What I’ve Learned From Blogging

Hi friends, today is my blog’s 3rd anniversary! I started Welcome to Aly’s World in 2014 because I wanted an outlet for my writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just wrote about whatever I was interested in at the time. In the summer of 2015, I started to take blogging more seriously. I scoured Pinterest for posts on how to run a blog. I learned a lot, and I put what I learned into action. I became part of the college blogging community. I love this community because we’re all so helpful and supportive of each other.

Over these three years, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share what I’ve learned!

It’s good to learn the rules, but only follow them if you want to

Just as I said in my New Years’ Update: Blogging My Way post, there are plenty of people everywhere who will tell you how to run your blog in order for it to be “successful”. I’m not even going to lie: I’m one of them. But just like every other creative endeavor, you are allowed to bend the rules. It’s good to learn the rules, though, so that you can know where, when, and how you can bend them. Ultimately, you don’t have to follow anyone’s advice. You can run your blog however you want to. So when you read a post giving you suggestions on how to run your blog, take those suggestions with a grain of salt; take their advice only if you want to.

Your blog can grow with you

When you blog for a few years, you will grow and change. So should your blog. It wouldn’t make sense to keep blogging in a certain niche just because it was the same niche you were in last year. I’ve seen people transfer from being college lifestyle bloggers to travel or blog/business building bloggers. That’s totally okay! If you’ve grown and changed and no longer like writing about what you’ve been writing about, then start writing about what you do want to write about. You are not obligated to write about something just because that’s what you’ve always done.

Blogging is a community

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that blogging is a community. An isolated blogger won’t get very far. However, if you’re part of a community of bloggers who are engaging with each other, more people will read your posts, and you’ll have many more posts to read!

Now, how can you be a part of a community? Simple: find others in your niche, reach out to them, and respond to them when they reach out to you. Find others in your niche through Twitter chats, Pinterest group boards, or Facebook groups. Message them! Chances are, these bloggers will be happy to receive a message from you.

Just do it

If you’re considering doing something, just do it. For example, when I started Welcome to Aly’s World I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. But I still started it and posted whatever I wanted. This didn’t produce great posts or many pageviews, but it helped me get the blogging ball rolling. After publishing a few mediocre blog posts and reading about how to improve my blog, I decided to implement certain things I learned from those posts. I worked on improving my website and the quality of my content. Now, a lot of those original posts have been deleted, and I am producing much better, more helpful posts. Don’t be afraid to start!

Those are the things I learned after 3 years of blogging. It’s been such a great ride! Here’s to another wonderful year of this blog!

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Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week

Hi friends! Technology has completely changed the game when it comes to studying for finals. Let’s take advantage of the technology we have! Here are some digital tools that will come in handy during this crazy weeks we call finals week.
Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week | Here are some websites that'll help you study for your finals!

Finals week is coming up! Here are some digital tools to help you ace your finals! Click To Tweet

SelfControl.

When you’re studying, it’s easy to get distracted and want to procrastinate by going on time wasting websites like Facebook or Buzzfeed. This app won’t let you get distracted by blocking these websites for a certain period of time. It’ll give you no choice but to focus on your work!
Download SelfControl for Mac here. If you’re using Windows, try StayFocusd on Google Chrome.

Pomodoro Timer.

The Pomodoro Method helps you stay focused by having you focus on only one task for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break. It makes sure your break length doesn’t get out of hand, but it also makes sure that you don’t go too long without a break, either.
Access an online timer here.

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Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week

Hi, friends! We’re approaching the most stressful part of the school year… finals week. Because it’s such a special time in the school year, I decided to do a three-part series on having a successful finals week. Every Monday, for the next three weeks, I’ll publish a new post for the Successful Finals Week series. Today’s post is about taking care of your mind and body. Your mind and your body are the vehicles that will help you achieve success, so you can’t neglect them!

Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week | You won't perform well on your finals if your body is tired. Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can be successful on your tests!

Finals week is coming up soon! Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can do your best on your finals! Click To Tweet

Don’t waste time and energy stressing out.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you see how much you have to study. Instead of stressing out, focus your energy on getting the work done!
Homework: Be mindful of your thoughts. If you notice that you’re starting to get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and count to ten. Then, focus your energy on studying instead of stressing out…

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Super Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week

Hi, friends! Finals week is coming up quickly. Most students will shiver at that thought, but never fear! Here are some tips to help you have a successful finals week.

Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week | Here are ways to prepare yourself for finals!

Find out the practical details of each exam.

Will it be cumulative? If not, which chapters will it cover? What format will it be in (multiple choice, essay, short answer…)? How much time will you have? This will give you an idea of what you need to study. There is a good chance this information will be on the class syllabus, but if it isn’t, ask your professor.
Also, make sure you know exactly when and where the exam will take place, since some exams might not take place in the classroom at the normal class time…

Finals week is coming up! Here are some smart study strategies to help you succeed 🙂 Click To Tweet
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5 Powerful Active Recall Strategies

Hi, friends. Today I’m publishing a guest post by Kay from Smart Student Secrets. I love this post because it’s full of great information and actionable tips on how to incorporate this information into your study strategies. I hope you enjoy it!

I used to struggle with tests before I learned to use active recall for studying.

The test would be sitting in front of me. I would be scrunching up my face thinking, “I know this… I think I know this… What was that answer again…” I would come up with answers but I never had any confidence because it was always a struggle. This is a problem that I now understand.

I was familiar with the material but I didn’t know it well. This is the problem that active recall solves.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to remember everything on your tests. You’re not a bad test taker. You just need to learn a few new strategies. These strategies can increase your test scores and turn you into a top-notch test-taker.

It gets better than that too. You’ll also save a ton of time learning for class.

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

What Is Active Recall?

Active Recall is a principle of learning. Here is the simple way to understand it:

You need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

The most common active recall tool students use is a set of flashcards. When you read one side of a flashcard and then remember what’s on the other side, you’re using active recall. If you flip the flashcard over without remember then you’re not using active recall…

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study. Click To Tweet
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