Friday, April 5, 2013

E: Must read---Every #AtoZChallenge Participant Deserves Visitors..and some MUST DONTs

A to Z Challenge is all about building community, so I would encourage all of you to go visit as many blogs as possible. That's the only reliable way to grow the audience of your blog. At the bottom of this post, I'm adding a few links that I think could do with more followers.

Now, the super-awesome Mina Lobo from my AZ team has volunteered a post on how best to go about giving and receiving comments, so I'll let her take over from here:
 MUST DON’Ts for the 2013 Blogging from #AtoZChallenge

Howdy, folks. I’m Mina Lobo, from Some Dark Romantic, and a helper to Ato Z co-host, Damyanti. As I go down the linky-list, checking up on my allotted group of A to Z-ers, I’m finding a lot of the jazz that drives the average blog reader le cray-cray. Please believe you’ll enjoy far greater blogtivity (blog-activity—it’s a technical term) if you heed these words and take prompt action to rectify any of the items below, should you find you’ve been guilty of them (whether by accident or design):

DON’T use Word Verification/CAPTCHA or any such beast on your blog. Those tiny, wavy, blurry letters and numbers are the work of The Evil One. If you insist on using this vile stuff, be warned: the Devil will drag you under by the sharp lapel of your checkered coat! (Props if you can name the showtune or musical from which hails that last bit.) Dunno how to rid yourself of this blight upon the blogosphere? Click here. CLICK HERE NOW!

DON’T fail to leave a link-back signature to your blog when you leave a comment! You’ve been kind enough to leave a note showing your appreciation/voicing your disagreement/requesting an order of fries with that Coke, which is super groovy of you to do. The blogger will, if s/he has a soul, wish to return the compliment by visiting your blog and doing the same. You’ll make it weh-heh-HAY easier for her/him to do so by providing a link-back signature. CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW.

DON’T bury your A to Z stuff all the way the heck at the bottom of that day’s post if you’re combining topics on a particular day (ESPECIALLY if that post has loads of pictures to scroll through). I can’t tell you how close I’ve come to tagging an A to Z participant as a non-participant because I had to scroll down to the very bowels of his/her blog to find the day’s A to Z post. Well, I guess I can tell you—I’ve come very close indeed. If you’re combining a bunch of topics for a day’s post, be sure to stick the A to Z part at the tippity-top of your post. The average individual doesn’t have the time or patience to do all that danged scrolling. (Trust me on this; if I had no sense of duty as an A to Z helper/minion/ninja, I sure as shootin’ wouldn’t.)

All right, folks; if you need to, go fix your stuff. If you don’t, rock on! And if you’ve got any Lindt or Guylian chocolates in need of a good home, Tweet me.
Now that you know how to give and receive comments, make sure to drop by the following blogs and spread some love, in order to receive some love in return:


If you want to access all the posts tagged #AtoZChallenge across a lot of different social media check this out:

Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy day 5 of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge, and may you all get as many comments as our Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh!


Andrea said...

Yes! Kill the captchas! Oooh, so glad I already follow one of the blogs you suggested as it makes me feel like I have time to check on the others!

Joyce said...

I appreciate the categories this year...I didn't put myself in one because I'm pretty random, but I like looking for blogs that fit a category that interests me.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Captchas are such a waste of time

Here's my entry for E


Laura S. said...

Great don'ts! Most of the blogs I've visited so far have turned off their captchas, thankfully.

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Alternative Foodie said...

I tried my best to comment even with jumping around, but an easy way to comment certainly help a lot. All the best everyone.

Patricia said...

Still tenaciously hanging in there!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tips on the Captcha....mine is off! I hate those things...especially since my eyesight has been going down the drain since my 40th bday. ugh.Thanks again.

Unknown said...

We'll probably do our visiting on Sunday.
If only there wasn't that pesky working business getting in the way of the good fun!

Unknown said...

Those word verifications are horrible. There's a number, like a street address, which I can barely make out if at all. And then the letters are all warped. WTF is that all about?

