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Thursday, January 24, 2013

10 Tips to Ace the AtoZChallenge

Win the #atozchallenge !
As your co-hosts, it is always our effort to make the challenge bigger and better than ever before. As we enter our fourth year, I thought it might be a good idea to go over a few ways to ensure you ace the Challenge.


1. Kiss: Keep It (your post) Simple, Short. With so many blogs to visit, your visitors would thank you.

2. Get a Theme: Themes make your posts easier for you to write, and for readers to remember and comment on. Not necessary, but makes things easier.

3. Post every day: This one is obvious, or you'll be taken off the linky list. You don't want to annoy your visitors with a post 6 days old.

4. Pre-schedule: It is not a crime, but rather a convenience. Feel free to write posts in advance so you can concentrate on visits. I'm doing it this year.

5. Check Calendar:  Begin A on April 1 and skip all the Sundays. If not, you'll either be ahead or behind others, none of which is very desirable.

6. Turn off: Turning off word verifications increases comments, not spam. I've turned it off for good since last year. Moderate your comments if you suspect you might be trolled.

7. Visit blogs: Start with those below you on the linky list so everyone gets love. Aim for at least 10 new blogs a day. I'm aiming for 50, but I need to do my hosting duties.

8. Comment love: Comment unto those who comment unto you, and then loads more. Try to answer all the comments you receive.

9. Social Media: Broadcast your posts on all media with the #atozchallenge tag > follow @AprilA2Z on Twitter, and also Facebook  and Google+

10. Relax, have fun: It is not just about quantity, it is also about quality.

There, you have a win! 

PS: This year we'll have Categories for blogs, in response to those  who found the list too big and unfathomable. This will be our first effort, so bear with us while we fine-tune it. More on this in the posts to come.

44 comments:

  1. Excellent tips! I tell people at least five a day - that's still three hundred blogs in a month.

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  2. Great tips especially for first timers.

    Yvonne.

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  3. Thanks for outlining it so simply for us first-timers, Alex.

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  4. Exciting! Maybe I'll join but most of all I'm looking forward to meet with new inspiring bloggers. :)

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  5. Haha awesome tips! I love #1: Kiss! Not what I expected at first.

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  6. Excellent tips and I'm so excited to hear that we'll have categories this year! I can't wait for the fun to begin :)

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  7. This year I'm trying to think up a theme for my posts.

    I'm eager to see the categories, that should make visiting blogs much easier.

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  8. Great tips! I'll link back on my Monday post.

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  9. Hi Damyanthi,
    Back with a Big BANG!!!
    Yet Another Great Tuto
    With excellent tips to
    follow, not only to the
    newbies but also.....:-)
    Thanks for sharing,
    This time i am decided to
    Go on to the finishing line
    Last year due to unforeseen reasons half way stopped, but this time I am sure i can reach the finishing line :-)
    Happy Blogging Ahead!!
    Good Wishes to All my fellow bloggers!
    TC
    Phil

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  10. Looks like it's going to be an even better A to Z experience this year. :-)!

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  11. I don't like keeping the posts limited to 100 words. If it's about quality, then I think it takes more than 100 words, depending on one's theme. Not fond of categories either. Although they help those who only want to visit certain blogs - doesn't that negate the idea in the first place of visiting ALL the blogs?

    I'm still deciding and will have to wait til February to see if I will have the time to do the A to Z this year. Call me unsure at this point.

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  12. greatest... advice and solid advice... thank you!

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  13. I'm looking forward to April and this is only one reason why I am looking forward to it. So jazzed because yesterday I wrote and scheduled my first post! It happens to be the letter H (April 9th!) but , what the heck, I like it!

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  14. This will be my second year of participating; I'm going to try to get all mine done by end of March so I can enjoy visiting more blogs this year than last. I also agree about keeping it short and simple. I know if I visited a blog last year and if it was a really long entry, I tended to move on to another one.

    betty

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  15. Looking forward to my second A-Z challenge and meeting new blog friends :)

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  16. I will definitely take your advice on writing blog posts ahead of time so I can focus on commenting. Great tips!!!! :D

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  17. Prescheduling is something I need to get on top of - I'm always winging it when it comes around to April!

    Jamie

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  18. Great tips! Thanks for the captcha reminder, too!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  19. Good tips! I don't think I'm going to officially take part this year ... It stressed me out too much last year! Maybe I'll do a once a week post with all the letters for that week, just to sort of feel a "part of it" still!

