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Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for efficiency in the A - Z

Working the A - Z requires a certain amount of effort and efficiency for all bloggers involved. Here are some tips for making your A - Z journey a little bit more efficient.

1. Keep up by posting the letter of the day. Getting behind in your posting can be frustrating, and it’s very time consuming to catch up again. Luckily, we have Sunday off to catch up, or take a breather and simply catch our breath.

2. Blog hop by visiting those who visit you. In the interest of efficiency, click on links from their comments too, rather than navigating back to the main list all the time.

3. Choose a section of the list and visit those blogs. Make it a manageable number, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

4. Visit your new followers to build your own community and network efficiently.

5. Pre-schedule your posts for a couple of days or the week, leaving you more time to blog hop and get to know more bloggers.

These are only a few ideas about how to be more efficient in the A - Z Challenge. We want to know your tips and tricks for being efficient in this electrifying annual blogorific event. Please share them in the comments. Thank you.

Here’s to all you wonderful A - Zers out there! We hope you’re having a wonderful time, getting lots of exciting comments and meeting a ton of energetic bloggers out there!

M. J.


©2014 All Rights Reserved

72 comments:

  1. Thank you! Great advice to keep up and and not get discouraged if you're behind. Sundays off is a great idea :)

    2 Smart Wenches

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    1. Sunday's off will definitely help me catch up :)

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  2. I'm doing most of the things you've mentioned, as I'm a repeat A to Z-er from 2012. I get a scratch list beside me to keep track and I've been visiting more than five a day. Enjoying the variety of subjects and especially the photos. Thanks MJ!

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    Replies
    1. Keeping a scratch list is a great idea.

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  3. Thank you for the useful and important piece of information.

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  4. Hitting a few in the morning with my tea and a few more at night with a glass of wine. Found some go backs. Still, a lot of bloggers have a very difficult comment set up, and still bloggers are not commenting back. I hope next time around or by the end of this they will fix it.
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it would be helpful if all bloggers made it easier to comment and find their blogs, when they comment.

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  5. Some good advice there! We've been writing our posts the day before, that way we have plenty of time to ensure we've included everything :)
    berniethefrenchie

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    Replies
    1. It does help to write your blogs ahead of time. I'm glad it's working for you.

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  7. Don't just visit. Comment. Let people know you stopped by. And for the bloggers....make finding your comment section easy. If I have to search too hard, I just move on

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    1. It sure makes a difference, when you leave a meaningful comment.

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    2. But sometimes I visit a blog and I really have nothing to say. In those cases, I figure it's not for me, and I move on. We can't all love all the blogs; I like to spend more time with those that really do appeal.

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  8. I try to schedule posts at least a day in advance and more if I can manage it but I sometimes end up writing the same day. Also, because of the time difference (I'm living in the middle east) I tend to check new blogs in the late afternoon or evening.

    LittleCely blogs at LittleCely's Blog.

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    1. You can only do what you can do. At least you're enjoying the Challenge.

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  9. Efficiency is the only way to complete and reap the benefits of such a magnificent challenge like this.

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  10. Replies
    1. And have fun while you're playing too.

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  11. As long as you love to write, this should not be too hard. Live the idea of it!

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    Replies
    1. Ideas are such great influences in our lives.

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  12. I'm working on #5 right now-trying to get caught up and get ahead, so I have more time to check out other blogs. This challenge is definitely the most complex one I've ever done, but it's also been the most fun!

    Finley Jayne
    http://finleyjaynesbookshelves.blogspot.com/

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  13. Clicking on the links from the comments is a great idea! It ensures that you don't miss anybody who has paid you a visit...

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    Replies
    1. And it helps you visit new people too.

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  14. Writing ahead is key! I have written about a quarter of mine before Arpil started and a few more ahead of their days as time goes on.

