Monday, May 5, 2014

Has the jury reached a verdict?

2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge Reflection

2014 was my second year participating in the challenge. I expected more this time. More from myself, and more from potential readers/commentors/followers, or should I say, more specifically I wanted more of them, not more from them. I am not a blogger. I am an author who blogs to share my views on whatever grabs my attention or pulls at my heartstrings. However, my blog is mainly a promotional vehicle for my novels, and to a lesser extent my short stories. My efforts over a number of years have produced very modest results, and the 2014 A-Z Blogging Challenge has served to reinforce my view that I could be the most 'not an overnight success' author in the world. (I dip my lid to the master of hyperbole, the late Bryce Courtenay.)

Furthermore I have garnered additional evidence for my claim that most people want fluff and noodles. Despite being a realistic optimist, I think most of my posts on Square Pegs are too dark and heavy, and they make people uncomfortable rather than splash them with sunshine and rose water.

I wish to very sincerely thank the 25 visitors to Square Pegs during the challenge for the 72 comments they made, and for their own blogs which I mostly enjoyed, even when they weren't really my kind of thing. Here is a list of my top 5 visitors with a link to their blogs.

Liz A          
Sharon Himsl
Vikki Thompson
Maria Dunn
Alicia Ceresa

My favourite new blogger discovery was Gunmetal Geisha who I confess to falling in love with from the reading of her first post.

Gunmetal Geisha

  My most commented on post was the last one. Z is for Zanzibar, and my least, with an extremely disappointing zero comments was S is for Sex Workers. Can you imagine labeling a post with sex and sex references, and not getting any comments? Links for both are here for your pleasure. 

I think the blogging challenge has some problems now because of its size, and for the record, I'm not sure it's cool to skip days, or to combine letters or to have single sentence posts. Having said all that, I will return in 2015,and I look forward to continuing more wonderful interaction in the amazing diversity of blogland.


  1. There are many lessons to be learned from this challenge. This is my first time, for example, visiting your blog simply because... I never saw a link for it until today. I tried to focus comments on people around me on the original link up plus those who commented on my blog with the occasional tweeted post thrown in from time to time. I'm going to go read your sex worker post now, as I am sure many others will.

    I haven't ever had a 100% positive experience from A to Z - this was my fourth year - but there has always been enough to have me return repeatedly.

    Julie Jordan Scott
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

    1. Thanks Julie. Welcome to Square Pegs. Thanks for your comments. My strategy was the same as yours, and I too will definitely return in 2015.

  2. It's good that you are getting insight about yourself and blogging by participating in A to Z. There are many reasons why I think it's good to participate and an awareness of ones performance and the outcome is important to the usefulness of the Challenge.

    I think that one can either be a successful super blogger and invest most of ones time in doing that or one can strive for success in writing or some other endeavor and use the blog as a tool without becoming overly involved in doing it. I suppose there is also the happy medium for those who are super organized or have a luxury of time and resources, but I don't think most of us are in this camp.

    You seem to recognize where you are along with limitations and strengths.. A to Z is not a magic fix for ending up with a massive amount of followers. It is a tool that can be used to facilitate blogging education, content production, and tapping into community. I think you've got a realistic perspective on all of this.

    I've experimented with using the word "Sex" in a title and as a topic and tag and never got much in the way of increased views or comments. Maybe there is now too much or maybe "sex sells" is more mythology than reality.

    Congratulations on completing this year's Challenge.

    Happy blogging and success in your writing!

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  3. Thanks Arlee. You say A to Z is not a magic fix for ending up with a massive amount of you have one then? ;-) I enjoyed it mate. A very worthwhile enterprise. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Sure, there are plenty of people who want fluff. But there are also people who like your kind of blogging as well. It's just a matter of finding them. And the way to find them is to join blog hops like this one. That's how you build an audience (or so I'm told).

    1. Join another blog hop...? We'll see. Did you get my message Liz about the free book offer?

  5. Although I missed the A to Z this year, I hope to participate in 2015. Tradition dictates I participate every other year. Don't ask why every other year, because I don't know, but that's how it's turned out.

    I agree the number of A to Z participants is daunting. It's difficult to choose who to visit even with the blog coding. I do care if the participant takes the Challenge seriously. A dashed off post with nary a thought given isn't deserving of a comment. On the other hand, excessively long posts during the Challenge suggest a different type of thoughtlessness. I almost wish there was a word count limit on A to Z posts.

    While the A to Z is terrific, I think for blog readership and promotion, smaller bloghops are more effective. Connections are more easily established with a small group of participants all tackling a similar topic.

    VR Barkowski

  6. Smaller blog hops..." Okay, thanks for the tip. I agree with the idea of a min/max word count, and with your thoughts on thoughtlessness.

  7. Congratulations on completing the challenge.

    I agree that it can be disappointing when certain posts don't get as much attention as you're expecting.

    As for the list, towards the end of the challenge I turned my attention to the list with 100 followers or less because I kept on losing my place in the main list and I felt like they would be a better list to work through. Now I'm working through the Reflections list and I'm going to go on to the Road Trip. :-)

  8. Thanks Click. Nice to hear from you, and congrats back at you. Road Trip is another blog hop I guess? Good luck.

  9. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thanks for sharing. I found visiting all 2,000+ blogs on the original signup list quite the challenge indeed. I started out well, but fizzled out as too many blogs were no longer in existence, others wanted me to sign in with other apps, nowhere to even comment, etc. I changed direction and visited all the blogs on the Road Trip. I'm nearly done with the Reflections list and have about 750 blogs left to visit on the original signup list. Don't know if I'll ever finish those, but I'm happy that at least I made the effort. I'm here today briefly as I try to navigate the twists and turns of the Road Trip…don't forget to wave when you see me drive by. (lol)
    Entrepreneurial Goddess