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Saturday, April 9, 2016

#atozchallenge Hello! Howdy! How Are Ya?



The great Yogi Berra was known for his unique way of twisting the English language. He knew exactly what he was talking about, but sometimes it came out in an unintentionally funny manner. One of my favorite quotes of his is this:

You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.

What he meant to say was that if you want people to care about you, you should show them that you care about them. Or, to put it in blogging terms, if you want people to read your blog, you should show that you want to read theirs.

That's the purpose of the A to Z Challenge, after all: to open your blog up to a wider audience, to hold a dialogue with other bloggers and non-bloggers. Nothing can be more disheartening than writing a fantastic blog post and not getting any feedback from anyone. Likewise, nothing feels worse than leaving a comment on someone's blog and having the blogger ignore the comment completely.

The Golden Rule applies here: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. If you want people to come visit your blog, go visit theirs, and be sure to leave a comment when you go. If you want people to reply to your blog comments, be sure and reply to the comments people leave for you.

It isn't always easy, I know. There will be days when you fall behind in keeping up with comments, and life happens when you're busy making other plans. But you should make the best effort you can to reply to comments, and to visit the blogs of people who visit yours.

"Okay, John," I hear you say. "There are hundreds of bloggers signed up for the A to Z Challenge; how am I going to get to all of them?"

I'll tell you right up front, you won't. You can't. At least not in the thirty days of April. I'm sure, if you didn't sleep and did nothing all day but visit blogs, you might be able to do it, but you have a life, too, and it's not good for you to spend that much time sitting in front of a computer. So, don't try.

Instead, resolve to visit a few blogs every day. Say ten. Take the list of blogs and visit the five bloggers before you and the five after you. So, if you're number 789 on the list, visit 784 through 788 and 790 through 794, as well as all the bloggers who have left you comments. If you have more time on your hands, visit the ten before and after you. Or, you could do what I did one year and visit ten blogs each day whose numbers were chosen by Random.org. Visit them, read what they have to say, and leave them a comment, even one that just says "Hi! I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed your post!"

And, just so you know, the list of blogs that participated in the challenge will be around at least through the end of the year. That gives you eight months to get through the entire list. More on that later.

John Holton
The Sound of One Hand Typing
The Sound of One Hand Typing FM


**editor's note: Check out our Helpers page, that lists all the awesome bloggers donating their time to make the Challenge run well! We hope you'll visit and tell them you appreciate their work! ~AJ **

48 comments:

  1. I did visit every blog doing the A to Z during April two years ago, so it is just about possible, but it was hard work. This year I am working on an entirely different approach which so far is working exactly as I thought it would.

    Rob Z Tobor

    The worst poet in the world

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    Replies
    1. I would love to know your new approach. I'm having trouble making a mindful and effective run at all these posts :)

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    2. I'd love to know that intriguing approach too 😉

      Andrea
      Volunteer in Damyanti's D Company of the #atozchallenge
      Music & Words Blog

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  2. This year I am trying to read as many bloggers as possible :)

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

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  3. I'm hanging in there...visiting as many blogs as possible...
    Writer In Transit

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  4. Hanging in there, like the kitten on the poster...

    Very Nice Post... but you know that, that's why you posted it! Right!

    Welcome in the letter "H"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  5. I started with four posts written ahead of time. Well, I'm caught up and now it's scramble time. So, I'm stressing a little.
    I've been out visiting. I have already come across bloggers who have not kept up or blogs who never even started. Frustrating.
    I understand what you mean about not getting feedback. It is disheartening. I do have my number one fan, my hubby, who reads my posts faithfully. He comments in person :)

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    Replies
    1. So are you going by the numbered list? I'm going through whoever's posting on the various FB groups, so at least I know they're active.

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    2. I've been to one where my comment was marked as spam, and several where they're awaiting moderation. I know it's not a requirement to turn off moderation during the challenge but it's a bit frustrating to wonder when and even if your comment will be posted.

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  6. Excellent post. I started from the bottom of the list,, visiting blogs and I fulfill the quota I have set for myself. I haven't taken the time to respond to all my comments but I am doing a few at a time until I answer them all.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Shalom,
    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

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  7. Hi, I'm finding some great blogs and bloggers. @suesconsideredt from Sue’s Trifles
    and Sue’s words and pictures

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  8. I think getting around to the other blogs is harder than blogging every day. Blogging is something we do all the time and have built time into our schedules for it, but not a lot of visiting and commenting on blogs happen on a regular basis. I know that's true for me. Girl Who Reads

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  9. Just one blog after another until you get to the end and can start over again.

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  10. My favorite part of blogging is responding to the comments people have posted on my site! I've already met some fantastic new to me bloggers. Some I've met through my site, some I've met while visiting. Positive first experience with this challenge. https://julihoffman.com/2016/04/09/h-is-for-hack-atozchallenge/

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  11. I don't really think replying to comments on YOUR blog is necessary because most people aren't going to go back and check if you did. But going to that person's blog and commenting on THEIR post is important. You want to return the favor if someone took the time to read your post and make a comment.

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    Replies
    1. I try to reply to comments on my blog, even if it's just a Like or a plus, in addition to reciprocating with comments on their blog.

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    2. It depends Sarah. I don't go back to check the reply but on WordPress blogs I get the notification that they replied and that can start a good conversation. You're right though that conversation might spill over onto other posts as we keep reading back and forth.
      For me though it's important that the author replies to comments - it simply shows they read and value them.

