14 Years of Blogging and These are the Things I Learned…

It was one afternoon a Japanese restaurant when I decided to blog. At that time, the easiest and the most accessible tool was called LiveJournal. My mom, dad and sister loved eating out so I wanted to start food blogging. Blogging wasn’t really something that you could earn from at that time. It was hobby that people got into when they wanted to journal and document that food that they ate, the clothes that they wore or their recent trip.

On that same year around December, I met a guy who later on became my boyfriend. This man started a blog with this family called Manila Reviews. I loved the idea, so I volunteered to be one of the writers, too. Fast forward to two years after, we were planning our wedding and he and I took over Manila Reviews while other family members started their own blogs, too.

Me with my husband, Ej! 🙂

Manila Reviews was the first blog that we kept for many years (2007 to 2015). It was a lifestyle blog where I would write about food and beauty, because these were the things that I was interested in writing about. I also started Manila Fitness, a blog about fitness and health (2009 to 2015).

We got our first brand deal from Nokia way back in 2008, but never really thought of monetizing our content until 2010, when I was writing for other blogs as a freelancer writer. It thought to myself, “why am I making money for other people?” This is when I decided to turn this passion into something profitable.

Run “Content Creation” like any Business…

This is the time when I started creating a media kit, a professional influencer bio and impressive proposals. I was working as a banker, so I applied all my professional skills into my blogging career. And that apparently worked! We were getting brand deals here and there. We were earning around $6,000 to $10,000 per year from content creation.

I kept both these blogs going until 2013, when I started MommyGinger.com. This was the time when I had my first child, and since my intention for the blog was to document my life, I was writing about my experiences being a mom. This was the time also that I started an events business called Manila Workshops. In my blog, I would also write about my experiences on setting up a business and juggling my time as a mom and as an entrepreneur.

Be Clear with what the Job of your Blog is…

From merely documenting my life, my purpose for the blog evolved to it being a platform where I can help other aspiring entrepreneurs create and sustain a business. I am a firm believer that you need to know exactly what it is that you want to say, what your purpose is and what you believe in. In these times when the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $15 Billion by 2022, you need to stand out. You can do this by being authentic to your own personal brand, enjoying what you’re doing while providing value to others and by using that “voice” that you have to make positive changes around you.

Don’t stress about monetizing your content…

Focus on developing quality content that offers value. Whether it’s to provide education, entertainment or information, focus on what value you want to give your audience. If your readers and followers get value from your content, you will have loyal followers.

Experiment using different platforms…

Through the years, different social media platforms have been created and each one targets a particular niche. It’s good to experiment and see which platform can effectively help you carry on your purpose. My belief when it comes to this is to be at least present in all since presence increases credibility and trust. You can be active in those platforms that you are comfortable in using, platforms where your audience is and platforms that allow you to deliver your message effectively.

This is why I blog… For this little cutie!

I’m trying a new platform now called Intellifluence. It allows me to earn by reviewing products that I love and would like to try out. Opportunities like these are out there, so keep your eyes peeled!

These are some of the things that I have learned as a content creator and vlogger/blogger.

My journey is far from over. I’m still learning a lot from creating content so I’ll prolly do this for another decade. For those who have questions or need tips on blogging or business, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and book a call. We can talk about growing your brand, starting your blogging business and fulfilling your purpose!

Team Arbo: My Family of Gamers

When I was young, my concept of playing was running around in our garden, playing hopscotch or shooting hoops with my sister in the garage of my grandmother’s house. It’s so interesting to compare what we do now with our daughter Zeeka with my childhood experience. So much has changed over the years. Much has changed also from what we were playing before COVID 19 happened with what we are playing now. 

Prior to the pandemic, we would play board games with her. My husband and I would also have weekly boardgame nights with friends. My husband has this massive collection of tabletop board games probably totalling to close to 100 board games. 

When the pandemic hit, we still continued playing (just the 3 of us — my husband, daughter and myself), but most of our time is now spent on playing online games. We each have our favorites. My husband loves role playing games, farming & life simulators, horror games, etc.. I love horror games and life simulators, too. My daughter who is in lower school loves farming & life simulators, casual games and games like Roblox and Minecraft. 

Why do we love gaming and why do we encourage our daughter to play?

