Tuesday, July 18, 2017

10 Things I Learned After 1 Year of Blogging


Before anything else, happy blog anniversary to me!


Boy oh boy! I can't believe it's already been one year since I entered the blogging community. It's been a wonderful journey so I would like to thank everyone for trusting my capacity to produce excellent content. So in lieu of my celebration, I'm sharing 10 valuable things that I learned throughout my blogging career- even though it's only been a year, I'd love to share these with you guys!

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1. Never settle for anything less.
I've been a victim of discontent a lot of times. To be honest, it can be really difficult to produce excellent content consistently. It's not like I have a magic wand that can instantly create well-written works and visually appealing photos. But I think settling for anything less is a price to pay for mediocre work and this in turn, can have a lot of consequences. 

I keep reminding myself my blogging career is built on excellence and hard work so consistency is key. This is not only great for my portfolio, but also great on showcasing a brand. That's why the reward will always be much more satisfying. Put in the work and the rest follows.

2. Build connections.
Blogging is also a business, no doubt about that. Brands can take care of you and you can get knowledge and opportunities you've never dreamed of. What I learned is that when you take good care of the brands that tap you (PR representatives, clients, whatnot), you can get a lot of opportunities. It's always the little things: know when's their birthday, give them some tokens on Christmas, have a friendly chat during events.
  Brands are your clients so you have to take care of them too, it's a two-way thing after all! 

3. It's not about the free stuff
I'm not a hypocrite. I love the free things brands give to me, but know that I'm not doing it just for that sake. It's actually just a by-product of business and leisure. I don't believe it's all about taking one picture then garnering the love of PR agencies, no. Clients love my work as a blogger because I really jump in to the experience. 

Know that blogging is always about sharing your passion with others (well, that's how I started). And in my opinion, when you share your passion with others, everything else becomes secondary- especially the free stuff. 

4. Content is king
Some might say that creative content is irrelevant. But I think so otherwise. I think nothing beats a well written personal blog post with decent pictures to go with. Compare that to generic hard-sell copies, and you're bound to understand what I'm talking about. Also, people are generally inclined on the visual side (quite the challenge for writers like me), so take the time to work on some creativity.

I usually change my Instagram feed from time to time and it also reflects the different approaches I edit my photos when crafting a new blog post.

5. Be a responsible "influencer"
As much as possible, I don't like to be labelled as an "influencer". It seems the word has been tossed around randomly without having any significant meaning. But even so, the word carries a lot of responsibility. I think my understanding is that when someone is an influencer, you must make sure that the content you produce will generate "influence". Tapped by a food brand? Then I think your responsibility to "influence" people to buy the product in some way- like I said, it's not always about the free stuff.

With the digital age overtaking the world and people can see your content 24/7, I think a responsible image will not only benefit your clients but also readers who avidly follow you as an "influencer". 

6. Pretentious is atrocious
Sometimes, I spot people that have the "ME ME ME" complex. The truth is, being so hell bent in flaunting things or gaining fame is one of the worst practices in the world. I even see people go broke trying to look rich when the real money is not really in their pockets! This is the sad reality I see on social circles. 

There is no other cure for this than just be yourself. Short on money? Don't order that extra expensive cappuccino. No one's liking your pictures? Try a different approach. Seriously, there are so many things that can be successfully achieved through honesty and hard work.  

7. Inspiration can come from anywhere
Whenever I get a writer's block, or when I'm having trouble editing photo layouts, I usually:

1. Play video games
2. Sleep
3. Cook hot-dogs
4. Stare our the window and watch the world burn

I don't force things or else it will get messy, that's why I always take the time to get inspiration from anywhere. That way, my blog posts always come out excellent. 


8. Thrift shops are a way of life
I love thrift shopping. It's been one of my favorite habits at an early age. There's that excitement when you enter a thrift store. The familiar old scent of the clothes, the cheap prices, the dusty corners, the claustrophobic aisles. It's one big jungle! 

In blogging, there comes a time when a crisis hits you, and it's that you don't have anything to wear on a big event. Do I splurge my money on branded clothes, nu-uh! (okay, I'm guilty of doing that from time to time, but hey, it's one of my few indulgences). Most of the time though, I head to the nearest thrift store to buy clothes. Not only are the clothes really decent, but it saves me a lot of money! Double win!

9. Haters gonna' hate
I still remember it just like yesterday: my very first hate mail. The content of the email ranted on how a blogger like me was tapped by a well-known fast food establishment. The rage went on for about 4 paragraphs and the person even cited a famous writer back in the day. Every line screamed of "you should stop blogging". In my amusement, I noticed that the person who sent the hate mail even had the energy to produce a fake username in an unknown mailing site (I still actually know where you live though; my tracking skills are on point you know!). 

But I didn't feel sad. Heck, I was actually glad about it! You know what they say: when you have haters, it means you're being successful. There will always be hater that are jealous of a person's success be it in blogging or in other aspects. I had my fair share of them. So what do I do? I let my work do the talking.

10. Work hard and the rest follows
I think I've been a living testimony of this one for all of my life. There is no short-cut to success. You put in the work and brands will notice you, which will lead to bigger opportunities. 

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Here's to more years of blogging! Cheers!