Friday, May 1, 2015

I comment on everyone's blog if I can: A to Z reflections

This past April, I participated in the A to Z challenge. I signed up in early February and received attention from others soon after.

The reflections are to give suggestions to A to Z about how things could be better. Frankly, I think the improvements come from the bloggers themselves. The most important question is why do you have a blog.

People start blogs for all kinds of reasons, but few consider the social element. It wasn't until this year that realised that I do not want a heavily trafficked blog. That is too much pressure to not put something out there you will regret later. My life is busy, but it is the hurry up and wait sort of busy. With all the crazy news in the world, you do take more notice. As a result, you post items that you don't agree with later or just tiresome. Surprisingly most folks try to be supportive.

Some folks monetize their blogs with ads. There is no problem for most blog readers with that. It is a bit haunting to see what you searched for earlier in an ad. If I plan to purchase the item, I will intentionally use the blog link. The blog owner gets paid more for a sale. Personally, I don't plan to have ads.

Another angle is the building an author's platform. If you have a huge blog following, you have a potential market for your book. The best one is Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris' writing blog, , which has great articles about writing and the market. You do find yourself looking over both ladies books. I have purchased several and enjoyed them. The blog itself is really good.

I know completing a book is my goal. I doubt I market using my blog. Like most people, I have a life outside of writing. I have never had the luxury of a day free to write. It is more like a stolen moment. Well, several hours happens about once a week. To have a blog that sells, it would take more than the amount of time I have.

So my blog has evolved into part of my social media presence. I've made friends with the blog who feel like real friends. During A to Z, my mother had three hospital stays. To say I got burned out was an understatement. I have not replied to many worthy comments. What stays with me are these folks so I can go back to their blogs.

I love networked blogs, bloglovin and Google+. They are great in creating links for who has a new post published. Wordpress and Blogger are competitors and it is hard to skip to the other one and check your favorites. I think everyone should have an outside subscription source. You can have people subscribe using their email, but many folks delete them without reading.

I have subscription buttons for all three in my sidebar, but if you would like to connect directly, links are below.     

A to Z is helpful in that networking and friendship are part of the formula. I did not get to all the blogs. Some blogs were heavily commercial. Others had great design elements but had so much it was confusing. I was stunned to have several books sold to me by book reviews. If you could see the stack of books I have to read.

The ones I absolutely did not like were those designed to sell a product. One look and you were done forever. There was an exception of a writer who discussed elements of their books for fans. They had a clear fan base. However, I had never read their book. And this goes back to the purpose of your blog.

I read blogs for a quick glimpse into what is going on in the world. It updates me on popular culture and that human need to connect with others.

I try to comment on everyone's blog. We all need some feedback and know who our audience is. Like everything, I have improved with comments. It is hard to make a quick a reply. I'm that person who doesn't talk a lot. But, when I come by, you will be hearing from me.


  1. I'd be bored to death if all I did was yap about books, or review or what have you. The cat has to be as crazy as can be and mine is mainly for fun. If it stops being fun, then I'm done. Those fancy blogs where you can't find a way to comment or the ones where all they do is sell, I just skip.

    1. You said a mouthful about the blog being for fun and man is your blog fun. I like all those rhymes. I find myself rhyming ideas in my head when I walk my dogs. Take care.

  2. I haven't done A to Z but I've done NaBloPoMo the last two Novembers. Its a fun creative challenge and a great way to get to know bloggers better. It was fun at the BAM Midlife Bloggers conference, meeting some of the women I got to know through NaBloPoMo. By blog is just a creative outlet for me. Hopefully, I will have a book one day too. Got to get more disciplined about putting that first draft down.

  3. You are a super Dragon Soldier. I can't believe how much you accomplished with your mother's health issues. When I visit I always try to leave comments that demonstrate how the post engaged me. I also wish there was an easier way for Bogger and Wordpress to mesh. Your reflection reflected some of my own thoughts. Thanks for all your help.

  4. While I don't mind the occasional ad on a blog, I did not appreciate being sold to through A-Z. There was one blog I commented on, and they responded to my comment with an e-mail in an attempt to sell their services for $20 a month! Umm… no. A-Z is fun for networking, but I did not appreciate getting that e-mail asking for money.

  5. Anne's blog is awesome. I've had the honor of doing a guest post for her before.
    I've never done ads on my site and I never will.
    Glad you were able to help Susan as a Minion!

  6. The A to Z is a lot of work. I participated a couple years and was even a co-host two years ago. It was just too much. I had more fun being on Susan's Dragon Warriors team because then I could blog on my own terms.

    Blogging has changed a lot since I started mine ten years ago. I still use it as a platform though, mostly for publishing and promoting tips. I still like the Google Friends Connect way of following and also use Feedly.

  7. It was so great to connect with you during the A-Z Challenge, Ann. Congratulations on completing it through difficult circumstances. Hope your mother is better now. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to visit as many blogs as I wanted to, but hope to streamline things a bit better next year. As for blog subscriptions, RSS feeds are good for that. Feedburner for instance, offers several options, one of which is Feedly (the best one, in my opinion). Looking forward to coming back here on a more regular basis. Cheers!

  8. A to Z is definitely a great networking tool, but also just a wonderful place to meet other bloggers! I'm so sorry to hear about your mother - I hope she's doing better.

  9. Just now getting around to visiting. April was a busy month for me. Visiting from the Reflections Linky. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!


  10. I think it's really interesting seeing what everyone chose for their themes! Obviously I prefer some to others, it's a human thing!
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip

  11. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I started my blog purely as a hobby. I am not a regular blogger and usually only post when I have something worthwhile to say or share. The AtoZ is a lot of work not jut for participants (visiting and commenting) but for the hosts and co-hosts who do all the work behind the scenes. Just popping over today from the Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess


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