Episodic blogging is something that I’ve stuck to for the past year or so, and while it’s mostly been a positive experience, I feel some changes are finally in order.
Being one of the original founders of Moe Alternative, I can safely say that this blog has undergone many changes since its inception a year and a half ago. Bloggers a many have come and gone more often than the average New York gigolo, and this may have had something to do with the style of blogging that I enforced up until now; episodic write-ups.
Looking back at myself when I first started blogging, I didn’t have very much experience writing about anime, so episodics gave me the opportunity to hone my skills on a regular basis. There was also the fear of the site falling off people’s radars if we were not able to pump out content on a regular basis. Along with many of our former bloggers falling victim to their own lives and leaving, I took it upon myself to help preserve the blog through weekly content.
However, recently I’ve been noticing a few problems with the chosen path of the blog – episodics tend to be very limiting, both with respect to the content and the self-fulfilment as a writer. For one, blogging about the same anime week after week introduces a certain degree of tedium. Unless the material varies widely from one episode to the next, I find that I end up repeating a lot of what I’ve said in the past by around the halfway mark. The story may have advanced, but more often than not, the themes of the work and my overall opinion will remain unchanged. After a while, what I end up pumping out week after week no longer challenges my writing abilities, as it’s far too easy to unconsciously recycle old ideas.
I’ve also been considering things from our reader’s point of view. Oddly enough, all it took was a simple question to help myself realize that a few changes were in order:
“What makes browsing Moe Alternative worth someone’s time?”
After that, the answer immediately became obvious to me. It wasn’t that I necessarily had to pump out regular content every week to maintain interest, since there may have not even been much of an interest to begin with. This stands to reason, as with episodics, it directly limits one’s audience to people who are watching said show and have just recently finished an episode. Even in the best case scenario of being punctual and getting these posts out on time, the regular readers may begin to lose interest once the content becomes stale.
While episodics may have been the easy solution to keeping the blog alive, now that I’ve managed to secure a consistent reader base and some long-term writers, it’s finally time to move on. Perhaps I haven’t been challenging myself enough as a writer by devising insightful articles that would allow for a broader, continuous appeal. Glancing through some of the other anime blogs with large followings, many of them don’t even bother with episodics, and instead pump out editorials every so often. Although every blog will have its own success story, the take-home message seems to be quality over quantity.
This leaves us at the current juncture, the summer anime season of 2013. With a handful of
terrible wonderful new shows airing, the community’s interest is at its peak, and this would be the best opportunity, if any, to try my hand at a new approach. To clarify, what I’m proposing is that I will no longer be doing episodic write-ups on a weekly basis. Instead, I may just draft some of my thoughts about a show after a few weeks or some editorials about stuff I’ve watched in the past. This will give me greater flexibility as a writer, which should hopefully renew interest and bring in some new readers.
With that said, the road ahead will certainly be a bumpy one; without weekly episodics, I do run the risk of becoming lazy with my postings. I’m hoping that won’t be the case, as blogging weekly for a year and a half should be a testament to my motivation to write. Best case scenario, it works. Worst case is that it doesn’t. Regardless, a chick will die if it cannot break the shell of its egg. It is finally time to break that shell.
I’m hoping that this post will help motivate other bloggers who are either just getting started or are finding their interest wavering, possibly due to episodic blogging. If you have any personal stories or advice that you would like to share, I would be happy to hear them in the comments.