In continuation to my post about blogging challenges, I am going to list the bad and the ugly here. The Good has been listed in this post. (Pls don’t take that in the literal sense as this is just my opinion) What I look for in a challenge is the actual challenge and then the interaction with others. If there is no reaction to the action; the whole thing translates into a fail for me.
Let me define what I mean by Bad and Ugly – the challenge seemed without a direction and folks were just posting their latest blog post without seemingly reading anyone. Or there was no coherence in the sequence of posting schedule. Or just the fun of writing was missing from it overall. These are challenges that I swore I wont go back to at all.
I would sum up UBC and NaBloPoMo under this heading as both of them left me feeling empty. Let me explain why.
UBC or the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is a group I found on Facebook that promotes a whole month of writing daily on anything under the sun. There is a daily thread to post your latest post and reading each other is encouraged. This challenge pops up every other month or so it seems. I found the momentum lacking in this as folks were more keen to finish posting their target post for the day than reading others. I didn’t even get a response to the comments I posted on the blogs I read. So no go for me.
NaBloPoMo literally means National Blog posting month where one has to post daily for a month, generally in November. It’s a sister offshoot of National Novel posting month where at the end of it, peeps combine the 30 posts into a book. I tried doing the former challenge once in 2016 and was not too impressed with the interactions or the blogs I read there. So again a no go for me. You could catch it here
But hey don’t take my word for it; do check out all of these challenges at your own discretion and then decide what works for you.
The Ugly – #MyFriendAlexa
This was one of the first blogging challenges I participated in and that was September 2016. The idea is to plug one’s Alexa rank by reading as many blogs as possible everyday, for the whole month. There was a reading list put up for this purpose. Also one had to write daily to make this challenge a success. I had recently shifted to a self hosted platform, and this seemed just the thing to propel my blogging numbers. Even though I was one of the winners of this challenge, it kind of felt fake after 3-4 months because the rank went up (lower the rank, better the Alexa).
What I realised with this challenge was, that it’s an artificial boost to the blogging rank. Only blogs which have the Alexa toolbar installed, will count in the ranking. So even if one reads a tonne of blogs daily, if only a handful are configured for Alexa, it wont make a dent to your ranking. Alexa bar doesn’t register on the tablet and mobile version; so this works only if you read on the desktop. Phew!!!!!!
I have seen people go insane about their
tankings rankings in this challenge and it seems to lead to a lot of heartbreak. Have a look at my statistics vis-a-vis the Alexa tool bar and you will see how easy its to affect the numbers with just consisting writing.
In just two weeks of posting about 6-7 posts, this ranking has gone down by more than 250K – it’s really that simple my friends. I will let you know at the end of this month how my ranking stands. It’s all about consistency in blogging and posting good content. Reading others blogs is a great way to interact and build up a blogging network in a positive way.
What Alexa challenge does is promote the “quid-pro-quid” in visiting other blogs which is a very destructive way to build up a rapport and establish one’s blog.
So my vote is definitely not to partake in this ridiculous challenge.
What I took back from each blogging challenge is a discipline for writing. It is quite a task to write daily for a month and that helped me prepare in a way for the AtoZ challenge. I would urge my fellow bloggers to participate in at least 2 such challenges every year to flex the writing muscle to its potential.
Do you like blogging challenges? Which is your favourite one to date?