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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Results of the A to Z Challenge 2017 Reflection Survey #AtoZChallenge

An amazing 231 of you filled out the survey. Your feedback matters to the team. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. Here are the results:

39% of the respondents filled out the survey on May 1, 2017.
put the pro in procrastination

... 7% filled it out on May 20, the last day the survey was open.

91% of the respondents earned an #AtoZChallenge 2017 SURVIVOR badge for completing the challenge.

I pre-scheduled some of my posts before April and wrote others as the month went on. That was the most popular answer by slightly more than half.
I wrote my posts on the day they posted. 27% of the respondents checked this box, making it the second most popular.
I wrote and pre-scheduled all of my posts before April. 19% of the respondents got proactive in anticipation of the challenge!
Two people had an epic fail, and two people commented on challenge blogs but did not create blog posts for A to Z.

Of the wonderful survey takers:

45 were first timers to the challenge.
71 were doing the challenge for the second time.
113 have three or more survivor badges!
2 have been at this since 2010.

so proud

I left comments on several blogs of other participants every day. (Over 100 comments in April.) 41%

I made some effort. (51 to 100 comments left for others in April.) 21%

I tried or planned to, but I was not a very active comment maker. (26 to 50 comments left for others in April.) 19%

Only 7 people said No, I did not leave comments for any of the A to Z participants on their blogs.

so proudYes! I had over 100 comments on my blog in April, and I believe the A to Z challenge is to thank for that. 71 respondents made my heart swell when I read that answer.

Yes. I received 51 to 100 comments on my blog in April, and I suspect it's thanks to the A to Z challenge. 64 of you also had a lot of love.

Yes. I had 26 to 50 comments on my A to Z posts. 54 of the respondents got at least one or two comments a day.
Somewhat. I had one comment on some posts, but no comments on others. Under 26 comments in April. That was the answer for 37 people.

And this answer is heart-breaking:
No. No one left me any comments at all. I had someone test my comment box, I've checked spam, etc. Nothing. The answer of 3 people.
  • Of those, two posted on Twitter and Facebook.
  • All three said they did NOT visit or comment on other blogs.

On to what you've been dying to know!

2017 went without a linky list.

Honestly, I don't care. List or no list, I love this challenge. I'll just roll with whatever the co-hosts pick. 45%

I was happy about it before, and I'm still happy about it now! 20%
I was leery, but I've been won over. Commenting with my daily link RULES! Woot woot! 9%

I was happy about it before, but now I miss the old way. 17%
I was against it and, dag nabbit, I was right, because it was terrible. 15%

This is my first year, so I have no basis of comparison. 18%

It's a dead heat when it comes to social media!
I have the hashtag on all of my blog post titles, and I cross-posted to Twitter. 38%
I pasted my link on the A to Z Facebook group. 39%

15 people do NOT want to spend 5 minutes a day to promote their own blog.

65 people were perhaps reached by Arlee's post, as they checked off: I thought about my blog in terms of marketing.

91% had a theme!

32% ended posts with simple, open-ended questions.
48% of the respondents MASTERED HYPERLINKING.
(Only 10 people said they've given up on trying to learn it.)
69% of people followed blogs they found because of the #AtoZChallenge!

I am proud of what I accomplished during the challenge.

41% said they shared the post of others!

69% followed blogs they found because of the A to Z Challenge!

Only 3% say they feel like they failed.

27% follow A to Z participants on Twitter.
13% like or friend fellow A to Z people on Facebook.
Goodreads only drew the attention of 3 survey respondents.
Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, G+, and other social media of participants were followed by 13% of respondents.

28% of the respondents
formed friendships because
of the A to Z challenge.

And 53% of you feel a
sense of community
created by the challenge!

69% learned something from a post in the A to Z Challenge.
66% achieved a goal they set for themselves.
83% reply to comments left on their blog.

9 people said they bought something that exists because of the challenge. (A to Z books, pics, crafts, etc.)
And, as a result of participating in the challenge, 13 people created something that is now for sale.
13 respondents tried a food, a drink, or a recipe I found during the challenge.
32 people added something to their Wishlist or TBR list.

Only 4% of the respondents reached out to Arlee, Alex, Jeremy, Heather, Zalka, John, or J (me) for help.

33% reported interaction with a co-host.

attention image There were 33 people who said they want to be more involved next year.
(None of which used the comment box to leave contact information.)

33% also said they read the posts on this blog during the other 11 months of the year.
And 27 people have an idea for a blog post to be used on this blog over the next 10 months.
(The only idea left in the comment box was: I'd love to see a blog post about how to make your Letter-of-the-Day comment more interesting.)
(I'm not sure if this helps, but here's some commenting information.)

