IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://tinyurl.com/AtoZ22 (sign-ups are closed)
Showing posts with label A to Z Challenge Hacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A to Z Challenge Hacks. Show all posts

Monday, April 21, 2014

ROAR into the #atozchallenge !

 When a lion roars in the savannah, it strikes fear into the heart of all that listen to its long drawn out grunts.

But AZers have a different kind of roar. Their roars call to people, help build community, and with each comment they leave in the savannah of blogland, they make new friends, share new joys, acquire new knowledge.

How is the A to Z Challenge treating you? Are you roaring through, or do you sense a flag in energies? Have you made new friends? New followers? Earned comments and appreciation?

If you feel low, go into a room, close all the doors and windows, and roar!

Let all the air and sound and tension rush out of you, and then, when you attack the screen and the list of blogs you need to visit, you'll find renewed energy!

Here's to roaring through the A to Z Challenge!

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.

Here's to NOT GIVING UP ON THE A TO Z CHALLENGE!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do You leverage #Socialmedia for #blogging? 20 #atozchallenge Tips


 Today, one of #TeamDamyanti , Vidya Sury , tells you how to spread your blog far and wide via social media.
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A blog hop is all about interaction, making friends and getting to know new bloggers. The #AtoZChallenge is a readymade opportunity to connect, interact, and take your blogging motivation to new highs.

So you've signed up for the A to Z Challenge (do it now if you haven't), and perhaps even the  A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest where you join a huge group of AtoZers to post your theme reveal post. You're also busy outlining your posts and scheduling them for April, so you can be free to party.
Yes, it is a month-long blogging party that will change your life forever!
So, besides visiting other bloggers, how can you amplify your blogging presence?
Use social media!
Social media is a great way to attract new readers and engage with your existing ones. As bloggers we cannot afford to ignore social media.

If you’re still wondering why you should use social media…it helps you

·      invite collaboration opportunities
·     get a book written (yes!)
·      create community
·      make new friends
·      get gigs 
and so much more!

How to get started?

1. Clean up your sidebars

2. Place your "follow/subscribe" buttons prominently so your visitors can find them easily and follow or subscribe to your awesome blog updates. 

3. Display Social Media Connect buttons for the networks you frequent. The most common are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and of course, email. You can get combinations of the set. Don't forget to customize the buttons with your own profile links.
4. Add Social Mediasharing buttons - so your visitors can share your posts on their social network of choice.
5. Have a Facebookfan page? Add the widget in your sidebar so you can build your audience right from your blog. All your visitor has to do is hit "Like."

6.
Create readymade tweets so your readers can copy and tweet. Like this:
#atozchallenge tip: Visit AZ bloggers before Challenge begins, follow their blogs-build your network! www.a-to-zchallenge.com @AprilA2Z
Try clicktotweet so your readers can directly click to tweet.
7. Use a dashboard like Hootsuite to manage and schedule your social media posts. Install the Hootsuite “hootlet” for your browser to tweet/schedule a tweet for any page you are on. If you follow the blogger, don’t forget to tag them when you tweet. The Hootsuite dashboard lets you see your tweet stream, sent tweets, mentions and scheduled posts.
8. If you use Feedburner, use the “socialize” feature to autoshare your own post on social media as soon you publish.
9.  Use the #atozchallenge tag across all media to make them easily discoverable. Tag +April Hosteam on G+ (run by Pam), tag @AprilA2Z on Twitter (run by Nicole) and Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (run by Heather) on FB to get RTs and Shares of your posts.
10. Big on images? Add a Pin it button so your readers can share your gorgeous images on Pinterest.
11. Use LinkedIn? Import your RSS feed to your LinkedIn profile using the blog link application on LinkedIn to show off your posts on your profile.
12. Go to your Twitter settings - and set it up to share automatically to your Facebook profile.
14. Spend some time every day acknowledging shares and engaging in social media. Thank people publicly, give them a shoutout!
15. And while you are at it, give your "About Me" page the once-over! Now is a good time to tweak that, too!
16. Don’t forget to TELL your readers to share your posts! For more tips: See this post by M J Joachim's Aztech, C. Lee McKenzie.

17. The A to Z Challenge is not just about you. Consider using Twitterfeed to auto-tweet your favorite blogs’ posts and you'll have a bunch of RTers for your own posts soon!

18. If you have a twitter account, consider joining Triberr.com. This will ensure a lot of bloggers RT your posts.

19. Use Roundteam.co to automatically RT tweets on the #atozchallenge tag, or from bloggers you like.

20. Finally, check that all your links work.

To summarize, sidebar must-haves:
  • Subscribe / Follow button
  • Social media connect buttons
  • G+ button for your blog (different from the add to circles)
  • Facebook Fan page Like Widget
  • AtoZChallenge badge

Go forth and connect! Questions, problems? Ask away in the comments and Vidya will do her best to solve them for you!
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Have you signed up for the #AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal Blogfest?  Do it now!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Calling all #atozchallenge participants to #SocialMedia !

