Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Blog

Call it cheating or call it creative but today I'm talking about Blogs.

For this challenge I know a lot of you will want to visit as many on the challenge board as you can.

Don't wear yourself out. Otherwise after the month of April you'll have to take a blog hiatus because you ran yourself ragged.

It comes down to pacing. Take a chunk a day. Try and visit everyone once. Don't be hard on yourself if you're finding it difficult to say hello. With over 600 entrants that's going to happen.

However there is a way you can make it easier on your fellow participants... here are some tips.

1. Short posts - The short & sweet one's we can stop in, say hello, get the message you're sending and comment.
2. Simplicity - Some blogs are crazy. The easier your blog is to navigate the easier it'll be to comment and read what you've written.
3. Blog look - Big headers and too many gadgets make the blog harder to load. If you want people to stop in again and again re-evaluate what's important to be housed on the front lines. Blogger has something known as pages. Use those for the stuff you still wanna chat about but are more important if the follower is in for the long hall.
4. Follow button - If you plan on following and wanting people to return the favor don't make it hard to find. People don't want to search on how to keep track of you. Study those you look up to in the blogging world. They have their blog set up a certain way for a reason. To make it accessible to newbies.

So there you have it. Ways to make the A to Z Challenge easier and to also make your blogging life a little easier!!! See my cheating (or not cheating) made this blog post shine!

Have a fab weekend everyone!

127 comments:

Bz said...

yep, that's right! I do find if discouraging when I can't find the buttons I'm used to on blogger. I don't have limits for visits - I tend to cruise :) Nice post!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Good blogging advice, we have a lot of posts to read, so short and sweet does it! :)


Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Bish Denham said...

You said it! (Those word verification deals can be a hassle too.)

Tundiel said...

Fab tips! I already use most of them, but I still haven't figured out how to use the pages feature. One day I'll fathom it. *snort*

Dafeenah said...

Great tips! I read those I follow first and then those who have left comments on my blog. Depending on how much free time I have left depends on how many I read from the list. I try to pick new ones each time so that I can read as many as I can.

Dafeenah

Pk Hrezo said...

Great advice. Thanks, Jen! Those blogs that take forever to load? Yep, I usually don't wait.

The Words Crafter said...

I'm just breezing through my blogroll right now. I'm about to crank up the cool linky button created by Marcus-I met some cool bloggers that way last night!

Great advice!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent tips, Jen! I've come across several blogs with no Google Friends Connect at all.

Cathy said...

Great advice! Thanks!

li said...

I read and commented heavily yesterday, so today I intend to just read off and on and prob. comment very little. Y'all know I'll be around.

Liz P said...

Short posts are key. I tried to keep mine as brief as possible (hopefully they are short enough!). I've come across a few very long ones that I had to put aside, and I haven't had a chance to get back to them. I feel bad because I'm sure they put a lot of effort in, but I can only devote a certain amount of time each day and there are just too many blogs to get to!

Great tips! :)

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

Great tips. For me I can keep it shorter and remove some of my sidebar items for faster loading. Thanks for the tips.

atimetoshine said...

Good advice there! I am really loving all the blogs I am discovering, but I think I may need to slow down a little or I won't get anything else done! :D

Diane said...

Great tips as always! I am all for short posts. :O)

Jess said...

Great tips! I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with for the letter 'X' :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Good tips Jen!

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Well said! Happy A-Zing!

K.C. Woolf said...

Good tips!

Yes ... shorter posts. Working on that.

Madeleine said...

Can't argue with that, though longer posts can be presented in neat chunks for better digestion :O)

Joyce Lansky said...

I'm really enjoying this A-Z Challenge. Then again, we're only on letter B. I need to stockpile this weekend.

I agree with the short blogs comment.

Carrie said...

Good choice for the letter B and great advice for challengers or any blogger year round.

Martha in PA said...

Great advice....
now let me go make sure my Follow button hasn't gotten lost in my side bar!


B is for Balance

Tracy said...

Jen,
Amen to the 'short' posts...some are so lenghty I find it hard to stay focused!

Annikka Woods said...

Glad I'm not the only one who chose to do the 'B' post on blogging. LOL An excellent post and very good advice. Now let's see what we can come up with for the rest of the letters. :)

Donea Lee said...

Speaking of followers, Holy Hannah - girl! Did yours jump up by about 200 when I blinked? :) 1300+ that's so awesome!

Great tips here! That pesky word verification is the worst. Happy A-Z, today!

Oak Lawn Lady said...

Thanks for the great tips!
I'm a new follower and love the A-To Z April blog challenge.
I hope you can check out my take on the challenge at:
http://oaklawnimages.blogspot.com/

Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

Lauracea said...

Hi Jen,
Good post. Another point - you can make a "jump" break to divide up long posts. Great "b" post, now for "c"...

Ju Dimello said...

I was thinking along the same lines :) of fixing a couple of blogs per day....Thanks for the timely tip..

I'm following you now ;)

Laura Marcella said...

You hit all the Best points! :)

Renee Silvana said...

Love your advice, and it was short and sweet as well. Thanks!

J A C Q U E L I N E said...

So far so good! Thanks for the tips.

Rebecca Dupree said...

Beautiful blog! I am just sarting out as a blogger and you give me inspiration! Great job! Great visuals!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Great advice as usual. I know I'm keeping my posts short and sweet - and I mean short ;)

Renae said...

Great advice miss Jen as usual. Thanks for giving me permission to write short posts! I always worry about that!

Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you for co-hosting this so far fun challenge (I'm sure it will get tougher). I am going to try to visit everyone at least once.
There was no sleep in my house last night except for Pop-Pop who kept the rest of us up with his snoring and his scary stories:)

http://www.doreenmcgettigan.com

... Paige said...

this month I'm doing:

a poem day challenge
making invitations for my daughters graduation
having a few give a ways at my blog
and
having my annual Stupid Blog Party (with prized)on the 15th

I will keep my eyes on this A-Z thang...sounds fun

Roza M said...

So true, and awesome tips. Wonderful post Jen. =)

sema said...

Thank you for the tips.
Enjoying my first year in A to Z challenge

sema
Expressive Impressive

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Very helpful tips! 100% agree that you shouldn't wear yourself out. Blogging is supposed to be fun. If it starts feeling like just another thing on your to-do list, then it's time to take a step back and figure out its place in your life :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Jen,

That's certainly the way to do it...

Michael

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Great advice!!! I especially hate it when I have to search the entire page to find the "Follow Me" option.

One more I would add - don't make it so difficult for your readers to leave a comment. Word Verification OR Moderation....typically one or the other is going to catch problems.

Kat Harris said...

Totally agree!

The Book Gatherer said...

Short and sweet - perfect!
Here's mine today...
http://thebookgatherer.blogspot.com/2011/04/b.html

Patricia Lynne said...

I think everyone is going to have a few cheating posts for the challenge. I did mine today too with something I already had written up.

http://plbjourney.blogspot.com

Ruth said...

I am still trying to figure out how I am going to get around to all the blogs.
I will have to pace myself.
That is good advice.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post, Jen! When I started reading blogs for a-z yesterday there were 1014 on the list! I've been to some posts that were realy good, but I couldn't find how to comment or follow them. :(

Rosalind Adam said...

It's not cheating at all. It makes perfect sense for you to go over the blogging basics with us so thanks for the reminders.

Matthew Vanacore said...

Great advice! And thanks for running this fantastic challenge! I'm glad I jumped on the bandwagon.

Bethe77 said...

Thank you for the great tips as I am still learning and I guess would be considered a newbie.
Im having fun on this A-Z challenge. Im looking forward to trying and seeing all the great writers and blogs ou there. So many it is over whelming.
I will put the great tips to the test to the best of my ablity.
Blessings

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for the tips Jen and for co-hosting. I'll try to make my next blog shorter. Julie

Lindsay said...

Great tips -- as always! :)

Cruella Collett said...

Excellent tips - and you and the rest of the crew are doing a wonderful job of hosting the challenge too. April will be a great month! :)

Laura said...

Hi Jen - wise words from the guru! Great post. Have a lovely weekend
Lx

Mimi said...

Great Blog tips, Jen.
Blogs that take ages to load are my pet hate, because I have very little time available, and like to maximise my visits.
This is a great challenge, I'm not part of writing in it, but am enjoying reading.

RaShelle said...

Great stuff, Jen. Thanks. Have a totally BOSS (yeah, sad!) weekend, girl.

Jo Schaffer said...

Great blogging tips! (=

Ru said...

Good ideas, I wouldn't have thought of some of these.

Caitlin said...

Great advice! Thanks for the tips.

Amy Saia said...

Very good tips. It's been easier for me to follow people with the 'headline' list we've all been putting on the side of our blogs. It's nice to sort through and see something that sparks interest.

Ellie said...

As always, an awesome post!

Ellie Garratt

Maurice Mitchell said...

This is some great advice. I especially like the advice on simplicty. Quick. To the point.

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for the tips!

I've been trying to keep my posts short--no more than a few paragraphs, and no masses of text.

Holly Ruggiero said...

The "visit challengers once" is great advice. I've already join several new blogs because they are awesome, but check new blogs, my old blogs and challengers is not to doable. So I'm making a few adjustments.

