|Artwork by Ada Z from Collagepodge.com|
As we enter into the final week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge some of you might be wondering What Next?
The frenzy of daily blogging and rushing around to visit as many of the other blogs as you can may have worn some of you to a frazzle. You might be looking forward to a blogging break. While others of you may be having such a great time with the Challenge that you might experience A to Z withdrawal come April 30th.
Whichever the case may be, we hope that you will stick around in May for one more big event--the Blogging from A to Z Reflections Post 2012 Edition. Those of you who have participated or followed the previous Challenges will probably remember what I'm talking about. For those of you who don't know, I will explain.
The A to Z Reflections Postings will begin on Monday May 7th. These posts will be your personal thoughts about the A to Z Challenge and, like the A to Z posts, you can do them anyway you want--in prose, verse, images, or whatever suits you best. We want you to tell us about your A to Z experience.
You can tell us what you thought were the highlights of your April Challenge, what you learned, what changes you might make next time, or what surprised you most. Let us know about special bloggers you met in your A to Z journey or about a post or posts that especially moved or impressed you. There are no limits as to what your Challenge experience might have been so tell us in your best way how you felt about the April A to Z Challenge of 2012.
We do ask that you keep your posts no more than a thousand words. There will probably be a lot of blogs to read so we don't want to bog anyone down with exceedingly long posts.
As I've said, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Posts of 2012 will start on Monday May 7th. The Linky list will go up on that day so you can enter the link for that post on the list. For those who already have blogfests or something else planned for that day, don't worry--the list will be open for the entire week so you can publish your Reflections post anytime that week and still participate. That list should also be accessible until the end of the year along with the A to Z Master List.
A to Z 2012 Evaluation Posts
Last May on Tossing It Out I had a series of A to Z evaluation posts where we looked at the good and the bad in the Challenge of 2011. This proved to be such a popular and helpful series of posts that we will be doing this again, this time on this A to Z Challenge Blog.
Watch for these posts in May and be sure to let us know what changes you would like to see in the next Challenge. Tell us what you would improve, keep the same, or get rid of in 2013. Give us your thoughts on the A to Z Video contest and any other ideas that might add an extra special dimension to the A to Z Challenge.
Since we will be having the evaluation posts, you might want to save any thoughts along those lines for those posts and not the reflections posts. But by all means feel free to add your evaluations to the Reflections if you'd rather do it that way. The evaluations will delve deeper into the specifics and offer more suggestions for your consideration.
Post Challenge Challenge
I'm sure not many of you got through the entire list and I've heard many say that they will be continuing to go through the list after the April Challenge has ended. It is a great way to discover new blogs so I'd encourage this.
Last year our co-hosts Shannon Lawrence and Tina Downey hosted a Post Challenge Challenge. Be watching for more details concerning this in the next week or so.
The A to Z Challenge Blog
This blog will stay open for business! This has proved to be a rather popular site and we want to keep it active. No after Challenge schedule has been determined yet, but we're open to suggestions. What we will be doing however is accepting guest posts for the upcoming months. These posts will be about blogging and writing in general and whatever else you want to read here. We will be featuring your blogs and providing the blogging news that seems most appropriate to appear on these pages. Let us know your thoughts.
Let's Spike the Blog Numbers!
I'd like to make one last request today. In these final days of this Challenge, let's boost follower numbers on all the blogs that need it. My goal is to see every blog leave this Challenge with at least 100 followers on their sidebar widget.
This week, whenever you come to a blog that has less than 100 followers showing and you're not following them already, click that button and follow that blog. I think most of you feel pretty good when you get a new follower so spread the love. Become a follower and let that blogger know in the comments that you've done so. You might even get a new follower by doing this.
To start you off, go to the blog A Few Words and become a follower there and leave a note in the comments that you've done so. Now I know this is a shameless plug since this is my blog, but I'd like to end up with 100 followers there at the end of the month. And actually I'm making a point with my plug.
