“The” Basics Of Blogging And How To Get Them Right

Don’t Worry, making Weird Faces with “o” in mouth is definitely not a Blogging Basic. What are Blogging Basics according to you? What are the things that you should get right to be a successful blogger?

I am sure I will get a lot of difference responses. Some will say it is monetizing your blog, some will say it is making a big email list and so on.

The thing is that we have been conditioned to so many different things that we are forgetting the real basics of blogging, or “the” basics!

What Are The Basics Of Blogging

BlogThese three:

  • 1. Writing
  • 2. Reading
  • 3. Promoting

No matter what else others tell you, don’t believe!

Because if you get these three things right, everything else will work.

Monetizing? You can easily monetize if you have traffic which you will get by promoting.

Want more readers? Good content and promotion are the keys.

Want new ideas? Reading is the best solution.

How To Get These Right

As I said before, if you get these three things right, you do not have much to do. But how to get these right?

1. Writing

Writing is not a hard thing to do. Just follow following and you will be fine:

  • Write, Write, Write: There is only one proven way to become an expert in any field, practice. You have to do the actual thing to learn. And with writing, the case is same. You have to write a lot to learn writing well. Start writing and write a lot!
  • Try Free Writing: Struggling for ideas? Try this: Turn off everything else and open a blank document. Go full screen and for next 5 minutes, do not do anything but write. Write everything that comes to your mind. Do not stop in between. After 5 minutes, you will be amazed to see how many ideas are there.
  • Set A Writing Schedule: If you train your brain to do one thing at a particular time, it will soon make it a habit. So try writing on a fixed schedule.
  • Do Whatever You Want: Every human is different and everything does not work for everyone. So don’t care about what others say. Do what makes you write. For example, I usually write with my headphones and instrumental music. Other think it is distracting but I write quite easily with it.

2. Reading

We all do a bit of reading everyday. And it is really helpful. Reading helps you by introducing you to some amazing ideas. By reading, you can learn a lot.

  • Read Other Blogs: Blogs have lot of innovative ideas and reading blogs in your niche can get you lot of good ideas.
  • Read Books: Books have one advantage over blogs: structure. Most of the blogs publish posts that are not in a specific order. With book, you go systematically, according to structure.
  • Research: It pays to know about latest happenings in your niche. When free, go and surf a bit and learn what’s new and famous in your niche.

3. Promotion

Promotion is one of the hardest things to do. Many bloggers read and write well but fail here. And this is one of the biggest reasons of failure.

  • Guest Post: Guest Posting is one of the best ways to get traffic. Though you may not get hundreds of visitors in a single day, guest posts will get you constant traffic and help in search engine optimisation as well.
  • Search Engines: Search Engines are one of largest sources of traffic. By optimising your blog posts for them, you can attract a good amount of traffic easily.
  • Comment: By leaving comments on other blogs, you can get visits by other interested bloggers. Though you need to make your content interesting.
  • Social Circle: I have seen that many bloggers do not share their blog in their own social circles. If you are doing it, stop and start telling others about your blog.

Conclusion

If you master reading, writing and promoting, you will soon be a Pro Blogger. Ignore other things, just try different things in these three and see the result.

50 Must Have iOS Apps for iPhone and iPad Users

iphone ipad appsiPhone is a great phone. Hardware and software aside, what makes the phone great is the app ecosystem. There are lot of apps available in Apple App Store and you will surely find lot of apps that you’ll like.

In this post, I have listed 50 apps that I have found after lot of searching and trying.

You should consider the best VPN for iPhone and it will handy while you check out all these apps.

Productivity

1. Clear

Clear is a different to do list app. I did not like it at first because it involved a big of getting used to.

The difference is that instead of normal buttons and text boxes, it uses gestures. Pull down to create new item, tap to edit, pinch to close a list and go to previous menu and so on.

It is simple and strips of everything unimportant.

2. iA Writer

iA Writer is for those of us who get distracted a lot.

It does not have any formatting and creates simple text files. Font used by app is simply beautiful and an extra row for buttons like period(.) and comma(,) etc. makes typing a breeze!

3. Occasions

Do you keep forgetting birthdays and anniversaries?

Me too!

So, I got Occasions. It will import all dates from your contacts and can do the same for Facebook and remind you in advance about the birthday. I have set the reminder to 2 days before the day so that I can get a good present. You can always change the setting though.

4. Cashvault

I’m bad with money.

I behave like a money magnet, though one with same polarity as money(in non-science language, I simply repel money, or make it fly away by spending too fast)

Cashvault is a little app that helps me easily keep track of my budget and accounts.

5. Day One

Day One is one of my top used apps. Simply put, this is a simple to use dairy app with Dropbox and iCloud integration.

Syncing to iCloud is headache free.

It does one thing and does it very well!

6. Commit

Commit is a small 600 KB app that helps you in making new habits. All you have to do is set a reminder once and it will keep track of your habit.

Just launch app and check if you have performed the action(s). As simple as that!

Reading & Learning

7. Pocket

Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is an awesome app if you like reading in free time. I am often busy and save articles to pocket.

When in Wi-Fi, it automatically downloads the saved articles for me and keeps them saved. It offers full screen reading which I like a lot. (You can download articles over mobile network too, there’s a setting for that!)

8. Goodreads

Goodreads is a must have if you have loads of books.

It lets you scan the bar code on the back of book and add it to your list. You can keep track of the number of pages you have read.

Additionally, you can also discover new books and find how they are by reading their reviews.

9. iBooks

iBooks is no-brainer and a must have. Reading on small screen is not that good but when you need a quick reference, you can have it right there on iPhone.

It also handles PDFs well.

10. Kindle

If you have books on Kindle, this is the official app.

Although not so shiny and polished as iBooks, it works well.

It has additional functionality that lets you push documents to your deice by sending them to a unique kindle.com address(and thankfully, this ‘unique’ address is easy to remember)

11. Sounds: The Pronunciation App

A good app if you want to learn pronunciation. Supports both US and British English. You can see how symbols sound and also learn the correct pronunciation of words.

News

12. Pulse

Pulse is a app with innovative design. It lets you see news for different sources easily and makes navigating through them a breeze.

Just try it once and I’m sure you’ll be hooked.

13. Flipboard

Flipboard too has innovative interface. It is more like a magazine though. Whereas Pulse shows lot of items on a single page, Flipboard first shows you categories and then shows 6 news items per board.

It is fun and nice but I prefer Pulse to it. Try it though, you may like it better.

14. feedly

feedly is a RSS reading service. I started using it after looking for good alternatives to Google Reader.

It works well on iPhone and has a nice interface. Though it may take some getting used to.

And yes, it integrates nicely with Google Reader.

Health

15. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation is nothing but a wrapper of audio recordings for meditation. The recordings are of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes.

However, the quality is nice and it really helps. I have been trying to develop a habit of meditation for some time now and this app is helping a lot.

With it, the instructions for meditations reduce to:

  • Plug in your earphones
  • Meditate

16. Affirmation Works

I’m one of those people who believe in Law Of Attraction. Simply said, I believe that if I want something and repeat that I’ll get it, my subconscious mind will get it for me.

Affirmation Works app lets you create messages for yourself and helps in repeating. Simple and beautiful.

Utilities & Lifestyle

17. Paper’d

I love having awesome wallpapers.

And Paper’d app delivers them.

For $1.99, you have access to 500+ awesome wallpapers(200 for free version).

However, the collection is really really awesome and if you have only $2 to spend, I’d ask to spend on this app. It is that great!

18. Flashlight

Nothing flashy(actually, it is!), just a normal app that lets you use iPhone flash as torch. Though beware of battery drain as the app can drain ~1% per minute.

19. Dropbox

Dropbox for iPhone. It lets you access your Dropbox from anywhere and download and store your favorite items. You can upload and delete items easily too.

20. WinZip

No idea why they call it WinZip and not something like iZip or iOSZip and why it can handle RAR files(not bad, but surprising!)

Simple and nice to use! 🙂

21. Find My iPhone

This nice little app from Apple helps you track your lost iPhone. You can see location and send a message, sound alarm and lock/wipe the phone easily.

Note: You can do same from iCloud.

22. Remote Mouse

If you have to give lots of presentations, this is one good app. It lets you control your computer using Wi-Fi.

You have to install a small client on desktop first though. After that, enjoy controlling your desktop with Remote Mouse.

Social

23. Google+

Google+ has a nice interface on app and you will surely like it. Must have if you use Google+.

24. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a free and superb app if you want to update multiple profiles at once. I was using Facebook and Twitter apps before it but it is easier to update via this.

Entertainment

25. Discovr Apps

Helps you discover related apps in an easy way.

Nice if you are looking for apps that do same job. Most of the time, matching is good. On a glance, you can easily know if app is free and how much rating it has.

26. IMDB Movies & TV

Go to app for finding information about a movie or TV show. You can also watch trailers and see other information.

Games

This is one category where you ‘ll find a lot of apps. I have spent quite a bit of time playing on my iPhone and have 61 gaming apps(counting ones on my hard disk, my Apple ID has more).

