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 on the 20th of March. After the challenge most bloggers usually write and post a reflections blog post.
How could I be part of this challenge?
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.
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!:)