    Rhi
    scruffy-duck.net // Welsh Bloggers

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  15. So far, so good. I am trying to get ahead of the game and schedule posts in advance, but that's not working out as planned as I have so many other writing projects. I'm ok with that. As long as I write my post that day and get it done, I'm completing the task. That's a win for me!

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    Replies
    1. And don't forget to visit and comment on those who visit you.

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  16. My son's illness almost made me quit yesterday, but I've handled tougher situations and didn't, and I read D. Biswa's post on Determination and Drive (I think it was) and that was the encouragement need to post letter E. All the #Atoz advice has helped and I am pacing my self much better now.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your son. That's a tough one. I'm happy to hear the co-hosts have been so helpful and encouraging to you, and that you're staying in the Challenge.

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  17. This is exactly why I was unable to take the challenge this year. I was not sure that I would be efficient enough to work at it. Very true "E" word. Thanks

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    1. We miss you, but enjoy your visits to our blogs anyway :)

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  18. And for the love of god TURN OFF THE CAPTCHA!!!!!!!!

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  19. And make the posts shorter. Much shorter. If I have to scroll down more than one or two times, I give up and just comment how it was such a good post - and then I rush on to the next blog. I just don't have time to read lots!

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    1. Long posts do make it a bit more challenging, don't they?

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  20. Replies
    1. And enjoy the journey to all those new blogs...

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  21. I enjoy visiting back and forth - I believe as of now I am actually ahead. I don't keep track of where I've commented, I just trust people will visit me and comment as they feel lead. I comment every single blog post I visit. I know not everyone does that, to me it is about respect. I'm glad for tomorrow as I've almost got all of next week's posts written and I should be able to get next week's all finished (and maybe more!) tomorrow!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    A to Z Challenge Participant/2011,12,13,14.....
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

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    1. Getting to know other bloggers and making friends with them is one of the biggest benefits of this Challenge.

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  22. I spy with my little eye something that looks like a frog . . . WHAT?

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    Replies
    1. F isn't until Monday - oh, how the alphabet begins to blur after a week or so.

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  23. Fortunately, I have all of mine pre-scheduled for the month, which makes it easier for me to both blog hop (which has become increasing difficult as I'm finding blogs that are either not participating or are closed) and keep up with my 130+ subscriptions.

    A-Z Challenge at Father Nature's Corner

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    1. We're working on that...the first week is always a little hectic, as we start checking the list and checking it twice.

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  24. Replies
    1. I hope they make your experience all the more enjoyable.

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  25. I agree to all of your suggestions. I think I have a better handle on it this year.

    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/2014/04/can-you-dig-it-elegant-earth-tones.html

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    1. It can get a bit overwhelming, but if you keep moving forward, you're going in the right direction.

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  26. I find that pre-scheduling my posts has helped a lot. I have taken the time to comment on a lot of blogs on the list, and some people have been really good at commenting back. Others have not, but that is to be expected.

    Sweetbearies Art Projects

    Sweetbearies Art Photography

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  27. Hi MJ - great advice .. even though I'm an well seasoned A-Zer .. next year and I hope there will be one! - I must write my posts and have them scheduled before the time ..

    Still I'm getting around and about and meeting some lovely new friends .. and today apart from writing some posts - will be commenting on new visitors .. cheers Hilary

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  28. Some bloggers are producing an index/contents for a to Z to help visitors find their posts. Sue's Trifles http://suestrifles.wordpress.com

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  29. Great job M.J. ! I can't think of any further tips--you did post a wonderful collection!

    jean :)

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  30. Thank goodness for a day of rest! *lol* Between AtoZing and that Kentucky basketball game last night, I am tuckered out!

    I try to go between answering a comment on my own blog, to reading a blog to which I subscribe, to my minion list, to the after me in the master list. I don't know how many cycles of that (rarely smooth, btw) I go through in a day.

    Part of me wants to 'jump ahead' to next year, because I came up with a really great theme. Then I get real and tell myself, hey, get through this year first! *lol*

    The AtoZ hosts, co-hosts, my sister and brother minions, participants and supporters ROCK! :O)

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  31. Thanks for the very useful tips. I do wonder if I have bitten off more than I can cope with, though to date I have drafted up to Letter L and know what I will be including in the rest of the challenge. This is my 2nd year and I have tried, not too successfully to reduce the length of my main text. But, like Luann I have already come up with a theme for 2015 which I am enthusiastic about.

    http://scotsue-familyhistoryfun.blodpost.co.uk

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  32. I knw I could have a better method than writing the next day's posts the night before, but am afraid if I switch it up now I will kill the mojo!

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  33. I was surprised that I was able to keep up this week, but it helps knowing there isn't a certain time when the post is required to appear because I generally do my writing at night. I agree--it's best not to get behind! When I participated last year I built up a list that I follow and that helps, but it's been fun meeting new people and reading new blogs this year. I like the tags that tell you what the blog is about so I know what to expect--great idea!

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  34. Excellent ideas....now to get caught up reading today so I can write tomorrow!

    D.B. McNicol
    A to Z: Romance & Mystery...writing my life

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  35. I'm prescheduling them--so that definitely works great. I've been going down the list, commenting blogs, too...and if someone comments back, I comment theirs the next day and so forth. I have noticed quite a few people still have their captchas on...and some are quite wordy. Seems with this many blogs to write, they'd want to keep to the "brief" rule!

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  36. First of all, this is my first A-to-Z and I am enjoying it very much. Working ahead has gone a long way toward making this challenge managable. I am a full week ahead in my posts so far and that is freeing me up to make the rounds, as it were. Glad to meet so many varied writers, as well. Not having trouble finding those who have a passion for education and children (as all my posts are themed that way), as well as, muisc and literature, too. So far, so good. Thanks to the organizers for setting this up and to everyone who has found me on my blog or else, welcomed me to theirs. :)

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  37. Any tips for keeping it "brief" - I'm struggling! O Brave New School @rosmaceachern

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  38. This year, I am having so much fun, reading and not writing is easier. I still miss the challenge fun though.

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  39. All good recommendations, MJ. Tough to do, but I am burning the midnight oil to try to keep up and visit. Its good to have some system.

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  40. Thanks so much MJ and have an excellent efficient week!

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  41. This is my first A to Z and I've had more bloggers visiting me this past week than I ever had in the past few months. It's such a great exposure :) I'm doing the scheduling thing because it gives me a peaceful mind and also a chance for me to visit other bloggers.

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  42. Thanks, MJ. All excellent advice! I'd add to try not to stress. This is supposed to be fun, and if you see it as a chore, well, that's not as much fun.
    Returning comments is really important, it's a matter of etiquette, too, though not a "written" rule, it's considered the right thing to do. PLEASE make it easy for people by leaving a hyperlink, or if you didn't understand that post, just leave your URL.
    Please don't send me to google+. Your chances of me finding your blog in with all your other stuff are very slim...I just don't speak google+ yet...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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  43. Who in their right mind would put the A to Z challenge in the middle of baseball season. No stress here - gone at least 4 hours a day at games and practice when I'd rather be home, reading and commenting on blogs. Now, I'm behind and working hard to catch up. At least today, I have the morning to myself, no practice until the late afternoon. I am going to enjoy myself in blog land!

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  44. this is great advice thank you !!!! mine is here http://ussminnow1964.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-z-challenge-day-5-e.html

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  45. This is all excellent advice. I would only add this: Just keep swimming. I'm several letters behind at this point. I still plan to get through the letter Z, but I will definitely be limping over the finish line. And that's okay. The point {for me} isn't perfection. The point {for me} is to have fun, make new friends, and grow my circle. Regardless when I end up reaching the end, if I'm doing these three things, I'm still #Winning in my book! :)

    I'm participating in AtoZ, too. See you around!
    ~Andi-Roo
    @TheWorld4Realz / TheWorld4Realz.com

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