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Thursday, March 24, 2016

A to Z tips - Keeping track of the blogs you visit during the #atozchallenge

Half the fun is the blogging.
The other half is the visiting.

It is basic A to Z etiquette to visit back the people that have visited you and left comments on your blog. In addition, we also recommend visiting a couple of people from the sign-up list every day, to promote blogging friendships and to support each other's work.

But even if you only visit 5 new blogs a day, keeping track of all of them can become daunting. Since the list numbers change over the course of the challenge as inactive blogs and broken links are deleted, simply visiting by number is not always the best way to go.

Here are some other things you can try. I have done them before and they worked for me, but you'll have to try to see which one works for you best:

1. Bookmark your favorites
Create a new folder in your Bookmarks on your browser, and bookmark any blogs you came across that you definitely want to visit again.
(I usually just clicked "Open all bookmarks", got my morning coffee and cereal while the browser loaded them, and then leisurely clicked through them every morning)

2. Follow / sign up
Even better: Sign up for the blog itself! Bloggers love to see their follower numbers go up during A to Z - they tell us that people didn't just walk by, they want to stay to read more. If you see a blog that you definitely want to keep reading, during A to Z and beyond, make sure to click Follow (if they have a Followers gadget), or sign-up for email notifications.

3. Feedly
If you want to take blog-following to a more organized level, create yourself a Feedly account. You can add any blog to it (Wordpress, Blogger or otherwise), organize them by themes, and it will put all of their new posts into one newsfeed you can easily look through.
WARNING: Feedly allows you to read blog posts without actually going to the blog site. Make sure you go to the actual blog and leave a comment there. It's only polite. 

Important reminder: Make sure to visit blogs that are below you on the list. If everyone starts at the top, people towards the end will get a lot less much deserved attention.

30 comments:

  1. I use feedly. Let's see how it goes. I already have 40 blogs I want to follow and I'm just 1/3 down the Theme Reveal list. I can't possibly do this...
    But I'll try :-)

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  2. I am keeping a list in a Word document. At least 10 bloggers I already follow took part in the theme reveal. And I have had lots of lovely new visitors to my blogs already. :-) Sue

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  3. I sign up. That way I can continue to follow throughout the year. Already I've signed up for some that are posting two to three times a day. Unfortunately, if that trend continues, I will have to unsubscribe them.

    Mary
    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  4. I used to follow their blogs until I realised that I was only interested in their A to Z themes and not necessarily the rest of the posts during the year :P
    So now I've created a bookmark folder named "2016 A to Z" to link all those I want to follow this year!

    Anna
    ATSP @ Deeply Shallow
    @natzers

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  5. I pop all the ones I want to follow in a Pinterest "A to Z" shelf. And there's someone else with similar taste to mine, as they keep showing up as someone who has added the same link!
    Jemima Pett

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  6. Mark it down because otherwise you might not find it again!

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  7. Of course, bookmarks! The simplest option! Why am I complicating my own life? *shakes head* Thanks for the reminder ☺

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  8. I need to start marking the blogs that I want to return to.

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  9. I follow everyone unless it is adult content, too much preaching/politics or volgon poetry. I subscribe to people who post more than once a day. I just don't always read their posts. People post like crazy for A to Z but most slow considerably during the year, especially May lol.

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  10. I'm a big fan of Feedly. It is so organized. I've been using it ever since Google Reader closed down a few years ago.

    i don't like using bookmarks because I don't want to go to a site that doesn't have anything new up. Feedly keeps me up to date on all my favorite blogs in one place.

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  11. I too have utilized Feedly after Google Reader pulled the plug. Love it! I have a folder just for blogs I've discovered through AtoZ, you can organize by interest if need be.
    You can also click on "Visit Website" from Feedly so you CAN comment.

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  12. Go down the list. I am doing it now. After visting first 200, I am now going the hundred where my blog is in the list. 1101 to 1200. I am a third time participant. So probably better organized now to meet and greet fellow bloggers.
    My theme Blog Promotion
    @knoltweet
    NRao Blogs - 2016 A to Z Challenge Blog Posts
    Management Theory Review

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  13. I use Inoreader, which is another service like Feedly, to follow blogs.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I have not heard about that one before :)

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  14. I just signed up, so I'm at the bottom of the list! I did A to Z two years ago but skipped last year. Feedly sounds like a good option. I use Diigo to organize other resources and had planned to use it for A to Z. I'm currently participating in the Two Writung Teachers blogging challenge, which is for every day in March. I want to keep the writing momentum going.

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  15. Usually the best blogs are at the bottom! going to check out feedly...

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  16. I make a blog list for AtoZ for the right side of my blog - can see those I'm interested in quite easily.

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  17. Thanks for the tips I needed this post! Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty

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  18. I always visit blogs totally randomly from the sign up list so that the irder with which people got to sign up doesn't make it unfair. The browser colors visited links so I know the next day which ones I haven't seen yet.
    Ohhh and I love commenting because.
    But I dislike it when blogs make me sign up to things to be able to comment. I hate having to read an entire post, plan what comment I'm about to make, and then having to leave just like that because I didn't have the time to sign up! It's annoying!
    www.saraallie.blogspot.com

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  19. Hi Csenge - excellent tips here .. and I need to work out how to do my signature - been trying for a few years ... unsuccessfully!

    Feedly is easy .. and I add the new A-Zers that I like in there

    Blogger and WP are fine - just set up accounts - once done ... that's it - easy to comment each time you visit similar Bl or WP blogs ..

    Happy Easter to one and all - cheers Hilary

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  20. Last year, I did the "no-brainer" type of reminder list. I just printed out the list and highlighted it. Works like a charm and I got to visit a lot of really interesting blogs.

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  21. Thank you for these tips! I have done this once before and got so overwhelmed :/ Looking forward to finding new blogs to follow this year!

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  23. Fantastic tips and I love seeing what all the other participants do. The suggestions in the comments were very helpful as well. I'm so unorganized, I can use all the help I can get. I don't use feedlly, but I do use another reader on my phone, Newsify, but I don't like how easy it is to read without commenting. Sure, I can click and make it take me to the actual blog, but for the A to Z challenge I need a system that takes me to the actual site so I am commenting. I like many of the ideas I've read here. I've bookmarked, made lists, but so far the best and most organized method I've found for remembering certain blogs and reminding myself to return has been to create a separate folder and label it 2016 A to Z Challenge. I'm doing it with Scrivener this year and I'm further sub dividing into smaller folders.
    Thanks for sharing the helpful tips and I hope everyone has a productive and fun challenge.

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  24. Feedly will work great! Thanks for the tips!
    @Kristina Farrow
    Being Kristina

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