Are you on IndiBlogger?

Hi Guys,

I joined IndiBlogger couple of days ago and my account was verified today. Excited to be part of this new community. Right now, I have added my YouTube channel as the primary blog, but the idea is also to add this blog there.

I think I have seen some of you being associated with IndiBlogger , but cannot quite remember who all. If you are on IndiBlogger, please comment below. I am still trying to figure out how to use the website and it would be great to have some familiar companions there.

Though I am a millennial, social media overwhelms me. I have mentioned before how I was off Facebook for sometime. I joined it back recently, primarily to let my circle know about the YouTube channel. However, I am only there on and off. I do not have the app on my phone (which I feel is the best away to stay away from addiction).

Right now, probably the most abused app on my phone is the YouTube Studio, which is a tool to track the performance of my channel. I keep refreshing it to see if there are new views and engagements on my videos.

I recently joined back Instagram (@arpitapramanick). I used to be on Instagram earlier in 2017, but my phone of that time wasn’t able to take up so many apps, so I had to get rid of it. I enjoy Instagram, I like to look at pictures. I think I am going to stick to it for a while.

Something else that I enjoy is Reddit. There’s a wonderful community for new YouTubers there, where we can discuss the issues that are facing, discuss milestones and generally, spread some positivism. It’s an amazing community. There are awesome subreddits for other things as well (for example the subreddit /aww where people keep posting cute animal pictures – it will make your heart melt).

Twitter, on the other hand, is not quite my thing. I remember using it quite a lot back in 2016 (I think), but I was not able to build a community there, so I guess, that’s that. I don’t even have it on my phone anymore

I have noticed that these days I am able to control my addiction of social media platforms a bit better than before. I am able to resist the urge of using it every moment of my life. However, I still have to a bit conscious and remind myself to resist the urge. For example, I’ll tell myself, “Do not touch the phone until you have finished this blogpost”. It is a constant war. I am trying to reach this balance where I am the one who controls my social media outlets and not vice versa.

What are the social media apps that you use? What do you find the most enjoyable? What are your social media struggles? Are you trying to get off this drug or have you mastered the art of dog-walking social media platforms? Let me know in the Comments!

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Posted in Blogging101, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Making the blog more navigable…

Hi everyone!

I have been on the blogging scene for close to three years now. I have said this before: I started this blog as an author’s platform. Back in 2015, in my final semester of college, the bug to become an author bit me, and hence, without much planning, I started this blog.

Since then, the primary motivation behind the blog has changed. These days, I am far removed from writing a book. However, since I have always loved writing, I come back to the blog to share bits and pieces of my life.

The layout of the blog, however, have largely remained same. I kept on creating content without much thinking how people would be accessing them, especially the new users who visit the Home page.

With this in mind, and largely due to a phone call with my ex-professor and travel blogger, Mr. Rangan Datta this evening, I decided to change some things about the blog and make it more reader-friendly. Thank you sir, for the motivation. It actually meant a lot.

This primarily means that I have redesigned the menu bar and creating and organizing the categories. Earlier today, my menu bar primarily consisted of writing-related menus, while I kept dumping all other posts in the General category. Keeping in mind that these days most of my post are more lifestyle and travel-centric, I have created separate categories for these. Under travel, I have created sub-categories for all the places that I have visited and created posts about.

All my writing related stuff are still there: poetry, essays, short stories, but now they are under the label Writing on the menu bar. The struggles of a newbie author, as I experienced while publishing my books, are also now under writing. So are the tips and suggestions on writing that I have shared over the years.

I have renamed Reviews to Book Reviews (I might end up reviewing movies some day, so do not want it to be ambiguous).

I have also edited individual posts and added them to the right categories.

Do have a look at the revamped Home page and let me know what you guys think. I would be happy to accommodate any changes that you guys suggest.

Love, ❤

Arpita

 

Posted in Blogging101 | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Because humor is the best remedy…

Hey guys,

Been a while since I posted a nice conversational post. I was travelling during the first half of February, to home, so wasn’t using WordPress as much. But it was a great trip, I am back totally recharged and feeling fresh.

Anyways, getting back to the point: I have started watching a lot of comedy videos on YouTube recently. I have my favorites: Zakir, Kanan, Biswa. Watching these videos make my solitary life worthwhile. Seriously. I know you might think it’s sad that I have to watch YouTube videos to make my life happening, but there are some beautiful lessons in these comedies.

I have been fortunate enough to know some people who use humor to get over difficult situations in life. And these comedians reinstate the same values. It’s amazing how easily things can be solved if you can put a smile on other people’s faces.

Growing up, I feel I have been way more mature for my age. I have, if I may so say, I have always been more philosophical than anything. I was always over-analyzing and trying to use logic in every scenario. My arguments were always well thought out and planned. But what I have learned with experience is, a laughter goes a longer way in winning hearts compared to sound logic. Because, people are more emotional than logical. In fact, try it in your own lives: in case you are in a fight, pause for a while, find a meme on your phone and read it out for both of you. Even better, enact it! I know it may sound ludicrous, but it really works.

