Let’s talk about Confidence and Influence: Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

Zeeka, my daughter, was dancing like crazy again last night. She has this habit of singing original songs with lyrics she invents. She then performs in front of her able and willing “audience”, which is no other than me and my husband, at least 2 times a week. Not an ounce of shyness or hesitation can be traced in her voice and actions.

She gave us singing lessons last night. And again, we had to comply when she said that we had to individually sing our own original songs. Of course, for the most part, me and my husband both giggled our way to the end of our song (and thought it silly to be doing this). Our 6 year old teacher was obviously disappointed and angry that we weren’t taking things seriously.

Confidence and Influence

I am amazed at the confidence of little children. This is something that led me to write about how can we, as bloggers, build confidence. First off, confidence is important in our line of work or in anything in life for that matter, since it leads to success. Having lack of confidence lead to doing nothing or inaction. Make sense, right?

When you are confident, you say yes to opportunities. You don’t let fear stop you from doing the things that you love doing and the things that you’re curious in trying. When you blog, your life is an open book for everyone to see. If you’re not confident enough, other people’s comments will affect you and may even affect your decisions.

I think it was apt to talk about confidence and influence in the same article, because if you want to influence someone, you yourself should be convinced by YOU. Dale Carnegie was right to link Confidence and Influence, but he talks about if from the point of view of public speaking. Let me write about though from the perspective of being a blogger.

Salespeople won’t be able to influence and close a deal if they themselves are not confident when it comes to explaining the product or service that they’re selling. In blogging, it’s the same thing. If you’re not convinced that people will read your blog post, then people will definitely not read it.

And persuading people or influencing people all boils down Aristotle’s Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Ethos refers to the blogger’s character. And when reader’s read your blog for the first time, they “judge” you base on the filters that you use on pictures that you post, how many sentences are grammatically erroneous, your blog topics or what you love to write about, etc. All of these things. People are oftentimes looking for “someone” online — either to befriend, emulate, rekindle a relationship with, criticise, etc. So who are you to these people?

Pathos comes into the picture when the blogger uses emotions to influence an audience. The emotions that can use may be humor, pity, sadness, longing, happiness, envy (even), etc. People who have gone through a similar emotion or have experienced this emotion would likely read and follow your blogs. We know that we are rational creatures, but there are times that we make irrational decisions (I admittedly make lots of these! haha).

The last one is Logos or the use of reason. Sad to say, in influencing people, this is the least important. This is the reason why marketers, researchers, psychologists have tons of research about how people behave and act, because we often don’t act based on “logic and reason”. As my husband always says, we humans justify our decisions. Even if we make a wrong decision that puts us at harm, we still justify and give a whole list of reasons why we chose that.

So there you have it, aspiring and current bloggers. These are my own thoughts on confidence and influence. I hope that this post made you think about your own view on Influence. If you want to join the conversation, feel free to comment below.

By the way, we’re thinking of coming up with a blogging workshop. If you want to be invited to reserve a seat, feel free to fill this out: https://goo.gl/forms/JMUQ7PeAX4XHNBFn1

Thank you for the people who have already filled out the form! 🙂 You’ll hear from me soon!

Doing your taxes is probably one of the most frustrating things every working person does. Even the more veteran people, when it comes to taxes, would find it hard to do when they don’t prepare for it well. In the Philippines, tax computations are one of the things that a lot of people fear, just because of how stressful it can get.

That being said sooner or later, everyone will have to do their taxes as part of their lives. And for those first timers that have no idea how to do them yet, don’t fret, because if you start out early, you might find it easier to do in the future! Plus keep in mind that there are a lot of helpful websites and applications that make it easier for you to do your taxes! That being said, here are some of the most important things that every first-time taxpayer should know.

BIR Forms

There are many kinds of BIR forms that are dedicated solely to paying business taxes. For example, there are specifics forms applicable for self-employed individuals, employees of companies, and business owners. And there are forms that are to be used by Partnerships and Corporations.

It’s important that you know which one you should use so that you can fill out the right form and avoid penalties. Freelancers fall under self-employed individuals. We, freelancers, are considered non-licensed professionals. They, along with business owners who are sole proprietors usually do their own taxes. While people that are employed would usually have their companies do their taxes for them.

Documents Needed

There are as many steps to the processes as there are BIR forms. Haha! I may be exaggerating, but the what’s for sure is that the steps to be taken take a whole lot of time from a business owner’s day. On the average, a business owner in the Philippines takes 2 days in a month (according to a PWC and World Bank report on taxes) spent just complying with taxes. When starting a business, I highly recommend that one should at least be familiar with the 101s of preparing and submitting your own taxes.

A good example would be to know more about income tax returns. These are forms that need to be submitted as long as you are making some kind of income or receiving compensation. Income is basically your gross revenue less expenses and when you do this, you get your taxable income. This is the basis for your taxes (income tax return). A self employed individual submits and pays for income taxes every quarter (Form 1701Q), the fourth quarter being the “famous” annual income tax (Form 1701 or 1701A).

If you are employed (have a day job) and running a business at the same time, you are considered to be a mixed income earner. How do you report taxes? You will secure BIR Form 2316 from your employer at the end of the year and use the values there and combine it with the income / expenses from your business. You do this only for form 1701 or Annual income tax form.

If you need help in preparing tax form 1701 and 1701A, feel free to check out https://www.taxumo.com and check out their blog. They have useful information for everyone!

Payments

The final step is to print out all of these documents and pay for it at the Authorized Agent Bank (basically a bank that accepts BIR payments in the city of your business).

Please prepare 3 copies for all of your accomplished BIR Forms along with the required deposit / bills payment slip and your payment.

In some cases, you won’t be needing to pay anything, and that would entail a “No Payment” Situation. These include refundable/ creditable tax returns, returns with excess tax credit carry over, and returns that are qualified for a second instalment. These “no payment” transactions just need to be filed and stored together with the BIR confirmation via the eBIR Forms system.

Key Takeaway

This article detailed the very basics of what you need to know about taxes. In the Philippines. Tax computations are frustrating, however, as long as you prepare everything and do it as early as you can, you won’t have a problem with doing your taxes any time soon.

If you need help with understanding all of these still, just ask Taxumo.

P.S. I’m a co-founder of Taxumo, whose mission is to help people start and sustain a business! 🙂 Feel free to contact us!

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After going through your WHY (why you want to create a blog or vlog) and after contemplating if you can actually be consistent enough to sustain this, then it’s time to think about creating content.

THE FIRST TEN

If you’re a first time blogger or vlogger, try to start creating your first 10 articles or your first 10 videos first. The first 10 that you’ll create will be important, because during this time…

You’ll be able to identify topics that you really want to write about.

As time goes by, there will be many distractions. Distraction comes in many forms like brands inviting you to write about their products and services. Another distraction is seeing that not a lot of people are reading your content. You’ll try to shift gears and try out a lot of tactics like holding a contest, etc. Sure, it may work once or twice, then your stats (number of page views or visitors) will go back to how it was before you ran contests. Also, you may be distracted by what other bloggers or vloggers are writing or vlogging about. You’ll think “I should write more about what these bloggers are writing about.” Creating content will surely stress you out!

I’m not saying that experimenting on different things is bad. In fact, I encourage it. But during this time that you’re thinking about the first ten things, this is time that you’ll be least distracted

You’ll start knowing yourself better and you’ll start thinking of your Personal Brand.

In the first part of this series, I mentioned that consistency is key. In the process of creating the first 10, you’ll know if this is something that you can sustain. You’ll also have a clearer idea on where you want to take your blog — what topics do you want to write about and if you’ll have enough content to last you a lifetime. The ten topics that you choose are most likely the things that you want to talk about.

Also, you’ll, be able to start thinking of the type of audience that you want to talk to or you want to attract.

I’ve written a few articles in the past about Personal Branding and Branding for Blogs. Check out these links:

In creating content, some of you may ask, where do I write my articles? Just write it in a Google Docs or in Microsoft word. For the videos, you may do simple edits even or just use a raw file for your first few content. These things need not be perfect. You just have to get it done and then review it.

HOMEWORK:

For aspiring mom/dad bloggers or for any aspiring blogger out there, you can do this first Homework.

Please create your first 10 posts or videos

If you’re done with this, I can help you by going through the content with you, and we can even talk about branding and content after. For those who also want to learn more, you can fill out this form as we’re thinking of running a blogging workshop soon with my friends Cat Arambulo, Jackie Go and Shari Poquiz.