      Andrea
      Volunteer in Damyanti's D Company of the #atozchallenge
      Music & Words Blog

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  12. Great advice given to checking out other blogs. I try to visit 5-10 new ones daily; just go down the list and look at names that interest me and then check out some other ones around it.

    betty

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  13. awesome! I am trying to keep up with writing and reading! doing well so far :)

    http://unrulednote.blogspot.in/
    Rohini Varun

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  14. Thanks John for the encouragement. I've been checking the ones before and after me - some don't have the badge up or there are no relevant posts. All that means is that I go elsewhere. Yup April is a mad month - we're a third of the way through.

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  15. I'm working on it. I don't blog regularly, which is why I'm doing this challenge, so blogging, responding to comments, visiting blogs and commenting on them, are all work for me. I'm enjoying it or I wouldn't keep at it, but it does take effort.

    http://floridamom-nature.blogspot.com/

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  16. https://thoughtsandentanglements.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/hammock/

    Hello Everyone, this is my entry for today. A good weekend to all.

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  17. https://thoughtsandentanglements.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/hammock/

    Hello Everyone, this is my entry for today. A good weekend to all.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is the first time am participating and realised how tough it is to be up, despite a very easy to write theme moreover I also found many others who took interest in it. I have and will make it despite all odds. Reading blogs at random and also connecting on twitter. I got to know many new bloggers through this and good ones.
    Thanks A 2 Z
    Agileopedia.com


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  19. It's a lot more work than I anticipated, but getting my first blogging experience is great. The a-to-z challenge gives me a chance to be read by people who would probably never have found me. I'm doing my best to keep up with comments and hope to catch up on Sunday.
    www.lorihenriksen.com with the theme Women in the 1930s.

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  20. I'm doing my best to read 5 -10 blogs a day and comment. It's time consuming but I'm meeting wonderful people and great new resources. @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

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  21. I've visited and commented on a lot of blogs, but not systematically. Still, a great experience. It is disheartening to be ignored with no response, but so exciting when I get comments in return.

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  22. The people who could visit every single blog every single day are probably the same people who claim to have written several millions words during NaNoWriMo. It takes obscene amounts of free time, coupled with no other life, to do something like that!

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  23. I am doing better at visiting blogs this year. I started with mine at number 1357 and am working my way down the list. Finding many that never started and some that just aren't keeping up. I move past those and keep reading. My frustration comes with having a difficult time finding where to comment on some blogs. If I can't find it right off the bat, I don't read, and I move on!!

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  24. I enjoy meeting other bloggers through the challenge. I wish I had more time. I like your random.org idea :)

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  25. H is for Ham and Cheese muffins. I have to read more blogs I wish I had 48 hours in a day

    http://www.sinamontales.com/ham-and-cheese-muffins

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  26. Having fun and trying to leave meaningful responses rather than I just liked your post. I've been blogging for nine years and would rather engage, talk about what resonated with their posts. A drive by hi is quick but not as fulfilling to the blogger. A response to what they have written means I've really read what they had to say and not just trying to get my quota for the day. Yes, it takes more time but worth it in the long run. Great idea with random.org. I'm trying to visit the ones who have stopped by my blog as well as random drive by's plus those that came after me. Everyday is different. Jumping by ten on the list, 2's for a while.

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    1. Exactly what I was thinking. If I go to a party I'd feel satisfied if I talked to one or more folk intimately. This is my 6th year. At the end l might have two new pals that l didn't have before. Good enough. I do try going around but find it more satisfying to check conversations like this one. And I don't comment if l have no interest in the post.

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    2. I completely agree Robin. I find it frustrating to see that some people leave the same comments to everyone. In my ooinion it devalues what I (or the others I feature) worked hard on. I'd never do a copy-paste comment and definitely don't recommend it.

      Andrea
      Volunteer in Damyanti's D Company of the #atozchallenge
      Music & Words Blog

      Delete
  27. I'm trying to read as many bloggers I can. This is a beautiful way to come across brilliant blogs all over the world

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  28. https://cheryllynnroberts.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/h-is-for-haiku-blogging-a-to-z-challenge-2016/

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  29. already trying to follow your advice

    http://www.obliqview.blogspot.in

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  30. I did resolve to do that exact thing.
    So, here I am.
    And there you are.
    Nice to meet you.
    Remember, as Yogi said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

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  31. I did resolve to do that exact thing.
    So, here I am.
    And there you are.
    Nice to meet you.
    Remember, as Yogi said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

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  32. One should bring chocolate to funerals too, if one wants chocolate at theirs. This one does.

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  33. according to my calculations if there are 2000 blogs to visit in 30 days, thats slightly more than 66 blogs a day, right? You could read 2.75 blogs in 24 hours to stay caught up. if you cant stay up 24 hours a day then if you read approx 5.5 blogs an hour for 12 hours then you will stay on top of all the blogs. Thats just like, 1 blog every 10 minutes. You can do it!

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  34. I generally use Random.org for IWSG posts. I had to re-write a post I wrote on my original blog because everyone thought I wasn't doing A-to-Z and not clicking the (unnoticeable) link to my A-to-Z blog! =\

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  35. It's possible to visit all blogs during this challenge. I'm trying my best.

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  36. I'm such a novice in the blogging world. But hopefully I'll pick up some tips and tricks.

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  37. hm.....actually I was reading something like this, but this one is the best, thank you for this. Here is some more reviews which I really like too.

    ReplyDelete

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