So, now, my aim in life is to spread a smile, some laughter. I tried the same with my last post and also today’s video on my YouTube channel. So if comedy is your thing, I invite you to check out both the content and share your thoughts. Also, it’s a little tough genre to crack, so critical feedback is very much appreciated, especially in case of the video. Will be waiting to hear from you guys!

Love,

Arpita

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The Day of St. Valentine

The clock struck twelve a.m. and the first thing that hit my eyes was the wannabe-cute doodle that Google has put up for the day. I mean I love Google (I am in the analytics industry, do I have a choice?). But honestly, I do love Google. I think they are great! I love Google doodles even better! But why do they have to scream Valentine’s from the center of the homepage? I mean what are those birds anyway? Ducks? What’s ducks got to do with love anyway? Oh wait, let me Google it!

<goes to Google home page, screams and returns to WordPress>

God! Now I have to spend the whole day dodging the homepage. Difficulty level: 99999999999!

Anyways, while the lovers break their heads over the shade of red of rose they must get and the shopkeepers buy Mercedes with their sky-rocketed prices, let me spread some love for all the single folks out there! If you are single (like me), here’s some digital love with chocolate sauce for you. Slurppp! Dang, it’s tasty!

I know they don’t celebrate a day for us singles (says something about how the world hates freedom), but guys and gals, if you are single on 14th Feb, 2018, do not shed copious tears. Go buy some popcorn (because why not) and watch some Zakir Khan on YouTube (or Amazon Prime if you can afford it 😉 ). I assure you, you will walk away feeling prouder for your single-hood. If anything can get you over a break up in 2018, this guy has to be that person! #HaqSeSingle

Love,

Arpita

P.S: To all couples out there, don’t feel left out. I will have an awesome post for you next year (I hope, I hope, I hope!).

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, FOLKS!

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Six tips to grow your blog…

This is the second day I am waking up at around 7 AM! Whoo-hoo! I just hope this becomes a practice and I can start using my time more productively!

On to the topic now: Of late, I have noticed I get new followers on this blog almost on an everyday basis! It’s mostly one of two people who join me daily, but it’s a steady stream of new followers, which makes me quite happy! 🙂 A big thank you to all of you (old and new) for having faith in my content and being part of my journey.

Having said that, there was a time when I was really obsessed about this blog. I wanted to get as many followers as I could. In fact, there was a point when I was frustrated that people were following me, but they were not being part of my journey (follower count increased, but not the engagement on each post, in the form of likes and comments). Now, when I look back at that post, I think it was insensitive; but in my defense I was young and full of naivety.

I am approximately three years into blogging career in WordPress. My follower count, from WordPress, is at 411. It is probably not much for a three year career, but when you think of four hundred people in a room – well, that’s a lot of people! So, today, I wanted to give back to the community and talk about what makes this steady stream of people come to your platform and stick to you:

  1. Understand the genre of your blog: Certain genres will do better than others. There was one time in college when I was turning every possible acquaintance to a blogger. That time, I turned my then roommate into a photography blogger; she used to travel a lot and take photographs and she was sure good at it. Her blog grew faster than mine at the time. So, understand what your genre is – if it is a slow or a fast one. If your blog is growing slowly, it does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. It could be just the genre!
  2. Be consistent: In the last three years, lot has happened in my life. I finished college, moved to a new city to start a new career and have spent almost 2.5 years working that job. My priorities changed from electronics to analytics to financial stability to making YouTube videos. However, one thing that has stayed consistent is my blogging habit. There have been low points, some months which have just one blog-post, but I think I can proudly say that I have not missed one month of blogging in the last three years. New folks that follow your channel will look at your recent behavior before they hit that follow button, because nobody wants to follow a high quality but dead channel that’s not been updated in a year (I do that!).
  3. Follow a schedule (or not): One of the ways to becoming consistent is to maintain some sort of a schedule. I did follow one for some time, posting twice a week. It worked for a while and then didn’t. However, for me, I start missing this platform if I am been away for a long time, so I keep coming back. But if you are new, some sort of schedule surely helps. Make sure you also keep your readers aware of the schedule, so they know when to come back! Think of it like your favorite TV show, you know when to sit in front of it whenever it is aired, right?
  4. The viral post: There’s always that one post which goes viral. Some go viral instantly, others build up a huge % viewership over time. In my case, this post on five magazines to publish writings in India has remained the top read post of all times. I started off as a blogger for writers, and this was written during that time. The nice thing about such viral posts is that they over time, they start appearing on Google search also. Most of the search keywords that lead to my channel are around magazines to submit writings. So how do you create such viral posts? In my experience, things which help people or entertain them are the ones which people find useful and worth coming back to. There is one other post that I published after my last day of college, which has pictures of me and the things my friends wrote on my shirt on the final day. College kids still search for things to write on shirts on the last day of college and come to my blog! Viral posts are great, but make sure you’re not working just towards creating those! In fact all of my top read posts were written from a heartfelt need to write them. I never knew that the post of five magazines would be my best read post when I was writing it. Also, viral views might not necessarily lead to long term engagement. I am pretty sure 99% of people who come to this blog because of the five magazines post, do not subscribe to the blog
  5. SEO: Search Engine Optimization – this is very crucial. It helps WordPress/search engines what your post is all about, so make sure that you use the Categories and Tags features in WordPress. I have seen genuine benefit in that
  6. Socialize your blog: A good chunk of my viewership comes from my Facebook, LinkedIn. All my posts are auto-set to be shown on these platforms as soon as I hit the publish button. So, if you are in other social media, make sure to socialize your posts there.

