Blogging is about writing but at the same time, it is more about spreading the word. In this age of social media, spreading a word about the blog and getting more traffic is not a difficult job unless you really do not know how to do it. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are some of the platforms that can be leveraged to the fullest to get new visitors and through subscriptions, you can get help retaining the readers. As a blogger, we usually struggle to choose between the platforms which are available. More deadly question is “Which platform works the best in bringing more traffic?” Here I am going to elaborate on how some steps can help your blog getting noticed on Pinterest. Because of late my favorite platform is Pinterest.
It is important to set up a business account on Pinterest, mainly because with a personal account you may not get noticed as much. Once the form pops up, you can add your interests, which will be a piece of base information for Pinterest to populate your feed on the Pinterest home page.
Setting up your profile
Much as all other social platforms, setting up your profile true to your niche is critical for getting noticed. Unlike other platforms, you can also use hashtags on Pinterest. Hashtags help other people discover you like Instagram.
Following is a must
On other platforms, you can do without following other people but for Pinterest, you should be following the top bloggers of your niche.
Setting up boards
Setting Up boards is easy, but concentrate on your niche and then create neat board covers so that it looks professional.
Pinning other pins
As social media users, we should never forget the give and take the principle that it works on. Pinning pins from other boards is very very important for your pin to get noticed and to get repinned.
Creating pins based on your article is crucial. New and original pin is called a Rich Pin and is the surest way to get more traffic from Pinterest. Creating rich pins is easy and there are many more platforms which help you do that.
Those who use Instagram must be knowing how it helps to get a new reader or a new follower. Using hashtags while adding your new pin is the way to reach more readers and potential pinners.
Creating pins which are true to your blog is crucial in getting traffic. Also pinning voraciously is the name of the game when it comes to Pinterest. I have not used the automated pinning tools like Mediavine or Tailwind and would not do in near future because they are paid and I feel once we use it there is a sudden surge in the traffic, which does not look organic, but that is my personal opinion. I also feel that Tailwind and Mediavine are great tools because they help you schedule your posts, this feature is not available in Pinterest as yet. So I have enlisted some important points for getting much from your presence on Pinterest..remember you are on it to WIN it 🙂 So give it a try and let me know in comments.
Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Yoga with Adriene walked me through effortlessly.
Off late, procrastination has become a part of my lifestyle. Approximately 4 months ago I fell in front of the ground while running and twisted my ankle, that was a kind of downfall to my fitness regime. As much as I should not blame that fall, I will, because that was something I still remember. Then started a series of injuries which has prevented me from being myself. Has it ever happened to you? You want to be yourself but some other power wants you not to be. Funny isn’t it?
So, not being myself is not my favourite game.
Not enjoying it but yes, I am also in the process of learning. Sometimes, being yourself also means posing limitations on the variety of things and emotions that you go through and feel. If you feel bad, and being yourself is not expressing it, then expressing your feelings may teach you something unique. That is my experience of these 4 months. Off course, I blame my depleted endorphin levels for all the emotional mess that I have been through.
And now, not being normal is my new normal 🙂
How did I come to terms to it? ( Well, I had no other option) I had to literally wrap my head around many many things happening at the same time.
For a hard core Taurean like me who loves being grounded for like eons, these small changes were like a huge life changing moments.
I dread for them everyday and they keep coming onto me. It looks like a huge red flag as they shake in front of a bull in bull flight. Do I fight? Yes I do and so far I am successful. In one such fight that I had, I have learnt to tackle it with yoga with Adriene. Those who know me know that I am not quite a Yoga person. Not at all. My patience levels are terribly low and I like some happening workout business ( outwardly), This was different though. I got to know about Adriene from a fitness community on FB. As my usual behaviour goes, I contemplated doing it for couple of weeks. But ultimately Adriene convinced me to take up her 30 day Yoga practice.
In this Ultimate Blogging Challenge I am going to write about how everyday is changing the way I process my thoughts.
Day 1: Discern
Adriene is all about calmness. She is so comfortable with herself that you feel like “Wow”. The first day of Yoga is Discern. She takes you through some simple moves which would help you find out why are you on the yoga mat ( that’s what she says). Being on the Yoga mat is an experience in itself. For me it is a huge responsibility but Adriene walked me through effortlessly.
I should brag here for a bit and tell that my 5 AM routine helps me the Yoga practice with calmer mind. Throughout the day it is simply not possible to walk through it. Though it is too early to say anything or tell anything about the practice that I am doing, creating a good space for your practice helps a lot. Find your own place in the house, terrace, gallery, garden anywhere for Yoga practice. One place dedicated to it makes a lot of difference. If you don’t have that place, then please try and create one.
