A to Z 2015 wrap up and reflection time!


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Okiedokie folks it’s that time (at least that’s what I’ve been seeing on my feed today  yesterday) for a wrap up of the month of April and the 2015 A to Z Challenge.

It was an interesting ride to say the least.

I committed back in the middle of March to write 26 posts, all alphabetical and centered around a theme for the A to Z Challenge. The theme for me was Randomness. Which in itself may not have been considered a theme, but to me it was. I am Random Musings and Wanderlust afterall 🙂

Some notes along the way…

  • Most bloggers pre planned their posts weeks in advance, if not further. I didn’t do this. Winging it and going with the flow, I basically blogged daily about whatever I wanted, as long as it coresponded to the days letter.
  • Some also scheduled their posts to show up at specific times (mainly at midnight, so that those folks in other time zones could get a view of the posts)  I did this on some days where I was ahead of the game. But I did notice the days I did schedule the posts to go live between 12am-9am my views of those posts were significantly less. (I usually blog a little later between 11am-5pm, or the really late night musing posts)
  • Some posts that I thought would work great for the challenge weren’t flowing properly or running way too long for the short length of the majority of posts out there. So I had to switch gears about 4 times.
  • Finding A to Z-ers through the sign up that were actually participating was hard. Some dropped out by the time I got around to visiting.
  • Commenting on posts on the Blogger format were difficult at first. Some bloggers didn’t have comments enabled and although I would have liked to leave comments, I found myself bypassing a lot of posts because of this.
  • I wish I was able to visit more blogs (there were over 1300 I believe) and between life and my own posting it was difficult to keep up. I even was lacking in my regular blog follows and visiting their posts as I normally would.

As for stats.

I noticed most bloggers who are doing this wrap up post are discussing their stats. For my humble blog, which started back in July of 2014 but I really didn’t start devoting time until January of this year, really had some nice stats. I think.

I should have thought ahead and taken some photos before tonight, so I could have gotten some idea of the first week of April. This is what I’ve learned from my stats.

  • The week of April 13, the 3rd week of the challenge, I had my most amount of weekly visitors. I haven’t been able to find a weekly comparison from prior weeks to judge.
  • March 2015 I had 1,015 views with an increase to 1,395 in April
  • The A to Z challenge page with the link up of all 1K plus participants only yielded 35 referrals, vs the Facebook and Search Engine searches wich were significanly more in my opinion. Now I’m not sure exactly how either of those work or how they are garnered. I do have the Facebook Blog page, which my stats there are dismal so unless those refereals are from shares that I don’t see the end line of then it’s possible.
  • Although I don’t have a photo to support it, I tracked my WP followers over the month and from April 1st ~ April 30th, I gained 65 followers. Not including Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and email. Just straight subscribers/followers of the WP site.
  • Also no photo to show, but I noticed that visitors were maybe not that high for a particular day, but yet their views were pretty interesting.

So although I don’t have another challenge period to compare my stats to, I can compare to my previous months.

  • March 2015. Posts=21. VPV= 2.6. Visitors=388. Views = 1015
  • April 2015.    Posts=40. VPV= 2.70 Visitors=516 Views = 1395
  • Best day for Visitors and Comments April 17th for my OPEN HOUSE post. 46 Visitors 37 Comments
  • Best day for Views April 18th. Pluviophile and Weekend Coffee Share posts. 108 views
  • Best day for Likes April 20th. Q is for Quirky Girl and Daydreaming. 59 likes

What does this teach me?

I haven’t the slightest clue 😉 OK not really. I actually learned that although this challenge was great for me finding quite a few new bloggers to follow, and keep me on a daily writing schedule…I feel burned out. Now you’d probably wonder how that’s possible. I don’t work but yet my life here is pretty hectic and a lot of running around to do, the tick bite I suffered,and also trying to find the time between doctor appointments for Twinkle Toes, being without a computer for a few days, and relying soley on my iPhone 4 to do my posting, it was time consuming.