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Great advice! I'm going to head over to my blog right now and check it out to see if I can rearrange some things. :)

Aubree said...

i hate it when blogs take forever to load! it's annoying.

paper said...

Blogelicious post, Jen!

The tips are indeed useful not only for newbies but for longtime bloggers to take a second look at their blog home. :)

Simplicity is beauty!

Joanna aka paper ~
My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Nice tips. I didn't know the more elaborate headers took longer.

Cindy said...

Hm.. pages? Haven't heard of those. Must check them out...

Cricket McRae said...

Keepin' it simple -- thanks for the great tips!

sue said...

very helpful, thanks, I think I'm lacking in the techno savvy department but will get there eventually I hope. I'm struggling to get around and visit as I hoped, but figure there are lots of days in the month (or year if needed!)

Sue@JumpingAground

livelaughloveliquor.com said...

I'll never be able to write short posts- I try but next thing I know I'm over 1000 words. But I liek to think its quality!

Cheree said...

Great post with lots of fantastic tips. I hate trying to search for the follower button. It should be at the top where it's easy to see and not under the several dozen widgets I have seen on some blogs.

Arlee Bird said...

Good reminders for everyone. I still need to tweak my page some.


Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Holly Jahangiri said...

Well... I struggle with #1 (working on it) and #3 (can't ditch my big header - it's very personal to me, and took a lot of work to get it that way!). But these are all excellent tips.

For people who are sincerely trying to follow lots of others' blogs during the challenge, I'd suggest starting near the middle, or at some random point between 1 and 1000, and working outward in both directions.

Why?? Most people will start at 1. This blog will see LOTS of activity, but people will start to flag around 10, 20, 50, 100 or so. Some of us contrarians may start at 1000 and work our way up - but that, too, is too easy and predictable. So more folks will do that, but they'll flag around 900 or so. Start with something random - pick a number - something like, oh, #271. ;) Then go to #270, #272, #269, and so on. See you there!


Holly Jahangiri

It's All a Matter of Perspective

This year, it's personal - I'm now a "survivor." Please give to Relay for Life.

Jemi Fraser said...

Good advice! Some blogs take so long to load it drives me batty!

Margo Kelly said...

Perfect! Happy B-day. I'm a new follower from the A-Z Challenge - nice to meet you! :)

www.margokelly.blogspot.com

Raquel Byrnes said...

All good points. Also the blog spam thingy really slows things down.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Catherine Denton said...

I love hearing blogging tips from you!
My Blog

Kari Marie said...

Keeping my posts short and sweet is a challenge, but I know I appreciate it from the other entries. Thanks of the survival tips.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Oh, Kari Marie, same dilemma here! Nothing like trying to visit 1000 (and engage in a little conversation there) to make you appreciate brevity, eh?

Not that that's really going to cure me of my verbosity, but I've gained insight and appreciation, anyway.


Holly Jahangiri

It's All a Matter of Perspective

This year, it's personal - I'm now a "survivor." Please give to Relay for Life.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Good tips - ok, short. got it.

Wendy Ewurum (Fabulosity) said...

Really Nice blog. You've just given me my D post (thank you).

Theresa Milstein said...

Creative way to give blogging tips. : )

Martha said...

Stopping by to say hello and say thanks for being one of the host s of this challenge. I'm participant #1184 - looks like it's doubled in participants since you wrote this post - wow!!!

Inside Out said...

Thanks for being one of the brains behind this adventure. Great thoughts. I started with the people around me on the list... low 800's...now I am moving around a bit.

Angela Ackerman said...

#3 is something that a lot of folks don't think about--they just see the beautiful header graphic and go for it.

Loading time is a big deal for many--not everyone has a super fast computer, and most writers always are short on time.

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Corinne O'Flynn said...

and word verification off while you're blogfesting, especially when there are over 1200!! to visit!

Excellent advice, thank you!

mymy said...

love the advices!
followed you...hope you can follow back! thank you :)

mymy
My bric-a-brac

Amy Holder said...

You are a master blogger, Jen! Such great advice!

Nahno McLein said...

Great advice.
Sometimes you forget the obvious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsjtWb0r4Xc&feature=related

Juliet Boyd said...

Some good advice. I'm trying to keep my posts quite short as well and I think my blog is quite easy to navigate.

Lynn said...

Thanks. I found your blog full of great reminders. Looking forward to visiting again.

KatieO said...

Great tips! Not a cheat at all if you're going to give us such good B for Blog advice ;-)

Joyce said...

Thanks for co-hosting! I joined in the fun this year...I follow most of your tips except for the short bit. I try but I have a lot of words. You should read my posts before I edit!

athursdayschild said...

