Top 20 ways To Use An iPad


  1. Educational Tool – I refer to it a lot to teach my kids. I use Google image search a lot to show my kids something they do not understand. A picture speaks volumes and they instantly get it.
  2. Dictionary -I refer to it as a multi-language dictionary and translator.
  3. Reminder – It is perfect as a reminder, an organizer and a notebook. I take pictures and make notes of everything.
  4. Calculator – I use it as a calculator and worksheet to make list and excel like files.
  5. Mobile Gaming – I play games on it with my kids and sometimes on my own. With the iPad, you don’t need another handheld console for your kids.
  6. Drawing Tablet – I draw and make motivational posters with my iPad. I love using the iPad for drawing.

    I Use My iPad To Draw And Create Graphics For My Online Writing

    Even an amateur can create sometime beautiful from free drawing apps. It is so easy.

  7. Portable TV – I watch my favorite movies via streaming video on it.
  8. eReader – I read my favorite magazines and books on my iPad. With the iPad, I don’t need another reading tablet.
  9. Recipe Book – I keep my favorite recipes in it and constantly find new ones I can easily refer to when cooking.
  10. Communication – I keep in touch with my friends on Facebook and other social media using my iPad.
  11. Camera – I take beautiful pictures and videos and share them easily. I like to add quotes and fun stuff to my pictures. It is easy to do that with an iPad and the free photo apps available. I also like to make my own Facebook covers using my iPad.
  12. Fingertip Surfing – I surf the internet regularly to find anything and everything with my iPad and I can surf on my couch or bed.
  13. Organizer – My iPad is my calendar, clock and alarm.
  14. Information – I catch up with the latest news on my iPad.
  15. Sharing – I use it to share and receive files online. This is great for work as well as for fun.
  16. Music – I can listen to music from my iPad when I work.
  17. Tracking – I use it to track my exercise and fitness routine. Although I surf the internet on the couch, I am at no risk of turning into a couch potato because I can use fitness apps on the iPad to keep me on my feet.
  18. Keeping In Touch – It is a perfect tool for video conferencing and keeping in touch with loved ones.
  19. GPS – It is my map and GPS when I need to find my way in an unfamiliar place. I particularly like the free waze app.
  20. Family Entertainment – It is my companion and my family entertainment center.

These are the 20 ways I use my iPad for. What about you?


Why I Love My iPad

I Wanted An iPad Badly

I wanted to have an iPad and told my husband so. Indirectly and then directly when he asked what I wanted for my birthday for Christmas etc. However, he didn’t get it for me. “What do you need an iPad for? You’re always at home and we have two desktop computers at home. That should be more than enough for your computing needs.” I hinted indirectly and directly and pouted and finally last year I got it as a Christmas present after waiting 3 whole years for it!

I’m madly in love with my iPad. Like my husband said “Why get an tablet computer when you already have a desktop computer?” I’m going to tell you why. I love the iPad for its mobility and flexibility. I use it daily, many times a day. I love how my emails are organized so neatly on the iPad. Checking, reading and replying my emails from my different email accounts is so convenient and easy.

However, checking emails is not what I got the iPad for. In my next post, I will tell you what I use the iPad for. I will group it into the Top 20 Ways I Use My iPad.

I love how my iPad is so portable. Finally after watching how useful the iPad is for me, my husband agreed that he should have bought it for me earlier. An iPad is not a replacement for a desktop computer. It is a totally different tool all together. I also love how there are many free apps for almost anything and everything. The iPad is a multi functional tool which is so versatile.

Tips To Get The Most From You iPad

When buying an iPad cover, do shop for one that allows it to stand up. This makes it so much easier when using it as a recipe book or for watching streaming videos.

A removable keyboard is very useful if you are always on the go and need to do some work using your iPad. Though the iPad keyboard is perfectly functional, a physical keyboard is very useful if you do a lot of typing.

You May Need A Protection Plan For Your Tablet

Just like any computer, it is always a good idea to plan ahead and have a protection plan for your iPad.

25 Things You Should Know About Putting Your Own Content On Your Own Site

Writing Online Is A Job

25 Myths And Realities Of BloggingWriting Online is a job, for me as well as for many others who are serious about writing. I love writing and I have been writing online for many years. Writing is a wonderful way to express oneself and if you can make money from writing online, well, then that is a bonus.