Kathe W. said...

oh thank you thank you for the tips...nothing is more annoying than the captcha word verification nonsense.
Thanks also for answering my questions so quickly! Cheers! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Hi there and thankyou for this... I am new to the blogsphere and stumbled across this challenge during my first few days of posting. The advice is great and appreciated.

Many thanks Becs

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mino .. Word Verification is a pain - totally agree.

My Signature link - after three years .. I'm still to work out! Also the badge - but technically I'll get there .. better late than never!

And my name does click through to the latest post - not to Google+ where I need to chase around to find the blog and post ..

You're all doing an excellent job and I love the extra love to other bloggers at the end ..

Cheers to all and let's enjoy - Hilary

JoJo said...

Great tips Mina! As for the link back to my blog when I comment, I have tried and tried but I cannot make that feature work. So alas, just click on 'jojo' and then on my blog name once you see my profile. Sorrrrryyyyy.....

I would also add that a few blogs have the 'read more' feature. That needs to be turned off as well. And also, people whose comment feature is at the top, next to the blog title. I've gone nuts looking for 'comment' only to find it up at the top!

Unknown said...

Captchas...Ah, the dreaded captchas. lol

Jessica at Scary-Simple-Smitten

Mina Lobo said...

JoJo, lemme see if I can help you out with that signature business. I'll send you something on Facebook in just a few.

Thanks for reading, all. Much love and luck to y'all throughout the Challenge (and always!). :-)
Some Dark Romantic

Spanj said...

I'm feeling a little guilty; I encouraged several friends to sign up raving on about how many visits/comments they'd get. Checking their blogs, some of the posts have no comments! How can that be I wonder?

They aren't committing any of the blogging sins.

I'm doing A-Z on two blogs and visit 10 blogs everyday, leaving 5 comments with a link to one blog, and 5 with a link to the other. One is getting way, way more comment love than the other (sometimes 10x more!) It's very odd.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

As a minion for Nicole, I've tried to be a little bit friendly concerning captcha. I've been including a note in my messages when I come across this, telling them they will receive more comments if it's removed. Then I do the dreaded detail of deciphering the darn thing (usually multiple times).

Never could figure out the siggy link. Wish it would just work like magic for me already. However, all my blogs go to my Google+ profile, so it's easy enough to find them. That said, yesterday I spent time scrolling my Google+ page and commenting on blogs from there, as opposed to the master list. Several of them had few if any visitors/comments. I was glad they shared on G+, because it gave me an easier chance to find them, than if I had been browsing the main list.

To that end, promote your blogs. Use hash tags and titles that reflect your participation in A - Z. If your blog title starts with the letter of the past day or two, people participating will likely visit...if they can find you easily enough. This list is huge! Promote as if you weren't on it and see if that helps to get noticed better. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, type thing.

Okay, off to do some blog hopping. Hope you're all having fun. Best of the weekend to all!

John Wiswell said...

I've been very curious about the link-back signatures! Thank you very much for linking to how to make one. That'll make life easier. Some blogs have been very hard to track down thanks to nebulous Google+ interfaces.

Anonymous said...

All great advice...
Thanks for the tips.

Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run

Unknown said...

Thanks for the post, Mina.

For those complaining about not receiving enough comments, you need to comment more-- and pimp your post on all kinds of social media!

Kathe W. , if you're reading this, your link goes to your profile with more than 6 blogs listed. I tried to find the one with the challenge, but failed.

Can you list just ONE blog-- make it My Web Page under Contact Me.

If a commenter has to jump hoops to get to your blog, they won't comment.

M.J. Joachim, excellent comments here. Now, if only more people would listen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for sharing the info.. It's really important that this kind word spreads.. Also thanks for linking my blog in your post.. I am grateful..


Anonymous said...

I visited a blog today belonging to someone doing the challenge, and she wrote an interesting post on education. I agreed with what she said and wanted to leave a comment. Then I found out her blog is exclusive to members only. I'd never seen that blogging platform before and no wonder! In order to comment I'd have to join their platform first. I noticed she had no comments from anyone. It might be a good idea for participants to make sure their blog is blogging friendly when doing the A-Z Challenge. Just my two cents on the subject! :)

Anonymous said...