A to Z April Blogging challenge is all about networking, connecting with interesting bloggers and making blog friends. 

To that end we usually recommend following other blogs, commenting on their posts.

Another way to cement these relationships is to follow each other on social media.

One of the things I want to encourage this year for AZers is cross connection-- follow as many AZ bloggers as possible on the following social networks:

Facebook
Twitter
G+ page

Start with following Blogging from A to Z April Challenge :
Twitter id and hashtag: @AprilA2Z and #atozchallenge
G+ page: +April Hosteam 


I'll also share my details here:
My co-host blog: Amlokiblogs
My participant blog: Daily (w)rite
My Twitter: @damyantig
My G+: +D Biswas 

If you're on any of these networks, leave me the details in the comments below-- I'll follow you, and encourage others to do the same. While adding your social media details, make sure to mention the name and number of your blog in the sign up list

Use this format for your details:

My Blog Name and Number on the list
My Facebook
My Twitter
My G+

Follow each other as more AZ participants drop in their social media deets in the comments below.

Following other AZ participants on social media would create a buzzing network. And who doesn't want more followers, right?

 It would deepen a sense of community come April and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the challenge if you haven't already, and leave us your details in the comments.






Friday, January 31, 2014

#Blogging for #atozchallenge : To Theme or Not To Theme?

You're all signed up for the A to Z Challenge. (If you aren't, go on, run and do it, I'll wait.)

One of the questions doing the rounds:  

What do I blog about? Does it all have to be about the same thing?

Short Answer: No, but it helps to have a theme.

You can just post on your blog 26 different things for 26 days of April, and you've still won the challenge. 

Some folks do it each month of the year (-- they even do 31 posts a month, don't ask me how, I do about 8. Ok, maybe 10 if I'm feeling productive).

If you're one of those daily bloggers, and have an established audience, I would still recommend an A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme. If you're not, I'll recommend a theme.

WHY? 


  • Because a theme sticks in the minds of people, aka, your visitors. 
  • A blog challenge is about building community-- so if folks remember you from you challenge posts, they'll be blog friends for longer. 
  • You also have to do less work in some cases, because once you thoroughly research a topic, your posts come that much easier! 
  • Niche audience: It is important to attract the core audience of your blog, because they'll remain loyal due to their interest in a particular topic-- and if you blog on that topic for the #atozchallenge , you can be sure to attract a regular band of followers.

So, if you wish you can blog without a theme. I'm only saying Blogging for A to Z challenge might be so much more effective for your blog if you have a theme!  


And if you do have a theme, you may choose to reveal it on March 21st through the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2014, hosted by Anna Tan Csenge,  Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard , Samantha Geary Jones and Vidya Sury.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Hyper Blog Like a Pro!

The best way to increase your chances for having a great Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge experience is by actively working specific areas of this blogathon to meet goals you have (whether formal or informal) for your blog in April. Even among bloggers who do not have solid long or short-term goals for blogging through the 26 letters of the alphabet; chances are that when you sign-up, you do so with a set of expectations or hopes for what you want to get out of your participation in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge.

On Monday, Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out filled us in on the secret to this challenge – it’s about the letters, but it’s also about the numbers. 

"Hyper Blogging" is what he calls it; a kind of blogging on steroids that is necessary action for participants who aim to see any real significant increase in your number of subscribers, fans, friends, followers, visitors and comments – or whatever area you are seeking a boost in for your blog. As founder and ruler-of-them-all when it comes to the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge, Arlee has a great point when he emphasizes that you have to put in the work to see results.

I’ve participated in this challenge long enough to understand how its mere size can be enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned bloggers. Since we cannot be everywhere all of the time, while trying to visit nearly two thousand blogs in 26 days, it’s beneficial to use those A-to-Z goals, expectations and/or hopes as a foundation for your plan of attack on this April blogathon. Focus on activities that lead toward what you want and do less of the online stuff that doesn’t move in that same direction. Here are some ways that you can get your numbers up during the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge without returning to your blog empty-handed by the time May rolls around.

The Key to Playing the Numbers Game

Locate the objective that most matches what you want out of the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge and then focus on doing the activities listed for those particular goals during April. You don’t have to ignore all of the other activities altogether; just make sure to pay close attention to the actions that directly serve you, your blogging interests and your reasons for participating in the challenge.

