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Monday, March 23, 2015

Challenge Tip – How to Make Friends! Plus the Challenge Theme Reveal is Today

One of the goals of the Challenge, besides posting daily the letters of the alphabet, is to make friends.

The very first Challenge, there were only a hundred of us. We got to know one another over the course of the month and made lasting friendships.

Has that changed now that there are thousands of participants? No! The same opportunity to connect is there. And despite the numbers, I’ve managed to make many new friends every year. So can you.

Here are some tips on how to make friends next month:

Explore the list. Not everyone uses the coding system, but even with just blog titles, you’ll have an idea what to expect. We encourage everyone to visit five new blogs a day, starting with the one right after your own, anyway. Go through the list and note those blogs of interest.

When you find a blog of interest, follow it. Most blogs have one or more follow widgets, or an RSS Feed at the very least. Click on that Google Friends Connect, Linky Followers, or Networked Blogs widget. Show the blogger you are genuinely interested.

Comment on that person’s blog. Friendships are all about interacting and the exchange of thoughts and opinions. Comment on what that person posted about and let him know you read his post and it mattered. Blogging is all about community. Hits and visits don’t tell us much or lead to connections. Comments do.

Return comments on your own blog. That’s someone who stopped by and was interested enough to respond. Return the gesture. Continue the lines of communication. That’s how friendships are formed.

Connect with that person on other platforms–Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc.

Continue visiting after the Challenge ends. That’s the real test – who keeps coming back? Who wants to continue the communication? If you made a connection during the Challenge, don’t let it fade away in the months following.

Friendship takes effort. But it offers the greatest rewards. Next month, make it your goal to make some friends!


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE


And don’t forget – the great Theme Reveal is today!

Looking for some cool themes to follow during the Challenge? Here’s a great list to get you started:



43 comments:

  1. Hi Alex - great tips and I like the idea of visiting 5 blogs a day, starting with the number after your name ...

    I've made loads of friends over the years ... and it's so good to keep the connections going ...

    There'll be challenges - particularly commenting WP/Blogger/Disqus - but don't worry about them ... keep moving on and enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones .. it's an amazing opportunity to be out in this blogging world that has been created here by the A-Z crew.

    Thanks so much - and here's a great April - cheers Hilary

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  2. I often find that I have to use Sunday as a "visit new blogs" day if I get backed up. :) The A to Z has been great for meeting new people, and I've also learned a lot from reading blogs that I normally wouldn't read. In fact, I try and choose at least 1 blog per day during the Challenge which seems totally outside of my usual areas of interest.

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    1. Lisa, that's the day I visit new ones as well. If I'm not still playing catch up.

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  3. Great tips here, Alex. It definitely shows the adage is true...to have friends, be a friend.

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  4. Great tips here, Alex. It definitely shows the adage is true...to have friends, be a friend.

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  5. Thanks Alex! I can feel the heat already, although it's cold here in my part of the world.

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  6. I like the emphasis on meeting new people. Surprisingly, there is an art to a good comment. I have had to work on reading and creating a meaningful comment to replace "Nice blog" or "Good thought".

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  7. Great tips and so true I have made some incredible friends. However, I was lying around 71 on the list and I seem to have disappeared.

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  8. Excellent post, Alex!

    We're so lucky to have this kind of platform to meet new bloggers!

    Heather

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  9. Some helpful tips... it's going to be a great month! THANK YOU!

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!
    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!

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  10. 5 a day is a good rule. And make the comment count indeed. But the true test is if anyone is around after it is over.

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    Replies
    1. I usually find a few stick as new friends.

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  11. Fantastic tips! I always meet new folks every year. :)

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  12. Hey, guys! So excited to make my comeback after so many years. I miss the AtoZer community. ((HUGS)) Best wishes to all because we are all in for a HUGE ride. <3



    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

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  13. I found many of my favorite blogs during A to Z. I already found four new ones before it even started this year.

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  14. It is a great way to meet new friends and to keep up your writing skills, plus the structure of the A-Z helps those brain cells. Although X and Z have always been a challenge!

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  15. Thanks for the tip. I am so excited to meet new friends and visit blogs (smile)

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  16. Great tips Alex. I always make new blogging buddies. Some people and their writing/topics just click. What is this list? The Theme Reveal? I don't see mine on there. Maybe it didn't go through. I'll try again.
    Play off the Page

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this is the theme reveal list. Not sure why a couple of you aren't showing up.

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  17. Great tips and I plan on doing just that:)

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  18. That's the reason why I've learned to write my posts before April. I can spend the rest of the time making connections and meeting people.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  19. Hi Alex,

    I've been a reader (not a commenter) for years. Thanks for your excellent blog post for encouraging me to comment & the list of blogs to explore.

    To the comments!
    Rachael Stout

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  20. Great tips on how to make friends through not only the A/Z challenge but blogging beyond as well! Good idea too with visiting 5 blogs a day and then finding ones you enjoy in there to comment on and visit more often. I made several new friends through last year's A/Z and looking forward to the same this year :)
    betty

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  21. Wonderful tips to adhere to well behind April!

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  22. I love connecting onTwitter too!

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  23. Great tips. Blogging is all about being outgoing and never more so than during April.

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  24. I didn't sign up for today's reveal, but made a post anyway. Here it is:

    https://sarahmccabemythopoet.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/im-blogging-from-a-to-z-because-im-crazy/

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  25. I didn't realise how many bloggers I had met through A to Z until the reveal posts began to appear in my WordPress reader. There are some really good themes coming up.
    Regarding commenting problems - I try to remember to copy the comment before clicking publish on other platforms - just in case...
    Sue’s Trifles

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    1. Sues, I do that sometimes, especially if it's a long comment.

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    2. Agree with you, Sue. It's fun to meet so many new people and themes. Cheers!

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  26. "Hits and visits don’t tell us much or lead to connections. Comments do." Yep! I agree!
    See you around on the A to Z circuit!

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  28. Great post. Looks like there's going to be all sorts of A-Z folks blogging.

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  29. Great tips and truths. Friendship takes work, but its fun when you do it right and reap the benefits.

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  30. Thanks for these lovely tips! Blogging has helped me meet the majority of my writer friends. I'm so excited to be doing the challenge this year! :D

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  31. Great tips Alex! Just have fun. That's what A to Z is all about. Have fun, met new people, and reacquaint yourself with old friends you have not seen in a while.

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  32. So cool to see so many different themes. Just posted mine as well and looking forward to meeting new people. Cheers to each of you!

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  33. Wonderful tips Alex. Making friends (like you) is the best part of the challenge.

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  34. Excellent tips, Alex! I'm excited for the A-Z blogging party to kick off next week. Making new friends is the best part and the next best thing is learning a few new things along the way. It'll be fabulous fun!!!

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  35. Great tips Chris! That connection, that friendship is what made J-Land on AOL so significant. The loss of that is why so many didn't make or survive the transition to blogger. And it is one of the biggest reasons I am looking forward to this year's challenge more than ever.

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