IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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

Friday, September 21, 2018

Revealing WINNERS and Wrapping Up the #AtoZChallenge 2018 Event Feedback DAY FIVE

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


The last of the potatoes!
Potato Photo by Benjamin Manley https://unsplash.com/photos/pAxU2_st5jo


33. Anything else you need to say here?

Please double-check the time-zones.

I appreciated your daily posts.

Please make the t-shirts available internationally.

I assumed some people weren't participating because they didn't clearly display the logo on their blog.

"I like the traditional logo because it makes me think of a passport stamp and traveling (which you kind of are doing as you travel from post to post)." -- Kelsey Ketch of kelseyketch.com

We Need Weekly Twitter Chats

It is always worth the time spent!

I just didn't feel the same excitement this time around.

I appreciate the time Jeremy took to make the logos for us.

Sort blog names alphabetically. Encourage commenting/ visiting blogs on those alphabet day.

I wonder if a minimum word count be encouraged?

T-shirts are nice, but so are mugs and other stuff.
"Put photographs of ALL those who participated with the blogger link in FB and offer more discounts for the T shirt."-- Ravi Shivram of slogansmith

Some people write posts that are too long. When a post is too long, I just comment that I was there.

"Nothing wrong with the list if you've got a computer that allows you to see it and use it." -- LynneInPborough of lynnelives.wordpress

"I stopped visting bloggers who did not respond to the comments I left on their site, or not commenting on mine."

"I get the idea about sharing comments ... that is kind of the point. But to me, commenting just to get noticed or simply because someone else did is kind of insincere. I comment when I feel I have something to say, not out of obligation. Granted I am not a prolific READER of blogs, but I will visit when someone visits me." Steve Kramer of taochild

There should be more bloggers in my category!

I did not like pre-scheduled links on the daily sheets. They went to non-existent blogs.

"I would have liked some of the organizers to check out my blog. I was also really surprised by how few bloggers joined this year. My second year, I think there were over 1,600. Why such a drastic drop off?" -- Stuart Nager of StuartNager.wordpress

"All of these lists creates confusion and dilutes the impact the challenge may have. I'm hoping that at some point in this reflection you ask people if they are Full Time bloggers because I am not. I don't have time every day to go searching for blog posts on Twitter, FB, the Wordpress blog, the whatever the other blog is, and whatever other link lists you have. The master list gave me context for what kinds of content I could find. I sorted by category first and started browsing around from there to see what I thought looked interesting. Having as many options as you do for sharing content means people either need to participate in every channel, which may be doable for a FT blogger, or your blog doesn't get noticed because people get lost in the digital weeds. I think that piece of data would be helpful in determining how active people can be during one month. Also, maybe ask people to rate themselves on their ability to use technology and social media, separate ratings. I know some people are vested in the way things used to be and hate change, but hello, you're a blogger. Things are going to change. If you don't keep up with the tech and social media, you're going to be left behind. Having an idea of how proficient people feel they are with the challenge might help in terms of preparation. And neither logo is easy to read or attractive." -- Declined to be named.

"There were a few times I would like to have been able to search the Master List for a specific blog / blogger."
"I kept looking for a search option on the spreadsheet and never found it - was it there and I just missed it?"
~~ Edit-- Find and Replace. Be sure you've made a copy first, as per the instructions.

And there were a lot of people who said thank you to the team!
Thank you Photo by rawpixel Unsplash - Revealing WINNERS and Wrapping Up the #AtoZChallenge 2018 Event Feedback DAY FIVE


34. Did you see that there's an official shirt? It's made by our volunteer graphics guy, Jeremy Hawkins. Blogging From A to Z April 2018 Challenge Shirt-- https://buff.ly/2JsbQxT

Only 22% didn't know about the shirts.

35. Which of Jeremy's awesome A to Z 2018 logos is your favorite?

Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback and Revealing WINNERS

The new logo won.

36. We are giving away guest post spots on the A to Z blog.

Those who won, please comment here.
Or contact @JLenniDorner on Twitter.
Or atozteam2018 @ gmail .com

Two guest spots a month from October thru February.

WINNERS




Way to go! Please contact us soon. First come, first serve for the dates.

"I really don't understand twitter." -- Several people mentioned this. If anyone is interested in writing a Twitter tutorial for bloggers, let us know!

Double potato heart sorry

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Stupendous #AtoZChallenge 2018 Wonderful Event Feedback PART FOUR

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato crisps, chips, or French Fries! This is a week of long posts!

potato crisps, chips, or French Fries https://unsplash.com/photos/Uf0aVyl5C70


27. Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge 2018?

Collection of answers:

Been doing it for years. It's a tradition.
I'm new to blogging and it looked like fun!
I enjoy discovering new blogs because of the challenge.
Making a connection with fellow bloggers. Engagement.
To find some like-minded bloggers.
It keeps me motivated to post.
To learn and evolve as a writer.
To grow and promote my blog.
Motivation to do research.
I love the community feel of the challenge.
Challenge my creativity.
I love participating - both writing and reading other posts.
Needed to prove I could.
For fun.
Intrigued after seeing other bloggers do it previously.
The discipline.
To learn more about blogging.
Our blogger group wanted to take part.
Defeat writers' block / procrastination.


28. Do you follow us on Twitter?

Half answered that they follow! https://twitter.com/AprilA2Z

14% follow the co-hosts. @ArleeBird , @JLenniDorner , @TarkabarkaHolgy , @OneHandTyping , @JRVincente

26% search for the #AtoZChallenge hashtag on Twitter.


