What I Learned From The Aniblog Tourney
Well, that’s a wrap. Shades of Grey officially lost in the second round of the tournament against Unmei Kaihen. It’s essentially what I expected going in, since I’m not a very popular blogger and some of the other people participating are very well known. Honestly, I didn’t think I would do well even at the start. I even had a picture picked out before the first match started in case I lost.
I had some fun and managed to avoid most of the DRAMA!!!, so I’d say it was a good experience. However, there’s still something that’s been bugging me about the whole thing since the first match started. It may very well be the question that’s been hanging over this website since it began: how exactly does a manga blog get attention?
At first I thought that having other manga websites in the tournament would get me the chance to find other sites that were like my own. As time went on, I realized there really weren’t any sites exactly like mine, since many of them covered reviews of whole volumes, and most are built around single genres (shonen, shojo, yuri, etc). The few websites I know that have chapter reviews are large sites with many contributors, and those sites are mostly anime focused anyway. Initially I just thought this was good for my chances, but when the match started I began to notice what it really meant. There were quite a few people who commented that my site looked good, but they didn’t know any of the manga I was talking about. Even the people criticizing everyone had trouble talking about me. Hell, the Whiners entry for my first match had one sentence of actual criticism (and it was as dumb as you’d expect from them).
What I guess I’m trying to say is that this was the first time it hit me how hard being a manga blogger actually is. I know that most of my current readers haven’t seen everything I discuss (that’s half the fun of using out-of-context Squid Girl pics), but it never really occurred to me how hard that would make finding new readers. I’ve gotten in contact with a few other manga sites, but that can only get me so far. So I thought the best way to find out how to improve things is to ask directly. For those old readers, new readers, and those who clicked this link because it contained the words “Aniblog Tourney”, I would like to know what you think of the site, how I might be able to improve it, and if there’s any way of getting the word out to other people about manga websites.
There is something else I thought I would try. Since everyone reading this has their own tastes, I figured it would be best to find out what people would like to read posts about the most. So I gathered a few different series that I’ve seen discussed and which I can catch up on and put them into a poll. You can click as many series as you would like to see. This isn’t meant to be a strict “First Place gets discussed” thing, but it should give me a rough idea of what I could focus on most. For those who don’t know, my backlog is ridiculously large, so this helps more than you think.
This is probably just another case of me overthinking things. I’m very happy with all the people who frequent my site and the comments that get left behind. I think I’m just getting to all those questions bloggers start to ask themselves after a while.