Surviving #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge

Most beautiful view comes after the hardest climb and this holds true for the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge.

I came to know about the Month long challenge via Twitter. I have been following Blogchatter since a year now and had earlier participated in the #MyFriendAlexa campaign. For bloggers, Blogchatter is an ideal platform to find a relevant audience and to build a community. It serves as a platform to connect with like-minded bloggers and to learn from others.

Blogging for me has been a way to express and pursue my creative interests. It is always refreshing to connect with fellow bloggers and get insights on what they liked reading. Blogchatter has further helped me to enhance the blogging experience.

When I read about the BlogchatterA2Z Challenge, I was instantly interested and was wanting to write true stories. I started thinking about a lot of different themes, some practical and some not so practical. The idea of writing 26 blog posts on a single theme in a span of 30 days was intimidating but the opportunities that it could create were motivating. It seemed like an absolutely solid plan to build up on an idea and analyse a topic from various angles. The repository of content created could provide the readers with a holistic approach to understand the theme.

I tried to understand what interests me and if it fits into the practical approach. I tried to understand who would like to share their stories, who can inspire through the stories, will I be able to include relevant pictures about the theme – so on and so forth. Realizing that writing an engaging piece of content on a daily basis can be challenging, it was important to keep the logistics simple.

Born and brought up in Kolkata, I have a lot to talk about the city, a lot of beautiful childhood memories to share and experiences with hawkers that dot the lanes here and make up the city’s culture. Owing to all these reasons, my chosen theme for the year was – Hawkers of Kolkata

The entire experience took me to various parts of the city and acquainted me with the lesser known stories about people who we interact with almost on a daily basis. The roller-coaster ride that it was, the challenge had it’s own share of ups and downs but on the last day, I was only filled with joy to have successfully complete the challenge.

Here are some of the lessons that I learnt –

1. Plan in advance – Having a few posts ready in advance helps to make it through the challenge. It keeps you in a better position to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

2. Keep it short – Owing to the nature of your theme, it helps to keep the blog posts short if possible. Everyone is trying to complete their posts and therefore reading long blog posts during the challenge can get difficult. Plus, writing long posts would require more time. A blog post of about 300 words should work fine. You can always later on revisit the blogs and make them more detailed.

3. Share links to previous posts – At the end of the blog, you can either include a link to a page that lists all the blog posts for the A2Z Challenge or can individually list all the blog posts with their link for the readers to visit. This makes it easier for the readers to discover your blogs and helps to improve the engagement rate.

4. Social Media helps to build a connect – A lot of communication goes on on social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Follow the official hashtag and look at the social media platforms as a strategic option to participate in conversations and come across like minded bloggers.

5. Keep the logistics simple – I had earlier thought of writing about first time experiences of street children. Their first visit to a restaurant, first movie experience, first visit to a museum and so on. I had thought of also helping them have such experiences. At the right time I realized that while the thought is good, it isn’t practical and keeping the logistics simple helped me to complete the challenge.

6. Have fun! – Don’t get overwhelmed with all the action that is happening. Don’t feel pressurized to always have the best lines in place. Enjoy the process and take it easy. You will emerge a finer blogger and a storyteller by the end of it.

Working on the posts, linking them on the Blogchatter links and promoting via social media can get quite time consuming and demanding after a full day at Office. But, it gets better as you go and the immense support that you receive from all the other participants, motivates to chase the finishing line.

I had almost given up and could not write for almost two weeks. It was because of the encouragement that I received on Twitter and from friends that I continued and finished all the 26 posts. Unforeseen circumstances can make the challenge all the more challenging. But, looking back at all the 30 days, I have enjoyed every minute of the excitement and the thrill. Having readers from all across the country and even beyond to visit my blog was such a rewarding experience. The tweets to motivate, inspire, rejoice and celebrate added the element of joy. I’ve never before been such a diligent blogger and never before known my city from the angle of it’s hawkers.

Dying trades, inspiring stories, age-old practices, innovative ideas and more – I discovered so much while meeting the hawkers. I’m glad to have chosen this theme.

I’d like to thank every blogger who have helped me to keep going.

I’d like to thank the Blogchatter Team for the endless support and for the live sessions on Facebook and Instagram to enhance our understanding about writing styles.

I look forward to more such experiences and to be a consistent blogger. You can choose to read any of the 26 posts for the BlogchatterA2Z Challenge at –

1. Amidst the City of Chaos, his world exists

2. Belly of Bertram Street

3. Connoisseur of Flavours around the Corner

4. Dainty Dealers

5. Evening Feast

6. Full of Life at 89!

7. Gleefully at Work

8. Hoichoi of Gariahat

9. Ink of Love

10. Jolly and Jovial at Chowringhee

11. Kolkata’s answer to patched lips

12. Larger than Life

13. Mishti Makers of Kolkata

14. Navigating Life’s Journey

15. Against all odds

16. Priya Puchkawalas

17. Quarter life crisis

18. Resourceful repairers

19. Surmawalahs of Kolkata

20. Tea Addicts at Dal Housie

21. Ubiquitous rows of books

22. Vendors on Bus

23. Weavers of Kolkata

24. Xerox copy of his Father

25. Yummilicious Sugarcane Juice

26. Zeroing in on lac bangles

7 thoughts on “Surviving #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge

Add yours

  1. What I liked the most is tip number 3 shared a link of previous blog posts , it helps to increase user engagement , I want to ask one more thing should I mention the link of previous blog post in introduction? many times people don’t go at the end of post so they might miss those previous posts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I feel readers come in to read the blog and wouldn’t want to be taken to a different page. Again it depends on the nature of content also, but no harm in hyper linking a word or two to a previous blog post if its relevant.

      Like

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