29. Did you use the #AtoZChallenge hashtag or share the link to the A to Z website on *other* social media sites?

In order of popularity:
  1. G+ / Google Plus 54%
  2. Pinterest 33%
  3. Instagram 31%
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Tumblr
  6. StumbleUpon (*Which is now Mix)
  7. Reddit


30. Any feedback about our online presence/ social media?

  • More active participation on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • I didn't even know there was a Facebook page.
  • I found that letter posts on Facebook were inconsistent.
  • You do a great job and cannot expect to fulfill everyone's needs.
  • I think the Twitter feed is pretty quiet. I know that I didn't get a RT or like for any tweets during April.
  • I'd like to see more of the A to Z Challenge on Instagram! -- Laura Roberts of Buttontapper Press


31. Are there any other blogging categories you feel we should include?

Advice/ How-to
Midlife - there are a lot of AtoZers in this age group
Opinions, ideas, projects, thought-provoking discussions
country specific
Languages
Children's stories/ blogs
Kid Lit
teacher-authors
Fashion
Philosophy
Art commentary, or just visual art in general
environment and words
break "art" into more categories
toys
continuous 26 part story
Fandoms
eclectic
Emotional Health
Science, Midlife & Beyond Women bloggers, Lifestyle
Multi niche category.
Something more specifically to music, rather than placing it under entertainment
"You should have some way for people to include a short description of their blog. "Other" is too vague. When we check "other" maybe include a space for the short description." --Dena Pawling of denapawling

32. Any overall feedback for the event?

This year, the lists felt a little more complicated. Not sure why participation dropped. Would love for this to keep going.

I loved being able to sort the categories. Please don't go back to the old system.

Best one yet.

The announcement needs to be in January, so I know the event will happen.

Funtastic.

Do it twice a year!

I prepare over months in advance.

There were still some dead links.

New system was easy and quick. I liked it.

I love the addition of the Daily Links!

Everything I needed was right there on your blog!

I'm not sure every blog on the list was actually a blog.

Getting rid of the Linky List was genius. Google sheets was a terrific move.

Please add the ability to include a topic entry on both the master and especially the daily lists.

Three people wrote they like the new logo in general, but prefer the old logo as a background for the Daily Letters (or didn't like this years letters).

Loved, loved, loved it - thanks for all your hard work. And please continue the challenge!

I also should have watched all of the instructional videos, since I had no idea I could attach my pre-scheduled links.

"I became involved in this event when it first started, and have done it several times. I think it is a great idea for multiple reasons, and think you guys have done an awesome job of both organizing it and getting the word out."

"I liked the google sheets, especially because they were sortable. I thought the daily sign-up sheets were a benefit because I was assured there would be a post. Unlike the master sheet which could lead to a blog that had not kept up with the challenge. Perhaps the daily sheet could provide a field for the title of the post for that day. "-- "495"

"People need to turn off CAPTCHA and that other garbage that prevents comments and engage with other bloggers! So many people would have had comments from us but the process for leaving a comment required: captcha, sign in to WordPress, sign in to blogger, a blood sample, a urine sample, plus a first born child. In the end, some people still didn't engage with their commenters. (It makes me wonder: what do they think a blog hop is for?)" -- Shelina of www.dragonsandspaceships and www.twomindsaboutit.com

"I have done other blog link ups before but none this organized or supportive. Participating in this event definitely increased my site stats."-- Donna Connolly of retirement reflections

"I just appreciate the crafts category. Yes, I do sell on Etsy, but no, my blog is not just about selling. In fact it's mostly Not about selling and I appreciate the chance to expose that fact." - Stephanie Finnell of katy trail creations

"The master and daily lists should include the actual name of the authors. Some left a comment using their real name, and there was no way to find out the URL of their blog and therefore return the visit." --Tamara Gerber of The Three Gerbers

"I liked when the daily list allowed us to see the title of each post. Sometimes a particular interesting title brought me to a post I might not otherwise visit. This year we could see only the name of the blog, and most of the links didn't have much of a visible title in them." --Anne Nydam of http://nydamprintsblackandwhite.blogspot.com

"I loved it as always, and this time, it was very user friendly too. The Google sheets and Google form were better than the Linky, and helped find and sort similar categories. I hope this is continued into AtoZ Challenge Year 10." --Vinay Leo R. of art of leo

"I used a linky on someone's blog to sign up. The admins never added me."
~~ There was no other location to sign up. The co-hosts did not sign up anyone.


One more post to go! Tomorrow will include WINNERS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thar be gold in th' #AtoZChallenge 2018 Treasure Map Feedback PART THREE

Aft th' A t' Z challenge 2018 went t' Davy Jones' Locker, thar was a loot map written by th' captains 'n filled in by th' crew.


Break out th' booty! 'tis a week o' long posts!



16. In the past, sign ups opened in January. In 2018, sign ups for the "April blogging from A to Z Challenge" opened in March. What is your preference?

Ahoy, me mateys! MARCH be where X marks th' spot.

17. Theme Reveal 2018!

Fav'rit answers in th' loot chest were:
  • I LOVE the theme reveal!
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to the official Theme Reveal Google Form.
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to Twitter and used the hashtag #AtoZChallenge .
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to my own Facebook profile and/or page.
  • I visited blogs using the Theme Reveal spreadsheet.
  • There's a space to mention a blog's theme on the Master List, but I still like the Theme Reveal as well.
  • I missed my chance to take part in the theme reveal (write in answer).


