Beginners Blogging Tips – Why, What, Where, How?

beginners blogging tipsAfter the decision to start a new blog, there comes a few questions what, where & how? So, here I come you great people to help you decide on why, what, where & how to blog questions with this post – Beginners Blogging Tips. The why part is already covered in 10 reasons to start blog, I posted earlier.

Recommended Read

Beginners Blogging Tips – The four questions

Why to Blog?

Well, it seems you haven’t read the 10 Reasons to Blog post. Have a look at it and come back to this post then.

What to Blog?

You must pick a topic. Remember that you need to deep dive into the thoughts before you finalize. It can be related to the work you do, the things that you like, etc.

For example:
If you are a software engineer with Microsoft Sharepoint, you can start a blog talking all about Microsoft sharepoint, it may contain tutorials, how to, resolutions common problems, etc.

If you are a housewife, you can write about kitchen tips, house hold work, cleaning, reading, writing (yes!), computer, kids or anything that a housewife can think of.

If you are a gamer, you can share the tips and news about the games that you like and you enjoy. You can share the game settings problems that people talk about or anything else related to game (but legal).

If you are a fitness freak, share the tips about exercises, diet plans, workout or any damn thing you like to talk or share about.

If you are a traveler or love travelling, talk about it. Share the great places you visited, the pictures you clicked, the hotel you stayed in, the food you loved, the places you recommend and on and on.

At first, the thought may come that you can do all of the above. True. But think for a longer term passion – choose the topic that you do most, you like the most. Because, if a gym trainer (fitness freak) starts writing about games, he may not be able to maintain it for long. Unless, if he really loves gaming. Certainly, every person like to play or has played sometimes in thier life. But that doesn’t mean they are passionate about it.

Where to Blog?

Choosing the right “where” is utmost important. Essentially, you need to have a domain & a webhost to host your domain. This is where you will have your blog hosted. Domain name plays an important role to. The domain name, related to your topic is better. However, people create any domain name sometimes their own name, or even a funny name. You need to check its availability before you can book it.

If someone is providing you the hosting for unbelievably low prices, ensure to cross check their brand in reviews on internet. Sometimes, they load their servers with lot of websites making each of them slower. My blog used to load very slow on a domain hosting company, but it is much better when I moved to Hostgator.

There are some free services like blogger.com where you can create blogs free of cost but you have their blog url in yours and you may not have full control on assets, settings. Since, today, the hosting is available for so cheap prices, it is a good idea to start one of your own. Some sites like blogger.com allows you to host with a premium service where you can have your own blog URL.

So, scan through multiple options using reviews before you finalize.

If you want help, please feel free to contact me – I would love to help, FREE of cost! You put a comment below to contact me.

Why would I do the free help?
The help won’t be free (you are not paying me directly. It works like this: You buy the hosting package through the links here – Hostgator or Bluehost and through the same standard amount that you any which ways pay to the company, I will get a small commission and I would treat it as a fees from your side. So go ahead, signup through the links I provided above and get my free service.

How to Blog?

Many blog publishing platform are available today. If you are on a PHP (Linux) environment, you can blindly go with choosing WordPress. If you are on a .Net (Windows) environment, you can go with MojoPortal (this is the one I used for my .net blog earlier).

Note that the Windows hosting environment can also run WordPress, as it supports PHP but Linux wouldn’t support .net (at least that’s what I know).

So, how you do it – with WordPress it’s very simple! You just need to have the wordpress installed and you are ready to publish the posts! WordPress has a huge forum and many plugins to help you find one to suit your need. You just need to think of a functionality search it on internet and you will find a plugin supporting that! Litreally, try it. Comment below if there is something you did not find, I and the readers of this blog would like to know in that case. At the same time there are lots of themes available to customize and a great support forum – you ask a question and many people are ready to help you free of cost.

If you need any help setting up the WordPress on your host or whatsoever, put a comment here and I would be glad to assist FREE OF CHARGE! Check my post on Quick Tips to improve WordPress site PageSpeed

The other CMS tool to publish blog you can use is MojoPortal. Joe is a great guy investing his time for the betterment of this tool. So, .net lovers can just jump into MojoPortal. It becomes easier for the developers who are .net specialized to extend it to customize according to their needs.

