For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme was a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I' was given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.
In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might have learned a few things about me that you didn't previously know.
Reflections on the 2016 A to Z Challenge
It's time to get back to the regular Wrote By Rote schedule, however my first regular post will be a backward glance at this year's Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. For anyone who is not familiar with this yearly event you can click on the preceding link for more detailed information, but in short the Challenge is blogging daily through the alphabet in one month. It's fun and if you've never tried it you should keep this in mind as something for you to do next April.
For the 2016 Challenge, I blogged according to a theme which is described at the opening of this post. As I have found in my past several Challenges, a theme is an excellent way to do the A to Z as it provides a continuity in the posts and allows for a cohesion of thought that makes writing the posts easier. In my case it was especially easy since the posts required no research--each post was free form writing about the answers that came to my head for each question. Free form is a good way to go if you want to create posts quickly. Keeping posts brief was also easier on me and most likely more acceptable to those who visited.
My posts didn't receive too many comments because there were not very many visitors to each post. I did almost no promotion of this blog during the Challenge. My only post that broke 100 visitors was for the letter "B" which received 132 hits while the least visited post was for "V" which only had 32 hits. My average number of hits per post was about 70. For the most part comments came from my regular visitors who tend to comment throughout the year. My thanks to all of the loyal readers who keep me motivated to keep this blog open.
No great revelations to report regarding my experience on this blog. As usual I had a great time, especially considering that my theme was such an easy one to use. My expectation is that this blog will keep on posting and most likely will be a part of the 2017 A to Z Challenge.
For those who followed this series, did you enjoy what I did? Have you tried this "about me" theme on your own blog yet? Do you enjoy reading blog posts that provide a look into the writer's life and view of the world?
I was just glad that the blogs I follow finished A-Z this time. The past few years I noticed a huge drop off around the letter M or N. I didn't visit or monitor the participants this year....did everyone you visited finish? Were there many bloggers that signed up and didn't do it?ReplyDelete
JoJo, According to reports from the A to Z Team there were nearly 700 blogs removed from the list for one reason or another--larger than usual, but under the parameters within how the sign-up works is not overly surprising to me. A lot of people just sign up to sign up and we have to find them which is a tedious time consuming process.Delete
It is after all a Challenge and a lot of bloggers don't realize what a Challenge it is to manage or they just have to drop out because of life circumstances. I did not encounter an overly large amount of quitters or bloggers who never started, but I guess others who were checking the list found more than I did. I received very few complaints directly from participants about those bad blogs like I have in years past.
Thanks for being such a loyal reader, JoJo. I always enjoy reading your comments and responding to them when I am able.
Every year's Challenge I have done some theme that revolved around me, my life, my memories, people I have known. And yes, it is easier to write. And it is to me, what blogging is about. It was literally about all I could do to visit the list, answer comments and visit commentors blogs this year. I do want to know more about you, as what I do know tells me you have had a fascinating life. I hope to go back through this years posts here one lazy Saturday. :) For me, visits were down overall from last year's Musical Memories theme. BUT, some became regular commentors and best of all, I found more new blogs I was excited to start following than ever before!ReplyDelete
Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead
Barbara, the regular commentors are the most important in my eyes. They are like friends who come to visit and you look forward to seeing them.Delete
I always find some great blogs during the challenge. Sometimes you have to follow a blog awhile to get a good feel of how much you like it. I noticed one blog from last year only posts during the challenge which makes sense to a degree. The social part is what the challenge is about for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for getting it all started. I think some people don't make the challenge because they are all fired up to do it. Then like making plans to go to a show two weeks before, sometimes you wish you had not bought the tickets. That's my take. Take care.
Ann, I'm sure there are those who have the second thoughts and might regret having signed up. And there are those who actually forget they signed up or don't even know what it was they signed up for.Delete
WE all have certain motivations that drive us to blog. Some who only post during A to Z have other blogs on which they post during the rest of the year. You can find all sort of bloggers with all sorts of blogs and that's what makes A to Z such a cool experience.
"About me" is a great theme. You have led an interesting life, about which bloggers know nothing. I wrote a post about our life in Ireland--had never shared that.ReplyDelete
Wasn't checking A to Z this year--my MIL (husband's mom, who I had called Mom for 43 years) died in Feb. and we were hugely busy.
Susan, I know how those family things can interfere with blogging. Almost every April since the first Challenge something has come up where I lose at least a week which puts me way behind.Delete
Hi Lee - it's always interesting reading people's backgrounds or stories ... and I love the Challenge - so am very grateful you started it off ... and it's still going ... having had to withdraw this year -I'm ready for 2017 ..ReplyDelete
Hilary, I certainly understand when life calls us away from blogging. I'm sure you'll have something great in store for 2017. Now you have a year to work on it!Delete
By the time I had an opportunity to check out all your posts it was too late to comment. But I want you to know I did read and enjoyed every one! Terrific job of keeping up with two!ReplyDelete
Diedre, never too late to comment. I've been sometimes surprised by a comment that isn't spam on a post that's 3 years or older. Appreciate your reading nevertheless. Thanks for letting me know.Delete
What did you like best about A-Z? It sounds like you maintained status quo so I'm just wondering why you plan on participating next year?ReplyDelete
It's awesome that your regular readers kept commenting during the challenge. Comments are always so encouraging!
Mandy, This is merely a secondary blog maintained for my own purposes, but I like to share with those who have an interest. Of course I'll participate next year since my main blog is the one with the most traffic and I get plenty of action on that one during April.Delete
I find that going with a theme keeps me better organized. I didn't see a lot of visitors either, but it didn't deter me from making visits.ReplyDelete
J.L., I really enjoy the theme idea, but maybe I should try going themeless again someday--just for the sake of experimentation.Delete
Glad you made the rounds as that is such an important aspect of the Challenge and a lot of participants don't do as much visiting as they should.
I think that's a great theme idea - like you said no research and it's nice to let your blog readers know a bit about you. The stats aren't bad considering you did no promotion!ReplyDelete
Debbie, I'm happy with the stats. I don't think about them much on this blog.Delete
A huge under taking as the #Challenge grows. In reading your reflection I was happy to find out that at least 700 participants dropped out. Finding some excellent suggestions in other reflections. This was my 4th year and keep learning, unfortunately from some of the blogs that are awful. You can't read or navigate them. Such a shame after all the work. Love the whole process nonetheless. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Stepheny, we try to educate bloggers, but unfortunately not all of them pay attention.ReplyDelete
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Wishing now I had visited more, Arlee, but enjoyed the posts I did read. Good idea answering a question, making your post free form. Something I need to consider for next a-z, as I tend to overdo. All the best!!ReplyDelete
I follow your blog and have some thoughts after this year's experience about how important the theme is. I didn't realize it to the same degree until looking at hundreds of other blogs. If you have time, I hope you will look at my reflection too and let me know if you agree with my take on growing readership etc.ReplyDelete