Saturday, July 29, 2017

Queries on Blogging

Queries on Blogging

Tell me which blogging provider creates the most interaction and adds actual blogging followers?

The two most widely used blogging providers are Blogger by Google and WordPress by Automattic. Both have their own pros and cons but I personally prefer and love writing using the WordPress platform.

I had used Blogger in my starting years of online writing and could not, for some reason, be able to connect with other bloggers. Back in those days, the choices we had in Blogger for customizing our blog was limited. Creating your own custom blog themes was out of the question unless you had knowledge in HTML and CSS. Although, I did know how to code, creating a theme that suited my need and which would project myself to the world through my blog was difficult.

After few months, I lost my interest and started my free WordPress blog account and continued on it for about 4 years. The experience was mind-blowing, the community was awesome and being open-source, it was easy to get help and find stuffs online. The customization options they provided was out-of-the-box and got me addicted.

Back to your question, interaction on your blog depends on how you reach out to the audience and give them something that sparks their interest to like, share or comment on your articles. If what they read on your blog is relevant to them, they would interact. Most of my readers are my friends and other fellow bloggers. So I personally do not get much interaction except the visits, which is fine as I just publish my poems and fiction stories, and sometimes few tutorials.

It might get difficult with a Blogger account to reach out and follow other bloggers as compared to the WordPress and this is only because of the vast community provided by WordPress.

Did you know WordPress powers almost 27% of the entire Internet! How cool is that?!

So, which blogging provider creates the most interaction and adds actual blogging followers? WordPress, I choose you!

Interesting I see, and how do you keep your blogging audience interested and hooked to your blog?

I am just a casual blogger and publish only when I have ideas and get the motivation. I host a couple of events for other bloggers to participate. I also join events posted by other bloggers and then interact with them, so it’s a win-win for both of us and we get one follower each.

Sometimes people just love what you write and then they follow your blog because they are interested to read more from you. I don’t do much digital marketing for my blog posts. I just share the blog posts on social networking sites.

But yes, marketing campaigns may spark your audience and get you more potential readers. You can also offer some PDF files with tips and advices on your blog to attract more subscribers.

I had once partnered with the Bucket List website to feature them on my blog to market one of their events. It was fun and good experience.

Alright, that makes perfect sense. Now, should you include images in every post? If so, should they be actual pictures or just digital images?

Yes, images play a vital role. No one would be interested to read a long article without images unless you spark and trigger their imagination with your writing. This is more related to fiction writing where it might become difficult for you, as a writer, to draw or sketch scenes from your story.

For all other posts, at least two images are needed. One image should be set as the Featured Image for the post and the other should appear inside the post content. If you’re publishing some tutorial, then you can include multiple images as screenshots to convey step-wise instruction; a video embedded in your post would also do better.

Actual images are only needed when your post is something about yourself or the phase of your life you’re in. But, if you are writing about someone or someplace, then you can upload images with their permissions. I mostly go for digital images that are freely available online.

So, to further continue this exploration: how do you interact with other bloggers on Blogger or WordPress?

This is the most easy and fun part. I just visit their blog and if I comment, like or share it. There are some really good Facebook communities for bloggers, which help me interact with others. WordPress community has many events hosted by other WordPress bloggers; sometimes I check them out and then join the ones that interest me.

In my early years of online blogging after moving to WordPress, the “daily prompts” helped me a lot by giving me daily writing prompts. Most of the blogging friends/followers I have now are the ones I met either from daily prompts or from the various writing events.



I agree with this information, and I have heard joining Pinterest is another avenue for free traffic towards your blog; however, I haven't been able to utilize its features, can you help with this?

Pinterest is new to me and one of the areas I am currently exploring. But I have read stories and articles on how others became successful by using Pinterest and gaining lots of traffic.

One of the features I think that’s really important would be the Pinterest Boards. I guess you need to join few of those and pin your blog articles to their boards. I do not know how exactly that works, but we have to learn it, right?

You’re right, there is so much a blogger should constantly learn and acquire to be successful. What are some personal items that should never be disclosed through blogging, that could potentially place yourself at risk for identity theft?

Personal financial data like credit cards, pin numbers, etc. are the few ones which should never be disclosed on your blog. You can share you email address for others to contact you and you can also put your contact numbers for others to reach out. But there’s a chance of getting spam messages and calls, so beware.

I use a WordPress plugin that disables a user to select and copy content on my blog. The other option they will have is to take screenshots of my articles and then type it. I am not sure if web scrapers affect WordPress blogs because I haven’t looked up about them yet.

