#AtoZchallenge- Lessons from the Past

April is here. Well, almost here. Okay, it’s almost two months away. You’ve got time.

WRONG! You don’t!

The A to Z Challenge is swinging around sooner than you can blink and say ‘Geronimo Stilton’. (I blame my 8-year-old’s obsession with that book!) Last year was my first brush with the A to Z and what a fantastic thing it was, to be sure. The bloggers I met, the connections I made, the friendships I forged are still in my trusted and treasured circle πŸ™‚ I signed up my Parenting blog last year, because well, this blog did not exist at the time. This year, I am going to dabble in Fiction and reel you in hook, line and sinker, all because I love my readers. Yes, really!

What are the lessons I can share from my first A to Z last year?Β Without further ado, let’s plunge into them now:

Modified from Pixabay
Modified from Pixabay

Confused? Don’t be. That’s my mnemonic.

S- Β This stands for Schedule, Schedule, Schedule. Yep. You have 51 days till April 1st. Start writing your posts now! You heard me. Work out your theme or lack of it, pick your letter, start writing the posts, add the pictures or quotes you want and schedule them today.

T- Truncate. I know I may be shot for this, but try and keep your posts short. Truncate them to under 200 words if you can. Why? Well, the A-Z is a HUGE sign-up list. Members who participate are literally going to do so from all over the world. So, if you want a fair chance that people will read and comment on your posts daily, ensure that you don’t make it too long.

R- Read, but obviously, is what this stands for. Go out there and find the blogs you love. Look at the sign-up list and find the categories that you would enjoy. Make time to read. If you follow ‘Schedule’, then this gives you time to read. Trust me on this.

I- Interact. I cannot over-emphasise the need for this. Interaction on the blog post, through the comments, via responses to your own comments are all BIG plus points. It shows the writer that you care enough and truly builds your presence in the blogging community. If you don’t have time to reply to comments on the same day, use the break day, Sunday, to catch up on the comments.

K- Know your subject well. It is important to pick a theme that you are comfortable with. Don’t over reach or try to do something too far out of your comfort zone. Readers can tell when you are writing from the heart and when you have just strung words together for the challenge. Keep it simple, keep it real.

E- Engagement is the final but the most relevant point. How is this drastically different from Interaction? Well, engagement on social media channels such as Facebook groups devoted to A-Z or sharing your fellow bloggers’ posts on Twitter, is a show of good faith. Do it today. Start following the hashtag #AtoZchallenge and the official Twitter Acccount @AprilA2Z or follow them on Facebook at the page: Blogging from A to Z

In addition, you can also check out my Six Steps to Surviving a Blogging Marathon, in case you decide to indulge in this madness month after month. πŸ˜‰

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Are you doing the A to Z challenge?Β 

Have you written a post on the Lessons learnt from the past?

Share your wisdom in the comments! πŸ™‚

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24 thoughts on “#AtoZchallenge- Lessons from the Past

  1. Now I am glad that I have already started. I found a theme, scheduled the first two and have written four more. I thought about finishing and scheduling them week by week…. Do you think that’s too much to do? Should I schedule earlier?
    Should I panic???

    1. He he, don’t worry. You’ll have people posting at the last minute too. My suggestion is to get at least 3/4th of the posts done and ready before April. It will leave time for you to visit others as well as reply to comments on your own blogs. Good luck and don’t panic πŸ™‚

  2. This is truly a very helpful post Shailaja. Today is March 29th, the day of theme reveal has come and gone. I decided NOW, to take part this year!! (the horror).a God help me. Last year I winged it, This year I need a theme desperately.!

  3. Some wise advice Shailaja..Though A2Z is fun but it is no less hard word…We need to devote lot of time for it…Last year I wason holiday so I was free throughout April, not sure how I’ll manage this year

  4. I agree with all these points. It was such a fun time last year, no? I can’t believe it’s been a year almost! Now a-z is around the corner again and I still haven’t decided on a theme! *Starts panicking*

  5. Hi Shailaja, Thank you so much for these tips. I am relatively new to blogging and I was considering taking on the A-Z challenge this year, but it did intimidate me. Your tips make it look more doable. Thank you.

  6. You know AtoZ and I don’t go together very well ;), but I love these tips! Maybe, just maybe, it’ll make me want to attempt next year when some of the current craziness in life has settled down. All the very best with your attempt, I’m sure you’ll rock it!

  7. I have yet to decide if I am participating this year. I have a theme in my mind but it needs some fine tuning, and then there is the writing part too πŸ™‚ So let’s see. The STRIKE lessons are great, particularly the ‘T’ one for me πŸ™‚

  8. Helpful article, Shailaja. I’m a first timer at AtoZ. I really want to join in the fun. My schedule from end of march till around mid may is absolutely unknown to me. We are traveling during that time. Going to be homeless at least for a minimum of 4 weeks. I have already zeroed in on a theme and started writing, finished 4 posts as of now. I am still doubtful though because I am not sure about internet access during that time which is going to limit my interactions with others. All these posts on AtoZ is pulling me to it and wanting me to not to do it at the same time. Do you have any suggestions for me, Shailaja.

  9. Oh what a brilliant post Shailaja πŸ™‚ Love it :-).Though I doubt my participation in this challenge.But I wish to tell something to you all that please do this challenge from the heart and don’t worry about what would others say about your choice of topics

  10. Oh my! I’m already intimidated and overwhelmed and I haven’t even started! The reason, well the main one at least for now is: I do not currently have a theme. I thought I had one, but not sure ,,, yet. Then changed my mind to another until I read your blog post. I’m considering keeping it simple and just writing poetry…hey, maybe that will be it! Who knows?! πŸ˜‰ <3

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