Good tips about getting comments.
I'm afraid for the next few days will only doing a minium as I had both shoulders injected to day and is still very painful, by Monday should be back to normal.


Bhavya N said...

I've been visiting 10+ blogs everyday and most of them have turned off the word verification thankfully. Commenting is so much fun, especially when all that love comes back to you eventually, you feel so great about yourself.

Good luck to everyone :)

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Capatchas - Fekkin' Puke!!!

I've visited all your peeps on the list, thanx for introducing us.

All the Best with the rest of the challenge.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Capatchas - Fekkin' Puke!!!

I've visited all your peeps on the list, thanx for introducing us.

All the Best with the rest of the challenge.

JoJo said...

I've just encountered another odd issue with one blog I am following in A-Z, and that is that the blog owner isn't publishing any comments. It's one of those 'will appear after blog owner approval', but none of her posts show the comments. I've been leaving them from the letter A, and even on a few before the challenge, and she's not publishing them at all.

Printed Portal said...

Great Post - still not got round to trying a linky signature... trying it now in the hope that it works.

Planning With Printed Portal

Putting Pen to Paper

Paula said...

Good Tips
Paula's Place

Debra Gray-Elliott said...

Great reminders

Anonymous said...

I think I finally figured out a way around the siggy thing - I went into my gmail and listed my blogs with signatures there. Then I copied and pasted them in a word doc to use at will. Here goes nothing to see if it works.

M. J.
Lots of Crochet Stitches

Anonymous said...

Well it worked in the email I sent myself. Darn it. Not spamming, just thought I found something a few of us could use. Ugh!

Christine Rains said...

So far, I haven't come across more than two bloggers using captcha. I'm very pleased with that. :) Great post!

Jolie du Pre said...

Here's the problem with the links. For some Wordpress blogs, links are seen as spam. Therefore, sometimes your comment won't show up. This has happened to me so much that I no longer leave a direct link on a WordPress blog. Instead. I'll write something like - PreciousMonsters (I don't run into this problem with Blogger blogs.)

Jolie du Pre said...

Also, I'm visiting blogs, but I'm not stressing over how many. This is a month long blog hop, and I make most of my money with article writing. I typically visit blogs in the morning, and then I'm off to write my articles. My articles come first, and I can't take a month off from article writing. I have bills to pay.

Joe Richardson said...

I'm right there with ya on the verification codes. Honestly, I'd bail on the blogs that do this--but I never see them until I've written a comment. By then, I've invested. Frustrating, this.

My posts are multi-topic, but my AtoZ heads the list. Because, as you say, we don't want folks scrolling to the bowels. That can't be healthy.

E: Edging Toward Home

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hints!

Anonymous said...

I thought I posted already but looks like not.

Anyway, wanted to say that captacha annoys me. Really. I don't want to prove I am human in order to comment on someone's post.

Story Treasury

Jo said...

Captcha is annoying and yet some people continue to read it. As a Spunky Soldier I have advised one or two people that its better to get rid of it.


Rowena said...

Great post, I've turned my captcha on one seems to be commenting much on this blog



Faye North said...

I learned how to do a hyperlink signature today - thank you!!

Faye at Destination: Fiction

Michelle Wallace said...

Great advice!
Thanks for sharing!

Kristen said...

I was following all of those except the link. I thought my name linking to G+ was enough, since I put my posts there, but it does require an extra step... so I went ahead and added the link. I don't do it for the ones where it asks for a link, however, since that one goes directly. Thanks for the tips and the list of more blogs!

Kristen's blog: :)

Ali said...

I don't get enough comments to worry about comment moderation or capcha or any of that. But I'm still having fun!!

E is for "Eat Right and Exercise... whatever that menas"

Unknown said...

Excellent post, Mina. And Jeremy for having Mina. :)

Whenever I see a fairly new blog with Captcha, I always assume they probably don't even realize it's on and give them the head's up. Sometimes people turn it off, sometimes they don't.

I think some new bloggers assume they need Captcha to keep from getting Spam, but all you have to do to avoid Spam (in blogger anyway) is disable anonymous comments.

Anyway, thanks for the great tips and the blog list. :)

Unknown said...

O.k. now I'm confused. I thought it was bad form to leave your blog link on a comment. You guys say you should so the person can return the favor. So people really don't mind if you leave a link? And if so, how does one go about doing that, will it show the link if you just type in the website or do you have to do something special to get it to show up?

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca said...

Woo! What a blast...

I just hit every blog on the list and left a juicy comment, and I have to say, they were quite inspiring posts.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Damyanti (and I love that you included your own blog here -- your theme is cool :D)

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Damayanti,
I missed this,
I am late to reach here
Anyways, thanks for the
wonderful tips again,
The Important Don't.
Sorry Our Great Captain
is miserably missing from
my page, LOL

Courtney Worth Young said...

Wonderful advice and some great blogs as well!


Sheena-kay Graham said...

This is great list of don't. Captcha definitely is a bad idea for this challenge.

Shannon Mashinchi said...

So far so good...Have made it to Friday and the big E! Moving on to the weekend and plenty of blogs to read!

The Other Side of the Equation

Suzy said...

So agree - please no captchas. Thanks for the html code for the link.
Suzy at Someday Somewhere

Mary Kirkland said...

Thanks for the tip on how to make a signature. I used to know this and forgot how. I wrote it down this time.

Dark Thoughts Blog

D..J. Kirkby said...

I am dyslexic and the CAPTCHAS are driving me crazy! Please turn them off!

Tina said...

Way to go Mina! All the stuff when we've been trying to convey, tied up in one neat, funny package. You rock it on girlfriend!

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Jemima Pett said...

If you tell me whether Mindy's sells more strudel than cheesecake then I'll tell you what show rocks your boat!!

Seriously - thanks for the tips again. I still found captchas this morning and one of them I had to renew six times before I got a number that wasnt brown on brown. I don't know why I bothered.

Thanks also for the tutorial on signatures - I'm a dab hand at them now (although I usually copy the first sign off each session to save muself some time). You're doing a great job, AtoZ Captains and ninjas :) I suggest you take a holiday in Cuba - but don't drink too many Dolce di leches (sp)!

Jemima at Jemima's blog

Linda Maye Adams said...

Also adding one more don't since I just passed on a A to Z blog because of it. The blogger was on a platform that that required registration for the platform or using Open ID. But Open ID use required me to confirm by email that I was me before I could post. At that point, I said, "Too much effort" for one comment and passed.

Mina Lobo said...

@J. Keith - there are mixed feelings in the blogosphere about leaving link-back signatures. I think some folks may not like them much but, so long as it's not done in a spammy way, I reckon no one's going to freak out about it. For the purposes of the A to Z Challenge, it's easiest for all concerned if you DO leave a link-back signature. Click on the link provided to learn more about how to make and use one.

I'd like to point out that all thanks for the how-to on linkback sigs should go to A to Z co-host Shannon, The Warrior Muse and all around great gal. :-)

Linda Fischer said...

I'm a little bit discouraged because I think I must have done something wrong in signing up. (I am probably the most nontechnical person in the blog world). I don't think anyone is actually visiting my page and the links I have at the bottom of my page are last year's, I think. I know I signed up; I saw my name on the blog list... but something has gone awry. :( Can you help? I'm at "Unloading my brain to fill it again".

Anonymous said...

from a writer point of view - Amen to it all.
from a reader point of view - yes!!!! please get rid of captcha. It's slowing me down and I want to read read read :D

annucool15 said...

Thank you so much! This really helps? I was not leaving my blog links in comments.

Unknown said...

Captcha makes my blood boil - grrrrr! Especially when I found that using captcha helps Google to scan Google books (since we're identifying words it can't read through scanning). Double grrr!

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom