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Friday, January 27, 2012

Making the Sign-up List Work

With the sign-up for the A to Z Challenge starting on Monday, some of you may have questions and concerns. There were almost thirteen hundred participants last year and some people felt overwhelmed. Some signed up but never posted. A few sites were nothing but advertisement.

This year, we are prepared!

The sign-up list will be monitored by all thirteen hosts. We will check every link before the Challenge begins. This should eliminate advertisement and ghost sites.

Once the Challenge is underway, non-participating blogs will be removed. Now, we will give people a chance to get started and benefit of the doubt if they miss a post or two. No problem! But those who fail to post over a long stretch or at all will be removed as soon as they are discovered. Wasting time visiting sites that weren’t participating was a complaint we heard often in 2011, and we want to maximize everyone’s time this year.

Looking at a list of over a thousand blogs is daunting! Here’s the plan for avoiding feelings of hopelessness:

In order for everyone to benefit from the Challenge, we ask that you start with the blog immediately following yours and move towards the end of the list. (Looping back around to the beginning if you ARE the end of the list!)

Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to visit everyone. Can you visit just five a day? Start with the one after yours and visit five each day –  after twenty-six days, that’s a hundred and thirty blogs. Everyone on the list has time to visit five new blogs a day!

By implementing all of this, we hope that everyone will have a great time during the Challenge.

Because if you don’t have fun, we don’t have fun!

And for me, that is cause for Epic Ninja Fail….


  1. i am taking the whole month of april off so i can visit everyone... kidding. this is a great idea, i know i burned myself out not in post... but in visits. it was great though you meet such a great bunch of people.


  2. That is annoying when blogs are listed that aren't participating. I like the plan.

  3. Good plan. I think that'll avoid some frustration in the long run.

  4. Good planning Alex, I wonder if the numbers will exceed last years.?


  5. Great points here, Ninja Man! Five a day IS doable. I like a plan that gives equal attention to participants regardless of what number they are on the list. I was fortunate last year to be in the top 100, but that was actually accidental because I stumbled upon your blog and then signed up. Your new plan is set up to generate lots of visitors for all participants. I for one am counting on the wonderful folks who will be joining us to follow this advice. Met great generous bloggers last year.

    Tina @ Life is Good

    Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

    Twitter: #atozchallenge

  6. I really enjoyed last years challenge (my first) and I've been looking forward to this years for some time! Love the idea of starting with the person after you on the list...that way, everyone will get equal attention!!

  7. Sounds like you all are prepared! I can't wait:)

  8. Five a day seems like a good plan. Part of the reason I hesitate to sign up is because of the time factor in visiting other blogs. Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Good points! We certainly don't want epic ninja fail. *shudder*

  10. I have to admit that the challenge seemed too...well...challenging until you gave the great idea about how to visit the others. That's the big issue. On other blog challenges, I like to visit as many as possible when I commit and it's hard when the list is HUGE. Great idea. I'm still on the fence. I need to make a decision on this.

  11. Sounds like you are very well organized, which is great and five a day is not too overwhelming.

  12. This is a great idea, I was wondering how I would manage to visit so may people but now that's one less thing to worry about.

  13. I agree, that it was a little overwhelming last year. I think it's a great idea to commit to visiting 5 sites a day. I also like the idea of beginning after your own. That way everyone gets a visit from folks, not just the top few entries.
    Good luck with the challenge!! Hope to meet some great bloggers.

  14. I think many will find this reassuring. Thanks for the great tips, Alex.


  15. This is a GREAT plan.
    Five blogs a day is manageable. Starting with the blog immediately following yours ensures that every body gets a visit at some stage or the other.

  16. All great ideas. Anything this big needs a little structure for the benefit of all.

    I look at the HUGE list with gusto. It is like discovering a huge yarn store (I am a knitter), and having unlimited funds and unlimited space and unlimited time to browse and shop and adopt new yarns (blogs)!

    I am very excited.

  17. Seems very fair and democratic. Good plan, Alex!

  18. Jeremy, last year I couldn't visit them all.

    Yvonne, I bet they will!

    Tina, I saw so many blogs last year that were in the middle or towards the end that had no visitors, which was sad.

    Laura, no we don't!

    Brinda, join us!

    Kathy and Mish, exactly.

    Knitter, good analogy!

  19. And the last thing we want is epic ninja fail!

    Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to it and thankful I have the time for it this year :D


  20. Thanks. I love that you're suggesting a logical organized way for participants to view other blogs. Sounds like a winning plan!

  21. Blogger hates me. It appears as if it ate my comment. You seem to have worked out a great many windows of opportunity for those who would ruin the fun, Roland

  22. I'm actually one of the probably very few people that visited over 1000 blogs last year. Maybe I can do better this time around. Can't wait to try. ;-)

  23. That's what I'm planning to do, visit 5 blogs minimal daily. I'll do my best.

    I'm feeling like I need my inhaler. :)

  24. What a great challenge! I'm looking forward to discovering so many new blogs! May I add my blog to the list as well?

  25. Good plan. I've not seen this challenge before. Must find out more...

  26. Jen, no Ninja fail!

    Roland, sorry about your first comment!

    Misha, press on! You have my admiration.

  27. With all host monitoring the signup list this year, it looks like A to Z is shaping up to go a bit smoother this year, concerning those marketing blogs and an inactive blogs. I have high hopes for the A to Z Challenge and am almost certain that it will be just as fun, if not more fun during the challenge.

    I agree, 5 visits a day IS doable for everyone who is participating this year and I actually like that number because I set out to visit 10 a day last year and almost went out of my mind trying to meet that mark everyday and then felt like I didn't visit enough by the time the challenge ended and there were still hundreds of blogs on the list that I didn't get around to checking out.

    It looks like Misha has the blog visiting thing down to a science...I'll have whatever she's having, please!

    The Madlab Post

  28. Great tip Alex to start with the blog following your own. That will really help people focus I think.

    I am so thankful to all of you hosting for what you are doing. The checking for ghost sites and advertising sites and removing non-active sites sounds like a lot of work for you guys, but it will really do a lot to keep the excitement momentum of visiting new blogs daily when there is this new element of quality control!

    And Misha, WOW indeed!

  29. Excellent advice. I'm making it a personal challenge to visit every blog - although not all in April :-)

  30. I hope it is ok to combine two alphabets into a single post? Thanks for the tips and hopefully I won't be overwhelmed by all the talented people this year.

  31. Nicole, I have no idea how she does it!

    Alana, we want to make it fun.

    Rek, if you miss a day and have to combine, that's all right.

  32. Fantastic post Alex.

    As you say, if everyone can visit a few blogs a day it's a win win for us all - I used this strategy last year and found it very doable!

    I'm looking forward to making the rounds with you and the team. I'm rather excited to see how the numbers shape up!

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  33. Hi Lee and Alex .. as you say there's something for everyone here .. and in advance - thank you for filtering out the "wobblies and time-wasters" that will help enormously ..

    Cheers - looking forward to sign up tomorrow .. Hilary

  34. Jenny, it's going to be huge this year.

    Hilary, we don't want those to waste anyone's time.

  35. I'm very much looking forward to participating this year. It'll be my first, and I'm excited! I can't wait for the registration to begin.

  36. Last year, I seem to remember that if you clicked the A to Z button on your own blog, the list of participating bloggers would appear. Mine doesn't do that now, will it?


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