Monday, March 13, 2017

How To Solve The Biggest #AtoZChallenge Problems

Here is a list of the most common problems A to Z challenge participants encounter, along with suggestions of how to solve them.

Not a priority quote image WSJ

Time Crunch/ Forgetting to Post :

  • Write as many posts as possible ahead of time.
  • Schedule your posts in advance.

Post Ideas (Too Many/ Too Few) :

  • Using a theme helps focus ideas.
  • Brainstorm with a friend (or a fellow A to Z participant) #AtoZBrainstorm

Lacking Comments :

  • Be sure you have A to Z posts up.
  • Check that people can leave you comments. (This may require asking someone who is not logged in as you to test it using another Internet-accessed device.)
  • Make certain your link is posted on the correct blog post, Facebook thread, and is on Twitter. Be sure it is going to your blog. (And not, for example, to your Wordpress Admin page.)
  • Leave more comments for others. (It's what bloggers do for each other. How important is it to you to be a valued member of the blogging community?)
  • Include the #atozchallenge hashtag in your post titles and be sure to share your posts on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • End each post by asking a simple, open-ended question.
  • Consider hyperlinking your signature.
Instructions for hyperlinking a signature:

Not Enough Blog Post Shares :

  • End posts by asking people to share them.
  • Enable sharing links at the bottom of the posts.
  • Come up with creative blog post titles that will make sense and intrigue people.
  • Share the posts of others.

Not Enough Social Media or Blog Followers :

  • Check that your links actually work. (Sending people to or is not going to get you followers. Either link to your profile on social sites or don’t have those buttons at all.)
  • Be sure people can still get to your follow links when using a mobile device.
  • Follow others.
  • End blog posts by asking people to please follow you.
  • Follow back when someone comments that they are from the #AtoZChallenge and have followed you.
  • Keep your posts and comments interesting, relevant, engaged, and friendly.

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey on Facebook pages


Marie A said...

These are all challenges I have faced when writing blog posts. Thanks for the great suggesgtions! - Marie The Articulagte Image

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Great advice for blogging anytime!
Barbara from Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Saraallie said...

Hey A to Z folks! I was just wondering, if I choose to do the same theme as I did last year can I repeat some posts? I had an introductory post for the letter A which won't really change much so I was thinking of re-posting that for the letter A. The rest of the letters will have new posts obviously!

Unknown said...

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cleemckenzie said...

I planned and planned. I wrote my posts. I check them for accuracy. And now I've decided not to participate in 2017s event. It's either do the AtoZ or commit myself to an institution for treatment. To put a positive spin on this, I'm way ahead for 2018.

Suddenly Susan said...

Why not?

Suddenly Susan said...

I really appreciate the work that went into this post. Very helpful tips that I'm sure to come back and read carefully. Big thanks!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I've heard that you should at least change some text around, especially your opening lines because it could create a problem with search engines or something like that. Maybe someone else can verify this or say it better than I have. But in essence, repeating a few posts wouldn't be horrible.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

J Lenni Dorner said...

Glad to help.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

J Lenni Dorner said...

It's your blog, no one can or will stop you. But what Arlee said about the search engines is true. Our ""Google Overlords"" don't like the same exact thing in two places. Readers who might have missed your good stuff last year, however, might enjoy your idea. Rock on.

J Lenni Dorner said...

And by an institution, you mean a winery, don't you? ;)

J Lenni Dorner said...

You're very welcome.

Wendy said...

I love that opening quote. Working out your priorities is very important.

Linda Gardiner said...

Great post! Lots of good thoughts to help us get organized. Looking forward to theme reveal & the challenge.

Carrie-Anne said...

I ended up reusing two of the names from last year's A to Z on my secondary blog, but I changed and expanded what I'd written last year. The way my theme worked out, there were almost no names to choose from for those certain letters. I've also reused and changed some segments of past A to Z posts on my main blog, but they were used as part of entirely new posts, not the exact same posts all over again.

Dobson said...

Can I use this platform to brag on J.Lenni Dorner? I hatched the idea of posting teasers to my A to Z Theme on Twitter using Hootsuite and I don't think J. Lenni has missed re-tweeting a single one. This co-host is already on the job and living up to the title. Thanks so much J. Lenni.

Arlee Bird said...

Dobson, Brag all you want about J. I've been honored as well as fortunate to have J.Lenni on my Ambassador Team in previous years and found J's service to have been very helpful to me and was enthusiastic to see J.Lenni become an actual A to Z Co-host. J's presence has been an outstanding addition to a core of dynamite A to Z Co-hosts. I thank them all!

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Rajlakshmi said...

Loved the point on interesting titles, that's something I need to work on :D It's going to be a weekend, trying to figure out all the letters :)

Rajlakshmi said...

Do we have a separate A to Z 2017 group on Google plus or Facebook?

Arlee Bird said...

Facebook is the most active at:

I don't remember if we set one up for Google+--I thought we did. Maybe someone else will know.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Anonymous said...

As a 1st timer, this is a great reference read! Thank you for sharing.
Isheeria's Healing Circles

Rajlakshmi said...

thank you :)

Marna Reed said...

I'm back to do my 3rd A-Z Challenge!
I've always went the Theme route; it keeps me organized. :)

Melissa Sugar said...

He is amazing . He always goes out of his way and above and beyond ( pardon the double cliche) to help others. You couldn't have a more organized,knowledgeable dedicated and helpful co-host for the challenge.

Melissa Sugar said...

That was intended as a reply to a comment above where Donson was praising J and I was agreeing. My phone made me sign in to google to comment and when I came back I Guess I was no longer under the reply Section to the guy's comment. Just wanted to clarify since I didn't mention any names in my comment so I didn't sound completely nuts.
Melissa @
Sugar Crime Scene - A to Z Challenge

J Lenni Dorner said...

Aww........ you two........
*hands out beers or whatever*

J Lenni Dorner said...