So, that concludes today’s post. I will keep adding to this, if I can think of something new. Hope you guys find something to learn in this and use that to your advantage.

Good luck and I will see you guys in my next post!

Posted in Blogging101 | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Do you have 7 AM friends?

Today, I woke up at 7 AM in the morning. I had gone to bed close to 1 AM, so I was a little surprised when I woke up six hours later, feeling quite fresh. My first instinct was to go back to sleep (the sun was shrouded by fog, so the light that filtered into the room was not harsh enough to rub the sleep off). However, on the other hand, I have not got up this early in the morning in a really long time (in fact, I cannot remember when was the last time I woke up at 7 AM – I have very clear memories of staying awake till three AM, I was up even yesterday).

I have always been this morning person. As a student, I woke up early, ate my breakfast, studied for a while, got ready for school and left. In college too, I used to wake up early, because I wanted to use about two hours of study time. I generally can concentrate better in the mornings and I could remember the things that I read in the mornings as well.

When I first came to Bangalore, we had to get up early in the morning too. I remember in the first fourteen days of work life, we were staying at this company provided accommodation. They gave us complimentary breakfast as well. It was good food. I was staying in a beautiful flat and learning to negotiate Bangalore life, which was different from the life I was used to.

Then I moved to my current flat. That time too, we used to wake up in the morning. I was sharing my room and we had dedicated bathing times to make things easier. So, you couldn’t afford to sleep too late. The maid would come in the morning, the cook that couple of my flatmates were using would come in the morning! The house was abuzz with life in the morning. I even started cooking and packing lunch for work for quite sometime.

Then came the change of timing: from 1 to 10 PM. There was no incentive anymore to waking up early, so my routine kept changing and changing, till the average time when I got up from bed hit 9 AM.

I do not like that one bit. I want to wake up in the morning and see the first rays of the sun. I want to feel the morning chill and romanticize all the cool things that I can do until I absolutely need to get ready for office. I want to go out in the balcony and watch parents dropping little kids to school. I have been getting more and more frustrated of not having enough time to myself before going to work – somehow it does not satiate the me time within me.

When I woke up this morning, there was nobody in the house. My roommate’s bed had not been slept in. I felt strange, being alone in the house. I wanted to talk to someone.

You cannot call up people at 7 AM these days. Most of the people I know are either in their last hour of sleep before they have to start getting ready for work, or have only gone to sleep two hours back. I hate waking up people from sleep. Somehow, I remember college days. During college days, you could call up people at 7 AM and expect people to take your call – because they would be up studying too. Now, I do not know anyone’s schedules. I don’t know what is the right time to call, except for the weekends. In the end, I called my family and spoke to my father and mother.

Communication has diversified so much. But communicating, in a way, has become harder. There are so many constraints around availability.

I don’t have a 7 AM friend. In fact, it is easier to find a 3 AM friend than a 7 AM friend. What do you think?

Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ArtSci Fest 2018, Bangalore

Hi there,

Yesterday, I happened to go to Phoenix Market city to check out the ArtSci Fest. They have segregated an area in LG floor and set up a makeshift gallery. The exhibition comprises of art by 22 artists across the country, so if you are an art lover you must visit the place. The show is on till 5th of March and public display starts from 24th of this month.

Though the show is under-installation at the moment (with pictures still being put up), the organizers were happy to let me in. I spent quite some time there, looking at the art, taking pictures (photography is allowed). I also got a chance to speak to the veteran artist from Kerala, Shafeeque Punathil. He was an old, friendly and humble man. We spoke at length about art, modern art, Shafeeque’s 40-year old art career. I never expect a man his age to be this grounded and willing to discuss his thoughts. He showed me his art on his Facebook timeline, spoke to me about his late wife and his daughters. I truly enjoyed speaking to him. He also kindly offered to take a photo of mine:

IMG_20180120_171056

The art of display ranges from pure traditional art to modern abstract art. I am not aware of the contemporary Indian art scene and do not know any of the artists on display, but to look at the splash of colors was simply amazing. There were some wonderful sculptures which make you sit back and take notice.

IMG_20180120_165551IMG_20180120_165948067IMG_20180120_170158264

If you want to see more of these art, check out my video:

However, if you are based out of Bangalore, you must visit the place in person to appreciate the majestic display.

Let me know in the Comments what you think. 🙂

Until later, smile and be creative! ❤

Posted in Bangalore, Videos | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments