This was my second time posting for The A to Z blogging challenge, a massive blog hop with 1500+ blogs signed up to create a post corresponding to every letter of the alphabet during the month of April. Here are my thoughts on this year's challenge:
- Categories: I loved how much easier the categories made sifting through the linked blogs. I could easily identify writing and book blogs. After those, I chose blogs based on a fun name, or if it was specific like Jane Smith, YA Author, which identified the type of blog I'd find.
- Fewer dead links: I ran across far fewer dead links and spam sites, so nice work moderators!
- Great blogs and themes: Like last year, I found new blogs to follow. My favorites included fun themes, short and concise posts with an obvious tie to a theme, and a question to prompt some interaction.
Room for Improvement:
- Make categories part of the sign-up: I'd like to see two or three text fields: name of blog, category, direct link. Many blogs were unlabeled, probably because the sign-up did not prompt to enter a category.
- Comments: I noticed fewer comments on the blogs I visited and to my own. This could be a trend in blogging in general based on the sheer number of blogs flooding the internet. The hosts certainly promoted posting comments, so this may be a trend that doesn't have an easy solution.
Advice to future A to Z bloggers:
- Use a creative blog name! Sorry to say, blogs with names like: Another Random Blog, or Useless Info & Ramblings, I skipped. If you can't sell yourself, why would I click your link? (FTR, I just made those up!)
- Choose a theme and pre-plan posts. I suggest doing at least one of these, if not both. I saw many blogs that petered out around "E" or they seemed to struggle with how to formulate a post about a given letter. A theme provides structure and focus, plus it makes a post more engaging. Pre-planning means you aren't frantic the day of, or forget entirely when life happens.
- Find a relateable theme: This may be a personal preference, but I did not connect so well with blogs that were solely about characters in a writer's book. I applaud the effort, but it's hard to comment and interact about a post in someone's work-in-progress novel, or something that isn't widely read. An exception might be say, a line or two from a personal work, and then a few paragraphs in a broader theme like villains, where readers can comment on the larger topic.
Well, those are my thoughts. Did you participate, or did you visit any blogs doing this challenge last month?