When I took on the A-to-Z Challenge last year, one of the most rewarding things I experienced was the warmth of the blogging community. Before the A-to-Z I'd been trundling along, randomly talking to myself on my blog. I wasn't really visiting other blogs, and I certainly wasn't commenting on them. Yet I yearned to have people comment on my own posts; I just had no idea how to make that happen.
What I learned was that talking to myself meant I wasn't embracing the full glory of the blogging community. You see, we get to know each other, we comment on each other's blogs, we support each other. And this is no clique, no closed community. Anyone can take part in it by jumping in with both feet and putting yourself out there.
How do I do that?
Visit other blogs. Leave comments. Follow other blogs. If a blogger recommends another blog, check it out; you may just like it!
On your own blog, you can respond to any comments left to you. There are a number of ways to do this, either by email or by posting your reply in the same comments section. You can also carry the conversation back their blog, as long as it is done respectfully. I make it a point to not only respond to the comment, but to then also visit the other blog back and leave a genuine comment.
You will find that as you do this more people may wander by your blog. They may even follow you and/or leave comments. Speak to them, not to yourself, and you will go a long way.
How does the A-to-Z help me with this?
The A-to-Z gives you an easy means to connect with similar bloggers, as well as bloggers who may not be similar but still interest you. It gives you a list of blogs, a virtual cornucopia of reading material and connections, right there on the linky list.
In addition, it provides inspiration for what to post about. The possibilities are endless, yet a prompt can help get you ideas you might not have had otherwise. You have a built in audience coming by to see what you have to say.
On top of that, you get energy and excitement. Everyone has something to prove. Engines are revving, and there's nowhere to go but out into the blogging community.
The A-to-Z gives us all the opportunity to step outside our cocoons and stretch beyond our comfort levels. There is a good chance you'll find that this is exactly what you've been waiting for, and what you've needed all along.
May you find your Muse.
The Warrior Muse