Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog Events: Blogging A to Z Wrap Up

First, I want to officially thank Lee at Tossing it Out for coordinating the Blogging A to Z which you possibly noticed I participated in during the month of April. I am a hard worker who loves to participate in... well, pretty much anything (you know... the FOMS—for the uninitiated, FOMS-Fear of Missing Something—is my primary psychological disorder... after the insanity thing...) But I am NOT organized enough to set such things up myself, so I REALLY appreciate those organized folks out there who do this. So THANK YOU, LEE!

FOMS aside, I want to sing the praises of these events for a couple OTHER reasons.

Blog event participation does something in a way UNEQUAL to any other thing you can do: it increases your traffic and followers. Not every person/blog is going to meet every OTHER person's interest, but these events that give you a list of blogs to try out and people to meet, have seemed to be the most efficient method of testing things out OUT there.

I began blogging last June (I'm about 6 weeks shy of my anniversary). At FIRST I asked my writer friends to check it out... and had 10ish followers... then I asked my HPANA friends (the people who have read my fan fiction—my earliest first readers) and built to about 20 or 25 followers. Other followers have trickled in one at a time, with only TWO exceptions. NaBloWriMo (which, innuendo desires aside, is NOT actually a month of writing about... okay, never mind... I won't go there...) It is National Blog Writing Month where people committed to blogging every single day in October. Followers bumped greatly.

Okay... there was a small batch from participating in ABNA—but I think only about five of those have stuck... they are a smart group, and I consider many of them friends, but more of them are on Facebook than this blog circuit.  Largely, with a few exceptions, they don't quite GET the blog thing.

But the BIGGIE was this Blogging A to Z. In April, a single month, I went from 70 followers to over 100. Now I know not ALL of these are A to Z related—a few friends have discovered blogging, and a few new people have been met—but that... maybe 5 people... is the exception. MOST of these are because of participating in this event.

So what's the big deal with followers?

Well I think you KNOW I have world domination aspirations, but aside from that... each becomes a degree of separation from THEIR readers, so the more people you reach directly, the more people you might reach INDIRECTLY.

But that's not the only benefit.

I've managed this month to meet a handful of kindred spirits and a BUNCH of really nice people. These kindred spirits out in the blogosphere though, are a very special reward for this usually solitary thing we do. I don't want to name people, as if I forget anybody, I would feel badly (and forgetting is sort of a specialty of mine), but seriously—there are some majorly cool people that have become NOT just part of the network, but friends.

So to everyone I met in April, YOU ROCK.

I want to encourage anyone new to blogging to participate in these things when they come around. I have a long time friend who has been a beautiful blogger in the past, but shy and not terribly frequent, but this month Marjorie SHONE (shined? I think shone is right)... I think her craft grew a lot with the discipline of the daily thing and I KNOW her readership grew. So it is FABULOUS for more timid bloggers.

And I think it helps ALL of us to grow the network... reach more people... it is only by reaching more that we find the truly fabulous matches out there... the people we want to read daily, the people who might help us out when we GET THERE.

And... this just in: 5 days to HURRAY HURRAY the 8th OF MAY!!!! (I will explain Friday, so you have a chance to prepare)--or if you are very naughty, you can google it.

This just in:  Hey, lookie what I got!  Thank you Raquel!  *note to self:  need to do awards...*


Jan Morrison said...

hi deary bones! I am going, as you know, backwards in the blogosphere but hey works for me! I know the rest of that poem because it is a favourite of my father's! Ha! Bet you didn't expect that did you? Now do I spoil it or can I write the rest of the refrain here? I'll leave it for others - I just wanted you to know that I know why we say Hurray in May! Since it is before the 8th, I will now go upstairs to celebrate in a more wet springish fashion. Or as we like to say around here, Yay Yay, the kids are gone for the day! And we have no immediate work so we will shirk and etc...the rest is too rude plus I haven't made it up yet.


Hi, I would like to thank you for some most enjoyable reading, Had it not been for Arlee I would never have found your blog. Congratulations for finishing and I wish you well.
I will certainly come back.
Take care.

R. M. Iyer said...

And having known Tami for as long as I have, I do know what May 8th will bring with it!

And Tami, the only reason I didn't mention anyone was because I knew I would forget a whole bunch and then feel bad about it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The A-Z Challengers did indeed rock!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Hey Hart! I am so glad I met you during this challenge. You have become one on my favourites throughout this journey. I'll definitely be keeping in regular contact with you. Is it water? Is it a tart? Is it a watery tart? No! It's Hart - a generous giver of friendship and written art! Love you lots and will always! xoxo

Watery Tart said...

Jan, I should have KNOWN you'd be familiar with my favorite holiday! And you're cracking me up with the multi-use Hurray Hurray the Kids are Away... (one of the nice things with them getting older, eh?)

Yvonne-I'm so thankful, too! You're such a fabulous, cheerful presence, and I'm sure I wouldn't have stumbled upon you either.

Natasha--twins as usual!

Alex--yeah, right!?

Jessica-likewise--I will certainly be keeping up with you--you fall on that kindred spirits list, you know--I could tell from the first post, I read (and it's NOT just because I'm an honerary Aussie who likes Greek food)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

It's funny, isn't it, how you end up with different groups of friends...and interesting that some people can really get into blogging and blog visiting and others choose other avenues! I'm glad I met you.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Elizabeth--I really like it when my circles start overlapping--one group oozes into another. In sociology it is called network density, and I dig it. It's true though, that some people REALLY take to the blogging thing, and for others it just doesn't seem to fit quite right.