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  20. Great tips! I can't wait to take part this year.

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  21. Hey Damyanti,

    Sadly, there are a number of bloggers who do not take onboard your notable points. Cynically, a number of folks merely use this blogfest as a way of self-promotion and do not understand the ideals of a sharing, caring, all different, all equal blogging community.

    Although I do not do blogfests, I wish all those that do, pay heed to what you have listed and enjoy the A to Z.

    In kindness,

    Gary

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  22. I didn't participate last year, but this year I am very interested. I might be able to time it with the ebook I am working on. Where do I sign up?

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  23. You've made this sound like something I can actually do. Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to my first A-Z challenge.

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  24. All you guys, I have yet to finish scheduling all my posts, but I can tell you I'm terribly excited!

    Look forward to reading all your AZ posts -- co hosts and participants! :)

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  25. I have followed the co-hosts etc, to try and get a little head, so I can devote more time in April to visiting and writing!

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  26. Last April was my first AtoZ, so I'm excited about getting it right this time around. I haven't decided yet on what theme I'm going with, but it has to be something special because April is when I really started blogging "for realz" --- it's kind of my anniversary, so to speak. I like that you will have categories this year; I think it has potential to really help with commenting on other blogs. I'm lousy at keeping my posts short, but enthusiastic about whatever I write, so hopefully that makes a difference, lolz! Regardless, kudos to the whole AtoZ staff for running this shindig!!! :)

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  27. All good tips, Damyanti. I need to start planning.

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  28. These are wonderful tips. I am doing it this year with a different blog--this time Wordpress.

    I had started one, but not done anything with it, so this challenge will be a good motivator.

    Still learning the ropes of Wordpress though, and a slow computer is not helping. I am looking forward to this.

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  29. Sounds like so much fun! Great tips, too!

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  30. Seems like this blog post deserves the credit from all these people. Good job!

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  31. Fantastic advice! Especially great for us newbies!!! I was't going to do a theme but now I can't imagine NOT having one. So much better/easier for the writer AND the reader.

    I especially love the idea of prewriting and scheduling. I noticed my preschedules don't always go out as scheduled... A little hiccup I guess. Good to iron out early. Anyone else have this issue on self hosted WP? If so, email me!

    Thanks again- this community seems pretty dang cool!

    Cheers!

    Erick @ A Brief Sinfonia

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  32. Good tips! I'm combining with Camp NaNoWriMo. I'm doing a seat-of-the-pants mini-mystery. I'm asking my facebook friends etc to pick my words. :)

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  33. Being my first year, I am not sure how the linky list is going to work.

    As I am in Australia, there is a time difference so I will be day early? Should I wait and post a day late my time but on time for America?

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  34. Question from a 1st timer.

    As I am in Australia and there is a time difference, should I post Australian time (one day early) or delay my posts so that I am posting in your time?

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  35. Sharon -- Either way is okay. It's totally up to you. It will make sense for you to post when it's the date in your time zone. The main thing is to be sure to post 26 posts.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host Blog

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  36. These are all great points. Truthfully, I wish people would use the KISS for all their blog posts. It's nice to visit as many people as you can, and when you hit meandering posts, or people who post long excerpts of their writing, it really feels inconsiderate.
    I'm sure the A-Z Challenge will be a great success! :-)

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  37. This will be my first year participating in the A to Z Challenge. I've told a few other bloggers about it and have even set up a new page on my blog to showcase my theme, which is going to be books. My posts have already been written down and I'm looking forward to this new experience.

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  38. I need these tips for starting a blog. I was thinking of a travel blog. I still need to polish my writing skills but I think I just need to buy some time.

    Best,
    Mischna Ong

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  39. Congrats on the e-book, what a great idea! I have a theme in mind and plan to write and schedule all my posts before the end of March. That way i can visit as many blogs as possible in April. Thanks for these tips and constantly working to make A to Z most interesting. Last year was my first year but will certainly not be my last.

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  40. This post is helpful and answered some of the questions I wondered about. BTW,I didn't remember to put a category beside my blog, but it will be miscellaneous (MI), but trying to work with a theme, now that I've read your article.

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  41. Ha! I just realised I prescheduled for Sundays too. Still have plenty of time to fix that, thanks for the info.

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