I feel like sometimes one of the most neglected parts of blogs are the “About” page. We set it up but then leave it alone. We don’t tweak it and come back to it. We don’t utilize SEO for it. You guys I am here to tell you that my about page comes up in search for my blog ALL THE TIME! I want to tell you about 5 things you need in your about page so you can make sure you are utilizing every aspect of it!

Your URL: You probably don’t think too much about your about page URL do you? It probably looks something like yourblog.com/about or yourblog.com/about-me. Am I right? If I am right, then that’s not the best way to go about it. In fact you should change it ASAP! My suggestion would be your city and niche you most commonly discuss. For instance yourblog.com/miami-fitness-blogger or yourblog.com/seattle-mom-blogger. Since I made this change to my about page 5 plus years ago, I am constantly at the top of search for Dallas Lifestyle Blogger and Dallas Beauty Blogger. Do you know how many times brands have told me that’s how they found my blog by searching for a Dallas lifestyle or beauty blogger? No one is searching for “about me”.

Your Email: Do you want people to find you? Do you think they should have to constantly be looking for your email? Yes you have a contact page and that’s awesome, but why does it hurt to have your email on your about page as well? My suggestion is to have your email several places throughout your blog. In my experience no one is going to search for it. Don’t make them have to.

Your Current Life: Did you write your about page when you first started blogging and since then how many years have passed and you haven’t touched it? Mistake. You should be updating it several times a year. I like to say once a quarter at least. I’m not talking about a complete rewrite but did you make a big move? Or career change? Did you have a baby? Get married? Make sure those things are updated at least briefly. For instance “We are welcoming a baby girl this summer!” Just one sentence can open up a ton of possibilities. You don’t need your entire life story in your about page but enough so that readers and brands can get a good idea of who you are all while staying current in your life.

A Photo that represents you: It drives me crazy when I go to a blog and they have either 10 photos or a photo from 5 years ago. It doesn’t have to be professional but it should be current within the last 2-3 years. Again this is just my opinion and my experience.

SEO: Your page should have GREAT SEO! This is where that city/niche URL tip comes around. I won’t lay out exactly how to do SEO right here (that needs it’s own post…or 12). But just make sure you are doing SEO for your about page just as you would for any blog post. It’s just as if not more important.

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Habits are something I am a huge fan of. Especially when they are happy habits. Today I am sharing few happy habits you should really make a part of your daily life.

  • Say please and thank you: Something we all learned early on but I see fade as we get older. I love when people say it as adults. Says so much about them!
  • Say “bless you” when someone sneezes: It amazes me how much people don’t do it! Do it!
  • Open doors for people: It will make their day.
  • Smile at strangers: Same as above because you never know who needs a smile.
  • Buy flowers for someone: Your mom, sister, a friend. Just show them you care.
  • Leave your significant other a sweet note: It really shows how much you love them by making such a small effort.
  • Do the chores you hate: I hate taking out the trash but I know on the rare occasion I do it so Andrew doesn’t have to it means a lot.
  • Text a friend: Just to say hi and that you are thinking of them.
  • Call your parents: Like above, just to say hi and that you are thinking of them.
  • Feed your body well: The right foods, exercise, lots of water, it’s not only a happy habit but a healthy one.
  • Be nice to yourself: We can all be so down on ourselves. The best happy habit you can get into is to be nicer to yourself. Negative self talk will not help you ever!

These happy habits when done often will seriously lift your mood and make others see how much you appreciate them, and how much you value yourself.

What happy habit would you add?

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Use A Calendar/To Do List: This is really obvious but so many people don’t! I rely on a paper calendar because I find them reliable ! I also have a to do list app in my phone that I use to check things off during the day.

Schedule in even stuff you wouldn’t normally: I schedule reminders in my calendar for things like “reply to blog comments” “put away laundry” that way I don’t forget. It keeps me on task!

Prioritize Duh: Again, something people forget. I have a to-do list, but it’s in no particular order.

