Showing posts with label #atozchallenge tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #atozchallenge tips. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2022

#AtoZChallenge X is for...


The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:


X is for...

Well, indeed, what is X for? Few letters in the alphabet are as difficult as X is. When I set out to write this post, I did some internet searching. I looked for synonyms of "dream" that included the letter X. I figured that even if the words didn't start with X, I could still use them in some clever way. Except...there were none. On an entire webpage of 160 synonyms and antonyms of "dream," there were 7 Xs on the website, most of them in ads and footers, and two in one of the "use the word in a sentence" locations. I went back to brainstorming, and I thought:

Dreams aside, what is your favorite X word?

For my own blog, I am using Rebekah Loper's book The A-Zs of Worldbuilding for my A to Z posts, so I was able to borrow (with permission!) her word: Xenial. Every time I see it, I have to remind myself of its meaning: of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities.

As I create my fictional world for my next novel, it's an important thing to think about, and also something to think about as we work toward our dreams. How do the relations with our guests and acquaintances impact the success of our endeavors? Are there expectations we should make ourselves aware of ahead of time? These are important things to ask ourselves as we work toward our dreams!

So please share with us our favorite X word, and maybe its meaning. It's good to learn new things! (And if you're interested in Worldbuilding, Rebekah's book is an excellent help!)

~Jayden R. Vincente

Erotic Fiction Writer at (Adults only!) 

#AtoZChallenge 2022 alternative badgebloglovin

Instagram Facebook logo @atozchallenge
Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.

File, Make a Copy of the Master List for yourself! Click this:
Be sure your copy is updated with everyone who signed up for the challenge. Hopping to other blogs to leave comments is half of the challenge!

Get your 2022 merchandise here:  2022 merchandise #atozchallenge

Monday, April 18, 2022

O is for Objective

The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:

O is for Objective

As we work through our A to Z, we want to remain steadfast in our objective. We always want to remember what we're working toward, and how we're going to get there. 

"An objective without a plan is a dream." Douglas McGregor
So for the month of April, we make a plan to accomplish A to Z in whatever way works for us. Every plan may even be different! And as we think about our other dreams, we remember to create not just the objective, but also our plan to achieve it. 

How are you planning to finish your A to Z objective this month?

~Jayden R. Vincente

Erotic Fiction Writer at (Adults only!)

#AtoZChallenge 2022 alternative badgebloglovin

Instagram Facebook logo @atozchallenge
Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.

File, Make a Copy of the Master List for yourself! Click this:
Be sure your copy is updated with everyone who signed up for the challenge. Hopping to other blogs to leave comments is half of the challenge!
Get your 2022 merchandise here:  2022 merchandise #atozchallenge

Saturday, April 16, 2022

#atozchallenge: N is for Never!

#AtoZChallenge 2022 tribute badge #AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:

When I sat down to write this post, I was drawing a complete blank. I had no idea what I was going to write about. "Shoot," I said to myself (or words to that effect), "I'm never going to figure out something to say."

And just like that, I had it.

You have a blog post due that your readers are dying to read, and you can't get it out of your head and into a text block. When that happens, do this: open a new text document in the editor of your choice and start typing. Anything, whether it's relevant to your blog or yourself or not. Anything at all. Just keep moving, keep throwing words on the page. You'll figure out which ones to keep and in what order they should go after you've had some time to write. Eventually a blog post will appear. Trust me on this.

You know how I know? How do you think I came up with this?

What do you do when you can't get a blog post written?

#AtoZChallenge 2022 alternative badge bloglovin

Instagram Facebook logo @atozchallenge
Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.
File, Make a Copy of the Master List for yourself! Click this:
Be sure your copy is updated with everyone who signed up for the challenge. Hopping to other blogs to leave comments is half of the challenge!
Get your 2022 merchandise here:  2022 merchandise #atozchallenge

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Helpful Hint about Sharing Images #atozchallenge #blogging

Thanks to J Lenni Dorner of Arlee's Ambassadors for the following info that some of you might find helpful.  It might be a bit technical for some of you, but those who understand might be able to put this to good use.  

