A REFLECTION on the 2018 AtoZ Blog Challenge

Upon reflection…how did it all turn out? What do your stats tell you? Did you pick a theme that worked with the nature of The Challenge? If the point is to encourage new readership, if I am visiting for the first time on day 12 in the middle of a short story or find a subject that is depressing, worthy as it may be for another time, neither are great ideas for a “26-day expiration date opportunity.” Offer an interesting theme and valuable information worth someone’s time to follow. You are trying to demonstrate that your blog is easy to read, uncluttered, font and background readable, and that in order to navigate the template you are using, a person doesn’t need a rocket science background while clicking here, there, and everywhere, trying to get at the post.

I suspect other people like myself were frustrated that the links on the participation list were not live, meaning EACH TIME I had to cut and paste the address. Eventually, I said, “the hell with it.” Every blog I looked at, on average, had 15 likes and a scattering of comments. The LIST is the key. In 2017, participation was way off, because they tried to change the LIST and added daily messing around. At least, once again, a list was provided. The #Challenge is a WONDERFUL adventure. There are amazing blogs that model how it should be done. I’m appreciative of the time, research, and fine writing that goes into preparing for the AtoZ experience. If increased followers are the only benchmark for a successful outcome, you may be thinking, is it worth it? Before you say, no, take a hard look at your blog as it appears today.  I am a better writer because of the years I have participated. In blog hopping, I have found teachers that have taught me valuable lessons by example. They cause me to reconsider content, appearance, and a host of other ideas. I’m pleased that I have 29 new followers, that my theme, BOOKSHOPS, was well met, and that I am following several new wonderful blogs I found in April. Upon reflection, I can say without hesitation, that the preparation, research, and the writing are worth the effort and make my heart sing.

Thank you for keeping me company during the month of April. Let’s not lose touch. FOLLOW ME


Everyone Has A Story:  everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com (Challenge theme-All About Nancy Drew)

If I Only Had a Time Machine: mholloway63.wordpress.com (Challenge theme: Fiction-non-fiction books about World War II)

A Field Trip Life: afieldtriplife.com (Challenge theme-Maps in Children’s books)

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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7 Responses to A REFLECTION on the 2018 AtoZ Blog Challenge

  1. Great recap. I enjoyed your posts and I agree, A Field Trip Life is a great blog too!

  2. Agree with you, Stepheny on the hassle 🙂
    Nobody has to copy paste links anymore. Frankly this is why I barely followed anyone this year.
    I’m glad I foun you since I LOVE bookstores.
    See you soon. Hope to see you again on my blog too.

  3. johnvic8 says:

    Knowing what it takes to create just one post, the effort you have made to produce 26 in a month is outright commendable. It was a great series, introduced me to lots of places that were new to me, and demonstrated once again what a gifted writer you have become. Well done. See you soon???

  4. scr4pl80 says:

    I didn’t have to copy past links. I just needed to click on the box and it took me to the blog post. That’s how I found you! Enjoyed your bookshop tour.

  5. slfinnell says:

    I adored your theme! New followers are a perk, yes, but I appreciate the ones who still stop by now and then after the challenge is long over. Going to make a point to do the Road Trip well into next fall/winter. Thanks for visiting mine 🙂

  6. Thank you for you mention of my blog… I did use the list to search out blog posts that were of interest to me… that’s how I found you! I noticed that when I clicked on the url, it showed up above and I clicked on it to take me there. It wasn’t as clearly seen and that clickable link may have been missed by many. I put forth the most time on this yearly blog hop, spending over six months in research and writing. It had become very dear to me, so I truly enjoyed all those months… now I feel a little lost as I’ve had to pack my friend Nancy Drew away for awhile. I so enjoyed your trip to the many bookstores… always looking for a good one to visit in my trips. I’ll be sure and pass them along to you incase you write on them again. I’m sure you have discovered more since these. Yes lets stay in touch!

  7. You had a wonderful theme this year. I know Field Trip Life, but I’m not familiar with the other two blogs. I’ll have to check them out 🙂

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