Ask For Help: Again, a no brainer but ask for help.

Get Up Early:  I am the most productive in the morning. So I get up at 7 and use 30 minutes to lay in bed, read emails, check my phone, read blogs, etc. I also try to meditate for five minutes during this time just to get my mind right for the day.

Cut Yourself Slack: There will be days your time management sucks and everything goes out the window. Maybe nothing got done. It’s OK. Cut yourself slack and try again tomorrow!

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Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

~ Cover Reveal ~
Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh
The Man
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away.
The Angel
Should an innocent man be allowed to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.
About the Author:
Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.


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Book Review – William Dalrymple’s ‘The Last Mughal: Fall Of A Dynasty’

The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, died in Burma in 1862 who lived his earlier years in culturally sophisticated court, but as the East India Company extended its control, his rule ended. The mutiny of the sepoys led to the siege of Delhi, the establishment of direct British colonial rule and ended pretensions of Zafar as emperor. William Author William Dalrymple has mined the Persian and Urdu documentation to capture the culture of Zafar’s court life of artists and intellectuals, Muslims and non-Muslims.

The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 is larger in and intense in the backdrop of a defining period in India’s struggle with the British Empire. It is the last, gasping evening of the Mughal dynasty, and the emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II, who is known to be a “reserved and rather beautiful old man with a fine aquiline nose and a carefully trimmed beard” in easy words a chessboard king. He was a melancholic octogenarian whose power didn’t extend beyond the Red Fort. In one of his own ghazals he wrote: I want to shatter the bars of my cage, /With the flutterings of my wings. /But like a caged bird in a painting, /There is no possibility of being free.

The city began to fall apart on May 11, 1857, when the mutinous sepoys from Meerut entered Delhi. The greased cartridges were not the only aggravation for the Uprising, which was quite material in the beginning. Zafar, showing signs of senility and known for his royal irresolution as the “Emperor of Hindustan”, authorized the insurgence. Ghalib mentions “The Emperor was powerless to repulse them; their forces gathered around him, and he fell under their duress, engulfed by them as the moon is engulfed by the eclipse.” Soon it was jihad, and from the city’s mosques, the mujahideen and the maulvis declared war on the infidels.

William Dalrymple brings an Indian perspective to the narrative of 1857, courtesy – the Mutiny Papers, still conserved in the National Archives of India. For the author Zafar had to be celebrated, argues his redeemer, not for his heroism but for his symbolism. “He was a protector of the Hindus and the moderator of Muslim demands.”

While romancing Zafar the liberal, author blames the historical violence of the West for the Islamist fury. The histories of imperialism and jihad are intertwined. That is perhaps the simplest-and the most obvious- way to neutralise the terror of Islamism. William Dalrymple is a historian who had spent an extensive time in the scented great yesterdays of the Orient. In this book he tells us a story in which the richness of its humanism is matched by the sheer size of it follies. History closes down to be a dead generalization on his pages. And the lost Delhi becomes a continuing fascination.

About the Writer:  Passionately sharing everything about Arts & Architecture with facts that thrill human imagination. Trying to make people not forget our heritage, culture and stay proud to be an Indian through love cast in stone, painted on walls and inscribed in texts. The writer- IndianArt can be contacted on Twitter

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WOW: What Makes You Smile? What Makes You Happy?

Have you ever made a list of things that make you utterly, ridiculously, jumping-up-and-down happy? Do you have a running list in your head that you refer back to when you’re having a bad day or when something gets under your skin? I think you should. Putting all the things that make me happy into list form was a pretty fun for this weekend writing activity.

