Today I’m pleased to have Shilpa from A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose , sharing some of her tips, on how to ace the A To Z April Challenge.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself
- I am getting older by the day.
- I am not perfect.
- I don’t like being caught unawares.
- I am obsessed with washing and cleaning.
- I have done MBA and have a worked for a decade in the Brand Management Team of leading Pharmaceutical companies and then moved on to work as a Trainer.
- I am passionate about reading books and baking cakes.
- I am a hopeless romantic.
- I have one husband and one son!
- How did you get into Blogging?
It happened while surfing the net. Read one, then read some more and then started reading many more. And I liked the ideas shared, thoughts expressed, opinions voiced or even plain chatter. Whenever I had a lil’ more time or was bored or didn’t had anything great on the cards, I would read them. And the time would just fly! Yes, I am talking about blogs.
While I was sharing my new found love with my friend M, he pushed me to create one of my own. And “A rose is a rose is a rose!” was born on May 1, 2009 and there’s been no looking back since then.
- You write some amazing fiction and that to in few words. How do you do that? 🙂
I read about 55 Fiction for the first time at a friend’s blog. I loved the idea of a developing a story within the confines of this limit and ending with a shock value. This is my favourite form of micro-fiction, though I also dabble into Drabbles which is writing in 100 words. I’ve been writing 55 Fiction since 2009 and have some 180 55 Fiction and 98 Drabbles on my blog.
How do I do that? Well, the first step is to get an idea/plot. Next step is to write long and then go short. So, I write the story in a few sentences and then chop the extra words and sentences to get the exact 55 words. The excitement and challenge of removing extraneous words or phrases is something that I love.
- There is a lot of rave about A to Z contest. Would you advise bloggers to do this? Why?
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is a mega blogging challenge and work wonders for you as a blogger. I have been participating in A to Z Challenge since 2013 and it would be my 6th A to Z Challenge this year. Blogging daily with reading and commenting on so many blogs with everyday life and its challenges isn’t easy. But what I love is the feeling of overcoming all these challenges.
My 10 tips for Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
- Plan ahead. Whether you are having a theme or not, the best strategy is to plan your posts ahead of time. If you can write most of them in March, it’s fantastic, for then you are free all through April to enjoy the fun of flocking to other people blogs and basking in the glow of the love you receive on your blog.
- Be a part of blogging communities. The camaraderie, support and love that you receive from fellow bloggers is amazing. They push, motivate, inspire you to do better and also help if you are stuck for any ideas.
- Write short posts. Reading long posts when you have to read a lot is challenging. Short posts with 300-400 word posts with pictures work well for most people.
- Write content that’s meaningful, engaging and connects with the reader.
- Have a blog signature. Visiting other blogs and commenting on them is a huge part of the A to Z challenge. And so is visiting back! It’s important that people find it easy to come back to your blog. So leaving a hyperlink signature at the end of your comment is useful.
- Turn off captcha. People are less likely to comment if you make them do unnecessary mathematical sums or prove that they are humans. Believe me it is truly annoying.
- Customize your share buttons on your blog, especially Twitter. Read this post for more details.
- Reciprocate. Return visits. Visit all those who visit your blog and share on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ generously.
- Keep your blog ready to welcome the new visitors. Ensure that your About Me is up and updated, sign ups via newsletter or email, your social media follow buttons are working fine. Your blog is clutter free and the look of your blog is pleasing and inviting.
- Take a deep breath. April A to Z challenge can be overwhelming. You may miss a letter or post late or lag on visiting others or you may not get too many visits from other bloggers. Relax and just don’t sweat it. It’s not the end of the world. You and your life comes first.
- Have you written any ebooks?
All my fictions, musings, life-lessons and experiences are available on my blog. I do not want to duplicate them in the form an ebook. Or you can say that I haven’t found the reasons to have ebooks of your blog content compelling enough.
- What social media do you think works the best in terms of blogging?
I have found Facebook and Twitter useful for my blog. I have got many new readers and visitors through sharing of my posts on these two social medias. I will be exploring Pinterest this April as I have read that it’s great for driving organic traffic to your blog.
Sign up here for the challenge, in case you have finalle decided to go for it 😉