marketing / writers resources

#AtoZChallenge Reflection

a to z challengeBecause of my book launch for Twenty-four Days, I never did get the reflection piece published on the A to Z Challenge. The short version: I loved it. Here are some of my thoughts:

I loved it.

Here are my thoughts:

  • The program requires a blog a day for 26 days in the month of April. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I pre-wrote and scheduled all of the articles on my topic, Genres, so most of my time was spent visiting other posts and responding to comments from people who found me. That did take 2-4 hours a day, but when it’s as interesting as it turned out to be, you don’t notice.
  • By visiting other participants, I got a mini-education in quite a few topics I am now conversant in.
  • I think my readership for WordDreams changed during that thirty days. A lot of my usual readers took a break. They’re used to me publishing 2-3 times a week and suddenly I threw six posts a week at them. Really, that’s too much for anyone! But I got lots of new readers who were taking part in the activity. As a result, I ended up with about the same number of daily readers and comments as I usually get but I got them six days a week instead of three.
  • I’m staying in touch with many of the bloggers I meant during this Challenge–and they’re doing the same. I think we all recognize the commitment it takes to build a successful online platform and we’re willing to help each other.
  • When I started, I asked readers to sign up on a Google Forms list if they were participating and I’d visit them each day. That worked well for me and turned out to be an approach lots of participants used. I checked in on these folks each day as well as 5-10 others from the official daily list.
  • I didn’t miss the Linky list that the Challenge used last year. Of course, that from someone who never used it. But, it was easy to visit the main A to Z Challenge blog every day and go through the comments. Best, because people have to post there every day if they want to be on the list, they were all current bloggers, none that gave up. That’s who I was looking for–fellow travelers.
  • This A to Z Challenge was a great way to kick off my newly-published book, Twenty-four Days. My blog hop started in May so I had a chance to reach out to lots of new people (via the signature line on my posts, nothing more aggressive).

Overall, A to Z Challenge is on my radar for next year. What’s another great theme?  Hmm…

More on A to Z:

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Kitchen Sink Genre

A to Z Challenge Reveal Day: I’m in!

#IWSG–Should I do AtoZ Next Year?

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days.

45 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Reflection

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge Sign-up Day! | WordDreams...

  2. I think the benefit of a challenge like this — as you note, Jacqui — is that it broadens your associations in the blogosphere, putting you in touch with more people and more points of view. That’s never a bad thing. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very interesting reflection on the A to Z blog challenge. I take my hat off to all the participants as it is hard word to blog every day and to follow up on all the comments. I discovered your blog through someone else’s A to Z posts and read quite a few of them. I found them fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I continue to shy away from the A to Z Challenge. The thought of having to prepare a post for every single day and visit so many posts of the others participating hits me as being maddening. I know many love the endeavor but I am not one of them.

    Howbeit, I did learn quite a bit from your contribution. You hit on genres I had not heard of, which broadened my scope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jacqui, you almost make this sound doable!! 😀Reading your points here I think the key is organisation and a lot of it before the actual challenge. I like the idea of readers signing up on your list. How many others took part? How many blogs were you visiting a day? So, you’re already pondering next year! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do think the key is organization. I liked using my list and will do so again if I participate in 2018. It made sure that the blogs I visited were still actively pursuing the challenge rather than lots of people who quit (which I actually understand).

      Hundreds take part–I’m not sure of the number because they didn’t use a sign-up linky this time. It was all done with comments on a blog post. I visited all the people on my list–about 20–and added about five more from the comment list to extend my reach. It did take a couple of hours every day, but I got a lot of new subscribers and learned a ton of stuff I didn’t know. That last is pretty cool to someone who loves research!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and I enjoyed your posts. You point out another way of keeping track of blogs and visitors: having them sign up on your own list. There were so many ways of handling the challenge without having to go to one big master list to find blogs to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I loved the discipline of daily blogging but found that I am a much bigger fan of blogging once a week. I got nothing else done during that time. I had the intention of working ahead for next year, but so far, I haven’t done so.

    Your blog was so informative. I actually bookmarked the list to your A to Z links and have referenced it a few times since the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Heather. I think 6 posts a week is too many for me as a routine. I like 2-3 and then enjoy the comments. I know people who nicely publish 6ish posts every week and I avidly read them


  8. Hi Jacqui – did I meet you before … or then?! Whichever – it’s a good tie in and I enjoy visiting and see what you’re teaching us … I didn’t notice the Google form thing – so maybe I picked you up a little later on – when were you last picked up?!?!?! It’s a rush the A-Z but always beneficial … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like your Twenty-Four Days Challenge. Good concept to get to know and share your insights of your fellow authors. Thanks again, I appreciate being an author you took to time visit during your tour. I enjoyed both of your books. Hope your blog readers take time to read and review them. Have an inspired day.

    Liked by 1 person

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