I'm really glad I met you too--both because following you around has taught me so much, AND because you are such a groovy friend!

Beth said...

Hey Sweet Girl!
I have not been the best of followers as I have been a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of posts out there waiting to be be read.

I think you and I approach the world from very different points of view but I have experienced from you only warm acceptance of me and my differences. I thank you! I think that if we lived in the same area we could be friends even if we didn't always agree!

I have, after numerous comments about how difficult it was to load my blog, moved my main blog to a different server and address. I will probably move my health one soon as well and would enjoy continuing our friendship wherever I wind up!

Thanks again and congratulations on finishing.

Wanda said...

Congrats on completed the challenge and receiving the award.

The Daring Novelist said...

The whole "six-degrees of separation" thing is amazing on the internet. You do something to make some new friends, and suddenly there's a whole world of new people to meet gathered around each one of them.

Watery Tart said...

Oh, Beth, you are NOT the only one to have gone nuts and lost track--there was SO MUCH! And I agree--different approaches make the world richer, and we could definitely be friends. I will find you!

Wanda, thank you! You too!

Camille, it IS amazing, isn't it. You open doors and most have a little person in there, then suddenly you stumble into a PARTY!

Marjorie said...

Congrats on finishing the A-Z challenge. I had no doubts you would. If it weren't for you I would never have done this challenge and I keep saying so.

I know what happens on the 8th of May. Having been friends with you how could I not know? Plus that little rhyme is fun to say.

Kierah Jane Reilly said...

Hart, I've *loved* reading your posts this past month! Everytime I go to Eugene or PDX I think about you. I plan to stick around and read more about your exploits - both writerly and naked.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hey, you rock too! I 'met' a lot of great bloggers this month and learned a lot about many things. I loved your FOMS...I think I might have that too as I seem addicted to blogfests. See you in the ether or, preferably, on the bookshelves. =)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Congratulations on meeting the challenge. I'm in awe of all participants!

Caledonia Lass said...

Hehe! World domination... seems I may have a cohort...erm...planning buddy. :D

Anyway I am very glad you took up this challenge! I got to meet you. I followed your blog at first because of your title. You tart, you. And stayed because of your wit and your talent. (Ok, the pics of hot boys did help...) You rock as well, girl. Don't forget that!

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like it was an excellent month for you! And for those of us who didn't participate in the challenge. I read some excellent posts and met new people, as well.

Straight From Hel

Watery Tart said...

Holy cow! Look what happens when I have to work in the afternoon! Everyone comes to say hi!

Marjorie-I'm so glad you took part this month. It had been a long time since I'd seen any fiction from you and I LOVED it--You're talented, darling--keep doing it!

Kierah-I'm so glad to have met you! I will live my Oregon yearnings vicariously through you, and hopefully you will help me spread nudity in my favorite state!

Raquel--Isn't FOMS a great Acronym? I heard in on a Diane Rehm author interview years ago (wish I could remember who) and I KNEW suddenly what I had! And back atcha on seeing around here, but hopefully on bookshelves soon!

Jane, Thank you! You should do it too, next time!

CL: YES! Welcome to the Naked World Domination movement! (in Alaska I will grant you maybe a snuggie world domination deviation). It was great to meet you too, and I definitely plan to keep following!

Helen-great that the event had some second degree effects--I always like that. I know I sent some people your way at one point, because I always look to YOU when I have no clue what is going on: Ask Helen, she knows!

steelxmagnolia said...


You are dear. A kindred spirit. And a beautiful writer. The world is at your feet. And we are better off for being a part of yours.


Ian Gibson said...

Well done completing the challenge! You came up with some great topics for it -- enlightening throughout.

Watery Tart said...

SM--thank you so much! You are a kindred spirit, my friend! I can tell by the passion you infuse into EVERYTHING!

Ian- thank you! I hope by enlightening, you mean I taught you some new words for butt! *snort* kidding! I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

You did brilliant and you're so funny :o)) I will be back for more that's for sure!!

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Niki! Did you know I was going to be a Niki, if my dad had his way? Of course you didn't... But I've always felt a certain kinship there because of it... I will keep checking in with you as well!

arlee bird said...

Hart, thank for the gushingly kind words-- can you just do a post like that for me every day so I can get up each morning and inflate my ego? You are too, too kind. You did a splendid job of Blogging From A to Z and commenting to keep others motivated. Your wit and cleverness brought absolute delight and entertainment to all of us who stopped by to read your posts.

And thank you for reinforcing my argument about gaining followers. I keep saying that those of us who write to be read need to find ways to draw people to our sites. Increasing followers increases odds--it's simple math. All followers won't be guarenteed steady readers, but having them there raises the ante that they may stop in now and then at least. And when new visitors see a large following, they might figure you're a happening site and it increases marketability. Blogging is partly about seeing others and being seen-- it's a networking thing. No networking, no big payoff.

Thank you Hart of my heart-- you done good and I guess I'm done for now.

Tossing It Out

Ellie said...

Hart, so happy you were part of this! You are very witty and I loved what you shared! Thanks for visiting me, it meant a lot! I most appreciate your honesty, it is refreshing!
I look forward to following you~
Congrats on crossing the finish line!