Today I'm going to debunk the most common misconceptions about the A to Z blogging challenge.
1- Just adding my link is enough.
- No. It’s a hop. You post and you visit others who have posted. We interact with one another and cultivate new relationships.
- Leaving comments — It's what bloggers do for each other. How important is it to you to be a valued member of the blogging community?
2- The A to Z Team list is just names on the blog. Hosts don’t do anything.
- WRONG. The hosts are here year round keeping the blog alive. We spend April helping all the participants. It’s hard work. It’s a second job that pays no money. We are not just names, we are people who care that this a supportive, safe, and productive blogging community.
3- The site is only up in April.
- Nope. It’s here all year. There are less posts in the off-seasons, but the content is still interesting. You should follow this blog and check for updates regularly.
4- No one will notice if I bend or break a rule…
- The hosts are dedicated to noticing and acting fast.
5- Everyone has a theme but me.
- Nah. About 30% of the blogs in the challenge go without a theme to tie their posts together… other than the alphabet, of course!
6- There’s no reason I should advertise the challenge on my blog.
- First, it’s not exactly advertising. It’s saying you participate, that you are part of our community. It shows off your blogging dedication, even if you only blog in April.
- Second, it’s spreading the word about the challenge, which brings everyone more views and comments.
- Third, it’s how others in the blog hop know they have come to the right place. It’s an assurance.
7- I’m going to get so much email junk from this challenge!
- I have been doing this challenge for six years. In all that time, and in commenting at about 1,000 blogs last year alone, I have received only ONE spam message. If you're still worried, create a separate email account. (I have one for hops, one for general, one for classes, and one for business. It's an old organization trick.) Be mindful of check-boxes that sign you up for replies or notices. Consider that you might enjoy some of the emails. Learn to use services such as BlogLovin' to keep up with your favorite blogs.
8- This is only for professionals.
- Most of the participants in the challenge are not professional bloggers. A few are professionals in their field who also blog. There are plenty of good people here who are new to blogging or who blog only as a hobby. We welcome everyone. Bonus -- the hosts are a wealth of knowledge for newbie bloggers!
by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer