I started my personal blog in 2006 to talk about school and my failing relationships. Today, I use it to talk about my passion of arts and culture, and it has become a source on the topic, at least in my circles. My blog has been around for 10 years, but today is the best day to start a blog. And you don’t even need to quit your day job to do it.
I enjoy blogging because I get to talk about the things I love. I use my blog to share my thoughts on the books I read, the plays I watch, and the food I eat. Hopefully, I get to encourage my friends and my readers to try it, too. A blog is a powerful platform to influence other people, and I feel privileged that some people trust my opinion.
Of course, bloggers have existed for quite a while. Bryanboy has been at it since 2007, and now he’s a front-row fixture at some of the world’s biggest fashion shows. Locally, bloggers Tricia Gosingtian, Laureen Uy, and Camille Co were on the cover of Preview magazine, and many others have become endorsers and ambassadors.
It’s a good idea to start a blog, especially when you consider that the Philippines is the social media capital of the world. Almost half of the population is online. If you market yourself well, you can even use it to generate income and achieve fame.
It’s a sentiment that Carlo Ople shared during his talk at the recently-held Adobo Festival of Ideas, a creative youth ad congress tailored for students, young professionals, and academics in communications, marketing, and design. Ople, who is the vice president of PLDT’s Digital Marketing Strategy, and the founder and editor-in-chief of the successful tech website Unbox.ph, talked about how to crush it in the mobile and social economy with Arthur Policarpio, the president of Mobext Asia.
People are either consumers and creators, and Ople says that creators are the ones rewarded. Therefore, he advises that we should stop consuming and start creating.
It’s easy to start a blog. A lot of platforms are easy to navigate and are free. Personally, I recommend you focus on a niche so it’s easier to stand out. Some bloggers focus on fashion, while others focus on books. As for me, I like arts and culture so I write about movies, TV shows, books, magazines, theater, art, and design. It’s a lot of stuff, but they are bound by a common theme. Having a niche means it’s easier for like-minded people to find you and bookmark you.
The next step is to build your platform. We know how popular videos are and it’s tempting to go that route, but Ople says not to underestimate the written word. I feel it’s important to go the route you are most comfortable in. If you’re outgoing, go ahead and do video. But if you’re like me who’s camera-shy, don’t feel bad about not going into the visual trend and sticking to writing articles.
If your blog is new, you might think the next step is to write as many articles as you can. Ople disagrees. According to him, you have to make your first content count. That means your first content should already make a statement and establish your blog. If you need to plan it, think about it, and spend on it, then do it. You grind after that, and you refine as you go.
One of Ople’s important tips is to collaborate. Collaborate with other bloggers or brands, because this will help cement your authority. It is also good marketing, especially when you collaborate with established names in the industry.
Of course, one of the blogger’s concern is how to monetize their website. It’s a valid concern, since it can be used to generate income. Ople says you can do this by selling a product, a service, or through ads. Some fashion have clothing stores, while others offer writing services. If you don’t feel like getting the extra work, you can put ads on your website, or post about products or services for a fee. Take note, you have to be a blogger with a sizable following in order to do this.
All this might take time, but you shouldn’t be afraid of hard work. This will set you apart from other lazy bloggers who merely copy and everything that has been given to them. You don’t even need to quit your day job. Ople recommends following the 7-1 rule. According to him, from 9AM to 5PM, do your day job. From 7PM to 1AM, that’s when you “build your dream.”
Given all these tips, what’s most important to remember is that it will take time. You will not go viral right away. You will not get a thousand followers overnight. Like everything else, building a blog takes time and effort. David Guison did not become who he is today in a snap. A lot of people are opening blogs now. What will separate you is how hard you will work. And remember: you’re doing it to express yourself and to share your knowledge, not to become famous.
Do you have other tips for new bloggers? Share them below!
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