Here’s part two of my collab with Irina!
But before you continue reading, make sure you’ve read part one, which was posted on Irina’s blog, first so you have some context. We’re really just jumping right in there, you know?
I usually have a reserve of screencaps from seasonal anime, but right now Google is my guide. I’ll be including the search results I used to find these pics and gifs. Ah, you can always tell I’m doing a collab with Iri when I start bringing out the gifs.
Shout-outs to @Monsters_Master for drawing such a nice picture of Integra!
Alright, here we go!
Remy: It’s all smokes and mirrors for me. I’m a total mess and I really rely on headers to stay on-point and for my readers to be fooled into thinking I know what I’m talking about. Otherwise my posts really start turning into rambles. Fake it until you make it?
But, yes, a lot of posts seem more intent on telling or instructing you on this or that. There’s usually room for conversation regarding any sort of subject or topic since definitions can be subjective (and opinions on shows and themes and individuals are rarely completely objective), but posts that are more like conversations probably get more people talking.
Gotta agree with you regarding balancing the line between keeping things spoiler-free (so the post remains friendly for those who haven’t watched or consumed or interacted with whatever you’re talking about) and going more in-depth so those who are in-the-know can chime in and fulfill their needs and desire for conversation. It’s hard!
Hmmm, yeah, including an explanation is usually how I approach things. I feel like I’m a niche writer who sometimes writes about niche topics, so sometimes people haven’t heard about what I’m talking about. Or maybe they might want a frame of reference before I jump right in.
But maybe I’m doing people a disservice by jumping to conclusions like this. I mean, it’s not like I’m a primary source of news or announcements, right? They’d probably would have already heard or read about the latest yuri anime before reading about it on The Lily Garden, really. Buuuut if I give a brief run-down maybe the more oblivious ones will stick around instead of leaving to look it up on some major anime news site. Ahhh, that’s wishful thinking. One of my specialties as a deluded person.
By the way, do you consider it a good thing or a bad thing when a topic or a series has you wanting to say a lot? It’s probably overwhelming for those who want to share all of their thoughts for all to see, but it might not be as big of a problem for those who are more guarded or selective, I guess, since they might just purposefully avoid addressing certain aspects. Then again, there’s no way a single post can truly be comprehensive about any particular topic…
Irina: I generally see it as a good thing personally. But as even my simpler posts can meander a bit, I also find it intimidating. Hence the need to find a better way to structure myself.
A little while ago, Marth form Marth Aurion really helped me out with a post I was having trouble defining. Instead of going over everything in detail, they just told me what impressions they got from the post at a few specific points (I.e. after the intro, somewhere around the middle and what the they retained from the post as a whole). This really helped me in restructuring my thoughts and better organizing what I was saying so that I could get the correct point across (which I wasn’t in the slightest…)
I’m just going to jump back to your previous paragraph. You brought up the great point that your blog posts are on much more unusual media and topics that are much more original and not really commonly discussed on other blogs, which does make a big difference. I can see that more detailed background is needed. You also have a few exclusives.
I post reviews pretty common anime and games. I have zero industry insight. As such, I feel like a lot of my readers have already seen it (if not reviewed it themselves) so I don’t want to bore them by going over the same old story again but then I will occasionally stumble onto something that no one has really seen and I’m afraid my post makes no sense without at least giving some context.
Remy: You know what? Now that you’ve mentioned it, Marth’s usual style is rather focused since he concentrates on a few key points as he incorporates both summarization and personal takes in his content. I can see how following such a format might make it easier to keep track of things, yeah. And please, it’s a work in progress! You’ll get it right eventually, says the guy who doesn’t have it down at all. Besides, I get that you want to not be misunderstood but everyone really loves your little asides!
That exclusivity comes with the territory of being an anime hipster! Back when I wrote episode reviews I was convinced I would be the only one covering mediocre slice-of-life series which gave me a sense of duty, haha. I’m sure there really were a few others talking about these less popular shows, however, and maybe the background info really was extraneous. Perhaps it’s better to play it safe in that regard. Ah, but we all have such short attention spans as you mentioned earlier…it’s a tough call that requires experience, I think!
