2013 A-to-Z Challenge: A Review

I survived the A to Z Challenge!!

survivor_[2013]

I started off strong and motivated with a travel theme, and I did a pretty decent job of sticking to it. I planned out most of my posts in advance, and wrote them in advance for most of the first two weeks. Then I got to the letter P and had a change of heart (and a change of pace), and decided to write about Purchasing My First Home. Shockingly, that post earned me the highest daily pageview count my little blog has ever seen!

I returned to the travel theme (mostly), but kind of fizzled out toward the end. I cheated a little and wrote about non-travel destinations, but overall I was happy with my posts, because they were true to me and true to the things I want to blog about.

I wrote 32 posts during the month of April, which is nearly a third of the total posts I’ve ever written! I started this blog in June 2011, and sort of abandoned it after that, only to really return in January of this year. I’m glad I stumbled upon the A to Z Challenge, because it’s helped me to realize that there’s always something to write about, even when it doesn’t immediately come to mind. I want my blog to continue to grow, and the only way to do that is to keep writing and keep supporting other bloggers!

Speaking of growing, participating in the Challenge was seriously exciting for me in terms of having actual readers! To give you an idea of the traffic I’m used to, here’s what my monthly stats looked like for the entire history of my blog (captured on April 11):

monthly site stats 4-11-13

Yep, that’s right: I was blogging nearly entirely to myself until January of this year. Here’s what my daily stats looked like for the first half of the challenge:

daily site stats 4-11-13

And here’s what they looked like as of April 30:

blog stats on 4/30/13

blog stats on 4/30/13

I was thrilled the day I earned 39 views, and positively shocked the day 56 people read what I was writing. That’s the incredible thing about this challenge: other bloggers really made an effort to read each others’ posts and to leave comments.

I’m really going to miss the visitors!

On that note, I came across some really great blogs as a result of participating. By A-to-Z topic, some of my favorites were…

Travel: a passion and a passport, Sincerely Shannon, and katka travels;

Wine: New House Girl

Running: The Drunk Runner

Relationships: STFU For A Better Relationship

I got a few new followers during April, and I started following several new people! It’s really been a win-win for everyone!

With all that said, one thing I’d love to see happen with this challenge (or perhaps a different one) is that it happen more than once a year. I would LOVE to pair with another blogger (or two, or twenty…) to dream up our own challenge and try to get it off the ground! Any ideas, anyone? Seriously…Let’s do it.

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18 thoughts on “2013 A-to-Z Challenge: A Review

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    You tell a great story here and I love the accompanying stats that add credibility to what you say. I think you’ve learned some important things about blogging from the Challenge. And the thing is that you can continue to keep having the visitors if you apply some of the lessons of A to Z networking and blogging to your year round activity. Keep at it!

    Watch the blogs. There are many other blog events for networking and content creation. Or like you say you can try to start one. We do hope you will be back with A to Z next April. Good luck with the rest of the year.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • AdventuringAtHome says:

      Thanks, Arlee! I will definitely be back again next year. You’re right about networking and commenting. The days that I had the most visitors were the days I did the most commenting on other blogs. A to Z taught me the power of being a proactive blogger!

  2. Sandy says:

    How nice you had such a positive experience. Keep blogging, keep visiting. I wasn’t all that pleased with the effort I put in vs what I got back. Glad to see it worked for some.

    • AdventuringAtHome says:

      Hi Sandy,
      There were definitely days that I wasn’t pleased with the effort I put in vs what I got back, either. But overall, the Challenge was great in that I had even one person besides myself reading my posts each day! (That was a big change for me.)

  3. Laura Marcella says:

    Congrats on finishing the Challenge! I’m glad it was so successful for you. This was my third year participating, and it gets better and better with each year. Now that you have your first A to Z accomplished, you won’t get so overwhelmed or fizzle out as quickly!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  4. M. J. Joachim says:

    Traffic definitely increases in April. I’ve noticed it increases by commenting on other blogs regularly too, and joining more blog hops. There are several around, and the best place to find them is on other people’s blogs. So keep making the rounds and you’re sure to find more blog hops than you’ll ever be able to enter. Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

  5. cassmob says:

    Congratulations on boosting your visitors and your enthusiasm -it is hard when you feel like you’re talking to yourself, but half the time it’s just getting people to know you’re out there. Well done on finishing…I think it’s fine to adapt as you go along.

  6. Trisha says:

    I don’t really think anything is cheating as long as what you talk about starts with the letter for the day in question. That’s my take on the A to Z. hehe

  7. Pearson Report says:

    Congratulations on finishing – there’s no such thing as cheating (in my books anyway) for this Challenge. That’s why it’s a challenge!

    I love your enthusiasm over your page views and visitors – that’s what makes this so exciting… seeing those numbers rise.

    I wish you continued success with the numbers and with blogging.

    Cheers, Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT
    (I’m dropping by from the Reflections list) 🙂

  8. suesconsideredtrifles says:

    Congratulations on completing the A to Z challenge, which I found just in time to join by typing “challenge” into the WordPress Reader. I also take part in Daily Post challenges and rarasaur’s prompts for the promptless, if the topic interests me. These can be treated like mini-blog-hops. I find that tagging humour and humor attracts readers too. Sue

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