Gosh! It’s that time of the year already! Ever since I began blogging in 2013, I have participated in every single #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge. And sometimes with two blogs! When I say it has become a part of life, I truly am NOT exaggerating. The alarm bells go off in my head from the beginning of January as I worry about finding a ‘theme’ for participating in the challenge.
The brand new planner/calendar gets its first entry as I block the dates from the mid of March through April to early May. I am pretty sure that this is what most of the bloggers across the world do because trust me, the A to Z Blogging Challenge is an amazing experience!
Are you new to blogging? Confused as to what the hype is all about? Read on.
What is #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge?
#BlogchatterA2Z is a blogging challenge in the month of April where you write blog posts every day except Sundays, making it a total of 26 posts – one for each letter of the English alphabet. The key to the challenge is that your blog post title should (preferably) begin or should have a prominent word starting with the letter A on April 1st, letter B on April 2nd, and so on; and you blog your way through the month, alphabetically.
Do you need a ‘Theme’ for the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge?
Having a theme is not mandatory. However, I would vouch for having one because it makes the whole process a lot easier and more fun. You will be able to narrow down your ideas and the blog topics keep flowing.
For eg: My Theme for 2017 was My Vacay to Thailand – the fun I had, the many things I could tick off from my bucket list, the culture, the food, practical tips among many others. When I figured out I wanted to write about Thailand, all these topics came to my head and it was one of the most successful A to Z Challenge topics on this blog.
How to Choose a Theme for the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge
In my experience, the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge becomes a bit daunting if you do not have a theme. You will be writing 26 posts in a month and coming up with new content every day is difficult. However, choosing a theme isn’t easy either. So, what do you do?
I’d say, identify topics based on your niche.
If you are a travel blogger, write about travel. Book reviews and recommendations are a great option for book bloggers. Recipes from around the world or recipes with local ingredients are some theme ideas for food bloggers. If you aspire to be a published author, you can use this opportunity to write stories or poems and compile them to publish your novella or book.
This will lead to adding more niche content to your blog and thereby tell the world the authority you’ve on your topic of choice. Helps build your brand, to say the least.
The other option is to choose topics that interest you. This is helpful if you don’t schedule posts beforehand and go about writing daily. While I’d advise not to (ever!) do that (I’d tell you why, in a bit!), sometimes life happens! Therefore, you can definitely go with the flow.
Now, when you write on a theme that interests you, you can make this experience more exhilarating than exhausting.
This is a lifestyle blog and I have written about (mostly!) everything under the sun. So, I loved coming up with some fun themes for this space over the years.
- In 2014, I wrote about Recipes from Kerala Cuisine (this was a food blog back then)
- 2015 saw me writing about 26 hours before my wedding – A to Z Shakespearean Idioms.
- In 2016, I wrote about My Life as an Army Wife. This is to date, my absolute favorite theme and had been loved by many. I enrolled my Food Blog too for sharing A to Z Chicken Recipes.
- In 2017, I wrote about My Vacay in Thailand and A to Z Popular Indian Foods.
- In 2018, I wrote All About Muffy, my then four-month-old Golden Retriever and on my food blog, I wrote about A to Z Army Party Recipes.
- In 2019, it was all about Books and Kerala recipes.
- 2020, was All about Books again.
- In 2021, I shared Easy Recipes that You Can Try During the Pandemic. This was most loved by the community and I had absolute fun cooking, filming, and writing these recipes.
Now, if you closely look at the pattern, you would know these are things I absolutely can’t live without in life. That said, I think I know what I should write about this year.
Why Should You Participate in the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge
I can’t even begin to list down the advantages of participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge. Because there are too many.
- For starters, you write every day for a month. This automatically makes you consistent and stick to a schedule. As they say, 21 days of doing something every day, form a habit!
- Networking during the challenge implies daily reading too. And what are the benefits of that?
- Increased page views, duh?!
- A spike in your Alexa Rank, Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Social Media reach.
- And the best part, you get to read a wide variety of bloggers. You gain new insights into their culture and interests.
- You also make new friends who you will continue to read even after the challenge ends.
- Apart from these, Blogchatter also gives you reward points and stickers if you complete the challenge. You also might get a goodie bag barring the pandemic getting worse.
I have decided to join the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge. What should I do next?
- Sign up on the #BlogchatterA2Z page right away. You can also do a Theme Reveal post any time this month too.