Some other popular blog publishing tool are Joomla, Drupal – But I have never used it so can’t comment.

I hope these blogging tips for beginners help you find the answers to your why, what, how & where. If anything is missed out, please feel free to get in touch.

Again, if you have any issues taking a decision or problems installing WordPress or difficulties in finding a Host or choosing a domain name, simply comment below and I shall I get back at no cost.

10 Reasons to Blog – Why Should I Blog?

Why should I blog? - 10 reasons to blogOut of the many reasons, I believe these are the most important reasons to start your own blog. So, read out the 10 reasons to blog help you decide on starting a new blog.

Recommended Read

10 Reasons To Blog

  1. Share & Gain Knowledge that you have
    It is said that knowledge increases when share. So, put the best of you in the blog pages and share the knowledge with the world. Provide feedback options through comments or contact form so you know what people are talking about.
  2. Keep yourself busy
    We sometimes don’t realize that we have an ample of time that we waste in non-productive things. This time can be actually utilized to blog for many good reasons, we are discussing some here.
  3. Make Money online
    The best reason to blog is to make money online. You do not only gain knowledge while sharing you also earn money online with blogging. You can make money by some ad networks placed on your blog pages, through affiliate links, etc. It is a vast concept and I would be soon writing my thoughts on this. Read about my first earning in the post My First Google AdSense Cheque

  4. Keep yourself updated
    When you are maintaining a blog, you keep yourself updated with the current trends, technology and happenings around you. When you write about a specific technology for example you will get comments or feedback in other forms that would help you reach to the latest thoughts on that topic.
  5. Connect with people with similar interests as yours
    Blogging brings like-minded people together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions and thoughts.
  6. Earning a reputation
    Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. For example, if you’re trying to get a job in a specific field or hoping to publish a book on a specific topic, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence and platform.
  7. Change Perception
    Blogging helps you put your own thoughts in front of the public. It acts as an appeal to prove something with sufficient information to change the people’s perception.
  8. Marketing or promotion
    Blogging is a great way to market your product or service highlighting the benefits and offers while you keep others informed about the products or related topics.
  9. Just for Fun
    Some people take blogging like a hobby. They enjoy writing irrespective of whether they are earning or not. This is their creativity. You can start writing blogs for fun if you passion to do it.
  10. Achievement in itself
    Seeing people responding to your thoughts, debating or making a difference in people’s thoughts you feel something achieved. The analytics of the blog become your crown.

With all that being said, have a look at the Beginners Blogging Tips post to help you give basic tips for starting your own blog! You might also be interested in Improving PageSpeed of your blog once you have it setup.

I can help you install WordPress and basic necessary configuration for your blog like essential plugins, social setup, pingbacks, etc free of cost.

Why would I do the free help?
The help won’t be free (you are not paying me directly. It works like this: You buy the hosting package through the links here – Hostgator or Bluehost and through the same standard amount that you any which ways pay to the company, I will get a small commission and I would treat it as a fees from your side. So go ahead, signup through the links I provided above and get my free service.

EPF Passbook Download Steps, Check ePF Balance

EPF Passbook DownloadI myself had to struggle to download EPF passbook. So consolidating the steps to help you download EPF e passbook along with finding your account information step-by-step on member portal. I have already elaborated in my previous article about EPF passbook online . Now, let’s find out the step-by-step procedure here to download the same. I have added Live screenshots from the member portal site so that you can visually understand the procedure to download online EPF e Passbook. Once you download the EPF ePassbook, you can check the balance in the downloaded EPF Passbook.

