It takes no small amount of tenacity to start a blog, and motivation is its own reward. A quick Google search will reveal a glut of dead blogs whose owners have sadly left them abandoned in the digital dust. Without anyone to read posts, blogging is at best an online diary and, at worst, like listening to the sound of your own echoing voice. In the 14-ish months since we started littleanimeblog, Elisabeth and I have been humbled, heartened and even a little misty eyed by the vibrant, nurturing and loving ani-blogging community. To cut a long ramble short, without you lot reading, commenting, liking and sharing this little site wouldn’t be worth the cyberspace its written on. So a huge thank you.
It’s a sentiment shared by our pal and regular reader Raistlin0903 who was kind enough to nominate us for The Blogger Recognition Award. Obviously, if you’re not familiar with his site, check it out tout suit. There’s plenty of insightful anime reviews alongside a melange of exploration of world cinema and American box office hits alike.
We were also nominated by Blame it on Chocolate whose blog is as fun as you’d expect with that killer title.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Give a brief story of how your blog started
Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers
Select up to 15 other blogs you want to give the award to
Although I’d convinced myself I’d grown out of anime (more on my stupidity here), I found myself drawn back as a lead writer for the excellent English magazine Starburst where I penned reviews for the latest releases, among other things, and started writing review for the excellent English otaku magazine NEO. I tried balancing my freelance career with a new full time journalism job which is harder than it sounds and between moving flat, learning to drive (at last) and working all day, it became a tough call to give up my evenings and weekends. But it wasn’t long before I missed writing about anime, so Elisabeth and I took the plunge and started up this blog.
A lot of planning went into the site as we figured out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to go about it. Though we opted for the moniker ‘littleanimeblog’ we were essentially positioning ourselves as an online magazine-cum-entertainment site, and used my magazine contacts to source review materials and so on. With some investor influence behind us, we managed to get the site looking and functioning the way we wanted, but there were points where we both wanted to call it a day. Fortunately, having the two of us meant we could turn to one another when we each were feeling down. As I said above, without you guys, we would have folded months ago.
My advice for new bloggers
Based on my own experience, I’d go into blogging with at least some sort of a plan. I’ve started numerous blogs since I was a teen, from somewhere to showcase my poetry or a novel I was writing. Making sense of what you want to achieve, a niche you want to fill or what kind of workload you want to take on will help put you in good stead.
Looks aren’t everything. When we started this site, it was ugly as sin. Fortunately, we had an investor to help us with things like paid for themes and such, but I appreciate that’s not an option for everyone. High quality, thoughtful and well researched content will always trump aesthetics, so don’t get disheartened.
One of the best things you can do as a budding blogger is visit and read other people’s sites. Not only will you forge valuable contacts, but you’ll be inspired by other posts, expanding your own knowledge, not to mention the recommendations. Seriously, my to-watch list has tripled!
Just to satisfy the contrary in me, don’t listen to advice. Sometimes you just have to be headstrong and go your own way.
The honorable nominees
As many of my friends and fellow bloggers will have already been nominated, this may prove tricky. Apologies if you’ve already received a nomination.