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 🙂 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? Without further ado, let’s plunge into them now:
Confused? Don’t be. That’s my mnemonic.
S- 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