I swear that I wrote the 5-year blogaversary post just last week, yet here I am looking back on 6 years! As I say each year, the anniversary of my blog, All About Anime and Manga, rolls around unexpectedly quickly each year. Each year, I am also left surprised at how long I have been doing this. It feels like I started up just last year. With these blogaversary posts, I take the opportunity to reflect over the year/s, set new goals and share what I have learnt during that reflection. This year, I thought I would do something different. This is more of a think piece and a processing report for the blog.
I figured I should probably now divulge the full meaning of MAG with the handle @AllAnimeMag that I use on all the social media platforms that I have found my way onto over the years.
It should be, All Anime, Manga and Gaming. Plus, when I first started the blog, I had a dream and an aim of starting up a magazine in the South African market geared towards these three interests. Thus, I thought Mag would work nicely. Even if it came to mean Manga, Anime, and Gaming. However, niche magazine after niche magazine was closing or moving to the digital space. Working in the PR industry, I had access to readership numbers that most people don’t, and the numbers were heartbreaking to see. With each new release of the list, the numbers were going down.
Contemplating content for the blog
I am still aiming for a magazine, but the sheer amount of work that would be needed is daunting. Never mind the funds that would be required on top of that. My blog has been focused mainly on the anime aspect of the AllAnimeMaG approach. I have been putting in the effort to include more of G in the form of anime games and gaming that will draw in fellow anime fans. Yet, I myself am not an active gamer, so this aspect has been on the slow side.
I do have a couple things lined up, but I am wondering if I should go in the direction of including more gaming content. If so, which games, which style of games, and what angle or approach should I take with the gaming content? As it is, I have 8 posts for gaming on the blog in my Gaming Otaku section. That is 8 out of the 661 posts currently on the blog…This is clearly a lacking section of the blog if I want to seriously follow through on the gaming aspect.
The manga side of the blog is also severely lacking, and I know I have written a whole lot more than the published number reflects. I have a lot of posts sitting in my drafts folder and a lot of miscategorized posts too. The blog needs some serious ‘housekeeping’ done.
Honestly, housekeeping is my main goal for the blog for the rest of the year. I will be removing outdated posts, improving some, where I think it will be worthwhile, and overall working on the SEO of the site. There are many posts that are missing images that I need to go correct, properly categorise the posts, and check if there are actual blurbs for the posts. I just see a mess when I look at a good number of my older posts.
While I am busy with the housekeeping here on the blog, I am also writing posts, completing drafted posts, and scheduling them in for the year ahead. My goal for the next year is simple: just 1 post per week. That is 52 posts in 52 weeks. It sounds easy, but with my hit and miss blogging style, it will be a challenge. While getting over 52 posts on the blog is easy and I have done it every year, posting every single week for a year has yet to happen. I understand how this happens, but it does upset me, and I have reached the point where I am now actively challenging myself. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.
Overall reflection from the past 6 years
Over the past 6 years, I have learnt a lot from our community here in South Africa. I’ve also seen how much the community has grown and watched as it has gained more acceptance on a global scale. It has really been amazing to be part of the community as these changes and advancements have come about. I feel that I am in a very nice position between the ‘old-gen’, ‘new-gen’ and ‘big-3-gen’ in the sense that I have been here for it, and that means I have a unique appreciation for how far we have come, where we are going, and where we currently are. I get to have multiple perspectives on a single anime that I have watched time and time again.
Looking at the stats from the past 6 years, I can see a clear growth year by year in readers and views. Yet after the deletion of my Facebook page a few years back, the interaction on my social media accounts has slowed. Yet, to be fair, my interaction has also come to an almost non-existent level. The deletion of the page, my mindset and stressors of my personal life had set me back by quite a bit. To the point where I was questioning ‘what is the point‘ for way too many things in my life. These past two years have been particularly difficult. I have so many messages I have yet to respond to, that I now feel are too late to respond to. So I leave them unread and see them every day not sure what to do with them or how to approach them. This keeps me in a weird limbo. Yet, my social media posts remain overly active. Which brings me to the @AllAnimeMag social media profiles.
I am wondering which direction I should go with everything. Most platforms are shifting towards putting more emphasis on video. While that is great, I am still happy to remain in the background and post screenshots of anime moments. The video aspect makes that more complicated and honestly terrifies me. I am not comfortable in front of the camera. I am now trying things out on TikTok, but meh.
Well, that got somewhat personal. It just hit home that the blog is my blog. It is a place where I can express my feelings, my experiences, and my overall journey as an avid otaku. I want to do more personal posts and genuine reactions showing how I link anime to nearly every single aspect of my life. I have been distancing myself a tad too much, which resulted in me feeling completely disconnected from many of the places I had carved out for myself.
So here’s to a year of reconnecting, reshaping, and stabilizing.
Some blog stats of the past year:
- Top viewed post of the year – 10 Martial Arts Reads with Female Leads
- Top viewed post I wrote this year – 15 New-ish Ecchi Anime
- Most viewed anime calander – Studio Ghibli
- Most downloaded anime calander – Demon Slayer
- Top search term for the year – one piece calendar 2021
If you are wondering how the blog has done, I have more stats in my five-year blogaversary post if you are wondering how the blog has done. Then, as always, I’d like to express my gratitude for following along with me on my anime journey via the blog, social media, events, and so much more. You’ve all made discovering anime so much more enjoyable, and I am genuinely grateful to all of you.