If other bloggers don't know you're there you won't get followers very quickly. In order for you to receive comments and followers you are going to have to get out there and leave some comments on other blogs and follow them as well. It works and I know this from experience as do most of you.
So, if you currently have less than 100 followers, note this in the comment section on today's post here. And then get out and visit some blogs that you haven't been to before and encourage visitors to come to yours. Increased visitors and followers will increase your odds of gaining readers and getting comments. Try it and let us know if it works.
Enjoy the upcoming week of blogging and make it the best one yet. Some of the toughest letters are still to come and I'd say we are going to see some interesting posts full of creativity.
I'm trying! I have been commenting like a mad woman, thrown from the depths of philosophical teachings to the hilarity of dubious humour. I have been following and reading daily of those that I have followed and am suffering from serous burnout and blog overload. Please don't be disappointed if I don't get 100 followers, I'm trying!
One week left! Woot woot!
*I FOLLOW BACK!*
This has been quite the challenge and as soon as it's over I'm having a "I Survived The A-Z Challenge 2012" party!
Looking forward to preparing for the next God Willing.
Have enjoyed this one just as much as the other two.
I've not visited half as many blogs as I'd hoped, will definitely be using the list long after the challenge has finished :)
I'm confident that I'll get followers. I'm not worried about how many I have by the end of the month.
Each of my articles touch on a different area of the arts, and hopefully people to whom the articles will be relevant will find them.
I think more important than following a blog is tweeting links to good posts, and spreading them by other social media and email.
I put up my post for T this morning. "Theater Festivals: America's Sweatshops.
I've been dashing around the linky list and will continue to do so.
Re BOOSTING the numbers Google has cut off access to this widget for WordPress and as a self hosted WP site I cannot use it.
I have asked readers to Subscribe.
But that cannot be seen. (and yes I'm working on the popup to not popup so much)
Here's where I am.
Let me know in a comment where to come follow you
I did the reflection post last year, and will this year too! I look forward to it, and to seeing what others have thought of this year's challenge! :)
I have visited a slew of blogs during the challenge and as a result have nearly doubled in followers. Currently I'm at 90. I remain confident that I'll reach my goal of 100 by the end of the month.
I hope to participate in the "Reflections" post. The wheels are already turning.
One week left and still so many blogs to visit...will the list continue to stay up after April? That way, I can make my way through the homes of those I've yet to get to...thanks!
I must admit, as a first-time participant, I'm really having fun challenging myself to come up with a new letter everyday. I've seen a few friends drop out or even given up completely. I'm glad the list will remain up so I get visit others when I get the chance.
The end is nearly here, keep courage everyone. Enjoy the week ahead!
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...
Belatedly, I've just added a `Follow Me' button on my blog. So, I'd appreciate those who have visited before to follow me for the rest of the challenge! :)
This is a great post! I've been drafting my ideas for the reflection hop in my head. Yes, we all love followers and comments. The A to Z helped me reach, and surpass, 50 followers and for that I am very thankful. Keep it up A to Z team!
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between
Yes, I have less than 100 followers, but I'm not complaining. My blog is a brand new blog, and this wonderful challenge has increased my followers from just one follower to 27 followers.~~I've visited blogs, and I've found some wonderful blogs that I will be returning to on a regular basis. I love the A-Z Challenge!!
Jolie du Pre
I have enjoyed participating in this challenge so much (as I knew I would, which is why I entered it!) I have not yet reached 100 followers, but I feel funny mentioning that because, honestly, I've acquired so many new followers this month who have been wonderful participants in the blogging dialogue! Thank you for the decision to leave the link list up - there are so many blogs out there and I have not had nearly enough time to visit them all. I write about social awareness, parenting, and art. If these things interest you and you'd like to join in on the conversation, please feel free to come by. Here's to making it to the last week!
Some of us using wordpress have recently lost 100s of followers when we lost the Google connect. *sigh*
A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends
I have really enjoyed this challenge too. I sold a painting this month (O is for Oncilla), a lot of my friends and family have been giving me kudos for "how much" I've been painting lately.
I definitely don't have 100 followers, I have 13 "Linky" followers.
what i'd like to see next time is a way to tell before you click whether someone has a wordpress site or a blogger site or something else entirely.
Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors
I currently have 72 followers, but before the A to Z blogging hype I was in the 30s. So I doubled my followers.
It's great to hear how much all of you have been enjoying this. Music to a co-hosts ears. I'm also glad to hear that you want to keep reading and following new blogs. That's what the upcoming Post-Challenge Challenge is all about - making it through the whole list. Shannon and I will write more about it later. We still have a week to go, so don't be worrying about that until April is over.
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge
I can't believe we're heading into the last week already! The Challenge has been a fantastic experience. I hope to do a sprint at the end and visit as many new blogs as possible.
I'm another Wordpress user who has problems following people. I have Like buttons on my posts, which is an easy way to meet new people - but few of them, it seems, are A to Z bloggers. So thank you everyone who has visited, commented, followed, liked the blog or liked my FB page, I appreciate every one of you!
For some reason, not all Blogspot blogs have the Name/URL option for choose an idnetity and for some other reason the identity thing doesnt recognise any of my OpenIDs, so I'm sorry for being faceless. Maybe next year technology will support us!
... already planning mext year's theme!
I follow back too, and have met some great people here. I'd love a boost and I'll return the favor. I'm at 83 and would love more!
how time flies when you're having fun...but I am a bit worried now about what to post for the rest of the year :)
So glad that so many have been undaunted by the Challenge and are pressing on to the end. And happy to hear so many positive stories--I hope you will share these and more on the upcoming Reflections post.
In answer to those who are still wondering, all lists related to this Challenge will stay up until the end of the year barring any problems.
Thanks to all of you for your continued dedication to the Challenge and for helping all blogs get more visitors, comments, and followers.
I've picked up new followers but I'm still 24 away from reaching 100. so please feel free to follow me!!
I have picked up a few followers on both blogs but still way under 100. Still trying to read as many blogs as I can :)
I've increased my follower count, so that's a plus. And, I'll continue to check the blogs on the list.
To read the posts and perhaps check out the 'About' takes time. I don't want to be fly-by poster. I like to interact with the blogger to see if they respond to comments, or visit back. Some do, some don't.
I've discovered many that I like, some I know I'll visit often.
I'll respond on the Reflections post with the impressions of a first-timer in this challenge.
DG Hudson - Rainforest Writing
Good Luck to everyone going into the last stretch!
I'm up to about 80 (taking off mine and hubby's likes), nice increase from 25 but would LOVE to break 100. ;-)
I know I have clicked FOLLOW on well over 100 new blogs during this challenge. Now off to check out those that have commented before me.
Hard to believe that April is nearly over. Heading over to A Few Words!
Whilst I only have 36 followers for my blog, it's still more than when I started the Challenge, so if I don't make the 100 mark, I'm not too bothered.
I'd rather have QUALITY and people following because they're genuinally interested in what I have to blog about (all things Greek)rather than quantity.
I'm trying to get to see as many blogs as possible and leave quality, thoughtful feedback for people too. So many blogs!
It's been a great 1st Challenge experience for me - thanks.
Although I have doubled my followers, I have, at this point only 55. So, my goal is to keep reading the blogs each day, and follow ones that have similar interests to mine. Thanks for encouraging others to do the same... I'm looking forward to the Reflections post and beyond!
The Blogging Challenge has certainly been a challenge. I signed up at the end of March so keeping up has been a little crazy, but it has been worth it. I have discovered some great blogs as I've been reading my way through the list. I'm delighted you are keeping the list posted. I couldn't read all 1700 in a month.
I don't have 100 followers yet, but I have gained some and that's great.
