The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is the one blogging event that bloggers across the world look forward to participating in the entire year. Despite the stress of daily blogging throughout the month, the challenge also gives you a lot of exposure, organic traffic, brings you new readers and an opportunity to read bloggers from varied niches.
Write Tribe hosted a daily thread on our Facebook Group and we had almost all the bloggers of our tribe, linking up, reading and supporting other bloggers. We decided to ask few questions to these amazing bloggers on their experience on A to Z Challenge 2017 and this is what they had to say.
What bloggers have to say post A to Z Challenge 2017
Roshan Radhakrishnan, Godyears on Everyday Heroes of Kindness and Compassion
Your most popular post from the challenge/ or the one you enjoyed writing the most: So many favourites but my most popular post was in there too and that was thanks to me making a personal request the night before to bloggers to read it. The feature on Chris was meant to be a surprise on him which I planned with his wife so I was really eager that people commented on it so he would love it. When his wife shared it online to surprise him the next day, more friends of theirs shared it as well so the post became extremely popular.
The letter / post your struggled with: I assumed it would be X since it is hard to find many Xaviers doing a good deed but then once I converted it into a post on the kind messages and deeds by strangers (XYZ), it became super easy. Then it became a buffet, having to choose how many images to keep and how many to discard.
How do you feel at the end of this challenge? Even if you dropped out, how do you feel? This is the hardest I have worked on the blog in 12 years. And I feel awesome. It felt nice to do something to showcase normal people who do good things. Immortalizing them with an online page dedicated to their deeds and opening the eyes of the public to those deeds and the overall kindness that exists around us was necessary in these strained times.
What would you do better next time around? With at least 4 of these heroes, I was in direct contact with them for over a month and had given them interview questions which they seemed eager to answer (including one who did not speak English and I had gotten help from the person who clicked his viral image). Yet, in the last minute, things fell apart – they went off social media in the last week or lost track with their busy schedules. I felt sad that I did not succeed in getting those four – I should have been more pushy and pesky! 🙂
Overall experience? Exhilarating and exhausting. But I learned so much too. So much knowledge stored in the minds of these fellow bloggers!
The one post you recall reading / made the biggest impact on you – through the challenge (obviously on someone else’s blog 😉 ) Hard to pick one with so many brilliant themes around – from flash fiction to niche topics ( film noir to Sanch Vee’s dissection of the art of poetry to Vinodini’s letters to her son). I will go with two writers who amazed me – Anmol Rawat (http://www.anmolrawat.com) with creative stories of horror for every letter and Sreesha Divakaran (https://petrichorandclouds.wordpress.com/) for brilliant deft handling of prose and emotions for her heartfelt ‘slice of life’ snapshots of a relationship.
Dr.Amrita Basu(Misra), Healthwealthbridge on Nutrition: Fruit facts which you must know
The most popular post from the challenge was Cranberry Stories: Why women must have it and I struggled with the letter Y. At the end of this challenge, I feel great. I loved the entire process of getting the challenge done and in the time frame.Seeing so many people doing it together made me realize how much good is possible if we took it as a group challenge. Next time around, I will be writing my next A to Z post from tomorrow itself(I really want to). Otherwise, it’s a mad struggle! Get all research and outline done beforehand. My Overall experience is mindblowing and post A to Z plans, I plan to go over the posts that did well, make them juicier if needed. Get the posts ready for making into an ebook, promote my posts, read more, write more.
Alana Mautone, Ramblin’ with AM on Traveling Through Time and Space
“Dinosaurs in Arkansas” was my most visited post, which surprised me a little and I struggled the most with “X”. At the end of this challenge, I feel exhausted, as I did it this year with two blogs (the other one is my “private” blog I sometimes post on Friday Reflections with). Didn’t help that I am fighting a possible ear infection right now. Next time around, I’m not sure what I would do better. In general, the more I blog, the more I learn. Hopefully am, continuing to improve. I missed having the list of blogs. Also, I don’t think I got the traffic this year that I got in previous years. I appreciated the separate A to Z comment page on the Write Tribe Facebook page but didn’t use that often. Because of the time zone difference between the east coast of the United States and India and my work hours, I always seemed to be a letter behind. (Not being critical – “it is what it is”.)
