If you have a strong interest in a hobby, chances are that you are likely to own a website devoted to your favorite pastime. You might have a domain name lying around that's relevant to your hobby, or have been recently inspired to start a website altogether because of another site you visit often. The anime fandom is an example that I can relate to, as the owner of an anime blog.
You might have surfed by a blog of such in the past, either finding pictures of cosplayers, or tutorials on becoming a cosplayer. Maybe you found a review of an anime or manga series you were interested in, only to find yourself a fan because of one's recommendation. Or maybe you found a review of a figure that caught your attention, inspiring yourself to becoming a collector. If you've been through these scenarios, then here is how to start your very own anime blog.
Differences Between Blogs and Websites
There is a difference between a blog and a website. With a blog, you present your thoughts and ideas directly to visitors, where you, the webmaster, can worry less of the presentation of the page and focus more on producing interesting content right away. With websites, it can be anything besides a blog, which can be a social network site, or a message board. Launching an anime blog has been a popular way to launch as a site at all, giving the webmaster an opportunity to cover their hobby as if it were their very own anime magazine.
Choosing a Hosting Service and Blog Platform
There are many options for hosting a blog. The best way to go is finding a web host provider that utilizes PHP and MySQL that's used in most blog publishing software. While web hosting requires a monthly commitment of no more than $10 a month, there are blog platforms with provided hosting such as WordPress. It's a popular choice for bloggers of all levels and budgets on WordPress.com site, with a full client available from their.org site for self-installation on web hosting services.
There are additional blog platforms such as Blogger and TypePad. Both platforms offer similar features as WordPress, but as someone with several years of anime blogging experience, nothing beats the flexibility of WordPress. While there is more to explain on why WordPress is useful, I think it's best to leave one's curiosity on why this is so after publishing the first post.
Where to Find Inspiration for Content
To get an idea of what to write about, do a search of what other anime bloggers are talking about. Most anime blogs feature anime reviews, opinions of anime news stories, and reports of anime conventions. Don't forget about contests, the biggest draw to any website! For starting content ideas, write a review of a favorite anime or manga series. Introduce readers with a basic synopsis of the story, and why you like or dislike it. If it's a review for a singular episode of an anime, disclose the plot of the previous episode to catch readers up on the events. Be careful not to spoil too much of the story.
Promoting Your Anime Website
Promoting your anime blog is the same as promoting any other blog, though there aren't many websites specifically for anime webmasters to promote their content. A guaranteed option is joining and engaging on anime forums, where you can link back to your blog in your forum signature. However, there are forums that find this as a way to gain backlinks for low quality sites. Most communities make it where the member has to be registered long enough to use a signature to curb abuse.
Lastly, if you enjoy going to anime conventions, considering taking business cards. Cards can be printed at home, or purchased in bulk from printing companies online or locally. Hand out cards to cosplayers after taking their picture so they can find their photo after the event. Business cards can also be left at designated tables for fan organizations. Don't forget to include any links social network accounts, along with the blog's URL, of course!
BONUS: Attending Anime Cons as a Press Member
Another option long after your blog has taken off is gaining access to an anime con as a press member. Doing this allows you get free entry to the convention, and a chance for one-on-one interviews with industry guests, as well as early access to convention events. This works very well for both the event and yourself, as both parties will be getting free exposure for continued growth.