by Lillian Csernica on May 5, 2014
Having discovered the joys of the A to Z Challenge last April, I was better prepared to make use of the advice and the diversity of blogs available. These, then, are the strategies I started off with, the refinements I learned, and the rewards for succeeding.
1) Keeping everybody interested. Because my blog speaks to both the life of a professional writer and the life of a special needs parent, I put considerable thought into coming up with a theme that would attract and entertain current followers and potential new followers. Chocolate is a coping mechanism, a comfort food, and a source of great pleasure, so I thought it would be a safe bet as a topic. I’m not a food blogger, so how would I approach the topic? Imagination plus creativity are essential to both writers and parents. I went looking for strange and unexpected items made out of chocolate. It worked!
2) Inviting interaction with questions. I picked up on this from reading other blogs while I was out visiting. One of the best questions I came up with was, “What song would be played on a chocolate violin?” That gets my Idea Factory going. The folks kind enough to visit my blog left some wonderful answers that sparked ongoing conversations and further visits. Yay!
3) Attracting new time zones. I wanted to get my posts online as soon as the new day started so people on the East Coast of the U.S. would be able to read them on the correct day. As the Challenge progressed, I started to get the hang of knowing when people in other countries were likely to read my blog. One of my greatest pleasures each day became checking my Stats to see which countries were listed. To know at least one person from India, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Finland, and other lands of wonder were reading my blog made me very happy.
4) Being sure to take an interest in the people interested in my interests. I’ve made some great new friends this year. Foodlikecake, I Feel A Sin Coming On, and Class, Sass, and a Little Ass are just a few blogs I encourage you to visit. Many thanks to my ongoing friends, those of you who follow on e-mail as well as reading my posts here. Food Like Cake posts some fabulous recipes that I’ve got to try. Jen over at Sin shares my passion for Loki/Tom Hiddleston. The Ruralspaceman never fails to entertain with his wonderful British wit. My fellow special needs parents have been there for me on bad days, and I hope to keep being there for them. This is the real meaning behind the A to Z Challenge. It’s not just a hit-and-run game.
5) Trying something different, i.e. visiting blogs outside my usual range of topics. It’s good to get out of my familiar mental neighborhood. Visiting the Under 100 blogs was great for that. I found at least two food blogs about foreign dishes I’d never heard of. Maybe I can’t travel as much as I’d like to, but I can eat like the natives! The photography blogs feed my visual imagination. The wonderful Dutch lady at Resident Alien — Being Dutch in America has some fascinating tales to tell about being a teacher and a translator.
Thank you to Arlee Bird and his team of volunteers who offered much guidance and support in getting the most and the best out of this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. I’m already looking forward to next year. After all, I need to come up with an even better theme!