5 Cheeky Tips For Bloggers Embarking On The A-Z Challenge

 

5 Cheeky Tips For Bloggers Embarking On The A-Z Challenge

I’ve got something to tell you… every day

April is a month when thousands of bloggers embark on what’s called the The A-Z Challenge: where people blog on 26 near-consecutive days (every day except Sundays) – on a theme of their choice. It’s a fantastic exercise. It can get the blog blood flowing, prodding bloggers either out of a pit, or into a routine; and it’s a sure-fire way to either increase your audience, or get one in the first place.

Well, I’m not doing it. You’ll thank me later, when you realise how much blogging content increases next month, that I’m not going to be adding to it. I’ll be slow blogging as usual, but reading and cheering all challenge participants loudly from the sidelines.

And yet I’m going to do one bolshie post on this whole lark anyway. How dare she make pronouncements when she’s not even participating, you cry!

Because it never stopped me before, that’s why.

And so, as I sharpen my mouse in readiness to click on the content of others, here are a few tips from one of the people who might be reading you in April.

5 Cheeky Tips For Bloggers Embarking On The A-Z Challenge

Sow in April. Reap at leisure (Warning: Crop Not As Shown)

1. Use the opportunity to do something you wouldn’t usually do.

You’ll get away with murder in the A-Z month. Try something new. For some of you, that will be starting your blog in the first place. For others, it could be switching from blogging about household tips and world peace, to posting pictures of drunk-looking snakes, or paying tribute to the greatest dark alleyways of your environs. This is your chance: do something mad.

2. Understand that this is an exercise for you, not other people.

The A-Z challenge is a brilliant way of getting more hits, simply by virtue of providing more content to click on. However, whether you’re new to blogging, a seasoned old sea-dog or someone who fell off the wagon some time ago, and has been wandering the information superhighway since in a daze, you should probably accept that even regular readers don’t have time to get through so much content. Relish each hit for its own sake, don’t compare yourself to what other bloggers are getting, and move on.

5 Cheeky Tips For Bloggers Embarking On The A-Z Challenge

GoshDARNIT. Day 6, and I’ve already run out of “Things To Do With Unwanted Large Diamonds”

3. Pick a theme which at least has room to evolve.

It’s all very well picking “The 25 Things I Love Best About Bellybuttons…and 1 Thing I Adore About Earwax” as your theme, but if you run out of things you love about your appendages by the 9th of April, it’s going to be a catastrophe on the scale of that incident with the gerbil and the exhaust pipe.
[The solution is not necessarily having everything pre-written by April 1st either, because that doesn’t leave much room for engagement with your readers. And we can tell.]

4. Don’t blog about blogging (she says without the tiniest hint of irony)

Posts which start off with “well, it’s Day 14 and I’m still here” – “So, it’s Day 20 and I’m back even though I don’t have much to say” – or pretty much anything which starts off with purposeless interjections are going to lose me faster than an infant’s socks. Sorry.

5. Find some blogging buddies, and cheerlead their A-Z efforts in April.

Look up the list of bloggers doing the challenge, and call round. If you stop by someone else’s blog, they’ll come back and visit you too. It’s not rocket science. But it is a valuable window to have a little trawl on the Interweb and see if anything takes your fancy. This is your best chance to interact and discover; don’t squander it. And be bloody nice, or I’ll send the boys round.

 

And so, good luck to all participants: particularly the ones I know personally, because I’m a total snob like that. Go get ’em folks, and enjoy yourselves!

Advertisements

  41 comments for “5 Cheeky Tips For Bloggers Embarking On The A-Z Challenge

  1. March 31, 2015 at 9:29 am

    A blog post a day for 26 days. Last November I did something similar. Metal Month was a blog post a day for 30 days on the theme of rock and heavy metal. And d’you know what… I gave it up after about two weeks because not a soul read any of it. There was one spike when the guitarist from Dutch band Delain mentioned his participation in a poll and Delain fans sent the stats through the roof, but they only visited the poll he was in, went nowhere near anything else.

    It was a soul destroying exercise. I shut down the blog for several weeks and wondered whether any of it was worth the bother. The blog is up and running once more (a work in progress), but I certainly won’t be doing anything like that again.

    Chris

    Like

    • March 31, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Oh, my, that is a glum picture, Chris. I hope it doesn’t put you off other blogging from now on. After all, it’s only about people finding you, right? There’s an audience out there for every subject, if only they knew you existed. Interacting with other blogs is the best advertising as you know. And then you could always try a few incendiary or scandalous headlines for a while. Nothing like a bit of click-bait to reel in a few readers… glad you’re already up and running again, that’s the most important thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 31, 2015 at 10:20 am

        What I found most disappointing was that I got no response from rock and music bloggers I regularly commented on and liked.

        But I like the idea of incendiary headlines. I’ve come close a couple of times. Maybe. . . . (grins with evil intent)

        Liked by 1 person

        • March 31, 2015 at 10:26 am

          I’m with you there, Chris, there’s no excuse for not responding to comments, in my book, (unless there are hundreds of them and you’re strung by the ankles from a tree somewhere in the desert with no wi-fi).

          I’m not hugely familiar with the music blogging scene as the only ones I read tend to be very big Irish ones, who get thousands of hits every day, and I never comment on them anyway: but perhaps it’s a genre thing, and they’re just not worth your time. Writing bloggers are much nicer. In fact, we’re bloody fabulous, now that I think of it 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • March 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

            I recently read an author platform post that suggests writing an ‘I am fabulous’ section. It reminded me of Steve Coogan’s salesman character Gareth Cheeseman looking at himself in the mirror and shouting ‘you’re a tiger, WRAUUGH!’