The one post I recall reading are the several posts from Shirley Corder, a South African blogger, were really helpful (and fun to read). Post A to Z, I plan to keep on blogging daily and hoping I can keep up with the new blogs I was introduced to.
Bellybytes ( which I like to be known as) and Sunita Rajwade ( which is what I am known as), MUMBAI ON A HIGH on The Textile Traditions of India
From the statistics, it would seem that the most popular post was Chikankari & Cotton Tales ( with a mere 81 views). The one I enjoyed writing most was Ritu Kumar and the Design Revolution. This surprisingly had only 46 views. I thought it would resonate with a younger audience who are actually into designer wear. The most difficult to write was actually Y because there are so few textile traditions with Y. I feel relieved that the challenge is over because as usual my husband resents the time I spend blogging and worse still, the time I spend trying to read and respond to other blogs. The next time round I will be better organized ( I say this ALL the time!!!) Overall, I have mixed feelings. I learnt a lot in terms of blogging. I understood the difference between the different kinds of Social Media platforms. I began to understand SEO. But otherwise, I was still disappointed with the response to my blog. I still don’t see how I can improve my content. Perhaps it is an old fashioned way of writing and doesn’t appeal to the younger crowd who is more tech savvy than the dinosaurs of my age. So seriously, considering the time I spend in this, I wonder if it is really worth it.
It would quite easily say it was Roshan’s post on the German fighter pilot who didn’t shoot down the American plane that made the biggest impact on me, through the challenge. Perhaps this is because of my Defence services background but I always am moved by such stories of such fairness and empathy in war. Post A to Z, I plan to re-organise my blog once again. sort out all the posts. Probably re-launch it especially since my subscription is almost up. I plan on re-visiting all the posts that I’ve missed from the bloggers that I have been visiting to find out what happened to the middle letters.
Vinodini Iyer, Ifs, buts, and etcs on Letters to my Son
My theme for A-Z 2017 was a set of 26 open ‘Letters to my Son,’ which spoke about handling various emotions and situations, based on my own learnings, to help him cope his journey as an adult. It’s difficult to decide which one I enjoyed writing the most since I loved writing each one of them, but this one is close to my heart for the subject, ‘To be a Man.’ I’m not sure which post was more popular since almost all the letters were well received. I struggled with the subject of Xenophobia since I was writing to my teenage son and I had to be very cautious in what I was putting across to him. I feel accomplished after the challenge since it served me many purposes. First of all, I could put across some vital lessons to my son before he flies out of the nest, which wouldn’t have been possible verbally. Secondly, since his 18th birthday fell on 30th April, I could compile all my posts into a personalized book and gift it to him on his birthday. And thirdly, my readers loved it so much that I am now planning to publish it into a book. Next time around, I might probably visit more of new blogs. My overall experience was hectic but fulfilling.
Although I loved all his posts and it’s tough to decide any one of them, the one post made the biggest impact on me during the challenge is of Roshan Radhakrishnan. His post on ‘Bikers against child abuse,’ left me in awe of the concept. To imagine how secure the kids would be feeling when these bikers made an entry to protect them was wonderful! Post A to Z, I plan on putting the challenge posts together and publishing an e-book.
Sunita Saldhana, The Quill of the Phoenix , Non-participant
Now that the A to Z Challenge has gotten over, I wish I had done the challenge. I would really like to participate next time. I wasn’t following anyone either this time, but I have sorted out a lot of other issues so am ready to write again.
Vinay Leo R., I Rhyme Without Reason on Spontaneous Fiction
D for Dusk was the post I enjoyed writing the most and I struggled from P onward. (left the challenge after O). At the end of this challenge, even if I dropped out, I feel happy that I could write 15 posts for the challenge, even though a bit sad at dropping out at O. So, the time around I will choose a theme more dependent on me rather than my readers. While I got support from the readers and friends for the theme, and am thankful for the same, it made it tougher for catching up once I fell behind.