Writers Block hit me ironically on the day W was scheduled. I swear I didn’t plan this. I did not want this to happen. I had planned on writing about Wanderlust. Hello look who’s the brain power behind this blog haha. But I didn’t have it in me. Serendipidisly writers block was what NEEDED to be written about that day. It’s still lingering on a little longer than I’d like but I’m about to kick it to the curb like the unwanted visitor it is. 🙂

Your 4 most interested (A to Z) posts for the Month of April are:

Non A to Z posts of major interest

As I put A to Z April 2015 to bed, I will say these few words about the experience. It was interesting, creative, tiring, and enjoyable. Will I do it again? Possibly. Will I go with a more structured theme? I don’t think so. I like random as a theme. Will I Schedule posts earlier? No. My readers seem to get me in the later hours and that’s when I’m most creative as it is. So if I go with another challenge it will be on my timeline. I should have participated in the Twitter A to Z Chats, but I was never around during the scheduled times. All in all it was a great experience. But I need a nap. 🙂

I want to thank everyone who came along for the journey. Wether you were here for a few stops along the way, the whole ride to the end of the line, or you hopped on and off through out. I thank each and every single one of you. It’s been fun. And I’ll say that the rest is yet to come…

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13 thoughts on “A to Z 2015 wrap up and reflection time!

  1. I’ve done NaBloPoMo a few times but the last time, I wrote all my posts in advance, so I could be free to visit other blogs and comment. 🙂 Unfortunately Akismet decided I was a spammer as a result of trying to comment on so many blogs. I won’t be doing that again in a hurry! 😦

    Timing of posts can be a really interesting thing – I am trying to time mine early AEST lately and it seems to be leading to more comments for me.

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    • I’ve been wanting to do the NaBloPoMo, and I think if I attempted it I would probably also write as many posts in advance as possible. I did have an issue with Tweeting posts from the A to Z where I was stopped from sending out tweets, not sure if I was deemed a spammer. That would really annoy me 😦 I also think I am going to try a little experiment of sorts with the timing of posts and see what seems to work better outside of this challenge. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Have a great week.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the stats.You seem to be doing well with the views per visitor and the Facebook/Twitter referrals. I also saw very little referrals from the list. I’m thinking that’s because the visiting is the most difficult part (at least it is for me), and because I think what happens is people find as many blogs as they can handle during the early going, follow them in other ways, and then focus on those for most of the month.

    Very interesting that your best week was late in April. Most of the blogs I’ve seen that had better than normal months (not all did) had their best weeks early.

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    • I’m attributing the later rise in stats to maybe the fact that I was in the 700 range of sing-ups and also that week I did my Weekend Coffee Share on a Saturday instead of my normal Sunday afternoon. So maybe a combination of both of those. Or something utterly different lol.
      I do agree the visiting was most difficult for me. Hard to not only keep up with my normal routine, but also try to get in a decent amount of new blogs from the list to view.
      I also realized that I concentrated solely on A to Z posts almost all of the month of April. Mixed with some of my normal ones, but I was strapepd for inspiration and also don’t like oversaturation of my blog. If that’s even possible, I’m not really sure yet. I’m still trying to find “my way” so to speak.
      Thanks for dropping by, I really appreciate all your help through the challenge, and in general as well. Thanks for letting me pick your brain a few times. 🙂

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      • It is possible to oversaturate. We rarely post more than twice a day, and then only rarely, and the second post tends to be a photo or video on the days when we do two. I’d do a three-a-day schedule if I had the content for it, but that would take 30 or more contributors to do without killing anyone.

        Good you replied, because I thought of something else to mention. The scheduling of posts. My posts don’t do as well when they go in the early hours of the morning (I schedule on US Eastern time, basically). We’ve played around with scheduling a lot over the past couple of years. 8 am seems to work better than ten for us. My April posting time was 7:50, and I’ve been pleased enough to keep it through May and see what it does for me in a normal month.

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      • I have tried the one solid post and one photo post on a given day, and it does seem to work. As for those times you mentioned, I do believe 8 est is a good time, if I go at 7 or even try 9-10 it’s dull. But if I throw out a 12:30 post or a 2:30 post it gets good viewing I think. I just need to get back into the swing of things and see what’s going to work going forward. It’s all a matter of trial and error, but I’m learning a lot along the way and I think it’s a great thing. Sorry for the delayed reply though. and thank you again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on completing the challenge! I’m sorry I’m late, I thought May would be a little quieter for me, but it seems I’m behind on my schedules of late! I agree with you about Blogger – I found that particularly challenging. I’m hanging in there, because there are some great blogs, but it isn’t as easy as WP for dropping a comment 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Opening up a little more and coming out of my shell. It’s about damn time ;-) | Random Musings And Wanderlust

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