How to make your blog popular in five (easy?) steps

Well, I haven’t been updating these past few days because I’ve been reading some classic novels. I’ll have classes again next week, so I wanted to read as many of these novels as I could, because when classes will start once more I would be unable to. I just finished reading Timothy Findley’s The Wars, and it is an excellent novel.

I always thought that Impz should have written this article, but since he hasn’t (maybe for fear of revealing trade secrets 😉 ), I will attempt to identify the steps on how to make one’s blog popular. I won’t sugarcoat the steps. Prepare yourself.

1. Whore. As much as you can. As much as it is possible. Everywhere. All the time. Whore.
Impz and THAT anime blog started sometime later than this blog of mine. His blog, however, has risen in popularity: if you searched “anime blog” in Google, the first result that will come up is his blog. How has Impz done this? He did it the same way he tried to propagate the Anime Blog Awards: he e-mailed a lot of people, whored his links on IRC (I do this too, to some extent), and interlinked with other popular blogs. He also utilizes to some degree SEO (search-engine optimization), and his blog has evolved, along with the addition of capable authors like Lupus, Extrange, Crusader, and others. All this started purely from a diligent Impz plugging his blog everywhere. (I’ll try this step one of these days, but sadly, I have too much pride in what I do. Impz told me, very saliently, that if he didn’t do any of this his blog would merely be just one of the thousand anime blogs out there. And he is right.)

2. Be controversial. Be incendiary. Be an asshole. Troll. Troll. Troll.
Three people come to mind in this step: Owen S, DarkMirage, and wildarmsheero. These guys are popular because they write flame-baits. Even I did a Godwin’s Law on Owen. (The comparison made a lot of sense to me, though.) DarkMirage, passer of JLPT 1, attacks other fansubbers who totally mistranslate or don’t seem to know what they’re doing. wildarmsheero attacked DarkMirage’s taste, and this also brought him a lot of both drama and comments. As for Owen, his nature on IRC seems to suggest his blog posts’ attitude, but I never really could read any of his posts. Any blog post that reaches 2000 to 3000 words would be exhaustive, be that nonsense or not.

3. Hang on. Time favors the patient.
While I don’t have the popularity that any of the people I have mentioned have, I do have something that has benefited me in the long-run, and that is time. Although I don’t celebrate my blog’s birthdays, I’ll be reaching two years already. And while most of my posts have gone under the radar, I am glad and thankful that I have a set of readers who appreciate what I write about and how I write it. Longevity in this hobby of ours really helps: memento remains popular; Random Curiosity still dominates all the episodic review blogs; the Sea Slug Team still offers sharp commentary; Kurogane is still funny. These blogs have no need to be controversial. They are in the flow, and at the peak of their game, and they always will have supporters.


4. Be unique, but still recognizable. Fewer people will be available to those who have a niche within the anime niche. Compromise.

Cameron writes well. He writes unique stuff. The problem is, not many people are interested in thoughts regarding populism, or capitalism as background in the analysis of anime. I will also posit myself as an example. It is up to the reader to judge if I write well, but I believe I have created a unique niche for myself: it is because I do not write solely on and about anime, but anime as background or foreground to the different available media. Anime is not the medium for me, and I quote novels (mostly classic), movies, plays, poems, and the like when I write an article. It’s a unique way in writing about anime (that’s at least what I believe), but it also alienates a lot of people who do not seem to appreciate other media.

This is a step where Impz is very sharp. (Impz is a very sharp guy, I tell you.) At times, when he writes a commentary or does a research on the actuations of anime bloggers and readers he does not compound the matter. He tries to simplify it as much as possible, but does not dumb it down. Of course, something will be lost in the simplification. This is unlike Cameron and I (and we’ve talked about this), who are pretty much uncompromising regarding our articles. Although we do not unnecessarily extend (for the sake of prolixity or long-windedness) what we write about, we do try to keep our original ideas intact, and avoid simplifying what we want to talk about. We then possess definition with regard to our post, but we sacrifice readership.

As Cameron reminded me in a post of his (is this quoting Adam Smith?), ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch.’

