After 15 years of being sick and struggling to hold a job outside the house, I was excited about the possibility of making some extra income. Having a chronic illness makes it nearly impossible for me to have a traditional job. I need flexibility and I really don’t want to give up being human. I needed to be able to work from home and blogging gave me the ability to do so.
I was already passionate and addicted to anime. Getting to write about it was just a plus.
I started anime blogging for one main reason–to find a career that I can do from home. To tell you that my initial purpose in starting my blog was to help others with similar struggles would simply not be the full truth.
Of course, I wanted to help others (and one day leave this world a better place than I found it), but I feel that way in everything I do in life.
But, getting to the point of making a full-time dependable income doesn’t always come as soon as we expect (and without tears.) Let’s just say that my first year of blogging emptied our candy cabinet. But it also was exhilarating because it was the only job in my life that I didn’t want to quit! I have met so many incredible people due to this blog and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
In the beginning of my Anime Blog
I don’t hide the fact that I’m sick. I deal with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and Sciatica. And that’s just the KNOWN stuff. I mean, outside of depression, agoraphobia and major anxiety. Keeping a job outside of the home was hard and I never lasted anywhere for more than a year or so.
One day, I was scrolling through Pinterest and came upon a pin that was titled, “How I Made $2000 last month on Pinterest.” Intrigued to, say the least, I clicked through to a post on someone’s blog. The post made blogging sound so simple. Just find something you are passionate about and write. Write about things that help others and use your personality to make it unique. Content is king and so on. I swear if I hear that ONE more time, I’m going to puke. It’s so much more than that!
Have you seen that kind of pin?
All these pins on Pinterest convinced me that within a few months I would be making money. In fact, I read a story that one blogger was making a full-time income within 10 months of starting her blog. I felt devastated because the blogger was someone I actually knew and we had both launched our blogs at the same time.
I don’t want you to have to go through that too. That’s why I have put together this list about starting a blog that I learned in my first year of blogging. And why you should NOT give up your anime blog or give up anime.
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This does not cost you a penny more and is one of the ways I support my blog and feed my furbaby. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Lesson#1 YOU CAN GET YOUR BLOG UP AND RUNNING IN JUST A FEW MINUTES: MYTH!
Sure, you can sign up for a Word Press dot org(not dot com) account, buy your domain
You have to learn about which plugins to use (heck, I had to learn what a plugin is).
Then, you have to decide on a domain name for your blog. This should go further than just your initial brainstorm or what you think sounds “cute.”
After one year, I had to change my domain
naime and blog name to fit my niche
MYTH/Lesson #2 IT COSTS JUST A FEW BUCKS TO START A BLOG
You can sign up for a WordPress account for free. The domain name you choose can cost be as little as $7/year. Purchasing hosting can cost as little as $3.95/month (you definitely need to have a self-hosted WordPress account). Those are only some of the expenses when starting and growing your blog. Although starting a blog can technically just cost a few dollars, I don’t believe you can lay a strong foundation for a successful blog without investing in other services as well.
Lesson/MYTH #3 – IF YOU DO EVERYTHING “RIGHT,” YOU WILL START MAKING MONEY WITHIN A FEW MONTHS OF STARTING YOUR BLOG
Some bloggers hit the social media “jackpot” on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. What I mean by that is they just happen to start their blog at a time when that particular social media channel’s algorithm drives traffic to them for free. Inevitably, that social media channel eventually figures that out and changes their algorithm to force bloggers to pay for advertising in order to get themselves in front of new potential readers.
When I decided to start a blog, I had read all kind of testimonials from new bloggers who received insane amounts of traffic from Pinterest, specifically group boards—all for free! Once I started my blog, Pinterest changed its algorithm and group boards were no longer a powerful method of bringing traffic to your blog. I was devastated and thought that maybe my content just wasn’t good enough. I even spent money taking courses and getting “tips” from bloggers who hit the Pinterest “Jackpot” and believed they had the “secret” to success. After a while though, I realized all these “secrets” were pretty much the same.
I still have and use Pinterest group boards. And yes, it’s still my main source of traffic. But I also think that you should focus on something that won’t someday disappear, like SEO on Google or Bing for organic searches. With technology advancing so much, who know what the latest and best social media accounts will be?
Lesson/MYTH #4 IF YOU DON’T SEE IMMEDIATE TRAFFIC, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG
Traffic from social media is great, but it is more of a short-term strategy. Optimizing your content for search engines, such as Google, is a smart strategy for driving traffic to your blog.
Yet, it takes time to see traffic from search engines. Thus, the SEO optimization of each of your posts is a long-term strategy. So, if you want your blog to become successful and remain successful, you have to be patient. I love using Squirrly. I can use their keyword search to find what’s trending and see my rank on Google. It does cost some but it’s one of the few things that I deemed necessary for running my blog.
MYTH #5 YOU DON’T ALWAYS FIGURE OUT WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS AND WHAT YOU WANT TO BLOG ABOUT ON YOUR FIRST TRY
Just like we, as bloggers, continue to grow and change, so will your blog. You may start a blog about Keith’s Mullet(Voltron) only to realize 6 months in that you really want to write about Miraculous Ladybug. Or a whole other category. That is okay. The truth is that most successful bloggers actually had another blog FIRST.
One year later, I decided to separate my blog to just about anime and the theories about the different shows. Since then, I feel like everything is starting to “click.” I no longer have trouble deciding what to write about. Everything needed for my blog to become successful has just fallen into place. I do have a separate blog for all my mental health stuff but it’s still in the works and not ready to go public yet.
Looking back, I don’t regret any decisions I made in my first year of blogging. I tend to look for the lessons I learned rather than dwell on the mistakes I made.
And by no means should you let your fears keep you from starting a blog. You should in no way give up anime or your blog.
If you’re interested, I do have a few guides for Pinterest for sale. I’m still working on the ones for Twitter. But the first one for Pinterest contains an in-depth view of your website and your Pinterest account. I’ll explain everything you need to raise your followers and gain more traffic. The second guide is I’ll actually be your Pinterest Virtual Assistant. As in, I’ll do your Pinterest account monthly to guarantee that you’ll get your views and followers. The first one is a simple $30 dollars and the Pinterest VA is $60. Message me through here if you’re interested!