We believe and have noticed that she learns a lot of things from playing online, too. And we noticed that she learns how to formulate sentences while interacting with other players. She learns new words. Self-awareness is also something taught by strategic games, as well as empathy. Some games also teach her how to be more creative. 

Speaking of games for kids…

We saw this site where you can find games that your kids can play, and currently, they have over 100 games. It’s https://plays.org/ My daughter super loves this site! If this is your first time navigating through the site, scroll to the footer so that you can see the different games that fall into different categories.

Here are her top 4 favorites:

Batman Gotham City Speed Game: Lego Collecting Game

Batman will race through the city on his BatMobile collecting blocks and studs while avoiding enemies. So all your child needs to do is use the arrow keys and control the BatMobile. The more blocks and studs that you collect, the higher the score.

It is a fun game that your child can play to teach them how to control  the keys and to teach them direction.

Guardians Defenders of Mathematica KS2 Math Learning Fantasy RPG Game

Teach your kids to solve simple mathematical equations and problems. When they do, they can kill enemies, beasts and monsters in this game. Basically, Guardians Defenders of Mathematica is a role-playing game where you choose to be one of these characters: Knights, Warriors, Elves, Rangers, Witches or Wizards. Every round, you are given some math problems to solve and when you successfully solve it, you get to attack your enemy. If you don’t, the enemy attacks you. After each round, you gain XP and go to the next round.

King Rugni Tower Conquest: Fun Base Defense Strategy Game

So for this game, you are building defenses against enemies who are attacking your land. By gaining more and more points, you will be able to get stronger weapons that you can build. Points are earned by killing enemies, so you need to be strategic in building your weapons and choosing which weapons to build at the right time.

Toon Cup 2020: Cartoon Soccer Game for Kids

This is my daughter’s favorite game, so far. 

She proudly represented the Philippines.

She chose Adventure Time characters to be her players. So your child can choose their players while checking out their speed, Shot Power and Tackle Accuracy. There are also more characters that you can unlock later on the game if you have enough coins.

It’s a fun game that your kids can play and my daughter learned more about different countries and flags.

From her experience, I saw that she really learned a few things for each of the games that she played. Since they have more than a hundred games here, I can’t wait to see what other stuff she’ll be able to learn.

Their newest games are added in this link. They usually have new games, so my daughter actually bookmarked this site!

We don’t stop Zeeka from playing since we, as a family, believe in work or study / life balance. We also know and sees that she gets to learn a lot while having fun and playing games.

How about you? How do you make learning fun for your kids? Are you family who loves gaming and playing?

Globe Business Celebrates UN MSME day and Shares Initiatives for MSMEs

Saludo SMEs Tuloy Tayo

I’ve been an avid fan of Globe Business for quite sometime now. I love the initiatives that they come out with that help micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines. This year, in celebration of United Nations MSME day, they announced Globe Business initiatives and campaigns for this year that would hopefully help a lot of our small and local businesses. This is a continuation of their #SaludoSME campaign that they launched 2 years ago.

The first initiative that they mentioned is the Digistore campaign. Basically, MSMEs will have time to market their products during an online live session and this will on July 9. Knowing the reach that Globe has, I think this is a good opportunity for MSMEs to showcase their craft. I’ll share more details on this soon.

The next things that I want to share is this nice thematic film that they released. This is entitled Saludo SMEs! Tuloy Tayo!

I love how it showcases the ability of Filipino entrepreneurs to adapt to any situation given. Technology plays an important role in the sustainability of a business, and this shows that all of us, business owners are capable of adapting and succeeding even amidst the presence of COVID-19.

This leads me to their next initiative which is inviting business owners to share their digital story. I have not much information on this yet, but I will surely share the mechanics with your once this campaign is released.

And last, but not the least, they are launching a loyalty program for business owners. In line with the three pillars of Globe Business which is 1) help businesses become digital leaders; 2) Enable businesses and 3) offer exclusive partnerships, the businesses will get a chance to get different perks like training, discounts, freebies, etc. from Globe Business and its partners.

So these are the things and the initiatives that were shared by the Globe Business team earlier today during their media launch. These surely are initiatives that will help your business gain competitive advantage, plan for business continuity, help your in adapting digital technology and help you in making your business successful this year and in the years to come!

