Archive for the 'About me' Category
This post isn’t a technical post about the how tos of blogging including SEO and all those technical jargon. Instead, it is a personal post written from the heart and from the experience of a blogger who has been blogging for 10 years.
I have been blogging since 2004. At the moment I write and maintain 5 blogs regularly. They include this blog which focus on me and the things I like to do including online writing, a parenting blog, a blog just for mothers, a health blog and a quotes blog. After writing for some years, I find that I basically write 5 different kinds of blogs. They are:
1. A Personal Blog Post
This was the first type of blog post I started writing. If you are writing a personal blog post, you can write things which are a little bit more personal. You can limit your readers to only those close to you if you like or just yourself. It depends on the individual. Some like to post lots of photographs which is really a nice thing if you don’t mind sharing. Readers love photos. However, I like my anonymity.
Can you remain anonymous and still write a personal post? Yes, you can. I have been doing it for 10 years. I write posts that are personal yet not too revealing. It is okay to be personal without being too personal on your blog posts. You will still get your readers and followers if you remain true to yourself and keep your writing voice genuine. Instead of using personal photos, you can still include photos to make your posts interesting. Post photos of objects and scenes instead.
2. Instructional Blog Posts Or How Tos
I enjoy making crafts with my children. So I find writing how tos or instructional blog posts a natural progression from my personal yet not too personal blog posts. They are a nice way to record and keep our crafting moments in a digital format for keepsakes.
When you write these types of blog posts, you must remember to include lots of photos and step by step instructions to make it easier for your readers. I have written many instructional blog posts like this and this.
After blogging for some time, I started writing curations. Whenever I write a curated blog post, I always put myself in the shoes of the person searching for information. What is this person looking for and how can my blog post make a difference. Then I try to include everything that will help this person who is doing an online search find all the things that they want to know about that subject on a single page. This is the most important factor of all. You have to be an expert curator in order to write such a post so that your post makes a difference to that person instead of being a mere copy of a search engine.
When writing this type of blog post, remember to include relevant links, videos, photos and always seek permission for use of photos. Here is an example of one of my top posts on my parenting blog. It is a curated post of Homemade Teacher’s Day Gift Ideas. Some of the ideas are my own while some others are from my FB friends. I sought the permission from all of them to post their ideas on this post.
4. Reviews Or “Selling” Posts
At one time, paid posts were very popular and many companies looked for bloggers to link to their products, services and websites. It is not so popular now but this is just another way of writing. Sometimes, you may write a paid or sponsored posts while at other times, you may write to sell, for example if you are an affiliate marketer.
For example, I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. So from time to time, I do write posts to “sell”. This is an example of my review type or marketing oriented post: 10 Cute Dollhouses For Girls. In a way, this is a curation type of post too.
Photos and descriptions are very important. However, do note that the behavior of someone who is searching the internet for information is different from someone who is searching the internet to buy something online. The person searching to buy something may be more interested in photos of the product and will not have time to read lengthy reviews so keep it short while providing the necessary information they need. Photos and videos are helpful. Just put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information and think of what YOU would like to see and read in the blog post. That is the best SEO advice anyone can get. You don’t need to know what SEO is or how to do it if you just prefer to write. You will get your traffic just by putting yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information.
Finally, you can write articles of any subject you feel you have the confidence to share in. I like to write a lot of parenting articles that change over time. I used to write breastfeeding articles, now I write about kids education in grade school. You can write about your gardening projects or your pets, it is up to you or something more technical.
I consider this post an article type of post. Articles MUST be genuine and not copied from somewhere else. Do not copy and paste or spin articles from somewhere else on the web.
Extra Tips On Writing Blog Posts That Get Read
- Keep your blog content fresh, relevant and up to date
- After writing your post, create a “cover” for your blog post, then pin your image to invite people to come to read it. Writing blog posts isn’t only about writing. Think of it as creating a magazine with a nice layout that calls out to the reader to read.
- Share your blog posts on social media, FB, Google Plus, Twitter etc.
Rushed! That’s what I have been feeling for the past few years. Seems like I am always rushing around to do something or other. I’m always running after the kids and the man. I literally run after them whenever we go out to the mall.