  1. Waking up early, making coffee. I absolutely love my morning quiet time on the couch and it’s one of the top things that make me happy. So I’m putting it first.
  2. Afternoon naps on a rainy day. Or just naps in general.
  3. Birthday and holiday celebrations and decorations — just celebrating special moments.
  4. Waking up and realising it’s still the weekend.
  5. Logging into my blog’s WordPress dashboard and seeing that I have new comments.
  6. Calling my friends is one of the things that makes me happy.
  7. Getting a package. Surprise or not, I love it when the postman pulls up to my door with something that’s NOT a bill.
  8. Coffee at Starbucks with a croissant and piece of lemon cake.
  9. Seeing someone’s face light up after giving them a compliment.
  10. Getting my nails done
  11. Not having plans and just doing whatever I feel like.
  12. Admiring (and buying) beautiful flowers.
  13. When someone acknowledges I’ve worked really hard on something.
  14. Staying fit. Be it running, yoga or gym. Exercise releases endorphins and I know the difference in my moods when I workout and the days I don’t.  It gives me a sense of achievement like no other.
  15. When I took to writing I had no idea I could write as much. I had no idea how creative I was or how it was going to one day become my profession. As I wrote, not only did I reach my readers who related to me and connected, it healed me also. When I write about my issues, at times anonymously, it helps get over my bad moods.

It’s not about a situation, it’s about what you make of it. Unlike what you think others may not be sailing through life as well, neither am I. However, I believe in being happy and staying happy. Loving myself and every now and then indulging in myself. As an optimist, I could go on and on forever, listing things that make me happy and get an instant smile on my face. But I’d rather know what makes you happy? Let’s hear about it in the comments below.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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Artist from Kabul weaves magic with wheat straws


For Oman Niazi, wheat straws are as valuable as they are useless to others.

Collecting straws to make a living would literally equate to the idiom grasping at straws. After all, apart from getting chomped on by animals, what good are straws? But for an artist from Kabul who lives in Delhi currently from the past one year,  straws are everything, and the artwork he creates using these straws not only makes him a living, it also never fails to mesmerise those who come across it.

For 20 years, Oman Niazi from Kabul, Afghanistan  has been using wheat straws to create art that is not only beautiful, but that which exudes skill and sophistication. Wheat straws typically go to waste. During the processing of wheat, the separation of the grain and chaff produces straw as a useless by-product.

Fixing the wheat straws on a black background to make the straws prominent, Oman produces a piece of fine craftsmanship. Considering that the artwork is created from straws, the final product is surprisingly refined and elegant. Oman’s range of artwork even includes calligraphy and poetry.

I had the luck of meeting the artist Oman and his nephew Javed at Ballimaran – they have a shop at Ghalib’s Haveli, writing my awe at how clean the artwork was. His work been made with such sophistication and cleanliness that it does not seem this has been made from straws. Friends along with me were astonished to find out that this has been created using wheat straws.

Using something as useless as straw to create alluring pieces of art is a testament to the brilliance and mastery of this artist.

For him this is not just a hobby. The 50 year old aged artist told me that “This started off as a hobby but now it is a means of fulfilling his expenditures and has turned into a profession.”

His artwork starts at Rs 5000 sells to thousands of rupees. It takes him 5 days to make a piece on an average work of 5 hours a day.

His works have sold well both in India, back home at Kabul and abroad. Theses creative artworks, vivid and ingenious, are full of distinct characteristics of many cultures.  With exhibitions and promotions being held across Delhi, his artworks have attracted many overseas fans to buy Oman’s work.

Art can be enunciated in any form desirable to its audience.  Its creative presentation can even change the dynamics of commodities considered to be waste. Straw is among many such discarded items. However, when they land in artistic hands, like those of Niazi, they transform into decorative that woo spectators.

He operates his business through Instagram. He goes by the name of Oman Niazi.

Customers can make orders through the online medium by leaving a message on his Instagram Page.

In the social platforms Oman flaunts portrait of the various icons. He even has a portrait of Narendra Modi to RabindraNath Tagore. He like also crafted animals, birds, abstract art to more.