            Off to look in the mirror.
            Chris

            Like

            • March 31, 2015 at 10:31 am

              That’s the spirit! Now remember. A sinister laugh is the best sign-off to any affirmation. I saw it in a movie.

              Like

    • March 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Can I just re-iterate what Tara says (partly because I couldn’t have put it that succinctly myself, partly because Im just starting out so who am I to comment?!) Hope it works out for you and you keep going

      Liked by 2 people

      • March 31, 2015 at 10:27 am

        Thank you. The blog is alive again, large bits still incomplete and the blogging schedule is patchy and erratic, but I don’t like giving up. And Tara is motivating me to do sinister things with headlines :-0
        Chris

        Liked by 1 person

  2. March 31, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I did see a lot of challenges being set on twitter, personally, I’m going to use it as an excuse to set up my blog and jump into the paperback month theme, gonna pull out oldie paperbacks I haven’t got to in years and review them. Yup, totally for me but if it gets one or two people reading older chick lits that have been forgotten then that’d be great too!might find a better way to introduce it though… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 31, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Yay! You have a blog! Brilliant stuff. Is it up already? Reply with the link. The comment will automatically go into spam but I’ll whip it out ASAP. Can’t wait to read it – sounds like a great idea – I’m all over it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 31, 2015 at 10:46 am

    “How dare she make pronouncements when she’s not even participating, you cry!

    Because it never stopped me before, that’s why.”

    Oh you do make me laugh!! I can’t imagine anything worse than the pressure of having to come up with a post every day. I admire the real writers who can do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • March 31, 2015 at 11:30 am

      I’m with you. I couldn’t imagine blogging every day. It could be immensely rewarding, unlocking creativity I never knew I had. On the other hand it could be a disastrous exercise which reminds people of the world’s most boring priest on Father Ted. Remember him? “What’s your favourite humming noise? Mine is mmmmmmmmnnnnnmmm….”

      Liked by 4 people

      • March 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm

        Fr Stone is the name coming to me but I think he’s the fella that didn’t talk! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • March 31, 2015 at 5:24 pm

          I obviously have nothing better to do (and this is news? says you) but I actually just went and looked it up. The boring priest was Father Austin Purcell. Father Stone was boring, but not the one who hummed and talked about boilers; he just stared into space and sucked all the energy out of the room.

          And then I spent 10 minutes laughing out loud at the list of all the other priests. Time well spent, I think you’ll agree.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. March 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Dear lord, are you serious? I don’t think I’ll be doing it either – blogging every day combined with school holidays sounds like a recipe for disaster 🙂 Well done to those of you giving it a try though…

    Like

    • March 31, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Yes indeed, Helen. From my Fortress of Laziness I will be putting down the remote control and the crisps occasionally to say “Good for them!” and then, but only if I have the energy, clicking ‘Like’

      Liked by 3 people

      • March 31, 2015 at 4:15 pm

        LOL I shall also be watching from the Castle of Lethargy and sending them my best 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    • March 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Agreed! Blogging every day while trying to finish a dissertation, also crazy making (unless everyone would like to read my daily edits on my chapters, that is.) 🙂 Somehow I think not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 31, 2015 at 4:35 pm

        Well, we’re in great company. I don’t understand these go-getting types when there’s so much sitting down to be done. Although you do sound rather industrious, there: I might have to re-check your credentials for this particular club.

        Like

        • March 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

          Ah, but I joined by my own lights, Tara. 🙂

          And I only thought to say so after I had the thought, “There’s a club?” lol

          Liked by 1 person

      • March 31, 2015 at 5:51 pm

        Well, they would count as blog posts, I suppose 🙂 The Challenge seems a bit like NaNoWriMo, where you tend to get quantity over quality. Sounds exhausting to me… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. March 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for the like Tara & the blog also, did a 30 day NAPOWRIMO last year it nearly whacked me – April this year is a little congested what with Easter hols and a host of other duties so things will be thin on the ground – fitted in two Villanelles this morning though before the April madness starts – come to think of all of this is nearly an April 1st: Blog??

    Like

    • March 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      You’re welcome. And I think you’re on a roll! You should keep the momentum going and blog twice a day til you reach Nirvana 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. March 31, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    This is the first time I take part in the challenge and I’m so exited. I’m also freaking out, but well… don’t bother about me.

    As a theme, I’m doing the setting of my novel, Roaring Twenties America. I just hope my readers (I wrote ‘reader’ the first time… just saying…) will have a fraction of the fun I’m having writing. That would be more than enough to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 31, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      That’s a superb topic, Sarah, and I’ll be over to visit! So remember – readers plural, readers plural 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. March 31, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Phew – a challenge that gives me not the tiniest prickle of excitement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

      So you’ll be joining the armchair supporters society, Hilary? Great stuff. Stock up on snacks 😁

      Like

  8. March 31, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Reblogged this on .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. April 1, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Helpful stuff from a fellow A-Z’er. 😀

    Like

    • April 1, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks, Jem! Best of luck this month – I’ll be over to visit 😉

      Like

  10. Alex Hurst
    April 2, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Yes! I want to make a nifty graphic for #4. Seriously. I am a huge believer in only blogging when you have something to say, so it made me happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Oh my Blog I love graphics almost as much as I love graphs! If you do, please tell, and I’ll do a happy dance 😁

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: