IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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

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, October 29, 2014

Blogging Under the Influence

A lot of the decisions we make for our blogs are based on the views, interests and behaviors of outside forces, whether we realize it or not. These forces are influential in almost everything bloggers do -- from the design of our blogs to the frequency of posts we make and maybe even the platforms we choose to use. Here are some factors that play a part in our habit of blogging under the influence of our immediate and distant surroundings.

The Personal Interests behind your Blogging
A person’s favorite colors, bands, hobbies, foods and the like are all personal interests that can have an impact on how he or she blogs. It is worth considering the possibility that incorporating blogging elements based on the things, people and places you love tends to give your blog more personality and make you more relatable to readers. The design of our dear late great Tina Downey’s Life is Good blog has sunflowers and flamingos on display, as they are among the greatest forms of living organisms she favored most. This is an example of how bloggers make a blog their own while also creating a way for visitors to familiarize themselves with the space and person behind it, even before reading a single word that we write.

Your Blog Visitors and Readers
The people who visit, read and comment on our blogs also influence how we manage our little corners of the online world. Chances are slim that posts will be frequent if you don’t think anyone is reading your blog. On the flipside, you might be more likely to keep a consistent blogging schedule or at least post more often if there are people visiting your posts to discuss whatever you have presented to them. Our readers also impact the topics that we blog about and how we deliver this information. When similar questions related to the A-to-Z Challenge arose among various participants – such as categories and Adult Content, some A-to-Z Challenge Co-Hosts centered our blog posts on subject matters that addressed these concerns.

The Topic(s) You Blog About
If your blog focuses on a certain topic (writing, fitness, books, music, food, art, etc.), or several thereof, this tends to influence other elements of your blogging – from the fonts and colors that you use to the overall tone of the blog. For example, the dark background and glowing text on Jeremy Hawkins’ Being Retro blog is very reminiscent of Halloween and other creepy cool stuff. This works well for his blog because he writes about zombies, comics and monsters. The same type of color and font choices would likely be off-putting for a blogger who wrote about…say…bird-watching or the history of Jamaicans in the Olympics.

Your Favorite Blogger(s)
Anyone who has been blogging for a while knows there are times when we make decisions for our blogs based on what someone else is doing with his or her blog. Have you ever noticed a layout, style, social media button, sharing banner, design or blog post topic on another blog and then adapted that very same thing for your own, because you liked it so much? Sometimes our favorite bloggers that we look up to (or we think are just doing it right) inspire us to make changes or updates to our blog that wouldn’t have even been considered if they didn't do it first.

Anyone who has participated in the A-to-Z Challenge after seeing other bloggers they know signing up is a prime example of others in the blogosphere having influence on when and how you blog. If you've ever written a blog post in response to another blogger, that right there shows that someone else had an impact on your blogging decisions. A few years ago, one of my blog friends posted photos of his movie collection and invited readers to do the same with an “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” persuasion. Welcoming the invitation, I not only posted a photo of my messy batch of VHS tapes and DVDs but I also took the subject matter a bit further, responding to his original post by blogging about My Top Ten Independent Films. This is an example of how our favorite blogger(s) can influence the topics of the next blog post we make.

Statistics and Trends in the Blogosphere
Common technical and behavioral factors such as turning Word Verification on (or off), having music on auto-play, responding to comments and page-load times are things that affect our blogging decisions. Knowing that people are less likely to return visit or comment on your blog if it requires them to sign into Facebook or perform some other annoying task, will determine the features that you choose to implement for readers. Bloggers who place importance on engagement and interacting with their readers will be mindful of the trends that work against their blogging goals versus those that help them. The flipside of that would be bloggers who place their own interests above the visitors, and thus, would only receive a smaller sector of visitors who are members of whatever platform they limit the blog to.

What influences YOUR blogging decisions the most?

Are there any other influential factors that YOU think play a part in how someone blogs?


A-to-Z Challenge Co-Host Nicole Ayers discusses the misadventures in cinema at The Madlab Post. She is currently supporting the American Red Cross and chatting with funny folks on @MadlabPost on Twitter.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Does Your blog mean to You? #blogging

A to Z Challenge is about promoting the blogging community-- we're all bloggers here-- a friendly, supportive bunch, who would like to help each other grow.

That's the purpose of this A to Z blog-- to give voice to other bloggers, to promote their work, to give advice and support, to feature guest bloggers, and foster a sense of community.

This clarity of vision is very important when blogging-- bloggers need to clearly understand what the goals of their blogs are. Their mission statements, if you like.

It could be random, it could have a niche, but every blog needs to mean something to its owner, in order to thrive. Both my blogs, six-years old each, are my playground-- Amlokiblogs is all about writing and reading, whereas Daily (w)rite has become about questions and answers-- I often have weird or useful questions, and I look to my audience to educate me, give me answers.

So what does your blog mean to you? What is is about? Fire away in the comments!


Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Blog Better by the Day

Having fallen behind on blogging activities myself, coupled with several social media hiatuses, I know what technology burnout looks like and I understand that overwhelming anxiety of feeling like you'll never get up to speed...at least not as soon as you hoped. The solution to this recurring issue is designating each day of the week for one specific blogging activity or other online task. It is an effective way to get a handle on your internet presence so that it doesn't drive you bonkers. 

A fun way to get in the habit of sticking to an online routine that goes day by day is naming days of the week in a manner that coincides with the task -- Wordless Wednesdays style -- and then listing this schedule on your calendar, in a notebook or some other place where you'll have them handy:
  • Return-Commenting Monday
  • Blog Promotion Tuesday
  • Visiting/Reading Wednesday
  • Email Inbox cleaning Thursday
  • Blogging Friday
  • Social Media Saturday
  • Blog Planning Sunday

Using the above sample schedule, I've been able to complete more tasks with this method than when I try to squeeze several important online activities into one single day. My experiences with doing this has led me to realized that the days on our blogging calendars are not set in stone. Sometimes I miss a day (or two) and end up playing catch-up by either doubling up on the task of the day or moving the next scheduled tasks to a later day. Sometimes I even skip a day (or more) depending on how well my week is going. In any case, naming one day each for a different blogging activity makes it easier for me to not worry about having to be everywhere, all of the time.

Do YOU control the internet or does it control YOU?

A-to-Z Challenge Co-Hostess Nicole Ayers writes about movies and the people that make them, at The Madlab Post. She also tweets @MadlabPost.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Interview with Triberr Founder Dino Dogan

 A month or so after I joined Triberr, a site for bloggers who tweet, I first interacted with Dino Dogan, one of its two founders. As those who know me would tell you, I'm neither very tech-savvy, nor very tech-fortunate. So I got into Triberr glitches quite often-- and Dino has bailed me out each time, with compassion and good humor!
I haven't told Dino or Daniel (the other Triberr founder), but I call each of them "My Friendly  Neighborhood TriberrMan," because they come to my rescue every time I'm in Triberr-trouble. Without further ado, I bring you my chat with Dino the Triberrman:

1. How and when did you start off as a blogger?

I first started blogging on a now defunct community website for motorcycle enthusiasts. It was called 2WheelTips, and it was essentially like Facebook with lots of educational content for bikers. 

Then I started my dog blog, followed by my social media blog DIYBloggerNET.

2. Did your interest in blogging inspire you to build Triberr.com? What is Triberr all about?

It absolutely did. I always tell people that Triberr is built for bloggers, by bloggers. And I mean that. 

Here's the thing. 

1% of superstar bloggers get 99% of attention. And attention equals traffic, book deals, sales, speaking engagement, money, opportunities, etc.

Alas, superstar bloggers are not making superstar content. In fact, their content is safe, it's boring, it's regurgitated, it's just plain mediocre, at best.   

Yet they get 100s, sometimes 1000s of social media shares. Why?  

Meanwhile, there are so many amazing small bloggers writing kick-ass content that no one ever sees. 

I decided that enough is enough. Amazing bloggers writing awesome content need to be heard, and Triberr is a way of stealing attention away from 1 percenters of the blogosphere and giving it to those who actually deserve it.

3. What are the most important things to keep in mind if a blogger wants to succeed on Triberr?

It's a platform unlike any other, so it may take a while to get the hang of it. Stay with it, it's worth it. 

Tribe up with people you would invite to your house. People who's content you would share even if they never shared yours. 

Be a connector. Build your own tribes.

4. How can a new blogger kickstart his or her blog? Would Triberr work for new bloggers?

Triberr's original intent is to help new bloggers. Getting on Triberr is THE BEST way for a new blogger to get things going.

5. For bloggers who have hit a ceiling in terms of number of visitors, what is your advice to break into a higher level?

That is an excellent questions with which I struggle all the time. Here are few tricks I've successfully implemented in the past. 
I. Meet new people
As humans, we have this tendency to get comfortable with our surroundings. I try to fight that tendency, and make a point of meeting new people. In person, via social media, commenting, whatever it takes...new connections = new possibilities.
II. Interview
Get interviewed or interview others. 

One of the best online relationships I've developed is with Christian Hollingsworth. And the way it started was with an interview where he called me the Triberr MacGyver. I mean, how could you not love that?
III. Become a Source
Subscribe to HARO and become a source for news stories. 

It's a great way to get some links back to your site, and afterwards, you can use it to add credibility and social proof to your blog. 

It's how I managed to get on ReadWriteWeb as the source for a news story.

IV. Join a new Tribe
Triberr is a great way to extend and expand your circle of friends. Join a new tribe. Start a new tribe based on a new/different ideology. In short...get yourself out there.

6. What is #TribeUpNYC? Why should bloggers sign up for this event?

#TribeUpNYC is a 1-day conference for bloggers. We have 5 amazing speakers, like Geoff Livingston, who is a living legend, and Lena West, who is a dynamo in heels. 

But most importantly, #TribeUpNYC will be an opportunity to bloggers from the East Coast to meet each other face to face. Make some new connections, expose themselves to new opportunities, and have fun in the City that never sleeps.
--------------



Dino Dogan 
Founder of Triberr Lousy Mixed Martial Artist and a recovering Network Engineer. Pretty good singer/songwriter, trainer of dogs, and a blogger of biz. Fun at parties and a global force for badassery.
 

Current Location:          New Jersey
Phone (US)                  201.403.1362
Phone (Paris)            + 33 6 51 72 50 33
Twitter Facebook Google Plus Page pinterest LinkedIn
Contact me: Google Talk dinodogan Skype dino.dogan
Latest From My Blog: You Don’t Get Paid to Speak. You Get Paid to Promote.
---------------------
This interview was brought to you by Damyanti@Amlokiblogs , a Triberr fan who has seen a boost in her blog and twitter following due to her Triberr membership, and recommends it to all lovers of blogs and blogging.