Exactly, we all must be vigilant to follow these recommendations. Can you share your summary as a blogger, including the growth and the good/bad things you've experienced or learned through the process of becoming a blogger?

This is my favorite part.

I started my online writing with Blogger and then moved on to a free WordPress blog where I continued for almost 4 years, interacting with others, gaining followers, etc. At the same time, I had also created a dedicated Facebook page where I could share my posts.

When I began, my only goal was to publish and share stuffs that I have already written on paper, online. My friends and colleagues are always interested to read my articles and it motivates me to write more.

My major learning was when I decided to move to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Everything was new – Hosting account, Domain setup, installing WordPress. Then I realized the difference between WordPress free version and self-hosted one. Now, I had total control of my blog.

Google Analytics and AdSense are good learning, but reading and experimenting stuffs will empower you with what you need.

Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is what you need to put up a custom Google search bar on your blog. In the process, I learnt how to add redirects to the pages that returned a 404 error on my blog. This is very handy for web administrators to monitor their site.

I had tried my hands with MailChimp email service provider and it’s really good. I do not use it, since my followers count is really less and WordPress’ Jetpack service does the work for me. But yes, for digital marketing, creating a subscriber list becomes vital.

The beginning is always the toughest and the learning curve rises up very high. My advice to others is and would always be, to start slow and never give up. It is the zeal and the enthusiasm you have that should keep you going despite the failures.

I am neither a successful blogger nor make money out of it, I just enjoy writing.

I hope these Q&A’s will inspire some great blogging for your personal blogs everyone, and be able to guide you in your journey as a blogger as well. Thanks to Nitin Nair for sharing your blogging experience with us all. Feel free to check out his blog at www.nitinchandrannair.com for more exclusive blogging!!! Highly recommended.  



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mi Heroina

Hola Hola mis adorables seguidores de todos los colores!! Bueno, como mi palabra es la ley aquí en este blog, aquí les va un blog super jugoso pero edificante claro está mi señores y señoras.
Primero, Felicitaciones a todos mis patriotas Cafeteros por un año más de independencia, digan lo que digan y hagan lo que hagan siempre seré orgullosa de ser Colombiana Ana y de mi país. En fin, a lo que vinimos pues… a bloguear.

El tópico de este blog se lo dedico a mi amada hermana Estefania Gonzalez. Ella es mi heroína desde mi infancia y aunque la distancia sea berraca y hayan pasado los años, yo siempre la he considerado y la considero mi heroína. ¿Por qué? Tengan calma mi gente para allá voy yo a explicarles mis razones.

Ella es super bonita fisicamente, con una sonrisa literalmente perfecta, su inteligencia es mucho más que lo normal, sus ganas de salir hacia adelante son impresionantes y hay mucho más. Estefita como yo le digo de cariño, nació ya con esas pilas bien puestas osea ella no era niña de estar esperando ordenes ni nada por el estilo. Su carácter es fuerte pero de manera productiva, sus expectativas equivalen a logros y triunfos.

Por ejemplo, apenas empezando el kinder y ella ganó su primera medalla por excelencia, y técnicamente se puede decir que en términos de calificaciones Americanas ella tenía un 4.0 toda su vida escolar. Yo me acuerdo cuando hacia las tareas, cuan dedicada era en cada materia y aunque tuviera que trasnochar sus proyectos escolares siempre quedaban hechos a la perfección. Gracias a ella aprendí unos shortcuts muy valiosos que después les saque el jugo y la gente y quien te enseño eso y yo mi hermana.

Además de su desempeño académico, como si fuera poco: ella tiene varios otros talentos. En la cocina, usshh ni hablar porque sus creaciones son magníficas.  
Su especialidad son los postres y de veras que yo veo las fotos y quiero comermelo todo osea todo todito.
Obviamente para aprender eso es lo de ella y aunque no lo practica verbalmente pero ella sabe Ingles y mitad Francés.

Ahora, la mayor razón por la cual la considero mi heroína es esta que sigue. Para los que no me conocen yo soy sobreviviente de quemaduras y soy un milagro de Dios que esté viva contando la historia. Después de mi casi fatal accidente, mi familia se tuvo que separar para poder ayudarme a mí y llevarme a mis tratamientos aquí en los Estados Unidos.
Mi hermana desafortunadamente tuve que quedarme sin mi madre desde los apenas 13 años y nuestro padre obviamente no pudo ni intentó tomar el lugar que aquella hermosa jovencita tanto necesitaba.
Ella lucho y lucho y se convirtió en una bellísima mujer ahora profesional y seguio hacia adelante.
¿Cuántas personas conoce usted que hayan podido lograr eso mismo después de una dura y larga separación? No muchas que yo sepa. Estefita linda enfrenta su reto en esta vida y yo aunque sea su hermana la admiro muchisisisimo y aunque aleguemos y tengamos nuestras diferencias la realidad es esa misma.
Ella es mi heroína por ser tan valiente y siempre apoyarse en los buenos valores y consejos que un dia como niña nuestra mami le dio y le sigue dando.