18. Please mark your choices about the Master list.

Most scallywags didn' care. O' those who did, th' majority said:
"I feel the Master List should stay open for ONE WEEK after the challenge starts, and those who wish to copy the list can do so whenever."

19. Please mark your choices about the Daily lists.

Winnin' by double th' amount be:
"I feel the Daily Letter sign-ups should CLOSE after 48 hours, as they did this year."

20. Which are nearest to your opinions and feelings?

Visual of chart
Th' top answers be:
  • I love the Master List and USED it.
  • I love the Daily Letter lists and USED them.
  • I'm glad that Google was able to provide a free option that kept this blog hop alive. Keep using it.

Also worth noting, 23 people didn't know that the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge and the Blogchatter challenge weren't run by the same people, and therefore were two different events.



21. Websites:

Almost half of you ONLY visited the main blog site.
30% never realized there were two different sites until reading the question. (The backup being on Wordpress.)
18% MOSTLY visited the Main blog site, but also visited the backup.

compass image


22. There are "pages" on the A to Z blog. Were you able to find and interact with them?
pages image

75% said yes.
Another 15% knew they were there but didn't use them.
While 8% don't know the pages are there or still can't find them.

23. In February, we let you know how to adjust Facebook to see our posts. Did you mark the A to Z challenge as a See First?

Facebook See First image


"you can click on up to 30 pages to see first"

Results:
Facebook See First results


spyglass

24. On a scale of 1😞 to 5😍, did you feel like the A to Z team gave you motivation to do the challenge?
win image Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback and Revealing WINNERS

Most scallywags gave us a 3 gold doubloons or higher. Yo ho ho!

25. Please check any of these you are interested in.

Thin's that respondents showed an interest in, by order o' interest:

  1. A column on the Master List for people who write connected stories during A to Z. (Choose your adventure, short stories in 26 parts, etc)
  2. An additonal separate list for people who write connected stories during A to Z. (Choose your adventure, short stories in 26 parts, etc)
  3. Being part of an A to Z book blog tour, as an AUTHOR, during another month.
  4. Reading books written during or because of the A to Z challenge.

25 blogs are interested in Hosting an A to Z book blog tour, as a BOOK blogger, during a month other then April.
32 want to write reviews of books written during or because of the A to Z challenge.

That's great news for the 35 who answered that they have published a book/ will publish a book as a result of the A to Z challenge!

26. How many A to Z posts did you complete?

40% posted about the challenge beforehand, did the theme reveal, and completed all 26 posts.
30% did the theme reveal, and completed all 26 posts.
18% completed all 26 posts.
Thanks to Lucie Hošová for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

Sail back tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Amazing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback PART TWO

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato masher! This is a week of long posts!
mashed potato


7. Which of these Facebook methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

  • The most popular answer is that 28% link up on a personal Facebook profile AND those include #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Whereas 41 people have links to their blog posts on a personal Facebook profile BUT DO NOT include #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • 25% have links to blog posts on a Facebook PAGE and include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Conversely, 13% have links to blog posts on a Facebook PAGE, but those DO NOT include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Linking to blog posts in the comments on the A TO Z Facebook page was done by 40 respondents.
  • Only 15 people used the direct links on Facebook to surf to the A to Z page to read the daily posts from the co-hosts/ guests.
  • And 18% said they don't use Facebook.
  • A few people wrote in that they have Facebook, but do not link it to their blog or do not share their challenge posts on Facebook.
  • Two people said they tagged the A to Z Challenge when sharing blog posts on Facebook.
  • A handful of people weren't sure the differnce between a profile and a page.

"A profile is a personal Facebook account. Pages are public profiles that let artists, public figures, businesses, brands, organizations and nonprofits connect with their fans or customers." Click to learn more- https://facebook.com/help/337881706729661?helpref=faq_content
💡 Tagging our Facebook page is nice, but it does almost nothing to improve your post's visiblity.

8. Instructional videos and PDFs:

The majority of people said they skipped the videos and instructions, but did okay anyway.
Reading the instructions was the second most popular choice.
Both reading instructions and watching the how-to videos came in third place.
At fourth place, 18% had no idea the videos or written instructions existed!
In last place, 8% regretted not checking out the instructions.
Three people wrote in that they don't watch or enjoy videos.
One person said we offered too much information.

9. Regarding your commenting on A to Z participating blogs. 

"I followed links left in comments on my blog." By far, the most popular answer.
People also visited their usual stops and visited links found in comments on other A to Z blogs.
Daily Letter Sheets and the Master List were not far behind.
Only two respondents said they didn't comment at all.

10. Receiving comments:

A staggering amount of people recieved over 100 comments!
Some people said they didn't count their comments. A few said they got likes instead of comments.

11. Commenting:

"I commented on over 100 blog comments last month." Was the most popular answer. Way to go, majority!
Commenting on less that 25 blogs came in second.
Some folks didn't count how many they commented on.

12. Replies:

"I replied to ALL the comments that were left to me on my blog in April." Another sweet reply by the majority!
A few said they planned to reply later.

13. Visiting Blogs:

Do you know the unwritten reciprication karma theroy?
The A to Z bloggers do!
"I visited the blogs of ALL of the people who left comments on my blog." Vast majority for the win.
For the win image


14. Co-host comments:

Most people reported receiveing at least one comment from someone on the A to Z team. (Arlee Bird, J Lenni Dorner, Zalka Csenge Virág, John Holton, or Jayden R Vincente)
39% didn't get a comment from anyone on the team. 😞 #FAIL
Others weren't sure, either because they didn't look, didn't open up to comments, or didn't know who the co-hosts were!

