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Showing posts with label 2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Still Time to Sign Up! #atozchallenge Road Trip


Are You Ready To Road Trip?

          Sign-ups will be closing Friday night (That's tomorrow folks!) so you still have some time to join us on our journey through the A to Z blog list throughout the rest of 2016.  It's a great way to pass time on lazy summer days or any old time for that matter.   Discover new blogs that you missed in April and make new blogging friends.

           If you'd like to get on board the Road Trip Blogging Bus then add your blog link to the list below and then start visiting!


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      Be seeing you!





Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Time for the 2016 A to Z Post Challenge Road Trip





Are YOU ready to cruise through the 2016 A-Z Challenge list?  If you're like most of us, you didn't make the total rounds during April.  Now's your chance to catch up to some of the great bloggers who posted during the 7th annual Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  And the good news is that we've got the rest of this year to do our road trippin'.

Thanks to the late great Tina Downey at Life is Good and Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse who started the Road Trip (formerly known as the Post-Challenge Challenge) -- by calling on each other to visit all of the blogs on the list before the next A-Z Challenge rolled around -- we now have this year-round event to stay active in the blogosphere during the "off-season."

Now I invite you to join us on the 6th annual Post-Challenge Road Trip, a meandering journey through the 2016 list of A-Z participants, at your own pace, with your own rules, and very few expectations.

The most important thing to keep in mind is you're the boss of you're own schedule and approach to visiting blogs. Whether you want to visit one new blog on a daily basis or hundreds of blogs per day, you're the one at the wheel. The Road Trip is really just some buddies in the blogging community hanging out and visiting new voices in the A-Z world.

A few strategies that may have worked for Road Trippers include...
  • Visiting all the blogs with similar topics or categories as yours
  • Visiting all the blogs whose names make you curious
  • Visiting all the blogs at even (or odd) numbers on the list
  • Start from where you left off and keep on truckin'...
  • Visiting blogs that are low (or high, or in the middle) on the list
  • Visiting blogs randomly by just clicking on titles located in different areas of the list
Whatever you do, remember that signing up on the linky doesn't mean you're committed to visiting ALL of the blogs on the list. Coming along with us on this Road Trip just indicates that you're not done yet and would like to show your fellow A-Z participants some visiting and commenting love. These are among the things that keep a blogging community strong.  In your blog travels, if you run across any bad links on the list please let us know (contact info at tab)--we've tried cleaning up the list, but there still may be some bad links in there.

Who's with us for the 2016 Post-Challenge Road Trip?  Sign up below!



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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zip, Zap, Zoom! #atozchallenge




Time to zip this challenge up for another year!  

Did you have fun?   Did you finish like you should have done--making new friends, leaving comments on the blogs of others, posting good content on your own blog?

If you made it this far successfully you are probably zapped.   Maybe it's even time for a nap.  Relax, but don't stop yet.  Rest for a bit if you need but don't quit blogging--agreed?

This Challenge is just a jumping off point for more blogging ahead.    Blogging and more blogging should be stuck in your head.   You heard me; that's what I said.   

Time now to zoom into the future--May, June, July, and on and on.  Now you can post one day a week or whatever you want.  Or every day if that's your desire.  If you're burning to blog don't put out the fire.

Now one more thing before this Challenge is toast.  Don't forget to schedule your A to Z Reflections Post!

Thanks for joining us in A to Z for 2016!

       You can do your Reflections Post at any time, but the list won't open until Monday May 9th and will stay open until May 13th and that's when you can add your link to your post. Watch this blog for further details.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Victory Lap at the #AtoZChallenge !

Now the end is nigh and the finish line is in sight: three more posts to go and you'll be an A to Z Challenge Winner!

On my blog, I've been writing about the nonprofit Project Why and their unsung heroes, and will be sad once the challenge is done.

Don't let up on your blog: keep the Adrenalin pumping.

  • Visit those who have commented on your posts. 
  • Follow back those who have followed you. 
  • Follow them on social media, too. 
  • The more visits and comments you do in a day, the more you shall get out of the challenge.

Time enough to take a break once you're done with the challenge!

Do not forget the A to Z Reflections Post on 9th of May, about which we will talk about soon: this will be your chance to give us feedback. What did we do well? What could be done better?