Tu es ma soeur & J’taime beaucoup de beaucoup!!!!

Espero que les haya agradado este blog en español y ya saben si les gusto no tengan pena y dale un like y compartanlo con sus seguidores y amigos. Hasta la próxima esta a sido Ana con mucho cariño y amor para mi gente latina o quien sepa español.


Passing Notes

Good Evening Everyone!!! How are you all doing on this Thursday night? Me ... I’d say a little tiresome, but overall in the hype of what’s to come. Now, if you recall my last blog about the summer surprise then put on your seat belts because this is my roller coaster version. Hehehehehe I am being so serious people, come on now!

Alright, so to keep it to a minimum of privacy and mutual respect for my past crushes and shenanigan victims: I will alter the names of the people and exaggerate the facts to protect their identity. Okay? Okay!

My very first boy crush happened when I was in 1st grade, I was friend’s with his sister and we all were assigned to the same classroom. I genuinely don’t remember his name; however, I do recall me purposefully buying a cute tank for the summer school just so I could show off my shoulders and maybe grab his attention. I also admit that I would constantly look in his direction and barely paid attention to my teacher (so sorry about that lack of discipline, but then again I was only 7) and I am pretty sure we also happened to live in the same complex. As a child, I was never allowed to roam the streets on my own after my accident for the first 4 years or so. After I was about 9, it was party time for me: as I was allowed more freedom and less 24-hour surveillance from my parents. In retrospect, as a parent of a burn survivor, it makes perfect sense as to why my parents wanted to protect me and keep me as shield as possible not only from the sun but people in general.

I am not deviating from the main title, I just wanted to give a little bonus material in gratitude of my growing Facebook Page for my personal blog. So, you’re all very welcome you received two topics for the price of one. Major Lol. Back to the theme of this blog: passing notes. I clearly love expressing myself and words just happen to be the paint brush to my canvas. I started passing notes in school around 1st grade as well, actually I was held back in 1st grade because I was a non-English speaker at that time, and there was also a lack of resources for non-English speakers, so I ended up repeating 1st grade twice (Lol sounds kind of ironic). My second boy crush also occurred during 1st grade (my second round) in a nearby city to where I live now. His name I definitely remember, he was very attractive to me as a seven year old and yes that sounds creepy but then again that’s what it means to have a crush on someone. I actually interacted with him somewhat, and he had to rub it in about his then girlfriend, like really a seven year old boy talking about another little girl as if she were his bae smh. Anyways, one day in class I slipped a note saying “I love you” or “I like you” it’s been a while (over 20 years Lol) and I was so dumb because I was sitting like 5 feet away. He was like, “what is this?” and he looked around and said “You did this or this was you” (something like that) and I was like “me, no no no” but as I was laughing too. I just laugh at myself so much just thinking about that now, obviously if I was giggling and laughing it was me. Afterwards, he pretty much evaded me in a subtle way.

Overall, as a 90’s baby I grew up writing and passing notes throughout my childhood and teen years. Some notes were definitely an error in my part, and they mainly were in regards to crushes and a few school besties. Of course, I can’t recapitulate one by one as there are too many; instead I gave you the beginning and will summarize the best for now. As I got older and perhaps even more daring/crazy, my notes became more elaborate in terms of it’s content and length. A few boys/teens were very nasty about what they had to say in reference to my note, and that was a bit of a dagger stab in the aorta of my soul. Nonetheless, I bounced back as if nothing had been said and committed a few more acts of passing notes. Ohhhh before I forget, only one person ever slightly wrote back in response to my notes that was a male. He as usual was bored and remember my constant nagging about replying back, so he took one of those school papers that was like a student reward money ticket, and he wrote a small note on the back. I remember the day I got it and I couldn’t believe he had actually written me back at least something. I literally kept that small paper folded and tucked into my wallet for over four years, and every time I read it: I smiled and laughed because although the content was small in nature, but those few words were enough to ignite in me that emotion. Eventually I tossed it out because it was just too nostalgic for me and at the time, me and this male friend weren’t in touch.

