The Wall, The Pipeline, Muslim Ban… What next?

I am with the oppressed.

On last Friday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, POTUS issued a Muslim Ban across the United States, the details of which you can find online, but the gist of this ban is the denial of entry to the US to any Muslim citizen from 7 Muslim majority countries regardless of whether or not they have valid US VISA. This ban also extends to green card holders from these countries, as well as Muslim, Syrian refugees.

Later in the weekend there was a man in Quebec City who opened fire at a mosque during evening prayer, killing 6 and injuring at least 8. And since he is a white male, of course, that makes him a “lone wolf”, and not a terrorist. Not only this, Fox News reported that one of the “suspects” was a man of Moroccan descent, who, by the way, was NOT a suspect, rather a WITNESS, and yet, it took HOURS before #fakenews site Fox News thought it necessary to fix this little misunderstanding. (Wait, did they ever fix it?!)

This blog is primarily a design blog, so why am I sharing this news with you? Because, I truly feel that we are now living in a time when what is happening around us cannot be called “political” anymore. It is a matter of social justice and human rights.

I have to speak out. I have to voice my opinion. Even if the reach of my blog is just one person, I have to make it known to that one person where I stand in all this craziness.

I am forever and always with the oppressed and the persecuted. Make no mistake about that. Our views may differ, and we may believe in different things, but at the end of the day, as a fellow human being, I will stand with those who are being wronged by the few who are sitting at the top of his weird pyramid of socio-economic power. I simply pray to Almighty that I can remain strong in the face of the oppressor and stand true to what I am saying today, the promise I am making today.

I will end my post with a quote by Martin Niemoller, which is just so relevant today and so important to remember,

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

How to Use Keywords Effectively on Your Blog for Better SEO

In this blog post I will show you how to use Google Adwords Keywords Planner to find keywords in your niche and then how to implement these keywords in various parts of your blog post for better and improved SEO.

Keywords are extremely important when it comes to improving Search Engine Optimization, in short, SEO, of your blog posts. There are strategic ways in which you can implement these words in your posts. Today I will show you the following ways in which you may improve your SEO and make Google fall in love with your content:

  1. How to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find keywords in your post niche.
  2. How to implement these keywords in various parts of your post for better SEO.

However, before all of that, let us talk about SEO and what it can do for us, and how Keywords come into all these. Let us look at the following scenario:

Somebody decides to go vegan, however, they have no clue what sort of vegan food they can prepare at home. So, they search for vegan recipes online. May be they want to narrow down recipes even further, and want to search for quinoa salad! We all know the term “niche” by now I hope. Vegan recipe is a niche, and quinoa salad is a niche within a niche.

In short, vegan recipe and quinoa salad are all keywords! Now, many people may be searching for vegan recipes, but not all of them will be searching for quinoa salad. Therefore, focusing on the keywords “quinoa salad” as opposed to “vegan recipe” will make you appear on Google towards the top as your content will appear relevant more over just vegan recipes! Continue reading “How to Use Keywords Effectively on Your Blog for Better SEO”

5 Design Tips: What Should Your Blog Look Like in 2017?

Here are some blog design trends to look out for in 2017

While the big names out there are putting out 2017 web design trends, I have conducted my own research! A few of the things I mention here are my own thoughts that I, as a designer and developer, would like to see done more across the World Wide Web, especially across personal blogs. Few others are trends I have read on other platforms, or just things I have noticed lately. Either way, I think it is safe to say that the 5 things I mention below are as evergreen as they come, and really, just good design practices than anything else! I’m simply hoping that more and more designers will educate themselves in these fields this year to improve upon their trade. Continue reading “5 Design Tips: What Should Your Blog Look Like in 2017?”

Case Study: A Blog Design Project for a Holistic Nutrition Specialist

A Case Study for my most recent blog design project for a certified holistic nutritional consultant.

Approximately a month ago I landed a gig (from Melyssa Griffin’s Blog + Biz BFFs Facebook group) designing a WordPress based blog for a certified holistic nutritional consultant, Randall Marie Heilik. I am still pretty green when it comes to blog design (this being my second official gig) for actual clients. I’ve always made my own blogs and hardly ever adhere to any graphic or web-design strict “rules”. If you couldn’t tell just by looking at this blog, I don’t know what else would.

But you cannot always just throw the rules away when it comes to client work, I am mature enough to understand that at least. However, at the same time, I do not want to work on projects that I am not passionate about to a certain degree. Randall’s concept was interesting for me. I have always been interested in natural food, and even considered taking some courses on natural diet at one point in my life. Well, that never happened…

Anyhow, point is, I was curious. I had no clue what holistic nutrition consisted of, and at first it felt like a challenge. I did with Randall what I had done with my previous client — asked her to fill up a Pinterest board with her favorite images, images she felt connected to/attracted to. I hoped this would give me some idea as to where to even begin!  Continue reading “Case Study: A Blog Design Project for a Holistic Nutrition Specialist”

Blog Launch Checklist: Responsive Layout Design and Typography

Blog Launch Checklist: Responsive Layout Design and Typography (Download pdf Checklist)

May be it is because I’m a designer and developer myself that I do certain things that non-designers/developers do not. Things such as resizing browser width as soon as I have clicked on a new website or blog to see if all elements are responding to the changing browser width. The prettier a blog, the harsher I judge them. Can’t help it! So here I am, trying to think of blog post ideas for when I relaunch, and I figured, why not talk about this as part of the first-10-intro-posts or something? (I am terrible at small talk, so there, no introductory post on my blog. We go straight into business!)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THIS CHECKLIST

Thing is, I get it, you know! Unless you are a designer/developer, especially a developer, you won’t probably change your browser width ever! But what if your reader IS a developer? Hmm? What’d you do then? Even if you are a non-techie person, there are some things you should probably know, and test, before you launch your website/blog. It is not just so you can please the eyes of the tech-gurus and blog-police, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you take care of these ten things on your website/blog. With just these ten things, your website is going to look that much more professional! Continue reading “Blog Launch Checklist: Responsive Layout Design and Typography”

Nine Months of Hustle: From the Beginning to Now

Nine Months of Hustle: From the Beginning to Now | The things I did to survive.

Well, technically it has been about 10 month-ish I think when things kinda fell apart… or it kinda felt like they did. You know, life… it just happens every now and then, and if anything, there’s much to be grateful for, for those life-moments, because that is one time when we truly realize that our lives aren’t necessarily always in our control. This is the time to reflect and realign, be patient, and learn to be patient, generous, kind, hard working, determined, hopeful… etc. Well, I’m not sure exactly how much the last 9/10 months have taught me, but I’d like to think I’ve learned at least some things about life in general.

Putting aside life for now, let’s look at the hustle part of it for the sake of this post. In today’s post, I will talk about what I did that kept me afloat, enabled me to pay some bills (I did miss a few, not gonna lie), and buy food (which included the most Ramen I’ve ever eaten in my life). But still, here I am, and life is significantly improved by the grace of the Almighty. My friend is still helping me with a super discounted rent for his spare bedroom, and I am still eating quite a bit of ramen and a ton of bananas, but at least I am eating, and I’m not constantly terrified. Still hustling, still unsure when the next paycheck will be deposited in the bank, but life is… for better words, significantly improved from the way things were, say, 9/10 month-ish ago.

I won’t talk about the struggle part, I just don’t like talking about them. Some people prefer being transparent, I however, like to maintain a certain amount of opaqueness, if you’ll allow me, please. Instead, I’ll jump into the part where I talk about how I hustled, what I did, steps I took, etc. Continue reading “Nine Months of Hustle: From the Beginning to Now”