This post is a quick walkthough of the basics for those interested in starting their own anime blog. It explains the steps involved in setting up a website and provides tips on what can help a blogger be a successful.
Steps required to starting an anime (or other topic) blog or website:
- Choose a Domain Name
- Get Web Hosting
- Select a Blogging Platform
- Pick a Design
- Learn About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Set Up Web Analytics (Optional)
- Write/Create Content
- Promote Your Blog/Website
Things to Know Before Starting an Anime Blog
All things taken into account setting up and running any website can be quite a bit of work. If you’re serious about starting one you will most likely have to learn some new skills. Be prepared to invest quite a bit of time in your blog if you want it to be successful.
It will also cost you some money to have a proper website, one that is actually yours and not a part of some free online service.
Choose a Domain Name
The first thing you will need to start any kind of website of your own is a domain name. A domain name is the address of a website. Something like www.blogname.com.
You can use a “whois” service to check and see if a domain name is taken (just type “whois” into any search engine to find one or use the link). Usually you want to have a domain name that is relevant to what your blog is about. It’s also very important to note that most good domain names are taken. But with a little bit of creativity you can still come up something nice.
Aim for a combination of two words. Something that is memorable, relevant to your niche and easy to type.
You can register a domain name through a domain name registrar (usually $5-15/year).
Get Web Hosting
Web hosting is the computer (server) that your website will be stored on. Think of it as a house for your website with the domain name being the address.
If you don’t know much (or anything at all) about dealing with web hosting try and pick a host with phone support. They will often help guide you through the initial setup process. Alternatively you could have someone else set the site up for you.
To find a web hosting you can just do a quick search on your favorite search engine. If you plan on running just one blog/website then in most cases you will just need the basic hosting package (usually $5-10 per month).
Select a Blogging Platform
To create your blog/website without having to know web development you can use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress. Many web hosting providers offer easy installation options for it.
WordPress is free and it’s the standard for blogging (at least at the time of this blog post) with a massive community.
Pick a Design
Most major content management systems offer free themes (skins) for your website. These make getting a design for your website free and easy. A lot of these themes also have customization options that let you tweak parts of your site such as color, fonts, etc…
You can use something like an online color scheme generator to help you pick the colors for your theme.
An anime blog can be a little more busy and colorful than most other blogs but don’t go too crazy. Pick a theme you like but also one that is appropriate for your content. Don’t overly clutter your site with banners or ads. Avoid any auto play sounds, videos, flashing images, etc… These can annoy people and drive them away from your site.
Learn About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In order for people to find your blog you will need to optimize it for search engines. There is a lot to know about SEO but two very important examples would be the page titles and page descriptions. Page titles and descriptions are what you usually see when you use a search engine to look something up. Writing an effective title and description is one of the most important thing you can do to improve how well your site ranks in searches.
Content management systems often have built in feature or plugins to add titles and descriptions to the pages of your website without having to know how to code.
Definitely learn a little bit about SEO before you start blogging.
Set Up Web Analytics (Optional)
An optional feature that you may want on your want on your blog/website are web analytics. Web analytics allow you to see how many visitors go to your blog and what pages they visit. This lets you know how well you’re doing.
You can add analytics to your site at any time. You can do it right away or wait untill your blog has actually gotten some content.
You can get a free web analytics account from most of the major search engine providers. Simply create an account. Afterwards you will need to add a small bit of tracking code to your website to make your analytics work. CMS like WordPress have plugins or other features that make adding the tracking code fairly easy.
After everything is set up you should be able to log into your account and see information about your site visits.
Write & Create Content
There are many aspects of anime. If you are only starting out as a blogger it may be good to focus on one thing in particular. Reviews, gameplay videos, art, etc… Having a clear focus or your own niche can really help your site take off.
If you have any sort of anime industry connections, access to exclusive content, artistic skills to create your own content (or artist friends) these can be a huge help.
Some good potential content can be something like an interview with an author of a manga, an interview with someone who worked on anime themed game or some original anime themed art.
Not everyone can get an interview with someone from a major game development company or travel to Japan but you can look for other people that are also starting out such as indie game developers that are far more likely to give you some of their time in exchange for promotion of their work.
Creating content for your blog/website will also require good writing skills. Depending on what skills you have it may be a good idea to collaborate with other people with similar interests but a different skill set.
Promote Your Blog
After you have some content you should try and promote your blog. An easy way to promote your content is to use social media and to get involved in relevant communities.
Do NOT take other peoples content for your blog without permission. This can get you into big trouble. Images, articles or even small excerpts of text copied from other website without their permission can lead to legal action against you.
There are plenty of free resources you can find online (especially for non-commercial use) but before you take ANYTHING from anywhere on the web make sure you are actually allowed to use it.
There is a lot to running a blog and this post only touches on the different things involved. With that said the provided information can definitely help steer you in the right direction. When you know the major aspects of running a blog you can do more research into each one on your own.