A to Z Challenge Wrap Up

AIn April, I participated in the A to Z challenge where each day (except Sundays) you post a blog on a new topic following the letters of the alphabet. So April 1 was A, April 2 was B and so on.

This was my second year doing the challenge. Last year, I didn’t have a theme. This year I had a theme for the days I don’t typically blog (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday). On the other days, I stuck with my normal topics – parenting on Monday, quotes on Wednesday, and writing/publishing on Thursday. Friday is my Featured Author spot, so I actually did two posts – the typical author interview or excerpt and then also a short blog that fit the challenge letter. (Any authors interested in being on my Friday Feature, contact me through the About Me section.)

So my theme for non-regular blogging days was TV Shows. I picked out shows that I either currently watch or have watched in the past.

Now part of the challenge is to visit other blogs. (You never know when you will find a new favorite blogger.) I noticed that many people couldn’t seem to keep up with the amount of blogging. It is a lot to do to blog six days a week.

Tip: Write your posts in advance. I typically do that for my blog anyway. I am always two weeks to a month ahead of schedule. If I had to rely on posting 4 times a week without advance planning, not much would make it on my blog either.

For any of you who have missed out on my blogs from the A to Z challenge, here is a recap of what I covered.

A is for Abraham Lincoln (Quote) and Swedish Apple Pie (Recipe)

B is for Developing Character Back Story (Novel Writing)

C is for Criminal Minds (TV Show)

D is for The Dukes of Hazard (TV Show)

E is for Making Education a Priority (Parenting)

F is for Firefly (TV Show)

G is for Mahatma Gandhi (Quote)

H is for Humor in Writing (Novel Writing)

I is for It Takes a Thief (TV Show)

J is for Joss Whedon (his other TV shows besides Firefly)

K is for Keeping your Cool as a Parent (Parenting)

L is for Law & Order (TV show)

M is for Malcom X (Quote)

N is for What it takes to write a Novel (Novel Writing)

O is for Once Upon a Time (TV Show)

P is for Penny from The Big Bang Theory (TV Show)

Q is for Questions, Questions, Questions (Parenting)

R is for Ringer (TV Show)

S is for Dr. Seuss (Quote)

T is for The importance of Tension in your Novel (Novel Writing)

U is for The Universe (TV Show)

V is for Voltron: Defenders of the Universe (TV Show)

W is for Parenting Websites to check out (Parenting)

X is for  The X-Files (TV Show)

Y is for Yoda (Quote)

Z is for ZZZZ…Don’t let your reader fall asleep (Novel Writing)

Preparing to take the #AtoZchallenge

Last year was my first time taking part of the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed it so much, I signed up to do it this April.

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, the A to Z challenge is where bloggers post every day in April (except Sundays). Since there were 26 open days, they are matched with the letters of the alphabet. So on the first day you choose a topic that begins with A, the next day B and so on.

Now they suggest you come up with a theme to help you get through the challenge but I didn’t do that last year. I already post 4 out of the 7 days of the week.

Monday – Parenting

Wednesday – Quote of the Week (First Wednesday also has the recipe of the month)

Thursday – Writing or Publishing

Friday – Featured Author

So except for my Friday featured author spot, I plan to follow the challenge in my weekly writings assignments. On Fridays, I will just have two posts since I can’t expect them to take part in the challenge. As for Tuesdays, Saturdays and the second post on Fridays, I think I will choose a theme for those days. The theme will be TV shows.

Those of you who want to know more about the challenge or to sign up, click here. And you can look for my A to Z challenge posts beginning April 1st.

Joining Triberr to expand the reach of your blog

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about joining author groups for support. In my post, I briefly mentioned Triberr which I joined in August. I had a reader comment about not really understanding Triberr, so I thought I would devote a post to it.

Triberr is a free resource for bloggers to drive traffic to their blog using Twitter. Triberr users become members of “tribes” comprised of bloggers with similar interests.  The idea is that your tribe supports each other by retweeting members’ blog content and thus expanding your reach to potential blog readers. (more on this in a second)

To get started, of course, you must sign up for Triberr. To join a tribe, you must receive an invitation from the tribe “chief.” There is a section called “bonfires” where you can find people who are looking for tribes or tribe members.

Once you have joined a tribe, you connect your RSS feed (a format for delivering regularly changing web content) to that tribe. Then any new posts that you put on your blog will be available for others to tweet. Their posts will also be available for you to tweet. You can preview and approve each tweet before it goes out. Triberr schedules your approved tweets to go every 20 minutes unless you change the setting to have them spaced further apart.

So you say how is this going to help me? Well, it is all about reaching more people. If I were to tweet about my blog, I will reach my 2000 followers. But with Triberr, my message can reach every one of my Tribe mate’s followers too. With my tribe, my reach has been expanded to 126,800 people. Of course, this is assuming that every one of my 20 tribe mates actually tweets out my message, which is rarely the case.

But the nice thing is you can easily see which members shared your message and even how many people have clicked on the short link to that post.

Of course, I started Triberr about two weeks after I started my blog so it is hard to say how much of my blog traffic is generated from Triberr versus my own tweeting.  But I do like that I have the potential each day to reach thousands of other people who might be interested in what I blog about.

The key to remember is that Triberr is a tool, and it works best when all members of the tribe are active and supporting each other. If that happens, you have the ability to get greater reach for your blog. But don’t get caught up in the numbers. Remember that you are working on connecting with others and the best way to do that is to offer quality content on your blog.