Fun. Exhilarating. Challenging. Busy.
Those are probably the four best words to describe the A-Z Challenge.
In April I undertook the challenge of writing 26 posts, both alphabetical and themed around college. I completed the challenge, so obviously I’m qualified to give you unsolicited advice about how to do it too.
- PREWRITE. You’ve heard it before, I know, but it makes a world of difference to plan. I scheduled about 2/3 of my posts ahead of time, which allowed me time to read others’ posts and play around with new A-Z friends on Twitter.
- VISIT. I read A LOT, though I wanted to read more. Being a minion meant I had a section of The List to check on periodically, which ensured I stayed on top of reading. The bloggers I met inspired me, and I learned a lot from their writing.
- TWEET. Participate in hashtag days, chat with other A-Zers in the #azchat, share posts that you really liked (and ones that you liked but didn’t know what to comment). I was super diligent about the latter for the first few days and then got bad at keeping up–but hey, something to work on for next year.
- DON’T CHANGE YOUR MAJOR. Calling your mom in crisis, meeting with academic advisors, and making spreadsheets to figure out how to graduate only distract from A-Z.
April by the Numbers
Stats-wise, April was interesting. I should’ve taken screenshots before May started (whoops), but my analysis will fill in the gaps.
My daily stats are interesting–I had relatively high numbers early on, mostly due to high general Challenge excitement/stamina and my own massive visiting and tweeting sprees. Yet unlike many people, that traffic remained fairly consistent.
There are some dips and spikes, but I didn’t experience the substantial downward trend in visits that many had despite falling off the visiting in the middle (see #2 and #4 above).
What interested me most about the challenge was the level of views per visitor. I got more views overall–as I have with daily blogging before–but my views per visitor doubled, from roughly 2 to roughly 4 on average. People stuck around once they were here.
My three best days were April 16, April 9, and April 1. I’m surprised that my best day was in the middle of the month, and the last few days of April are pretty high too. Note that 24 of the 30 days got over 100 views, which is much higher what I usually expect from daily traffic.
April was my best month BY FAR, traffic-wise. Look at that spike. From a daily average of 60-70 views to 142 views. That’s double.
I began to type “ignore May” (because it just started so the averages are misleading) but on second thought, don’t. Because something cool happened.
This weekend I hosted an A-Z Challenge After Party (which, as far as I’m concerned, continues indefinitely, so if you’d like to participate but didn’t, go ahead). People consistently said they wished they’d visited more, so the party gave them a chance to get the highlights of the Challenge and meet more bloggers.
Speaking of, I met so many amazing new friends through A-Z, and I really look forward to keeping in touch with them after the Challenge. For me, that’s what blogging is about–connections.
In Case You Missed It
My college posts ranged from highly personal to highly silly, and I incorporated some amazing guest bloggers into the mix as well. If you missed a few, here’s a roundup of favorites–yours, mine, and ours:
- Inspired, Insightful Individual (by Amy)
- K. (by Amanda)
- Networking: Meaningful in Moderation (by Catherine)
- Uniforms: Pros and Cons (by Becca)
- Zenith (by Minnat)
I got a lot of positive feedback about my A-Z Challenge posts, so thank you to everyone who visited, left comments, and tweeted my posts.
Plus, a HUGE SPECIAL SHOUTOUT to my guest bloggers during the Challenge (plus Rachel for her First Job Post-Graduation piece). I seriously have no idea what I would’ve written for those letters, and you ladies saved me.
To the April A-Z Challenge Class of 2015: We did it!