Monday, January 20, 2014
A to Z: It's About the Numbers (A "What Works" Post)
I'm going to fill you in on a secret about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Actually it's not really that much of a secret since I've told the story many times in many ways. Though the Challenge hides under the guise of letters, it's really about numbers.
The whole reason I started the Challenge was because I was celebrating having reached 200 followers. I was celebrating my increase in followers by playing with 26 letters. The result was more followers for me and more for those who participated with me. And so it has gone in each successive year.
This year's Challenge will be the fifth year. Not bad for a blogfest that started off relatively small. Now thousands of bloggers and non-bloggers alike are aware of this annual April event. Many of you are proud veterans of the Challenge. Some are wary of participating. Some may be scratching their heads and wondering how a blog event like the A to Z Challenge can be of any use to a blogger.
Sure, we've had our detractors--takes too much time, sucks up the blogosphere during April, didn't really help me gain readers. I won't go into any of these at this time. I'm sure these will be covered in the weeks to come on this blog. I'd prefer to look at the positives rather than the negatives, whether it be this Alphabet Challenge or anything else in life. Talk about sucking up energy! Negativity will do it just about every time.
So back to the numbers game. Maybe it's about amassing greater numbers of followers, more readers, more comments, more posts, higher SEO ranking--you name it, A to Z can do it. You can't just sign on though and expect magic to happen. There is work involved and that means numbers that you add into the effort. The more blogs you visit, more bloggers you follow, and the more comments you leave then the more numbers you get in return. It's just blogging, except it's like blogging on steroids. Hyper blogging.
You can argue the subject of numbers all you want, but you can also question your motivation for blogging. The fact is that numbers make a difference.
Have you ever seen a successful advertising campaign done with just one TV or radio ad? Money is poured into media campaigns in order to inundate the airwaves with repetitive commercials. Numbers. We get logos and mottos emblazoned into our brains because we see or hear them over and over.
Marketing and promotion is a numbers game. That's the way the whole thing is effective.
Same with your blog, the product you're trying to promote, or your personal brand. You've got to get out there and make yourself seen and heard. Let's face it, 26 posts on your blog will be more likely to garner attention than one or four or whatever lesser number you're dealing with. Don't skimp on quality. Quantity isn't everything, but on the other hand practice aims for perfection. If you post more, you may become a better blogger.
I'll listen to your arguments against the numbers in the comments. I've done so innumerable times in the past. I doubt whether anyone will ever convince me otherwise. Numbers count.
A to Z is about fun, expression, personal challenge, interaction, networking, and so many other things. The Challenge can also be a valuable part of a participant's promotional strategy in blogging. Think of why you blog and how the April Challenge can fulfill your needs as a blogger.
Yeah, it's about the letters, but it's also about the numbers.
Do you think numbers are important in a promotional campaign? How hard do you try to build up following in the A to Z Challenge? What do you think is the key to blogging success?
For other participants be sure to visit the sites of the What Works... hosts:
Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out
Yolanda Renee at Defending the Pen
Jeremy Hawkins at Being Retro
Alex J. Cavanaugh at Alex J. Cavanaugh