Blapril 2020

Wait a minute, it’s not August yet! Despite the fact that we’re only moving into April 2020, the world has been a crazy place this year. Bloggers such as myself find themselves with plenty of time to write about things, and once again Belghast has decided to put together a blogging challenge in the same vein as Blaugust, however we’re doing it a bit earlier this year (it’s unclear if there will be a Blaugust this year as well, but for now let’s focus on current events). This time around it’s being call Blapril (pronounced Blay-Pril) and is not only a funny play on words, but a fitting pill in these trying times. Many of us are cooped up in our houses and have nothing better to do. Some of you “essentials” are still working but could use the outlet. Whatever the case, you can head over to the announcement post and get all of the information, though I’m trying to copy down the relevant stuff here. Once again there is a schedule planned, and once again the goal is to hit 31 posts for the month, though April only contains 30 days, so I’m starting today to make sure I get my count right. Here’s the schedule as it stands:

  • March 29th – April 4th – Blapril Prep Week: This is a time for those of us in the community who have been through this process a few times or at least feel like we have figured out this blogging thing to help those of you who are new to the process to get started with some advice posts. Additionally this is a time to sign up for the Discord if you have not already and start mingling with the folks who are active there year round. This is also a time for the newbies in the bunch to get started on setting up their blog and getting those first few “Hello World” posts out there.
  • April 5th – April 11th – Topic Brainstorming Week: This is a time for the mentors among us to throw out topics and ideas for posts to help you out when you find yourself staring down the tyranny of the blank page. We all have those days when we cannot figure out what to write about and being able to fall back upon the community for ideas and inspiration is a tried and true method. The prevalence of topic ideas also helps the newbies get started a bit with a constant flow of things to write about.
  • April 12th – April 18th – Getting to Know You Week: Tell us about yourself and your preference as a gamer or whatever thing that you happen to like doing. This is also a time to reach back into the wayback machine and dredge up interesting stories that you don’t mind telling the community. For the newbies it serves as a time of introducing themselves to the broader community and bonding.
  • April 19th – April 25th – Developer/Creator Appreciation Week: One of the things that has happened over the years with Blaugust is that it enveloped some of the better ideas from other events and combined them as part of the single month long celebration. Years ago Scarybooster started this idea of devoting a week to the sharing our love of the Developers and Studios behind the games that we play. Last year this morphed a bit to also include a celebration of the various content creators that we enjoy as well, so I am officially tweaking the name of the week a bit as a result to serve both purposes. Essentially it is a time to gush unabashedly about the things that you love.
  • April 26th – May 2nd – Staying Motivated Week: Towards the end of the proceedings we start to have a drop off in post frequency as folks hit their writing wall. The idea behind this week is to share the tips and tricks that we have learned throughout the years on how exactly to stay motivated and keep posting on a daily basis. I feel like this is even more relevant this year since we are all going through massive disruptions to our usual schedules and having to deal with all sorts of external changes impacting our well being both physically and mentally.
  • May 3rd – May 9th – Lessons Learned Week: The goal as always with Blaugust and now Blapril is to revitalize the blogging community and ignite those fires fresh for another year of posting. As such this is a marathon that we are running and not a sprint, so we continue forward a little bit into the next month for folks to have that cooldown lap and talk about the things that they learned during the month. This could be a discussion of your own personal journey, or focused on some of the things that you learned from the community. The idea being to keep it going just a little bit longer so that maybe the habit of posting regularly sticks.

These are merely suggestions, as this whole thing is designed to get new bloggers into the fold, but judging by years past, it’s a similar ragtag band of adventurers that commit to the madness each year, while the new additions oftentimes don’t make it past the first few days. As such, mentors and old people like myself are here to lead by example, give tips and generally keep this thing moving forward. In years past I’ve always signed up as a mentor, but looking back at Blaugust 2019, I did absolutely nothing to fulfill this role, so this year I’m merely a participant, however you can reach me here or on the Discord channel if you feel the need for sage advice. Otherwise I encourage you to think about things to write about as you go about your day. I find that I come up with ideas when I’m watching Netflix or YouTube or even while I’m playing games. Most of the people in this group are dedicated nerdy writers so the scope can be as vast or as narrow as you see fit. Just keep writing. Start for yourself, stay for the audience no matter how small it may be. I have people who have been following me for over 15 years, and others who discover my writing accidentally but have stayed for the ride. One thing is for certain, you will see a direct result in traffic/followers proportionate to the amount of effort you put in. Those who write every day are more likely to get more traffic than those who post once a month. Promotion also helps. That’s about all I have for tips right now, but just keep it rolling. If you want to get involved, follow these steps:

How Do I Participate?

  • The first step is to fill out the Sign-Up Form for Blapril 2020 which can be found hereOnly those who have signed up will be given credit towards the awards.
  • Next make sure you are active on the Blaugust Discord and the link for that can be found here. This is the third year we have been active on Discord and it is a community that has managed to stay evergreen throughout the years. Maybe even share your content each day in the appropriately named “share-your-content” channel.
  • When you share your content on social media please use the hashtag #Blapril2020 for tracking purposes and to make it easier for those watching the event to find fresh content.
  • Mingle with your other Mentors and Participants because this is a community event, and part of the fun is getting to know the community. These folks represent a social structure that you can lean on for advice in the coming years. I personally deeply value my ties with other bloggers that I have built up over the last decade of doing this thing.
  • If you are so inclined there is a “gaming-together” channel on Discord for impromptu grouping in various games while the event is going on.
  • Welcome to Blapril 2020 as we use the power of internet togetherness to help combat those negative side effects of social distancing.
  • If you want an archive of all of the various logos and such, check out the Media Kit page which is the final resting place of all Blaugust and now Blapril related media.

Lastly, this is the most recently updated list (which includes myself as I just signed up yesterday) of participants. I recommend taking a look at these blogs and giving them a follow, they’re sure to follow you back and will help to keep you involved.

Current Participants:

That’s all for this introductory post. I already have a few posts scheduled for the next couple of days and am going to try and keep ahead of the curve. Good luck to all the new and returning participants! See you on the other side.