Help a Blogger Out Survey – Courtesy of Magi-Kat

When checking out posts via Idolminded, I found this survey posted by Magic-Kat on ‘Magic-Kat Presents “Morning Meteora.“‘ Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot on myself and, by extension on Happy Disco. So, as such, I thought this survey would be a great way to nail down some of my thoughts, as well as sharing my personal insights with my readers. So, I hope this isn’t too much of an exercise in navel-gazing, and I hope you actually enjoy it!

Goals

Why do you blog?
I started blogging in 2010 because I had so many thoughts about idol music that I had to get it out somewhere. I overthink things and I’m an opinionated person. Happy Disco has become my outlet for idol music blogging and thoughts. Writing for Happy Disco, Idolminded and Pure Idol Heart is a singular pleasure, and one that I’m grateful for.
Here’s a bit of an anecdote, one that has motivated me to continue blogging. Last week I wrote a review of Team Syachihoko’s newest single, “Ii Kurashi.” As a Team Syachihoko fan, I was happy to write the review for myself. However, after posting it I noticed a giant spike in my site metrics. Seeing that most of the reviews were referred from twitter, I did a small investigation. Not only were a few Syachihoko fans tweeting about it, but Yoshida Tetsuto, the songwriter of Ii Kurashi, tweeted about it. I introduced myself to him, and mentioned that I loved the song, and he thanked me for it. All the while I was completely floored that any of this happened.
That said, I don’t need praise or comments (though I would gladly take both). Just writing Happy Disco makes me, well, happy. I’m incredibly proud of my blog, and pleased as punch whenever someone mentions it.
What long-term goals do you hope to accomplish, if any at all?
Not (necessarily) Happy Disco related, but I would like to become a paid, published writer. I don’t even expect that this would become a job for me, but I’d like to take my writing further. I can’t see myself stopping blogging about idols, though. Not unless I stop liking idols. And to be honest, I can’t see that happening
I’d also like to expand Happy Disco. I keep toying with the idea of a podcast, but I’m not sure how to make that happen. If anyone reading this does podcasts or would want to be a cohost, contact me on twitter or Facebook and we’ll talk.
Where does your blog fail to meet your goals?
I am disappointed I haven’t been as good at sticking to my blogging schedule. I have been trying to figure out getting back on track, but I wish I had been better at sticking to the schedule I’ve laid out. Stupid life and job getting in the way.
If you do have goals, what will accomplishing them do for yourself?
 Mostly I want to be satisfied with myself as a writer, improve my craft, and possibly become a talented enough writer/blogger to have that either supplement my income or even become a career path. Writing for fun is much more important to me than writing for money; if I was writing for just money, frankly I wouldn’t be an idol blogger.
What do you want to gain out of blogging? A creative outlet? Praise from others? Personal satisfaction? Money?
Personal satisfaction and a creative outlet are the big two, but I wouldn’t say no to others. Running Happy Disco is mainly based off of getting personal satisfaction and an outlet for my thoughts and writing, but I do enjoy praise and I would enjoy some money if it came my way.
Do you feel that your blog should meet a requirement for amount of entries? Do you feel any particular entry should be a certain length?
My goals were to reach three entries a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) but that has been very difficult lately, given my personal life. I try at least to reach one blog post a week, even when I’m at my busiest and most procrastinate-y.
Length… if you read Happy Disco on a regular basis you know I tend to be long-winded. Actually, I’d prefer to start shortening up my posts. I like being able to write and discuss things in depth, but sometimes it’s better to be concise. That said, I do like writing long posts, and generally my posts end up at 600+ words.
For any particular entry, what motivates you to start and finish blog posts?
I have three types of posts I post. Reviews (which I aim to put out near Monday), Idol Thoughts and either lists or TIFriday. For reviews, I generally write based off of whatever I find interesting. For example, when I covered AKB’s Suzukake Nanchara single, I had a lot to say about the PVs, and my opinions on idol PVs. I also tend to review stuff I like because I want to promote the things I enjoy. So that’s why you see me write piles and piles of Team Syachihoko reviews and posts; I want you all to become Syachi fans.
Idol Thoughts are based off of either current events or something I’ve just been thinking about lately. I keep wondering if I’ll run out of ideas, but I generally have too much stuff to write about.
Lists… I’m not sure how much I like writing lists, to be honest. It’s fun to do some rankings; ranking my top idols, ranking Team Syachihoko songs. But it’s really a replacement for my Tokyo Idol Festival posts. I love writing about TIF because I’ve discovered a lot of idol music through covering the festival yearly. I became a big Rhymeberry fan because of TIF. I’m really getting into i*Ris now because of TIF. My first experience with Team Syachihoko was with TIF. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the more indie side of the idol world.
Do you actively consider long term goals for each individual post?
Not really. I just want to write the best post I can, but I don’t overthink my posts much. I should probably edit them more.
Subject Material:
What do you blog about?
Idols. I cover Stardust, 48 Groups, Hello!Project, and all kinds of indies. I generally cover stuff I’m interested in, so my subject varies as much as I do. I do reviews, profiles and general interest pieces. I mostly focus on opinion pieces over just news.
Would you be keep a blog even if it wasn’t about the subjects you tend to cover?
Anyone remember Happy Media? No? OK, me neither. (Happy Media is my non-Jpop blog that desperately needs to be updated).’
Do you write about the material to promote it to others?
At times, yeah; I try to be honest about what I’m reviewing, and generally critical. I’m happy when writing about stuff that I’m not super into. Ultimately, I want to write about something that I find interesting, rather than just good or bad. However, if I really like something, I’ll want to share it with people, and Happy Disco is a great place for that.