27. Angry Birds Space

I had gotten bored with Angry Birds and was sure that Rovio could not do much with the franchise anymore.

Angry Birds Space proved me wrong!

It is an excellent game and you’ll surely spend a lot of time playing it. Space based puzzles are simply amazing!

28. Asphalt 6: Aderline

On first try(and even on second and third), Asphalt did not seem that good to me.

In fact, I uninstalled it twice and went back to Real Racing 2.

I tried it again after latest update and it looks brilliant now. Maybe nothing has changed and I just adopted to the controls but it is a lot of fun.

I remember playing Asphalt 2: Street Rules on my old phones. This game retains the enjoyable game play and adds 3D graphics and much more.

Overall, a must have.

29. Batman: Arkham City Lockdown

I am a big fan of Batman. I have watched both the movies and will surely be watching The Dark Knight Rises.

On gaming side, I have not played anything on PC till now.

On iPhone, this game rocks! I had same love it-hate it-love it-hate it-love it affair with this game as Asphalt.

In starting, the controls feel a bit less fluid than other similar games (Infinity Blade, Infinity Blade II). However, once you get used, the game is fun to play.

Only one complaint: It is very short.

30. Blueprint 3D

Blueprint 3D is a different kind of puzzle game. You have to play to see how simple and unique it is.

Hats off to developers for developing something unique life this.

31. EPOCH

I’m a big fan of strategy games and found EPOCH when I was looking for great strategy games.

It is not exactly strategy but good nonetheless.

Can be a bit difficult though, and gets boring towards end. I tried two or three times but was unable to defeat final(and only) boss. Also, game is leaned towards in game purchases and without them, it is difficult.

32. Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja is a must have for all iOS users.

It is addictive and fun to play. Never gets old. I have played it for a lot of time and have never gotten bored.

33. Grand Theft Auto 3

GTA 3 is a great port. I loved the game on my iPhone.

However, it is still a PC port and feels clunky at some places. I got frustrated in a mission where I had to use Sniper Rifle to protect a friend.

The bad controls made sure that I was never able to control it well and never finished the game. Uninstalled after that! Still enjoyable and best open world game on iOS.

34. Helsing’s Fire

Helsing’s Fire is a unique puzzle game based on light. Involves zombies and related monsters but still very different.

If you like puzzle games, do get it.

35. Infinity Blade I & II

There’s a big reason that these games are flagship games for iOS. Want to know?

These games are awesome!

Simply put, these are best games I have played on my phone and can still play. Graphics are amazing and soundtrack is beautiful. And did I mention awesome and accurate touch controls.

Get Infinity Blade and Infinity Blade II right away.

36. Lostwinds

Lostwinds is a innovative and different game. The interface and controls are very different and work well. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

37. Shake Spears

Get Shake Spears now!

It is a unique and addictive game. Me and my roommate really liked the title soundtrack of the game.

Apart from sound, the graphics are good and gameplay is also great.

38. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.

H.A.W.X. is a straight port but executed well. Gameloft did not do much but whatever cuts they made to the PC version, they only helped the game on iPhone.

It’s fun to play and quite easy. However, it does not support multitasking as well and sometimes, you’ll lose all the progress in a mission. And did I tell there’s no saving once you start a mission. Either finish it or start again.

39. Twin Go

Twin Go is a small, cute and addictive puzzle game.

It’s about reaching the end of levels. However, there’s a catch as the twin blobs move at same time. Drop any one of these and game is over.

40. Where’s My Water?

Again a unique puzzle game and one of my favorites.

You have to make sure that Swampy the alligator is able to bath by supplying water to him. There’s lot of fun and gameplay in this one. Download Where’s My Water?

41. Zombie Gunship

In Zombie Gunship, land is infected with zombies and you have to make sure that they do not reach the safe house.

You do so by shooting them from AC-100 gunship using different guns. Shoot three civilians, however, and game is over.

Photography & Video

These applications will make your 8MP camera more awesome. Don’t trust me? Try yourself!

42. Camera+

Camera+ is a great app which adds more functionality to your camera. It lets you choose different modes for taking pictures including burst mode and adds more editing capability and effects.

Works well and offers more control than built in camera app.

43. ComicBook!

As the name tells, this app will let you create comics from your photos.

It is quite simple to use and given some time, you can make quite good comics using it.

44. Gifmator

Want to create a small animation?

Gifmator lets you do that easily. Just shoot up to 20 pictures and it will create an animation out of them. Simple and fun.