Good recommendations! I wish I could figure out how to comment easier to make navigating easier. I have trouble commenting on a blogspot from a wordpress blog. It usually takes several tries. I've now found instead of checking wordpress that I just use url it works. But, for some reason that option is not always given.

Janet and Bill Campbell said...

Hi Jen. Thanks for the A to Z welcome. I'm a blog challenge virgin so I'm equal parts "yeah" and "oh, god."

I was lucky number 1213 to sign up so I'll just put on my glasses and get to it!

Margaret Almon said...

Hey Jen,
Thanks for the welcome on my blog! And it was your post that pushed me to figure out why my Google Connect box had disappeared again and get back and move it up where people can see it.
Thanks!
Margaret

Olivia said...

Good tips! Especially like #1... Short and Sweet can provide just as much content as the Long and Elaborate.

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Perfect advice for any challenge - it's all about Pacing! :)

Kelly M. Olsen said...

Thanks, Jen. You laid out some great tips that I'll try to implement a little more to my blog (or I'll just not add anymore clutter to my page). This challenge is a blast.

Cre8tiv Glory said...

Excellent and practical advice. I'm new to this challenge so this helps a lot. Thanks.

Paige W. Pendleton said...

Tips! Thanks for the excellent tips!! Love your blog, and so nice to meet you.

ronniejt28 said...

Gosh so many visitors! I have stopped by in accordance with your invitation on my blog. I will visit regularly, blogging is a big learning curve. R

Pearson Report said...

Sage advice!

Thank you for dropping by my sight, giving it a read, and leaving behind a wonderful comment.

Much appreciated,
Jenny

Pearson Report said...

First comment of the day and I can't even type the word site properly - see above comment.

tsk, tsk, tsk...

Anita said...

You want simplicity you should come to my blog...my comments are usually longer than my posts! :)

carolscorner727 said...

Great tips. Stopping by from the A-Z blogging challenge

trininista said...

Wow. I am in trouble now. lol.

LuAnn Schindler said...

Great ideas about blogging. Thanks!

Erin Wallace said...

This is a tad late owing to my lack of internet access and relying on my phone to post, but Thank You for your kind words on my blog! I would love to join the challenge although it might take me longer than April to get through all of the letters since (a) I haven't started yet and (b) I don't blog everyday.

awobblyrottenneutron said...

Some cool tips there, especially for newbies like myself,so thanks for these!

iZombie said...

well bust my barnaby jones... b is the word...

jeremy [iZombie]

Laura said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such great words of encouragement! I love your suggestions and am going to try to make sure that my blog is easy to read.

Cindy Carroll said...

Thanks for the tips. There are a lot of comments here and I didn't read them all but I would add one more tip. Especially for those who have blogs on Blogger or Wordpress. Don't make people have to have a Blogger (or Google) account or a WordPress account to comment. I usually don't comment on those blogs even though I have an ID for both platforms because I prefer to comment with my name and put in my website for the URL.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Excellent advice. And, you have a ton of comments for this one!!!

Jamie said...

Thanks for the tips! Love it here and will be back...

Jamie :)

SharleneT said...

Excellent points. Thanks for sharing. I have a feeling I'm going to need some blogging pills by the time this is over! Come visit when you can.

Laura Howard said...

I couldn't agree more about cutting out alot of the stuff that takes forever to load. Also turn off the verification and page breaks please!! ;)

Spacerguy said...

I'm all fired up now, thanks for advice.

SweetMarie83 said...

Excellent tips! I know these are the exact things I'm looking for during the challenge, since I don't have a whole lot of time and I blog surf in little bits of time. The easier they are to load, read, follow and comment, the better!

Eileen Bell said...

Thanks for dropping by my website and saying hi! Great turnout for this challenge. You must be pleased! And thanks for the pointers. Brevity. That's what I need to learn when blogging. (Plus meeting so many others online that I can talk to -- so cool!)

Thanks again, and great to meet you!

Heather Henry said...

Great ideas, thank you much, I will give them a whirl!
Have a fabulous day!!

Her highness, Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Great advice! I'm with you on the short posts!

Kittie Howard said...

Great advice, Jen! Hey, why not a post on using those pages? I see that I'm not the only one who's at a loss.

I have a follower with no follow button, no place for comments, and there's no e-mail address. It's maddening for she's got a super blog.

Theresa Milstein said...

A staggering # of people are participating in this challenge. Not me. Gotta do my own thing!

Hope you have a fun month with this. : )

By the way, I like your new Blogger Profile pix.

Laura T. said...

Great advice ... I did B for blog also, but listed my statistics.

dporter said...

I wish I'd read this before i started. Nice blog!.