After years of Jumping, skipping and doing umpteen hardcore exercise reps at 5.00 am in the morning, Yoga comes like a whiff of fresh air. I loved it to the core and I am looking forward for the next day Adriene. 🙂
This post is written for #UBC Ultimate Blogging Challenge for #blogboost #ultimatebloggingchallenge
Hello everyone, here! Happy New Year 2019 to all of you. A fresh year starts and one can see 365 opportunities on 31st of December every year. A New year often ushers in a lot of positivity and endless possibilities.Bidding goodbye to the last year and welcoming the new year has always been a moment of nostalgia. The year or years which are never going to come back. I get retrospective when the countdown to the new year starts. I suddenly realise the time which is passing by and which can’t be brought back. Time for me is more than a resource. It is a fourth dimension to my living existence. I have always been a time-conscious child and now a careful mother. Whiling away time or doing nothing given a lot of time hurts me like nothing else. I respect people who spend their time meticulously.
About Planning And Time Management
The 5 AM Mommies believe in the miracle called planning and time management. It is an art as much as it is a science. Thus, new year is of immense importance to us. I am of the firm belief that not only a new year can change your life, but any fresh moment can transform your life and you will be like never before, only if you allow yourself the same.
I am a huge fan of resolutions. Getting new journals, life size planners at the beginning of any new year and planning the day, week and months has been a favourite affair of The 5 AM Mommies and now slowly the children also seen to imbibe it.
You can read our love for this all the time through our blogs. We second the thought that ,”If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning doesn’t assure success, but if we don’t plan we are left in a bewilderment which only few can relate to.
The 5 AM Mommies are health conscious. We are fitness freaks. We are marathon mommies and wish to handover/pass on the torch of healthy eating to the coming generations.
This year I have made a few small improvisations when it comes to my food habits. Even if they are small changes they require 200 percent willpower to bring into practice.Please note that I am a vegetarian.
Here we go:-
Yes, we eat as per plan. But, the most important habit I want to cultivate this year is to sit calm while eating, recite a prayer and then eat every bite consciously. I have a habit of planning my food quantity as well,pre-hand. But sometimes when I need more energy, by eating consciously, I am going to listen to the need of my body and give it the fuel and the amount of fuel which is required at that point of time. It sounds simple but is a big task in itself.
This is a growing and upcoming fad diet as you may call. I have followed it in the month of December and found it very much useful to keep my mind away from food(which is the only comfort for me). So, when my body doesn’t need food, I am not going to load the calories just because I planned or because I am on a high or my mood is real low. Basically, I am not going to be an emotional eater.
Amp up my Hb, Calcium and Vit D levels:-
As a mother, we often tend to ignore ourselves, grab whatever is available to eat. We mostly operate on low battery levels, thanks to running errands at our home. I have a resolution to have a tab on my daily intake of iron rich sources,( dates, spinach, pomegranate, apples, and beetroot) and also have a rich serving of calcium( ragi, tomatoes and many others).I take an oath to bring in the goodness of nuts and fruits to my plate. Dairy shall be given its due importance and it will find a way to my diet through a bowl of yogurt, curd or paneer.As I hate drinking milk. I am also going to bask in the Sun every 10 minutes of the day.
Swap Green tea with the regular sugar tea or the masala chai:–
Basking in the early morning rays of the Sun while sipping on fresh green tea, charges you for the day like anything. I am slowly getting into this habit and mind it, I have started to cultivate some harder ones from the last year.The purpose is to skip the empty calories the very thing in the morning.
Eating sweets and desserts guilt-free:-
I have been brought up in a household where sweets (homemade) formed a meal at least twice a week. Celebrations meant sweets from Mom’s Kitchen. If I scored well in any exam, I could see the lovely bowl of Rasgoollas in the fridge the very next day. Growing up, every sweet bite felt criminal. But, indeed, sweets played a big role in making us feel loved, and also served a much needed pat. I have decided to incorporate 2 servings of sweet to my diet plan. And if someone offers me sweet, I will accept wholeheartedly without giving my diet excuses.
Good thoughts, Good relationships and good Times:-
Good food also means good time.Good time with family and friends. Good food also means good thoughts. I am going to nurture quality thoughts while preparing food for the family. Strong relationships bond over great food. Thus, I resolve to put more than 100 % while cooking thus, welcoming new times. Please note that we also run a food catering businessFood is medicine. I am going to stick to these resolutions at least for an year. I wish it becomes a habit by this 21st January, itself. I dare to make a wish! Do you?
