To write this post or to not write this post? That is the question. Well, I say write it. You can’t go wrong with being honest and open, right? I haven’t posted a blog post since February 9th. That was three weeks ago! My blogging break was not intentional. In fact, it wasn’t even really a break. I have been working hard behind the scenes on my blog these past few weeks, and let me tell you – it has paid off. My daily traffic has DOUBLED. Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are. I’m getting significantly higher numbers when I haven’t been posting at all?! This just goes to show that if anyone thinks they have to be posting five days a week to increase traffic, they’re wrong. That isn’t the only (and most effective) way. So let me tell you what I’ve been doing on this highly unintentional and greatly unexpected not-so-break blogging break.
- School work. Let’s just get the most boring part of my break out of the way first. School has been crazy, and with it being my last semester, I really want to pull through and get amazing grades. With midterms and daily homework to worry about, this was one of my main focuses these past few weeks.
- Applying for freelance jobs. Applying for freelance jobs is probably one of the biggest reasons I haven’t posted. Writing sample posts, updating my resume, adding to my LinkedIn profile and getting the applications sent off has had me writing and editing a lot. I was writing so many posts that it felt like I was still posting here!
- Updating old blog posts. I’ll be the first to admit it… I have learned a lot about blogging in the last three years, and my skills have greatly improved (although there is always room for improvement). With that being said, I still had great ideas when I first started, so my focus over the past three weeks was trying to make those posts into something I would still want to have shared and seen now. This involved redoing pictures and editing text, a time-consuming yet rewarding process. I now have more posts that I want to tweet, pin and share.
- Setting up collabs. I have been in contact with a number of fabulous bloggers/ entrepreneurs that will be contributing to Ali in Bloom in some way or another – whether for a fun guest post, interview, etc. Expect to see some great new content on the way in upcoming months. I’m pumped and feel so honored to get to work with so many great ladies in the blogosphere!
All of these things are just fine and dandy. They needed to be done, but they still don’t explain how I managed to double my traffic without posting at all. This one does:
- Revamping Pinterest. I spent hours focusing on Pinterest alone. A lot of bloggers will advise you to delete any of your pins with a low number of repins. I had heard this advice before time and time again, but I chose to ignore it. There is no doubt that pinning (and pinning well) takes a lot of time and energy. You might find the perfect pin that fits your style and brand, but no one repins it. Why would I want to delete pins that I spent hours trying to find? Somehow over my short break, I stepped outside this mentality. I looked at all of my pins that had no repins at all; there were quite a few! Especially from the beginning of my Pinterest days. I went through and started deleting them. I deleted all of the ones that I cringed at and couldn’t believe I actually thought to pin them. I went through and repinned all of the pins that I loved and couldn’t part with (maybe I pinned them at a bad time). Then, I went through again and deleted all of the remaining pins with no repins. I didn’t go as far as to delete pins that had one or two repins. That was good enough for me. Since making this little change, my traffic from Pinterest has spiked, 100% contributing to my doubling traffic. Revamping my Pinterest profile was the best blogging decision I have made in a long time, and I will continue to sort through my pins and not be afraid to part with them.
I am pretty sure this is the longest blogging “break” I have taken since my freshman year, when I was just beginning to take blogging seriously. And you know what? It was wonderful. When did we start to feel so guilty about not posting for a few weeks? Behind the scenes, blogs take a lot of work, and I think it is more than okay to take a break from the actual writing part to focus on other important aspects of blogging. Posting five times a week isn’t going to do much for your traffic if you don’t even have time to promote your hard work. It will just sit there – unseen and wasting away! No one wants that.
On top of all of the noticeable, accountable work that I have accomplished in the last three weeks, I have also found myself more clear about the direction I want to take here. I honestly and truly believe that writing for other people and focusing on other projects has helped me find my voice. In fact, I did technically post once during this little vacation, but the post came down within a few hours after I realized it just didn’t fit the standard for what I want to put out on this site. Taking this not-so-break blogging break has helped me rediscover my purpose here. It has helped my surprisingly grow my traffic and update some much needed things around here.
So, my advice to you: if you are feeling overwhelmed, uninspired or like you’re stuck in a rut, don’t let blogger’s guilt get in your way of feeling able to take a short blogging break. I think you’ll find it will do you wonders in the long run.
With that being said, I can’t wait to be back at it this week, feeling rejuvenated and ready to post! I am so excited for all of you to see what is in store…
Have you ever taken an expected or unexpected blogging break? How did it go? Was it worth it? I’d love to hear your experiences with taking a break from the blogosphere in the comments below.