Showing posts from 2012

A big benefit of blogging: it can convert stress into happiness, believe it!

Happy, unhappy and uninteresting moments in our life come again and again: some pass by and some leave us either hyper-excited or frustrated. In either case, we need to give vent to our feelings so that we do not end up doing something injurious or stupid but return to our normal self. Blogging is a great way out for immediate calming of nerves as well as long-term emotional well-being!    Personal blogging I mean, not a professional or corporate blog. How to relieve stress and anxiety with blogging I suggest that you open a blog, a personal blog. Use Blogger or Wordpress - the top free blogging platforms. I would recommend blogger for a stress-buster blog, because it allows you to experiment and not remain sober (as happens with Wordpress). Even if you are scared of technology or have never opened a blog, you cansee this article on how to  open a new blog in just five minutes  and learn how to spruce it up. Use your personal blog as your punching bag. Make it the place where you s

The world of Hindi blogging: our detailed observations हिंदी ब्लॉगिंग के संसार में हमने क्या पाया?

This post has been updated in 2018 end. The historical perspective and facts of 2011 are retained while links and obsolete information has been updated.   Now that we are in the last leg of compilation of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs , we present before you our detailed observations on the world of Hindi blogging. Like they say in journalistic parlance, we can get major details on a news event by asking 5 W’s and 1 H [what, who, why, when, where and how], we’ll try to share our findings in that manner, answering the first question here and the rest in one or two next posts. ITB’s is perhaps the only team that has manually checked over 35,000 blogs, examined a quarter of them for specific attributes and reviewed nearly 600 blogs in fine detail. We tend to be very nasty in our comments when we review blogs. However, in these two posts, we will avoid sharp value judgments or advice. What types of blogs are there in the Hindi blog world? What is written on Hindi blo

Common blogging mistakes: the topic re-visited

A blog is a diary, fine; but a blog is also a public space [except for private blogs] on the www. In the latter sense, blogs are a form of media, like newspapers. Therefore, blogs are expected to maintain minimum standards in terms of web ethics, design, content and updation. We have numerous posts on how IndianTopBlogs scrutinises blogs for putting them in directories and ranks them as ‘Platinum Blogs’, so we won’t repeat the process here. We have also a number of posts on various quality aspects; in fact our ‘blogging tips’ section is full of tips on maintaining quality in different aspects of blogging.   In this post, we give a list of practices / features that spoil the quality of a blog,  and we add to that our experience with Indian blogs that we've checked for the last nearly two years of blog ranking, reviews, showcase, etc.    Major blogging mistakes Poor navigability Too many - and useless - widgets Too long pages Pages wider than about 1200 pixels Bl

How to do SEO on blogs without knowledge of HTML? Search engine optimization on Wordpress and Blogger blogs needs no knowledge of coding.

Post updated in July 2020 This post is written keeping in mind blogger friends who are not technology-minded and have been brainwashed into believing that getting search traffic to the blog needs big-time HTML tweaking and SEO.  SEO ‘experts’ often advise bloggers and website owners to necessarily put meta tags in the HTML of their blog, or put ALT attribute on images. So as to impress the blogger, they talk about robots.txt and sitemap.xml, rich cards and such other jargon. The blogger starts feeling that he must try HTML tweaks suggested by SEO experts or to hire an expert so as to bring the blog among the first few results on search pages of popular search engines, e.g. Google, Bing and Yahoo!.  In this post, allow me to debunk one big myth: “ You must know HTML to optimise your blog properly for search engines. If you do not know it, you should hire an SEO expert. ” The reality is that you need not know any HTML for fairly good part of search engine optimization! In fact, playing

30 SEO techniques that Google likes or dislikes

updated: November 2020 In this post, let's check whether our blog or website uses SEO practices that Google likes and avoids the ones it hates. Why Google? I am not weighing Google vis-à-vis Yahoo, Bing and other search engines here. But the reality is that at present Google is the industry leader in the search domain and therefore doing something that this giant search engine hates means low reputation and low popularity, even chances of being penalized. Moreover, Google has been more transparent about what it likes and what it hates as compared to others. When search engines [as well as reputed directories] look at content on the web – including text, images, links, comments, archives, tags/ labels, affiliation, advertisements, messages… – they look for relevance and quality in deciding the value of that content. They do not like manipulative tricks – tricks that are employed to fool search engines and directories into seeing a poor web resource as one with high value. Take the

Popular SEO tips and tricks on the web: how good are they?