I first started my blog on Google’s Blogger in September 2004. Having written online for 10 years, I feel it is time to write this article. I write this article, not as a big time blogger but as a housewife blogger who has been writing for a very long time. I write this article for the average blogger who is interested to earn a little income from their writing.

The question is where should you write your articles? There are many content sites. However, my experience is mainly as a blogger and as an almost ex-Squidoo lensmaster or Giant Squid as what they call Squidoo article writers who are dedicated lensmasters who are creative, self-motivated and care about publishing original articles. Oh, I do miss being a Giant Squid already. Now, I am on HubPages. I will not be writing about other article writing sites because I do not have direct experience with those sites so this is a general article for writers who are interested or thinking of putting some of their content on their own websites.

Your Own Site in this article refer to your own dynamic blogs rather than a static web page that used to be the thing before blogs came along.

This Is My Workstation

Writing Online Workstation

25 Myths And Realities Of Blogging

Perhaps I should have titled this hub 25 Myths And Realities Of Blogging. Anyway, before you decide where to put your content. Here are a couple of things you should know.

article writing rules



The online world is not permanent, just like how digital photos are. They can disappear overnight if you do not take the necessary steps to protect that which is yours. Remember that if you put your writing on your own site, any original content that you write is yours but you must take care of it. Blogger blogs can disappear overnight. Even self hosted blogs may have problems. So, protect that which is yours. However, this is easier said then done. How do you back up 10 years of work?



Not true. While you certainly have a lot more control over what you write, you still cannot write whatever you want if you want to earn money from your articles. You can write anything you want if your blog is personal and private. However, when you write online you still have to adhere to your big boss’s rules ie Google especially if you want to make money from writing online.

Everything that you have learned from writing sites, all the rules they have apply to your own sites as well. You also have to make sure you do not write anything sensitive that may hurt others or break the unspoken laws of your land. Many workers have been sacked and some people have even been arrested for their writing.



Not true. It is better to write for yourself and to write for others. It is better to write for your own website as well as to write for revenue sharing sites like HubPages. In fact, it is invaluable to write for content sites because you learn a lot of things that you wouldn’t if you go it alone by writing on your site exclusively. It is also not better to write for content sites only because then you will miss then chance of learning other the other things that you will learn if you write on your own site. You will also enjoy the camaraderie among the writers of such sites.

A mix is much better. It is also better not to put all your eggs into one basket (as many Squidoo lensmasters learned the hard way). Even if you have your own site, it is also not good to put all of them on your site alone. If you have the time, it is better to write for several content sites plus your own site. However, I am not doing that because I can’t spread myself too thin. I have 5 blogs, 180 Squidoo lenses and having just started at HubPages this is my 6th Hub. I won’t be able to manage writing for another content site so I have to select the tried, tested and those that have been around for a long time with proper systems in place like this one.



True. When you write and share your articles online, you are sharing your writing with the whole world, not just the part of the world where you live in. Have a look at my stats below for this week (August at the time of writing). I am from Malaysia but as you can see from the statistics of one of my blogs the Parenting Times, my target audience is largely from the US. Malaysia is second and India is third.

Usually in August, I have a spike of activity and pageviews from India because of one article I wrote about Teacher’s Day gift ideas. I had written this article in May 2012 at the time when Teacher’s Day is celebrated in Malaysia. However, Teacher’s Day is celebrated in September in India and that’s the reason for the spike in August.

I think it is pretty amazing that something you wrote a few years ago may continue to generate page views on your site. If you keep on writing, you will get that search engine audience eventually, so work hard on it.


This screenshot was taken for the pageviews for one week in August for my Parenting blog


When I first started blogging, I wrote about everything under the sun, anything that mattered to me, all that I saw and thought, I recorded on my blog. I was told that it was not a very good thing to have a site that lacks focus. So I decided to have a health blog, a quotes blog, a parenting blog, a blog just for mothers and a personal blog for me to write anything and everything.

On hindsight, that wasn’t such a fantastic idea. While it got me more writing assignments from advertisers who wanted a more targeted blog, in terms of income from ads, surprise, surprise, my first anything and everything blog continues to do the best.



You earn money the same way as how you earn if you were to put your content on content sites like HubPages. You earn income from Adsense, for affiliate links like Amazon and eBay plus you may also get writing assignments from advertisers. However the latter is on the decline now.