I'm with Bex -- I comment on posts to which I can leave a quality comment, and I follow blogs that interest me and that I think will interest me in the long run. I'm not interested in artificially boosting numbers.
I have new followers since the challenge began, I have no idea whether they'll all stay after the challenge is over, but at least we've interacted.
I'm looking forward to blogging getting back to normal!
Comment and follow - and comment and follow back!
Thanks for hosting another wonderful challenge, and I think we're all looking forward to gaining even more followers through "Z" and beyond! Julie
I am looking forward to the May recap...last year it was just as much fun to read all the "takes" everyone had on the Challenge. Having just as much fun this year!
I'm excited to post reflections on my first A to Z challenge. I'm visiting as many blogs as I can as well as retweeting links like crazy. Thanks to anyone who visits my blog and comments or follows!
It will be interesting to read everyone's reflections of the challenge.
Although I haven't gained too many followers throughout this challenge (I'm at about 60), it has still been a lot of fun and still worth it for me. I've found a lot of really great blogs to follow that I may not have ever found otherwise. :) So it really is all right if I don't break 100, although I have to admit it would be nice.
I will definitely continue to use the master list after the month of April is over. It's been so fun to meet new bloggers!
Even though I'm not a writer, I would love more followers. I have 6 right now. Three of which came from this challenge. So if you're open to reading about eating well, living well, and moving more. Please check out my blog
Eat Live Move.
It is all about putting in the effort and the followers will surely follow if you produce good content whether it support your subject matter or not.
I would also love more wordpress support. I'm nowhere near 100 followers, but I just started this blog in January when I started grad school, so I'm using this month to boost my content.
I'm blogging about mostly middle grade books this month (with some YA and children's books thrown into the mix), and I'd be glad to have you join me at nita's books! :)
I just realized yesterday was "S" day. Oh nooo! I'm on holiday in the UK with an old chum from our days back home in Zambia and somehow missed a letter (the best of the bunch, by the way--will fix that right now). And I was being so good about keeping up. Not so good about keeping up with my visits to other blogs though. I was very pleased to see that I can continue those visits once we're done. I'm nowhere near 100 followers. Would love some visits from my fellow A to Z'ers. Cheers!
I have been visiting and commenting and have began looking forward to some of the regular comments I receive. I am amazed when I find bloggers who have upwards of 85-100 comments. How does one do that? I have loved every minute of this challenge! This week my goal is to visit 30 blogs a day, while keeping my post up.
I will be visiting, I'm going to be reading a lot even after this is over. This has been such a good month for me personally.
My sidebar claims I have a bit over 100 followers, but when I look at who's actually following me, about half of those people are only Twitter followers, not actual blog followers. I've picked up a few followers since the challenge began, but not huge numbers. I tend to write posts that are longer and more substantial and in-depth than some people might expect from a blog, but that's just the length I feel comfortable writing at, that comes most naturally to me. I don't want to attract followers who are only looking to read a few paragraphs in each post. I've found a lot of interesting blogs through the challenge, with posts of varying lengths.
Will definitely be participating in the Reflections post.
I have a little less than 100 followers still but am visiting other blogs like a madwoman to remedy that. :)
A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds
Mine is a brand new blog. I'm not aiming for 100 followers, because I'm very happy with the number of followers I have so far. When I started this challenge, with my new blog, I had 1 or 2 followers. Now I have 30. That would not have happened had it not been for A-Z. So, I'm not complaining!
Jolie du Pre
I have less than 100, but I have over 50 and I started with ZERO! Hopefully I'm on my way to 100.
Happy A to Z-ing!
I've followed some blogs. The problem is that I don't use Blogger actively (my blog is based on WordPress), and there's no way to get posts from Blogger e-mailed to me that I've found. So following blogs that are on Blogger doesn't mean I'll actually see any of the posts -- which feels dishonest to me, so I don't do it.
