Monday, March 2, 2015

Time Saving A to Z Tips

The A to Z Challenge is an extremely fun time, but also a very hectic time.  I want to share a few things I've picked up in my past three years.  While this post might be redundant on some levels, perhaps at least one tip can save you or others you are connecting with some time. 

1.  Clean the cookies on your browser.  Now try loading your blog.  Did it jump right up there or creep up?  Too much graphic intense material can slow down you blog's load time considerably.  (i.e. oodles of pictures, videos, music).  If your blog didn't load quickly, you might consider lightening the load before April.  With so many blogs to visit, no one wants to waste time or bandwidth on a lot of extra stuff.  

2.  Make leaving comments as easy as possible.  Take off the verification and trust your hosts spam filters.  Blogger's is excellent, I might add.  Don't know about the others.

3.  When you visit a blog and comment, many people will be wanting to return the visit.  But if you have five blogs, and only one is in the A to Z Challenge, or you are hoping to highlight a specific blog, then they are going to be very confused when they go to your profile page and try to decide where to repay the visit.  Instead, let them know in your comment, where they can repay the visit if they so desire.  It's really easy.  

Here's what I past into my comment when I visit:
All you have to do is open an email or office or sticky note.  Type in what I have here and substitute your own blog URL and name where mine are.  Then save it where it is handy (I save mine on a sticky note), and before you go visiting, open it, copy it and then paste it in each comment you leave.  That way, everyone will know what blog you are posting to or promoting.  Saves them a big chunk of time and no guessing games.  And let's you drive visitors where you want them.

4.  Write as many posts as you can before the challenge starts and use the scheduling tool in the right hand column of you Blogger blog to allow you to post it on the correct day.  If you use a platform that doesn't offer that option you could write your posts in office or some other app and then all you'd have to do is copy paste and post on the correct day.  That way if life gets busy you'll still make your post and you'll have more time for visiting, replying to comments, and such.

5. If you are using Blogger, you can add any blog URL to your reading list, even if they use another platform or don't have a "follow me" gadget.  Just click on their home page or blog title.  Copy the URL in the browser.  On your dashboard, under where it says Reading List on the left, click add.  Then paste in the URL.  Click save and give it a little time and you'll see their posts appear. 

I hope at least one of these suggestions will be a help to you.  If you're not into the challenge yet, click the logo in my sidebar and go sign up!  You'll not regret it.  


 Ensign B of Tremp's Troops




25 comments:

  1. That is all great advice, Barbara! Won't be long before April is here! I think the biggest thing that helped me last year "survive" the challenge was having the posts written before the month began. I would fine tune each one before I posted it, but it sure was nice having them all done :)

    betty

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  2. That little alien girl is adorable! All of your tips are great. A couple of months ago I tried using that code to link back to my blog, but it didn't work. I'll have to try again. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you like Ensign B. I've fallen in love with her. She's the me I'd like to be.

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  3. Great tips. I always write my posts in advance and have them formatted and ready to go. This will be my sixth Challenge and fifth as a co-host, and I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world. That first Challenge changed my blog forever.

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    1. I love writing and posting immediately, but in order to do the visiting and the replying to comments on your own blog it is almost a must with the Challenge. Unless I was retired, or Pete was still working and I could stay home all day and play on the computer all day long.

      Next to Arlee, your name comes to mind next in connection with the Challenge.

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  4. Excellent advice. I like the alien logo. It's so great to have bloggers such as you offering posts such as these.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out


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    1. How sweet! You'll never know how much this comment means to me, Arlee!

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  5. Great info - I didn't know about the cookies. I'll have to go home & check my blogs out on the desktop.

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    1. Well, in short, if your computer has cookies stored, then your blog will load faster than someone who is a first timer to your blog. So, to know how fast a first timer could load it, you need to clean the cookies. If you need help, I can tell you how to do it in AOL browser or in Google Chrome.

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  6. Great advice post!

    Last year was my first time but this year I have a lot on in April so I'll be starting to write next weekend for the Challenge as I'm hoping to get them all done so I can spend more time this year blog hopping - I managed to half write/half schedule and hop loads last year but I lost a lot of sleep doing both at the same time ;)

    Will come back and visit you during the challenge too, have started my 2015 folder on my browser... I did it last year and bookmarked all the blogs I commented on so that I can always dip in again if I liked them - have stuck you in already!

    Mars
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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    1. Hey, that's a great tip you have for the bookmark folder! You should tweet it out with #AtoZChallenge. Others might find it useful.

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  7. Thanks, Barbara. Most of these tips also work on WordPress. This will be my third A to Z on Sue’s Trifles

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    1. Oh, thanks Sue! That is good to know. Glad you are A to Zing.

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  8. These are good tips even for those of us not participating in the Challenge. Best of luck as you make your way and prepare for the big rush next month, Barbara :)

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    1. Thanks M J. Shame you won't be joining us.

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  10. I've thought of something else! I don't know Wordpress, but Blogger usually has a box you can check when you make a comment so you get notified of additional comments or replies. I wish all blogs had this!!! I hate leaving a comment and not knowing if the poster answered me, and since I already follow a goodly number of blogs, I can't remember which one I commented on the next day to go back and check!

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    1. I usually check notify me on comments I leave on Blogger. Mostly, because on Blogger it will only notify me of a direct reply to my comment. On some other platforms when I have had that option I've accidentally had all comments coming to me and that's just too much to keep up with.
      Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  11. Thanks so much for all these tips! I tweeted them and posted them on my FB page. I've gotten over half my posts ready, but don't want to let up until I get them done. Today is my only exception in writing a post! Too busy visiting IWSG bloggers!

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    1. Glad you found the tips helpful! Sounds like you are well organized and ready to take on any Challenge.

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  12. Ensign B, all excellent suggestions. Some people definitley need to clean up the number of blogs they have listed. Frustrating trying to find the main blog when they have seven listed and six have't had activity for over a year.

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    1. Yes, and I am guilty of that myself! Since two of mine are "spin-offs" from L & F in Caneyhead and one I manage for my church. Think I'll go take care of that right now.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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