Steps to Download EPF Passbook

  1. Go to http://members.epfoservices.in/
  2. On the right side, you will see LOGIN box. Choose your document in the drop down and provide the number in the next text box. e.g. If you choose Pan Card, provide your pan card id in the text box.epf passbook step1 login
  3. Click Sign in
  4. On successful login, you will see the homepage of the site for EPF ePassbook. Now goto http://members.epfoservices.in/choose_ofc_details_mpb.php (you can’t go here directly unless you are logged in)epf passbook step2 download epf passbook
  5. On Download Member Passbook page, choose your state.
    epf passbook step3 select state
  6. Click on your City. You will be taken to the member portal.
    epf passbook step4 select city
  7. Here, enter your account number. Account number can be found out in your Payslip (PF number in payslip). If you don’t find this information in payslip, you can contact your company’s finance department to help you find the same. It is usually statecode/Establishmentcode/PFAccountNumber.
    epf passbook step5 enter account number
  8. You will need to Enter your account number in the given boxes. The first two boxes are updated upon your selection of state and city. The third box is for establishment code (remove leading or trailing zero in the number). You can ignore the fourth box which is for extension. Then in the last box, mention your account number.
  9. Type the captcha code (as you see in the image) for human verification in the next box below.
  10. Click GET PIN.
  11. Wait for a SMS in your mobile. Don’t close the window nor navigate away until you get the PIN (otherwise you need to repeat the same process). Once you get it, tick the option box “I Agree check box” & enter the PIN in authorization pin box below it.
    epf passbook step6 enter authorization pin
  12. Click Get Detail and you should be able to download EPF e Passbook now if you entered correct information and followed the steps correctly.
    epf passbook step7 download pdf

Sample EPF Passbook

sample epf e passbook

The online EPF e Passbook is available to download in PDF format. So you may need Adobe Reader to view the Passbook.

If you have any questions regarding the EPF Passbook, ask them in the comments section below.

Hope you find this helpful.

How to close applications in android mobile phones (running in background)

It is a good idea to close applications in android running in background in the mobile phones to save battery power. This is especially useful when you are on travel.

There are many applications that we think are closed but they actually keep running in background and utilize the processing power, hence the battery. Continue reading “How to close applications in android mobile phones (running in background)”

Fix for Fatal Error Maximum execution time 30 seconds exceeded WordPress

Quick Fix of the PHP Fatal error Maximum execution time 30 seconds exceeded in WordPress. There are three ways. Use either one. Also please backup the files before making changes so that you can revert the same if there are any issues.

Fixing “Maximum execution time 30 seconds exceeded

1. Wp-config.php

set_time_limit(60);

Add this line above “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */” comment.

OR
2. htaccess

php_value max_execution_time 60

OR
3. php.ini

max_execution_time = 30 ;

Optimizing Page Load Time with Free Tools Online

page load time optimizationFaster page load is very important for a better user experience. If a page takes a lot of time to load, higher probability is that the user will look for another page, going away from your website. Optimizing Page Load Time can be done quick using various free tools available online. Things that affect the page load time and free online tools to find a solution are listed as below.

Recommended Read

Optimizing Page Load Time Tips

  1. Large size graphic images: Sometimes we forget to optimize images and this causes website take time to load images before it gets loaded completely. Using Smushit tool online by Yahoo, you can compress images and get them loading faster in your website.
  2. CSS Sprites: Instead of having many small iconic size images, you can have one single image with all the icons and use CSS sprite to show the images on the page. This reduces number of requests to the server thereby enhancing page load time. Using CSS Sprite Generator you can create css sprites for free.
  3. Many, large size Javascripts & CSS: Javascripts and CSS are written with indents, spaces, etc for better readability. However, when deploying on production website, you must consider compression of the JS and CSS files. There are two methods to do so: Minification and Obfuscation. Minification reduces the size by not changing the code but arranging the code with minimum bytes required. However, Obfuscation alters the code to make it even more compressed by applying certain code logic, reducing iterative paths, refactoring variables, etc and is more prone to error. The Minify JS is a free online tool to compress JS while Minify CSS is a free online tool to compress CSS. These online compression tools mentioned above also combine multiple files into one.
  4. Lot of server HTTP requests: Placing the images, css, flash objects, etc on the same server results in a lot of server requests. Putting the load on other servers helps. You can use Content Delivery Network for providing the content to your site thereby reducing/minimizing the requests to your server and enhancing the page load time.
  5. Placement of CSS and JS on page: Put stylesheets at the top while JS at the bottom. Putting stylesheets in the HEAD allows the page to render progressively. JS block parallel downloads, hence keeping them at the bottom is a key to optimizing page load time. Keep the JS and CSS files external than inline.
  6. Avoid CSS Expressions:The problem with expressions is that they are evaluated more frequently than most people expect. Not only are they evaluated when the page is rendered and resized, but also when the page is scrolled and even when the user moves the mouse over the page.
  7. Lot of plugins: Lot of plugins like Social media generate a lot of requests (mostly to the social media server) but affects the load time to an extent. Remove unnecessary plugins.
  8. Lot of comments: The size of the page sometimes increases due to comments. Sometimes the content size of comments is much more than the actual page content. Loading a lot of comments on a page can impact the load time. You can load the comments after the page is loaded possibly through AJAX on page load.
  9. Code behind: The server side code also plays a vital role in page load time. Caching may help but not always. Read more about caching and decide whether to enable it.

