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Friday, May 3, 2013

Reflecting on the A to Z Challenge


Well, I made it!!  This was my first year doing the A to Z Challenge, and I jumped in the deep end right away--not only did I sign up for the challenge itself, I volunteered to be an Ambassador for the fantastic Arlee Bird, whose idea it was to begin the Challenge in the first place.

I'm glad I took this opportunity.  It was a lot of work, but it was worth it!  I planned out all my topics in March, but I didn't pre-write or schedule any of my posts.  I like writing every day, but since I only have a certain amount of time every day in which I can do my blogging, that meant I didn't have time to visit as many other blogs as I would have liked.  I feel bad about that, and that's something I would definitely change for next year (you bet I'm doing this again!).  April was a busy month for me in other ways, but I'm proud of the fact that I did keep up with my posts, generally having them published the night before.

I am following quite a few new blogs as a result of the Challenge, and I'm delighted to welcome new followers myself!  This event has been a blessing in that area, allowing me to get to know other bloggers, some of whom have interests similar to mine, and others who I would have never found if not for the Challenge.

In terms of how the administrators organized everything, I have no complaints.  It's a massive job to host such a huge link-up, but I think they did well.  Those many of us who helped patrol the link-up list did our best to make sure everything was running smoothly.  I think perhaps it might be helpful if there were even MORE of us ambassadors/minions/whatever-we-were next year, especially if the Challenge grows in popularity (which I sure hope it will!).

I think perhaps it might be beneficial to have a few separate link-up lists, divided by type of blog (personal, writing, cooking, photography, etc).  That would make the list a lot less overwhelming to navigate, and it would help bloggers find more easily the blogs they're interested in, versus just blogging the whole huge list.

I will definitely be doing the Challenge again.  I appreciated the fact that it required me to be disciplined with my blogging.  I enjoyed the community, and getting to know other bloggers.  I definitely appreciated the major boost in visitors it gave me this last month!  I also enjoyed the mental challenge of having to come up with a post topic for each letter of the alphabet.

There are a few things I'll be doing differently next year.  I will start visiting blogs in the days and weeks leading up to the Challenge, as they are added to the link-up list.  I will plan my posts six weeks in advance and start writing them four weeks in advance.  Then I'll spend my time each day visiting blogs and leaving comments instead of writing.  I hope to be an Ambassador again next year, too (just for future reference, Lee!), and I hope to do a better job of it next year.

Did you do the Challenge?  What did you think?  Head over to the A to Z blog and share your post!

8 comments:

  1. You did a wonderful job in every way this year and I'd be happy to have you stay on as an Ambassador throughout this year and next year if we continue with the sub-teams which I think we probably will.

    You can continue to visit blogs as an Ambassador and encourage all those who participated. If the co-hosts fill the position for the entire year, I don't see why my Ambassadors can't!

    Thanks for everything and congratulations for taking on your first year in such a big way and finishing!

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I would love that! Keep me informed about other Ambassador duties the rest of this and next year. :) Thank you for all you've done!

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  2. Congratulations on the completion of the Challenge,
    also a great reflection post.

    Yvonne.
    A TO Z AMBASSADOR

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    1. Thank you! Congratulations to you, too! :)

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  3. Good reflections. I was looking at other posts and will have to come back and give them more time. I found you on the A to Z road trip, but I had trouble with the link? It was missing an "n" on the word 'in' I think. Maybe it was just me.

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    1. Bethie, welcome! I'm glad you found me despite the incorrect link! I've added a correct one to the linky list and requested that the faulty one be removed. Thanks for the heads-up! I would never have noticed otherwise. :) Browse around, and please share your thoughts in the comments! I'm glad you're here. :)

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  4. Congrats on finishing! We had a great group of ambassadors here and that made the whole thing a lot easier for all.

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  5. Hi, found you on the reflections list - half way through now! It was also my first year and I plan to have all my posts typed up before April next year - but as I only found the challenge hours before it started this year I was a bit limited!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

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