Gaurang's Blogs

Top Things you should know if you are using Google Picasa

Google Picasa is an amazing software. It looks and works like Apple's Aperture.

Sice you are using Picasa, here are following things you shoukd really know.

1. Never Delete a Folder but Images.

If you are considering deleting a folder, beware. If that folder contains sub-folder(s) or any other files then they will also get deleted. This may appear to be pretty obvious but at times you will forget it and you may end up losing your important data.

So remember, Always delete an Image.

 

What are different Digital Marketing Channels and how to master them ? Part 1

This post is for every amateur Digital Marketer who wants to master the art of Digital Marketing.

Always remember : Social Media Channels aren’t same as Digital Marketing Channels but are subset of latter. 

Having said that, we are having various kinds of Digital Marketing Channels mastering upon which you can proudly call yourself a Digital Marketer. 

They are as follows:-

1. E-mail Marketing

Email marketing in Digital Marketing is relatively as old as Cold Calling Marketing in Non-Digital Marketing. It used to work wonders a decade ago and even till 5 years ago. But then we are marketers and we destroy the channels by over-using and over abusing them ( amateurs mostly). Back then we used to get 10% - 30% CTR and we used to get super excited about it, Now even if we get 1% CTR from non-targeted and 5-15% CTR from targeted E-mail campaigns, we consider it as a great achievement. 

It’s certainly super cheap way to market though and brings quality business leads if done properly.

Using bulk e-mailing services gives you different statistics like CTR, Reported Abuse lists, Unsubscribes list which will help you in proper planning of future email campaigns. 

If you haven’t done email marketing before, try making an email list of 50-100 subscribers and then try to send them newsletter. Understand their behaviour, if they are liking the content or not, if they are  unsubscribing or taking any “Call to Action” which you have in your email campaigns.  

2. SEO - Search Engine Optimization

It is a channel which opens door to millions of opportunities. Just about everyone searches online for something. If your website is ranking on top for particular target keywords then you are game. You will be receiving lots of audience aka prospective leads. 

Try to include lots of “call to action” like Buy Now, Contact Us in the website to turn them into a lead which further can be contacted to convert into a qualified lead. 

Thousands of Businesses have thrived because of Organic SEO which ironically cannot be delivered by most of the SEO companies. 

3. Social Media Marketing 

This is HUGE. Social Media Marketing is increasing at phenomenal rate as world is becoming more social. Now everyone is connected with dozens, hundreds through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and dozens of other major Social Media Platforms. 

Each of these Social Media Platforms have their own peculiarities which average Digital Marketer just don’t understand. Each of them just works differently, their content structure is different. 

For example you will find just about every Digital Marketing guy posting statuses on LinkedIn with Hashtags. LinkedIn just don’t understand Hashtags but people often ignore that fact. 

And the platform which supports Hashtags have different behaviours as the number of hashtag changes. 

For instance, Twitter recommends having maximum 2 hashtags or the percentage of engagements will reduce while Instagram attracts highest interactions when hashtags are 11+ ( Sample size: Users with < 1000 followers ).

On Facebook however, posts with no hashtags performs better than the ones with hashtags. 

According to SocialBakers, too many hashtags leads to less interactions ( 1-2 led to 593 interactions per post while 10+ hashtags led to 188 interactions per post ). Pretty scary, isn’t ? 

I will write more on this in coming days. 

Books recommended for every aspiring Equity Investor

So you want to be next Warren Buffet or Nicolas Darvas ? Since you are reading this, you are interested in the amazing world of Stocks Market. Well if that’s the case that you got to read a lot as thousands of self-acclaimed investors eventually end up jumping from high rises when market crises takes place.
I am including a few books which will laid solid foundation for your long career in financial and investments domain. Start your journey with Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards which contains great stories to inspire you and to increase your interest even more in the markets. The second bookRead How I Made 2,000,000 in the Stock Market by Nicolas Darvas, Thereafter read Trading Rules: Strategies for Success by William F. Eng and even Reminiscences of a stock operator- Edwin Lefevre.
Since Psychology also plays crucial role while investing, do read:

  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience which is written by Psychology professor Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi, the book teaches us how to get totally immersed in what we do.
  •  Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas.
  • Thinking fast and slow - Daniel Kahneman.
  • "Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas" is also a classic book which gives insights into the psychological part of the trading. Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness gives interesting insights on the psychology and behaviour of traders and trading in general.

Another great book is “When the Genius Failed - By Roger Lowenstein”, this book is about the real life events of the smartest guys in finance, running the largest hedge fund at that point (Early '90s), with the most sophisticated strategies. 

Market wizard series by Jack Schwager is a must for anyone who wants to understand common principles shared by the most successful traders.

Technical Analysis A-Z by Steven Achelis, gives great insight on the technical tools and indicators. 