Analyze the links on your page with Links Analyzer

Further reading

Post your page load time optimization, check the page load time with webpagetest.org, one of the most popular tools today.

Aadhaar Card Information Guide

Aadhaar card or UIDAI card

What is Aadhaar Card?

It is the unique identity number issued by the UIDAI. Each individual can have only
one Aadhaar card as it is linked to their biometrics preventing and frauds or fake
identity. It is more like the Social Security Number of USA citizens.

If you want to check the status of your application, visit my post for a step by step guide to check Aadhaar status online.

Benefits of Aadhaar Card

Uniqueness Only one Aadhaar card will be issued to each individual making it unique.

Portability Since the data is centrally managed, the agencies or service providers will validate the beneficiary’s details through this central system making it portable.

People without any valid Identity will have one now This is one of the major advantage of Aadhaar card. Today, even passports are unique but not that every individual has it. However, Aadhaar card will be issued to each and every individual through the introducers concept.

Easy & Faster Approval & Verification Processes Now, borrowing a loan, creating a bank account, joining a firm will become easier and faster with just one card due to the centralized management of the data by UIDAI.

What information is required to get an AADHAAR number?

Demographic information required:
* Name
* Date of Birth
* Gender
* Address
* Parent/Guardian details (required for children, adults may provide)
* Contact details phone and email (optional)

Biometric Information required:
* Photo
* 10 finger prints
* Iris

Enrolment process for a AADHAAR number

You will need to visit an enrolling agency, fill up an application form, provide Proof of Photo Identity, Proof of Address documents and other supporting documents.

One who does not have any document to prove his/her identity, he/she will require an Introducer for enrollment process.

The agency authorised person will validate the documents provided by you at the time.
And the demographic data will be captured in the system.

Biometrics information will include capturing ten finger prints, both iris scanning and facial photograph. This data will be sent to CIDR.

The biometric information will be checked in the database to ensure that it does not already exists.
If the informatio is not found the database, Aadhaar details will be generated and will be sent to the individual at his/her residence. The Aadhaar number will also be sent to the agency for use in their service database.

If the individual is already in the database, or in case of any other quality/data validation failure the application will be rejected and the person will be informed of the same.

Documents required for Proof of Identity (PoI) & Proof of Address (PoA)

Common proofs of identity and address are:
Election Card, Ration card, Passport and Driving License.
Photo ID cards like PAN card and Govt ID cards are permissible for Identity Proof or PoI.

Address proof (PoA) documents also include water, electricity & telephone bills from the last three months.
In case you do not have above common proofs, Certificate of Identify having photo issued by Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead is also accepted as PoI. Certificate of Address having photo issued by MP or MLA /Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead or by Village Panchayat head or its equivalent authority (for rural areas) is accepted as valid PoA. Even if someone in a family does not have individual valid documents, the resident can still enrol if his/her name exists in family entitlement document. In this case the Head of Family in entitlement document needs to be enrolled first with valid PoI & PoA document. The head of the household can then introduce other members in the family while they are enrolling.

Who can be an Introducer?