I am not a coding expert. I learned all of this by watching other people, Google searching, and trial with lots of error. (Ha ha) But here's an important tip on something I do know about-- using the img alt in the HTML of your posts.
  1. Blind and visually impaired people sometimes use the Internet. There are programs that read to them, partly using the HTML of websites. I didn't know this when I started blogging. A blind woman told me about it. She said the "img alt" tag is used to read what the picture is of... assuming there's an alt tag, of course. "Image of a woman on horseback." vs "32343" You can understand now how defining your image is more useful than leaving just a number or something.
  2. Pinterest captions your pin based on what is written inside the alt tag. Readers hitting the share button might be too lazy to edit that. What do you want people to read when your image is clicked from the Pinterest (or other sharing) site? Tag yourself with your Twitter handle if you have one! It works.
  3. Sometimes image hosting sites go down. The picture you used doesn't appear. What you wrote in the alt tag will show in place of the image. Consider what you'd at least like your readers to imagine for the downtime duration.
  4. With Internet Explorer, hovering the mouse over the image will create a small pop-up text block of the "alt" words. (Firefox and Opera do this with the TITLE tag instead of ALT. The two seem similar otherwise.)
Always keep it relevant, meaningful, and short!
And now it's example time!
Blogging from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z April 2016 The A to Z Challenge

The how and why of img alt code in HTML by @JLenniDorner Blogger image
The how and why of img alt code in HTML by @JLenniDorner WordPress image


center means that it will be in the middle of post, not to the left. a href I have hyperlinked my image. If you click it, it takes you to another webpage. target=_blank That other webpage will open in a new window or new tab, so you don't leave me! img means image src means source -- that's always the URL where the image is hosted alt THAT'S what this image is about. I have Twitter handles and a hashtag to increase the viral trending. backslash close your tags

J Lenni Dorner can be found at the blog, on #TeamArlee Arlee's Ambassadors, @JLenniDorner, and on

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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A to Z Tips - Creating a signature for the #atozchallenge

Here is a tidbit that you might find useful come April.

Visiting blogs and commenting on them is a huge part of the A to Z experience. And so is visiting back! If you want to make sure that people whose blog you commented on can find you and visit you back easily, it is very useful to have a hyperlink signature at the end of your comment.
Here is how that works:

Fill out this template with your own information:

[Your name or Twitter handle] from
<a href="yourblogaddress">Name of Your Blog</a>

You can add more lines if you have more blogs.
For example, my signature looks like this on code:

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
<a href="">The Multicolored Diary</a>
<a href="">MopDog</a>

And looks like this when you see it at the end of my comments:

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
The Multicolored Diary

IMPORTANT: SAVE YOUR SIGNATURE somewhere where you can easily find it and copy-paste it. Me, I have it saved under Drafts in my Gmail box. Every time I go visiting, I just Copy the code, and then Paste it at the end of my comments.

Also: Some commenting formats, like Disqus, don't read HTML. In those cases, just copy and paste your blog URL. The important thing is to leave an address so people you visited and easily visit you back, without having to sift through your G+ profile or your Blogger lists.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To make #blogging fun, Bring a Friend to the #atozchallenge !

Today's post is brought to you by Andrea, from D's Company.
As an introvert, I've always thought that big parties sucked. Especially the ones where I'm all on my own, in carefully chosen clothes & makeup that don't make a bold statement but aren't boring either, enduring awkward chit-chats until I finally find at least one semi-decent person to talk to. But what a difference it makes to be able to bring a friend, who would laugh at the same jokes, understand my bookish references, and would introduce me to people who are worth it. The party doesn't suck so much any more. image

Doing something with a person you like is always easier and more fun. Doing a blog challenge with a person you know is no exception either. Having someone there that you're already familiar with, going through the same ups and downs makes the ups better, and the downs shorter.

Blogging can be tough as a one-person job, but having a friend in it with you, makes things lighter. Do you have doubts whether you can manage a challenge? You'll have your own community to support each other. Are you stuck on the theme or a specific letter? Your readers can help.

So spread the word, involve your audience - here are some ideas how.

 1. Write a blog post. Your readers might or might not know about the challenge, so give them a short intro, tell them how you're going to do it or just to keep yourself accountable.

image 2. When you see a great blog/post, leave a comment encouraging them to join. We're all unsure about our capabilities from time to time, and knowing there's someone believing in us, makes all the difference.

3. Talk to your friends about it! In person, you know, maybe over a beer. I'm forever trying to recruit my friends who don't only deserve the benefits of this great community, but could also do with a little shake-up of getting challenged. 4. Invite people to the twitter chats. We've two every week, Thursdays at 9pm, and Saturdays at 8am EST to accommodate the different time zones and it's nothing like the dreaded parties! But bringing a friend still helps.

5. Be social on, you know, social media. Get your friends to the A to Z Facebook page where you'll be able to see what everyone's posting about.