15. Some people had trouble scrolling on the Sheets.

11 people never figured out how to scroll on the Sheets.
Most people had no trouble. Others figured it out.
A handful didn't know there were Sheets for the Master List or Daily Lists.

Be sure to check out tomorrow's post! It's gonna be awesome.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback PART ONE

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato peeler, folks, it's time for a week of long posts!
picture of potatoes


Here are the results:



1. On a scale of 1😞 to 5😍, how satisfied were you with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018?

Over 88% of respondents were 😊 or 😍! Only one person was totally unsatisfied.

2. How relevant, useful, and/or helpful do you think the hop was for you and your blog?

#atozchallenge is relevant, useful, and/or helpful for #blogs


3. 2018 A to Z logos on your blog:

  • 56% said they created a post with a logo in March.
  • And 49% support the challenge with a logo on the blog's sidebar / widget area.
  • Slightly more than half include it with April posts.
  • Eight people never noticed the Banners/ Badges page tab on the top of the A to Z site, and thus didn't know about the logos!
  • 28% only used the letters that match the new logo, not the logo itself.
  • Only 1% answered that they don't use our logos to show support of this blog hop challenge.


4. Which of these List methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

The overwhelming majority responded that they were on the Master List.
Only 14% had pre-scheduled post links on the Daily Lists.
But 69% included direct links on the Daily Lists after their posts were published.
Less than 5% of people didn't sign up on the lists, or thought they signed up but then couldn't find themselves.
A few people reported that they stopped using or missed out on a few of the daily links.
And since it came up in a write-in reply:

The A to Z Challenge uses feedburner to run the email list.



5. Which of these statements apply for the 2018 A to Z Challenge?

12%= I did not share links to my blog, but I did the challenge.
NO ONE only commented on blogs, but did not create blog posts.
30%= I visited the A to Z website each day in April and read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
55%= I visited the A to Z website some days in April and read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
8 people did not visit the A to Z website in April, and did NOT read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
20%= I have links to my blog posts in the comments on the A to Z main webpage.
8%= I have links to my blog posts in the comments on the A to Z Wordpress site.
8 people marked "none of the above."
"I used the theme reveal to make a list of blogs to check in on during April, which I did." - Anonymous
Posts I created (days) late were not able to be added on the daily link lists.
Could not link in the comments on A-Z wordpress.
"After the first couple days I started to use a link under the letter badge with a comment hinting at what the team post was about so folks could go check the AtoZ site out." Cheryl Carter of promptlings
I made pins on Pinterest for each A to Z blog posts.
Too overwhelming.
Mainly promoted on Pinterest.
I was not aware there was a A to Z website. Saw this on a blog I follow.
Master list, starting from the end of the list, I visited every blog on that list, commenting on many of them.
I didn't notice the difference between the Wordpress and main site (Blogger) until late in the month.
"I visited the theme list and the daily list and chose almost 60 blogs to follow before the start date." - Donna McNicol of dbmcnicol.blogspot and ourprimeyears.blogspot

6. Which of these Twitter methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

  • 85 people included the #AtoZchallenge hashtag in the title of blog posts.
  • 47% said they tweeted blog post links AND included the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • 27 people tweeted blog post links BUT DID NOT include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Only 11 respondents have links to blog posts in the comments on A TO Z Twitter posts.
  • 6% used direct links on Twitter to surf to the A to Z page to read the daily posts from the co-hosts and guests.
  • And 26% of the survey takers said they don't use Twitter.


Information Pit Stop image


#AtoZChallenge is our hashtag. @AprilA2Z is how to tag our Twitter account. Hashtags are easy to search and follow. They're a way to share a common conversation topic with anyone who is interested. When the "@" is used at the start of a tweet, it shows up in fewer places. It's a way to mention a Twitter account. More information- Click https://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/993583/hashtag-etiquette

Hashtags are used for searching. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest all support hashtags searches. Using a hashtag in a blog title, assuming that blog post's title is shared on social media, make seaching for it easier. If the hashtag isn’t something that is being searched for, then it’s not useful. Using a hashtag can group relevant topics into a search, which increases visibility, which can mean more shares and favorites.

Blog tags or labels: Check out this article, and be sure to scroll down to "What Are the Benefits of Using Blog Tags?" Click https://trafficgenerationcafe.com/blog-tags-seo
And here's another great article: Click https://bigonblogs.com/2016/12/30/the-purpose-of-labels -- It talks about tags (Wordpress) or Labels (Blogger). Using them can help readers find content on your blog, especially if you have a tag cloud on your sidebar/ widget area. They can be used by search engines (such as Google or Bing) to find your blog.
#atozchallenge search results image

That answers most of the questions and addresses most of the remarks left in the "other" option box for this question.


Tune in tomorrow for more results!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

#AtoZChallenge Sign Up Reminder!

Hi! Jayden, here, your new co-host for the A to Z Challenge! I've already interacted with many of you via email and comments adjusting your sign ups for the Master List. I just wanted to take a moment to give you all a few reminders about our new systems.

  • The last day to add your link to the Master List is March 31st. Check out our post for more details on how to sign up if you haven't yet.

THE MASTER LIST IS NOW CLOSED.


