Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Zip thru Autumn - an #AtoZchallenge Event

Zip Thru Autumn #atozchallenge event

The cooler temperatures of Autumn (especially in America) bring about zippered jackets. In some areas, as chlorophyll breaks down, leaves change from green to hues of red, yellow, or brown fall foliage. Bloggers have asked the team for a second, but easier, challenge event during this season. Here it is!

No Masterlist, no forms to fill out, and no special place for links. You might want to share links to your posts using the #AtoZchallenge hashtag, or in the comments of these posts. That's up to you. 

Do as much or as little as you like during this reverse alphabet challenge. 

Here are some SUGGESTED prompts.
We propose doing two posts a week for this event.

Sept 21- 27 ~  Zero excuses, Yearn to
Sept 28- Oct 4 ~ Xenodochy in blogging, Why blog
Oct 5- Oct 11 ~  Variety, Unique to my blog
Oct 12- Oct 18 ~ Ten-year plan, SMART goals
Oct 19- Oct 25 ~ Recommend, Questions for visitors
Oct 26- Nov 1 ~ Priorities, Open
Nov 2- Nov 7 ~ Never blog this, Motivating 
Nov 9- Nov 15 ~ Lesson, Know where I've been
Nov 16- Nov 22 ~ Joy and Job in blogging, Ideas 
Nov 23- Nov 29 ~ Happy Habits, Goal of your blog for remaining 2022 
Nov 30- Dec 6 ~ Fortitude, Easy tips 
Dec 7- Dec  13~ Dare, Chance 
Dec 14- Dec 20 ~ Balance, Achievements in 2022

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

#BlogTip What Other Blogs Do

Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style by Mary-Kate Mackey

This book is full of tips for those struggling to write. It's aimed mostly at non-fiction. But there is a great tip for bloggers on page 35.

Spend some time visiting other blogs. (Need to find some? Check out our master list. Figure out what you like or don't like about each one. What titles draw you in? How do colors and graphics impact your experience? What causes you to click away instead of scrolling for more? How did a blog impact your decision to subscribe or follow the author on social media? What posting schedules most appeal to you, and where do you place the line between "too often" and "not often enough"? Which blogs got you to leave comments, and which blogs are getting the comments you want to see on your blog?

Knowing what you like, and what you don't, will help you determine your blogging goals. Make yourself happy first, make your blog your happy place, and you'll be more likely to find like-minded readers. And if you can't figure out a favorite blog is doing something you wish you were doing, ASK! Most bloggers in the A to Z Community are happy to share their experience and expertise with you. 

(If you're too nervous to ask on your own, shoot me a private message. I interview authors and bloggers all the time. We can keep you anonymous if messaging your "blogging hero" is too intimidating.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Road Trip 2022 Feature 2

A total of 37 blogs signed up for the 2022 Road Trip

Starting in July, visiting just a handful of blogs per month would accomplish the whole trip!

Let's Do This


Check back next month for more blogs to visit from the A to Z ROAD TRIP!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

#AtoZChallenge An Alphabet of Blog Tips

Guest Post from Susan Sanderson

Hi, A to Zers and other readers! I hope you will find something interesting and helpful in this alphabetical post of blogging tips.

Accessibility: It is worth taking time to fill in the ALT box for photos and images on your blog so that visually impaired readers can hear about them. Some people may also appreciate blogs with dark text on a plain light background rather than the reverse.

Image of Alt Text example

Blogger/Blogspot is a blogging platform from Google.

Comments are searchable on the internet. Be honest, but kind! It is often easier to comment on blogs when logged in to a related service. For Blogger, this is Google. For WordPress it is WordPress. Other blogging platforms are available!

Directions may be necessary if your blog is difficult to navigate.

Enthusiasm for your subject and for blogging will be apparent to your readers.

Formatting your posts makes them easier to read. A clear font, good text size with short paragraphs and space between them make a good impression.

Greeting your readers may draw them in and help them feel connected to your post.

Hop is part of blog hop. The A to Z Challenge is a blog hop. There are many other opportunities to hop from blog to blog leaving comments and generating interest in your blog.

Ideas may be found in the most unlikely places. Jot them down in a notebook or an app. If you are stuck for an idea your notes may help.

Journal: Many bloggers use their blog as an online diary or journal. Be careful how much personal information you share online.

Knitting and other crafts make interesting blog posts for other knitters and creative people. ‘How to’ posts are helpful. Search engines like them too!

Layout is similar to formatting. Photos or images may be aligned left, right or centrally. Their size may also be adjusted. A preview will show whether the text beside an image is in such short lines that it is irritating.

Music is a universal language. Is there music, which is relevant to your post? You may be able to choose whether to link to it or to embed it using HTML.