Okay, I have said a lot, so let me pump the brakes and let all that sink into your precious minds. Hope this blog was of your liking and that you would be willing to like it/share it with others. I wish everyone a beautiful weekend, I will enjoy my new office supplies and file my files because I can and I want to. Take care and always remember: life is not worth living without a challenge or without a trouble or two, so don’t feel overwhelmed of your circumstance and just say “that’s life and I will deal with it” and move on. You have my support as an advocate for drive and motivation. Till next time, this is Ana Gonzalez signing off to get my beauty sleep!!!

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo,


Ana :)         

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Surprise !!!


As promised by my word, this blog is going to rock your world!!! Truth be told… I have been anticipating this blog for quite some time. How is this even possible? Relax, let me explain it in full detail.

Summer time is here and the weather is getting hotter than ever before, at least that’s the way it feels for me. I am happy to report my employment status continues; my three month benchmark was successfully passed. I have several new goals to meet and many more things to learn & place into my new acquired skills. I know this is a stretch to ponder upon; however, I have a mild recollection of watching employees get the pink slip on their 90 day review on TV. I am completely aware as a new employee, the beginning hire-time is just a trial period and there is absolutely no guarantee of permanent employment.

I truly believe I have been giving it my all and continue to strive for my very best. Pardon me about rambling about my satisfaction for being part of the workforce. It is one of my last pieces of my adulthood life puzzle.

Okay, summer comes with wild unexpected surprises, and this year is worthy of being highlighted for sure. As you may or may not be informed about my persona, I am a social butterfly, hence my desire to blog my life away. Major Lol. As a result of this personality attribute, I became friends with the most beautiful and heart-warming nurse to be when I was about 5 years old. We were both just two innocent adorable little girls seeking some playtime. Our friendship is unique for several reasons: no framework can relay the significance behind this bond.

At the time of our initial friendship, I was still a recent burn survivor and I had to wear the pressure garments to prevent the keloids from staying thick. I have never mentioned this part of my childhood, but it really made me feel like I was a monster in public as the children were so frighten to see me all covered up. I vividly recall them telling their mommies or parents to leave immediately because they were so scared of me. I couldn’t comprehend at the time how a caramel mask could be so terrifying, for a child or for anyone for that matter. During those first few months, I stayed mainly at home and in & out of hospital visits, so my schooling suffered an inconsistency I carried all the way through middle-school, when I was able to make up a year by upgrading.

Back to the main point, it wasn’t easy making friends growing up and to be 100% honest it really isn’t easy to this day. My favorite nurse to be childhood friend, opened her heart towards me without being told to do so at all. My mother even mentions she was surprised by her instance willingness to be friends with me, with my severe injuries as a burn survivor, and told her mom, “One day that little girl will be a doctor,” years later I can proudly say my first best friend is now a specialized nurse and continues to widen her medical knowledge. She gave me the best news ever, and I pray and criss-cross ever finger in my pretty little hands it comes true. Basically, after almost a little over 18 to 20 years of not seeing each other in person, we could rekindle in person face to face!!!!!

I will keep you in tune with the reunion and there you have it: my summer surprise. Amazing right? Yes, duhhh. LOL. I can’t help it if I am just a little cray cray, special, beautiful soul, persona named Ana. Now, there is obviously more interesting things going on right now in my vida, but that’s for me to know and for you to find out when you purchase my future book. Smiley face times ten to the tenth. Lol. Okay I am done now. Hope you enjoyed this blog just as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a wonderful weekend everyone and remember: sharing is caring, so go ahead click the like and share button because you know I know you know you want to. :D :)

Xoxoxoxoxoxo,

Ana :)



        

Friday, June 9, 2017

Flashback Friday Baby!!!

Flashback Friday Baby!!!!
Well, let me start by saying that I freaking love, love, love and oh yeah LOVE Fridays!!!!! Why??? Because it is always the diggie it diggie BOMB. Major Lol. Seriously though on a serious note the Fridays I have lived here on planet earth have been incredible and amazing. One of the most memorable ones has been my sweet fifteen. Also, not gonna lie- this is on a side note of personal boy trouble- all the crazy shenanigans have happened on a Friday as well, what do you know. 

