The WinterABC2021 challenge has come to an end. It has been an incredible experience in my blogging journey. Having participated in the challenge reminded me that I could achieve anything in life with the right attitude. It was the right attitude that afforded me to reach the finish line. There were some days where I ran out of content. I’m glad I persisted as it was my first time publishing content daily.
I have reflected on my participation in the challenge. To check if I met all the goals I made when I started the challenge https://sanctuaryofgreatness.wordpress.com/2021/06/01/day-1-winterabc2021-afrobloggers/.
CHALLENGE CONSISTENCY :
Initially, I had planned that I would publish posts at 6 Am. Most posts got published before midnight every day. I was busy and never got time to schedule on time. Hence I published them late. What mattered was that at least one post was up, no matter the time to which it was published. FOMO ( Fear of missing out ) got the best out of me. Seeing other people publish their posts daily motivated me. Hence I managed to be consistent.
ENGAGING MORE WITH FELLOW WRITERS :
We had 99 bloggers from 11 African countries. My goal was to engage with all participants. But reading 99 posts and commenting every day for 22 days was not practical. However, I managed to connect with quite a lot of incredible bloggers. It felt like I was touring Africa. Not only did I make friendships but I gathered knowledge from all over Africa.
FLUENCY IN WRITING :
Creative juices were stretched and overflew. There were some posts that I’ve written and it felt like someone wrote them for me. That’s when I realized that I was becoming fluent with words.
TO PROMOTE MY WORK, VIEWERSHIP, AND TRAFFIC :
Previously, I was not promoting my work as expected from a typical blogger. During the challenge, I became confident to put my posts out there for everyone to see on social media. Most views came from WordPress. Social media also played a vital role as I saw several views and engagements from there. I finally created my Twitter account. It helped me a lot with exposure.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IMAGES :
Canva became the master of photo editing the entire challenge. I enjoyed custom-making images for my posts and learned a lot about other similar editing apps.
DETERMINE VALUABLE TOPICS TO MY READERS :
I evaluated which week had the most engagements and views. Now I know which angle or theme to focus on in the future. The most views were during Advocacy week. I will review all the themes below. I’m just glad I managed to determine which theme worked better for my blog.
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE STORIES IN MY OWN COUNTRY :
I got to share historical stories from my country. It’s one of those things which made me realize how beautiful South Africa is, yet overlooked. I shared our languages, traditional attire, and indigenous games.
Let us look into last month’s themes :
WEEK 1 CREATIVES: The creative week was exciting. My mind got prepared for it. I surprised myself as I have never published posts on consecutive days. I remember how exhaustion kicked in on the fourth day. In one of the posts, I expressed my emotions then a fellow blogger encouraged me to take it easy. Luckily I posted four posts, which got good engagements. Had it not been for the comments, I don’t think I would have survived the entire week. I commented a lot on the first week, which caused my blog to be marked spam for two days. Hahah Hahaha. I was just excited to engage with everyone. Creative week made me realize that I’m not just a blogger but a creative writer, as Justine mentioned https://anchor.fm/musanjufu-kavubu/episodes/Advocacy-Week-Rehash-WinterABC-2021-with-Justine-Love-Nuwamanya-e12mkoc in an interview with Benjamin in his podcast. I even went ahead and added ‘Creative Writer’ on my bio on social media. I realized all the struggles, benefits, and fears of being creative. There was a sense of belonging and peace in my heart.
WEEK 2 ADVOCACY: There were a lot of issues bottled up in my heart that I needed to cough out. I realized that social issues affected us despite where we come from. We face the same problems worldwide. The only difference is some places experience them at a lesser rate than others. Issues like child negligence, gangsterism, and mental awareness generally affected our communities. I felt that it would only be fair for me to address that. After writing Advocacy articles, my heart was at peace. It was as if a heavy load got offloaded off of my shoulder. It got the most views.
WEEK 3 BUSINESS AND TECH : It was one of the difficult weeks for the entire challenge. I remember confiding to my friend Connie that I was not coping. It was difficult for me to come up with any content. I told myself that I would just read other posts and draw inspiration from other bloggers. But it was not easy. I posted only two articles. The third one was on Sunday as I was giving an update on an event I hosted. We had a conference for Women of Influence in Business. I got fewer views than usual because I did not publish enough content. Instead, I read more blogs.
WEEK 4 FASHION AND CULTURE : It was my best week where I showcased the beauty of South African attire, indigenous game, and different languages. I also enjoyed reading other people’s cultures and got to creep in their wardrobes. I do not remember struggling to come up with content. Instead, I had to leave out other posts and talk about topics closest to my heart and what I’m passionate about.
WEEK 5 STORYTELLING : I have never told a fictional story before. It was for the first time I published a tale story. I’m grateful to have met incredible storytellers during the challenge. Elise and Takidzanawe helped me to navigate my stories and gave me constructive criticism. They truly helped me. Am looking forward to writing more stories from now onwards.
Let me hear how your journey was if you were not participating in the winterwinterABC2021. If you weren’t, what have you learned from all my posts so far? Which one stood out for you? What have you learned?
Let’s meet again tomorrow as I give the last update on the winterABC2021. It will be my last post till further notice. Exhaustion has kicked in. I want to rest, reflect and restore my strength. But I promise I’ll be catching up on your blogs. Thank you so much for your continuous support.
Do check some of the posts I wrote during the #WinterABC2021 :
Blogger | Magazine Editor | Creative Writer | Online publisher | Digital content creator | Speaker. A young vibrant lady who's passionate about women's well-being and empowerment, youth, and physically challenged people.