It is always fun to do the A to Z challenge in April. would definitely do it again. Most posts on Roshan Radhakrishnan’s challenge at Godyears made quite an impact on me. Kudos to him for choosing such a theme.
Post A to Z plan, I plan to blog regularly, and finish at least one daily writing challenge this year.
Dr. Bushra Nausheen, All About The Woman on A to Z of Pregnancy (Women’s Health)
The most popular post from the challenge is Zeal up Your Motherhood – Things to know about Breastfeeding I want to promote breastfeeding through my book and want my reader to get to learn every positive aspect about it. I struggled with U for Useful Guide – What to Expect during The Normal Vaginal Delivery – Part 1 Very much confused to write on this topic. As it’s very sensitive phase for every woman. At the end of this challenge, I’m Feeling very lonely like I’m missing something important to do today as no more daily post, back to normal routine. I’m going to miss A to Z challenge a lot. Next time, I’ll choose more interesting theme about women’s health and try to keep my post to very simple so that people don’t feel like they are reading medical books.
This is my first A to Z challenge, so I’m very excited about it. Fantastic experience, get to learn a lot, as posting 26 nonstop posts on a theme is not child’s play. Improve in my writing style, my horizons are wider, explored many new blogs. This post from Dr. Roshan blog is truly motivating and heroic story for me- RAJESH SHARMA – A TRULY SELFLESS INDIAN HERO Post A to Z, I’m planning to develop my first ebook and gearing for next year challenge
Fabida Abdulla, Shocks and Shoes on Classic Literature in English
The most popular post from the challenge was Gone with the Wind and I struggled with Dr. Zhivago. I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the challenge! Next time around, I would plan better and schedule in advance.
It was fun and interesting to read lots of other blogs and the entire theme at Godyears was inspiring. Post A to Z, I plan to try my best to keep up the momentum and continue to write.
Holly Jahangiri, It’s All a Matter of Perspective on Food, Fantasy, and Fiction
Auntie Nim and Berries, Bananas, and a Blender appear to be the most popular – certainly the ones with the most comments. After that, I got off schedule and stopped posting links to Write Tribe. I fell behind. I struggled with everything from “O” on, but only because I ran out of time. That’s always frustrating. For the second time, I wrote an acrostic to cover the remaining letters. Bit of a cheat, but better than quitting! At the end of the challenge, I feel like I’ve finished the warm-ups, and it’s time to get serious about exercising. I have been piddling around with my blogging, and it’s the perfect creative outlet if I’d just use it more often. Next time around, I’d just skip letters. Go back and pick them up if the spirit moved me. I did well in 2015, because I had a purpose to the theme. I was using it to organize and supplement two conference sessions I was presenting. It’s a bit harder to stick to some sort of a “theme” (or even the whole “A to Z” notion) if there’s no clear reason to do it beyond “Hey, let’s do this blogging challenge!”
My overall experience was fun, but I’m not sure it ever results in my best blogging. Except, as I mentioned, in 2015. Those were pretty good posts, and I finished all 26 letters. I hate to single out just one post that I recall reading. I’ve discovered so many new blogs to keep up with now that my book reading challenge is going to suffer.
Instead of writing the dozen or so posts I was lacking, I redesigned my site to be more responsive and mobile-friendly. Isn’t that what any procrastinating writer worth their salt does at the eleventh hour? I want to figure out how to make the new template more personal – more “me.” Other than that, I just want to focus on writing more fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry – there’s that “Story a Day” challenge that happens every May – maybe I’ll… There’s also work and life and all the real challenges, too.
Did you like reading what our bloggers have to say post the A to Z Challenge 2017? More to follow.
Also tell us, if you’ve participated in the challenge this year? If yes, how was your experience? We would love to hear it all. Link up your A to Z Challenge Reflections post in the linky below and spread some love and cheer by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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