  • You can add your links daily for more exposure, but it's totally optional. A full list of all daily forms can be found here, or you can follow the A to Z Challenge Blog for daily posts that include the form link and the daily list link. 
  • If you need your information fixed on the Master List, please let me know in comment or email (jrvincente@gmail.com), but I will not be fixing daily lists.
  • A handful of people participate only by sharing links on Facebook or Twitter. It means far less exposure for you and your blog.
    • We highly recommend including " #AtoZChallenge " in your post titles and social media links.
  • Each daily link will close 48 hours after it opens.
  • The reason we did both lists is to accommodate 
    • participants who like the daily lists (which won't have many broken link)
    • participants who don't mind a few broken links, but want one Master List
  • The MASTER LIST also allows us to count how many people joined the challenge (approximately)
  • Some benefits of the Google Sheet are that it's searchable, sortable, and filterable! The post linked above has instructions on how to do those things.
  • The Master List should include a link to your blog (Example: http://a-to-zchallenge.com/). The daily lists should include direct links to specific posts. (Example: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2018/03/master-list-sign-ups.html)
  • The Theme Reveal is now closed. You can check out direct links to theme reveals here, and take that as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with Google Sheets! 
A to Z Challenge

Sunday, March 25, 2018

#AtoZchallenge Pre-Challenge Survey Results

If you were curious, here are some results from the 2018 Pre-Challenge Blogging from A to Z Poll.



(No, taking the survey was not manditory. Yes, you can still join the challenge if you didn't take the survey. A big thank you to everyone who did take the survey! There will be one after the challenge, as well.)

71% of survey takers feel they are proficient in using Google Forms.

Google sheets, however, 28% of survey takers might be learning for the first time.

69% requested a video or written instructions on how to use forms and sheets. That's why we made them available for you. Our team of cohosts has been getting a lot of questions which we hoped the videos had answered. It'd be great to know what or how the instructions were unclear. So, please, if you're asking a question that we attempted to cover in the videos, but the instructions there were not enough, please include the timestamp of the portion of the video where we "lost" you. If we don't know what's confusing, we can't make it better.

Passion Led Us Here image Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash


81% of you wanted categories! (Don't worry, we created a "don't know/ prefer not to say category for the other 19%.)

A short theme description on the Master List? 69% of you said, "Yes, please!"

Sort the list? 60% of you are looking forward to this feature.




How did survey takers feel about posting links to their blog daily?
The longer a blogger has been with us, the less they liked the idea of that being the only option. However, a majority of people from all four groups agreed that "I would use both the Master List and Daily List (including posting my own link each day)."

According to the survey, people really want the Master List.

Leaving a comment on Facebook or Twitter was ranked mostly with a "3" on the 1 to 5 scale.  Those both remain optional.

Daily commenting on the blog ranked lowest. Thoughts on the matter included disheartening statements about there being far too many comments to keep up with, especially with the scrolling and needing to go to "load more" to find the next stack of comments. Participants saw a drop in visitors. And the further away a blogger was from the UTC timezone, the more they disliked it. (They were still in A, others were already in B.)

The only way the A to Z team can compensate for our global timezones is to offer the daily letter forms in advance. However, not everyone knows how to determine what their link will be before their post is live. (There are too many variables for us to try to teach that lesson.) We are NOT going to edit the daily letter sheets because they are relevant for such a short time. Daily letter linking up is optional.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

People who use Twitter are hoping for more Twitter chats (including different days and times). The team is working on it!

Deciding which blogs to comment on last year during the challenge was, overall, a matter of random picks. Some people only commented on blogs they knew or on the blogs of people who commented on their blog first. A couple bloggers only commented on blogs similar to their own. In previous years, categories were the most popular method of deciding which blogs to comment on first. (Random numbers were second.)

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Nearly everyone has participated in another blog hop at some point. Lots of them had to do with books or writing. IWSG is very popular among the A to Z crowd. Broken links, bloggers who drop out, or hosts who gave up mid-hop were the biggest complaints about other hops. A few of you were kind enough to say that A to Z is your favorite! 💗 Thanks! We love you, too.

A blog hop is a way to share your blog while also visiting, or hopping, to other blogs using the links of the participants. It's a way to network, increase engagement, and build a community.
A few mentioned that they hate it when someone links up in the hop and then doesn't comment on any other participating links. Others mentioned feeling too much pressure to comment on all the blogs.

Listen up: MOST people do not manage to visit EVERY blog in the A to Z challenge in April. There were 1,344 blogs in 2016. And 1,509 in 2015. BUT, if everyone makes an effort to comment on as many blogs as your schedule will allow, there are good odds that everyone will be visited. 

Non-list methods from other blog hops included daily emails with less than a dozen links, Facebook groups, or the use of pingbacks for Wordpress blogs.

Some people who participated years ago asked if the random blog post picker would be back. (The one that figured out which blogs you hadn't seen yet and suggested you see a set of randomly generated selected ones.) No, sadly, we don't have that in the works. However, there are plenty of random number generators or dice rollers on the Internet, so you could try to fiddle around with those on your own.

One idea offered was making an e-book with our favorite posts. 

Also, people wanted more motivation to complete the challenge. Some survey takers asked if we could make all blogs more mobile friendly, get everyone to include images for Pinterest sharing, or if we could get Wordpress and Blogger to play nicer together. (I appreciate the omnipotent-like power that some participants think the co-host team has over the blogosphere. Alas, we put our pants on one leg at a time.)

