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My Advice to You: Take a Blogging Break

Blogging Break

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.

Currently 2.03.2016

February 2016 Currently Linkup

Sending stuff home to declutter before the end of the semester. It can be hectic to move out at the end of the semester, so I figured why not start getting rid of unnecessary stuff now… like the Christmas tree in the back of my closet?

Eating snap peas and strawberries. I just went to the grocery store, so my fridge is packed full of fresh fruits and veggies. Snap peas, strawberries and celery with peanut butter are some of my favorite snacks at the moment.

Dreaming about all of my weekend plans. It’s true what they say – you shouldn’t wait until Friday to live your life and be happy, but my weekends this February are jam packed full of fun plans, so I can’t help but look forward to them. This weekend my mom and I are going to go to a painting class and then go see The Choice. The following weekend I’m going to visit Ty to celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend time together.

Smelling my vanilla candles as I sit at my desk writing and finishing up my homework.

Hearting my Animal Kingdom adult coloring book by Millie Marotta. I could seriously go on and on about my new love for relaxing and unwinding while letting out my creative side, but I rambled on for long enough and showed some of my recent projects in my last post, so I won’t repeat myself too much. Long story short, give it a try. Even 5 minutes will have you relaxed and addicted to coloring. Why did we ever stop?

As always, a huge thanks to Anne and Jenna for hosting this linkup each month and connecting all of us bloggers together.

What are you currently sending, eating, dreaming, smelling and hearting this February? Let me know in the comments below!

Currently 1.06.2016

Currently Linkup January 2016 1.06.2016

Resolving to be empathetic, listen to others and always be patient. This all has to do with my goal to have a more balanced life in 2016. Sometimes in the stress of work, school and everyday life, I let my stress get in the way of being empathetic and patient when it is needed. I want to make sure that I take the time to get back to this, because it is something I think is so, so important.

Reading Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas. I’ve mentioned Lisa Kleypas on the blog before when I was reading Rainshadow Road. I have also read her book Smooth Talking Stranger. I loved Smooth Talking Stranger so much, and Brown-Eyed Girl is the last book to the same series, so I have high hopes for this one! I can’t help it, when I need to relax and unwind I love reading romance novels. But hey! I have to say, I’m glad I can report that I’m reading anything. That means I’m already doing well on my goal for 2016!!

Organizing everything – and I’m not kidding. If you follow me on Snapchat (aliinbloom), you know that I just bought an acrylic organizer for all of my makeup. I’ve been cleaning out my old craft supplies in my basement, getting rid of markers and pens that were dried up and throwing away any scraps that I kept because I thought I could use them but never did. I’ve thrown out my school work from last semester and cleaned out my backpack. Forget spring cleaning, I’m new year cleaning, and it feels so good.

Loving being home, free of the stresses of school and being able to spend time with my friends and family.

Craving this healthy turkey chili that my mom and I tried for the first time last week. It was so good! If you’re looking for healthy recipes, this is definitely a must-try.

Like my glasses? Read about my computer glasses here! And as always, a huge thanks to Anne and Jenna for hosting.

I want to know: what are you currently resolving, reading, organizing, loving or craving? Let me know in the comments below.

Florida in December | Marco Island

Marco Island, Florida - Ali in Bloom

If you follow me on Instagram or  saw my post Things to do in Naples, Fl | Exploring Naples, you know that I spent some time in Florida in the month of December to visit family and have a relaxing getaway with my mom after the end of the semester. During our trip, we spent most of our time in Naples, but for some reason (I would say just out of habit), we always go to Marco Island for our beach days. Oh, what to say about Marco Island? Marco Island leaves me at a loss for words.  Like they always say, I think there is something so theraputic about the beach. You’re soaking up all the vitamin D you could need, you have an amazing view, soft sand in between your toes, you’re unplugged from the rest of the world and you’re just relaxing, listening to the crashing of the waves and the squawking on the seagulls.   Marco Island  is especially quiet and peaceful. There aren’t any  wild beach parties; there isn’t blaring music – just people trying to soak up the sun, take a sailing trip, jet ski around the bend to find some dolphins and play a little beach volleyball. It is the exact kind of beach I like to hang out on.   If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend checking out Marco Island. I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed if you’re looking for a little R&R.

Marco Island, Florida - Ali in BloomMarco Island, Florida - Ali in Bloom Marco Island, Florida - Ali in Bloom

On the beach I love to go on walks. I can lay out in the sun just like any other girl, but after too long, I get restless and like to move around. On Marco Island, the walk along the beach is so fun. You get to look at all of the beach-front hotels, see if the fishermen caught anything along the shore and look for shells and coral.

Marco Island, Florida - Ali in Bloom

Knowing we would spend all day on the beach, my mom and I packed snacks: strawberries, deli meat, banana chips and almonds. When I pulled them out to eat, the seagulls came swarming in. It was honestly so scary! But I have to say, they sure look pretty from afar.

Marco Island, Florida - Ali in Bloom

I can’t say it enough, but I seriously love Florida. I want to know: Have you ever been to Marco Island? What are your favorite things to do on the beach? 

Make sure that you don’t miss part 1 of my vacation recap: Things to do in Naples, Fl | Exploring Naples!