My point is I was bowled over by how many special interest blogs there are in the world: God, gerbils, guinea pigs, diseases, art, writing (yes, writing is a disease). You name it and I found it in my quest to visit as many A to Z Challenge blogs as possible during the month of April. When the dust settled there was 1,719 blogs taking part in the challenge and despite a serious attempt to get around and say howdy, I only managed to visit 410. "Only."
There were some people who ploughed through a lot more. I don't know where they found the time or the stamina. Alex J. Cavanaugh, the dearly beloved Alex J. Cavanaugh, was EVERYWHERE. He was so busy spreading love dust through the blogosphere that I swear that man was hopped up on bennies and espresso. Either that or he's a zombie or a vampire or some other critter that never needs sleep. (Gerbils don't sleep much... not that I'm saying Alex is a gerbil, but seriously, have you ever seen a close-up photo of his
While the gerbil blogs weren't MY cup of tea, I'm sure gerbil lovers were delighted to find those blogs during the challenge. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Find other bloggers who ARE your cup of tea. People who write like you do, who think like you do – or even if they aren't anything at all like you, they're funny enough, or they're wise enough, or whatever enough to make you want to pull up a chair and stay for a prolonged visit. I found many, many bloggers just like this. I wanted to say, "Where have you been all my life?" but I thought they might have me arrested. Still, I'm a happy new stalker for many of them. That's the best part of A to Z – meeting new people. Socializing like a big old butterfly.
If I liked a blog at all, I gave them a follow. First off, following is the only way I'll find them again. And hey, everyone likes getting new followers – it doesn't cost me a darn thing to give someone a new follow so why wouldn't I do it? I was absolutely thrilled by how my own followers increased during the challenge. I went from 260-something to 398. In the last week my followers crested the 400 mark. Don't think for a delirious moment that I wasn't dancing around the kitchen! It wasn't long ago that I started a blog late one night, thinking that no one else was reading my pathetic bleatings. Then one magical day I got a comment – I just about fell over with joy! Then I got a FOLLOWER! Wooooooot!!! I appreciate each and every person who takes their precious time to read my drivel and to comment on it. (Hugs to you all.)
One of the things I did find difficult was visiting all my "regular" favourites during the challenge. I simply didn't have enough time in the day to get around to see everybody and I apologize to my blogging friends for being absent during April.
Overall, I think the challenge has made me a better blogger. There's more to blogging than just writing a post and waiting to see who reads it. Yes, you have to strive to produce creative, interesting posts but you should also:
1. Respond to people's comments. If they can take time to comment on your blog, you should acknowledge them.
2. Read and comment on their blogs. Follow them, if you aren't already.
3. Support other bloggers any way you can. If I find something I love, I'll mention it on Facebook. Why not spread some joy?
I mean, really, why not?