Readership:

How much do you care about readership?

A bit? I want people reading my blog. But, to be honest, I don’t care that much. I’m happy whenever someone gives me feedback, and I’m gratified whenever I do have a solid readership, but it’s not something that will make or break Happy Disco.

Does it satisfy you to know people are reading, even if they don’t comment?

I prefer comments. I mean, everyone does, but I’d like to get more comments. That said, I’m terrible about leaving comments. I’m the absolute worst person about that. So I just hope that people enjoy Happy Disco, even if they aren’t commenting.

What effect does receiving a comment have on you?

Something like “Oh my god, they actually care enough to comment?” Something like that.

Do you write with a particular audience in mind or an unspecified general audience? Why?

Not really; this is much more of a personal activity for me. However, I try to be honest and fair in my reviews of things, just so that I don’t unnecessarily anger someone or frustrate them. I want someone to read Happy Disco and know what to expect; that they can look at a review and think “Oh, I agree with Serenyty about X Y Z and disagree about A B C, I’ll probably like this.” I

So there’s no real audience I’m aiming for, I’m just aiming to be a great blogger.

If you write for a particular audience, is it Idolminded? If yes, why?

It is gratifying to see myself covered on Idolminded; it’s part of why I love contributing when I can. Hey Ray! =D

Community: (The Idolminded section)

If Idolminded didn’t exist, would you blog?

Probably; I’d still be on my Blogspot domain, though. I love being on the Intlwota domain, you have no idea.

When IM covers an entry of yours, are you encouraged to blog more or less?

More; I know that more people read my stuff when it’s posted on Idolminded. I don’t want to let down any of my readers.

When IM does not cover an entry, are you encouraged to blog more or less?

Generally all of my entries are covered, but back when my blog was a new thing and new to Intl Wota, I was encouraged to blog MORE, because I wanted to impress everyone at Intl Wota. Oh man, thinking back to the early days of Happy Disco, memories…

How often do you read other blogs?

Daily. I check Idolminded daily, and I check my favorite blogs on a very regular basis (New School Kaidan, Selective Hearing, Okay! Musume Time, Tokyo Girls Update, the posts I don’t do for Pure Idol Heart, etc).

How often do you comment on other blogs?

Rarely. I am a terrible human.

If another blog covers a topic that you wanted or wished to cover, do you still blog about that specific topic? Why or why not?

Yep. I write mostly on a personal level, writing my opinion, not news. And there’s always room for more opinion pieces, I figure.

Commitment:

How serious is your attitude towards blogging? Do you consider it just as something to do for fun?

Kind of a mixture, I guess; I take Happy Disco seriously enough in that it’s something I’m passionate about and something that I care about, but it’s not life or death to me. I write it mostly for fun, but I’d like to get more into writing as a career potentially. But at the same time it’s not my job now, it’s fun, and I treat it as such.

How often do you blog? How often would you like to blog?

Right now it’s about once or twice a week, even though my goal is three times a week. I’d like to get three times a week. I’d LIKE to do something every day, between Happy Disco, Idolminded, Pure Idol Heart and Happy Media, but that’s not something I can do right now.

What priorities do you or have you put aside in order to blog? Why?

I blog in the afternoon, usually. I’m tired from work and just want to rest and play video games. I have to force myself to blog sometimes. But I love it.

Do you see yourself blogging in 6 months? Why or why not?

Yes. At this point I have to blog. I can’t not blog. Plus, the five year anniversary of Happy Disco will be here in about 8 months (!!!!!) so I have to make that!

Personal:

Would you say you blog for yourself?

It’s not for fame or fortune, that’s for sure. 😉

What is your feeling after posting an entry? Is it relative to the time and effort you put in an entry?

I’m tired but happy. Proud of myself, really. It’s probably not relative to time and effort, to be honest.

What needs does blogging fulfill?

My creative needs; it’s an outlet for my thoughts and opinions. I have a lot of thoughts and opinions. Therefore blogging has become a really important safety valve; otherwise I’d just be ranting about stuff to people who didn’t really care. Now I’m ranting to the internet, and people probably still don’t care.

Do you consider yourself a writer?

I think so; I certainly write enough.

Do you consider yourself good at writing? Good at blogging?

Maybe? Here’s the thing; I’m self-critical. I’m not really happy with the things I post. Yet, I look back at old Happy Disco posts and feel really happy about how far I’ve come. People tell me I’m a skilled writer, so I guess I’ll choose to believe them.

And I am not good at blogging, no. I don’t quite have the discipline to put Happy Disco on the strict schedule I want it to be on.

How much of your personal life do you share on your blog? If none, why do you leave this out?

If it’s pertinent I’ll bring it up. I don’t want to share personal details, but I’ll share how much something affected me. I share bits and pieces. Idols are my focus here, not me.

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