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Wisdom from The Ramayana: On Life and Relationships


What turns friends into worst enemies?
Is accepting misfortunes as our destiny fatalistic or pragmatic?
Can we regulate our emotions without repressing them?
Seeking answers to such universal questions, Wisdom from the Ramayana: On Life and Relationships taps into the timeless wisdom of the Ramayana, encompassing many of its characters and reflecting on the complex dynamics of their relationships.
By analyzing the thought processes of these characters and the principles they lived by, this self-help book offers guidelines to build lasting relationships and lead a spiritually fulfilling life.

About the author: Chaitanya Charan is a mentor, life coach and monk. Building on his engineering degree from the Government College of Engineering, Pune, he complemented his scientific training with a keen spiritual sensitivity. For over two decades, he has researched ancient wisdom texts and practiced their teachings in a living yoga tradition. Author of over twenty-five books, he writes the world’s only Gita-daily feature (gitadaily.com), wherein he has penned over two thousand daily meditations on the Bhagavad-Gita. Known for his systematic talks and incisive question-answer sessions, he has spoken on motivational and spiritual topics across the world at universities such as Stanford, Princeton and Cambridge and companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Google.

Review: Is the Ramayana, including stories from antiquated occasions, for all intents and purposes applicable today? Indeed, it is important on the grounds that the narratives, however from an antiquated setting, typify ageless qualities. One of the essential qualities that it passes on – benevolent forfeit – is particularly applicable in our present occasions that are described by over the top childishness. Contemporary culture to a great extent glamorises the me worldview, which prompts individuals to look for their own satisfaction without thinking about its expense for other people. At the point when the equivalent discourteous independence makes us disregard or control the general population around us – our relatives, our neighbours and associates, at that point it boomerangs to wound our heart, tormenting it with enthusiastic cracks and chewing depression. Ramayana custom offers the instances of its heroes not for impersonation, but rather for motivation: not for duplication of the points of interest of their penances, however for valuation for the rule of forfeit.

As our connections and cooperations happen, in actuality, we have to consider the different settings and their suggestions previously we choose how to apply the soul of forfeit in our lives. When we comprehend these ageless reverential rules that underlie the tales of the Ramayana, at that point we never again fall prey to the misguided judgments that are simply obsolete verifiable stories or fanciful moral anecdotes; we remember them to be true and emotional shows of unceasing profound standards, rules that have enlivened ambitious people to the most noteworthy human achievements since the beginning and that allure us to the equivalent incomparable experiences. In that lies a definitive, unfading significance of the Ramayana.

Chaitanya Charan has caught the heartbeat, the quintessence of the Ramayana, by fitting words that suits everybody who might read this book alongside his sharp bits of knowledge. He has placed words with the most profound considerations of subliminal reasoning where the most profound sentiments of the characters and the relationships are manifested appropriately. It’s like truly being a part of the incidents. I observed this book to be a standout amongst the most champion among captivating and clear books dependent on Ramayana. The author has consolidated the message of the Bhagavad Gita with the activities of Ramayana overhauling our energies on life and connections. The testing event of Rama neglecting Sita has been overseen convincingly by the author. It is a book which one can scrutinise again and again and makes for a better than average favoured perusing. The more you read, the more significant learning into human associations is found.

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The Secrets of Ghostwriting by D. R Downer Vol 3

The Secrets of Ghostwriting 
by D. R Downer


A guide that will tell you everything there is to know about the big, bad, mysterious, and often misunderstood world of Ghostwriting.
Grab your copy from 

Connect with the author:

Other books in this series
Why Go Indie? 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing  Vol 1
by Devika Fernando
Walking on the Indie Path Vol 2
Can be presently found in her blog www.rubinaramesh.com
by Rubina Ramesh
The Art of Ghostwriting Vol 3
by D. R. Downer
Publishing Your Book on Amazon KDP Vol 4
by Sundari Venkatraman
Fears and Doubts of a Writer Vol 5
By Reshma Ranjan
Boosting Book’s Sales with a Riveting Blurb! Vol 6
By Ruchi Singh

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