Friday, May 3, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 - Reflections

We made it. Can you believe it?

An entire month of posting every day but Sunday, once for each letter of the alphabet, and visiting as many blogs as you can. It's a lot of work. Especially being a co-host. But it's worth it, in the long run, I think.

The thing about blogging, and especially about blogging for A to Z, because it's just a heightened example, is that it's a two way street. You get out of it what you put into it. The more people you visit, follow, support, and comment on their posts, the more people will do the same for you. Of course, not everyone reciprocates, but not everyone understands.

A to Z is about challenging yourself to write blog posts, sure, but really it's about meeting other bloggers, and discovering new blogs you might enjoy reading that you probably would not have discovered otherwise.

Anyway, you all probably knew all that. So let's talk about how I did in this years challenge.

I survived! That's one thing, but it's only a small part. As a co-host, to be honest, I didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped. I visited all the 150 blogs in my part of the list, and many others, but I did not make it to every single blog signed up like I did last year. It was just too much. In some ways I wish I had, but on the other hand, sometimes quality has to trump quantity. What really matters to me is that I met some new bloggers this year that I will now be following and reading on a regular basis. If you ask me, discovering even only one or two new blogs like that is worth more than visiting every blog on the list one time.

So, for a brief look at my stats:

My E post, Eurythmics, had the most page views of the entire month. Page views is a slightly different stat than hits, but it's the best way to judge your traffic, if you ask me.

My A post, Asinine, had the most comments, which makes sense, since everyone is really excited on the first day.

My J post, Jaded, and my K post, Kenosis, had the fewest amount of page views for the month, which is a bit surprising, because I don't think fatigue had set in too much yet.

My X post, Xanthous, had the least amount of comments, at only 14, which is not surprising at all, since it was the last Saturday, and X is the hardest letter.

What about you? Did you survive? What did you like most about the challenge? What did you like the least? Be sure to add your post to the reflections list, once you have it up. You need to use the link to your actual post, not the main URL for your blog. You can find more information about it, here.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think I've even looked at page views. (I rarely do anyway.) I know which post had the most comments, which was the same as yours, but I'll have to go back and see which one had the least.
I was barely able to visit my 150 blogs. I want to go back through the list now and I saw some I wanted to visit but never got to.
Another successful Challenge! Honored to be a co-host with you.

Steve MC said...

So everyone wanted to see the Eurythmics, but talked more about being Asinine, and were too Jaded to read about Kenosis. That about right? :p

Rhonda Albom said...

I'm with Alex, I never looked at stats. I just kept blogging and reading. Thanks for hosting.

mshatch said...

I tend to look at page views over comments, too. And I found this year's challenge more challenging even though I had my posts all scheduled before it began. I also found some fun new peeps to follow so all in all I call it a success :)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

great learning tool you are, yes... in my best Yoda voice. it's funny a post i did from last year got many more hits/stats than normal... it wasn't even dirty or anything.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I think page views are the best judge too. Shoot, I have people who wait and comment on a post when I run into them in Walmart.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your posts,
Congratulations on completing the challenge and a wonderful reflection post.


Weaver said...

Interesting to look at the stats like that. Makes me wonder what else was going on in everyone's lives.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Matthew .. I couldn't agree more with your sentiments - I'm not even sure I went over to the list .. I used Arlee's 'they need extra newbies listings', and Amanda Trought's .. and anyone new who came via my site - I'm certain I missed one or two - so that's a next job shortly. I hate being impolite!

I love the Challenge - mainly for the opportunity to write along a theme for 26 (shorter) posts, and for having the chance to meet some new like-minded bloggers .. I love the after and ongoing interaction.

I have no idea of stats .. cheers Hilary

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Big congrats dude. A to Z had a lot of action this year.

Deniz Bevan said...

Happy to have been a minion!
I haven't even looked at my stats yet... It was lots of fun though!
I got so crazy by the end that I forgot it was Sunday, panicked when I didn't see a scheduled post up, and logged in and hit publish - then realised it was the day off. Oops!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Wow! 150 blogs is a lot to follow. Glad you found some new ones you want to follow. New blog friends is always nice.

Sandy said...

I'm not sure I understand well how to see page views for specific posts, obviously I need to go clicking on stuff on my dashboard and see what I can learn. Congrats on finishing and thanks for the extra work of being a worker bee. I'm feeling a bit jaded at the moment, feeling like I put in alot more then I got, maybe I'll feel differently when I review the states like you did above. Thus far I've reviewed visits, comments, followers with what I did and what I got. I may stumble back and ask questions after trying to understand those other stats you mentioned.
Oozing Out My Ears

Sally said...

