First timer at the #AtoZChallenge ? This could help you!

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian BloggersAtoZChallenge-Blogging-Sirimiri
As January of each year nears an end a frisson of excitement can be felt in Blogger air. For the question, ‘Are you doing the AtoZ?’ starts doing the rounds.

Are we talking in a special blogger code you wonder?

Not at all! We are talking of a Blogging Challenge awaited by most Bloggers around the world, known as the A to Z Challenge.

So, what is the AtoZChallenge ?

April is the month reserved for this challenge that starts on the 1st of April each year when you blog your way through the month, alphabetically.

An alphabet a day for each day of April. 1st April – A, 2ND April – B and so on and so forth.

Sundays are off (and when you attempt the challenge you will realise how precious this break is!) so you cover the 26 Alphabets through a 30 day month.

There is a Theme Reveal post to be written and shared, introducing the theme you’ll be AtoZing about post 15th of March (check for the exact date). After the challenge most bloggers usually write and post a reflections blog post.

How could I be part of this challenge?

Sign up with Blogher or Blogchatter. Follow them on Twitter, keeping a watch for the appropriate announcements. While you’re doing so, think up a suitable topic/theme.

What do I write about?

Writing on topics that suit the genre of your blog is always a good thing. Write on something you’re most comfortable writing about. Then again, you could use this challenge to explore something completely not you. It’s your call.

Do I need a topic/theme?

A theme, though not a must, makes writing for a month easier. Also, your readers know what to expect and what to look forward to. A theme has you ‘sorted’. Think of a theme relevant to your blog. While choosing one keep in mind that readers get comfortable expecting certain topics and a certain writing style from you.

How do I think of a topic or theme?

This is how I do it: I choose 3 keywords for myself.

To give you an example Humor. Fiction. Stories, are my keywords. I blog on all three topics and these are the ones my readers identify me with.

Post identifying my keywords, I start thinking of topics for each.

Thinking of posts alphabetically for each topic/theme helps me narrow down my choice to one.

Sounds exhausting?

It isn’t! It’s exciting!


What do I gain from doing the challenge?

Where do I even start?!

You write, every day.

You read various blogs, every day.

Your blog rank improves when you do both.

You put your blog out there, gaining new readers.

Your horizons widen.

You gain new perspective.

You make new friends.

All this writing, posting and reading work towards making you a disciplined, and hopefully regular, blogger.

I was a self-published author, courtesy Blogchatter, after my AtoZChallenge 2017.

If you choose the right theme you could compile your posts into a book, and be a published author at the end of the AtoZ Challenge. Click To Tweet

Wait, I have to read blogposts every day?

Yes, you do! That is how you’ll be read too! 

Any tips and tricks?

Ah yes! A few tried and tested ones. Here goes:

  • Freeze on a theme well in advance. If possible, write and schedule your daily posts in advance as well. Doing so will give you enough time to read other blogs and comment on their posts during the challenge.
  • Keep your posts short, sweet and interesting. 350-500 words works for me. Remember you have 26 posts to write and schedule and an average of 15-25 blogposts to read and comment on.
  • Leave polite and appropriate comments on the blogposts you read. How else would the bloggers know you dropped by for a visit?
  • Please, please, pretty please do check that your social media share buttons are working fine and are embedded with your relevant social media id’s. Those that are not make readers impatient and you just might lose an audience.
  • Do add relevant and aesthetically appealing images and/or creatives. It helps in enhancing your post.
  • Use all social media to share your posts but DO NOT spam people with them. Nor should you tag people to read your post, unless specifically asked to.
  • Join or create an AtoZBlogging group. It helps motivate you and keeps you going.
  • Don’t forget to have fun as you make your way through the challenge.

There are no thumb rules for participating in the AtoZChallenge.

As a first timer I was clueless about going about it, which resulted in me abandoning it midway. I aced the challenge the 2nd time around and got a book out of it.

A lot of my friends and fellow bloggers are looking forward to participate in the challenge for the first time, which is why this post got written.

If you’re participating in the #AtoZChallenge2018 , wishing you all the best and a great time!

If you’re not, read our posts and cheer us on!:)

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38 thoughts on “First timer at the #AtoZChallenge ? This could help you!

  1. I remember how much fun we had last year during AtoZ challenge. It was not easy but it was all worth it in the end. I am sure this post will be very helpful for the first-timers.

  2. Very well documented Mayuri – great tips for how to tackle this challenge! Congratulations on the book; I am yet to do it ( too lazy 😉 )
    Not sure if I will get into it this year but too early to say yet as the fever does catch on!!

  3. Much needed post Mayuri, you made this whole challenge look so easy now.
    The key is planning, decide a theme, schedule posts and enjoy the reading & being read engagements. Thank you so much for this much required booster.

  4. I have done AtoZ once, and that too when I was very new to blogging. And I have to say that it was quite an experience, especially because I also volunteered to be a minion of a moderator that year. Talk about being an overzealous newbie!

    Anyway, these are some great tips, and I’m sure they’ll be extremely helpful for AtoZers new and old. 🙂

  5. Strangely, while at the hospital on Monday, I was rummaging through my mind for themes and ideas and then wondered if I’d even participate. Well we all know the answer to that, eh? 🙂

    Well done, Mayuri! Excellent post for anyone who’s planning to test the AtoZ waters or even a veteran. Great primer. Your 2017 AtoZ posts were amazing.


  6. I’ve been thinking about A-Z too, and wondering what I’m going to write about and also racking my brains on how soon to start scheduling. But first things first. Need to get a theme in place.
    This will be a very useful post for first timers and a good reminder for us who have attempted it in the past. I owe A-Z big time as that book would have never got written otherwise.

  7. I think I should try it this time. I like the part of reading other blogs and commenting.
    For some reason, blog collabs rarely happen in India. I am hoping I will make some cool friends and convince them for doing blog collabs… lots of guest posts and stuff.
    Loved your idea about picking a theme. Good luck to all of us who will take up the challenge 🙂

  8. Oh boy, it is time to think of a theme already? Gosh, I need to rake my brain now.

    This time would be my 5th consecutive A to Z and the tips that you have mentioned are so apt!

  9. That was one extensive blog post you have written about AtoZ challange Mayuri. This post was really helpful for me.

    I attempted this challenge last year but dropped out midway. COuldn’t keep it up. But this year since I am already aware of this challenge unlike 2017 when I got to know about it only in the last week of March and couldn’t cope with the stress of writing everyday, I have already started planning it out.

    Thanks for the tips.

  10. That is a great post. I wish I had found one such post the first year I took part in the challenge… but then, maybe back then I wasn’t expert of blogging enough to look for it.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Fantastic post Mayuri! You’ve really cleared a lot of my doubts. Are you going to be a part of any A2ZBloggingGroup this year? I’d love to join if so!

  12. Thanks Mayuri for writing it down, I am participating in the challenge for the first time and I admit I am very nervous. I wasn’t even aware that i need to write a theme reveal post by 20th March. Thank you so much.

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