This was my third year participating in the A-Z Challenge and it was probably my best year. Although each year I had all my posts written and scheduled months in advance of the April challenge, this year was much smoother than years past. Probably because for the previous two years I was always tweaking my posts the night before and this year I really didn’t. I highly encourage everyone to prepare well in advance: it makes the whole experience so much nicer, richer and definitely less stressful.
I found so many interesting blogs and there were some absolutely fantastic themes out there! I have made a great number of new blogging friends! This is what this Challenge is mainly about, in my opinion. The blogosphere is full of fabulous people and it’s so cool when nice people find each other!
I’m fairly inexperienced with Twitter and still learning the ropes but I found that many of us tweeted each other’s blog posts on a regular basis. What a great way to help build a following and generate traffic to our blogs!
This was also my best year for visiting others’ blogs. Because I essentially didn’t have anything to do for my own posts this time, it afforded me time to spend A-Zing. And I was really committed to visiting and commenting on as many blogs as I could. I did at least 20 per day on a slow day and many days I did upwards of 50. My butt hurt from sitting in front of the computer for so long but it was worth it.
I was also a minion this year, one of John Holton’s Minions, and was responsible for helping to keep the list clean. I think we all (the Co-hosts and all the minions) put in a good effort as the list was cleaned up quickly and efficiently. Last year was horrible for going to links of people who weren’t participating at all or were so far behind it was obvious that they didn’t really care about it. That’s incredibly frustrating, especially when time is of the essence. This year was so much better in that regard.
Two major gripes I have:
- People leaving comments but failing to include their blog addresses so I could go visit them back. I make a point of visiting and commenting with everyone who pays me a visit and leaves a comment. It’s important to me to act in kind. But when people don’t leave their blog addresses, it’s often impossible to find their blog simply by their name or email address. And then it makes me feel bad that I can’t go visit their blogs.
- People not coming to my blog when I’ve commented on their blog multiple times. That really irritates me and I find it highly rude. And this happened several times. For example, there were actually quite a few blogs on which I commented a minimum of ten or more times and yet received not ONE visit from these bloggers. That’s just bad blog etiquette. And it’s disheartening when others don’t share that same common courtesy.
I think these are issues that the Challenge Hosts should continue to highly emphasize and stress to all participants, especially about putting links in comment signatures. I don’t mean to complain; I just think that everyone should be on the same page with what this Challenge is all about: meeting, greeting, sharing and discovery.
All in all, this was a fantastic Challenge and I’m so happy with all the new friends I’ve made. Not to mention all the wonderful and amazing blogs I discovered along the way! Thank you to founder Arlee Bird and all the hard-working Co-Hosts who make this Challenge what it is. I’m proud to say that I am once again an A-Z Challenge Survivor. Thanks to all of you (co-hosts, minions and Challenge participants) who made this year so much fun!