Now, in creating content for your blog, my basic tips for you are:

  • Choose topics that are somewhat “evergreen”. Evergreen content are topics that can be read, re-read, used, linked back to for all eternity. No matter what year it is in the future, it will be RELEVANT.
  • Another thing that you want to do is at least check and edit your content. I am guilty of sometimes not checking and reading the posts that I create. I’m the type of person who thinks and writes with PASSION and gusto. Haha! Then I just hit the publish button. That may be something that you might do when you’re confident enough that you won’t be making major Boo-boo’s. But if you know that your weakness are sentence construction, spelling, etc., you might want to use https://www.grammarly.com/. Not endorsing here, but a lot of my content writer friends are using this tool.
  • Have a relevant and catchy title (at least) for your first few posts. Let’s face it, people love to click on posts that have catchy titles. Write a clear title and please have content that’s really related to the title. I’ve seen content with titles that are way unrelated to each other.
  • Length (for me) doesn’t matter. So there is no expected number of words or expected length for your video. Put yourself in your readers shoes, would they get the gist of what you’re saying in 2 paragraphs? Will they want a longer post or video so that you can give them the lo-down on the stuff that you want to teach? So it really depends on what your audience will eventually like to read or watch from you.

These are just a few tips on creating the content that you need for your blog / vlog. If you have other questions or if you’d like to share more tips, please feel free to comment below or share your tips and questions on social media and use #GINspiration and tag any of my social media accounts (FB: http://facebook.com/mommyginger / IG: http://instagram.com/gingerarboleda / Twitter: http://twitter.com/gingerarboleda )

Hope you can connect with me and I’d gladly reply and respond to your inquiries! Again please feel free to sign up above if you want to join our blogging workshops coming soon!

We have a lot of mom bloggers in the Philippines. And I mean a L-O-T! Just scroll through Instagram or search on Facebook and you’ll find them. My own team in ManilaWorkshops.com conducts business and freelancing workshops, and oftentimes, people ask us to do Blogging 101 workshops.

Those mom bloggers who have been in the industry for a long time now find this space to be very congested already. Notice that I used the word congested, since I didn’t want to describe the landscape as competitive. There is nothing to compete for anyway. The reality is that more and more people have started blogging and that’s okay. What’s sad though is that most of them join this industry not because of the love of the craft, but because most think that this is the easiest way to earn extra income.

Image captured by Veni Anabo: https://journeyofthevees.wordpress.com/

That latter reason of wanting more income isn’t bad, too, but then it leads people down a path of depression and loss of self-worth. We equate the number of readers, the number of followers, the number of comments and the number of likes with our worth.

There are many challenges that mom bloggers have to overcome. This is the reason why Mommy Pehpot of https://www.pehpot.com/ and I did this live session. Check out the video above.

When I asked my friends who are deemed successful bloggers like Frances Sales of http://www.topazhorizon.com/, Cat Arambulo – Anotnio of http://catarambulo.com/, Shari of http://www.themistymom.com/ and Jackie Go of http://gojackiego.com/ though if they really planned to earn from blogging, all of them said that it was purely accidental. Looking back at my journey, too, as a blogger, I never really intended to earn from MommyGinger.com. I just love writing. I also am very passionate about learning trying out new things. Family and friends know me as an early adopter when it comes to trying out new platforms, new activities, etc.

So in terms of monetizing your mommy blog, it will take time. When you create and start your blog, don’t think about money first. Money will come eventually.

The first thing that you need to take care of is creating consistent content for at least 5 months, then see if this is something that you can do and something that you love doing. Why 5 months? When you want to come up with at least 21 posts every week, that will take you 5 months.

Aside from writing the content in your blog, don’t forget to use social media to amplify your message. Create a Facebook Page, Twitter account and an Instagram account. Then every time come up with content, share and announce your new content in these channels. It may even be good to think about creating videos, too. People love watching videos on Youtube, Instagram TV and even other platforms like Kumu (please follow me on Kumu @ginger… hehe!).

After 5 months of delivering consistent content and see if you can continue doing this for the rest of your life. I’ve been blogging for 11 years already, and i’m still happily doing this. So if you’re like me after 5 months, comment on the section below and say, I’m READY! haha!

I’ll be coming up with other topics about mom blogging soon so stay tuned for those!

Also, my friends (Cat, Shari, Jackie and I) have been talking about creating a workshop on blogging. We will announce this to people who are truly interested! If you are VERY MUCH interested to join, please fill out this form:

So just to recap on how to get started, the first thing that you need to do is to know the reason why you want to have a blog. Will you be able to remain consistent in the years to come? Try to write (even without a blog) your first content this week and see if this is something that makes you happy! 🙂

Stay tuned for my next post for mom bloggers 😉