Showing posts with label self promotion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self promotion. Show all posts

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

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Telling the Rest of the World: Publicizing the Challenge

"WATCH YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER^^" - NAR...Image via Wikipedia
       Li from Flash Fiction requested that we address the subject of getting publicity for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  As an author, Li recognizes that participating in an event such as the April Challenge can add something extra to her writing resume and even more so when people know what the A to Z Challenge is.  How do we go about getting the word out?

       Many of you have already been publicizing the Challenge on your blogs and that is something that is greatly appreciated.  It because of the bloggers like you that the list grows with new participants.  Don't stop promoting the Challenge to other bloggers.  Let's get as many participants as we can.

       But what about the bloggers who aren't part of the community in which we blog?  There are millions of bloggers out there and most of them don't know about the A to Z Challenge.  And how about those who don't have blogs (or at least not yet) who just enjoy reading things on line?   How do we tell those people about the A to Z Challenge?

        One way is getting the word out through the media.    There are many outlets out there through which you can spread the news about A to Z:   newspapers, newsletters, magazines, radio, television, and so on.  Why would we want to do this?  My answer is to be a part of something notable.

        Many of you blog in order to promote yourself or some product that you represent, such as your books or other creations.   When you are attached to something big you gain additional recognition for what you are doing outside the Challenge.  Even if you aren't promoting anything in particular it's still fun to have the bragging rights of being part of something that others have heard about.  If an event or movement that you are a part of "makes the news", you are a part of something noteworthy and you can use that to your advantage.

       In the interest of keeping this post short, I'm going to quickly offer some ways you can help spread the word about A to Z in a bigger way than just on your blogs.

       Here are some things you might try:
        1)    Contact someone you know who has media ties.  Perhaps you know someone who works for a newspaper or radio station, publishes a local newsletter, or is affiliated with an online news distributor.   Let them know about the Challenge.  Be excited about it and ask them if they can help by featuring it in the resource they work with.   Offer to write the story for them.

       2)   Ask someone who knows someone.  Maybe you're part of a committee or have kids on a sports team.  Find out who submits news releases to media outlets and ask them if they can help you make contact.  Or there might be a neighbor or relative who has contacts that can help.  Check around. Be creative.
        3)   Keep your eyes and ears open.  Your local newspaper probably offers a forum for making announcements--add your A to Z announcement for local bloggers to see.  Put up notices on public bulletin boards at libraries, student centers, and other similar places.  Find any opportunity you can to tell others about the A to Z Challenge.  Last year my daughter in New Jersey called me in Los Angeles to tell me about a radio talk show where the topic was blogging.  I got on the phone and before I knew it I was on the radio talking about the Challenge.  Within an hour of that appearance I received several emails about the Challenge from people who had heard me and we saw a spike in sign-ups.
       4)   Be a publicity hound.   Some of you may find self-promoting to be a distasteful activity.  Do it vicariously by promoting the Challenge.  You can drop your name in as a participant and still gain some recognition for yourself.  Get your blog address published and you might get some visitors you might not have otherwise had.  For those of you with product, you may gain new customers.   Self-promo is not a dirty word--it's a necessary part of building your platform.

       These are a few ideas that you can try, but it doesn't end there by any means.  Use your imagination to come up with ways of getting the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge more widely known.  Then tell us about your experiences and send us your links.   We'll tell your story here.

        Last year I offered a series about getting publicity.  This information is not only useful for getting A to Z publicity, but also for promoting your own interests.  Here are the links from last year that you might want to read for more information:

        Here are a couple examples of good press stories:

From Alana at Writercize:    Benefits of Blogging Challenges

Nicki Elson at Not So Deep Thoughts had this one from last year:  

Author Invites Local Bloggers to Join International Blogging Event

             Try it and let us know about your results.  Have you used press releases to promote yourself or something you were involved with?  What are some other ways you can suggest publicizing A to Z beyond the blogs?



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