Updated: November 2020 In this post, I analyze SEO tips that we often read on the web. I have colored good advice in green, bad in red and so-so in orange. After each tip, I've given my views in italics . Give the blog a nice, specific name. Give it a good description.  Sure. Relevant and memorable name along with a description that amplifies its identity are good SEO practices. Have the blog on your own platform, not Wordpress or Blogger.  Not necessarily. If you are a new blogger, you may like to mature your craft on these excellent platforms before going for an independent platform. However, I strongly recommend giving your blog an identity even if you are on free platforms. Blog frequently.  Yes; but a quality post once a week is better than copy-paste content seven days a week. Comment on others’ blogs.  Yes, but only if you feel like. Make your comments thoughtful. Just ‘Liked your post’ or ‘You look lovely’ look like spam. Scratching each other's back

How to improve your writing skills

  Thoroughly revised in August 2020 We wrote a post long back on the quality of writing: ‘ Top tips for writing blog posts ’. We talked about good content and gave tips on writing well for the web and elsewhere. If you do not want to visit that post right now (though I will strongly advise that you open that in a new tab or bookmark it), let me list the tips given there: Choose the topics for each post/ article with care. Give the post a heading that attracts attention. Be original and do not copy-paste content. Be passionate about what you say. Advise only if you are an expert. Talk to humans, not to search engines or yourself. Be pleasant, welcoming in tone. Write like a journalist: use inverted pyramid style, don't write an essay. Compose the post well in terms of formatting, sentence structure, etc. Don't ignore search engine optimization (SEO). Don't publish a post in a hurry. Edit it well. In the present post, we take the subject forward, with a greater focus on the c

India's best celebrity blogs

A large number of bloggers with a sound grounding in polity and politics, business and economy, justice and security systems and the society do enrich the Indian blogosphere. It is heartening that many of their posts generate a good debate around various topics. Some important media organizations have their own blogging platforms, and their editors / reporters / columnists / experts contribute regularly on these blogs. Add to these other serious blogging platforms / aggregators and their bloggers. Another category of bloggers who drive good traffic to their blogs and generate good level of discussion are celebrities in various fields, e.g. politics, television and cinema. Among celebrities, we noticed that many  start blogging but either stop it altogether or do so infrequently. It could be a coincidence, but we have found that usually the celebrities who are serious about their profession are usually serious bloggers too – it is a different matter that some of them might be e

The best Indian IT blogs

 By now, we have thoroughly examined blogs on a number of niche areas such as food and cooking, finance and economy, travel, photography, movies and music, and current affairs. One important category of blogs happens to be those on Information Technology . This is special because most of IT bloggers are much more familiar with technology than other bloggers. They know not only coding, they have also often got education and training on other web matters. Leaving aside a few, all IT related blogs score high on design and navigation aspects. This has made our task quite difficult in selecting the best five blogs. Too much familiarity with tools and technology can be a drag too. The adage ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ seems to apply to many IT blogs and websites. Their focus on web-design and content – and the hurry to monetize the content – often leaves the reader out of focus. Ironically, in the long run, this has started telling on the quality of content and design in some erst

The Best Indian Food Blogs

The Indian Blog Ranking exercise is on for the last 45 days. After screening blogs on a number of paprameters, we are now examining blogs in different categories in detail. We started with food blogs, going by  the small number of such blogs. We’d thought that it would be the easiest section to finish.  We are thoroughly stumped by the richness of these blogs, and the dedication of these bloggers to not only the craft of cooking but blogging too. A large number of food bloggers have taken care to keep their blogs regularly updated and to reply to readers’ comments, categorise recipes, give detailed cooking instructions, illustrate them with a series of photographs, and also keep their passion largely non-monetised.  While we are deeply satisfied that the five food blogs that we have finally selected are the best-est-est of the food blogs available on the Indian blogosphere, we are also sad that we had to leave out some great blogs – with some aspects even better than some of th

Widgets make a blog great or they mar it

Widgets are those stand-alone elements in a blog that take care of all matters other than the core content. Technically they are small programs that are attached to the webpage's code and are executed from the webpage. They cull out matter from myriad sources, process it and present it on the blog.  Since widgets are not the core content of a blog, they compete for attention with the core content and other elements on the blog. There has to be a compromise between the value added on one side and space taken / conflict for attention on the other. Widgets and such other elements have the potential to ‘make or mar’ your blog in a big way, so you must have a look at each widget and the whole blog separately for these two aspects - value rendered and cost in terms of space / attention / conflict. Do not put too many widgets on the blog. Once they become a crowd, they put off the visitor.  Even a few widgets can be annoying if they are too flashy , irritatingly animated