100 people said the co-hosts did an amazing job.
thank you

18% miss the Twitter chats.
Only 2% played #AtoZBingo.

16% discovered other blog hops, read-a-thons, flash fiction prompts, or ways to connect with fellow bloggers.
79 people checked I discovered a place I want to travel to or learned something new about a place.
A post improved my health or connected me to people of health similar to my own. That answer was marked by 6% of you.

40% of the respondents learned a new word!

Timezone of the Challenge result image

185 people thought the new timezone was fine, or they really don't care.

Age 50 to 70 makes up 46%, age 30 to 49 is 44%.
No one who took the survey reported being under age 18.
Only 5 people said they are over 70 years old.

Age of the ten people who have given up on learning hyperlinking:
1 18-29 year old
2 30 to 49 year olds
6 aged 50 to 70
1 (of the five people) over 70

66% are PC users. 21% use Apple/ Mac. 4% are using another operating system.
Android is on the rise with 13% saying it was what they primarily used when visiting during the challenge. Ipads and Iphones were used by 10%.
29% used an equal mix of computers and mobile devices to visit other blogs during the challenge.

Blogging platforms of #atozchallenge users Blogger 46% Wordpress 52% Other 4%

Wordpress is the most popular blogging platform, followed closely by Blogger.

53% made the A to Z Challenge a priority in their life.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey, and thank you for reading these results.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Obviously theme is a big deal.
Less than a third made new friends though? That's sad. That used to be a really big part of the Challenge.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Looks like by and large you get out of the challenge what you put into it. I always get more traffic, more followers on different platforms,find other blogs to follow and BEST of ALL find a few bloggers I feel really connected to. To me, that is a friendship in the blogosphere.๐Ÿ˜‰

Phaytea's Pulse said... interesting summary...I remember my answers clearly...welldone host

Unknown said...

I met several wonderful bloggers across various blog platforms. This was a great experience I look forward to repeating next year

Wendy of the Rock said...

Does anyone else find it disappointing that 1 in 5 people admitted to being in the lowest category of comment-making on others' blogs? Because in my view that number would be significantly higher if all those who left comments that were tantamount to graffiti tags saying "I was here". Maybe I'm a needy blogger, but meaningful communication from readers is nectar to me, and sense of community is surely built by communication.
I'd love to know what motivated participants.
And if other people missed the categories of the Linky List that enabled connecting with like themes.
Thanks for this interesting snapshot of the Challenge.

Wendy of the Rock said...

What Barbara said! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Leanne said...

I agree with Barbara - you get out of the Challenge what you put into it - I commented on lots of blogs and received comments in return. I made a few new connections and finished with relief but also with a sense of accomplishment for seeing it through.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Agree 100% with you, Barbara!

Ishieta@Isheeria said...

Interesting! So glad you guys do this.I did offer to help out, sorry i didn't realise you would not get to see our contact details. Also, it's open to discussion how i can help it �� i can be reached at : Look forward to connecting with you all on this. Best wishes

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi - it's what we put into blogging: we reap our satisfaction levels. The most important thing is to have an interesting theme, comment on other blogs, reply to your own received comments, and interact.

It's wonderful so many wanted to get involved ... but then am amazed they failed to leave any contact details. Sad.

Well done to Lee for organising the A-Z in the first place and keeping it going ...cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Well done for analysing all the replies. It makes interesting reading. Sue from Sue's Trifles

An@mi said...

Interesting numbers..

Denise said...

So I am one of five in the 70+ category? Well, at least this old-timer knows how to link my blog each day, lol. I have stopped visiting bloggers who do not visit me. Who needs a one-sided relationship? But most of the blogs I follow I found during the A to Z challenge so I am grateful for this whatever forms it takes.

Denise at My Life in Retirement

DA Cairns said...

Survey results are very comprehensive and I have nothing to say other than bring on the 2018 Challenge. A final and huge thank you, and well done to everyone involved.

A. J. Sefton said...

Interesting results. You do get what you put in although I commented on far more posts than I received - but have the attitude that my topic is not to everyone's taste. It was a challenge for me, not anyone else. I did read some great posts though.

Wendy said...

Thanks for compiling this. Interesting read. My challenge was hit by life circumstances this year so it was difficult to fully participate as in visiting and commenting. Personally I think I would have found it easier to have a list to refer to even if it was out of date as I enjoy trying to work my way through the participants. Thanks for all the hard work undertaken by the hosts.
Wendy - self-confessed waffler, reader, crafter, Mother and Grandmother

Wendy's Waffle

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing these results! Very interesting. I do believe you get out what you put in as well. I also was one of the ones who said they would help next year but did not see the comment section (or did not realize that was where I should put my contact info - since the other 32 people didn't either, perhaps it wasn't clear that we should?) I am going to be adding the last 2 letters that I had to skip so I am happy to see that people come back here during the other 11 months! Thank you to Lee and the other co-hosts for all their hard work! Looking forward to next year. Janet
Man It's May

Josie Two Shoes said...