For now, go visit a blog or two, or five or fifty! The A to Z Challenge list is waiting for you!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Labour of Love

In more ways than one, this Challenge is a labour of love—not only for Arlee Bird, the conceptualizer behind this phenomenal blogging extravaganza—but for all you wonderful participants.

It takes discipline and dedication to create 26 posts for a month, as most of us don't blog that often. Many of us do research, if we select a theme, to ensure we have all the facts we need before we write a word and then there's the editing and fine-tuning.

Others will spend hours going through pictures and various sites to be able to pull everything together for a well-organized and attention-grabbing line-up.


Hearty congratulations to all of us who have made it this far. Blogging from A-Z is no mean feat and we all deserve a pat on the back for the labour or love we've undertaken this month.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Keep it Going with the #AtoZChallenge !


Today, Misha Gericke from D's Company shares her experience with you about the A to Z Blogging challenge.
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When you signed up for the A to Z Challenge, I bet you thought it was a good idea.

But now, we’re starting to get to the point where the start-out adrenaline fades away and the month is starting to look long. Especially when you didn’t plan and schedule posts ahead. (I know the feeling. Until this year, I only ever planned the topics for my A to Z posts and wrote the posts on the day they were due.)

Except for last year, I won every time. For two blogs. But last year doesn’t count for me. (It’s my guest post, my rules.)

Here’s the thing, every year, I’d hit a point where I just got tired of the whole blogging thing. And I still won. How?

Simple.

I didn’t give up. Sometimes, I ended up having to write two posts on one day. Or to write on Sundays to make up for a skipped week-day. Whatever it took. Eventually I caught up, and it made the win all the sweeter.

So don’t give up when you lag behind. Keep going. It gets easier when the end is in sight.


What are you doing to keep going this year? Any tips?

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If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:  Tumblr | Twitter | Google Plus | Writing Blog
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Follow the A to Z Blogging team on our Facebook Page!
Email address is contactatozteam at gmail dot com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z
 
We’re still holding Twitter chats on Thursdays at the tag #azchat at 9.00 PM EDT. Please follow the Twitter and Facebook handles, and the hashtags in order to keep up with the conversation.



Friday, April 8, 2016

Tackling the Challenge with Gusto!

So the Challenge is lots of fun and excitement for those who enjoy this business of blogging.

One of the best things about the Challenge is meeting new people and finding cool blogs that are super-interesting. However, the only way people will know you've visited is if you leave comments on their blogs. That not only says that we've dropped in, but that we were engaged enough to introduce ourselves.

There's no better way of fueling the gusto to continue visiting participants than to charge through a section of the list each day.

You'll find that by leaving meaningful comments, other bloggers will gravitate to your blog. So it pays to put your energy into crafting creative posts and making as many visits as you can, so you can power through the Challenge with gusto!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Discipline in Blogging for #AtoZChallenge!


 For the alphabet D, Samantha Redstreake Geary from D's Company (I was tempted to make this D for Damyanti, but asked Samantha instead, who I clearly see is no better at Discipline than me!) offers her tongue-in-cheek take.
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discipline-i-know-its-in-there-somewhere.jpgToday, I’m dishing out a big helping of “D” with a side of irony, considering I rarely choose Discipline at the all-you-can-do buffet. Let’s be honest. Discipline is the kale on the salad bar of life. You know it’s good for you, but you’ve only so much room and so little time, and that treasure trove of desserts is whispering sweet nothings like there’s no tomorrow. And then, when tomorrow rears its ugly head at the crack of dawn, you’ll look back on those empty calorie hours with a pounding regret hangover and think to yourself, I should’ve had the kale.la-ss-decadent-desserts-20131113-dto.jpg

Rinse and repeat.meet-kale.jpg

What IF, one day, while grazing in the pasture of possibility, you decided to give the questionable green leaves a shot. This time, you ignore the sugar-laden distractions, seize the salad tongs, and load up on vitamin-infused productivity. When tomorrow comes, self-reproach is replaced with satisfaction. And before too long, you’ll feel so fulfilled you won’t give that syrupy stack of procrastination a second glance because kale is where it’s at.

B-M49MsIgAAip9g.jpg
Recap
Kale = Discipline

Eat your kale EVERY DAY, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your aspirations and one step closer to becoming an organic, shade grown, fair trade, bird sanctuary badass!

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Which is to say, now that you're in the A to Z Challenge, stick with your blogging discipline, even though on some days it feels like chewing on steamed Kale!

