Reflections on the 2016 A to Z Challenge

Wow, I can’t believe I managed to reach the end of the A to Z Challenge! It was my first time participating, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve learnt a lot about blogging, gained lovely new followers and found some amazing blogs along the way!

It was a last minute decision for me to take part in the challenge, so I didn’t start writing my posts until the 28th March. In future I definitely need to pick my topic earlier so I can start gathering my resources.

The hardest part for me was trying to source pictures I could use for my posts. I tried to use my own as much as I could, but in some cases it just wasn’t possible. If I take part next year I will hopefully have a collection of my own photographs to work from.

So I could keep track of my posts, I made a colour coded schedule which I could follow. I would write a batch of entries in one go, then go and source pictures for them. Towards the end it was a struggle to keep ahead of schedule due to starting so late, but I’m pleased that I didn’t miss a single day in the end!

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Throughout the challenge I made sure to visit, comment on and follow at least 5 blogs a day that I hadn’t already been to. I wasn’t picky about which themes or topics to visit, just whichever titles caught my eye. I found so many fantastic posts doing this! I kept track of them all by adding the URLs to a Word document which I used to search for any duplicate links.

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The only part I disliked about the challenge sometimes was commenting… I became frustrated with blogs that had comment captures/wouldn’t let me post, Blogger was particularly bad for some reason. They just wouldn’t let me get past the capture no matter how many times I tired. In the end in the end I would have to give up after a first attempt, which was a great shame as I would have loved to comment on a lot of entries I had read which were really interesting.

I’m glad I have the WordPress app installed on my phone, as it made replying to comments so much easier. I did my best to reply to a comment as soon as it was posted, so I could stay on top of them. If you’re a WP user I definitely recommend downloading it if you haven’t already!

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I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to like or comment on one of my entries, and I hope you found them useful and informative! It’s been so encouraging to know that people read my posts and I will definitely be posting more of the same in the future along with tutorials, baking disasters, wedding planning and outings…

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15 thoughts on “Reflections on the 2016 A to Z Challenge

  1. Deborah Weber says:

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge – yay! I’m very impressed with your color-coded list and how organized you were with your commenting plan and tracking the various blogs. Good stuff. I wrote all my posts daily, except for three I needed to schedule in advance when I was out of town. I kind of like writing off-the-cuff like that, but I can certainly see the advantages of having it all prepared in advance.

    Wishing you a wonderful wedding!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran says:

    Congratulations on finishing. Commenting was hard work. Finding images can be time consuming. I keep a list of sites with royalty free images on Evernote.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet Miles says:

    Great post, Natalie! This was my first time too and you have given me a lot of good ideas for next time! I started rather late too, but I think that my theme helped me because it was something I have a passion about and lots of my own pictures. Good luck with the wedding! I’ll be watching for pictures 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog once in a while too!

    Liked by 1 person

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