April has come to an end and what an eventful month it was. Surprisingly it dint feel as taxing as I thought it would be.
This was my maiden AtoZChallenge and it was quite a smooth sail. I am all set to take this up next year. What helped make it a smooth month and enabled me to fruitfully utilise my limited time were these factors:
- I knew very well that I did not want the headache of daily blogging. The reason I call it a headache is – with my daily job which is very demanding and a toddler who started schooling in April, I could foresee this will be a mess if I decided to write daily. I intended to write all the posts before April starts but managed only 15. That was still a good start. I used the first 2 weekends to write 3-4 posts a day and that made me comfortable. Write early is my first tip- this is absolutely essential to ace the challenge as remember its not that your life is going to be at a standstill- you still have to run your life and there could be lot of unexpected things taking up your time.
- Read Read Read. It was an absolute delight reading my blogger friends posts. A few whom I know since quite some time and a fantastic way to connect with new bloggers. It was great meeting Priya who wrote on diverse topics, Seema whose sketches left me spell bound, Ruchi whose fiction was intriguing, Chris with his entertaining stories, Deep who is a newbie but her enthusiasm was infectious, Meena with her incredible stories on India, Shweta who aced it with her novella on Erotica and Anshu with her unconventional story about Tara. I used to try and read 20-25 posts per day, share on twitter and leave my comments.
- Always respond to comments. I found a few bloggers never do that its a dampener when you have taken time to comment on something and never hear back.
- Also make it a point to revisit those who visited you. You may not always relate to their content but blogging is about reciprocation to a great extent.
- Its good to stick with a theme. Having a theme helped me structure my posts. In fact my starting point was writing the title of each chapter and a brief one liner in my diary. Once I had the 26 chapters, it was easy typing them out and adding more content. I knew very clearly where the story was headed.
- Keep your posts short. I found some good posts but they were very long. For a challenge like this when you are on a reading marathon, there is absolutely no time to read long posts. Short and sweet is thy word. I liked Anurag’s flash fiction here, Meha did a fabulous job as well by keeping each chapter short.
My blog saw a spurt in traffic – 3800 views over the month which is quite a feat. This means each post had around 125 views. I got a lot of wonderful comments from bloggers. A few posts did exceedingly well , some of which I had not anticipated.
Personally I felt this is a great opportunity for every blogger to enhance the visibility of their blog. Preparing in advance is key to success.
I have already thought of a theme for the next AtoZChallenge! Too far sighted, am I?