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Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Be One Step Ahead for #atozchallenge

Hello Alphabet Fans,
I have a quick idea I thought I'd share to make life easier come April. Unlike most of the co-hosts, I haven't written and pre-scheduled all of my posts.  I do have a theme, and I do know what I'm doing for each letter, but that's as far as I've gotten.

Maybe that's where you are, too, or maybe you don't have a theme and are just going to go day by day. That's totally cool, too.  Here's how to make it just a bit quicker each day.

Between now and April 1, go put up a draft of each post.  Here are the steps.

1) Download all of Jeremy's amazingly beautiful letters.  I like to start each post with the letter of the day so that visitors know right away that I'm participating, and on the right letter.  They are under the "banner/badges" tab up at the top.  They look like this.

Pretty, eh?

2) Now go to start to write a post in the compose window.  Insert the correct letter.  Put the letter A as your title, or the real title, if you've picked it out.

3) Pre- schedule the post.  Not sure how to pre-schedule?  I wrote a post about it here.

4) Not sure what day to put each letter on?  Under banners/badges there's a desk top calendar you can use, or in the FAQ, there's a simple list of what letter goes with each day.

5) Be sure to save your post.  It will show up in your post list as a draft.  

6) When you've written the post, even if it's days ahead, be sure to push publish.  It will sit and wait until the proper day and time and then magically, you'll wake up and see your post already up, and with comments!  Because you have turned off the evil CAPTCHA, right?

If it's still on, and you should check your settings under comments to make sure, we have a video in the FAQ about how to disable it.  DO IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T.

I hope these tips are helpful.  If you have any questions, we are all ready to answer them.

Be patient though, AJ and I are pretty busy, so it might take a few days.  If you're in a hurry for the answer, you can email me, Tina, directly.  My email is in the contact tab.

~Tina, A to Z Team

P.S Do you see how useful those tabs are?  If you haven't read them, please do so.  The info we've put there for you will help you have a great A-Z Challenge!


Stephsco said...

Working on mine right now!

JoJo said...

Yes. This. Totally this. Great post Tina!!!! If you are a writer that thrives on the pressure of a deadline then go for it daily. But I found it way, way easier in the long run to pre-schedule the posts which are written in advance or at least drafted. You have a better chance of finishing the challenge if you don't feel pressure every day to get your post up.

Anonymous said...

I have all my posts written, I just need to add those pretty letters to each post. I use weebly for my site and, unfortunately, it doesn't let me schedule, but 99% of the time I can get my posts up in time and the other 1% before noon on the day I want to post.

Nicole said...

Great tips on how to get ahead for the challenge! I wonder if the final step (#6) applies to bloggers on both Blogger and Wordpress platforms.

#atozchallenge Co-Host
***Tune in on Twitter for #AZchat TODAY at 1pm and 8pm EST!***
The Madlab Post

Susan Kane said...

Just finished Z on Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

strong advice. I strenuously suggest you adhere to it.

Tina said...

@ Stephsco: good for you!

@ JoJo: yes, it saved me SO much time last year!

@ Patricia Lynne: Wow! Good for you! I'm not familiar with your platform, though...

@ Nicole: excellent point...

@ Susan Kane: great work!

Unknown said...

Thanks! In fact, I am starting to do some of these things today, and over the weekend. Getting excited!
Play off the Page

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice, Tina. I've always been a "get it done a week before deadline"; otherwise I feel like there's a lurking crisis. It was beneficial to have your tips to double check that I'm ready. I didn't know about Jeremy's beautiful letters, and I hand drew my own (primitive but colorful) so I'll use them at the beginning of each post. I have about 5 more posts to write and about 9 to enter/schedule, then I'm ready to spend April feasting at other bloggers' sites!!

Just to confirm, the hyperlink we should include in every post is Is that correct??

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - great ideas ... thankfully I'll cope - I've done my theme reveal - way to go! I even got my badge up .. the signature hyperlink I still need to be clever enough to set up .. #

Cheers and thanks so much to you, my team leader, and all co-hosts .. I shall enjoy with you - Hilary

Anonymous said...

Great post, Tina! Sharing to help spread the word ...

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I'm behind as well but I will have my posts up on time. No matter what. Thanks for sharing, people only want to share the triumphs sometimes.

Tina said...

@ Primo ArtSpa: we're all getting excited too!

@ SammyD (bemuzin): you should hyperlink to your OWN blog to make it easier for everyone to visit you. If people are in the A-Z Challenge, they know how to get here. Of course, if you want to include both, that's fine. It's good advertising if you visit NON A-Z blogs.

@ Hilary: I still have to write mine...'tis my task for the afternoon

@ MJ: thanks for the support!

@ WordsPoeticallyWorth: you're welcome!

@ Sheena: I always tell it like it is...

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Anonymous said...

Good advice .

Unknown said...

Half way through!!

J said...

I am trying to write as many of my A to Z blog posts in advance, but this week I have also started commenting on people's blogs who are on the list so I can get a head start the year with the two blogs I am participating with.Sweetbearies Art Photography
Sweetbearies Art Projects

Jo said...

Good advice Tina. Glad I've got mine all done though, and I used the daily letters.

eyelove808 said...


Tina said...

@ Yvonne: you should be giving US advice, Ms. Original Challenge Girl! :-)

@ Carrie-Anne Foster: way to go!

@ J Hanna: awesome! That's a great strategy!

@ Jo: way to go my awesome minion!

@ eyelove808: jealous...congrats! good work.

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

cleemckenzie said...

Step by step. The only way to go. Thanks Tina.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

wonderful entry Tina! xox jean!

Michelle Stanley said...

These guides are so helpful and I'm learning from them each time. My nervousness is not as bad, I guess being a newbie venturing into the unknown causes that. I have been checking for the captcha button but don't see it as was indicated in another guide of AtoZ. Would that suggest that I clicked all the right buttons when creating my blog? Hope so!

Andrea said...

Nooooooooooo! Part of the challenge is the writing every! Yeah, I know...maybe it's just me! ;)

Unknown said...

Ok is it just me...?? I can't find the banners/badges tap on the Being Retor blog for the alphabet buttons and my 'scheduled' posts never seem to work on blogger. I have tried setting different times etc but I have not had work for me yet! I have done it exactly how you describe in your post and yet it still does not work :-(

Anna Tan said...

I've been doing that :)
But I'm still only up to C... heh

anna @ Deeply Shallow
Love in Penang giveaway running now!