Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Don't Forget the Audience You Already Have

With all the frenetic buzzing around A-to-Z preparation, it struck me that I was forgetting one important factor: my current followers. Last year when I participated in the A-to-Z, I had two followers (no idea how they'd found me), so it wasn't an issue. I hadn't really established what I was even blogging about from day-to-day. I think I had three posts, total. This year, however, I'm approaching the A-to-Z with some actual followers and a fairly regular schedule.

While many of those followers were gained during last year's A-to-Z, not all of them were, which means putting my regular blogging schedule on hold isn't necessarily feasible (or the best thing to do). I'm in the A-to-Z to meet other bloggers and writers, as well as to challenge myself and have a good time; I'm not in it to lose the followers I currently have! As such, my plans have changed a bit on what I'll be posting during the A-to-Z. I can't forget the readers I already have, while reaching out to those who are new to me. My regular schedule will be worked into the theme of my A-to-Z posts to insure everyone is included.

So, as you plan (or not) what you'll be posting during the A-to-Z, consider taking a moment to figure out how to keep your current followers happy, as well, especially if there is a theme or meme that draws a lot of readers your way on any given day. You want to include them in the fun!

May you find your Muse.

Shannon Lawrence
The Warrior Muse



A very good point to make, as not all followers take part in the A to Z.

Have a good day.

Rek Sesh said...

I stick to my regular format, that's what most of my followers are there for anyway...even during A-Z I went with pieces of poetry, flash fiction and some personal musings thrown in..

Tony Van Helsing said...

Never take your followers for granted. If I lose one I find myself thinking that have I offended them or do they find me boring? A bit needy but there you are

Sarah Tokeley said...

I'll definitely be keeping my regular Friday posts, I wouldn't be without them :-)

Marta Szemik said...

That's good advice. I think my theme will be open enough to continue with a regular schedule and keep the spirit of the blog.

E. M. Prokop said...

A good reminder, thanks for that!

Arlee Bird said...

I think most of the followers who are also participating will understand the situation. It's another part of the balancing act.


Tina said...

Good reminder, Shannon! I'm guilty of neglecting my blog while doing all this challenge-related stuff during my (precious) blogging time.

Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Twitter: #atozchallenge

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was fortunate so many of my blogger buddies participated last year, but I made a special effort not to ignore the ones who didn't. That's why if you have a large following, visiting everyone on the A to Z list during the month isn't going to happen if you're still visiting your regulars.

Matthew MacNish said...

I think blogging is like many things in life. If you just be yourself, thing will settle until they're balanced.

Nick Wilford said...

It's a good point, Shannon. I have a question - when should you reveal your theme? Well in advance so you can get a feel of whether people will enjoy the posts? Or use the element of surprise and unveil all on April 1st?

Lisa said...

Thank you for the good advise. Whatever I do, I would still blog for my friends, and for myself.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Great advice. That's why last year when I participated in the challenge, I used the writing theme throughout the A-Z. Certainly a challenge but I think it worked.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I wonder about this sometimes with the Challenge. The first year I didn't sign up but it was still fun to go around to blogs and see what everyone came up with.

Nicole said...

Good post, Shannon, you make an important point.

I plan to incorporate my regular blogging schedule or routine into the A to Z challenge, merging the two where possible so I can prevent any disruptions to the natural flow of my blog, thus not alienating my current and regular readers.

It is very important for bloggers to not get so wrapped up in participating on A to Z or ANY blogging event, that they focus more or all of their attention on the readers they find from the challenge and neglect the readers that they already had.

Finding a balance between the two is key. Its probably best just to blog as normal and keep the attention on the regular readers, while being introduced to the new readers and getting into the swing of things with them....kind of like teaching a classroom full of students and receiving a new transfer student in the middle of the school year. You can't ignore all of the other students just because you have this new student, lol.

The Madlab Post

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Oh, so true! Last year was all about writing, I don't want to repeat the writing stuff, but everyone loves to experience something new, so I hope my theme this year will suit just as well! XD

Shannon Lawrence said...

Yvonne, I know that not all mine do, either.

Rek, last year I didn't have a regular format, but this year I do, so I want to stick with that as much as possible.

Tony, I'm the very same way, which is probably goofy, but I can't help it.

Sarah, that's how I feel, too, though I also wouldn't be here if not for last year's A to Z.

Marta, sounds perfect!

Eve, my pleasure!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Lee, definitely. I just want to keep those not participating in mind, too, and make it fun for everyone.

Tina, I think I'm just guilty of neglecting everything right now!!

Alex, so true. I didn't even have a big following (or any, to be precise) and didn't make it through during the actual challenge.

Matthew, I think that's a great point.

Nick, that's a good question. I think it entirely depends upon how you want to do it. Will it be fun and exciting to bring people in on it (for instance, Damyanti solicits help from her followers to help pick prompts for her) or will it be more fun (or easier) to just spring it on them when it's time?

Oceangirl, I think that's important.

Lynda, that's great! I'm betting you'd now if it hadn't worked.

Karen, I can definitely see where it would be fun just to be a reader in the A to Z, and probably a great thing for someone who isn't sure they could do it to get encouraged.

Nicole, all true and well said. How many times have you done the A to Z? Balance is definitely important.

Elizabeth, I have no doubt you'll do awesomely!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - how right you are .. my last year's theme didn't really change things ... but I followed the A - Z with a theme; this year I plan to do the same - so absolutely not forgetting my present wonderful followers and commenters .. they're the essentials for blogging ..

Cheers - Hilary

Jacqueline Howett said...

I will not be entering the A to Z challenge this year, after all. But it's nice to know everyone is still open to thier regular followers or misc commenters.

By the way, that's quite a list!

Happy blogging to you all!