Show them the A to Z pinterest boards, the G+ page or my personal favourite, twitter.

You name it, we have it! What I'm saying is, don't fall into the trap of doing it all alone. The best thing about blogging is connecting to others through your writing.

Reciprocate it by involving them in the biggest challenge you'll probably take and you'll have the pleasure of seeing another person succeed because of you.

Isn't that the awesomest?  Still on the fence about signing up? Look at all the blogs that are participating!

PS: If you do any of the sharing described above, leave a comment and we'll visit. We're cool like that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Share and Advise

It's nearly here. Sign up time. I know a lot of veteran A to Z participants will be putting their names on that list next Monday. I hope you'll announce it and link from your own blog to this blog on that happy day. But there will be people new to this great event and they could benefit from some advice.

The first year I participated in A to Z, I had only been actively blogging for a few months and trying to grow my audience. I had lots of doubts going into that first year. I was busy in my personal life. I was teaching full time and my daughter was still in high school playing softball which meant attending games two or three times per week. Our firewall at work didn't allow access to blogs so I couldn't do A to Z work even during my lunch break.

I also didn't realize how important it was for my sanity to schedule my posts ahead of time. Or how much easier it would be to create my posts if I had chosen a theme. By the time April ended that first year, I felt frazzled and like I'd failed the challenge even though I managed to post every day. For a short while there, I hated blogging. Only my stubborn determination to never quit something I started kept me going until the end. I ended up getting no writing done on my work in progress and visiting only a very few bloggers every day.

My second and third years went much better as I followed the advice of other bloggers. Things like settling on a theme, scheduling posts ahead of time, and keeping posts short. Though still a challenge, A to Z was fun instead of agonizing. Last year I took on the responsibility of being a minion for Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and this year I joined the A to Z team to help everyone else have fun. I couldn't have arrived at this point if not for the advise shared by others.

So when you shout out to the world that you've taken on the Challenge, share some advice for the newbies to this April tradition. Tell them what helps you make it through the Challenge. Even something very simple, like 12 cups of coffee per day, may be the thing that helps someone else enjoy April as much as you do.

Are you ready with some advise? Keeping that theme a deep secret until the reveal post? How many years does this make for you in the A to Z?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Never too early to plan for the #AtoZchallenge !

The A to Z Challenge has been done and dusted for almost two months now-- time we started planning the next one!
Here are a few tips from Calli Duncan, a travel blogger, and 2014 A to Z Challenge participant:
The 2014 A to Z Challenge was an incredible success for Have Blog Will Travel. We now have 26 awesome British Columbia travel-themed posts in our article arsenal and have managed to connect with a great group of bloggers, forged some new relationships, and increased our readership. 
Having never attempted a blogging challenge of any type before, we wanted to use this opportunity to share a few tricks that we will be relying on for future challenges.
Format of A to Z Challenge Posts
Jumping into the challenge we knew our regular approach to blogging wouldn’t work. Therefore we decided to keep our challenge posts under 500 words, broken into three or four short paragraphs. This ensured we would be able to write a new post each day, and that readers wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
We also decided to include just one photo at the top of each post. This cut down on time sourcing photos and made each post visually similar. Clicking through our A to Z Challenge posts it’s clear they are part of a set - they look congruent yet can also stand on their own.
A Touch of Professionalism
To really elevate your posts and make a harmonious set of challenge posts, a little extra effort goes a long way. For us this meant editing our cover photos to create a unified look and include some essential information. Like the cover of a book, these images help direct people to our posts through social media channels and give our homepage a consistent look.
For the editing we turned to PicMonkey - a free, web-based editing tool and carried the same font through all challenge photos. The final look feels professional without taking itself too seriously.
Selecting a Theme
Wanting to stand out from other travel bloggers participating in the challenge, we opted to forgo the generic “travel” theme for something more closely related to the direction we are taking our blog. Therefore the theme Beautiful BC from A to Z was born, with all 26 challenge posts relating to British Columbia, Canada.
A specific theme lets visitors know what to expect and increases the chance of return visits during the challenge. When choosing a theme keep in mind that it needs to be broad enough to provide topics for all 26 letters of the alphabet, yet narrow enough that your final product is unique. 
Calli Duncan has spent the better half of 9 months traveling through Europe and is one of two faces behind the always honest and sometimes humorous Have Blog Will Travel. For more, connect with Calli on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not giving up on the #AtoZChallenge

We're in the third week of the A to Z Challenge, and some of us are, understandably, exhausted. I know I am.