On a more serious note, D is for Determination, Drive and Daring. You'll need all of it while you dish out posts on the remaining 22 days of April!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Joyful Brigade Hits the Road

It's almost time for us to hit the ground running with the Challenge. I'm happy to be a co-host for the second year running and I'll be ably assisted by the seasoned bloggers listed below. Meet the Joyful Brigade and say howdy!

Keith Channing is retired and lives in the middle of France with his wife and two dogs, where he mostly makes up and writes lies for the sheer pleasure of doing it. Some of them even rhyme. Many of these lies, both of the rhyming and non-rhyming types, end up on his blog, as do some of the photographs he's taken from time to time.

Contact Links:

Fuller bio is at https://about.me/keithchanning
https://www.twitter.com/keithchanning
https://plus.google.com/108165500792647138091
http://keithchanning.tumblr.com/

Bish Denham was raised in the Virgin Islands where her family has been living for over a hundred years. She worked for 23 years with abused, neglected, and emotionally disturbed children before retiring. Bish has been writing off and on most of her life, but it's only been within the few years that she's taken the plunge to self-publish. She now has two books out in the world: A collection of ten stories about the Caribbean trickster Anansi, called Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and a novel about a vain young lizard who believes he has a destiny called A Lizard's Tail. She's currently working on a Caribbean ghost story and has been blogging 9 years. This will be her 7th A to Z Challenge.


Contact Links:
http://bish-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BishDenham.Author/
https://twitter.com/BishDenham


Betty Dmochowski Wooton has been blogging for close to 10 years under a lot of different names, but finally settled into her niche, A Bench with a View, about 4 years ago. She blogs about a variety of subjects and tries not to blog more than once a week so she can save time to check out and read lots of other blogs. This will be her 4th A/Z Challenge. In real life when she's  not blogging or reading blogs she's a medical transcriptionist. She has been married for 35 years and was recently blessed with a grandson born right after Valentine's Day 2016.

Contact Links:
http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/betty.wooton
https://www.facebook.com/walkhumblywithMyGod

Jen Garrett writes for, about, and around children all day. But sometimes she finds time to do the dishes at her home in Northern California. She also finds time to blog, participate in SCBWI, facilitate The Writers Bloc at her local library, query agents, and read mountains of books. How? We don’t know.


Contact Links:
lexicalcreations.weebly.com

Twitter handle @lexicalcreation
Facebook Lexical Creations and https://www.facebook.com/thewritersblocinplacerville/

Sheena-Kay Graham is a writer, Christian, proud Jamaican, Harry Potter fan, Divergent lover, Dauntless Faction, Book Obsessed. She blogs about her life, books, book reviews, her upcoming novels, and sometimes random fun, plus the movies she sees at the cinema.

Contact Links:
http://queendsheena.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SheenakayGrahamAuthor/
https://twitter.com/queendsheena
Laura Hernandez is the mother of four children and grandmother of three with another two arriving this summer. She is engaged to a retired military man and currently resides in Missouri. Her hobbies include reading, DIY projects and arts & crafts. She's always had a passion for books so wasn't surprised when she eventually started a blog. 

Those first few blog posts only had a picture of the book she read and a sentence or two for a review. Since then, reviewing books has afforded her opportunities that she never knew existed and Laura is very thankful for the many book-addicted friends she's been able to make.

Contact Links:
The Voluptuous Book Diva - http://voluptuousbookdiva.blogspot.com http://facebook.com/voluptuousbdiva

http://yabkd.blogspot.com and on Facebook http://facebook.com/yareeds
Twitter @VoluptuousBDiva 
Instagram @volptuousbookdiva

Michelle Wallace is a writer-in-the-making, on an adventure, a never-ending journey. Her many titles include writer, blogger, flash fiction junkie, wannabe poetess, educator. She looks forward to meeting and interacting with many different writers/poets/bloggers from many different places, as she believes that this potpourri of characters will enrich her life in one way or another, helping to mould and shape her writing experiences. Therein lies the success story~it lies in the actual journey!

Contact Links:
http://www.writer-in-transit.co.za/
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.wallace.author
Twitter link: @mishy1727 Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14191973-michelle

And then there's me, J.L. Campbell. I'm plenty happy to have this great group of bloggers to help make the Challenge fun and easy. I live in Jamaica and write sweet romance, romantic suspense, women's fiction, new and young adult novels.