I have more followers than I started with and TONS more traffic! I am excited for every comment! I have been commenting more and visiting more and will keep it up this week!
Wow! Some of you have some great reports.
Erin-- Since you have a Blogger account don't you have the Google Reader that tells you which blogs have current postings? I think you can also subscribe to email notifications for a lot of the blogs on Blogger.
This year has been the best ever! I have really dedicated myself to reading other blogs, and leaving comments. So far, I am almost to number 900 and hope to have visited 1000 before the month of April is over. I am almost blog-logged (is there such a word? If not- there should be- ha ha) I plan on going back and doing a quick recheck in May. Sometimes figuring out the follow thingy can be tricky. As you know, this is my third year and I'm having a wonderful time! Looking forward to the eval. Best regards to you.
I'm trying. Looking more to get my message out there (sharing God's Word) rather than looking for people to follow me. I'd love to share with more people! If you haven't found me yet, I'm at http://heretofindhim.blogspot.com. Blessings to all of you! I have enjoyed this challenge so much :)
I'm currently at 78 followers, which considering how low my number was when the challenge started-78 is an awesome number (at least to me). If I make it to 100 that'd be great, but if not that's okay. I've found some fantastic blogs, met some awesome people and had fun-that's why I joined the challenge in the first place.
I'm at 87 followers, sooo close! Any new followers will be followed right back. Thanks!
Hi. I am enjoying my first challenge but am exhausted.
I have 38 followers and could really use a numbers push. I have a kid's books review site called Kid Lit Reviews BUT I do write, just have not published yet. I started the review site because my mentor told me to read what I wanted to write. I did an put reviews on Amazon and then decided I wanted to keep my words and started the blog.
So, with that mouthful, I would appreciate the help. I have not been to more than 30 sites and will be hitting everyone through-out the year. I am just so exhausted (have lupus, too). I always follow back and return to the site of the person who leaves a comment (and reply to all comments), the day I read the comment (usually same or next day).
I only Got 4 Followers from this.
:'( But despite the lack in Followers I had fun doing this challenge :)
Would love to get to 100, so here is this shameless plug: castlepinesnorth.blogspot.com
It would be so awesome to get 100 followers! Here's my blog :)
This is my first time and it's been a challenge. I've learned from having to write and from reading what others post. I have 31 followers which 3 times the followers when I started, so I'm thinking it's a win. Thanks!
Well I have a few more followers than 100 but as has been already noted, not all are followers, just stats.
I will be adding my observations in a reflections post too. It has been an interesting exercise, to say the least.
Blessings to all participants and to Lee and his team especially, Geoff.
I will also be doing the reflection post. This is my second year playing but on a new blog this year. It's been so much fun each year and I've made many new friends and followers.
Followers may just be stats but it sure feels good when we hit those benchmarks like the big 100. I will be visiting and following those who have commented on this post over the weekend :)
Absolutely loving this challenge and will participate in the next. Also, I feel stupid, but I can't find the sign up list for the May 7th blog list? Can you help? I'd love to participate in that as well. Thanks, and also thanks for putting up this a to z blog!
The sign up list for the Reflections Post will appear on May 7 and stay open that week. Be sure to link to the address of the Reflections Post and not your blog in general.
A couple more followers and I'll hit 100 at
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog
It's been a great first A-Z Challenge for me and I am going to miss the stress and buzz it generated. Thanks for all the support and input to the team!
Can you believe it? My stats are down from March, though my comments and likes are up... and I've been visiting and commenting on more blogs than ever. Guess my subject was too personal, and I'll have to go back to food? Or are people actually reading? I don't get it.
..and oh yeah, blogger is such a pain I got so if I was on a blogger site I didn't even try to comment - unless it was yours Lee where I'm known. But even then I have to click so damn many times to post a comment! With Wordpress, one click and you're done.
ahh, one click worked here tonite! Bravo!