Numbers: Don’t be despondent if you don’t have many visitors to a new blog. It takes time to build up a following. Tell your friends. Share your posts on social media. Take part in blogging challenges. Visit other blogs and comment if you have time. The numbers will increase.

Originality is important. There may not be many new ideas, but your way of writing about them should be (and almost certainly is) unique.

Pictures should be your own. Failing that, there are sites where copyright-free pictures may be found. If you wish to use a picture belonging to someone else, always ask their permission and credit them 

Questions: A question at the end of a post is likely to prompt more comments than a post without a question.

Research is interesting. I have learned a huge amount as a blogger, which I would not have discovered otherwise. Research is important. Your readers expect to read reliable information.

Shortcut keys help save time. My favourite is Control +V to paste text into my blog. Control+Shift+V pastes it as plain text, which is useful if there are hyperlinks in the text, and if the text has a different font, size, or color.

Theme has two meanings for some A to Z bloggers. If your posts for the challenge are linked by their subject matter, that is your theme. You might let others know in a Theme Reveal post. (Signing up for the Theme reveal ahead of the main challenge is a good way of increasing the number of visits to your blog.) For WordPress bloggers there is a wide choice of ‘Themes’. These are the designs available for your blog. Blogger also gives some choice. (Did I mention other platforms are available?)

Understanding of other cultures is something the A to Z Challenge facilitates. Bloggers participate from many countries around the world.

Vexing Emojis: While the occasional emoji can dress-up a post, using long strings of them will be stressful for visitors using text-to-voice. Each emoji is read as a description, sometimes a long description. For example, ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ is read as "Man: Medium-Dark Skin Tone emoji," which is fine once, but is annoying to hear twelve times in a row.

(V Contribution from J.)

WordPress is not the only blogging platform, but it is the one I use most. It allows bloggers to ‘like’ posts and comments and to rate posts with up to 5 stars, if this feature is enabled by the blogger.

Xenophilia is the opposite of xenophobia. People from foreign countries should be welcome to read our words. We can visit their blogs too.

Yourself: Your readers will notice the difference between a post consisting of information and one, which has something of your personality about it. The tag ‘Personal’ is popular as most people are interested in people.

Zebra is perhaps an unlikely choice for Z. ‘What has that to do with blogging?’ I hear you ask. The theme I chose for my main blog has a Zebra in the heading picture 

image of blogger labels

Twenty six hints are too few to include everything. An important omission is the use of categories and tags (Wordpress) or labels (Blogger). These help people find your blog posts. 

What else have I missed? Please add you own hints in the comments.

Writer bio: Susan always wanted to be a writer.  In 2012 she revived her interest in writing with a project to collect the kinds of sayings, which were much used in her childhood.

Blogging was intended as a way of improving writing skills, but has become an interest in its own right.  Susan experiments with factual writing, fiction, humour and poetry.  She does not yet have a book to her name. Her interests include words, languages, music, knitting and crochet.  She has experience of the world of work, being a stay-at-home mum and an empty-nester.   She is active in her local community and Church, where she sings alto in the choir. She is a member of the Association of Chritian Writers. She and her husband live in the north of England. 

Follow her on Twitter @suesconsideredt

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Road Trip 2022 Feature

A total of 37 blogs signed up for the 2022 Road Trip

Starting in July, visiting about 5 blogs per month would accomplish the whole trip!

Let's Do This


Check back next month for more blogs to visit from the A to Z ROAD TRIP!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Alphabet of American States

United States seen from orbit - 2015 NASA

There's only one letter not used in any US State names.
  • A is for — Alaska
  • B is for — Alabama
  • C is for — California
  • D is for — Delaware
  • E is for — Connecticut
  • F is for — Florida
  • G is for — Georgia
  • H is for — Hawaii
  • I is for — Idaho
  • J is for — New Jersey
  • K is for — Kansas
  • L is for — Louisiana
  • M is for — Maine
  • N is for — Nebraska
  • O is for — Ohio
  • P is for — Pennsylvania
  • Q is for — *
  • R is for — Rhode Island
  • S is for — South Carolina
  • T is for — Tennessee
  • U is for — Utah
  • V is for — Vermont
  • W is for — Washington
  • X is for — Texas
  • Y is for — Wyoming
  • Z is for — Arizona

There is a city named Quincy in Massachusetts and Illinois. And Quartz Hill in California. Not to mention, with 66,151 residents, Queen Creek, Arizona.
But the letter Q is not used in any state name in the United States.

Today in History: 
July 27, 1953 - The Korean War ended with the signing of an armistice by U.S. and North Korean delegates at Panmunjom, Korea. The war had lasted just over three years.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

#AtoZChallenge News and Updates

Greetings, A to Z Bloggers. 

