For months I’ve been really pondering about how to take this blog to the next level. Because of that I’ve been trying to take advantage of opportunities to meet with experts in the field. That’s why when digital marketing expert, Janette Toral, invited me to attend the Professional Blogging Summit organized by #DPOP, I immediately signed up.
I knew I was going to learn a lot because that’s exactly what happened when I participated in her Digital Leaders Boot Camp last July. I also wanted a chance to get to know bloggers from other niches because for the past four years I was only networking mostly with mom bloggers like me.
The event was held at the A. Venue Mall in Makati City and was sponsored by Island Rose, Profriends, Best Western Plus Antel Hotel and SaladBox. Let me share with you some of my learnings from the event from each of the speakers.
Grow your community.
The first speaker, Azrael Colladila of the blog azraelcoladilla.com, said that one of the most important things for a blogger to do in order to be successful is to grow his community. He said that one can do this by promoting blog posts, using social media and collaborating with others by sharing your ideas. He also said that building a small team and organizing activities that other bloggers can join is also something you can do.
At this point, I’m still in the process of growing my community. I’ve been promoting my blog posts and using social media a lot. However, I haven’t really collaborated much with anybody. This really gave me something to think about. If I am to become a successful blogger, I really have to do something about this.
Be significant. Success will naturally follow.
This tip came from Ross del Rosario of Wazzup Pilipinas. He’s one blogger who has experienced a lot of ups and downs in blogging. He shared with us some negative issues that he was involved with. For some, those issues would have caused their down fall but Ross del Rosario was able to successfully overcome them. One of the reasons why is because he has made himself significant in the blogging world.
Bloggers all have their reasons for blogging. But have you ever thought of what will give you your staying power? What makes you significant enough that people will continue to read your blog for years and years? This is also something I’ve been working on. For the past two years that I’ve been a work-at-home mom, I find that a lot of my readers actually find my journey inspiring and that’s what I’ve chosen to build on. Hopefully this will help me become significant in the blogging world someday.
Not everyone will like you. Do good anyway.
JayL Aquino, the blogger behind blog-ph.com, couldn’t have said it any better. In the online world, once you post something, you’re opening yourself up to criticism. You really can’t expect everybody to share the same opinions or appreciate what you do and that’s okay. That just means they’re not the readers you want to have. JayL said that as long as you be yourself, stay humble, and stay neutral when there are issues, you will be okay.
So far, I can say I haven’t had my share of blog trolls yet. Hehehe. Or maybe there are some but none of them have taken the time to contact me yet. It’s already something I expect. This is not something just related to blogging. This can be applied to life in general and this is exactly how I’ve been living my life.
Be marketable. Be visible.
I really admire those bloggers who were able to use their blogs as a stepping stone to another career. One of those bloggers is Joseph Cham of josephcham.com. He’s actually a model who started his blog as a fashion blog. It has since evolved into a lifestyle blog. But aside from that, through his blog, he was able to collaborate with brands and has even launched his own online shop.
You’d think that being visible is easy for him to do because he’s a model. But he actually didn’t stop there. He said that he really put himself out there and even went to bazaars because he knew that there are clothing brands there that he could possibly tie up with. Smart thinking.
In a way, I’ve accomplished this in the sense that I was able to use this blog as a stepping stone to my writing career. I’m now a freelance writer because of this blog. But, I want to go beyond that. It’s just that, at this point, I don’t know yet exactly what “beyond that” means to me.
Blog about your passion. Do your homework.
Blogging about what we are passionate about is a tip we’ve heard a lot already. But Jeoff Solas of the blog LiberatingJepoy.com talked about it in the eyes of a PR person in search of bloggers to work with. He said that if you really want to work with brands, then one of the things you have to do is to do your homework. For instance, when you get event invites, don’t just go to the event. Learn about the brand even before you accept that invite. Then during the event, pay attention and really make an effort to start good working relationships with the brand managers and PR people there.
I’ve been blogging about my passions a lot and I do my homework too whenever I attend events or collaborate with brands. However, one of the things I have to work on is my networking skills. It’s easy for me to do when I’m just online. I can easily connect with people on social media. But being naturally shy and quiet, sometimes it’s hard for me to approach people and start conversations with them. I really have to overcome those bouts of shyness.
To be successful in business, planning is the key.
The last to talk was Sai Sayson Montes, the blogger behind fashionbysai.com. She’s also one of those bloggers who was able to go beyond blogging and open their own online store. She gave a lot of tips on what you can do to start your own business. To sum it all up though, it all really boils down to proper planning. She talked about how to create a business plan and a marketing plan and gave examples on how she did those in her own business.
I’ve tried putting up an online business too two years ago. But it was a half-hearted attempt and so it was no surprise that it didn’t really work out. Until now, I’m still thinking about putting up an online store but like I said earlier, I haven’t really decided on what I want to do beyond blogging and writing. Hope the inspiration will strike soon!
I was really able to gain valuable insights from this event. I’m now looking forward to applying these lessons to my blogging life. Now is really the time I take this blog to the next level.
Aside from the lessons though, the event also gave me the opportunity to spend time with some of my blogger friends.
I also got to meet other bloggers whom I’ve only encountered online before. So, I guess, I’m already starting to improve in the networking aspect of all this! I hope you guys will pick up a thing or two from this too!
Photo credit: Group photo courtesy of Janette Toral