And I think often many of us on Blogger have a hassle leaving comments on Wordpress and other sites. I don't know what the best solution is, but I hate having to sign up for every blogging platform. Too bad all these platforms can't get together and make it easier on us.
I loved the challenge but can't wait to get back to regular blogging lol!
This is my first year participating in the A_Z Challenge! It's been a wonderful experience for me- I have benefited in numerous ways!
I have 46 followers presently! I feel really great to have gained as many followers as I have- its a good feeling to have others follow you!
I would like to meet the 50 mark and possibly 100; given that it's the last day of the challenge that might be a difficult task- but hey, nothing is impossible right!
Cheer's to all!
Betty - Your goals for reaching those numbers are still quite possible if you sign up with a Reflections post next Monday May 7th. Hope you'll join us.
With the last day of the challenge here, I have gotten 11 new followers. Not what I expected, but I think it is because I am a review site for kids books and not a writer, so my posts can be boring if you are not that book's author.
Will keep visiting the list, did not finish it yet--who could with over 2000 participants!--but will keep going if have the rest of the year.
Maybe next year will be better, I'll find a way to liven up the posts.
I look forward to the reflection posts. I have aquired 30 new followers started out with one!
I'm at 68 followers, which is three times as many as I had before I started... but I'd always love some more!
My blog is writing and reading related (as is my theme for the challenge).
Oh! I didn't know about the A to Z Reflections. I wrote a blogpost about what I thought of the challenge on Sunday! :)
This year's challenge was a breeze. I did get slowed down 2/3 of the way through as I had to direct an enormous writer's conference April 20-22. I did get caught up ad feel really energized to write every day. This was a great challenge year. Thanks!
Not my Blog but it deserves a bit more "follower love" if you could take a moment to visit !
One man and his Dog
Thank you !!!
I've doubled my followers since starting the challenge, but still some way to go to 100! Looking forward to the reflection posts & had already decided to do one :)
I tried to make it to as many blogs as I could but unfortunately life always seem to get in the way and I couldn't get to near as many as I wanted. Looking forward to catching up some. Didn't get as many new followers as I had hoped and I'm only half way to 100. Only picked up 6 during the challenge. But that is 6 more than I had so it's all good!
I revived an old blog this past weekend, because this challenge was so much fun. It definitely has fewer than 100 followers, so I'd like to make a shameless plug for it, if I may. It's called M. J. Joachim's Writing Tips for Success. Here's the link if anyone wants to check it out:
I have way under 100 followers. I tried to read blogs, didn't have as much time as I would have liked. Hope we can still visit blogs from the challenge now that it's over and I can visit more at my leisure.
Hi Arlee and team,
Its really a wonderful experience
since this was my first experience o such challanges, i finished half way due to an unexpected visit to my native land, though i stumpled upon half way. I am sure i have something here to post on 7th May, :-)
I haven't read as many blogs this time as I wanted to, due to job-hunting. But I've enjoyed the Challenge this time around. Probably because I made a plan this time!
I'll definitely post something on May 7. :) Thank you again for organizing and doing this!
I only now saw this ... too bad, as I am way below 100 followers. Oh well, look for me when it's reflection post time.
Man, I just saw this as well. I'll try to get around the list more and subscribe. I'm also under 100! Sub-me, lol. Elton Says Things...
I am glad I wandered over here to see the reflection post linky bog hop starts tomorrow.
Followership is building slowly but I am ok with that.
My Reflection Post is up ...
How 'bout inviting bloggers to nominate those whom they feel did the 2012 Challenge with distinction, and having a special badge saying so?
Colonialist - I had considered a "best of award" or something along those lines and I think it was one of my suggestions last year. We may consider something of this nature next year after we figure how best to approach this.
I made it! I'm way under 100 followers and trying to catch up on visiting blogs after taking off for England during the challenge, but feeling much love for everyone in the challenge. You guys rock!
Completely agreed with you @Arlee Bird.
- IT consulting Pasadena
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