Good resource for fixing all knowledge gaps are:

List of recommended books are as follows:

  • Trading for a Living - Dr. Alexander Elder
  • Come into My Trading Room - Dr. Alexander Elder
  • Entries and Exits - Dr. Alexander Elder
  • Fibonacci Trading, How to Master Time and Price Advantage - Carolyn Boroden
  • Self- Discipline in 10 Days Theodore Bryant
  • To get confident and discipline in the stock market are below
  • 50 Trading Rules - William F
  • How to Make Money Trading with Candlestick Charts - Balakrishna Sadekar.
  • Futures & Options - Mahajan R.
  • A Simplified Approach to option trading - Jitendra Gala- Ankit Gala.
  • 45 Years in Wall Street By W.D Gann
  • Trading for a Living Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by: Edwin Lefvre
  • Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets BY-John J. Murphy
  • The Intelligent Investor BY-Benjamin Graham
  • Market Wizards Interviews With Top Traders
  • Brian Shannon - Technical Analysis Using Multiple Timeframes
  • Alex Nekritin & Walter Peters - High Probability Techniques for Trading Without Indicators
  • Dr. Alexander Elder - Trading for a Living
  • Mike Bellafiore - One Good Trade
  • Getting Started With Chart Patterns- Thomas N. Bulkowski
  • Trading Classic Chart Patterns- Thomas N. Bulkowski

just a thought for marketers #1

You cannot do good marketing of bad product, nor you can market well without proper knowledge of the product / services you are selling.

Trending Linux Distributions all over the World - An analysis


Linux based Operating Systems have increased their market share considerably in last 10 years. With more than 50 Linux Distributions available to experiment with, Linux surely takes care of your hunger for learning more. 

Ubuntu is ultra user friendly Operating System and perhaps that's the reasons why Ubuntu is the most sought after Linux Distribution. Others are: Debian ( Ubuntu is based on it ), Fedora, Red Hat ( Enterprise Level Linux Distro ), OpenSUSE, etc. 

Do you want to learn Linux ? Check out BeingSkilled's exclusive Linux Tutorials at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3dG087Wsi0&list=PLQK7ZMLUQcMoJfzkuUnXDQi5H6gk2Trju

 

What is "user agent stylesheet" in CSS / Web Browser ?

When you are debugging the CSS, there will be times when you will see "user agent stylesheet".

So what is this "user agent stylesheet"

These are the CSS values generated by your Web Browser. Whenever the values of properties are not defined, Web browser tries to define them for you. 

If you don't want the defaults then there are two ways to get rid of them, which are as follows:-

1. Explictly define the values of the propertyies in your CSS StyleSheets. 

2. Try including normalize.css ( Click here to download it ) or reset.css ( Click here to see it ). Reset.css resets everything and you will have to define values of each property. Normalize.css preserve the important ones and is very nicely documented. To understand the difference between these two, Click here.

Are you a tourist traveling in India ?

It's quite depressing to read India Travel stories wherein Travelers suffers due to various reasons. I just read: http://markmanson.net/a-dust-over-india and I really think every Indian should start making experience of tourists a memorable one !
 
If you are someone who is traveling to Gujarat / Rajasthan then write an e-mail to me / fill this form. I will show you around Ahmedabad, Vadodara ( in June / July ) / Rajasthan, Delhi ( August, September , October, November, December ) and all the best possible places around and I will ensure that your visit will be memorable one. 
 
India is a land of diversity wherein you will witness extremes ( extreme poverty to extreme riches, extremely undeveloped place to places full of buildings having marvelous architecture ). To understand India, you will have to experience the parallel worlds. So at times, it may become emotion draining exercise to travel but rest of the times it will be a pleasant experience. 
 
I have been a traveler for years now, exploring different parts of India and understanding different cultures, trying local cuisines and different versions of history behind every single monument I have been to. 
I will be adding some travel stories very soon.
And Yes, contact me if you are traveling to India soon. 
 
 
 
 
 

Tips for Booking Ticks in Indian Railways

Traveling in India is an adventure in itself. With abundance of choatic streets in most of the places, even reaching at the stations / getting tickets becomes very challenging.

Following are the learnings from my 30,000 kms long journey across India I did in past a few years.

1. While booking Indian Railway ticket, when it will be a short trip of a day or two and you are booking about 10 days before the travel day, ensure that you check availability of both "To"  & "Return" ticket. Chances are there that you may successfully book the "To" ticket with very a few "waiting number", but what will surprise you is the fact that Return ticket will have very "large waiting number". So you may end up canceling your "To" ticket if the only way you want to travel is through Train and you want to avoid probability game of Tatkaal.

This is an inexhaustive list. Keep on visiting for more tips.