Want more comments on your blog? Do these activities:
  • End your blog post with a question
  • Leave a comment on every blog that you visit. 
  • Blog about a controversial topic (Tread lightly here when swimming in controversial waters, and choose topics at your own risk.)
  • Reply to comments on your own blog.
  • Write a blog post comparing something such as baby names, products, people, services, situations, songs, movies, etc.
  • Reciprocate comments by visiting and commenting on the blogs of those who left a comment on your blog.
Want more people to visit your blog? Do these activities:
  • Visit additional blogs on Sundays when we have the day off from blogging in the A-to-Z Challenge, and then leave comments on these blogs.
  • Use the #atozchallenge hashtag on Twitter when mentioning your blog posts that are related to the challenge.
  • Add your blog URL below every comment you leave on other blogs. You do not need to know HTML to do this. Writing out the URL address (www.yourblog.com) will suffice.
  • Become a minion for one of the Co-Hosts. (It’s a lot of work in addition to what you already have in store as a challenge participant, but being a minion also comes with various perks such as having your blog featured on in A-to-Z Blog posts as well as on the blogs of Co-Hosts.)
  • Make your blog posts shareable by adding a “Share this” button or related social media links to your A-to-Z Challenge posts, allowing readers to share them on their blogs or among their social networks.
  • Link to other blogs that are participating in the challenge and/or feature another blogger in one of your blog posts. He or she will likely announce the news – either on his or her own blog or in their respective online social circles.
  • Swap guest posts with another blogger who is participating in the challenge. (For example, you can write a guest post for letter L or N on another blog and that blogger can give you a guest post for Letter M or O. This can be an effective way to increase readership outside of your own circle of visitors.)

Want more subscribers/followers/fans, etc. of your blog? Do these activities:
  • Place subscribe buttons and/or forms in your sidebar above the fold (near the top of the sidebar, positioned high enough that visitors do not have to scroll down the page to find it).
  • Add your social media handle (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google + or whatever your pimping) to your signature at the end of your blog post or in your comments when visiting other blogs. (Don’t go crazy here, or else people will be quick to consider you a self-serving spammer. Pick a social profile...or two but I really wouldn’t recommend listing more than two...that is most important to you and use that one and that only. Notice I did not mention your blog URL. That’s because if you’re interested in followers, then it isn’t necessary for your blog URL to be listed in your comments because your blog address should already be prominently featured somewhere on your social media profile and easy for your social network to access. Duh!)
  • Make hybrid content for your blog posts, that can double as content for your social media websites and/or vice versa. (Meaning....If you are active on Instagram, write a blog post about one of the photos that you posted there, add the proper tags such as #Instagram, etc. and then share the blog post URL on FB or other social networks that you belong to. Grab a quotable section from one of your blog posts such as a short blurb that could stand on its own and Tweet it or Pin it or Tumblr it, all while making sure to add/embed a permalink back to your original blog post.)

Happy Blogging!

What are the reasons why YOU participate in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge?

Do YOU get the results that you hope for when it’s all said and done?

Nicole Ayers at The Madlab Post

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A to Z Challenge Hacks – All Text, No Extras!

The next Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge is a few seasons away but it’s never too early to get a head start on mapping out your game plan for surviving this massive undertaking. 

As we close out the Summer and head into Fall, this is a good time to learn from our own previous A-to-Z Challenge experiences or those of other participants, to keep up with the alphabet and visiting new blogs without losing our minds in the process.

Since I was fundraising for my short film at the time and didn’t have internet access during most of April, my daily schedule was hectic. There were days when I found myself scrambling to get a blog post up by 11:59pm to avoid falling behind our 26-day blogging schedule. Here is one of a few tips and tricks that helped me stay on track as best as I could during the 2013 A-to-Z Challenge.

Text first, Pictures & Stuff later

I posted my blog posts without photos and then returned at a later time to edit/update the posts by adding photos. This is one of my A-to-Z Hacks that worked wonders for me by reducing the stress of not being able to have something new for those who were visiting my blog.

Putting text-only posts up on your blog is especially useful for procrastinators or those who just usually write their blog posts later in the evening due to jobs, screaming babies, whining spouses, ailing parents, church services, natural disasters, technical issues, NBC’s The “X-Factor” or “America’s Got Talent,” CBS’s “Big Brother,” HBO’s “Breaking Bad” or for whatever other reason.


Since I’ve written a lot of my A-to-Z Challenge posts at night, I would aim to get something up on my blog by 11:59pm for the current letter of the day. When the challenge reached Letter K, I did not have the time to write, edit, proofread, edit again and format my post earlier in the day, so I worked on it at night starting around 10:00pm and noticed that I was running out of time. 

So instead of worrying about the layout of photos that would support this post, I focused on getting the post to go live before midnight, so that I could remain up to date in the challenge. Afterward, (since I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon, anyway) I searched for the images that I wanted to accompany that post and then went back into my blog editor and added them sometime after midnight, within the next hour or so.

My Text first, Pictures, etc. later A-to-Z Hack worked so well that the same trick could be applied to posts written earlier in the daytime as well. If you are among the challenge participants who write your posts in the morning or during the early afternoon hours but still need to find photos to go with them, just split up those duties – publish the post that you have so far (which is the text) and then add the images and/or any links that you didn’t have handy the first time around, later in the evening when you get to them. See…this A to Z blogging trick is as easy as pie.

Have a joyous weekend, everybody!

- Nicole @MadlabPost

*More of my A to Z Hacks will be coming soon. Until then, let me know something…

When (morning/daytime/nighttime) did YOU usually write YOUR posts for the A to Z Challenge?


Do YOU have any A-to-Z Challenge survival tricks up YOUR sleeve that you’d like to share with me?