How to Make the Most of Your Next TV Binge-Watching Session

How to Make the Most of Your Next TV Binge-Watching Session

With the variety of shows and movies available today from multiple streaming platforms, you can never run out of things to binge-watch. Thus, if you manage to clear a weekend to catch up on your list of must-watch content, you want to make sure that you can make the most of it—perhaps even consider snagging a new television from some of the best TV deals in your area.

Preparing for a binge-watching session may feel strange, but think of it like planning for a trip. You do your research beforehand, arrange your transportation and the items you need, and schedule the places you wish to visit. This attention to detail applies to binge-watching too, except that the journey to a different world happens right in your own living room.

To help you get started, here are some of the things you can do.

Prepare a List of Shows and Movies You Want to See

Making a list of the shows and movies you want to watch is one of the first things you need to do when preparing for a binge-watching session. Remember, you are working with limited time, so the last thing you want is to waste it looking for something to watch.

Ideally, you already have a list of shows and movies your friends have been recommending for a while. If you don’t, however, you can always ask other people for recommendations. A simple Facebook post or tweet from you asking for suggestions can also help you easily generate a list of shows to watch, as recommended by your peers or followers. With your list sorted out, you can take the next steps to planning your TV-viewing spree.

Set Aside Time for Binge-Watching

One of the problems that a lot of binge-watchers struggle with is the idea that they are wasting time by watching a lot of TV. You might feel bad for not accomplishing any work-related tasks and being “unproductive.” It is important to understand, however, that binge-watching is one of the many ways to relax and unwind from busy schedules.

Setting aside time and specifying just how long you will binge-watch can help address these apprehensive feelings and make you feel more comfortable about seeing this as a crucial time-off and “me time” for yourself.

Make Your Spot Comfortable

Most people have a designated TV-watching spot. It can be a large sofa, a snug chair, or a soft bed. No matter what you choose as your watching spot, it is essential to also prepare it to make it as comfortable as possible for you when you start your binge-watching session. Make sure that there is adequate back support and you have enough leg space for movement.

Stock Up on Snacks

Preparing the snacks may seem like the easiest part of working out your binge-watching session, but don’t be fooled. For your health’s sake, it’s not wise to mainly consume chips, biscuits, and other junk (albeit delicious) snacks—especially when you plan to sit down a lot in front of the TV.

Opt for healthier snacks instead, such as frozen grapes, whole-wheat bars, and sliced fruits. Prep them beforehand and place them in the refrigerator, so you can easily pop a container out whenever you’re hungry.

Drinks Lots of Water

When you’re engrossed in a film or series, it’s easy to forget to drink water. However, staying hydrated is crucial to your health, even when you’re just lounging in front of the television. After all, the body continues to use water even when you’re not moving, and proper hydration can help maintain optimal thermal comfort when you’re watching TV.

Consider placing a pitcher of water near you so you can refill your glass as needed. You’ll be able to avoid getting up from your comfortable spot each time you feel thirsty.

Schedule Alarms for Stretch Breaks

An increasing amount of research shows that being sedentary is not good for your health. It’s connected to the development of several health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. It’s not good for your mental health as well. Yet again, it’s easy to forget to stand up and stretch once in a while when you’re engrossed with what’s happening on the screen.

Avoid sitting for too long by setting up alarms every 30 minutes for a quick stretch. You can set the mode to “vibrate” so a ring won’t disrupt the show you’re watching. Keep your phone close to you so you’ll be able to feel the vibration as scheduled.

Consider Multitasking While Watching

You don’t necessarily need to stay in a lounge position to binge-watch. Multitasking is always an option. You can do a couple of stationary chores, such as folding laundry, ironing clothes, or organizing your closet. If you have a clear space, you can even do exercises, such as squats, planks, jumping jacks, and sit-ups. In this manner, you kill two birds with one stone. You’re watching the content you love and you’re accomplishing other things you want to do.

Inform Your Friends and Family Beforehand

The last thing you want in a carefully planned binge-watching session is an interruption. A friend might drop by without informing you first, or a family member might make you run for an errand, thinking you have free time. Avoid these scenarios by informing friends and family that you have something scheduled during this period and cannot entertain visits, calls, and errands, among other things.

It becomes increasingly clear that there’s more to preparing for a binge-watching session than most people think. The tips above will help you make the most of your time and allow you to catch up with the shows and movies you’ve been putting off to watch. With careful preparation, your binge-watching session can become a more comfortable and fulfilling experience, whether you do it alone or with others.