Sunday, May 6, 2012

Post-Challenge Reflections: A to Z Blogging Challenge













I am so thankful I took the time out from my busy schedule to participate in the A to Z challenge!  The growth I have experienced has served to define who I am and how I can best interact with the public in the future.  If you have not planned to write a Reflections Post, and you have been part of the Challenge in April, please do...it will help us all!  Click here to see the details.


Reflecting back on the Challenge, here is my summary:



Things I've learned:


Ins and outs of running a blog (I have far to go in this category)
Turning off word verification
Scheduling a post
What draws people to my blog and make comments
I.e.photos, part of my story, memoirs of travels



It was extremely helpful to receive tips from the A to Z Blogging Challenge hosts beforehand, which smoothed the way...thank you one and all!


I have immensely enjoyed: 

Meeting new people, viewing a variety of blogs, and following those that had similar interests to mine and from whom I could learn.


Commenting on other's posts, and replying on mine...it strengthened my communication skills



I'm so grateful for all my new followers...although I did not reach 100, I did more than double my readership!  With their help, I will develop content that will benefit many.


I was disappointed because:


Not everyone visited or commented on my blogposts...had all participants visited 10 blogs a day, and commented on every one, as was requested, I would have received at least ten comments a day.  I was faithful to visit 10 a day (in order), comment on each one (even if I couldn't fully appreciate the post or theme of the blog), and reply to all the comments left on my posts.


A few sites had suggestive images...


On average, one out of 10 blogs I visited had no intention of participating in the challenge, or, gave up early on, yet their links were still on the list.  I wasted precious time visiting them, when I could have been commenting on a faithful participants post.  



Since this has been such a positive experience for me, I will continue to:

Visit 5-10 blogs a day (from the signup list) when possible, leaving a comment, and following those who are "kindred spirits."


Post 2-3 times a week, as I discover what content would draw and keep followers.


Join the Challenge again next year!




Congratulations to all those hard working bloggers who made it successfully to the end!


Before I say goodbye, I would like to share links to a few participants who's blogs I have enjoyed and am following:


Joy2journey for BJ's love of home decorating
31 days Early I Rise for Elizabeth's love of Biblical Wisdom
2encourage for Pam's love of God's Word
1st Writes for Dawn's love of Lizards
Up on Haliburton Hill for Joanna's love of all things Victorian
AtoZmommy for Tracy's jump into the Blogosphere
The Slow Dripped Life for Carrie's love of wellness
Bible Bloggers for Brianna's clever Bible Character Diaries
Kylie's Creative Play Place for her love of the "Very Hungry Caterpillar"

W.I.P  for Lynda's love of photography


Thank you, friends, for sharing your treasures with me!



What was your favorite part of the Challenge?  Or, which of my posts did you enjoy the most?  What would you like to see in the future?

50 comments:

  1. Jarm, I failed to visit the five posts (I thought) were part of the challenge. The time needed to devote to comments really needs to be a consideration, if I participate next year. It made me feel like a slacker. I enjoyed your posts I was able to read. I subscribe to your blog via email.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy, thanks for taking the time to visit me, and subscribe...I appreciate it! You are right, it can be overwhelming, and we need to know ahead of time, what is expected of us. Maybe having more that one post by the Challenge hosts, outlining the requirements, would have helped.
      Keep a lookout for my next post, where I will specifically ask followers what content they wish to see on my blog. Take care, and have a restful summer...

      Delete
  2. I visited about 20 blags a day, and I didn't get to near as many as I would have liked to visit, I agree there were too many who had no intent on participating, but all in all it was great!!

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    1. Wow...twenty a day..that is quite impressive! I'm glad it was a great experience for you. Hope to see you back next year...

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  3. Hi Jarm. Congratulations on reaching the A to Z finishing line!
    I remember visiting your place on one or two? occasions during the challenge... it was so hectic and there were so many blogs, that it was difficult to visit all the time... I remember your "Repurposing/Recycling Post" quite clearly - it was so informative...

    Looking back on the challenge, I would have rather visited bloggers who made the effort to return the vist... in place of the 5 new blogs I visited every day (sometimes 10 new blogs daily) and not so much as a squeak from some of these bloggers... and as you mentioned, if every person took the time to visit AT LEAST 5 blogs daily, then every participant would have seen a steady flow of traffic throughout the challenge! Anyway, enough of that...
    I will pop in again...
    Take Care!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle...good advice...I agree with you. Our time could have been spent differently if we could have concentrated on those that were on board with the Challenge. I plan to continue to visit the sites throughout the summer.
      I appreciate your comments, and checking in occasionally...enjoy your summer!

      Delete
  4. Sorry you didn't get a lot of return comments or follows. I think a lot of people noted that issue. But glad you enjoyed the Challenge otherwise.

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    1. No worries, Alex...I'll keep visiting throughout the summer. I'm sure I'll meet many others who are likeminded! Again, thanks for all your work!

      Delete
  5. Excellent review, Jarm. You share good insights into the Challenge. And thanks for the reminder that today the reviews are due.

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    1. Thanks, Pam...I'll look forward to your post! It was fun, wasn't it?

      Delete
  6. Finding new blogs with interesting subject is one the high points for me. I think quite a few of us met upon people who didn't get the idea that they were supposed to return the visits. Continuing to visit new blogs each day is a good idea.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you never know who you will meet along the way. Thanks for stopping, J.L.!