At home, I’m always rushing too. I’m so rushed, I clean my bathroom as I shower with one foot scrubbing the bathroom floor.
At the moment I’m rushing to edit my content that has been moved from Squidoo to HubPages. After the transfer, many of my images were misplaced, videos missing, and links were stripped. I have edited 116 pages but I still have another 68 to go. Its killer work and not a lot of fun. I just edited about 12 this morning and got bored, that’s why I decided to update this blog instead. Its been too quiet around here for some time.
I’ve been rushing to learn new things too. Baking. Digital Drawing. I’m so pleased I managed to figure out how to use layers in drawings. Yay! That was worth rushing to read, learn and draw at the same time.
The above rushed cartoon is one of my first few digital drawings done by using layers. I’m really happy about that.
Now, its time to go off to rush to do some housework so I can get back to editing. Its also the end of the year so I have to rush to teach the boy his history and Chinese. Have to rush to learn those Chinese chapters from his book so that I can guide him.
Rush! Rush! Rush! That’s the story of my life. What’s yours?
Today, my Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player arrived in the mail. I’m really excited about it because this little thing allows me to watch YouTube videos on my TV easily. In other words, it makes my TV smart! With wifi connection, I can use an iphone, ipad, Android phone or tablet, laptop or desktop computer to ‘cast’ the videos onto the TV screen. Awesome! (as my kids said and it truly is).
What is the Google Chromecast? The Google Chromecast is a dongle developed by Google. It is tiny, just 2.83 inches but powerful. It lets you play audio or video content from a variety of devices namely your mobile phone, tablet computer, laptop computer or desktop computer onto your TV wirelessly via Wifi connection. You can stream video via an app. Supported apps include YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies and TV. If you are not in the US and is unable to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus or Pandora, fret not, you can still stream video content from your desktop by using the Chrome Browser with a Chromecast extension. At the moment, this is still under Beta but it works fine.
The box was small and there were four things that came with it.
- a USB power cable
- a power adapter
- the Chromecast dongle itself
- an optional HDMI adapter cable
I immediately set the hardware up. The simple instructions were on the box itself.
I searched for the HDMI input at the back of my Sharp Aquos TV. I had an unused one called Input 3.
However, when I tried to stick the Chromecast dongle in there, it didn’t fit. Nevermind, that’s what the HDMI adapter cable is for. All I had to do was to join the HDMI cable adapter to the Chromecast dongle.
Here is a picture of the HDMI adapter and the Chromecast dongle.
I join them together like this.
This baby needs to be powered, so the next step is to join the USB cable to the Chromecast dongle.
You can power the Google Chromecast by using the power adapter or if your TV has usb, all you need to do is to stick the USB cable in the USB input on your TV.
I decided not to use the power adapter because I couldn’t figure out how to use it.
So, first I inserted the dongle into my HDMI Input 3 behind my TV…..
Then I inserted the USB to my DVD player with a USB. If you are using the power adapter, all you need to do is stick the one end of the usb cable to the dongle and the other end to the power adapter. You don’t have to use your DVD USB input like I did. I used that because my TV does not have a USB input. Every cable and adapter you need is all provided.
With the hardware ready, the rest of the setup was easy. Now what I have done so far was to plug it in (Step 1 on the box). Then all I had to do was follow step 2 (switch input – in my case Input 3) and then step 3 which is go to google.com/chromecast/setup and follow the instructions there to setup. It was really easy too.
Soon, I was able to play my YouTube videos from my ipad. However, I am an international user. In the US, besides YouTube, the other supported apps are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies and TV. So my use was somewhat limited to watching YouTube videos. These looked great, the audio and visual were terrific.
You can see that I am watching from Input 3 using the Google Chromecast in this picture.
I didn’t want to just watch YouTube videos with my Google Chromecast. I wanted to watch streaming videos from my Google Chrome browser so now comes the real test. I had read that there were problems with that. The Google Chromecast can mirror any website you are visiting using the Google Chrome browser. So that means, if you are watching streaming video on your Google Chrome browser, it should mirror that too.
