Monday, 5 May 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: Reflections on the Challenge

www.a-to-zchallenge.com

I found this year's A-Z Challenge (2014) to be the most enjoyable.  Not just because of the theme I chose, but because I adopted a different strategy to the other 2 years I have been involved.  It had been suggested to me before - but, this time, I did it!

The strategy:  Although we had Sundays 'off', I chose to use Sunday afternoons to write all the posts for the coming week and schedule them ahead of time.  They were short posts, and I found that, although pictures are pretty, they tend to make the post look horrendously long and you give up reading after one scroll-down.  So mine were short and sweet text-only - and I don't think that any readers were put off because there were no pictures!

Scheduling posts ahead of time meant that I could use the time each day to go and visit other people's blogs.  This is something I failed at miserably in years gone past.  But this time, I managed to visit and leave comments and read comments on my own blog and reply to those comments.  I really felt as though I was participating, rather than 'oh-gosh-I've-got-to-find-the-time-to-write-yet-ANOTHER-post' and 'thank-goodness-it's-over' on April 30.  In fact, on April 30 2014, I felt energised!

The only thing I would say that I found to be awkward was reading people's comments on my own blog, then going to visit them.  There was VERY often no link, so either I clicked on their name, on their profile, on their 'My Blogs' - or went back to the A-Z Challenge site, found them in the linky list, clicked on them -aaargh! So many clicks! So little time!  So little patience!  It should be a rule that everybody makes their own hyperlinked signature, such as
My blog is at <a href=http://genwestuk.blogspot.co.uk/>GenWestUK</a>

It's easy enough to do, and encourages bloggers to go and visit, as all they have to do is click once, and they're there. 

Otherwise: I loved the A-Z Challenge, and look forward to 2015!

15 comments:

  1. I pretty much did the same as you although not very systematically but mainly because during the week work was crazy enough :) I agree with your remarks about finding blogs and I admire your persistence to track them down! In fairness the commenting is why I prefer wordpress - it makes it easy and you can also be notified when someone replies which kinda helps in a budding dialogue :)
    I haven't got to your blog during the challenge but I'm just checking out some of your posts now. Beware. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep trying to get into Wordpress (I even have a blog on there which is private because I have never mastered it).

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Some very interesting points, Ros, and your new strategy worked well . I set out to write shorter posts this year,,by being a bit more selective with my material, but that did not always come about. I began very well with about 10 posts written before April 1st, but then I had a bad week and by the time it got to S I was only writing the day before I was due to post it. So Sundays were very much catch up days. I admit I did not read many other contributions apart from those blogs already on my reading lists, so i missed out here on the full A-Z experience. I can set up hyperlinks in a post, but still need to fathom out how to do it in a comment box - cut & paste perhaps - but at least I will give the address.

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    Replies
    1. Good to see you again, ScotSue. When you set up a hyperlinked signature in a comment - I have just typed it carefully out in a Word doc, and you are right: copy-and-paste is the way to go...LOL

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I agree! I love to visit back, but there is only so much time I can devote to FINDING someone's blog. There is a post every year explaining the link signature. I keep a copy of mine in a notepad document. Copy and paste to the end of my comments. Easy!

    Stopping by after the #atozchallenge to check out your reflection post!
    @JLenniDorner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine's in a Word doc. Bit of a waste of a whole sheet of 'paper', but it was handy at the time...LOL

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. i loved your blog and now wonder if you could visit mine and I am computer challenged so have unsure how to place it in the post. I see what you did above and wondered how people could write "You can visit my blog here" and the "here" was in a different colour and it was a direct link. I have no idea how to do that-so sorry for that but I loved your blog immensely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was glad to see your name keep popping up and that you enjoyed my posts so much. I have visited your blog and am now a 'new follower' - it looks great. As to the hyperlinked signature (as I mentioned, where there is a direct link) you would just do

      EITHER You can visit my blog BB Creations (where the BB Creations is a different colour)

      OR You can visit my blog BB Creations here (where the word 'here' is a different colour)

      I have been trying to write down the html so you can copy it, but Blogger keeps turning even total rubbish into beautiful links! So go back to my post and just put createdbybb.blogspot.co.uk where I have got genwestuk.blogspot.co.uk

      The different colour would come up because your blog settings have made it so.
      Let me know if this makes any sense.

      Delete
  5. oh and mine is www.createdbybb.blogspot.ca

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  6. I didn't leave a hyperlink in the text of my comments because I thought it was easy to just click on my name and it would take you to the blog post of the day. I have a wordpress blog and other platforms may not do that. This time I will leave a link - http://findingeliza.com/archives/17314

    ReplyDelete
  7. Agreed. I had the same issue with getting back to commenters. And I also write my blogs a week in advance, but usually on Friday or Saturday (but this is my usual custom, so it didn't change anything).

    Congrats on making it through.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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  8. Hi Ros .. if you're posting about the UK west country .. I'm round to visit -but I will be anyway - sorry I didn't find you during the A-Z .. always way too many people ...

    I just try and do what I can do ... all the best - Hilary

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  9. Well done on completing the challenge.

    I think that short and sweet posts are the key. I know a couple of mine last year were a wee bit wordy but this year I tried to keep the actual text limited to a paragraph per video (I was blogging favourite songs so most of the posts were YouTube videos). If I came across a post that was too long I often skipped over it.

    I'm not always good about leaving a link to my blog, mainly because I'm mostly using my Kindle instead of my laptop and it's awkward having to write out the address each time. It's something I must get better about doing because it certainly makes people easier to find!

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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  10. Hi Ros _ nominated for the Liebster award as I was nominated:) I believe it is due to wonderful blogs one has found and it is to find out a bit about the other-nothing major:) I just enjoy your blog and hope you do not mind

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  11. Oh and I figured out how to just add the name:)

    ReplyDelete

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