The best way to increase your chances for having a great Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge experience is by actively working specific areas of this blogathon to meet goals you have (whether formal or informal) for your blog in April. Even among bloggers who do not have solid long or short-term goals for blogging through the 26 letters of the alphabet; chances are that when you sign-up, you do so with a set of expectations or hopes for what you want to get out of your participation in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge.
On Monday, Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out filled us in on the secret to this challenge – it’s about the letters, but it’s also about the numbers.
"Hyper Blogging" is what he calls it; a kind of blogging on steroids that is necessary action for participants who aim to see any real significant increase in your number of subscribers, fans, friends, followers, visitors and comments – or whatever area you are seeking a boost in for your blog. As founder and ruler-of-them-all when it comes to the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge, Arlee has a great point when he emphasizes that you have to put in the work to see results.
I’ve participated in this challenge long enough to understand how its mere size can be enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned bloggers. Since we cannot be everywhere all of the time, while trying to visit nearly two thousand blogs in 26 days, it’s beneficial to use those A-to-Z goals, expectations and/or hopes as a foundation for your plan of attack on this April blogathon. Focus on activities that lead toward what you want and do less of the online stuff that doesn’t move in that same direction. Here are some ways that you can get your numbers up during the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge without returning to your blog empty-handed by the time May rolls around.
The Key to Playing the Numbers Game
Locate the objective that most matches what you want out of the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge and then focus on doing the activities listed for those particular goals during April. You don’t have to ignore all of the other activities altogether; just make sure to pay close attention to the actions that directly serve you, your blogging interests and your reasons for participating in the challenge.
Want more comments on your blog? Do these activities:
- End your blog post with a question
- Leave a comment on every blog that you visit.
- Blog about a controversial topic (Tread lightly here when swimming in controversial waters, and choose topics at your own risk.)
- Reply to comments on your own blog.
- Write a blog post comparing something such as baby names, products, people, services, situations, songs, movies, etc.
- Reciprocate comments by visiting and commenting on the blogs of those who left a comment on your blog.
Want more people to visit your blog? Do these activities:
- Visit additional blogs on Sundays when we have the day off from blogging in the A-to-Z Challenge, and then leave comments on these blogs.
- Use the #atozchallenge hashtag on Twitter when mentioning your blog posts that are related to the challenge.
- Add your blog URL below every comment you leave on other blogs. You do not need to know HTML to do this. Writing out the URL address (www.yourblog.com) will suffice.
- Become a minion for one of the Co-Hosts. (It’s a lot of work in addition to what you already have in store as a challenge participant, but being a minion also comes with various perks such as having your blog featured on in A-to-Z Blog posts as well as on the blogs of Co-Hosts.)
- Make your blog posts shareable by adding a “Share this” button or related social media links to your A-to-Z Challenge posts, allowing readers to share them on their blogs or among their social networks.
- Link to other blogs that are participating in the challenge and/or feature another blogger in one of your blog posts. He or she will likely announce the news – either on his or her own blog or in their respective online social circles.
- Swap guest posts with another blogger who is participating in the challenge. (For example, you can write a guest post for letter L or N on another blog and that blogger can give you a guest post for Letter M or O. This can be an effective way to increase readership outside of your own circle of visitors.)
Want more subscribers/followers/fans, etc. of your blog? Do these activities:
- Place subscribe buttons and/or forms in your sidebar above the fold (near the top of the sidebar, positioned high enough that visitors do not have to scroll down the page to find it).
- Add your social media handle (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google + or whatever your pimping) to your signature at the end of your blog post or in your comments when visiting other blogs. (Don’t go crazy here, or else people will be quick to consider you a self-serving spammer. Pick a social profile...or two but I really wouldn’t recommend listing more than two...that is most important to you and use that one and that only. Notice I did not mention your blog URL. That’s because if you’re interested in followers, then it isn’t necessary for your blog URL to be listed in your comments because your blog address should already be prominently featured somewhere on your social media profile and easy for your social network to access. Duh!)
- Make hybrid content for your blog posts, that can double as content for your social media websites and/or vice versa. (Meaning....If you are active on Instagram, write a blog post about one of the photos that you posted there, add the proper tags such as #Instagram, etc. and then share the blog post URL on FB or other social networks that you belong to. Grab a quotable section from one of your blog posts such as a short blurb that could stand on its own and Tweet it or Pin it or Tumblr it, all while making sure to add/embed a permalink back to your original blog post.)
What are the reasons why YOU participate in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge?
Do YOU get the results that you hope for when it’s all said and done?
Nicole Ayers at The Madlab Post