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  7. Your photographs are wonderful! Have you thought of publishing them? There is a web-site called www.blurb.com which does a terrific job with binding etc. You use their program which is free, arrange your photos and then buy the book or books. Better than snapfish. Also they have a bookstore where you can post and sell your books. I wrote the "Hobbes Goes to South America" using their website. It's under the "L" for lion in the challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your kind words...I will check out that link soon...thanks so much!

      Delete
  8. I'm just finding you through the A-Z reflections posts! I, too, tried to read as many as possible, but it was difficult. I, too, am a Christian homemaker and will stop back to see how life is treating you. :-) Nice to find you!

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    Replies
    1. Good to find you, too, Mare...I'll look you up!

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  9. What a great reflections post - I couldn't put it better myself. Although, I must admit I failed at the commenting part, but I'm making it up now. Nice to have met you in the 2012 challenge!

    English Speaking Zone

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    1. Thanks, Barbara...I'm catching up, too! Not till summer will I have visited all the sites. I will check out your blog right now...I appreciate your visit.

      Delete
  10. I found you because you found me. I too tried to get through as many blogs as I could and posted comments when I was inspired but never just to be polite. I enjoyed many of the posts but many, as you say, did not keep up or offer content of much substance in my humble opinion. I like this form of communication - it does strengthen skills. Feedback is great! I would welcome more. Thanks for participating. I too look forward to next year.
    http://badmoodgoodmood.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maggie...see you along the way! Have a good summer....

      Delete
  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!

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    Replies
    1. No worries, Evalina...I'll be doing that too in the next few weeks. Thanks for stopping by...

      Delete
  12. Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...
    Hopefully you were able to use one of my banners/badges for the Challenge, had as much fun designing them as seeing them around the blog world.

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much, Jeremy...I'll check out the banners on your website. Are they the ones I have posted here??

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You've expressed many of the same things as others have said. We'll continue to try to eliminate some of the problems although some are just typical blogging problems that will always be there.
    A to Z is a learning experience for the hosts as well as the other participants.

    Glad that you joined us.


    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Lee...it was a pleasure, and I intend to be back next year!

      Delete
  15. It's a good reflections post, looks like you had a great AtoZ and I enjoyed popping by when I could.

    The co-hosts did a great job at weeding out blogs that weren't participating at all. Some people had a difficult month and struggled to finish.

    I was lucky in that I didn't get too many comments and was able to visit everyone who commented if their profile allowed me to. Had I had a busier blog there's no way I could have done that.

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    1. We all did what we could, Lynne...thanks for stopping to comment. Hope to see you next year!

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  16. I'm so glad that you visited me at my blog Jarm. I just was in the process of checking around your blog a bit and your photography is amazing.

    What a great blog you have here! A-Z has just been a wonderful opportunity for meeting up with talented people, you're my newest.

    I'm your newest follower.

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    1. Thanks, Jen...I'm so glad you could join us. I appreciate your kind comments! Hope you take part next year in the Challenge.

      Delete
  17. Glad you enjoyed the challenge...and sorry about the bead links. We'll have to work better at it next year.

    If you'd like to guest post for us over at www.a-to-zchallenge.com to talk about books, or blogging in general, let AZ co-host Tina know at 2012AZinfo at gmail dot com.

    Damyanti
    #atozchallenge co-host 2012

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping, Damyanti...and for all your hard work during the Challenge! I would love to be a guest poster...I will email Tina right away.

      Delete
  18. I love to hear feedback on challenges like this. It really helps me evaluate the pros and cons of trying one myself!

    ~Debbie

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    1. I recommend it to anyone trying to broaden their platform, and strengthen blogging skills. Hope to see you there next year, Debbie...although I think you are well established. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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  19. Thank you for your highlight on this post!! I am glad to be known for one who advocates for wellness - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I look forward to spending some time here in your blog! I don't recall coming to it in my 'travels' through the blogs - there were SO MANY! I will be back often!

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    1. You are right...it was overwhelming at times. Thanks for coming back to comment...see you around!!

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  20. My favourite part of the challenge was the comments left - like you, not many commented a day, but when they did, I was very happy to receive them!

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    1. I agree with you, Liz...I enjoyed the comments and words of encouragement. Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. Those of you that visited everyone are so impressive! I went on vacation halfway through so I'm still trying to catch up.

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    1. I visited only ten a day, and replied to my own comments. I, too, will spend the next couple of months playing catch up. Thanks for stopping by, Deniz!

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  22. I'm glad you had a good overall experience. I did too :) I agree with you on the ones that didn't participate. I didn't so much mind the ones that called it quits. A few of the ones I followed did that too. Would have been nice if it could have been noted on the main list somehow. No clue how though.

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    1. I'll look forward to the hosts ideas for next year...it must be a monumental task to organize this challenge. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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  23. Congrats on finishing and doubling your readers. =)

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  24. I like your reflections. I didn't really dwell on the disappointments as the positives far outweighed them but I would agree with your observations.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I've reciprocated the following and look forward to keeping up with your blog.

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  25. ps. I also dared to remove comment moderation fearing an onslaught of spam which never happened. My main reason for moderating comments was so that I would be notified of new comments but it turns out Blogger lets you know anyway and their spam filtering is pretty good too.

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    1. Yes, Blogger is good about that...I have never had a spammer since I set up the blog over four years ago!

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  26. I very much enjoyed your post and, being brand spanking new to blogging (as of 5 days ago), the information and helpful recommendations detailed here are going to go a long way toward getting me up to speed. So much to learn. Thank you kindly for the generous sharing of your experience. I'll be back to read more.

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    1. Thanks! Hope you are able to read my current A to Z posts. Enjoy!

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I would love to have you comment...thanks!

Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel