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!

unsplash-logorawpixel

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 😉

I have met a lot of brands who have been asking to work with bloggers (specifically mommy bloggers) in these past few months. These brands range from start up companies to really established ones. Some are even advertising and PR agencies. With the numerous bloggers around offering their services, how do you choose which bloggers to deal with?

Most of my friends with businesses ask me this question, so in one of my talks, I discussed the three things that I look at when endorsing blogger friends to brands who ask me. My talk was for Aspac Advertising Incitement Series 2014. I was invited to talk about insights on the WAHM community and the mommy blogging community. Check out the poster!

Motherblogger

I love love love this poster! This poster was made by the talented artists at ASPAC Advertising. The girl in the poster looks totally like me! Don’t you think so?

Anyway, in my presentation, I discussed three things that you should look at when choosing a blogger:

1. They should know themselves to know their PERSONAL BRAND

Know Yourself and Your Personal Brand

Know Yourself and Your Personal Brand

They say that you can’t separate your personal brand from the brand of your business or the brand of the company you work for. Case in point, when I was a banker, we were not allowed to be seen in casinos or in places where people gamble even if it was during your personal time. Why? Because as a banker, people trust you with their money. By seeing you in places like those, they might have that perception that you may be also ‘gambling’ their money (even if you do not have direct access to their funds). Not everyone will understand. We had that rule so that the image or the brand of the bank is protected.

The same is true with blogs. If you want to establish yourself as fitness blogger, then you yourself have to be a living embodiment of fitness. If you talk about being a breastfeeding advocate in your blog, then you yourself should have breastfed your babies. For Mommy Ginger, what I really wanted is for people to come to me when they have questions about being an entrepreneur or a mompreneur. My brand is really about being a SERIAL MOMPRENEUR. I really came up with this identity even before I set up this blog. It was after realizing that I had so many experiences (food industry, franchising, events coordination, advertising, retail, fashion, direct selling, freelancing, etc.) in business.

As a brand, look for these bloggers who know themselves and are clear on what they stand for. Try to see if your brand values are also in line with these bloggers’ values.

2. Look at the Blogger’s Market and the Content

Look at the Market and Content

Look at the Market and Content

Will what they want to write about attract a good number of people who will eventually be exposed to your products or services? Are they targeting a certain niche that you want to tap? Personally, ranks don’t matter to me. What I look at (even if the blogger is new in the industry) is the site’s potential for growth, if the content looks planned and well thought off and if the site looks professional and conceptualized well (down to the categories is seen and how social media buttons are placed).

For content, it’s important to see if these bloggers communicate messages clearly? Is the content something written from the heart or something lifted off from the press release that you sent? This is sometimes how I gauge good bloggers (those who are really sincere in knowing more about your brand versus those who just want free stuff and monetary compensation), when they really take time out to know the product or services that you offer. And also, it doesn’t have to be done through an event for them. A simple conversation over the phone or email or just having coffee with them would be an enough avenue to get to know these bloggers and explain your product.

Like any relationship, the first “meeting” (meeting meaning offline or online in this case) is crucial. That’s why PR sent that seems like an email blast to every blogger in the country does not work. Advertisers, ad agencies and PR outlets, just don’t send out press releases to bloggers and expect and increase in engagement with your brand. To be honest with you, I receive a dozen of press release emails in a week but I just delete them. The best way to use bloggers effectively is to develop a good business relationship with them and to really get to know them, especially those whom you see as a potential partner for your brand. It should be a win-win scenario for the bloggers that you want to partner with, too!

3. Lastly, is the blogger an influencer?

Is he/she an influencer?

Is he/she an influencer?

I have seen a lot of good bloggers who know themselves and are great at communicating, especially through writing, but lack following. I guess being an influencer is really tricky. It goes beyond influencing online, but even becoming an influencer even offline. What I have noticed about influencers is that they are passionate about what they believe in that they really live the out their personal brand and touch other people’s lives both online and offline.

This is hard to gauge especially if you don’t really know the bloggers that you work with or you commission. That’s why my suggestion is to really get to know these people so that you can gauge how influential they are.

So just to recap, here are the three things that you should look at when you are choosing bloggers that can work with you to build your brand.

The three elements should be present

The three elements should be present

With this, I leave your with some tweetables:

“Consistency is the name of the game. Your blog should be a representation of who you are. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”

“Emotions should be felt through words used. Sincerity converts readers to followers. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”

“Understand and live out your presonal brand. Communicate it through your blog. That will make you an influencer. #momblogger #blogger -@mommyginj”