Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A to Z: Some Not-So-Expert Advice

With the April frenzy only a few weeks away, I thought I would offer some small thoughts on building your circle of blog-world friends during the festivities.  Having been a newbie last year, I don't really qualified as an expert on blog challenges.  Like many others signed up (see list here), I've been visiting some of the blogs already and getting to know some of the other participants early.  Many of them, I'm quite excited to meet and have signed on as a follower. And that is my first bit of advice.
From FB
There are many ways to set up your blog and arrange your gadgets, including your followers.  But on some blogs I visit, the button to click for following is so far down the side of the page I can't find it or I have to scroll way down.  My advice is to make it easy for people to become your followers.

Another piece of amateur advice is about the word verification.  The new form of word tests with the ink splash is a big pain in the 'you know what.'  They are very difficult to decipher.  I can't count how many times I've guessed wrong and had to redo it.

My last piece of advice is to have fun and not stress out if you're having trouble getting around to all the blogs. Some days you'll make lots of stops, but there will be days when life interferes and you can't make the time to hop around for an hour or more. Don't sweat it. I used Sundays to do some catchup last year and suspect I will this year also.

If you want more advice, visit the A to Z Challenge Blog. It is filled with good ideas. 

So what part of the challenge is the biggest for you? Visiting? Posting? Something else?


  1. I agree about the word verification and the location of the follow gadget. I've seen lots of posts recommending using a theme. I think it's more fun to be random about it and try to think of the most odd word to write about for the letter of the day.

  2. I don't know why so many people still have their WV up and running. There's no need for it. I don;t use it and I have maybe on spam every six months.

    Great tips! I'll Tweet to that! Hey, almost at 300 followers. Congrats! in advance.

  3. Great tips! The biggest challenges for me are visiting, and keeping my posts short. This year I'm going to try for under 150 words a day to respect my blog buddies' time.

  4. Those are excellent tips! Those with Wordpress blogs will need another way for those to follow by the time the Challenge occurs, like email signup or the new Linky Tools follow widget.

  5. This will be my first year doing the A to Z challenge, thanks for the tips! Reminds me, I've got to get the badge up!

  6. The word verification is worse than before. I just reset it until I can read it.
    I need to start visiting blogs on the list. Last year I never did get to all of them. That is what the biggest challenge was for me.
    I really liked seeing what I could come up with according to the letter. I never realized how creative I could be.

  7. If you fail the word verification, logic dictates that you're a robot sent from the future to steal our Internets.

    Visiting takes the most time for me - it's hard enough as it is to keep up with everyone, but with so many people signed up this year it's gonna be tough.

  8. Thank you for this information. This is stuff that can't be said too often. Come on people, listen to what Susan says!

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  9. Sounds like some super tips, and you're right about the new word verification. (As if it weren't already enough of a pain.) The biggest challenges for me will be getting the posts written ahead of time, (because I know I tend to take way too long researching and writing my posts) and finding enough hours in a day to visit a bunch of blogs, and STILL have time to like cook, eat, sleep, and go to the potty.

  10. Great Advice! I'm busy with my challenge for this year to get 3 novels and a pocket novel finished so I haven't the time to visit everyone and keep my blog updated, but I love to keep up with all my lovely online friends.

  11. Great advice. Thank you! I'm a total newbie to A-Z and the whole blogging thing, so it's all a challenge to me - in a good way! ;-)

  12. Excellent advice - especially on the word verification thing. It drives me nuts!

  13. Great advice! I think my biggest challenge will be getting round to visiting as many fellow participants as possible, and to follow their daily posts.

  14. I have my own website, no blogger, I use word press. there are lots of different ways that you can follow me. I used to really like word verification, then the words started getting really long.. now I often don't get them right!!
    that and the strange blogger posting problems I always seem to have are what slow me down posting. Your website pops up a new window for posting that's GOOD; a lot of them don't. for some reason those that don't tend to wipe out my posts when I submit them.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  15. Great advice, thanks! I agree on both the follower widget being way too far down the page and the WV being a hassle. Good luck to you in April!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z