ABC Business Blog Writing Challenge: the winners – and why!

https://howtowritebetter.net/category/blogging-2/

As you know we’ve had some amazing entries for this challenge where bloggers had to write a 26-sentence post, beginning with “A” and then each starting with the next letter of the alphabet through to “Z.” It began as a bit of fun, but we’ve had loads of entries and published the best of them from our shortlist…

The original concept came from a flash fiction idea shared by talented young author and blogger Taylor Lavati whom we asked to be our judge. And now…

Taylor’s judgments…

1.Amina – Love Letters With The Alphabet
Fits really well with her website. She has a lot of wedding, engagement and relationship related posts. I found that her style is really whimsical. I enjoyed her post a lot. I think on her website, the layout was very professional and attractive. I know it’s really hard when you get to the bottom of the alphabet but I think she did a good job. Although a few of the last ones had multiple sentences but I’ll let it slide. Her ‘x’ was awesome. I thought it was very clever the way she tied in Xmas. My favorite line might have to be “never criticize your sweetheart, give constructive advice instead.” I think that’s really huge in a relationship and I can relate. You always want to support your loved one.
Overall, I think this was an 8/10.

2.Andrea Wisden – A bit of alphabet writing fun
This blog is very spiritual, laid back and fun. The author has tons of categories and started, I believe I read that somewhere on her site, by taking on a 30 day challenge. She talks about relationships, music, meditation, food and so much more. I think this post was right on track with what the author tends to blog about and readers of her blog would like it.
The flow was a little awkward. Of course, I’m nitpicking but it read choppy and at times I had trouble understanding who was talking or what was going on. BUT it was really funny. Between the chocolate, fruit and then deciding for nothing, I thought the dialogue was spot on. The bottom of the alphabet was done very well. I like how she transitioned into music and got the ‘x’ and then ‘z’. Very clever.
Overall, this one is a 7/10

3.Angelika Davey of Angelika’s German Tuition and Translation
This blog post was definitely something her readers would love to read. She blogs a lot about German– whether it be the food, teaching, translations or tradition, she has it all. I found myself perusing through posts just because it was so interesting. I like how she did all as conversation. It made the post much easier to read. I also like how she color coated it so we knew who was speaking. It was nicely done. Some parts were really funny to me, like “Jolly good” or “Hang on”. She really worked hard to get each letter done and I applaud that. The ending didn’t really go with the rest of the post. Starting with “xylophones” it kind of trailed off. But I know how hard it is to get those in.
Overall, it’s a 8/10.

4.Carol Tomany of Divineknits with Infiknit
I’m not sure if this post really goes with the writer’s blog. She posts mostly on crafts and most of those having to do with knitting and everything that goes along with it. But in the post she explains that right now writing is more of a hobby that she’s looking to dabble in.
I really loved the flow of this piece. It read more like how I wrote my A to Z post—a story. I like how she conjoined sentences and made it work together. I have to admit, Hemingway’s quote is one of my all time favorites so I love that she added that in. I also was able to relate to her words when she spoke of writing meaningful posts. “There must be a skeleton or two hidden in the closet to expose.” Might have been my favorite line of the whole piece.
Overall, 7/10

5.Haywards Heath & District Business Association – the HHDBA 2014 Conference
This one was very clever. I had no idea what to expect since I’m not really a business person but it was very well done. I thought the post was right on track with the blog. It explained a conference that’s coming up and more or less pitched why people of Sussex should go.
I loved how it was written in paragraphs. At first, I didn’t know how it was following the ABC post but as I looked deeper, I saw the sentencing. I haven’t seen anyone write it in this format so I thought it was very creative and well done. Although “xperts” was spelled wrong to make it work, it was hidden well and still followed the rules, even if I did notice. Loved the end, “zero attendance is not an option.”
Overall, 6/10

6.Lynn Tulip, Assessement4Potential
This post went right along with the feel of the blog and what it writes about. This is mostly a career helping blog, that informs about recruiting, searching for jobs, how to’s and more career related topics such as military options and interviews. This post followed the same topics.
I like how the post started with questions. I always find questions like that to engage a reader and especially on this blog where they’re speaking directly to a group of specific people, you’ll be able to hook a reader. I also like how it then turned into a checklist or what to or not to do. I think the post flowed very well. Love how x, y, and z were brought it. It wasn’t awkward and it was done very well.
Overall, 8/10

7.Nanette Levin – My ABCs on lessons learned reaching for small business success
It seems to be from flipping through Nanette’s blog that she has a lot going on. She writes about writing, marketing, editing, and business owning. This post was centered around success in small business owning which fits right into the feel of her usual posts.
My favorite line was “making your achievements about your dreams and not someone else’s provides peace unequalled.” I agree wholeheartedly. I think a lot of times we try to impress others when we should just focus on ourselves. It read a little awkwardly at times and wasn’t as flowy as others but I liked how she had short and sweet sentences.
Overall, 7/10

8. Robert Killington – VAT (the UK’s Value Added Tax)
I had no idea what VAT was before this article but it opened my eyes. The entire website is focused on VAT and gives advice, testimonials and information. So of course, this post was spot on. I absolutely loved the definitions idea that this post followed. It was so unique and interesting.
By having almost all of them in word then definition order, it chopped it up. It was still able to flow nicely though from one idea to the other. I actually learned a lot from the post which made me like it even more. I’d even venture to say it was VAT: for dummies. (that’s me).
Overall, 10/10