Your theme was great and I certainly learned a lot, whether I retain it or not is another matter as I think my brain may be a bit frazzled.

Andrew Leon said...

My follow up post on writing had the most page views and, actually, skyrocketed to my most viewed page ever in just two days.

I noticed a slump like you did around the middle of the month.
For some reason, my "E" post seems to have done really well.

Comments fell by half the second half of the month.

Hey, now that May is here, do you think it's possible to get that review?

Nate Wilson said...

I survived by avoiding the whole thing entirely. Yep, I took the coward's way out.

Honestly, considering how busy I was this past month, I have no idea how I made it through the last two AtoZs in one piece... But hey, congrats! And I'll have you know I prefer xanthous to asinine eurythmics. But as I already said in the first paragraph, I'm yellow.

Golden Eagle said...

I've noticed peaks and troughs at about the same time during the Challenge as well. It's interesting--I feel like you can always tell what part of April it is by the blogosphere's attitude!

Carrie-Anne said...

My A-Z post with the most hits got 25, and my posts with the least hits were R and L, at 3. I didn't get any more than 10 comments for any one post, and averaged about 4-6 comments for most posts. My X post was actually one of the more popular ones, at 13 hits.

Liza said...

I bowed out of the A-Z as I have for the past few years, but as in past years challenged myself behind the scenes. This year I did broadcast my personal challenge on my blog. My goal was to write 1,000 words five days a week on the first draft of my current WIP. The goal was 22K words by month-end. I made it to 26K...with about 20K left on my first draft. I am so grateful to Alex and his partners and all the A-Z-ers, who inspired me to accomplish my own quest.

Rob Z Tobor said...

Well done on making it to the end. My most popular post in April was not even one of the A to Z posts. Its a funny old world.

Rob Z Tobor

Wayne Assiratti said...

Hey there.

Most views was Q for Quireboys. I guess that everyone loves a bit of late eighties rawk and roll.

Most comments was the first day with Augnmented Reality. Same as you, everyone was dead excited on the first day.

I didn't visit as many blogs as I wanted to, though I did visit at least 26 as I linked to a random blog on the linky list every day. It was nice to have people that would never have visited my blog wander by just to say hello.

All in all it was a success. I posted for every letter met some interesting folk. I'll be back next year.



Stephsco said...

I think theme is a big impact on comments; last year I wrote about TV shows and received a lot of comments. This year I chose influential women authors because that is important to me, and the bigger names garnered more comments and views (like JK Rowling and Jane Austen). I wanted to feature writers who are important to me. I found some great blogs this year, and noticed so many did not have captcha or other barriers to comments, so thanks for pushing that!

Ella said...

I am already plotting my theme for next year~ Mine was challenging but not enough to draw a crowd. I also had a few challenge in life that tossed me off course! Great job co hosting and Congrats on crossing the finish line! :D

Liz Brownlee said...

You are the next post after mine here in the linky reflections, so it was a surprise to find a co-host! Hello! I found it harder this year than last, even though last was my very first blogging ever. But this time i wrote new poems for virtually every day, and drew some of the animals, and tried very hard to visit as many blogs as possible. Sometimes i did two blogs in a day and then spent a whole day visiting. Which was hard considering some blogs won't accept my comments! I commented mainly on Wordpress blogs, but yours, like some blogger blogs allows me to comment, hooray! I shall now look at your blog... ~Liz

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing. It's not easy, but it's a truly fantastic challenge. I plan on doing it again next year.

I noticed some of my posts were more popular than others, but I didn't do a breakdown.

Tina said...

I have to stay away from my stats most of the time...too addicting, and then I tend to focus on that and not my writing...Why didn't people like that post? I worked really hard! Etc.
Thanks again for your hard work and your dedication to the team. You rock!

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Although I did not post everyday, it was a different year for me. I loved helping out and, of course, meeting new blogging buds!

Nancy Thompson said...

I just wish I'd had more time to devote to reading other posts & meeting new people. Just didn't happen this year. And I haven't had time to analyze data yet either.

cleemckenzie said...

Oh yes. I survived. Once I say I'm in, I'm in. The best thing for me is find blogs that make me laugh or tell me things I didn't know--this last one is easy. I know very little!

Congratulations on a job well done.

Jen said...

Survival is an important aspect to consider at the end of any challenge :) Thankfully, I believe we all made it!

I never visit as many blogs as I want to but I did meet several new people and discovered some really great bloggers that I had not before.

Here's to continuing to blog and comment and pass along encouragement. That's what it's really about, right?


Kristen Wixted said...

I admire anyone who can complete an A-Z challenge. I'd lose track by C.
I loved the words you chose! Yeoman was my favorite in the 2nd half.