Wednesday, 6 May 2015

...not April anymore... a post-A-Z Challenge post

Four good mates joined me on the A–Z adventure last month. Massive thanks to each for their daily support. (I figured that getting others to join up with me ensured at least a couple of comments would follow... my sneaky plan worked). If you haven't already dropped in to visit them, I can heartily recommend it...all very different but equally wonderful...
Breathing Life
Edwina's Episodes
The Vinyl Edition
The House at Porter Street

To Theme or Not to Theme? 

My blog is eclectic... which is, of course, the highbrow way of saying random, so sticking with a
theme was both scary and challenging. I chose to write a series of letters with the aim of forcing myself to try out different styles, voices and forms to create variety and be more imaginative than I usually am. It worked... mostly. I wasn't always happy with what I posted, but that in itself was a valuable experience, because visitors' opinions don't always tally with mine.  And not knowing what to expect from me kept some people engaged. It probably annoyed the be-hooey out of others...  But the theme achieved my aim. 
I also had a song of the day and a question of the day... that was probably overkill. My guess is that most visitors didn't spend the time to listen to the song as well as read the post ( with a couple of notable exceptions).

Downside of themes: Some didn't appeal to me, so I didn't revisit or follow, when perhaps what those bloggers usually write would engage me. 

Advice to others: Be sure to choose a theme that allows you to use your authentic voice and tone. 


What about the Numbers Game?

Over the month, I visited 199 blogs ( selected purely because of their names) and left comments on most of them. I found that, predominantly, the visitors who left comments for me were people I'd dropped in on. Thirty-four newcomers left comments, many of them more than once. My Blogger stats tell me that the Referring site was A—Z on 41 occasions/ Referring URL on 35 ( as a comparison, the month's facebook stats were 361/379). I'm new to all this number crunching, but that didn't seem like a great result for me and my blog. Anyway, I had an average of 101 pageviews per day in April.... and have no idea how that compares to others.

What was Best?

Apart from my buddies and a few well known writers down here in Australia, I still don't have a long list of other blogs that I visit regularly. So I set myself the extra challenge of connecting with bloggers all over the world, which was easy to achieve. I'm already loving being able to chat with writers in places and cultures and histories and faiths different from mine. Special shout-outs go to:
Ornery's Wife
My Green Nook
Wendy's Waffle
Multicolored Diary/ Mopdog
Vidya Sury — Going a-musing, collecting smiles
A Global Fusionista

And so I Learned that ...

Louis XIV sure had a great decorator...
  1. If a blog is visually hectic... cluttered with different fonts, and capital letters and lots of images... I click on to the next one. I  must be more conservative than I thought.
  2. Very few of the blogs I visited made me laugh, and yet visitors responded well to my humour.
  3.  A surprising number of people didn't bother to respond/reply to the comments I left... so I didn't return.
  4. Whilst I am not a language knob ( See G is for Grammar and  The Pedant, The Precise and the Specific )  I can be a bit of a snob, and if a blog post is littered with errors, (and English is the writer's first language) then I move on...
  5. Very few participants applied the code to designate what type of blog they were writing. I know I didn't. I couldn't decide which category... and labelling my posts as humorous would have given me performance anxiety... plus some were not funny (on purpose). Labelling is a great idea to help find like-minded bloggers... but most of us were hedging our bets.
  6. It's fun getting lost down the blogging rabbit-hole during a blogfest and I'd definitely like to do it again.

And finally... a song for to finish the challenge: Another Aussie classic —If you Leave Me Can I Come Too? Mental as Anything (1981)