I totally agree, Barbara. I have to chuckle at participants who said they got no comments but also said they didn't comment on any other blogs... well! :-) I also know that people who respond to the comments on their blogs get more return visitors, it's time consuming, but worth it if you want to make connections!

Josie Two Shoes said...

This was a great summary of the A-Z Survey results, very interesting! I would love to see even more emphasis put on identifying what your posts are about, so we can search the comments list for ones that might appeal to us. I am sad for the people who got few or no comments, and I hope a way can be found to ensure that doesn't happen again. I am curious about their themes or topics. This was by far the most fun year for me, with better responses and more interaction. I was unable to respond to comments for the first week or so because we were on vacation, once I began to respond I had a far better rate of comments and return commenters. This holds true for everyday blogging too... most of us blog because of the interaction, sharing and feedback. Take the time to respond to comments, your readers will appreciate it!

Roland Clarke said...

Many thanks for this analysis. Sadly, I was among those that hardly commented although I always answered anyone that commented on my blog. Last year, 2016, I visited more new blogs, commented, and made more new friends and followers so I know that this A to Z Challenge works. (Same goes for 2014 and 2015). Unfortunately, three nights in hospital in early April and the recovery days made this year a struggle, so apologies. Annoyingly my ongoing health means I will now be visiting less blogs, leaving less comments, and blogging less in general - this comment is a rarity then. Apologies as you are all awesome. Basically I'm saving my good moments for my fiction, while I still can.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea A to Z Bingo was a thing and am bummed out because of that.

Arlee Bird said...

J, I've said it already but I'll say it here so I can get comment notifications, you did a great analysis.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Susan Scott said...

Thank you - results were interesting. The comments also ...

Laura Roberts @ Buttontapper Press said...

Thanks for sharing the survey results. The A to Z Challenge is a fun annual event for me, and it always reminds me about how much fun blogging can be -- and how big a challenge it is, as well! Writing every day is just the beginning, so I always enjoy trying to connect with fellow bloggers, read new posts, and comment as much as I can. As some of the other posters here have said, you really do get out what you put into it. I'd also say that attitude is everything. If you view writing and commenting as a chore, then it will be! Keeping things positive, light and fun is one of my main goals for A to Z time. Otherwise, why keep coming back year after year?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting the A-Z challenge, but also for all of the work that you do before and after it. I have completed two years, and inspired my husband who is doing his take on it as a response to mine this year. He is not a blogger. So, you inspire. I hope to continue writing, blogging, being inspired and making connections of all sorts. Thank you for being part of my journey, and allowing me to be part of yours. Hugs.

Anna Tan said...

Thank you for all you do! I missed the survey (hahaha).
I started off the challenge well, but midway through dropped the ball on commenting and following, as usual. Still posted though!
(I think I went mostly dark online from like the last week of April - most of May, so... it wasn't the challenge, just me.)

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting the results!

Melinda said...

Great job!

M : )

Kate said...

I missed the survey — which is unfortunate because I would have weighed in as to not being in favor of the new format this year. It was so much harder to find blogs with the list. Scrolling through comments on Blogger (and Facebook) was not conducive to wanting to follow along with new blogs.

The link list had easily over 2,000 blogs. While at any given time on Blogger and Facebook there were no more than 250 posts (and I would know, posting often near midnight central time USA). This is barely a dent in the exposure that we get by using the link. The link also provided an easy reference guide to find blogs with content I wanted to read, with the ability to identify clear themes and content.

I honestly think the convenience of a link list far outweighs the grievances. Promoting the blog for five minutes a day was not the issue for me. The issue was that I had far less traffic/comments to my blog this year than previous years. The issue is that only those who commented (and read the comments) on each Blogger post or on Facebook saw my content compared to all those who could have referenced a list in previous years.

Hate to be a nay-sayer, but I feel like the lack of a linky list this year was exclusively to benefit the admins/hosts and not for the bloggers. Put me on team linky list for the win.

(Also the Wordpress plug in doesn't work on Blogger which is frustrating!)

Kate said...

** EDIT: It was so much harder to find blogs WITHOUT the list.

nashvillecats2 said...

As one of the earliest blogger from the first ever A to Z I feel theme is a wonderful way to accomplish and complete the Challenge each year.
I did not take place in the survey but none the less very interested in the outcome.