Showing posts with label A-Z participants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A-Z participants. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2020

2020 Vision: The Old Shelter - Sarah Zama's author blog (#AtoZChallenge)

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of posts focuses on:

A Blog with 2020 Vision

Do you like historical fiction? How about historical fantasy? Are you excited to be living in the 20s again? How about escaping into the 1920s?

Sarah Zama is a long time participant of the A to Z Challenge with her blog called The Old Shelter. This is her sixth year joining us! Since as an author she works with the past - specifically, the 1920s - I thought she would be a perfect candidate for being featured in our "2020 Vision" series!

Sarah's challenge posts are always a delight to read. This year, her theme is Living in the Twenties! In the past she has done other themes related to her research work for historical fiction:

2015 - The Roaring Twenties
2016 - Jazz Age jazz: early jazz as a social phenomenon
2017 - 1940s film noir
2018 - The Weimar Republic
2019 - Berliner Cabaret

What I especially love about Sarah's posts is that they are extremely well researched and well organized. I always learn a lot from them. And what makes her an even better participant: she always visits back!

Sarah is an author who writes historical fantasy, focusing on the 1920s - or as she describes it, 1920s Dieselpunk Noir. It's history mixed with fantasy, and some fairy tale elements. If you want to find out more about her stories, follow this link!

If you haven't visited Sarah's blog yet, stop by and say hi to her!
You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

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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.
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."

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! @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 This will ensure a lot of bloggers RT your posts.

19. Use 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!

Have you signed up for the #AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal Blogfest?  Do it now!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Have You Scheduled Your #atozchallenge Posts Yet?

Sign up to Reveal Your A to Z Theme!
As A to Z Challenge co-hosts, one of the biggest challenges we face is how to keep our own blogs going while taking care of a whole host of behind-the-scenes activity.

Last two years, I've gone with one blog. This year, I'm being brave and have submitted two, Amlokiblogs, and Daily (w)rite. I know of people who have submitted up to five blogs!

Before we know it, April would be here-- we have less than a month left! Where did all that time go? Seems to me we were just announcing the challenge and the co-hosts in January!

So, how many of your AZ posts are done? And how can you get them done in a way that is relatively quick and painless?

The most important thing, imho, is to decide a theme.

This makes it easier to pre-schedule posts.

For those of us doing the challenge, deciding a theme is half the job done, and if you've done this job, you can showcase it too, before the challenge starts: Mina Lobo has announced the "Big Reveal Bloghop" where we all reveal our themes a week before the challenge: March 21st. So go ahead and sign up and get to know/ renew acquaintances with a few other A to Z participants!

If you have all your A to Z posts done and dusted, and I know a lot of you have got just that, stupendous! Just make sure you spread the comment love. As DL Hammons tell us in his post, this is the one good way to make your blog part of the community!

If you haven't got your A to Z posts scheduled yet, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting to Know: JoJo of Tahoma Beadsworks and Photography

Please welcome our second installment in the “Getting to Know Your Fellow A-Z Participants” that I posted about during my invitation for guest posters. Over the next few months leading up to the 2013 challenge, we will have lots more of these posts. If you're interested in participating, just email me (Tina) at tndowney (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure to include “guest post” in your subject. I get a LOT of emails...

  1. When did you start blogging and why? Tell us a bit about the kind of blog you have.  Be sure to include the name of your blog and the link.

    I opened my blog, Tahoma Beadworks and Photography on July 6, 2006 and originally it was intended to be a fan site for actor Vincent D'Onofrio.  A bunch of us VDO fans started blogs around the same time.  I soon realized that my friends were providing way better pics and info about him so I transitioned mine into one about my life and featuring my photography and crafts.  This was before Facebook, so it was a way for friends/family to keep in touch and keep up with what I was up to without my having to write emails or *gasp* handwritten letters.  My muse left me in 2009 and I took a substantial break that year, but returned to regular posts in 2010.  It's a fun and creative outlet and I enjoy preparing the posts.  Please come visit!!  

  2. How did you find out about the challenges, and how many have you done? What was your favorite part of participating?

    My friend Bev at Blue Velvet Vincent invited me to participate so I signed up.  My fave part was finding and following new blogs and meeting great new friends.  

  3. What suggestions would you have for visiting new blogs during the A to Z challenge?  What blog visiting strategy has worked for you during the challenge?

    I basically just clicked on random blogs from the Linky List.  It was frustrating as some weren't participating, had removed their blogs or were blogging on topics that didn't float my boat.  That was the most time consuming part.  It'd be great if there was a topic list into which we could place our blog links, so as to find and reach people with similar interests.

  4. What topics or themes would you like to see other bloggers cover during the challenge? What types of content (poetry, short stories, writing tips, photos, reviews, etc.) would you enjoy reading during the A to Z Challenge?

    I can only speak for my own interests of photography, crafts, Canada and life-type diaries.  I am not a full time writer so the writing and poetry blogs didn't really do it for me.  Nor did the ones about babies and raising children or religion.  

  5. Please tell us something unusual about yourself – don't be shy. 

    Unusual....hmm.....that's a hard one.   There was a time, from 1987-1995, when my life literally revolved around the Grateful Dead.  Going to shows, trading the live tapes, hanging out with other Deadheads and talking about the shows, waiting for the mailorder tickets to be available for the next show, recruiting non-Deadhead friends to help me try and get the coveted New Years Eve tickets (I paid for the money order but had them fill out the information because it was one mailorder per person).  I met my ex-husband at a show and we followed them for our honeymoon in 1989, then moved to San Francisco to be closer to the 'scene'.  Got to meet Bob Weir & Jerry Garcia in 1990.  It all came to a screeching halt when Jerry died in 1995 (only a couple miles from my house, too, I might add...I heard the ambulance go by that morning).  I still love them, listen to them and wear the t-shirts, but I won't go see the remaining members...not without Jerry.  I also found that once Jerry died, I had almost nothing in common with a lot of the people we'd been hanging with regularly for years.  I hadn't realized that all we did was talk about the Dead and once that was over for me, there was nothing to talk about!  Still, it was a wonderful time in my life and I'm glad I had the chance to experience it.

    6.    Are you joining the challenge in 2013? Are you doing a theme? Please share any plans you have. We promise not to steal your ideas.

    I am hoping to do the 2013 challenge, as long as I am still unemployed.  If I do end up finding a job and work full time, it will be virtually impossible to keep up with a daily challenge.  No themes....i think that's way too hard, although I thought about doing an A-Z of music I like, but I like to keep it theme-free which is easier for me.

    Thanks for joining us, JoJo!  It was great to have you.