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Monday, July 27, 2015

One Blog at a Time - Simple Goals for High Mileage on the A-Z Road Trip

Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Arduini
It’s time for another pit-stop on the A-Z Road Trip. Check your tire pressure, fill up that gas tank and pack in some snacks as you continue on our highway adventure of visiting blogs on the 2015 April signup list! 

While you tune-up that browsing engine, remember the way to gaining the most mileage on this road trip is by driving in the lane that suits your ability be effective without any fuss. 

Dave Roller, who completed the April challenge at Home School Dad before transitioning over to YBD: Your Basic Dave, demonstrates that the key in making the most progress is by keeping things simple.

Rather than focus on a set number of blogs per day or week, Dave’s one-blog plan for his road trip activities call for visiting multiple posts on the same blog and then moving on to the next one. If you are looking for some ideas on how to have a more in-depth A-Z road trip experience, here is his recipe for creating maximum impact with plain and simple steps.

Visiting a new blog on the 2015 A-Z signup list and read posts in the following order...
  1. Reflections post
  2. An April blog post, going backwards from Letter Z to A
  3. The most current blog post
  4. Rinse and Repeat the cycle, starting with the reflections post on the next new blog to visit.
Having a simple plan allows you to get (and give) the most out of the A-Z road trip by visiting as many blogs as possible, at your own pace, one blog at a time. Dave’s one-blog approach is about as casual as they come while providing a chance to really dig deep into each new blog you visit and get a more well-rounded feel for what it’s all about. This is especially helpful when visiting blogs that may have done the challenge with topics that differ from what they’re normally blogging about during other times of the year.

So if you ever find yourself running low on gas in the fast lane, switching to cruise control can make your road trip activities a little easier to handle!

 5th Annual Post A-Z Challenge Road Trip

The A-to-Z Challenge Road Trip is hosted by screenwriter Nicole Ayers (The Madlab Post) and author C. Lee McKenzie (The Write Game), accompanied by dashboard buddy, Mario, who finds thecoolest attractions during roadside rest stops. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mario the Muse Contemplates His Next Road Trip

Mario had a great time in Oregon this year. He toured Ashland, sipping wine and taking in shows. He crossed bridges, strolled the beach and even coached the writer with him while she tried to bring in a decent draft.

He was one busy muse, but he held up under the rigors of travel. He not only came up with some inspiration, he took me on a car tour. It seems he's a car nut. Who knew? But he gave me an idea. If I could find a car with a name starting with X, Q and Z, I might consider this as a theme. Do you know of any X,Q,Z cars?

Here are some he fancies and says he wants to take his next trip in. Want to help him narrow his choices by telling him which one to buy?

So which one gets your vote? Since I'm the designated driver (Mario can't reach the pedals) I'm going for the canary yellow one. Raked and ready to roll.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Characters Who Blog

Yay, it's FRIDAY, the best day of the week! And what better way to celebrate it than with the first post-April installment of the Characters Who Blog series? I have a special one today, a character who takes me all the way back to my childhood. He's the man who taught us that we have everything we really need to accomplish our goals within us, we just need to realize it. 

So without further ado, take a peak behind the curtain and inside the blog of . . . 

I hope you enjoyed the blog of one of the most famous wizards in the literary world. And I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Happy Friday bloggers, and as always, happy blogging!

A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy can be found blogging at Pensuasion

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hot Days in the Blogging Time

Here in the US of A, we're into the Dog Days of Summer (which has to do the stars and not with
From Wikipedia
dogs suffering in the sweltering heat). This year those days characterized by humidity and late day thunderstorms, run from July 3rd to August 11th. A great time of year to spend those hot hours inside and writing. Unless you're like me and love this time of year.

I attended a great writing conference in May. On the first day of the conference, participants are offered separate choices for the lunch time speaker depending on their status as published or not. The not yet published attendees usually have a speaker that fits their needs. The published authors' speaker is nearly always someone offering advice on promotion.

This year our speaker was Jane Friedman. Jane has a great blog with lots of information for writers of all levels. She's offering a  live webinar tomorrow, July 16th on How to Blog Meaningfully and Grow Your Audience. It's pretty pricey for me (about $30/hour) but I'm sure she has lots of good ideas.

But do A to Z 'ers need to take a class on how to be a successful blogger? I don't think so. There are so many terrific bloggers in this group, all willing to offer advice and lead by example. Haven't we all heard about SEO? Don't we know including images improves our posts and the dangers of including images we don't have the rights to?

I've also seen a few bloggers worried as they take breaks from blogging because of deadlines, vacations or personal issues. Will they lose followers? Will the WWW collapse or live on if a blogger takes a week or LONGER off? I believe a blogger can take a short break, especially if they let their faithful followers know they're going to be off line for a while. And if that blogger continues to visit and comment on other blogs while they're on break, they'll keep their connections alive. Check out some info Alex J. Cavanaugh shared on Monday about blogging frequency.

Would you pay for a webinar to help your blog grow? Are you taking a blog break this summer or do you take one during another time of year? Think it's okay to do that? Do you enjoy the dog days?