Thursday, May 31, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

This is my final post of the 2012 Wordcount Blogathon.  I hope I am a better blogger for it.  Last year's Blogathon launched me, I truly believe, as a writer.  My next challenge, the Author Blog Challenge starting on June 2, may either launch me as an author in training (as far as "will I ever be a published author?") or convince me that blogging is as far as I should go.

So, a look back on the 31 days of the Blogathon.

What's New and What Have I Learned?

I now have a Facebook page for my blog, Ramblin with AM.  If you enjoy my blog, and are on Facebook, swing by and "like" me.  Wouldn't have taken that step without the Blogathon.

I swapped posts with two other bloggers, and hope to be able to do it again with both bloggers later this year.

I got an iPhone right before the Blogathon. What a learning experience.  One thing I did, as a result of using my phone to read blogs, and participating in the Blogathon, is that I decided to experiment with not using Captcha on comments.  I've done enough commenting now to know how frustrating certain of the things we bloggers do to prevent spam can actually prevent readership, not just spam.

Thanks to a guest blogger I swapped posts with, I found out about photo compression - and am now using compression software.  Thanks to a comment by another Blogathoner, I am going to look into watermarking my photos.

My blog was mentioned on  an Internet radio broadcast.

How have I done?

My most popular post was "Pinterest, Spam and a Dash of Porn", which leads me to believe that
a.  If you write anything about Pinterest, readers are going to come.
b.  If you mention porn.....well, never mind.

Perhaps I should rename my blog "Ramblin' on Pinterest"?

My Civil War posts and some of my flower photography posts got good traffic, too.

But, interestingly, the most referrals to my site are coming from (I googled this) a Russian attack site.  I never click on any links in my traffic stats, and it is a bit painful to realize that referral spam is still quite alive and well.

It's hard for me to know my true traffic because I'm only using Blogger's built in tools.  So that brings up the age old question:  should I leave Blogger?

Have I Been Able to Read Many Blog Posts and Find New Blogs I Like?

Not as much as I would have liked.  I lost nearly a week to an infection and generally not feeling well.  And, because of a lot of participants, the Blogathon, in all honesty, was like (another cliche) drinking from a fire hose.  There was way too much to absorb.  But I did find a few new blogs I will be visiting after the Blogathon ends.

What do I Need to Do Now?

Believe in myself more.   Build my confidence to take the next step, whatever that turns out to be.

The common wisdom says bloggers should focus on one subject.  But that isn't me. I get bored concentrating on one thing. I think my weekly features do help me focus.  There are Civil War Sundays, Wednesday Spring Things (which will need to be renamed in three weeks) and Sustainable Saturdays, plus  Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

As for what I will be doing the next month in an Author Blog Challenge-I truly have no idea.

And so..four questions for you, my reader, as I move forward:

If you are from the Blogathon, do you feel it was a success for you?  Do you think you will be carry forward the momentum?

For any reader,  is there anything you would like to see more of on my blog?  Or less?

And now, to dream another 11 months, to the next Blogathon.


  1. Wow, what a thoughtful summary! I'm just glad I made it to the end of the Blogathon! Tomorrow is a day of rest. Looking forward to reading more as you begin the Author Blog Challenge, Alana!

  2. Congratulations for finishing Blogathon 2012, Alana. Love your focus on sustainability and local living.


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