During my early days of blogging, link buying was rampant. Everyone wanted to pay you for writing and linking to their site. However Google put a stop to all that. Many of those who had paid to get you to link to their site eventually had to pay someone to contact all the sites to get their links taken down because they had been penalized by Google. So, that way of earning money is a way of the past.

However, you may still get local advertisers from around your area who are willing to pay you to write more about their product or service. This is very localized.


Google Adsense Tutorial




Sometimes I carry a little notepad around to jot down ideas of the things I want to write about before they escape me


So you started your own website. You are also writing for several content sites. Will you run out of things to write about? The answer is no. I have found from experience that the more you write, the more things you have to write about. If you stop writing, as I have for several months at a time from time to time, you lose your momentum and you stop having things to write about. However, if you keep on writing, it will lead to more and more ideas and you will have even more to write about.

You should also try to write outside your comfort zone and venture into writing other things that you would not normally write about. You will be encouraged by the fact that you can write about other things too. The more you write the better you become at writing.

In addition, when you write about life and your experiences you will always have something to write about because life goes on and your experience changes. I have moved on from writing about breastfeeding to taking care of babies and making baby food to the challenges of taking care of grade school children and about education and looking after preteens. Life moves on and so does your writing.


If you write well, traffic and advertisers will come to you naturally. You do not have to work very hard in those areas. Just concentrate on improving your writing.

The way to improve is to write often and write well.

Be passionate about writing and write about things that you are passionate about. You can’t go wrong if you do this.

Apart from writing, you should also improve on your layout and the photos you use for your articles.


if you have your own website, pay close attention to your statistics. It can tell you something to help you decide on what you should be writing about that will generate more views and income online.

In fact, you should watch your stats wherever your content is.


When I first started blogging, I had a lot of comments because in those days, there were not many social sharing sites and blogging was one of the ways to share socially.

When Facebook came along in a big way, the commentors left for Facebook and many bloggers stopped blogging altogether.

However, although my comments disappeared, my traffic increased because my blog has been around for a very long time and is recognized by search engines.

I Love Blogging. Do You?

I Love Blogging


When you have your own site, you should take care of it lovingly, like tending to a garden. First you must prepare your grounds by having a good template and layout. Then you plant your flowers by publishing posts and watch your blog grow.

In my early days of blogging, blogs weren’t as user friendly. I had to learn many things from scratch, playing around with my template over and over again till I got it right. It is so much easier now. Many things can be done with just one click or drag.



Yes, that is it. Having your own site is very rewarding and satisfying, even if you don’t generate any income from it. However, you will, if you work hard at it.


The Successful Online Writers I Know Work Hard And Are Patient


Not quite true. When I first started blogging, blogging was THE way to share and express oneself. Then Facebook came along and blogging took a nose dive.

However, after the bad experience many online writers have had with some content sites, blogging has started to go up in popularity again as a way to share well written original articles.

It is no longer THE best way to share personally but it has become more of a way to share professionally. If you want to share personally, you can do so a lot more easily and by saying a lot fewer words as in Twitter or say nothing at all if you use Instagram.


Your blog or own site is not an island. You must integrate it with other social sharing sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus and more. The good news is, it has become easier to do this, usually you can do it with a click of a button.



Not true. While you may have a lot more freedom in what you write and how you present it, you still do not have full control of your site. I have had my self hosted site down on several occasions because of server problems.

Sometime during my 9th year of blogging, I have even had my 9 year old Blogger blog disappear from the radar completely. I could not view my site anywhere online and I could not log into my account for that blog. All I received was an email informing me that my blog has been removed because it was spam.

Imagine the horror of that. All of my blog posts disappeared overnight (9 years of original published material) without the ability of me going in to retrieve anything at all! I wrote to Blogger and my blog was reinstated only to have it happen again a few days later. I had to write in again. Of course my blog was reinstated since it is obviously not spam, anyone can see that but the machines cannot. It led to a few days of anxiety for me.



Be prepared for this. I have had my content being stolen in many ways. Once, there was a person who took my very personal posts and wrote them on her blog pretending that she was me. That was very spooky indeed.

The more common way of plagiarizing is not so personal. You will find your blog posts and sometimes your entire blog being copied. Of course, there will be ways to address this but then it will happen again and over again. People will try to make money from your content. The worse thing is sometimes your stolen content ranks higher in search pages then your own original content.