Probably NOT a picture of your A to Z team Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
^ Probably NOT a photo of Arlee, Zalka, John, Jayden, and J ^
(Strikingly similar though, right?)

For the people who asked, there's a page on the site with the story of this challenge. CLICK

A handful of people would like to know how many followers each participant's blog has currently.

People worried we'd require a theme, or require the use of Twitter and/or Facebook. We don't. That's optional. The nearest thing to a required theme is using the alphabet letter of the day, incorporating it some way in your post. (You could just toss in a picture of something that starts with that day's letter and then do your blog post.)

There was the usual "debate" of some people requesting that people leave links in comments (easier to track them down and reciprocate), versus people who think links in the comment section look "spammy" and could alter Search Engine Optimization and Domain Authority. (Here's a link to an article that discusses this issue in depth.) Here's MY suggestion, which isn't full proof but could help:
If that's important to you, end your post with an open-ended question (so that people have something inspiring and original to write about in the comments); and also ask them NOT to leave a link, but rather to include their "blog name as it appears on the A to Z challenge Master List." 
The Master List is searchable. You'd have a way to find the person who left a comment. Yes, this method will require a few more clicks, a bit more effort to reciprocate a comment. It could work though. Bonus: It requires no HTML.

HTML Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


THANK YOU to everyone who used the comments on the survey to thank the co-host team. 😁💖

Congratulations to Cheryl "Calensariel"
https://promptlings.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/blogging-from-a-to-z-april-challenge/
Winner of the pre-challenge survey giveaway.


Wow, this has been a long post. Here's a link to a POTATO recipe I found on the blog of one of our participants: Simple Potato Fry

Don't forget that there will be another survey in May, after the challenge is over.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Results of the A to Z Challenge 2017 Reflection Survey #AtoZChallenge

An amazing 231 of you filled out the survey. Your feedback matters to the team. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. Here are the results:

39% of the respondents filled out the survey on May 1, 2017.
put the pro in procrastination

... 7% filled it out on May 20, the last day the survey was open.


91% of the respondents earned an #AtoZChallenge 2017 SURVIVOR badge for completing the challenge.



I pre-scheduled some of my posts before April and wrote others as the month went on. That was the most popular answer by slightly more than half.
I wrote my posts on the day they posted. 27% of the respondents checked this box, making it the second most popular.
I wrote and pre-scheduled all of my posts before April. 19% of the respondents got proactive in anticipation of the challenge!
Two people had an epic fail, and two people commented on challenge blogs but did not create blog posts for A to Z.

Of the wonderful survey takers:


45 were first timers to the challenge.
71 were doing the challenge for the second time.
113 have three or more survivor badges!
2 have been at this since 2010.


so proud

I left comments on several blogs of other participants every day. (Over 100 comments in April.) 41%

I made some effort. (51 to 100 comments left for others in April.) 21%

I tried or planned to, but I was not a very active comment maker. (26 to 50 comments left for others in April.) 19%

Only 7 people said No, I did not leave comments for any of the A to Z participants on their blogs.


so proudYes! I had over 100 comments on my blog in April, and I believe the A to Z challenge is to thank for that. 71 respondents made my heart swell when I read that answer.

Yes. I received 51 to 100 comments on my blog in April, and I suspect it's thanks to the A to Z challenge. 64 of you also had a lot of love.

Yes. I had 26 to 50 comments on my A to Z posts. 54 of the respondents got at least one or two comments a day.
Unfortunatly:
Somewhat. I had one comment on some posts, but no comments on others. Under 26 comments in April. That was the answer for 37 people.

And this answer is heart-breaking:
No. No one left me any comments at all. I had someone test my comment box, I've checked spam, etc. Nothing. The answer of 3 people.
  • Of those, two posted on Twitter and Facebook.
  • All three said they did NOT visit or comment on other blogs.


On to what you've been dying to know!

2017 went without a linky list.


Honestly, I don't care. List or no list, I love this challenge. I'll just roll with whatever the co-hosts pick. 45%

I was happy about it before, and I'm still happy about it now! 20%
I was leery, but I've been won over. Commenting with my daily link RULES! Woot woot! 9%

I was happy about it before, but now I miss the old way. 17%
I was against it and, dag nabbit, I was right, because it was terrible. 15%

This is my first year, so I have no basis of comparison. 18%


It's a dead heat when it comes to social media!
I have the hashtag on all of my blog post titles, and I cross-posted to Twitter. 38%
I pasted my link on the A to Z Facebook group. 39%


15 people do NOT want to spend 5 minutes a day to promote their own blog.



65 people were perhaps reached by Arlee's post, as they checked off: I thought about my blog in terms of marketing.

91% had a theme!



32% ended posts with simple, open-ended questions.
48% of the respondents MASTERED HYPERLINKING.
(Only 10 people said they've given up on trying to learn it.)
69% of people followed blogs they found because of the #AtoZChallenge!

I am proud of what I accomplished during the challenge.
81%!



41% said they shared the post of others!

69% followed blogs they found because of the A to Z Challenge!



Only 3% say they feel like they failed.

27% follow A to Z participants on Twitter.
13% like or friend fellow A to Z people on Facebook.
Goodreads only drew the attention of 3 survey respondents.
Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, G+, and other social media of participants were followed by 13% of respondents.

28% of the respondents
formed friendships because
of the A to Z challenge.


And 53% of you feel a
sense of community
created by the challenge!



