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!

The WHYs of Mommy or Kid Vloggers in the Philippines: Creating YouTube Channels

Two years ago, I started a YouTube Channel (http://youtube.com/c/gingerarboledavlog) will the sole purpose of helping spread the word about entrepreneurship. I wanted to interview different entrepreneurs and feature them in my channel. I stopped a bit, but this year, I decided to get back on track and create more videos. My 4 year old daughter, Zeeka, on the other hand, started her channel (ZEEKA EUREKA) and is aspiring to be one of the kid vloggers in the Philippines. She started her channel around around a year ago. he has been consistently creating videos.

I was then curious to know the motives of other mommy vloggers and other kid vloggers on why they created their own Youtube Channels. I came up with questions for them and see what they have to say. Zeeka and I created our own video to answer these questions, too!

Here are some of the mommies that I interviewed. I hope you can subscribe to their channels and support each one! 🙂

Mommy Nina Ricci Bunsoy, 26

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

It’s still a new channel but so far, I’ve been talking about my gimiks with my son and general reviews. It’s a lifestyle channel and I want to balance parenting topics and millenial lifestyle topics.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

I rebranded my blog this year, and with that, I created this channel. My goal is to be a source of information for food and travel spots, parenting stories, tutorials, and product reviews.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

I started this channel just this year. A challenge would be finding time for everything – creating the concept, shooting, and editing. I’m a working mom so it’s hard to look for spare time. Creating content takes time so I try to always find time for it. Sometimes, I do it while commuting or while doing chores. Moms are good multitaskers, right? ????

I also struggled a bit about talking on cam. I want to be really genuine and shyness gets the better of me sometimes. What I did to overcome it is to pretending that I’m telling a story to a friend. It makes talking to a cam feel more natural for me, until I got used to it eventually.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

In my first few tries, I just randomly take videos of spots or events I go to. During editing, I realized I lacked some establishing scenes that would’ve made it better. Since then, I try to make a template for the storyline of my videos. I identify the shots that I need early on so I don’t forget.

Also, don’t let recording take the fun out of the moment. When I feel like I’m spending too much time and energy creating or shooting content, I stop and try to live off cam for awhile. I want to have more time being in the moment vs shooting it.

Mommy Veni Anabo, 33 yo and Raix Anabo, 5 yo

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

In our channel, as it’s name goes – Raix at Play – we do toy unboxing, toy reviews and sharing his adventures!

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

We started this channel because I was inspired by the other channels like Ryan Toy Review and Funnel Vision. I thought that since Raix has a lot of toys, so why not take a video of it! He gets more toys, gets to practice his socialization skills and also in time, even monetize our videos!

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We started August 2016. We use my mobile phone to take videos and edit it using Windows Movie Maker. Having limited resources for taking videos and editing it are the most challenging parts for me. With my desktop, it really takes too much of my time just to finish editing a single video. Also, with WMM, editing is very limited.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Since we are still in our learning stage and familiarizing myself with the technicalities in YouTube, what I can share to the moms out there who are planning to start their own YouTube Channel is to start with what you have. Every successful YouTube Creator I know started from scratch. You can start by sharing a video of your kid’s everyday adventures, no need to buy new toys to unbox, you may do a review of their old toys. Most important part of it is to have FUN!

Ren Martinez, 9 years old

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

He makes videos about toys usually for boys. He also makes videos of the restaurants and fast foods we have visited and other new and interesting food we saw in the market. His dad helps in answering some of the messages and comments in this channel.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

He likes to watch toy reviews and he and his dad got interested in creating their own. His dad was the one in charge filming and editing his videos. Our goal is for him to practice speaking because at school they have this quarterly reporting in front of the whole class. Plus of course, we want him to have passive income in the future.

Also as some of you might know, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and we would like to inspire others that they can do things just like the other kids do.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?
He started last September 2015. One of the challenges is that how to be original because there are a lot of kids doing it. We are always thinking on how he will be unique and stand out.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?
We believe in quality not quantity. We don’t just upload videos just for the sake of uploading we take time to edit it, review it then when all is good that’s the time we share it.

Mommy Jenelyn Ubongen, 32 and Marshall, 3

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

Aside from adventures, most of our videos are actually my son and I’s activities, predominantly the letter of the week activities.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

It started with my son’s open website, http://tobringtogether.com/, where my husband and I wanted to have a reference of our stories as a family. It eventually crossed my mind the concept of making videos so we put up a Youtube channel. The aim is primarily to inspire parents as well as kids to do more hands on activities especially in this very techie world.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We started almost a year ago. First YT video was May 25, 2016. The biggest challenge for me and the one that is taking too much of the time is the video editing. Choosing the right background sounds plus adding dialogue box to make it more attractive.. I don’t want the videos to be plain and too lengthy. I want it to be fun and enjoyable and the viewers to have a smile on their faces after watching the video.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Just enjoy the moment and record everything. Anyway you can do all the editing later on. Don’t be pressured with all the likes and dislikes. For us, we just want our son to have the best memories of his childhood. After all, kids are gonna be kids and seeing them happy is the best feeling a parent can have.

Mommy Katrina Santiago, 35  and V, 6 years old and Z, 1 year old

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

We share on our channel our homeschool updates, lessons and activities, hacks, and field trips

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

Homeschool channels from the US have been inspiring me in our homeschool journey. I found out that not too many homeschoolers here in the Philippines have dedicated their videos in sharing their journey. This has inspired me to create a channel dedicated to education at home. I am hoping that Filipinos could pick a thing or two from our own experiences and inspire them in educating their children at home.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We just started in August 2016. It’s hard to shoot while the kids are awake because they keep touching the camera and tripod. Also, I value their privacy so everytime I shoot, I am torn between showing them or not in the video.

Right now I am in my third trimester and would give birth soon. I have a few topics that I planned to film a few weeks ago but pregnancy symptoms has taken over the wheel so I guess I won’t be filming for the channel soon.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Have a good audio. People who watch videos on YouTube prefers better audio than video. Even if you have great filming and editing skills but if your viewers can’t understand you or could hardly hear you, they would surely switch channels.

I hope that you enjoyed reading and watching the videos! I hope you were inspired to create your own channel or inspired to encourage your child to be one of the kid vloggers in the Philippines. Be one of the numerous Youtube creators in the Philippines or to follow different channels in YouTube. Until next time!

PS. Oh, please comment on this post and leave a link to your Youtube channel! Please subscribe to my channel! Let’s exchange likes! haha!