Do You Want To Be A Successful Online Writer?

successful online writers


This one is true. If you work hard writing and updating your blog, there will come a time when you no longer need to work as hard. You can leave your blog unattended to for months and the income will still come.



If you want that day when you can earn continuous income to arrive, you have to work really hard at first. You have to be serious about it and treat it professionally as you would any other job. Treat your online writing on your own site as a freelance writing job.



No question about this. Your traffic goes up when you promote your site. It comes down if you do nothing. However, you will always get traffic from search engines just from writing (without promoting) original articles and updating your site regularly with articles.



When Google and other search engines started having image search, it became a new way for getting traffic to your site. If you choose your photos carefully and give them targeted titles that match your article, you will rank high in image searches and get traffic from that.

You should also pin your images on pinterest. That is another major potential for traffic that can increase your pageviews significantly.


Your site will not earn you income immediately. You must put in all the work first and expect rewards later.

For example, it took me 6 months before I had enough articles to get my Adsense approved and another 2 months later before I started earning and eventually it was a more than a year before I received my first check from Adsense.

I never earned anything from Amazon affiliates. It was only after I started writing on Squidoo that the Amazon earnings started to pick up. Using that knowledge, I applied it on my own sites and it improved a little bit but it was never as good as it was at Squidoo.

That is why it is sometimes better to write for established content sites. You get to earn your adsense a lot faster. You also cannot beat content sites in terms of updating and traffic because of their sheer volume of content. Not in a million years.


Which is better? Free blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr etc or your own self hosted site on your own domain?

After I had my Blogger site for a while, I was told that it would be better to have my own self hosted site so I started my own site at At that time some advertisers prefer it if you had a dotcom.

However, apart from getting the few writing assignments which are not so popular these days, I am really glad I didn’t transfer all of my content from my original mumsgather @ blogspot blog which I now call Parenting Times.

I kept it and continued to update it and it has continued to be my best Adsense earner, not the dotcom one. So in this case, free turned out to be better than paid hosting.


You can help people who are searching for information by becoming a master curator. Think about a topic that someone is searching for, then put all the relevant information for that person all in one page including links to websites, slideshows, newspaper articles, videos, photos and more. In fact, you can do this whether you are writing on your own site or otherwise.


Whatever rules you have to follow on a content site, do it for your own site as well. Write only original content, do not steal or copy, update regularly.


You know what? If you keep blogging diligently, over time you will find that you have enough content for a book! That is what I did, after years of writing about certain subject matters over and over again, I found that I had enough content for not just one but three books. So I turned all of them into self published books which I now sell online as an additional way for making money online.


I know I only started with 25 when I started writing this hub but I wanted to add this very important thing. Never ever stop learning. Wherever you write, whether on a revenue sharing site or on your own blog or site, you will learn a lot of new things along the way. This is one of the most exciting things about writing online. If you love this part and never ever stop learning, you will continue to grow as a writer. Also, do not be afraid to share your knowledge. Share generously. By sharing, you continue to learn too as I did when writing this hub.

The Latest Technology Makes Your Work As An Online Writer More Fun And Productive

I use both a desktop pc and tablet computer for my writing assignments. The tablet is for taking photos and creating graphics while the desktop is for writing.  Photo Source: Amazon

How To Watch YouTube And Other Streaming Video On Your Old TV

image8I have a google chromecast device which works well for my flat tv with hdmi input but then we wanted to utilize our old TV, you know those old big fat televisions of yesterday. Yes, we still have one of those. So how do you make your old TV smart? That was something I had to figure out and eventually did.

In this post, I will share with you step by step how to watch YouTube and other streaming video on your old TV.

Before you start, you will need

  1. a smart phone
  2. a google chromecast donger
  3. a hdmi to av adapter
  4. a usb charger wire
  5. usb charger plug (optional) and
  6. a red yellow white composite cable.

If you have never  used a Google Chromecast donger before, then please read my old post How To Use Google Chromecast To Watch Streaming Video From Google Chrome Browser before you proceed with the rest of this tutorial.


Step 1 – Power up your google chromecast dongle by putting the usb end into a usb charger plug and plug into an electrical outlet. If you have your desktop pc nearby, you can use the usb port from your desktop pc, then you won’t need the charger plug.

Step 2 – Insert the hdmi end of your google chromecast dongle into your hdmi to av converter.