This post is written for Ultimate Blogging Challenge 2019
Dasara is on the 10 th day of Navratri. It is to mark the victory of Goddess Durga over Demon Mahishasura. In Maharashtra, we do Seemolanghan on this day. In olden times, we used to follow the ritual of crossing the territory of the village or town in the north-east direction. Being in the vast city like Chennai I can only imagine crossing the city and coming back in the evening on time.
Seemolanghan is a sandhi ( combination) of Marathi word Seema meaning Limit and Ulanghan meaning crossing.
In modern times, we should actually work towards crossing our limits not physically but mentally in terms of efforts, in terms of patience, in terms of restraint.
Pushing the limits – Knowing who you are
As we meet so many people across the world throughout our lives, we find different behaviors. No two people are same. But as a human being there is something familiar in all of them. They are all capable of going an extra mile, crossing the boundaries.
Be it acid attack survivors, cancer survivors, or the girl who has been termed as the world’s most ugly girl in the world. Be it the Army men or the Mumbai Dabbawalas who are on time every time. Be it Paralympians or be it any Successful Sports Person. Pushing the limits is something common in all of them.
They have successfully crossed the limits, and have made their mark ahead of that limit. Here, there is a magic of human effort and spirit.
The question remains, whether these people already knew to push the limits? How do they know what they should do? But there are so many constraints to achieve something extraordinary?
Nothing extraordinary can be achieved without crossing the boundaries. Comfort zone is the killer of success. You might be successful at the current place where you are but why not push a little more and see what happens. Why not take risks and give it a 110% of your effort.
The best thing about possibilities is that they are endless.
While you enter the risk zone, you would find it extremely tough to even survive, but there is where you will understand who you are.
Understanding your limits is the first step towards crossing it, so this Seemolanghan let us first identify what our limits are.
How far we can actually go. And then there would be a chance that you can successfully perform Seemolanghan.
This Vijayadashami, may you find yourself and your inner peace. And instead of traveling across the city, hope you go deep inside yourself and perform Seemolanghan.
A new beginning is very exciting, it becomes more meaningful when shared with family and friends.
As our dear blog readers you all are our extended family members and we could not wait further to tell you about our new venture and the kind of experience it has been since last month.
Around a month ago, I had severe headache radiating to right shoulder to fingers. It was so severe that I could barely talk. One such afternoon when all the pain was getting settled, I went to Shrilekha’s place over a tea. We stay just a couple of KM apart so occasional tea is always welcome besides we consider it as a quick huddle over looming matters.
As we were discussing different things, Shrilekha being her usual very enterprising self came up with a thought that Chennai has very poor quality of Phulkas and we should certainly do something about it.
There was no further thought before we decided that we should do Phulkas.
Initially it just started with Phulkas and slowly, as per the demand we started serving dinner. Word of mouth was our main ally when it came to spreading word. We cannot thank enough to our friends who spread the word so quickly. As we were doing dinners which included One gravy and Phulkas, we slowly started getting requests for lunches too. All office goers needed a home cooked lunch, so that requirement was fulfilled. Recently, we completed one month of this endeavour called “Joshi Caterers”
The main mission of this venture is to reach out to people who need home cooked food. As people love pizza, they also love to eat Puran Poli. It is just about the right taste and on time delivery.
Most of the customers which we came across never ate outside because one can not eat food without onion garlic outside. Similarly, food we should eat when we are fasting like Sabudana Vada or Sabudana Khichadi is never served in any restaurant in Chennai.
We served it and people liked it very much, we are so grateful to each of them who encouraged us with their amazing feedbacks.
Having home cooked food is a bliss. I was outside for 8 long years of my life and I have always felt the dearth of good home-made food so much so that in the last 2 years I started cooking on my own. Even if there was food, it was not made with quality ingredients which is even more harmful to the body.
As every business has its challenges, we too come across some difficulties every now and then. But when priorities are set right and as a team when we work towards getting a solution it all falls back in place.
Apart from Shrilekha and Me, there is a team of 5 people who are constantly working at making this experience better with every delivery. Our families have been extremely encouraging, without them we could not have pulled it up.
Meal planning was being done at the micro level and now it is done at Macro Level. We think and plan all our meals carefully so that they are nutritious and include seasonal varieties of vegetables.
I would always say that nothing can be accomplished without collaboration.