What is Introducer system?
UIDAI recognises that some people particularly children, women, migrant workers, homeless, nomadic tribes, urban poor and others may not be able to produce documentary proof of identity and proof of address. In order to enable inclusion of these individuals for AADHAAR, the data standards committee recommended that the introducer system be created similar to the introducer framework followed by banks for opening bank accounts.

Who can be an Introducer?
An Introducer is a person who is authorized to introduce a resident who does not possess any PoA / PoI documents. The main objective of the introducer system is to enable enrolment of residents into Aadhaar, who are otherwise hard to reach and may not be part of any government database.

Example: Registrar’s employees, elected members, members of local administration bodies, postmen, influencers such as teachers & doctors, Anganwadi / ASHA workers, representative of local NGO’s etc. identified by a Registrar and registered in UIDAI’s CIDR as “Introducers”.

Aadhaar enrollment online

You can book appointment online for Aadhaar enrollment procedure this will help you save time. However, the online booking facility is provided only to select cities as seen in the list of Cities at http://appointments.uidai.gov.in/. For example, only Mumbai, Nagpur and Thane are the available options in Maharashtra.

Those who do not find their city in online booking of an appointment for Aadhaar or UDAI Card, refer below.

Aadhaar Enrollment Agencies

There is no list given about the agencies clearly. However, the PDFs present at http://uidai.gov.in/aadhaar-enrolments.html#EEA can be used to find address information of the enrollment agencies.

If you have the acknowledgement slip, you can follow the step by step guide to check Aadhaar status online.

Important Links for Aadhaar Card / UDAI Card

Consolidated Mutual Funds Statements

consolidated mutual funds statements
Courtesy: http://lumaxart.com

Usually, near the close of fiscal year, your organizations tell you to submit the investment documents for proof to save tax deductions. Or otherwise even if you are an individual you would need investment documents for proof to submit towards the end of the fiscal year. At this time, we usually start running after our agents or the insurance companies themselves for providing us the proofs. Here is the good deed of KARVY and CAMS that enables us to get the consolidated mutual funds statements or status anytime/anywhere which are held with KARVY, CAMS or FTAMIL.

For the very first time in India, you can now get all the consolidated mutual fund holdings with KARVY, CAMS and FTAMIL. Most of the big companies are tied up with these ones so you probably will get all the mutual fund statement at one place.

Steps to get Consolidated Mutual Funds Statements

  1. Simply login to https://www.karvymfs.com/platformservice/
  2. Select Statement Type – Summary or Detailed
  3. Select Period – Current Financial Year, Previous Financial Year or Specific Period
  4. From Date gets selected automatically for the current or previous financial year. If you choose Specific period in step 3, this field will get activated and you need to provide the dates here.
  5. Provide your email that is registered with the mutual fund companies.
  6. PAN is optional.
  7. Choose a password that will be used to open the statement sent to your email provided in step 5. Remember this password is not any account login, it’s simply a password required to protect your document from unintended users.
  8. Submit and you are done. Just check email in sometime (usually it comes within an hour).

Relax! No? Got Questions? Post a comment below and I will try to help.

Create backlinks for SEO

SEO is iterative and is very important to make your site reach its customers. There are many techniques by which you can achieve this goal. Apart from search engine optimization on your site or page, you must also create backlinks for SEO by submitting articles to various websites that allow you to do so.

Approach to Create backlinks:

Register and submit quality content on articles submission directory sites. This helps you become visible on the world wide web.

You can also have answers submitted in forums. The best way is to include links in your signature. With this it gets added to each and every answer you post. Target to provide the solution to the questioner than targeting to create backlinks while responding to a question. Your answer will automatically gain popularity (hence your link in signature) if your answer really resolves the problem.

So, people who are specifically looking for that solution, will ultimately read your answer and may also follow the links. In any case, your link becomes visible when users come to your answer when especially through a search engine.

There are tools that allow you to share links to Social media including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Bibo, Digg and many other. One website that provides you this service is onlywire. It submits your articles to various social media (52 sites!! as of today) saving your time to visit each social media and post your link. Popularity is the key to SEO. Hence, creating backlinks is the key to popularity.