Step 3 – Insert one end of the composite cable to the output end of the hdmi to av converter


Step 4 – Insert the other end of your composite cable to the composite cable input of your old tv. This can usually be found at the back of your old tv. Just follow the color codes when you insert the wires. Red for red etc.

Step 5 – Power up your hdmi to av converter by inserting one end of the usb charger wire to the converter and another to a usb inlet nearby. Again, you can use the usb port from your pc or you can use the usb charger plug.




Step 6 – Open up the YouTube app on your smartphone. Click on the Cast to TV button (It is the little rectangle with wavy lines on one end right beside the “What To Watch” link.)


Step 7 – Select your chromecast. I named my Living Room.



Step 8 – Tadaa! That’s it. You can now watch YouTube from your old TV! Congratulations if you made it this far. We’re watching a minecraft video on our old TV. Our old TV just became smart. Cool isn’t it?




Extra Tips For Watching Streaming Video Without Lag – Use An Alternative Browser For Casting V ideos Instead of Google Chrome Browser

You can cast any video that you are watching from any site by casting it from your google chrome browser. However, I find a small lag between the audio and video when I do that. In order to prevent the lag, you can download a browser app specially for casting web videos as well as local videos on your smartphone or ipad to your TV. I’m using an app called Video and TV Cast for Chromecast. It works well with no lag so I can watch any streaming video I want on my old TV not just YouTube videos. However, this app does not support rewind or fast forward for free users. :(

Bonus Tip: (Alternative way to watch streaming video on your old TV. Can be used for older generation Apple devices only)

If you are using an old generation iphone or ipad ie those that use a 30 pin adapter instead of the lighting 8 pin adapter, then you can use the following to watch any streaming video from any website on your TV easily. It is an AV Cable for iPad and iPhone. Remember, this only works for the older generation devices.




The AV Cable has 3 parts. Plug the 30 pin adapter to your old generation iphone or ipad, plug the usb part into a usb port to charge and power up the device and finally plug the composite cable into the red yellow white composite input of your old TV. That’s it!





Here is the difference between the 30 pin and 8 pin adapter. The 30 pin one is larger in size. This is the part where you plug into your iphone or ipad when you need to charge it. So check whether you have a 30 pin adapter if you wish to use this option.






What Google Image Search Does For Your Traffic

What Google Image Search Does For Your Traffic

What Google Image Search Does For Your Traffic

Blogging is not the same with Image Search and Pinterest. When I first started blogging in 2004, there were no such things. When you wanted to get traffic, all you had to do was work on your content. Although the say content is king, these days content alone won’t get you enough traffic. If you work on just the writing aspect of your blogging, you will miss out on some of the best sources of traffic, your photos, pictures, clip arts and graphics. These draw readers to  your blog too.

Let me show you an example of the magic of Google image search. Below is the screenshot of the stats of my Parenting Blog. I have done a search for “Origami Stars” so you will see only posts related to those search terms. Take a look at the numbers. The blog post “Seeing Stars!” has drawn in 60460 visitors at this point of writing and it is all due to google image search. That’s right. I’m really seeing stars with those numbers. The post itself did not draw in those visitors. It was just an ordinary very personal post about my kids. At the time I did not know much about how to get traffic for my blogs. Many of the tricks I learned about blogging were quite accidental like this although I did read up a lot to learn along the way.


What Google Image Search Does To Your Traffic

What Google Image Search Does To Your Traffic

So as you can see, in these days where there is so much information online and so little time for everyone to read. Infographics, instagram, pinterest and anything else to do with little words and lots of pictures are making it big. Even twitter now allows you to post pictures. With so many words competing for readers view, it is no wonder that readers have started to skim through words and look at pictures instead. Pictures with a few words.

So, have I convinced you yet? If you have not started to include pictures or graphics with your blog posts, please do so now and remember to include good descriptions, captions and alt text.

Content may still be King but a picture is the Queen and sometimes the Queen has more say than the King. Happy Blogging!

By the way, when reading this post did you skim over the words and just look at the pictures? Even if you did and despite what I just said, remember that content is still King so you need those too. Don’t go overboard with pictures and forget your writing. Let’s put it this way, you need both the King and Queen to do well in search engines.

Content Is King But A Picture Is The Queen

Content Is King But A Picture Is The Queen


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