It goes without saying that you have a solid grasp of your own content, but you do tend to write about well-known household names when it comes to anime and games, so no explanations are really needed there. Buuut, as you said, you have been known to say your piece on underrated and overlooked gems, too, which probably does require the quick run-down. Perhaps popularity and notoriety are the only gauges we need? Surely it’s more complicated than that…
Irina: Then there’s also a question of knowing your readership. You seem to have a lot of readers from all over. You get great views from every corner of the net. Think my own audience is more concentrated on wordpress annibloggers who know just as much if not more about anime than I do and a few dedicated anime fans. I’m trying to grow my general readership beyond wordpress a bit but since I have no idea how to do that, so far my most concrete effort has been writing this paragraph…
What I’m saying is that a blog that attracts readers hat may be searching for a particular anime for the first time probably needs to present their content a little differently then one that is essentially a specialty bog cathering to readers who care more about obscure facts or unusual insights because they’ve already read all the other stuff.
Is it just me or did we stray from the topic in a post about staying on topic?
Remy: Oh, I get such a varied readership because I write about the stupidly popular stuff and then somehow it catches on sometimes. They come, get or at least attempt to get what they want, and then leave like lovers in the lonely night. These players and smooth operators rarely leave a comment, too!
Irina: I’m going to jump in here. I don’t know how many people have this experience but a coupe of my real life friends do read my blog. They do not have blogs or want one, neither do they have gravatar accounts. They’ve told me that whenever they try to like or comment on anything, my blog prompts them to create an account and on a phone – this is actually a rather painful procedure. So they give up.
That doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy, read and even have thoughts on it but the current like/commenting process on wordpress can e a bit discouraging, especially on mobile platforms. This is a random aside but I thought I’d throw it in just to point out that engagement isn’t that easy to assess.
Remy: Well, it’s a good thing you did since now I feel like a downright Fool for acting it was so simple as well as black-and-white. Have I been secretly been turning into a Sith Lord without knowing it?
I agree that engaging with blogs is a lot harder than it should be. I know for a fact that you can’t really “like” or give golden stars to blogs without having a gravatar account or without being signed into one, which is incredibly frustrating when you’re on a mobile cellular device.
But I do seem a few comments by Anonymous users. There should already be a setting that allows someone to comment just by inputting a desired handle, email address, and website (I wonder if you can just put in “www.google.com” or something if you don’t have a blog). I have to fill out those fields all the time whenever I want to comment on Seasonal Prattle’s blog, which makes things harder than it should be for bloggers but a bit more convenient for non-bloggers? Not a bad compromise.
Irina: Yeah commenting asks you to fill out a form I think. I haven’t gone into detail mind you.
Remy: Mmm of course. I’m the only one allowed to bore the readers, after all! But filling out a form is a tiny bit better than being forced to make an account, I guess, even though there’s gotta be a better way. Some of us are romanticists~
As for your readership, I think it’s very pleasant that so many anibloggers regularly drop by and provide some insight into various topics in your comments section. I’m also not sure about what it takes to expand your readership beyond WordPress. Hmmm.
I know a few anibloggers used to or still do promote their content on Reddit. Some of my more popular posts were shared on Reddit which have caused their views to skyrocket. Guess it might be a matter of promotion and visibility?
As for going off-topic…that appears to be exactly what happened! This is the logicial conclusion when you get the two of us talking about the same topic. Guess we better wrap things up like we were like that tiny anime mummy or something.
Iri, it’s been a pleasure chugging along and going off the rails while talking about focused writing.
Irina: Pffth as aways the pleasure is entirely mine! I’ve missed our chats Rem, I hope we get to have another one in the future.
I also hope our readers will enjoy this as much as I have. I’m not sure how helpful any of this is to staying focused in posts but it certainly reminded me how fun it is to talk to fellow bloggers. I guess if you need help with keeping you eye on the ball, go read Marth’s blog! Now those are organized posts and great reads to boot (to booth?) to boohghth???
Remy: WHAT HAPPENED TO IRI?!
I look forward to our next chit chat, too. Dang, I hope she’s okay…
And yes, everyone should hit up Marth’s blog. I’m putting out a hit on his content. You all be assassins and swing by! The reward is enlightenment. Okay, I think it’s about time to end this since I’m reaching for the really bad and forced puns now. Like what Iri said, hopefully this all was little bit helpful, or at least entertaining.
Irina: This was our Marth appreciation post – that’s what we were doing, right?
Remy: MARTH MARTH MARTH MARTH
Irina: Marth’s gonna unfollow us both…
Remy: It was for the greater good… I can accept this tragic ending gracefully…