Gratitude List

#Gratitude: Challenges for a bloggers pen – The Bad & the Ugly!

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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.Β (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.

The Bad

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).Β 

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?

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20 thoughts on “#Gratitude: Challenges for a bloggers pen – The Bad & the Ugly!

  1. I completely agree with your views on what makes a challenge fruitful versus what makes it fall flat on the face. And I am loving your posts in this series!

  2. I’m very wary of most blogging challenges and abstain from ones that are very rule-bound. In my case, my first challenge was NaBloPoMo in 2013 and I actually loved it because back then (at least) we only had to visit the ones we wanted to read. I’d read 2 or 3 posts a day and get 2 or 3 comments a day. It was easy, doable and I loved the interaction. Maybe things have changed now.

    UBC is something I tried once but couldn’t keep up. Too many restrictions. Alexa, I have never tried simply because I don’t believe in the Alexa rank, as a blogger. πŸ™‚

    1. Ah I wish I had known you in 2013 – my life as a blogger would have been so much simplified πŸ˜‰

      A big yay to not advocating Alexa – its such a load of crock! I am looking forward to next year’s Barathon!!! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve only tried Alexa till now and I must admit that I was thoroughly disappointed. Firstly because I put in so much effort in my theme. It wasn’t easy to weave two flash fiction and one nonfiction around the same picture. But I was read only once while I kept reading some useless blogs four times. There were people who hadn’t even written half of the assigned no of posts, yet we kept reading them. And blogchatter refused to accept that they had goofed up. You know with or without Alexa, my rank was on a consistent decline primarily because I post consistently, so I doubt how much this actually helped me.

    1. OUCH!!!!

      My Alexa rank has been dropping like a hot cake all through october and its because I have been writing consistently all through! That to me is the secret of a healthy blogging rank.

      I am sorry to hear about your experience though not surprised as I have been there Sonia. BC is a commercial venture and the whole idea of having bloggers onboard is to make money via them.

  4. I took #NaBloPoMo twice in my early days of blogging and loved it. There was no pressure about reading or commenting. There was no scheduling game too. Just write a post each day. UBC and Alexa – never tried so can’t say much.
    I am thinking of going all photos with NaBloPoMo this year. But still debating in my head πŸ™‚

  5. I have never taken part in any of these challenges( though i did attempt the alexa with a single post) . The only challenge I do is the AtoZ, and for me challenges are purely to network. INfact some of the best friends I have made in the blogosphere is because of the AtoZ challenge. Also Alexa is something which I dont consider a measure of a blogs health. DA is a better one as per me.

    1. Smarrrrrrt Gurl Ramya!!! πŸ˜‰

      Alexa is a true con and the way its being abused to lure bloggers into forming campaigns, is such a load of crock. I am hoping the Universe catches up fast with these charltans of the blogging world!

      True that about the AtoZ – I have read some amazing blogs there and ended up being friends with them too. I love the ideas that people have there in their themes – absolute revelations!

  6. I agree about the UBC, never tried the NaBloPoMo, not into rankings but I do enjoy the AtoZ. One should take part if the enthusiasm is there and the challenge is fun. I prefer the week long challenges.

    1. I see many fans of AtoZ and rightly so Suzy- good of you to join in this debate. Enthusiasm and discipline in writing is the key to these challenges.

  7. I never did Alexa because it felt it was just about the ranking and getting your blog up somewhere as opposed to truly engaging with people. To be fair to NaBloPoMo, I did find good bloggers and engaged with them but this was back in the early days where there was hardly any other social media

    1. Yup that’s exactly what Alexa is….

      I wasn’t very impressed with NABLOPOMO as regards to engagement. But I loved the discipline it gave me as I wrote continuously for a month. It’s thw first-time I planned a thematic writing.

  8. I missed reading your posts and will catch up on them. I had a minor lipoma surgery and started reading posts only this week. I somehow feel that many, not all challenges, can get somehow fake with lack of engagement. I don’t want to be mean but seen things that will keep for myself. Heard so much about Alexa and feel its overrated. What matters is to keep writing and not running after numbers. You are already doing such a good job with ur fab writings.

    1. Hey Vishal – so sorry to hear about your surgery. Hope you feel better soon!

      I totally agree with you on the challenges being rigged to just shoot up the ratings as being the worst for building up a genuine engagement! Thanks so much for your kind words. you are always so encouraging and nice! πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks much Shalz and minor one! Things went out pretty well and healing. Yes the reason am not very much into blog challenges and hardly share on groups. You are an amazing writer high on content and that’s what matters!

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