How I saved thousands by just 1 tweet

Imagine having bought a pair of jeans and getting it altered to further discovering that it didn’t fit you well ( perhaps because of your negligence or company's misaligned inventory ). 

Having about INR 2000 at stake, you request the Customer Support to help you with that. But they didn’t help, to save themselves from prospective losses, probably.

Now the buyer the tweets about it to the Company and guess what happens, first they assured the support from their team, second within a few hours a call is received for understanding the issue, third confirming the exchange of jeans.

The buyer eventually saves himself from the loss of 2000 bucks that too with just one tweet. 

The buyer was me, and to thank them, a few days after, I did quite a lot of shopping ( Bought 2.5x worth of things ). 

For the buyer, it became the best experience ever and Company somehow increased the revenue.

And had there been zero interaction through Twitter, the loyal customer might have become the disgruntled one and company would have suffered intangible losses in coming days / weeks / months. 

That’s one of the thousand incidents which happens on daily basis. Companies which are continuously finding ways to interact with their audience or better prospective buyers are at very high advantage as compared to those who aren’t interacting at all.

We are moving from information age to Social Age where almost everyone is connecting with each other through one channel or another and not connecting due to not having proper channels is simply an excuse. 

Brands have to become active on Social Channels, explore and understand what their audience is talking about, what’s trending and somehow associate their products with the trend to stay relevant and continuously interact with the audience by either sharing relevant content or commenting on the activities of the audience. 

As the engagement increases, humanification of brand takes place and people starts connecting with the brand and eventually forms the relationship. ( One great example is Paulo Coelho )

Having this relationship lets Brands sell their products and services at extremely high speed, for e.g..: the notion of Pre-Booking Mobile Phones, Books released by authors. 

Authors have built relationship with users through Twitter, Facebook,LinkedIn, Instagram, Pininterest by sharing content of audience’s interest, responding to them periodically, solving their queries, sharing their fans' photos with their products, etc. So when any book they pre-launch, thousands of people / followers converts into buyers. 

 

My office

A photo posted by Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) on


Feb 24, 2015 at 12:24pm PST

Engagements helps brands solve queries of their customers in real-time basis which improves the customer experience drastically. 

We are living in the era of “Selling at Scale”, where Brand’s engagement with their Customers has become indispensable which leads to great user experience, increased sales and free marketing through word of mouth in scale

Bottom-line : If spending 60 minutes on daily basis can get you 1-2 multi-thousand dollars deal then it's a great ROI. ( Isn't it ? )

Gary Vaynerchuk is a Digital Marketing Guru and he interacts with his audience in a very interesting way. He records video and answer his visitor's questions through it.

 

 

 

 

Written for Ad:Tech : Topic : Leveraging engagement to deliver real business results

 

Blogs & Books I loved to read so far

Suppose you want to be exceptionally great at something. What will you do ?

Majority of people just dream about becoming great without putting in kind of efforts required to achieving them leave alone extra efforts. While what rest of them do is quite exceptional. They put in extra hours to their craft to really outshine majority.

Often, achievements requires great sacrifices. Sacrifice of personal time which most of the people don't consider as an option.

I stumbled upon a fantasic blog post which refreshed every concept I had in my mind of becoming rockstar at something.

When you are having a job, you are given a set of "Key Responsibilities", while it's important to be great at those for optimal work -> output -> promotions, it's equally important to expand the list of KRs for growth. The longer the list will be, more importance you will hold in the eyes of your boss and the company. And that means great growth ( financially and Role-wise ). Won't you like that ?

It has become a cliche to "Work Hard", but it never lost it's importance. Working Hard is a critical act which every successful purpose performs, failing in which will lead to distress in life. You have to kill your ego / moodiness to keep on working on the task allocated to you as often we have to do the works we don't like much.

Being ultra productive is very important. People like Will Smith, who had very humble beginning, they never wasted any single second and they putted all of the time to work on their craft to shine and at times, outshine others.

In an average job, average employee works at 60% efficiency ( 40%-80% ) eventually making it to be about 3 hours a day as the work-time often is full of distractions / time is spent surfing the internet, Switching tasks / getting back to work takes about 27 minutes ( Source ) which makes it to loss of more than 3 hours of what could have led to some productive work, such a massive opportunity cost isn't it ?

In a work-year of 200 days, easily you are wasting 600 hours ( often 30% more ). That's the key differentiator between high achievers and someone who achieves much lesser in their respective career. These hours could easily be accumulated for getting into elite club of skill masters -- 10,000  hours which is required to "mastering" desired skill.

Therefore, save these hours and put them in your craft, be that missing piece in your company who knows it all, who does it all, by learning everything you possibly can by obviously putting in these saved hours. That's how great achievers achieve, by doing exceptionally great work.

 

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