69% learned something from a post in the A to Z Challenge.
66% achieved a goal they set for themselves.
83% reply to comments left on their blog.

9 people said they bought something that exists because of the challenge. (A to Z books, pics, crafts, etc.)
And, as a result of participating in the challenge, 13 people created something that is now for sale.
13 respondents tried a food, a drink, or a recipe I found during the challenge.
32 people added something to their Wishlist or TBR list.


Only 4% of the respondents reached out to Arlee, Alex, Jeremy, Heather, Zalka, John, or J (me) for help.

33% reported interaction with a co-host.



attention image There were 33 people who said they want to be more involved next year.
(None of which used the comment box to leave contact information.)

33% also said they read the posts on this blog during the other 11 months of the year.
And 27 people have an idea for a blog post to be used on this blog over the next 10 months.
(The only idea left in the comment box was: I'd love to see a blog post about how to make your Letter-of-the-Day comment more interesting.)
(I'm not sure if this helps, but here's some commenting information.)

100 people said the co-hosts did an amazing job.
thank you

18% miss the Twitter chats.
Only 2% played #AtoZBingo.

16% discovered other blog hops, read-a-thons, flash fiction prompts, or ways to connect with fellow bloggers.
79 people checked I discovered a place I want to travel to or learned something new about a place.
A post improved my health or connected me to people of health similar to my own. That answer was marked by 6% of you.

40% of the respondents learned a new word!



Timezone of the Challenge result image

185 people thought the new timezone was fine, or they really don't care.

Age 50 to 70 makes up 46%, age 30 to 49 is 44%.
No one who took the survey reported being under age 18.
Only 5 people said they are over 70 years old.

Age of the ten people who have given up on learning hyperlinking:
1 18-29 year old
2 30 to 49 year olds
6 aged 50 to 70
1 (of the five people) over 70

66% are PC users. 21% use Apple/ Mac. 4% are using another operating system.
Android is on the rise with 13% saying it was what they primarily used when visiting during the challenge. Ipads and Iphones were used by 10%.
29% used an equal mix of computers and mobile devices to visit other blogs during the challenge.

Blogging platforms of #atozchallenge users Blogger 46% Wordpress 52% Other 4%

Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform, followed closely by Blogger.

53% made the A to Z Challenge a priority in their life.



Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey, and thank you for reading these results.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

If the List Doesn't Exist...#atozchallenge


         What?!!   No list?!!

          Judging by the Theme Reveal test run it seems a good many of you had no problem working without a list.   After all, it's nothing like walking a high wire without a net.  No list ain't gonna kill ya!  And, by golly, the Theme Reveal proved that!

            I can't say for sure because I didn't count, but by all estimations it appears that well over 200 bloggers participated in the Theme Reveal event as of my writing of this post on Tuesday afternoon where I am in Pacific Daylight Time.  And that count is just estimated from the comments on this blog.  There were also theme reveal links left on other social media outlets.  I'm not sure how this all measures up to the over 500 links that typically appeared on the Linky sign ups from previous years, but one good thing is that everybody who did leave a link left a link to a blog that was actually participating.  So in my view that's not too bad.   I'd call the Theme Reveal a success and an good indicator that those participating in A to Z 2017 will catch on just fine.

           However if there is still trepidation with any of you about participating in the upcoming A to Z Blogging Challenge without a list, never fear for I am here with some consolation and a few hopefully helpful suggestions.

There Is A List If You Look For It

         Actually there are many lists available to you if you aren't on the social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.   Those platforms will provide all the links most of us can handle in a day's time, but some of you just don't like to be on any sites like that and I can't say that I blame you for feeling that way.  However, there are many other ways to find A to Z Challenge participants.

          You can find a lot of A to Z participants by going to some of the blogs of other participants you already know and going through their comment sections and visiting the blogs of those who commented.  This is a way to meet other bloggers with similar interests even if you aren't doing A to Z.  A well frequented comment section can keep a person busy for a good while.  You might not always find A to Z participants, but you might make some other new blogger friends.
       
         Use a search engine to search terms like Blogging from A to Z 2017 or #atozchallenge.  This can be work, but it can also yield interesting results.  After all search engines like Google provide the biggest lists around. You might have to weed through all sorts of results, but if you're a search engine (Google) fanatic like I've become you might enjoy this method

         Look for other bloggers who have set up their own lists.  The blog community site Blog Chatter has a list of bloggers who are participating.  Other bloggers might have compiled similar lists on sidebars or on special pages--keep your eyes open for these (if you have one on your own blog you can leave a comment below with your link).   I've started one on my own site and intend to continue adding more blog links as I blog through April.  My link list can be found at Tossing It Out. I doubt whether I'll be able to keep it loaded with every participating blogger, but this is my experiment.  Maybe you'll want to try compiling your own list.

         Use a blog reader app such as Feedly.  This is something I've never gotten the hang of using, but I know many of you probably already use this method.  I sometimes used to use the reader Blogger had on its site and found it to be helpful when I remembered to use it.  Maybe some of you more adept at using readers can offer some more help in the comments.

Sometimes Work Is Involved!

       Even with the Linky List we sometimes had to weed through blogs we didn't want to read or that weren't participating or had fallen behind.  Successful blogging does sometimes require doing some of your own work.   Not all of you have that much time to spend on blogging so I understand the desire for shortcuts.  The fact remains that effective blogging requires effort.