In order to do this, I have to be on the web by using the Google Chrome browser. I also had to install the Google Chromecast extension. This is no different than installing apps on my ipad. Very easy. Soon, I was watching streaming videos on my TV. The most delightful thing is when you are watching cast videos on your TV, you can still use your device for other things at the same time. For example, I took some of these photos from the phone using my phone camera, while the videos from YouTube were being cast onto the TV. The videos continued to play while I used the camera phone, surfed the internet on other tabs etc. This is what is really good about the Google Chromecast. While your device is casting, you can still use it as normal for other purposes.
There was a slight lag between the audio and visual and casting was not perfect at first but that was quickly fixed by going to my Google Chromecast extension and setting the options to standard video quality 480p instead of 720p.
Whats my verdict?
I love it! I think I will be watching a lot more YouTube videos from now on as it works best with that. For the price, USD35 it is definitely worth it. If you are an international user like me, you will have to pay some extra shipping charges to your country but it is still worthwhile. Shipping charges for me in Malaysia was more than half its price so do check on the shipping charges for your country. It is very easy to set up. You basically just plug in and play in minutes.
Small issues. I did not have any problems setting Google Chromecast up in minutes. My Sharp Aquos TV was ready to cast and there were no issues. I did face a few small issues though as I tried it out with all my devices.
- My ipad was able to cast YouTube videos. However, I could not install the Google Chromecast extension on it. It said “Sorry, your operating system is not surpported just yet. The Chrome Web Store is available on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux.” So I could not mirror streaming videos from my ipad.
- My android phone the Samsung Galaxy Ace was able to cast YouTube videos but the Google Chrome browser was not compatible with it so I could not cast streaming videos from it.
- I have not tried it out with the iphone at the time of writing.
My Google Chromecast was set up in the Living Room TV and I had no problems casting YouTube videos and streaming videos from both my desktop PCs upstairs. So before you buy, do check up the minimum system requirements required for casting a tab from your Chrome Browser. However, if you are like me, you probably have multiple devices at home and one or two of them are sure to work.
Do note that in addition to installing the Chrome Browser. You will also need to install the google cast extension for your chrome browser. If you are not a very techy type of person like me, one easy way to find out whether your device is supported is to try to install the google cast extension for your chrome browser. If you are able to, then you are supported. If not, your device is not and you will not be able to use this feature.
I love words. I love reading them and writing them. Now I love pictures and I love combining pictures with words. I love writing poems, quotes, sharing experiences through non-fiction writing. One thing I haven’t explored is fiction. I don’t think I am imaginative enough for that though.
I think my love affair with words started in primary school. As the youngest child in a family of 5 whose mom passed on when I was 10, I was never heard at home. Shhhhh was what I mostly heard. No. No. Not when the adults are talking. My brothers and sisters are born within four years and then there is a four year gap before I came along. So I never got to join in very much when the siblings were talking as well. As a result I became taciturn and quiet. Well, at least that is my analysis of it or maybe I’m just naturally born that way.
So, maybe that is why I find that I can express myself much much better in writing. In writing, my words just flow out naturally. In writing, I have so much to say. I am really glad to have my blogs, my books and even my FB group for me to express myself. Being able to ‘speak’ at last makes me happy.
One of the best things to do on a Sunday morning is to have a lazy late brunch of dim sum.
Dim sum is the best fast food there is. Meals on wheels. Rolled right up to your table for you to choose. Steamed or Fried it is up to you.
That was what we did last Sunday. We had Dim Sum in PJ.
We had our dim sum rolled right up to us. I love to look at all those lovely little delicacies in steaming in their bamboo baskets. Just one look is enough to get my mouth watering.
I’m afraid sometimes, it makes us order more than we can take. Our stomachs can’t take in the feast our eyes tells us to enjoy.
I’m afraid that I also can’t resist the trolley full of deep fried or baked dim sum. Something tells me we will be going there again soon.
We had our dim sum in PJ at Yuan Garden Dim Sum House @SS2 PJ. To read more about it check out this Food Blogger. Where and What To Eat Lah.
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