9.Robert Zarywacz – Robzlog
This blog has a lot to do with North Devon. But the writer also has a book that he posts on there. And within the blog, there are tons of topics that have to do with it. Entertainment, business, food—all of it. So this one had to do with a VAT return he had to complete over the weekend.
I love how this read as a story. That’s how I did mine as well and I find it very challenging. But this person did an awesome job. It flowed very well from thought to thought. Even as he neared the end of the alphabet, it seemed to continue on as if it was no problem. I think it helped that ‘z’ was taken care of…..! 
Overall, 10/10

10.Sam Matrouh – How to AirPlay any video format from your Mac
This blog is really cool. It’s very techie and has reviews, how to’s and other fun stuff having to do with technology, or apps or programs. This post was on how to play any video using Airplay on a mac. It fits right into the blog and what it typically talks about.
This post flowed beautifully. Not ever having used Beamer or Airplay and not having a tech savvy mind, I was still wrapped into the post and read it in one fluid glance. I really enjoyed how nonchalant the writer was about the abc’s. To a person who didn’t know of the challenge, they might read it and never know the abc format. I also enjoyed the last couple lines which says a lot since they’re typically the hardest. Zero cables equals zero headache. Great line!
Overall, 9/10

11.Sarupa Shah – The A-Z of Affirmations
This blog has a lot on it. There are magazines, books, business coaching and even a meditation store. I found it very attractive and had an easy to read feel to it. It was sleek. This post explained affirmations, of which I had no idea what she was talking about until I read the post.
I read this post as a mental pep talk to take charge in life and make a difference. Whether it be business, which is what the post aimed for, or life, I think it was really touching and motivating. “Tomorrow is just an excuse,” is such a powerful quote that I take to heart from this post. You can apply that to any aspect of your life. The piece flowed and made sense.
Overall, 8/10

12.Stuart Sorensen, The Care Guy
The Care Guy a.k.a. Stuart Sorenson is a mental health nurse turned PSI. His website is packed with information, testimonials and even a shop. He blogs also about various things and this post was right with his typical content.
I like how he asks the reader questions. It really engages the audience and I think that’s key to creating a readership. He was very good at weighing pros and cons in his article. He says how much it can benefit but also the risks. I like that he was upfront. I also liked how it read as a story rather than a list or choppy ideas. It made the flow more consistent. Also the last couple letters were done really well.
Overall, 7/10

And for Taylor’s final verdicts …

Most Geared Towards Audience: Stuart Sorensen, The Care Guy

Most Motivating: Sarupa ShahThe A-Z of Affirmations

Best Advice: Nanette Levin – My ABCs on lessons learned reaching for small business success

Best Hook of Readers: Lynn Tulip, Assessement4Potential

Best Format: Haywards Heath & District Business Associationthe HHDBA 2014 Conference

Best Flow: Carol Tomany of Divineknits with Infiknit

Most Creative: Angelika Davey of Angelika’s German Tuition and Translation

Most Funny: Andrea Wisden – A bit of alphabet writing fun

blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,HowToWriteBetter.net,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurAs it seems everyone is a winner, would all entrants please drop me an email so I can send you your free eCopy of “Business Writing Made Easy” by return, please…!

And congratulations to you all. It was a wonderful contest and I think we’ve all learned something useful from it. Do you agree? What’s your view here? Please share…

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…

Comments

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Thoughts

  1. Thank you, Suze, for the challenge and book offer, and thank you Taylor for your verdict: 8/10 and ‘most creative’ is fantastic.
    And we’ll done to the two Roberts – boring tax posts getting 10/10 – who would have thought it 😉

    • Will send the book over later this morning Angelika – congratulations! And yes, isn’t it great to see that tax, after all, does NOT have to be boring. HMRC, the IRS, Canada Revenue etc. etc. will be pleased to see this…. 😉

  2. Wow, what an impressive list of winners – and what fun had by all. I enjoyed reading all of them too. Thanks to Taylor for her judgements, her ratings and her results

  3. Thank you Taylor…I love the thought you have put into your comments for each entry, very inspiring…and well done everyone!

  4. Thank you Suzan for organising this challenge which I enjoyed immensely, and also Taylor for the taking the time not only to judge the entries, but to give the thoughtful feedback. I’m rather pleased with my 7/10 and I’m glad I didn’t listen to my inner demons who told me it was too hard and I couldn’t do it. And it gives me something to aim at if you decide to do it again. I enjoyed reading other people’s posts too, although there are a few here I missed, so I shall go and read them later. Thanks to everyone for taking part and making it something fun to do.

  5. Thank you, Suze for organising and running this competition. I know these things take time. And thank you Taylor for such in-depth reviews. I can’t recall getting 10/10 since weekly spelling tests when I was about 10 years old. It was terrific fun and good to see everyone joining in the spirit. So thank you all.

  6. Wow! 10/10! Who would have thought that VAT would rate so highly!

    I appreciate the time and effort that both you and Taylor put into setting up and judging this competition. Thank you.

  7. A wonderful idea and extreme effort, Suze, and Taylor, for putting such energy behind this challenge. Before I saw this post, I didn’t realize Taylor devoted so much time to this game. Comprehensive comments and thoughtful feedback from this kind, volunteer judge makes every participant a huge winner in so many ways. December might be a good time for another round with this fun concept. Even if you don’t do it again, I appreciate the opportunity to participate this time around – and the things I learned from the experience. Fun is so important when it comes to effective writing. Gaining insight from the two of you has helped me rethink some of my approaches. Honestly, I’ve been extremely busy with other commitments, so haven’t had time to review and comment on all the posts. I will do so in the coming weeks. Just because I’ve been distracted, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all the time that went into participant contributions. Keep up the great stuff you continue to produce! . . .

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Nanette – and I’m really glad you found the contest useful as well as enjoyable. I think we definitely should do another ABC Challenge next year if everyone is up for it. It has been a lot of fun and beneficial to our writing and blogging skills at the same time.

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