       If you've ever wondered why you don't get many comments or it doesn't seem like you get many blog visitors, it's mainly because you aren't promoting your blog enough and not visiting other bloggers like you need to in order to get reciprocated visits to your own site.  I learned this early on in blogging.  In fact that's why A to Z began and that's how I made it grow.

       As Alex J Cavanaugh stated in an earlier post on the A to Z Blog, when I started the very first A to Z Challenge in 2010 there was no Linky List.  I created a sidebar list using some of the methods I've outlined above.  This required work on my part, but it was worthwhile.  Just look where we are now.  You think Blogging from A to Z in April is too difficult?   Well, it can be.  But if you do it right, do it with a method to your madness, use practical approaches, and pay attention to what is going on, then you'll find that it might be easier than you thought and it can be actually fun.

      After all, I called A to Z a Challenge for good reason.  My Challenge to myself was a way that I learned a great deal about blogging and networking.  I extended that Challenge to others and they came and they too conquered that Challenge.  You can do it too.

      If you're still concerned about not having that Linky list to lean on, then think again.  The lists are there and if you don't like the lists you see then create your own.  This is called customization.  You decide what kind of list will suit your needs and then make your list out of the lists that exist.  They exist everywhere if you look for them and you don't have to look that hard.

       This year's A to Z will work and it will work well.  You might have to do it your way just the way I did it my way that very first year, but this is all a learning process.  Blogging starts with expressing yourself.  If you want to share what you've expressed then you will have to do some networking.  A to Z is about networking.  That's how it started and that's how it still is.

         Are you ready to network?   Fine--follow the advice I've laid out in this post.  And if none of this makes much sense to you and you'd still like to Blog from A to Z in April?  That's fine too.  Just blog like you always blog, but pay closer attention to what's going on with others and with the action on your own blog.  This is all a learning process.  But it's also fun.  Don't worry. Don't stress.  Just blog.



         

       

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Storyteller's Perspective: On tradition, selective memory, and #NotAllFolktales

Most of you are probably familiar with the #YesAllWomen hashtag that took Twitter by storm and created a flood of articles, analyses and arguments all over the Internet. It was a spontaneous, online social movement raising awareness of everyday sexism, misogyny, violence against women, gender bias, and some cultural roots associated with all of the above.
In the middle of all of that, following the real-time roll of tweets, blog posts and articles, there I was, as a professional storyteller, wondering what I had to contribute. Of course I have my own personal stories as a woman (#yesallwomen have those), but there was something else, something that has to do with the stories we tell...
... or, rather, WHICH stories we tell.

I once had a serious fight with a faceless man who claimed that I was "against tradition" when I expressed my opinion that folktales that end with "and the man beat his wife, and she learned her lesson, and they lived happily ever after" should not be told anymore. He said I was trying to destroy the culture of our ancestors. I told him that if domestic abuse was the "culture of our ancestors," I am willing to let go of it.
But it's not.

I started tweeting under #NotAllFolktales, posting excerpts and tidbits from traditional stories (myth, legend and folktale) that prove that not every traditional tale is biased against women, or holds the dangerous cultural values that lead to misogyny. I did it for two reasons:

1. A lot of the backlash against #YesAllWomen brought up excuses like "but it's natural" "but it's traditional" and "but it's always been like that." They threw out shards of fairy tales about princesses on both sides. Most people completely disregarded one simple fact: Fairy tales and folktales are not biased because "it's natural." They are biased because they are a product of culture. Four hundred years ago Sleeping Beauty was raped in her sleep, instead of kissed awake. Try telling it that way nowadays, see what happens.

2. People who cry #NotAllFolktales (just like people who cry #NotAllMen, or #NotAllWhitePeople, or any of those backlash hashtags) have the responsibility to change the group they want to set themselves apart from. Storytellers who know that there are stories out there that are not sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. have the responsibility to tell them, understand them, and make them available.

See, my point is: Stories that promote diversity, equality, freedom of expression and choice are all ALREADY OUT THERE. We don't even have to make them up. We don't even have to write "feminist fairy tales" (although if we want to, we can, and they are amazing). Stories have been out there for millennia. We just need to find them (often cleverly hidden or left out of collections and publications), revive them, and tell them, tell them, tell them.

Case in point: I did my second A to Z challenge run about Weird Princesses - folktales and legends that involve female heroes who are not only brave and clever, but also quirky and unique and lovable (or, in Internet speak: anything but Mary Sue). There are hundreds of them, and guess what, boys love them as much as girls. I also frequently tell the story of Dame Ragnell that teaches kids about respect for women, and works splendidly with all ages from kindergarten to high school.
I recently (after the backlash against the Bearded Diva winning the Eurovision) posted a collection of folktales and myths about trans heroes and heroines, as an answer to people railing "young people nowadays don't know what gender they want to be..." It was surprisingly easy to find a whole bunch of folktales from every corner or the world. Heck, I even found a Hungarian folktale about a princess going "men's clothes have always fit me better" (in the end she transforms into a man and marries another princess).

The world of folktales is endless, and stretches way beyond "young male hero saves beautiful princess." There is a story about everything. There are folktales about pregnant women saving the world. There are folktales about old people falling in love. There are folktales about kind stepmothers, loving fathers, homely princesses, divorce, same-sex love and marriage, culture clash and acceptance, and a million other things that are still important in our world.

Find them. Read them. Think about them. Tell them.

As usual, you can find Csenge at:
@TarkabarkaHolgy
The Multicolored Diary - Adventures in Storytelling
MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

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!

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."

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!
--------

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