the do’s and don’t’s of anime blogging

When I first started Toybox, there were very few (but very good) anime blogs. Nowadays, with the ease of use of blogging software and services like Blogger, anime blogs have experienced an healthy growth. From my experience, here’s a few tidbits of advice if you want to run an anime blog– just what I like and don’t like in anime blogs. Remember, these are just my opinions, and, last time I checked, they’re not worth a hill of beans.

DO have a descriptive blog name. One big reason I changed from Toybox to Anime on My Mind is that Toybox is not descriptive. It could have been a blog about adult toys for all people knew… and since most other blogs, when they link to you, only show a name, it makes sense to have a name that, well, makes sense. Nonsensical names just obfuscates your blog and makes it harder to promote. Might be cooler and more fun for you, but, generally, not for any visitors.

DON’T have any DBZ references in your anime blog name. I sure won’t be visiting any blog with “Super Saiyan” in the title. Also, don’t have a boring name… yeah, yeah, I know I’m being picky, but you should be picky about the name.

DO post about things that are interesting. Probably the number one reason I’ll visit an anime blog is to find something interesting, like something I might have missed in an episode of He Is My Master, or why should I start watching Uta Kata. I think the most successful anime blogs are the ones that get me to watch something that I normally wouldn’t watch.

DON’T force yourself to post about every single episode. If I can only give one piece of advice, it would be that posting about every single episode of a series will only wear you out and will eventually sap the fun of anime blogging. Anime blogging is not a chore. It is not a job. If an episode is not interesting or if you don’t feel like writing about it, just don’t. Personally, if I see a blog that has posts: Bleach episode 1. Bleach episode 2. *snip* Bleach episode 51. I’m probably going to move on. There is no shame in jumping around.

DO have a voice. DON’T be a clone.

DO post an opinion. Please. “It sucks.” “It’s awesome.” Both equally valid. Do show your preferences… for instance, I like nekomimi meido, and I definitely don’t hide that fact. Do act like a fanboy/fangirl. If you have an anime blog, chances are– congratulations– you are one! If you don’t refer to yourself as (1) fanboy/fangirl (2) otaku (3) anime fan/lover (4) lunatic or (5) pedobear, why do you even bother having an anime blog?

DON’T post just a summary. If I want to find out what happens in Eureka seveN episode 5, I’d watch the damn thing myself. I want to know stuff like, “Do you think Talho’s his sister?” “Is the series starting off a bit weak?” and “Is Talho’s ass finer than Belldandy’s?” (For the record, yes, no, and no. How can you question Belldandy’s ass?!? See– fanboy mode. :) )

DO try to come up with creative post ideas, kudasai!

DON’T rely exclusively on the: “<Series> Episode <#>” and “Look, I just bought these DVDs” type of posts. Another post structure, por favor!

DO update once in a while. Content = win!

DON’T think “newer” = “better.” There’s nothing wrong about talking about series that ended ten years ago. Not everything has to be about the newest fansub, raw, or DVD.

DO include images. I like pictures. However, DON’T make said images tiny. If you must have tiny images for layout reasons, provide links to larger ones. DO “clean up” screenshots. Level adjust on most image manipulation programs does wonders. DON’T hotlink images off of other people. Big no-no. DO include images relevant to a post. DON’T include more than ~20 images on a page as many images becomes a latency issue rather than a bandwidth issue. Breaking up an image heavy post into multiple pages is not a sin and may speed things up in general. DO warn if images are spoilers (I screw this up quite a bit!). DON’T include non-worksafe images without warning.

DO branch out. Sometimes a post comparing Cowboy Bebop to Serenity could be interesting. Or maybe some impressions on One Piece Grand Battle.

DON’T post pictures of your cat. Unless your “cat” is really a hawt nekomimi meido. Then, please do, and send hi-res images to jason at…

DO keep a blogroll. Part of blogging is to recommend other blogs. Think of it as your civic duty to help the pagerank of blogs that you like.

DON’T link to blogs you don’t visit at least on a semi-regular basis. I see blogs with blogrolls like 800 links long. Uh, do you really visit all those blogs, are you just trying to improve your pagerank by trading links?

DO moderate or filter your comments. Allowing comment spam to sit there is just victory for the spammers. Unless your post is about Keiichi Morisato and how he refinanced at some low home mortgage rate… then that’s a different issue.

DON’T resort to captcha out of laziness. Why I don’t like captcha: (1) It’s false security. Most captcha scripts rely on either wordlists or random generators, and wordlists are easily broken. Random generators take a bit more time, but they can be OCR’ed and broken. I’ve seen bots that can break pretty much all of WordPress’ captcha plugins. (2) They block the blind. They should be able to post just like anyone else.

DO post your name somewhere. Makes a blog seem a bit more personable.

DON’T call yourself “Sephiroth82.” Apologies to all the Sephiroths out there… actually, no, no apology. Use your own name or come up with a better handle.

DO try to make your blog look different than everyone else’s. But, DON’T sacrifice content for it, i.e. content always trumps presentation. Generally, all I look for in a blog’s style are (1) readable fonts (2) large images that I don’t have to squint at (3) Firefox parsable. If your blog is IE-only, I’m not going to visit.

DON’T be evil. Don’t include idiotic scripts like popup ads or music that plays in the background or prevents users from right clicking. Make the user want to come back and visit again. And don’t ramble on for like 2,000 words like what I’m doing now.

DO have fun. Lame, I know, but I wouldn’t still be posting if it wasn’t.

12 Responses to “the do’s and don’t’s of anime blogging”

  1. Nice advice. I believe that I will try to implement these these things into my blog. I have found that posting about each episode in a series is tiresome. This is the main reason my blog sometimes gets neglected. It takes too much time to do and I get bored of writing really fast. Oh by the way, where did you get that cute firefox logo on your sidebar?

  2. Found it on iichan’s kemonomimi board. It was still on the front page. (Or grab here.)

    Hey, you got me watching Shuffle. ^^

  3. Great guide. If I ever start blogging, I’ll be sure to remember this post. :P

  4. You inspired me to make an anime blog. ^_^;;
    Just one question, what do you use to take screenshots in a video player? PrintScreen has always been…bitchy…for me.

  5. Print screen works for Media Player Classic… and MPC is plenty good for me.

  6. Where do you get that?

  7. If you’re running Windows, you have Media Player Classic. :)

    Too lazy to type up anything detailed… so just use Window’s horrid search feature to look for “mplayerc”—that should find it for you.

  8. Just mentioning Serenity in the same sentence with Cowboy Bebop makes me want to worship you. Err, or something like that.

  9. I thank you for these simple DO’s and DON’Ts. They’ll really help me improve my blogging. Good stuff.

  10. re #7, total lies :)

    Media Player Classic and Windows Media Player are different programs: You’re thinking of Windows Media Player 6.4, aka mplayer2.exe, the program Media Player Classic’s GUI is based on.

    Download Media Player Classic from
    Or install it as part of CCCP (

  11. Don’t Review every episode, you say? Wow… sounds good, but… but… but Mai Otome MUST be mocked! And mock it I shall! But you are right, I’m feelin the strain as we speak. X_X

  12. I dunno man, Talho has a REALLY nice ass. I think she beats belldandy. Belldandy is just too nice. Talho is straight sexy.

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