Our graphics person, Anjela, has retired from the team. We thank her for her time and the beautiful 2022 logo. 

The team is working on more year-round content to help you blog better and faster, grow the community, and be more connected. 

Our "target audience" is, and always has been, bloggers of all ages in all genres worldwide.
We hope to inspire our fellow bloggers to keep blogging regularly and "hopping" to each other's blogs all year. ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‡

We hope to bring you more content, insights from the team, and chances to share your own blogging tips with the community. We're here for you year-round, not just in April. We're going to explore ways to expand your blogging audience. 


That's right. You asked for it; you got it. This September and October will have a low-key reverse alphabet challenge. Details coming soon. 

What about the regular April A to Z Challenge?

No significant changes. The banners, badges, forms, and sheets will remain. There will still be a Theme Reveal hop, the normal April A to Z Challenge bloghop, and the Road Trip. It's okay if you only want to visit us in March, April, and May for those events. We're just stepping the site up to give you more during the rest of the year.

What's next for the A to Z Team?

We are diligently working behind the scenes to create inspiring blog posts.

Please don't forget that the Road Trip is still going on. We're planning to throw more support to those who signed up!

We're getting someone else to do graphics. What do you think of the look of this offering?

#AtoZChallenge possible new logo #AtoZChallenge possible new logo in round #AtoZChallenge possible new social media #AtoZChallenge possible new favicon
Square, Round, Social Media, Favicon

  • Are you interested in more posts and content from the A to Z Team?
    • Would you be interested in contributing a post?
  • Are you excited about a second challenge?
  • What are your thoughts on this possible graphic set for the A to Z Challenge?

Monday, May 16, 2022

The 2022 Post A to Z Challenge Road Trip Starts Today!

Roadtrip #atozchallenge 2022

It's time for the Post A to Z Road Trip 2022! This is a great opportunity to catch up on the many blogs you would have liked to have spent more time visiting, but didn't during the Challenge, and a chance to visit the blogs of people who did the Challenge that you never got to. And, if you're one of those people who did the Challenge but didn't get a lot of visitors, this is a way to let people know that you'd appreciate a visit.

Here's what you do:

  1. Sign up for the Road Trip. There's a place where you can put in the URL of a post that you would like visitors to read first. Then, grab a copy of the Road Trip badge from the graphics page (if you want) for your home page to use as a "bumper sticker."
  2. Get copies of both the Road Trip List and the Master List. Both will be useful.
  3. Start with the Road Trip list and visit the blogs of the people who signed up there. Take some time to read their blog and their Challenge entries. Leave comments where you feel led to do so, and make sure you identify yourself as a Road Trip participant. Leave a link to your blog so they can return the favor.
  4. Then, if you have the time and inclination to do so, visit some of the blogs on the Master List that you didn't get the chance to visit. Even if they didn't sign up for the Road Trip, I'm sure they'd appreciate a visit.

There's no set time limit to the Road Trip (i.e. no specific end date), so if you wanted to, you could visit everyone who was part of this year's Challenge between now and the start of next year's Challenge. If that's what you want to do, go for it! Most importantly, have fun!

Happy Motoring!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

#AtoZChallenge Statistics 2022

The Reflections Sign-up is CLOSED.

The Road Trip sign-up will come on May 16.

Here are some views from the last #AZchat

(© copyright profile images are hidden)

Countries on the Master List this year:

  • USA =100
  • UK =24
  • India =21
  • Australia =12
  • Canada = 9
  • Denmark =2
  • Germany =2
  • Ireland =2
  • Malaysia =2
  • South Africa =2
  • Switzerland =2
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Chart of the most popular categories:

#atozchallenge 2022 categories

5.9% of the blogs this year were listed as ADULT.
Continuous story? 8 bloggers said yes!
No one needed people to "vote" to make the next post. Choose-your-blogging-adventure has perhaps ended?
#atozchallenge hop chart 2022
Only 2 people said they didn't intend to visit other blogs in the blog hop!

#atozchallenge Forms response chart. Question title: Author's Pronouns.
15.7% of the bloggers this year were new! WELCOME!
119 of you shared your Twitter handle, 86 shared a Facebook link, and 86 shared their Instagram. ๐Ÿ’ป

The biggest problem the team ran into was when bloggers didn't realize the Theme Reveal and the Master List for the main challenge were TWO separate events with separate sign-ups. We will work on making that clearer next year. Sorry for the confusion. 

Do any of you from the challenge feature gifts or cards for the winter holidays?
Any challenge winners interested in writing an alphabet worth of writetips? 
If you pitch an idea for a guest post (June to February), be sure we know how to reach you! (Hitting up team captain @JLenniDorner on Twitter is recommended.)