Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z challenge Reflections 2012

Are you like me? Did you prepare well, miss a few posts and then quickly catch up, struggle to visit other blogs? Reflecting on 2012's A-Z April Blogging Challenge, these factors weigh heavy on my mind.


Despite the fact I had chosen an ambitious topic AND prepared all the posts well in advance, I still found the challenge an uphill struggle after the first week. After visiting around 200 blogs immediately below mine on the linky list, which I had placed on my blog, I became rather tired, and the double figures of comments soon dried up. I also removed the linky list from my blog as just the sight of those 1,600 blogs was driving me crazy!

It quickly became apparent to me that a lot of fellow A-Zers were not visiting blogs on the linky list, probably struggling to find the time or motivation, like me.

It was fortunate I had prepared all the material for my posts in mid-March, because just typing each post up, adding a photo and a video, already felt like work enough! Never mind visiting tons of other blogs in this challenge. I did visit my friends' blogs on my blogroll, and came across some A-Zs I took a keen interest in.

I extend my congratulations and thanks to them, as well as the following friends who commented consistently during the month of April:

  • Diane Croad
  • Odie Langley
  • My dear mum Joanna Horne
  • My little mynx of a wife, Fidelia!
  • J. C. Martin
  • Anthony Stemke
  • Leovi
  • Ordinary malaysian

I know the effort it takes to visit and comment on other blogs regularly, and I appreciate my friends who have done just that on my blog :)

Many others paid me a visit or two, including many new readers from the challenge, and it's been great to hear from them and check out their blogs in return.


The one improvement I would suggest is associated with the linky list. Just the sight of over 1,600 blogs was intimidating at best. 

Now, I love blogging and I've gained numerous benefits from it from time to time, but I've concluded that any normal person has a life to live away from the computer, and sometimes during April, my life came above the A-Z challenge.

To make things a lot easier, I would suggest that participating blogs have a specific A-Z group or category they can join, instead of everybody coming under one lengthy linky list. A-Z groups/categories could include: writers, poets, language, photoblogs, travel, entertainment, lifestyle etc.

That way participants can decide what sort of A-Z blogs they would like to visit, making a more enjoyable experience for everyone, connecting with more people of common interest, and helping the challenge become a lot less daunting.


Pageviews         =    8,544
Visits                 =    3,040
New Followers  =    32
Comments         =    375


  1. Thanks for the mention, Duncan! I wouldn't have kept coming back if I didn't enjoy your posts!

    And I think you're on to something there. Great suggestion to break the linky list up into more manageable chunks!

  2. I wish you further success with your blog, Duncan! I like the new face you gave your blog since my last visit. And I wish you many more years in Kuantan, with your happy family!

  3. Hey Duncan, I found that I came across the same obstacles as you did. It was overwhelming to even look at that list. I really like your suggestion about groups, because there are just some blogs I wish I hadn't visited - unfortunately, it took so much time, and that's probably another factor which put me off.... I understand I might not be on someone else's wish list - so groups would be a great time saver!! Good one!

    Thanks for your comments on my Blog throughout April - I really appreciate it!

    English Speaking Zone

  4. I loved the originality of your A to Z this year, Duncan. I also think you were very brave to speak your posts. I'd be far too shy.

    I agree with all your comments about the length of that linky. I wanted to keep visiting my regular blogging friends, like yourself, but I knew that the point of this challenge was to spread myself around. Like you, I soon reached commenting-overload. I do hope we can have categories next year [are we really up for doing this again?]

  5. I think you have some valid points, Duncan. It must have been exhausting for you to have visited so many blogs that you had. Just following your A-Z postings daily was tiring even for me even though you had a unique approach to the A-Z challenge!

  6. those are some great stats! congrats on finishing

  7. Hi Duncan. Thanks for giving me a mention there my friend. I do think that's a brilliant idea of yours to catergorize things in the next A - Z Challenge. To be honest, that's why I didn't participate, because I knew it would mean spending so much more time at the computer and, as much as I love my blogging, I am more than happy with the number of Followers I have at the moment. That's why I decided not to participate in all the other link-ups that are out there. Yes, you do gain new Followers, but I didn't want to take myself away from the Followers that I already had, if you see what I mean! I still think you did a great job with your A - Z Challenge, and I do know just how much work must have been involved with it.

  8. Just wanted to stop by and say congrats on completing the challenge and for posting a very informative reflections post! Great thoughts in your improvement section!

  9. Seeing the numbers you have shared with us leads me to believe you are doing really well. Comments and visits are difficult for all bloggers who have substantial followings. I don't know about the A-Z linky, but I can tell in the majority of others few participants visit more than a handful of other people. You've done much better than most. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Thanks for all your thoughts. I am as yet undecided if I'll be doing this again next year.

  11. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflections post!

    Evalina, This and that...

  12. Hi! My mission...which I chose to accept...was to continue to visit as many A to Z Challenge participants as I could even after the challenge is over because I didn't want to miss out on any great bloggers out there! Lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the year and I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Donna L Martin

  13. Wow! Great stats for April! Unfortunately I didn't do as well, but it has not put me off next year's a-z! I hope to see you next year too!


  14. Evalina, Donna and Amy, thanks so much for stopping by my blog!


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