            So back to the first mention of my sweet fifteen birthday party. It was by surprise and it was on a Friday. I didn’t skip school that day as most people would have done, especially considering it was a Friday. My then middle school friends – I was still in middle school when I turned 15 unfortunately- had planned a lovely lunch party in the conference room. They ordered pizza and had a nice big cake for me and all the people there, I was so overwhelmed with joy and excitement. One of my other friends, who know is a world-wide traveler and photographer bought me the big birthday balloon I had been begging for because I wanted to feel special and important. Now, to be honest I can say the real reason behind it was founded on the desire to be like the Caucasian affluent teens; they always paraded their wealth via presents and brand-name clothing, so I wanted just for that day to feel like they felt all the time being showered with gifts and flaunting it for everyone to see. Afterwards, my beloved mami made my favorite lasagna and strawberry cake and invited at that time my best friends. My bestie was like 7 years younger than me, but we bonded like sisters and to this day I sincerely miss her so much, she stayed over the whole weekend.

            Apart from that epic Friday, I have also plenty of more memorable moments that just happened to occur on you know it, now say it with me  F R I D A Y !!!!!!!! Major Lol. On the top of my big head, I can’t recollect any particular moments, because there are so many that stand out to me personally. However, just to wrap up this juice personal blog post, let me introduce you to a new character in my life. His name is profe C., well technically that’s what I nicknamed him because he is so freaking smart and plays sports. I wanted to briefly introduce him, because he deserves a little recognition for being so nice to me and always having the time to listen to my shenanigans and my “guy” troubles – not really but it sounds dramatic – while I talk non-stop. Profe C. even gets me, like when I recapitulate a story he will then be on my side and say that what I had to say makes perfect sense. Maybe he is just allured by the fact that we live in separate countries and different continents, that he keeps in touch with me in order to have a foreign friend. Nahhhhh, I am just kidding hehehhehe, we are actually from the same nationality and he doesn’t have a preference to America or is so overwhelmed by Americans, and he actually would prefer to travel to Europe instead.

            Anyways I already probably said a little too much, but hey that is who I am, so too bad so sad for you. Smile face with my tongue out emoji. Lol. OhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and I almost forgot TODAY can be one of those true epic Fridays as my Golden State Warriors take down the King for good in a total Sweep of 4-0. You know it can happen if KD gets in there like a mad baller and nails another epic last second 3-pointer. Either way I guess it already will be epic, because I will enjoy the NBA Finals game and have a blast yelling and screaming at the TV alongside my beautiful family. Go DubNation !!!!!!!!!! 

Xoxoxoxoxoxo,



Ana J


Friday, May 19, 2017

Putting For A Purpose


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May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month!!!

Hello, hello, can you hear me now? Yeah, I can hear you loud and clear!!!! Bienvenidos (Welcome) my dear favorite bloggers!! Today’s blog is in honor of this month’s theme: “May is Better Hearing & Speech Month.” I have the privilege of knowing a hard of hearing patient/person who just happens to be my lil bro.
            Our journey began as he was preparing to enter the first school year as a kindergartner. During his first hearing evaluation- my mother came to the astonishing revelation- my little brother had in a sense failed the examination, and he was diagnosed as a hard of hearing child. He was only 5 years old when he began his audio-logical treatment; he soon after received his first pair of hearing aids.
            At first, my mother and I thought it was just a hearing deficiency and with the aid of the hearing aids he would adjust to everything else in life- that was a short lived notion as the years quickly progressed. Around the age of 12 or 13, during an ENT check-up the doctor requested he get some profound testing to determine the original cause of his hearing loss. In a few more days, the results came in and once again we were shocked at the news.
 Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) was the condition clinically diagnosed to my brother at the time and he continues to endure it as a lifelong medical condition. To summarize this illness: it was inherited from birth; it caused his vestibular part of the ear composition to be enlarged and this causes the hearing loss; it also causes it to fluctuate from time to time; he is to be abstinent from contact sports, because any head injuries could ultimately cause his entire hearing to permanently be gone forever.
 As a family member of a hearing impaired person, I completely understand the frustration of both the patient and relatives. The journey with my little brother has not been easy since he was just an embryo in my mother’s womb; nonetheless, I can’t imagine my life without him. He brings me laughter, joy, and tantrums that make my life so much more interesting and fulfilling. I aspire one day not too long from now to become fluent in sign language, so that I can have a better communication with him and perhaps be able to reach a larger audience all around the world.
Voila!!!! Now you know a little bit more on the topic of being hearing impaired and the severity that it can be for some individuals, like my little brother. Never take for granted the ability to hear naturally and perfectly: even if it means listening to the political nonsense happening every day or the overpriced commercials or the wanna-be singers’ bad songs. Hearing is an essential part of life, without it life becomes stressful and you do miss out on all the other beautiful moments of life. Be grateful for what you do have and always have compassion (not pity) for those less fortunate then yourself.   

Till next time,

Xoxoxoxoxoxo

Ana J