With Thanks…

Blogging has been a fun ride since I started in Jan this year. A nice part of it is getting recognised by the blogging community.

My special thanks to Esenga of Esengasvoice for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

This post has been especially overdue though I did thank Esenga on time 🙂

A big thank you once again Esenga!

My special thanks to  Jofelyn Khapra for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award.

I thoroughly enjoy Jofelyn’s blog on  Sleepy Tales & Lucid Dreams. Do make it a point to check her blog out !

Very Inspiring Blogger Award requires that I share 7 things about myself.

Ummm…now for following the rules – which is always the hard part 🙂

1. I am an Indian

2. I love animals …always find it hard giving up pets & hence becoming a breeder is ruled out

3. I enjoy the company of children…have always believed they are some of the finest judges of character

4. Travelling is a passion – been fortunate to have visited many beautiful countries & yet so much is left to be seen

5. I enjoy cooking…so long as it’s a biannual affair

6. I really enjoy writing…there is a wannabe author somewhere deep inside

7. I am a born again Christian & love the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the Rock of my life!

As both awards require me to nominate 15 bloggers, I have listed some of the most interesting blogs I follow & thoroughly enjoy 🙂

What’s life without some red carpet rolling & award speeches in the blogosphere??

1. Lesley Carter – Bucket List Publications

2. Sahbinahvioletflynn

3. Sleepy Tales & Lucid Dreams Jofelyn – the Very Inspiring Blogger Award is for you 🙂

4. Marina Kanavaki

5. Writing Between the Lines

6. Mind Blur

7. Elena Levon

8. Where’s my Backpack?

9. Hugmamma

10. Cee’s Life Photography Blog

11. Tania Jessica Smith

12. The Urge to Wander

13. Mrs.Buena Vida

14. Chronicles of Illusions

15. Crustybreadlog

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Rules

1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2.Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.State 7 things about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

One Lovely Blog Award Rules

1.  Include the blog award logo in your post.
2.  Thank the person who nominated you.
3.  Nominate 15 other people, and let them know you have done so.

How to draw more traffic to your Blog

Once upon a time, there was a huge bunch of people who started blogging because they each had a story to tell, found it an ideal creative outlet & on the nobler level, found it a great platform to serve society (h’mmm) by sharing their knowledge & experiences.

To that end it served its purpose.

Gradually as with all things human, those people started getting greedy. (And I was never one of those people)

They started asking themselves, “Heck, is it really true, that I’m the only one who’s reading, mentally liking, mentally commenting (read applauding) this brilliant piece of mine? Where’s everybody else????” (Greed hath no limits, how depraved could they be?)

*     *     *     *     *

If we are honest we will admit that after submitting that fantastic piece on our trip to Europe or Antarctica or wherever , we thought that  anyone with a quart pound o sense would have bookmarked our blog, considered himself/herself lucky for this priceless pearl we shared at no cost & that they would have made it a priority to follow our blog.

We imagine the profuse thanks, likes, comments & subscribers flowing in. Yes hope never disappoints. It is profuse for sure, just in the world of our own imagination. We come back to reality with a thud when we get that  1 Like + that short comment, which almost did not make it through.

*     *     *     *     *

So here are some tips to drive traffic to your Blog –

1.Titles

Write blog posts with titles such as this – okay poor joke.

Jokes apart, captivating titles bring people in, but remember it’s the value of the content that make people return. The equivalent of judging the book by its cover  is a blog post with a great title & not much value.

2. Content

I follow blogs which have valuable content. Some blogs have great names but it’s the content which makes me want to follow.

3.Variety

I personally find blogs which cover a variety of topics a whole lot more interesting than those confined to the straight & narrow path of a singular theme.

Variety is the spice of life & all that jazz. A modicum of truth in there.

4. Sample

Get a page upfront with your favourite posts or photo blogs for people to sample. This is the era of the discerning follower.

5. Social Presence

Create a digital or social presence. You represent your blog so you need to socialise your blog by making it visible.

If you want more hits on your blog you better be out there hitting other blogs – be it liking, commenting, following or re-blogging.

It’s interesting, but the traffic to your blog could be almost directly proportional to your presence & participation in other blogs!

Yes, getting traffic is hard work.

Interestingly there are two types of people –

1. those who will visit your blog anyway because they derive value

2. those who will visit your blog based on whether you visit theirs with the same frequency

*     *     *     *     *

It was called social networking with a purpose.

The socially oblivious will get by. But it’s the well & truly socially networked that will have great success.

So where do you start?

1. Hit Like – on good posts you’ve read

2. Hit Comments – & write something meaningful

3. Hit Follow – the chances of people visiting your blog are increased with your own social presence by following theirs!

4. Hit Reply – when someone responds to your post

5. Hit Publish – once you have a photo submission ready for the Weekly Photo Challenge or any other contest aimed at helping you increase visibility

As you can see, it’s in the Hit, Hit, Hit that your blog will be a HIT.

Another priceless pearl with a profuse response…I’d imagine.

The art of being still

We are a fidgety generation.

We don’t know what it means to be still.

Just being. Doing nothing.

And we have almost forgotten what it used to be like before.

Hands that could take a break.

I wonder how we managed before the computer & internet invaded our lives.

The mind had things to peacefully think about & not just do, do, do.

 Today?

If I’m not pounding on the key board of my computer or surfing, I am on the phone.

If I am not on the phone, I’m texting a message.

If it’s not TV, it’s youtube.

Or a game on Facebook. Or blogging.

It just has to be something in place of something else.

24/7

I remembered this beautiful scripture –

“Be still & know that I am God”  [Psalm 46 :10]

God knew how all the distractions would claim our attention & absorb our mind.

Facing a storm today? Simple.

Google out a solution. Or call a friend. Or text someone somewhere.

Jesus  rebuked the wind & calmed the storm saying “Peace, be still” [Mark 4: 39]

What does this tell me?

The need to be still. To not run around here & there.

To quit the to-ing & fro-ing.

To stay anchored.

To let go of some of these things that have become second nature.

I have to still get my act together. Pun intended.

Be still…

What does your Family think about your Blog?

Samples of conversations with family members after I started blogging. I will not delve  into those instances when I had to get them  to view my Blog at my insistence or at least read a  post completely (as in c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y, as in ensuring I don’t get the i-get-the-drift-but-too-much-to-read reaction).

As early entrant

Me – Guess what, I got 200 views on my Blog so far, isn’t that cool?

Brother – You only must have clicked it so many times.

Me – Hahaha (albeit dryly as enthusiasm wanes)

As progressive blogger

I discover my Mother has become hooked onto visiting a Blog regularly. Just that it’s not mine.

Me – It’s unfair. You only read Amitabh Bachchan’s Blog all the time – not mine.

Mother – I also read yours (albeit guiltily)

*     *      *     *     *     *   

Which makes me conclude that everyone can write about how to drive traffic to your Blog … but I’ll have you know that driving your own family to visit your Blog is pretty damn hard.

*     *      *     *     *     *  

Jesus said “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

I agreed & said – Amen.

Write like no one’s reading

 

Write like no one’s reading

         Read like no one’s blogging

Blog like no one’s following

         Follow like no one’s leading

This is my 75th post (whoa) since I started blogging in Jan this year.      

Thank you for visiting, liking, commenting, following Wingrish.

Much appreciated!

Blogging on the Bloggers of Blogdom

As with all things new, we stumble into something without much preparation & along the way discover facets never imagined, experiences we did not know would greet us…both positive & negative.

So welcome to the blogging world which is no different.  You started blogging because you thought you had something of value to contribute…a passion, a hobby or whatever.

And then you gradually get to experience the blogosphere effect.

And you start reeling under it.

In the process you might just about forget why you started blogging in the first place.

You thought blogging was a creative channel or a  break from the regular everyday world huh? But guess what…beneath the surface of all things wise & virtual, the psychology at work is still the same…appreciation, ego,  sensitivity (or the lack thereof), building bridges & a bit of …taking offence  

 

These are the unwritten laws or code of conduct in Blogdom. Call it what you will but  the fact of the matter is –

~ To each their  own – what it means here though is to each blogger, their  OWN blog is of supreme importance 

~ Playground behaviour is displayed at its best on this playing field

These are the expectations, adhere or perish –

—> I visited your blog, now you must visit my blog.

—> If you don’t come to my blog,  I won’t come to your blog.

—> I clicked  ‘like’ on your posts, you should click  ‘like’ on my posts.

—> I commented on your posts, you better reply to my comments. And when done, you better comment on my posts.

 —>I followed your blog. You should follow mine. 

 Or else what? 

—> I’ll stop liking your posts.

—> I’ll stop reading your posts.

—> I’ll stop following your blog.

 

“Be cast into outer darkness…

There shall be weeping & gnashing of teeth.” ~ Jesus

Sigh. 

Life was easier without blogging 🙂

Are you a Souveniristic Tourist? Take the test to find out.

                                                                 

Take this quick test to assess just how much of a  souvenir freak you are & if there is any hope left to become normal.

1. Do you collect  magnets of every hill & dale you visit in each country? Yes/No  

 2. Do you collect souvenir spoons as a keepsake of countries you visit?  Yes/No

 3. Do you buy postcards to send friends & family but…like it way too much & keep it for yourself ?  Yes/No

 4. Do you collect foreign coins & postage stamps from every place &  have a neat pile up you know not where to  keep?  Yes/No

 5. Do you bring back a slice of sunshine via a photograph, or a bottle of  sand, or collect shells & pebbles that have that amazzzzing shade you won’t find elsewhere?  Yes/No

 6. Have other people seen your ailment & started bringing back magnets & spoons as gifts for you from their travels?  Yes/No

7. As you flip through books do you discover old tram, train, subway, concert tickets from Godknowswhere that serve as bookmarks? Yes/No

8. Do you preserve museum flyers, local maps as a token of sentiment? Yes/No  

9. Do you have a pile up of mementos of every shape, colour & imagination? Yes/No         

             

10. Do you write blog posts about souvenirs? Yes/No                                                       

 

 

 

Score
Upto 3 Yes  –  You are a happily balanced tourist
Upto 6 Yes  –  You are a tourist tugging away from the rope of normalcy that is trying to detain you
Upto 8 Yes  –  You are a tourist who has broken free from the rope. In  other words you are on the border of souveniritis
All 10 Yes    –  You are a tourist with a case of extreme souveniritis-outta-balancia. Get well soon!

     

10 Advantages of NOT being Freshly Pressed [Saar Grepz]

 

This post is for all those bloggers who have been clearly misunderstood by WordPress. Those who hoped that one day soooooon their brilliant story, wonderful wit  or dazzling photography would  so stun the WP editors that they would just  be grabbed for the glorious WP wall of fame Freshly Pressed…but that has  not happened…yet.

Freshly Pressed does not happen despite our brilliantest posts (brilliant only in our own opinion). And the sour grapes syndrome slowly but surely sets in. With its message of hope.

Saar Grepz.

Now we suddenly start seeing a glimmer of light.

And we draw strength from it.

And find the reasons why it’s great after all. Not being selected for Freshly Pressed that is.

Here is what Saar Grepz has been murmuring to me. And guess what? All of a sudden, thanks to its counsel,  it looks like it’s a great world out there despite being ignored for Freshly Pressed.

You suddenly start humming ‘what a wonderful world…tra la la, la di da’

So here is something that will make you rejoice for not having made it to FP –

 1. Your blog hits remain abysmally low.  In fact it  gets worse by the day. You convince yourself that things of value don’t just lie around as common pieces of display. Like the precious pearl, it has to be really searched for in the depths of the blogcean.  Your blog is a priceless pearl that has to be searched for &  found by the discerning.

2. You start believing in the philosophy of peace & non-competitiveness more than ever. After all you never got into this to compete with other bloggers did you?

3. You realise your hands can remain healthy – no carpal tunnel syndrome to deal with. No repetitive strain injury. No aching hands having to reply to all those comments that will come in after being featured on Freshly Pressed. No medical bills after buying pain killers & balm to soothe the hands hammering away at the keyboard. After all, health is paramount not this damn blogging…what a wonderful world, tra la.

4. Your eye sight will improve. Who wants to spend hours blogging away…on hindsight, eyesight is far more important. No need to scan for stats, likes & comments. Strong eyesight is what we all need. Yessss!

5. You are focused on what you wish to convey. Getting side tracked by this demon which glorifies the grandeur of being Freshly Pressed is not all that great, really.

6. You reflect on why you started blogging in the first place. You were new to WordPress, you did not even know what the heck Freshly Pressed was. Until when…like Eve in the Garden of Eden was beguiled by that vile serpent who presented her the apple, you slowly started getting corrupted.  You wanted the apple…but, you got S-A-V-E-D in the nick of time. You realised Freshly Pressed is that sinful apple.  Away with you apple!

 7. You suddenly start believing anonymity is a virtue. You didn’t start blogging to get famous right? If fame was what you wanted you would have joined the films or become a politician.

8. You start believing that this is a lesson on the path of humility. You get super spiritual (humble thyself under the mighty Hand of God & one day He will feature your post on FP)…BUT…hang on…who even wants it anymore?

9. You are convinced that a slow & steady increase in the number of people who follow your   blog  is better than a sudden spike who may never return. You begin to joyously (read ‘feigned  joyously’ ) declare  “Who wants to be selected for Freshly Pressed anyway? It’s no big deal… because people who read your post  on FP may never return to read another.”

10. You believe in Maya even more. Everything is an illusion including this momentary flash in the pan in the blogging world called being featured on Freshly Pressed.

Saar Grepz, O wonderful fount of such pessimistic optimism, I thank ye…

What a wonderful world…la, di, dum