- Submit to the Blogchatter BlogRolls and tick the checkbox mentioning #BlogchatterA2Z.
- Add a line at the end of your post mentioning you are participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z hyperlinking to www.theblogchatter.com
- You may add the alphabet stickers which you can get from Bestorified.
- Read and share other bloggers to truly experience the fun of community blogging.
Tips and Tricks to Sail Smooth the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge
Here are a few tips to sail smoothly through the #BlogchatterA2Z Blogging Challenge. Please note that nothing is mandatory. These are some tried and tested tricks to make the best use of the challenge.
1. Find a Theme: As I mentioned before, it is always better to figure out a theme well in advance. It totally helps in the long run!
2. Plan your Posts: When I say
3. Create Images: Whether you choose to use your own images or stock photos, gather them all in one place. Some of the best places you can find free stock images are Unsplash, Pixabay, Flicker,
- Create graphics for your blog posts right away using Image editing software like Canva or Picmonkey. Graphics for a blog post include the featured image, Pinterest image and/or Social Media specific images.
| READ: Five Photo Editing Tools for Bloggers
- You can also choose to use the AtoZ Alphabet Stickers mentioned above, created by the Blogchatter team.
4. Write and Schedule: Write short posts- of say, 300-600 words. Nobody has the time to read through your 2000+ word post every day because there are many blogs that one would want to drop by
- Get as many posts written ahead of time. This would help you sail smoothly during the duration of the challenge as there would be no additional burden of thinking of what to write on the D-day!
- This will also give you time to think about keywords and SEO. Challenge or not! At the end of the day, it is vital for your blog growth and organic traffic.
5. Configure Social Media Share Buttons: While you wait for April 1st, make sure that your blog’s social media buttons are rightly configured. For eg: your Twitter handle SHOULD be configured on your share button and on every plugin that you use on your blog for sharing. Most bloggers would share your content on their social media accounts. So make the best use of it.
6. Publish and Promote: Configure your blog with automatic publishing to your social media accounts. Add hashtag #BlogchatterA2Z to your blog post title or Yoast Plugin SEO Title.
- Once your post is published, do not hold back. Do your bit by promoting them on various social media platforms, submitting to BlogRolls, and dropping the links on daily threads hosted by blogging communities.
The best thing about the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge is about Networking. If you promote your posts in the right way, there will be hundreds and thousands of readers who will drop by your blog daily, from all over the world. And that’s why Blogchatter firmly believes that participating in the challenge will get you 10x amplification for your blog.
As mentioned before, you can compile your posts to publish an ebook and
7. Network: Now that you’ve promoted your posts by leaving your links on the daily thread, visit the blog posts that are linked to it.
- Keep up with the comments that pour on your blog. At least, try doing it. I confess I wasn’t really successful in replying to all the comments. But I do make it a point to RECIPROCATE, visit the blogs, read and comment on their posts. It is a nice thing to do!
- Commenting on a blog means that you acknowledge the blogger’s time and effort. Be kind. And don’t just say “Nice Post!’
- Pro Tip: Leave a link to your blog while you comment. Either add it on the Name/URL field in the comment plugin or wait for the ‘CommentLuv’ plugin to load your latest post.
- In the Blogchatter website, Roll the bloggers participating in the challenge. This will help you find all the #BlogchatterA2Z blog posts in one-click under BlogRolls For You in your dashboard.
- Please DO NOT mass tag on your post on various social media channels. It’s a put-off!
8. Blog Design: Remove unwanted popups and chat window, at least for the month of April. Turn off additional security Captcha from your comments section, because believe me, nobody has the time to select four road signs while blog hoping. Make your blog easy to navigate with links to recent/previous posts.
9. Have Fun: Enjoy the whole process. Welcome the ‘attention’ because for sure you are going to get it. You’ll be amazed at the wide variety of blogs in the blogosphere. You’ll even love reading many of them, continue to read them after the challenge and make friends for life. This comes from first-hand experience 🙂
That’s all for now, folks 🙂
If you need help with any of the points above, please feel free to ask 🙂
I’ve actually heard about this before, but never knew what it was really all about. This sounds so fun, and I’d love to take part in it! I don’t think if I’d be able to stick to a theme, but it shouldn’t be hard to start my posts with the different letters of the alphabet. I’m pretty good and creative with words and titles! My only challenge would be actually writing every day (except Sundays)! I barely push out two posts a week, but like you said, maybe if I start doing this, it’ll become a habit, and I can post more frequently! 🙂
That would be quite hard for me but for those who really can do that, great job then. I just hope you still produce quality content with that.