5. Finally, have fun. 🙂

How about you guys? Can you add any more steps? 🙂

P.S. niku adds “get your blog added to Animenano and Animeblogger Antenna and watch the hits flood in.” I did that, yes. tj says to post pictures of naked anime girls. I don’t do that, but I do post sexy pictures sometimes. usagijen adds to “[…] plug our blog/posts shamelessly before, mostly in forums XD but what I found most rewarding, both in terms of getting hits and comments for the blog, and self-fulfillment), is getting involved in the community, either by commenting on other blogs, or giving link love.” meganeshounen adds “catering to the masses,” and while I agree … yes, it’s very hard to compromise. Drm also adds a very important rule: “post often.” I can’t do that with a forthcoming thesis and admission to medical school, but I will try. 😀

22 Responses to “How to make your blog popular in five (easy?) steps”

  1. niku Says:

    How about “get your blog added to Animenano and Animeblogger Antenna and watch the hits flood in” ? That’s about the easiest thing you can do right? 😀 After all, that’s how I found this post!

    My personal belief is that if you continue to provide quality and/or unique material to your readers, “popularity” will eventually come. It’s just waiting for it to come that I guess is the hardest part.

  2. Michael Says:

    I will edit this post, don’t worry. As long as people offer more and more suggestions, hahaha. 😀

  3. NovaJinx Says:

    ‘My personal belief is that if you continue to provide quality and/or unique material to your readers, “popularity” will eventually come. It’s just waiting for it to come that I guess is the hardest part.’

    I disagree. Without any marketing at all a blog cannot thrive and that’s a fact. Reaping in views and hooking people up are two important steps, but they will not work on their own.

  4. Michael Says:

    There’s Cinnamon Ass. He’s a good and funny writer, and he’s written good blog posts since 2004. Impz is a lot more popular than him, though, niku.

  5. IKnight Says:

    I say interesting things on my social networking site of choice (although I’m not initially motivated by a desire to pimp my blog); it brings in a slow but consistent stream of visitors.

  6. tj han Says:

    Post pictures of naked anime girls.

  7. Michael Says:

    @tj

    Yes. That, too. I’ll collate all the relevant comments and then edit the entry. Maybe tomorrow.

    @IKnight

    Yeah, social networking helps, but that’s just a permutation of step 1. 🙂

  8. Impz Says:

    Oh, but i did before. Too lazy to find the post for now. It just really takes work \o/

  9. Michael Says:

    @Impz

    Sorry, it must have been the time when I was estranged from the aniblogosphere. :V

    But still, this is an updated post! :3

  10. lolikitsune Says:

    Mike, you didn’t think of me for the “be an asshole” step?

    Also, this post should interest you, since you’re the lord of Godwinning Owen: http://not.dotq.org/?p=256

  11. Xenu Says:

    10/10

    Well-played, sir. Well-played.

  12. DrmChsr0 Says:

    You orgot the one thing:

    Post often 😛

  13. meganeshounen Says:

    >>whored his links on IRC (I do this too, to some extent)

    Well.. more like “more often than not”, imho. ^_^;

    I just believe that in order to making a blog popular, you need to make your beliefs and likes known to others, while catering to the masses. Comprimises are normal, but if you manage to capture their attention, all the while keeping yourself interested… you’re good to go.

    Anyway, that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t have a blog, so meh.

  14. Crisu Says:

    Rule #1 was very useful during the series runs of Clannad and true tears.

  15. totali Says:

    Uh, yea…..I remember Impz posting something like this before too. Silly head. t.t

  16. Ryan A Says:

    I vaguely remember as well, but Impz had more steps (more work).

    5 and 4 I find pretty important. 4 is a good reason to read other blogs.

  17. niku Says:

    @NovaJinx

    You know as soon as I posted my comment I KNEW I forgot to add “promotion” to the comment, but hoped nobody would call me on it. My hopes failed me. 🙁 You’re right, though. If nobody knows about your blog, it doesn’t matter if you’re the most brilliant writer out there.

  18. usagijen Says:

    I used to plug our blog/posts shamelessly before, mostly in forums XD but what I found most rewarding, both in terms of getting hits and comments for the blog, and self-fulfillment), is getting involved in the community, either by commenting on other blogs, or giving link love 🙂

  19. In My View: Why I can’t stop worrying and learn to love the anime industry. « In Search of Number Nine Says:

    […] is that I think there’s a correct way to practice journalism. And perhaps Impz should have written this […]

  20. Baka-Raptor Says:

    I think I’ve got everything but 1 and the troll part of 2. Rule 3 definitely failed me.

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