My people Khaleel, Kamakshi, Vignesh, Murali Mama, Mr.Joshi have been an integral part of the whole process. They encouraged us to take a step ahead and are with us in this satisfying yet challenging journey. Deliveries and procurement is entirely looked after Khaleel, Vignesh and Murali Mama. Culinary doubts and issues are quickly sorted by Baba. Kamakshi is an efficient cook and an amazing help. These people are my people and as a close knit family would stand by each other in the ups and downs of the life, they have been there just behind us as pillar of strength.
Well begun is half done..the journey so far was satisfying and god willing, it would be so in future.
Stories are a daily part of our life. We tell our families after returning from work nothing but stories. Stories of how it was a breathtaking event to catch/miss the bus, how we have convinced a client of the services we render or how we have solved a problem at workplace. Love stories, patriotic stories, mythological stories or the historical stories each genre holds a special place in our heart.I am all ears when I hear three golden words “once upon a time’.
What does your usual Sunday look like?
Well, mine is full of home chores and a little bit of prep for the week ahead. How mundane! You must be thinking.. but that is pretty much a life of every woman around the world. So, this Sunday was not so special. I wanted to finish my read “Mansfield Park by Jane Austen”. Well, if my SIL reads this blog post she would definitely say “ What?, You have not finished it yet?”. Well, I should tell her that I have been doing some “ Busy Nothings” since last 3-4 weeks. 🙂
“Busy Nothing” is a word which is coined by Jane Austen centuries before.
It still fits my schedule many times. I do not want to put the novel down. Who would not like to visit Northamptonshire every now and then to have English tea along with a little tete-a-tete with the British Folks of the 18th century. 🙂 🙂
Transcending to the places mentioned in the book is the general protocol of reading any book. Slowly the author starts speaking to you and you realize that you are in his/her world.
Before the kind of entertainment that we have now, it was through the folklore and tales by grandma that we used to do this time travel. Some are meant to learn a lesson while many are left to the audience whether what to take away.
Our paternal grandma whose name was “ Padmavati” used to weave so many stories and tell us after we came back from school. In her stories, she never referred to Ramayana or Mahabharata, she was always interested in telling folklore much to her audience’s ( Shrilekha and me) delight.
While telling us the stories she used to create simple rhymes which were easy to remember.
The stories have been etched in the memories of me and my sister. My grandma lives on forever in our memories through her stories.
One such “ Busy Nothing” Sunday noon, and I get a call from Shrilekha, asking whether will I be interested in a storytelling session by Vikram Sridhar. I said what??. Sensing that it might not interest me she said, “Okay, don’t come, but I will go.”
My home was bustling with guests by that time and I knew that they were all engaged in chatting.I did not want to indulge myself in those ‘Busy Nothings” yet again so, I just thought, let me take a look at this Adult Storytelling session.
We reached the venue which is a beautiful place on 6th Main Road RA Puram. The name of the studio is Wandering Artists( So apt). As we reached there were around 20 people seated in a circle comfortably listening to Vikram who was dressed in kurta-pajama with a nerdy look.
The session started with a simple folk tale explaining why Sambhar is named as Sambhar?
Starting a new session with something related to food was expected but this simple story was awesome and involved the tales and stories from three to four different states.
The storyteller was smart enough to engage people’s attention who were from varied places and states. Once that was complete, he continued his narrative with a King and Queen Cobra story. The story was simple and many people must have heard it. But what made it special was the narrative.
The sound of a baby crying and the description of the function hosted by the King created a vivid impression.
By now, Shrilekha and I had become the small kids aged 7 and 10 years and were just watching Vikram as he was progressing with the story.
The story ended and the moral was left for our imagination. Vikram smartly moved to the next story of a goddess and that was another treat.
Again, there wasn’t a mythological account of any of this. It was a pure folklore, pretty much as my grandma used to tell me.
Post Yellamma, Vikram took us to a quick and simple story of a cow named Punyakoti. It was a heart-wrenching story of a new mother Punyakoti who promises the Tiger to return as his meal after feeding her baby.
Our next stop was Agra and the darbar of Mughal Emperor Akbar with Birbal. Soon after that, we went to Krishnadevaraya’s kingdom to watch the smartness of Tenali Raman.
By now, we were all immersed in the folklore and living every character.
Vikram smartly moved us onto a kind of Shaikh Chilli story. It involved inputs from everybody. Before we knew the session was over and we came out with a heart filled with joy and brain filled with different colorful canvases.
Rich Indian folk lore has a long way to go.Today’s session was a revival of memories with my dearest Aaji who was an expert to share beautiful folk stories.I wish I get more opportunities to listen to more stories and handover them to the future generation.