Saturday, April 9, 2016
#atozchallenge Hello! Howdy! How Are Ya?
The great Yogi Berra was known for his unique way of twisting the English language. He knew exactly what he was talking about, but sometimes it came out in an unintentionally funny manner. One of my favorite quotes of his is this:
You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.
What he meant to say was that if you want people to care about you, you should show them that you care about them. Or, to put it in blogging terms, if you want people to read your blog, you should show that you want to read theirs.
That's the purpose of the A to Z Challenge, after all: to open your blog up to a wider audience, to hold a dialogue with other bloggers and non-bloggers. Nothing can be more disheartening than writing a fantastic blog post and not getting any feedback from anyone. Likewise, nothing feels worse than leaving a comment on someone's blog and having the blogger ignore the comment completely.
The Golden Rule applies here: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. If you want people to come visit your blog, go visit theirs, and be sure to leave a comment when you go. If you want people to reply to your blog comments, be sure and reply to the comments people leave for you.
It isn't always easy, I know. There will be days when you fall behind in keeping up with comments, and life happens when you're busy making other plans. But you should make the best effort you can to reply to comments, and to visit the blogs of people who visit yours.
"Okay, John," I hear you say. "There are hundreds of bloggers signed up for the A to Z Challenge; how am I going to get to all of them?"
I'll tell you right up front, you won't. You can't. At least not in the thirty days of April. I'm sure, if you didn't sleep and did nothing all day but visit blogs, you might be able to do it, but you have a life, too, and it's not good for you to spend that much time sitting in front of a computer. So, don't try.
Instead, resolve to visit a few blogs every day. Say ten. Take the list of blogs and visit the five bloggers before you and the five after you. So, if you're number 789 on the list, visit 784 through 788 and 790 through 794, as well as all the bloggers who have left you comments. If you have more time on your hands, visit the ten before and after you. Or, you could do what I did one year and visit ten blogs each day whose numbers were chosen by Random.org. Visit them, read what they have to say, and leave them a comment, even one that just says "Hi! I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed your post!"
And, just so you know, the list of blogs that participated in the challenge will be around at least through the end of the year. That gives you eight months to get through the entire list. More on that later.
The Sound of One Hand Typing
The Sound of One Hand Typing FM
**editor's note: Check out our Helpers page, that lists all the awesome bloggers donating their time to make the Challenge run well! We hope you'll visit and tell them you appreciate their work! ~AJ **