Some of you have your strategies in place for the April Challenge. That's great! To have an organized plan of posting, visiting, and commenting should be of great help in making the Challenge less daunting and more efficiently approached.
On the other hand, those of you who plan to just dive in and write as you go and visit blogs as whim takes you will undoubtedly have fun and find the Challenge full of surprises. There's nothing wrong with that approach either.
It comes down to what kind of adventurer you are. Perhaps you study the maps so you'll have a good idea where you are going and you pack your supplies so you'll be ready for just about anything you may encounter. Or maybe you just traipse into the wilderness, machete in hand, hacking your way through the undergrowth and surviving off the land and from what the inhabitants in the unknown territories have to offer you. Be assured that in this Challenge the natives are friendly and the adventures are many.
My Challenge Strategy
I have formulated a plan for April. I won't be held to this plan--we all know about how the best laid plans can go. From my experience with last year's Challenge and with other blog events I think I've learned a few things about approaching something like this. But of course I've never participated in a blog event as massive as this year's A to Z Challenge. Any of my plans are subject to change.
Here are my visiting "rules" for this year:
1.) I will probably only respond to comments that call for a response. Otherwise I will leave blanket thank you notes for all the "nice post" and other complimentary comments.
2.) I am going to try to visit all who leave comments on my blog and if there are too many then I will limit my visits to blogs that I am less familiar with or who have left me an especially impressive comment that has drawn me to them.
3.) I am going to use the Navigation buttons that Marcus at Writing Investigated created. At the top of my sidebar you will notice the "Next Blog" and "Surprise Me" buttons. I am finding these to work quite well so far. To read more about this follow the link below the buttons. I will try to visit at least 10 to 40 sites per day with this button system.
4. ) I may also check out posts that appear on my sidebar or my Google Dashboard that sound especially interesting whenever I have time.
5.) I'm going to attempt to visit 40 to 100 blogs per day.
Here is my plan for posting:
1.) I am trying to preschedule as many posts as I can before this Friday April 1st.
2.) My theme will be "Alliterative Daily Doubles" with each day's post based on paired words beginning with the letter of the day. For example, Friday's post is going to be "Ambitious April" in honor of the kick-off day.
3.) The subject matter and style of the posts will be random and varied.
4.) I currently do not plan to do any motivational posts regarding the Challenge. This could change just as it did last year when I revised some of my topics in order to cheer on Challenge participants.
A Few Closing Thoughts
Don't forget-- the Challenge is yours. You have your reasons for doing this, so I encourage you to stay true to yourself and what you hope to achieve. At the same time don't forget to be courteous to your fellow bloggers. Try to be fair in your visitation and comments. And if you believe in the creed of following other blogs and wanting them to follow yours--do so. Just remember that not all blog owners care about the follow, so respect that. Be in this for you and for others as well. We all want this Challenge to be a rewarding experience.
Finally, I am going to give a plug for a blogger on the list who has a special circumstance. The Saga of the Concrete Jungle is #525 on the Linky list. Dan, the owner of this blog, is a prisoner who does not have access to a computer. He has sent all of his posts for April to his sister, who regularly posts for him. My understanding is that his posts for the Challenge will be a serialized story themed in accordance with the alphabet challenge. Dan is unable to respond immediately to comments on his blog due to his circumstance, but he eventually does respond. If you visit him and leave a comment, be sure to subscribe to the comments so you can see his responses down the road. And realize that as much as he'd like to visit all of your blogs, this is not possible. So if you're willing, check out his first couple of posts and see if it's something you'll want to stick with till the end.
In parting, I wish all of you the best blogging event you've ever had as you head into the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2011. Let me or any of the other co-hosts know if you have any comments, questions, or problems concerning the Challenge and we'll do our best to address them. Now let the fun begin!
Have you devised a Challenge strategy for yourself?