I’ve always wanted to join the A to Z Challenge but life keeps happening and I always miss it. Boo-hoo! No more excuses, I’m definitely joining this year! Can’t wait to see what theme you’ve got planned for this year’s challenge. 🙂
Shalini, some great reasons to join the challenge:) I have done quite a few but couldn’t the post two years. Loved the networking and the friends I made during the challenge. My writing and blog rankings improved too. Your post has me tempted:) Themes are important because they help in structured and well planned posts. I might take the plunge this year, you are to blame for it partially 🤣
I’ve done A-Z for two years in a row, but this year I’ll give it a miss. Though it saddens me more, because they have such a brilliant logo this time. :))))
These are such useful tips for newbies, as well as a good reminder for bloggers giving it a go.
Perfect ready reckoner this Shalini. 🙂
Natasha recently posted…5 Ways I Beat the Blues: #MondayMusings #MondayMotivation
Bindu Thomas says
Great post and it looks like I need to join the A to Z challenge for keeping blogs better than before. Thanks for sharing.
Great post as usual. This is completely a hatke post. I never heard of this before and might take A to Z challenge asap.
Reema Dsouza says
I’m planning to give it a miss this time! But your post is now making me want to participate in the challenge. Your post is of real help to new A To Z participants.
All the best to you 🙂
Wow I never heard of the A to Z challenge in the blogging world. I probably wont participate but definitely will help those who need the extra content.
I don’t think this would be do-able time-wise for me this year but great idea!
Tiffany @thismommytries says
I have never heard of this challenge but now I feel like it is calling my name! Thank you so much for sharing it I can’t wait to get started!
I am totally going to consider doing this as a blogger! However, I fear burnout as I like to put at least 2,000 words in each of my posts and they take several hours to complete…I still manage to get two up a week!
I’ am blogging for less than 2 years but I’ve never heard about A to Z challenge sounds interesting HAHAHHA! maybe I should check this!
A to Z is such an excellent opportunity to socialize and find new bloggers. I have always loved your themes and the amount of effort you put in to make each post special is commendable.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to take part this time. But I will drop in to check out your posts.
Rajlakshmi recently posted…When Parents come to Visit
Laura Dove says
I havent heard of this challenge before but what a fab idea! I do love a good challenge and a-z challenges are really fun to make part in. I need to do this!
David Elliott says
That would be crazy. I did something like this as far as amount of blogs during January. Trying to do one letter for each day of the month except Sundays would create quite the challenge. I will have to think about it. Sounds fun though.
David Elliott recently posted…A Boysenberry In Nirvana: Knott’s Boysenberry Festival 2019
Amanda Millie says
I’ve never heard of this challenge before, such great idea. I think I might join in too.
Amanda Millie recently posted…My positive home birth story
Absolutely fantastic guide! I agree with all your tips, epseically with try and prepare as many posts in advance as possible, because once the challange is up, time will shrink. It’s an incredible phenomenon!
Pictures always make it easier for the read and also divinding the post into section… though if we keep it short (and it’s a good practive) there won’t be space for a lot of section.
Thanks for sharing this. Great job!
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This is the first time I have heard about the A to Z Challenge. and I like the concpet! I am a lifestyle blogger generally but I have some speicifc areas that I tap once in a while. Great post on how I can participate on this!
Rajeev Moothedath says
A very useful post.Thank you!
Ranjini S says
You make it sound so fun. I run from A2Z every year. I started participating a couple of times and stopped. Only one year I managed to complete. I wasn’t planning to participate this year. But this post is tempting me 😭
oh you must! Figure out a theme, list down the titles, and start writing. Make it short. It’ll be as easy as pie! 🙂
Prasanna Raghavan says
I got everything I needed to know about processing my first-time registration to #BlogchatterA2Z and going to make it my Bible for that. Thank you for your time, and effort in making this post and sharing it with others.
Radhika Acharya says
Brilliant post Shalini. You have covered everything about the challenge and done it well. 😊
Radhika Acharya recently posted…Theme reveal – Blogchatter A2Z 2022 writing challenge