Contact Links: www.joylcampbell.com
https://www.facebook.com/jcampbellchambers
https://twitter.com/JL_Campbell
https://www.pinterest.com/thewriterssuite/

Thanks so much for stopping in, I hope you're looking forward to the Challenge as much as we are. Feel free to visit these bloggers and get acquainted.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Day! #atozchallenge

One of the most burning questions participants ask themselves every year is: "Should I have a theme?" Themes are not mandatory, but definitely fun. They let your visitors know what to expect, and help you create posts that line neatly up from A to Z. They also have an added bonus – they let you participate in a whole separate blogfest!

Three years ago, A to Z participant Mina Lobo started the Theme Reveal, and we thought it was such a great idea that we made it tradition.

Here is how the Theme Reveal Blogfest works:

Sign up on the Linky List below. On Monday, March 21 (TODAY!) reveal your theme on your blog and give us a hint of what to expect from it. Then, once your post is up, use the Linky List to visit all the other blogs announcing their themes.

This is a great opportunity for all of you to get a jump start on your A to Z experience. You can link up with fellow bloggers, scout out and bookmark themes that you look forward to, and lure in wandering participants with your awesome theme. This way, by the time the frenzied posting begins on April 1, you will already have an audience eagerly awaiting your posts.

Be sure to visit others on the list and find some awesome themes!



Monday, March 7, 2016

#atozchallenge Rocking the Challenge!

So, I think I've settled on a theme for the Challenge.

It's gonna be a really simple one. (I wonder if it may be too simple) But it will require help from the people who visit my blog. I think it will be an interesting way to gather information that I can use at a later date and people will probably have fun making their own contribution.

Usually, I choose to do something that will help others and since I've done the Challenge, I've collected enough data for several books. Alas, I haven't done any kind of compilation, which won't get done unless I put it on a list.

Never fear, we have time yet. But all the same, the Challenge isn't very far away! The next time I post here, I'm hoping to introduce my Joyful Brigade of helpers for the Challenge. We're getting ready to rock the Challenge. Are you? In the very slim even that you haven't signed up as yet, access the sign-up list here.

I haven't heard from a couple of my helpers, so if you're up for helping me check in on a set of blogs during the Challenge, please feel free to leave me a message here and I'll touch base with you.

So have you settled on a theme yet. Narrowed it down to a couple? Still waffling? Need more time because you still can't decide yet? 

Friday, March 4, 2016

#atozchallenge: Introducing Damyanti and her team, D's Company!

 I've been part of the A to Z family for a while, and many of you know me as Damyanti from Daily (w)rite.

I'm camera-shy, so the spotlight is on Guilie Castillo, who is introducing herself and her team mates, (my gang) this year : D's Company.

 Take it away, Guilie!
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The A-to-Z Challenge is, undisputedly, the blogging event of the year. In a community where blogfests and hops abound, that's saying something. And the magic was there from the beginning. In 2010, around 100 bloggers took up Arlee Bird's call to arms; by the following year participation had increased more than tenfold: over 1300 blogs signed up. And that number grows every year. Why? What's this A-to-Z magic that sweeps the blogosphere as soon as the sign-up list opens in January?
  • The community. No group of people is as welcoming, and as fascinating to get to know, as bloggers. They come from such varied backgrounds, product of such different cultures and lives, that their posts become doors into entirely new worlds.
  • The exposure. Nothing grows a blog's audience like the A-to-Z. Nothing, short of being featured on the Huffington Post, exposes your blog to as many potential readers, fans, and friends. 
  • The relationships. You will forge unprecedented friendships. There's something about the hectic atmosphere in April that... Well, you know. The best friendships are forged in fire.
  • The challenge. It's a human trait. We love challenges. We might enter the A-to-Z world hopelessly (and, honestly, kind of adorably) clueless as to what exactly we've signed up for, and we might finish the month exhausted and certifiably brain-dead, but we can't wait for it to be April again.
It's such a rush to see that list of 27 posts. We did it. Our creativity stood the test. We committed to something and we actually saw it through. That sense of achievement is a high that's hard to pass over. Last year I seriously considered sitting the Challenge out. Among other pressing things, I was behind — like, months behind — on the edits for my first novel, due for publication in spring 2015. But I signed up anyway. And I didn't finish. I skipped one letter outright, and my last post was a three-in-one. Should I have abstained? You know what? Nah. Finish or fail, the A-to-Z is the highlight of my blogging year. 

