A to Z Reflection Post

Standard

April was not only dedicated to the topic of kindness but was also busy with the A to Z Challenge. Now that it’s officially May, it’s time for some reflection on how it all went.

(If you’ve read the post on Music and Words and are only interested in the specific stats about this blog, skip to “Increase Readership”.)

survivor-atoz [2014]

What did I learn during the month?

As kindly asked by the organisers let me go through some of the learning points of the challenge. I participated with 3 of my blogs: apart from this one The Script Bible and The Road to Happiness and I also volunteered as an assistant to one of the organisers, Nicole. With the challenge my goal was:

  • to stress myself with the regularity of posting daily
  • to increase readership on the blog
  • to build connections on twitter
  • to have fun reading otherwise non-related blogs

So how did I do?

Posting regularly

I started to plan the posts WAAAY in advance. Had the topics nailed and almost all the post titles as well. But then as a major procrastinator, the actual writing of the posts didn’t happen in advance despite of all the plans. I wrote most of them on the day or the day before or sometimes a couple days in advance. But in April.

There were some delays and combined postings but all in all, all letter was managed to be included. In retrospect if I’ll do multiple blogs again, advanced scheduling would make my life a lot less hectic.

 

Increase readership

As my blog is only 5 months old, my total views according to wordpress statistics is 631. Out of which 311, ie close to 50% happened in April. I’m happy with that.

I received 53 comments in April which constitutes of 45% of all comments on this site. In April 24 people decided to follow the blog, which is almost 40% of all followers and there was some more right before the challenge begun.

I think the topic resonated with a lot of the readers even though it was my main blog, Music and Words that appeared on the vast majority of my comments.

rush-hour-traffic-1_00447644

Twitter connections

Before April set off I created a list for bloggers on twitter and it now has 81 members. This includes everyone, active or inactive. I also took part in one of the AZchats which was a great way of touching base with the other tweeters. I think that was one of the new things in the challenge that has a lot of potential for later years, maybe extending it to other social media platforms.

Reading non-related blogs

Although I didn’t read other blogs every day, when I did, I went way over the average 5 – it’s hard to stop once you start. I found blogs in 4 ways:

  • those who commented/followed my blogs
  • those who used the hashtag on twitter
  • those who were assigned to me as an assistant
  • randomly selected ones from the list

labyrinth-wallpaper-1-1024x768This last one was great fun. I used random.org to give me numbers which I then looked up on the list and read their latest post. I’ve found it so enjoyable, I plan to do it later as well! 🙂

The organising

I really liked the emphasis on the connections and the support to lesser visited blogs this year, I think it’s absolutely great. I haven’t read all the posts on the main blog but visited it at least twice a week. Some posts I enjoyed, some posts were useful, (some both!) and I think everyone found something for their own style. I was surprised the organising blogs didn’t receive more of the limelight but I think it’s the style of the challenge: it’s not about the few but about the many. I think some kind of discussion forum would be great so that bloggers in similar areas and/or with similar topics could connect. The overall noise of social media doesn’t really allow discussions like that. I’ve also found that writing blogs dominate the challenge, I hope that this can be perhaps expanded. I think the greatest asset of the challenge is its’ flexibility though and I’m glad it could be maintained all these years.

Next steps

All my favourite wordpress blogs are saved in my readers and twitter and G+ will be essential in keeping in touch with those on blogger. I’m a little worried that that will be more difficult, haven’t found a proper solution for collecting blogs from that platform. (All ideas welcome.)

The blogs themselves will continue their lives as usual, My Road To Happiness with focusing on Relationships, The Script Bible on youtube and spotify, and on the Music and Words I’m trying to connect music and writing with weekly tracks as prompts for short pieces. Anyone is welcome to join as a participant and of course as a most precious reader!

music prompts square

If you haven’t, get in touch on twitter or on G+ as well.

Thank you again for accompanying me on this journey this year, hope you all had fun here and on other blogs and looking forward to read you soon!

Special thanks of course to Arlee and the co-hosts!

Love,

Andrea

 

 

 

Advertisements

11 responses »

  1. Yes, G+ seems to be a good place to keep up with blogger blogs. I’m also following a few on Google friend connect, but that seems trickier. I didn’t realise you were doing 3 blogs. Must have a look later. Sue

  2. Andi – when you are in Reader” mode – look to the right side of screen and there will be a “blogs I follow” with an edit button. If you click the edit button, there will be a space at the top of you list of bloggers where you can manually type in the blogsite hyperlink for a BlogSpot or any other non-WP blog you want to follow. They theoretically should then scroll through your reader when they post. However, I found the Reader was “hit and miss” on scrolling them – sometimes they all came through and sometimes only some did (and not always the same ones!!) But it’s better than nothing if you want to try that.

  3. Beyond posting links on twitter with hashtags, I really don’t get twitter. With so few characters you can’t really chat, can you? I’m curious about that. I like blog visiting which is my primary reason for doing the challenge. And am trying to keep the momentum going by blogging a-z in May. I visited all who visited me and left comments, and visited as suggested by following below my name on the linky and hit at least 5 daily, sometimes more. Having tried an experiment yesterday am now having trouble commenting on wordpress blogs, so would you please let me know if this works? I’m leaving a link here in the comment section as well, due to issues. Fingers crossed this works. I really want to delete the wordpress account, as I’m not using the gravatar and it’s causing me problems.

    Sandy at Traveling Suitcase

  4. Stopping by on the A to Z road trip, Andrea. For someone who struggles with depression, you have an uplifting way about your blog. So glad I stopped by for a positive pep-talk and an encouraging word. Your other pages also show someone who pursues the goal of delight with passion. Hope you stick with it and continue to rise. Maria from http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s