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What I Learned with @AprilA2Z Blogging 2014 – #AtoZChallenge

Learning through my A to Z Challenge.

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cIt was work a lot of work and it was worth it. What my three years of experience combined have taught me? Prepare yourself. Coming up with a theme helped even the huge ass procrastinator like me. Oh that brings up procrastination … don’t do it. But it is really hard to avoid. I saw a bunch of lovely people do some awesome pre-planning. I saw some great ideas and themes. The best thing I saw was some amazing blogs and community. I learned a lot this year and combined with the last few years I think I will be better prepared for next year.

Ideas for a Successful A to Z April Challenge 2015:

  • Get your readers involved.
  • Start writing theme ahead of time.
  • Look for some guest bloggers, it was fun when I did it for my Fourth-Wall Fridays.
  • If you are a book blogger schedule a few tours that go with your plan
  • KEEP YOUR ARTICLES SHORT!

This last one is a bitch for people like me. I am prolific and chatty. I like to tell a story and 350 words seems so short, believe me it isn’t. I did not do my traffic and readership any good. In fact I fell short not just because of my long posts but I put way to much stress on myself and I ended up…

Working while sick!

sickLast year I was ill too and Geoff had to write a few of the posts but this year? I was so sick I had to turn off all social media, and was on bed-rest (still am in fact) for over two weeks. Working while sick is bad. If I had prepared ahead of time this would not have happened.

I learned another thing, don’t walk away from this in the habit of blogging every day. I did and last year if I missed a day of blogging I freaked out. Perhaps it is my personality but look at yourself. Are you the type of person who gets in a routine and in six months you are collapsing in exhaustion and tears. Yep, happened this year and happened last year.

One last thing? Way to go!! Congrats to everyone here. I have the links copied and since I fell behind because of being sick I plan to go and still visit all those blogs. Thanks everyone who stopped by!

X .. Y and Z are next and I am going to end as I started. A X is for Alaska, B Y is for a great Book and C Z is for Cooking!

What have you learned?

 

13 Comments

  1. Nice job, Kriss 🙂 Will do rain dances and Shuma chants in hopes of making you feel better.

  2. Very good advice here. This was my first A to Z and it was indeed hard work.
    Get well soon!

  3. It’s tough keeping the posts short, but I did much better in that regard this year. Also, planning posts in advance made this year much easier.

    Even without falling ill, it’s been a challenge to keep up with comments and blog hopping. I’ve really enjoyed the bi-weekly AZchat on Twitter.

    I can relate to overdoing it and then collapsing. That is a lifelong habit that I am working very hard to dismantle!

    Get well soon & happy A to Z-ing to you! 😀

    ~Tui Snider~ Dropping by from the A to Z challenge! 😀
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

  4. Great thoughts and advice on the challenge! Totally I agree on the preplanning, I did as much as I could but yesterday morning I got up and still hadn’t written W… panic!

    Next year I would ideally want them all prewritten at least the week before so I can spend all my time blog hopping and commenting and replying to comments and going back more often to those blogs I fall in love with.

    I’ve enjoyed virtually meeting everyone, have bought 2 books by authors who are involved in the challenge and had an exhausting but great time.

    I’m particularly noting the advice on not carrying on daily! I too am a habit former and then take too much oo. Before I’d heard about the challenge I’d decided to only blog weekly or twice weekly if I felt like it so apart from special challenges or next week when I’m blogging a Fashion Week I need to remember to stick to this! Your words and advice are a timely reminder.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery
    Mars xx
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  5. Great advice, I’m a planner and began my A-Z post drafts in January, it really helped.

  6. Excellent advice Kriss. I had a few of mine written before the start, but for the last week have been writing them spur of the moment. I had an idea of what was going to be written about each day but a few, when the actual day arrived I completely changed my mind…

    Great post for X. I linked to your participation in the #AtoZChallenge on my post for X; Xenagogue That’s Me.

  7. Great advice. This was my first challenge, and it was great to kind of force myself to write each day. I’m hoping to have a theme next year to add to my challenge!

  8. This was my 1st A to Z challenge which i heard about a day before and only got registered in time. I loved it. I chose weird and zany things about countries and due to there being no country starting with X I had to get very creative, ditto with some countries which from a travel perspective I chose not to write about. Hard but such a rewarding experience. It gave me a lot of discipline. All credit to organisers. I missed the chats which in all honesty I hadn’t read carefully enough to know when they were on. So I didnt get to meet you all properly Next year 🙂 On a personal level I hope you are getting better. Regards to all, Paula

  9. Great post. This year, more than most years, I can totally relate to the exhaustion. I tried to pre-schedule all of mine but exhaustion in February caught me out and I got half roughly sketched. That helped enormously and the rest were done week by week.
    I don’t pick up the daily habit and usually fall into an abyss after April which I want to change this year.
    Look after yourself and I hope you get better soon.

  10. I’ve loved the challenge, first timer over here and I really wish I had pre planned more and gone with a theme! Still managed all of my posts but it was hard going! Nice change to my usual blogging though!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  11. This was my third A to Z. Keeping posts short and pre-posting is why I did this a third year. All of my posts were written and scheduled by April 1. I’m not bragging, I’m just saying I would have sat at my computer every day to think of a corresponding post. I had some deadlines and other stuff going on so pre-planning was necessary.

    The blogs I visited which I commented more than once had a chosen theme, a short concise post, and usually a picture.

    So glad I found your blog for the A to Z challenge! My posts are about Memorable Characters.

  12. Excellent thoughts here. Please link this post to the Reflections linkylist that would come up on the 5th May on the AZ main blog.

    I’m sorry you haven’t been well. I haven’t been too good myself, so I know where you’re coming from.

    • I will make sure I remember that! Thanks Damyanti

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