Looking back at the A to Z Challenge 2013

After 26 posts during this years A to Z Challenge I’m still buzzing from it all. This was my first year doing the challenge and I only read about it in March, but I was so glad that I took the plunge and committed to the idea.

How I approached the challenge – I didn’t want to divert from the common theme of my blog where I support writers and authors, I’ve got quite a list of books that I’ve read but I wanted to put out new posts, so I sent out messages on the social networks looking for authors who wanted to promote their work through my challenge. This was great it filled most of my letters with books that I may not have otherwise even considered, and added to my TBR pile. For each individual post I thought it appropriate to display the A to Z Challenge badge to help keep promotion going throughout the month. I also chose to display up to 5 randomly chosen links each day to other A to Z Challenger’s blogs to encourage more visitors to the challenge.

What I liked about the challenge – I liked the support from the A to Z Team, their enthusiasm and encouragement. I couldn’t believe how many people had signed up at the start of the challenge (over 1500). I liked the way it brought people together from across the world.

What I loved about the challenge I loved the fact that it changed the way I approached my own visits to other people’s blogs, I realised that just hitting “Like” (at the end of the post) is only part of your relationship with fellow bloggers, what really counts is taking the time to leave a comment.

What frustrated me – A few sites made leaving comments really hard, sometimes I had to search around the site to find the challenge post and it was a shame when people were unable to par-take in the challenge this year or were unable to finish the month for various reasons.

My own advice to others – Planning, planning, planning. Each day your post doesn’t have to be long and detailed, but draft it out ahead of the challenge, that way the hard work is done and you can enjoy the journey. Also committing to visiting at least 5 sites a day was easy when I had previously set up links to them in my draft posts. I usually went to more than 5 because I enjoyed it so much.

Bloggers worth a mention

http://blackfrogpublishing.wordpress.com/

http://pullupatoadstool.blogspot.co.uk/

http://stephenyhoughtlin.wordpress.com/

http://sarahcradit.wordpress.com

http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/ (Co-host of the challenge)

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