them. The amount of great posts I would've written were endless, but they were lost in the vast realms of my mind. Since middle school, I started relying on my brainpower to keep track of my schedule and tasks. I'm constantly thinking of things to do even now, so it's only natural for a few things to slip out of my memory. 

Thus, whenever I get a great idea or a passion to write...I either write it down somewhere, or act on it as soon as possible. Even if it's the middle of the night or in class, I'll quickly jot down my ideas in a notebook of some sort. Not much else to say about this one. 

"Should I Take Chances?"

Definitely take chances! If I would've never started this blog I wouldn't be writing here today. Starting my blog was an example of taking a chance. My advice to any blogger that feels like they're stuck in the same daily patterns, is to try doing something new. Don't worry too much about what your readers will think, but remember that their voice matters. If things mess up or go haywire, then oh well. Pick yourself up and start again. In order to separate ourselves from others in the aniblogosphere, we have to let our ideals and personalities run wild. 

Hopefully this quick info is helpful to people who want to start blogging, bloggers who are just getting their feet wet, and even experienced bloggers. After all, we tend to forget simple lessons that are very important. This can post can be used as a quick reminder.


  1. Congratulations on blogging for a year =D I guess I'm one of the veteran anime bloggers since I've been writing on my blog for almost 8 years now. As expected, I originally wanted to use it for reviewing anime, which I did and still do, but soon enough it turned into a (mostly) editorial blog, with seasonal reviews and other posts here and there. If you're dedicated enough and write often, sooner or later you'll find the kinds of posts you most enjoy writing. A lot of people give up too soon because they don't get enough readers and comments right away, but that's something that takes time. If you promote your blog to other sites and write consistently and passionately, eventually readers will trickle in.

    And as for remembering things, I've also learned to write down blog ideas as soon as I get them XD I have a text file on my computer with a queue of future post ideas!

    1. Thank you for commenting!

      Also thank you for the congrats as well, haha! I'm actually surprised I've made it this far; I've seen many blogs that have died out before this point so I'm very happy that I've made it over the first road block.

      I agree that it's somewhat discouraging starting out with maybe 3 or 4 views on your posts, but if you stick through it, there's light at the end of the tunnel.

      I've noticed that just being active is a great way to attract people. Even if your writing skills aren't perfect, or you don't have much to talk about, if you just keep doing it you'll eventually get better. The only way to really fail is to stop!

      I've also met some really nice people on the aniblogosphere, and I love how everyone is eager to help other people out. I should have included this in my post, but connecting with other bloggers builds a great support group. If you need more viewers or advice, you can always turn to them.

      Yup! I actually deleted a list of ideas on accident, and boy was that devastating. I try to act as soon as I get the idea now, because usually my best posts are spontaneous, not planned out you know?

  2. This was a great read! My brother and I started a blog about a year ago (we're at a VERY slow start) and we write about pretty much anything but anime has been a lot of our focus. We are looking to connect with other bloggers but are having difficulty. What did you do to build your aniblogsphere network?

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      I'm glad you enjoyed it! Congratulations on your blog. If anime is your main focus there's a few things I can recommend for you. First things first, you can try to add your blog to AnimeNano. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but it's basically a mass database of anime blogs, that updates every time you publish a new post. Here's the link:

      I really recommend just browsing through the site at least, since you'll get to check out a large number of active anime blogs that way.

      Another method to get connected to other bloggers is blogrolls. I'm not sure if you've seen much of my site, but the gadget bar on the right has a section that says "My Blog List." I exchange links with other people there in order to advertise my blog and help another blogger. Usually people will have a page dedicated to exchanging blogrolls.

      The third step, social media. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever you can do, find a blogging community within these websites.

      Lastly, you can always try guest posting or writing for another blog. It's a good way to get your name out if you're trying to draw a bigger audience. While I run Shooting Star Dreamer, I have written for another blog before. I can say that it's really helped boost my traffic, and it's fun working with a team.

      Hopefully this isn't too much to read. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. If you want, I can help promote your blog, since I like to focus on the community instead of bigger organizations. It's alright if you don't want to post it here, just contact me privately!

    2. This is urgent. What's the source to the third picture in this post?

    3. Thank you for commenting!

      Apologies, it's hard for me to respond via mobile and I've been away from a computer until now. Hopefully it's not too late!

      As for the source, I'm not completely sure, I wasn't able to find one but I will keep looking!

  3. I really like that post of yours maybe because i feel the same.Anyways,I am starting out with my anime blog.A question I would like to ask.
    Q)Is putting up screenshots of an anime show like you did(above)not considered as a copyright infringement on a monetised blog?
    Thank You.


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