But that does not mean we shall give up.

We shall march on ahead, visit more blogs, comment on new blogs, reply to comments we have received, return those comments.

Well, maybe not all of them all the time, but you get my drift.

Go forth and multiply the comments and blog-friends, and at the end of April, you shall be glad you did it.


Friday, March 14, 2014

10 Reasons to Join the A – Z Challenge

Here are 10 solid reasons for any and every blogger to join the A – Z Challenge.

Fun Factor: It’s a whole lot of fun. That’s right! It’s like going to a carnival in Blog Land. All you have to do is what you already do so well…blog. Okay, so you have to blog everyday, but what would a true challenge be, if you never had to see what you were made of?

Exploration: You get to explore all the wonderful topics you might think about sharing on your blog. Then you get to see how lots of visitors respond to them. Use the data to help you determine how to maximize your page views and comments. With so many visitors dropping by, you simply don’t want to pass up this opportunity.

Discover: There’s no time like the present to get out of your comfort zone and discover new and exciting blogs. Bloggers work hard to share valuable and important information with their audience. You get to discover who they are, what they share and how their work might benefit you with your own goals and hobbies.

Promotion: Joining the A – Z Challenge is automatic promotion! With so many participants, your blog gets a whole lot of attention from all sorts of people. Take it a step further and make your blog the best it can be, because the sky is the limit with potential like this.

Marketing: Joining the A – Z Challenge is an easy marketing strategy. You can share your skills, let people know what you do besides blogging and network like crazy.

Make Friends: Blogging revolves around building positive relationships with other bloggers. Joining the A – Z Challenge is a perfect opportunity to make new blogging friends, people who will be your friends long after the Challenge is over, if you take this opportunity.

Learn: There’s so much information out there, things that truly help us. The A – Z Challenge is a one size fits all grand learning opportunity. If you’re interested in writing, photography, how to become a better blogger, cooking, gardening etc., you need only check the categories and pursue your learning desires.

Increase Page Views: Sign up and watch the traffic come your way, especially in April when all the participants start hopping and commenting. Become a valued blog hopper yourself, and they’ll increase even more.

Get Noticed: You never know who might discover your blog through the A – Z Challenge. It could be your future boss, or someone who could introduce you to your next big adventure in life. Blogging in the A – Z Challenge gets you noticed, because our team isn’t just blogging. We’re tweeting, facebooking and doing all sorts of sharing to exercise our bragging rights. Just look at some of the post about other bloggers on our own blog, or browse the <100 Followers page. We put our best foot forward, making this one of the best and largest blog hops on the web.

We’d Love to Meet You: That’s right! We want to know who you are and what you blog about. We want to visit your posts, get to know you better and include you in our vast circle of friends. C’mon now! Who could pass up an invitation like that?

Thanks for stopping by and joining the Challenge! It’s a whole lot of fun, and we’re so glad you’re as excited as we are for the festivities to begin!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: Mila Ranta, Parrot Stamp, CCA-Share Alike 2.5

Thursday, March 6, 2014

If you like #blogging , join the #AtoZchallenge and #AZchat !

 Today, we have Jemima Pett from #TeamDamyanti tells us about how to make the most of the A to Z Challenge.
So, you’re still wondering whether you can do the A to Z Challenge.  What on earth are you going to write about?  Will anybody read it?

Yes, loads of people will read it.  We pick out interesting-sounding names on the list, or work through the numbers, hoping to find things they wouldn’t normally read.  I find amazing crafts, weird games and fascinating journeys. 

In 2012 I was fairly new to blogging. I stepped right into the Challenge and loved it. So A to Z challenge is a great way to jump-start your blog if you're new to the blogging world.
I’d not long published my first two books and I thought an A to Z of my books’ world would be great.  It was... for me and a handful of people who were up with my stories.  I realised this last year, when I visited people doing character interviews: if your visitors are new, they don’t know your stories, they don’t enjoy the wonderful extra information and insights you’re giving them.  Making an A to Z of my world was good for me, but not my visitors. 

I also did an A to Z of food on my guinea pigs’ blog, George’s Guinea Pig World.  This was more successful, once visitors had got over the shock of having my guinea pig Victor talking to them.  Food is a universal subject. Victor made lots of friends, too, and I think he enjoyed it. Try to choose topics that will have an appeal wider than your niche. If you have a theme, sign up for the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal.
In 2013, I participated with just one blog; I did all the posts in advance and gave myself time to tour round other people’s blogs.  If you have superfast broadband you won’t realise that some blogs can take ages to load for slower systems.  Getting round 20 blogs could easily take me an hour and a half, without the time needed to leave comments and dealing with CAPTCHA.  That’s where I realised the value of keeping posts short, and also having identities on Blogger and WordPress so I was always logged in for comments. 