45. Groupshot

It is very difficult to coordinate a group of people. In one picture, your aunt may have eyes closed, in another one, uncle may not be smiling properly!

What to do?

Use groupshot!

With this app, you can combine multiple group photographs to produce one awesome groupshot!

46. Instagram

A social network for photography buffs. It lets you add retro effects to your photos. Instagram now allows users to post videos that last up to 60 seconds. Using these apps, you can make a slideshow of your photos with ease and share it with your friends

You can then easily share them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.

47. Photosynth

This one is a free app from Microsoft that will let you create 360 panoramas and share them.

48. Pixlr-o-matic

Loads of effects for your photographs. Easy and step by step editing of your images ensures that they look awesome.

49. Private Photo Vault

If you want to keep your photos secure, Private Photo Vault is the way to go.

It allows import/export of multiple images and is small and fast.

App #50: You Will Tell Us

I have listed 49 apps of my choice. But app number 50 will be picked by you. Tell us which is your favorite app in comments.

Liked these apps? Do try these and leave a comment if you have any suggestion/feedback.

This article is written by Ishan. He is a Freelance Blog Writer and WordPress Developer.

9 Blogging Lessons We Can Learn From Professional Wrestling

Pro Wrestling and Blogging are two fields which do not seem like having too many similarities. One is physical and one is completely virtual (based on internet).

But when we take a close look, pro wrestling can teach us a lot about blogging as well as life.

In this post, I have discussed 9 Blogging Lessons That We Can Learn From Professional Blogging.
Professional Wrestling

  1. Script Everything: Everything in pro wrestling is scripted. Every dialog, punch, kick and slam is pre-scripted. What does it teach us about blogging? Well, just like shows are scripted, you have to script your posts. Every post should be planned and have a specific purpose just like every dialog and punch has in wrestling storylines. Use editorial calendars to plan everything in advance and the present the best content to your readers.
  2. Unexpected Things Happen: No matter how much scripting goes in, unexpected things can and will happen. Many times, you will find errors popping out without any reason. I recently had a similar experience when my blog was hacked on Cyber Monday. I had written an affiliate post to promote HostGator affiliate sale but because the blog was down, the promotion did not go very well for me!
  3. Show Must Go On: No matter what happens, the show must go on. Wrestlers show this everyday. No matter how badly a wrestler gets injured, he will try to keep the fight going on. A recent example was Randy Orton’s injury. The guy dislocated his soldier in middle of a match but did not return back and provided an ending to the match. Similarly, no matter what unplanned comes in between, you have to keep blogging to reach the success!
  4. Presentation Matters: One thing that no one can deny is that presentation matters a lot. Wrestling companies spend lot of money on unique entrances and theme songs. Why do they do this while their business is wrestling? Because the right theme song can lift the crowd and encourage them within seconds. Want to see a proof? Just see any entrance of WWE Legend Brat Hart or Shawn Michaels. Similarly, you should present your article well. Choose a unique design and add great images to your posts to make them look good.
  5. Entrance Sets The Mood: Entrance of a wrestler sets the mood for the match. If wrestler is a popular one and has good theme song, crowd will be instantly energized and will give good response to the match. Similarly, if the entrance of your article is great i.e. the headline is eye catching and first paragraph is interesting, it sets the mood of reader and your article will surely get more comments or shares.
  6. Age Does Not Matter: On a light note, we can easily see that age does not matter in both wrestling as well as blogging. We have 60+ year old wrestlers in TNA who are still fighting and similarly, we have lot of great bloggers in blogosphere too. But it does not mean that young ones are left. Lot of teen bloggers are invading the blogosphere these days and in wrestling too, we are seeing many new young entrants.
  7. Shortcuts Do Not Work: One thing we can definitely learn from the demise of wrestlers who took drugs is that shortcuts do not work. If you take a shortcut, you will have to pay sooner or later. In blogging, if you take the shortcuts like black hat SEO, you will have to pay when Google and others find it!
  8. Everyone Is Not Popular: For every Shawn Michaels and John Cena, we have hundreds of backyard wrestlers who could not make it to the big leagues and remained anonymous. In blogging, we have several thousand failed bloggers for every Darren Rowse and John Chow. But…
  9. Never Stop The Hard Work: No matter how many people fail, we will still continue the hard work. Nothing can stop the people who have a dream in their eyes to wrestle in front of millions of people or becoming a ProBlogger. That’s what keep thousands of people going and that is the spirit and passion which fuels every blogger.

Also check : What Bloggers & Geeks Can Learn From Movies

What did you learn from Pro Wrestling? Do share your thoughts in comments.