This year I'm joining co-host Damyanti Biswas's team, and it's my pleasure to introduce the fabulous women who make up D's Company.

 Vidya Sury Lives in hot-and-happening Bangalore. Tries to live mindfully, doing what she loves and loving what she does as a mom, writer, blogger, editor, and social media enthusiast.

 Misha Gericke Lives close to Cape Town, South Africa. She's either writing, editing, or working as a fresh produce exporter.
  
Andrea Michaels A writer in love with the sky and the ocean and brown eyes in general. Regularity and structure aren't her strong points but she makes awesome pancakes.

 Soumya Prasad The group's second Bangalorite is a hard-core techie. Her name means "one who is soft-spoken", which she considers the biggest irony of her life. A lover of love and all things related to it.

 Samantha Geary Jones Speculative fiction author living in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her lover, her two adorable little girls, and a border collie sidekick. Freelance writer for film, TV, and the gaming and trailer music industries.  

Guilie Castillo Mexican author and dog rescuer living in Curaçao. When not writing she'll be found wandering the island's wilderness with her seven dogs. 

Damyanti Biswas Blogger, author, troublemaker. A to Z cohost. An inept housewife, tea-and wine-lover.

We're all looking forward to getting to know you!
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Follow the A to Z Blogging team on our Facebook Page!
Email address is contactatozteam at gmail dot com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z
If you have a theme for you A to Z Challenge, sign up for the Theme Reveal!

We’ll hold Twitter chats on Thursdays at the tag #azchat at 9.00 PM EST. Please follow the Twitter and Facebook handles, and the hashtags in order to keep up with the conversation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Blogging for #atozchallenge : does your #writing move your readers?

Now that the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Signup list is in the hundreds, and likely to hit a 1000 soon, it is time to take stock of your blogging.

Do you run a popular blog? If yes, please go off and schedule a few A to Z Challenge posts. This post is for those of us who are struggling to build an audience.

Kidding.

It is a topic that all bloggers need to revisit from time to time, namely: RESONANCE.

Go read your blog posts from two months ago. Go on, I'll wait.

If you were a visitor, do you think you'd stop and read through, without skimming? If the answer is a firm YES, pat yourself on the back. All you have to do is visit more bloggers and get on social media to start interacting with other bloggers. Your blog will flourish.

If your answer is veering towards UNSURE or NO, examine your current posts. What do they offer a visitor: emotion, positivity, support, information, analysis, interesting tidbits, laughter? If the answer is a No, then you might need to re-examine why you blog, and your expectations of its popularity.

An audience will be loyal not just if you post regularly or comment on others' posts. You'll need to resonate with them, offer them intellectual stimulus or emotional support. Or good old entertainment.

Many of you are now deciding on themes for the A to Z Challenge. Before you finalise one, take the Resonance Test. Go back to a 2-month old post. You would now have become objective towards it. Check what you're offering your audience.

If you Resonate with your audience, they'll have more of a reason to keep coming back.

And if you haven't yet signed up for the A to Z Challenge, consider signing up now.

Do your posts Resonate? Tell us in the comments!

--Damyanti Biswas
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Follow us on our Facebook Page!
Email address is contactatozteam at gmail dot com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z.

We’ll hold Twitter chats on Thursdays at the tag #azchat starting Feb 18, 2016, 9.00 PM EST. Please follow the Twitter and Facebook handles, and the hashtags in order to keep up with the conversation.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Howdy Neighbour!

I know what I'm about to say has been said a time or two before, but it bears repeating. One of the things that makes the A-Z Blogging Challenge most enjoyable is the interaction with other persons doing April.

We're creatures of habit and tend to visit those we're friendly with first. Mixing that up a little means engaging other people, visiting their blogs before stopping in with our friends. While not everybody is going to reciprocate your stopover, there will be at least a few persons who will return the favour.

Nothing disturbs me more on the Challenge trail than finding blogs without comments and a few persons may give up, not only because they run out of steam, but because blogging is no fun without the comments from visitors. It's okay to leave enough feedback to let the blogger know you've been and that you've read their post.


Let's try and do as much as we can before the actual Challenge so that we'll have more time to make the rounds and meet new friends.

So are you game?

I know I am.


J.L. Campbell blogs at The Character Depot