TURN CAPTCHA OFF. Go and check now on your blog if you have it on-- some bloggers have CAPTCHA and don't realize it. It turns off vistors like nothing else.
During the Challenge people like to visit, wave (i.e. comment or like) and move on.  In 2013 my short stories ranged from 50 words to 2000.  It’s good for regular posting but too much for the Challenge. Keep AZ posts short. Respond to comments you receive, and go and comment back. 

There will be two Challenge chats at #AZchat on Twitter today-- one at 1-3 PM hosted by AZ co-hots Pam Margolis and her team, and another at 8-9 PM, hosted by Guilie Castillo Oriard with support from #teamdamyanti, discussing Commenting during the A to Z Challenge. Join in!
This year, I’ll be blogging on a special theme, to be revealed for the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal.  I’ll also be revealing the cover of my new book, Bravo Victor, on April 2nd.  Come and check it out at and enter the Giveaway, too! If you have a book or any cause to promote, do it during the A to Z Challenge in order to get a good response.

Are you pre-scheduling your AZ posts? Do you have a theme? Are you already visiting other bloggers from the A to Z Challenge signup list?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Want to Grow your #Blog via the #AtoZChallenge ?

Today we have Mary Wallace talking to us about how A to Z April Blogging Challenge helped her blog, and what an  A to Z  first timer can do to reap benefits from the challenge!

When I first started blogging, I did so with a very specific purpose in mind, which lasted about five minutes. I started blogging, because at the time, I was homeless and thought that I had GREAT and IMPORTANT things to say about that. It turns out I didn’t; or at least not in any way that was interesting. So, I told stories and the stories turned out to be pretty damned amusing at times. Last year, in 2013, I found the A-to-Z Challenge and really enjoyed it—it helped me focus on my blog.

There are a few things about the A to Z Challenge that sets it apart from others, and I believe they help immensely in “growing” your audience, or at least offering the opportunity to do so:

  • The challenge is a month long and requires precisely 28 posts. The posts should be short and punchy (Or not, if your niche audience is happy with long posts). They can be funny, lyrical, whatever.
  • You can pick a “theme” (Join the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal if you do), or not.   
  •  By participating, you’ll meet people from all over the world with so many different interests and varied cultures and it will give you a chance to learn and share with your new friends!
  • By meeting new people and interacting, they will be sure to spread the word about your blog: Don’t forget to use Twitter, G + and Facebook!
  • If you are new to blogging, this is THE PERFECT CHALLENGE because the rules are short and sweet and there are scads and scads of people to help you along the way!
  • Here are a few posts that will make it easy for you to do the challenge once you sign up:
  1. Reading the A to Z Challenge FAQ post by Nicole Ayers
  2.  Oodles of Ideas for Finding Your AZwords by Tina Downey
  3.  Make Commenting Easy by Alex J Cavanaugh
  4. Pre-schedule Your Posts by Damyanti Biswas
  5.  Ace the Challenge through Social Media by Vidya Sury
  6. How to get more Followers for your blog by Arlee Bird 
  7. Get your Google Profile Right by MJ Joachim 
  8. Make Lasting Blog Relationships through A to Z Challenge by Guilie Castillo Oriard 
  9.  Don't get busted by the Photo police by Pam Margolis
  10. The Dreaded conversation about CAPTCHA by MJ Joachim
  11.  10 Tips to Ace the A to Z Challenge by Damyanti Biswas
  12. How to Hyper Blog like a Pro by Nicole Ayers

So, there you have it! There is no reason NOT to sign up for this challenge. I had so much fun last year and made many new friends. I am a bit different in that I am “retired” which is a polite word for disabled and I do not blog to make money, but I associate myself with the very best in the business, as I did when I worked.

The co-hosts set high standards and this is a chance to prove to yourself that yes, you can blog from A to Z and write wonderful posts and have fun doing so!

Have you joined the A to Z April Blogging Challenge yet?

Have questions? The first ever Twitter chat for Blogging from A to Z April Challenge will happen today, 28 February, at 6PM EST on the hashtag #AZchat. Come chat with us, exchange A to Z challenge tips and tricks, ask questions of A to Z challenge veterans and co-hosts. See you on Twitter this evening!