Sunday, November 1, 2020

From Blogging to Becoming an Influencer

How My Blogging Journey Began

The first time I started blogging using Eyes on Manila was back in 2011. It started when I wanted to share people all the wonderful (and bad) things that I experienced from the food I bought, from a restaurant that we dined in, or from a place that we visited.  I had this passion of sharing my food experiences.

Back then there was no sponsored posts nor any engagements needed from me – just a simple blog post is enough for me to feel happy and fulfilled just to share my experience with my readers. Wow, readers, I really didn’t expect many people to read my blog at that time, but I was thinking if people would search online about a particular hotel or restaurant in their search engine and I have a blog post about it, then hopefully they could read my blog and let them know our experience if it was a good one or a bad one.  

Red Ribbon Choco Fudge Cake
One of my first cake reviews.
This is a Red Ribbon Choco Fudge cake which, I believe, is no longer in the market. 

 Maybe it just starts with that innate moral obligation of sharing with people what you know so they can be educated or enlightened about a certain thing, place, or event based on your personal experience.  I admit I was never good at writing articles nor had I studied any courses relating to writing. I just started writing from the heart. 

 What Blog Posts That People View the Most

As I checked my number of post views, the ones that get the most views are my cake review posts. People want to see cake reviews because they want to know if the cake they’re planning to buy is worth it, at least that’s what I think because I’m just like them whenever I check other blog reviews about cakes.  


My First Restaurant Review Invitation

In 2014, I started to receive an email invitation from a Chinese restaurant telling me that I’m invited to try their signature hand-pulled noodles. It was my very first time being invited by a restaurant to do a review on their dishes. I was so nervous, but excited at the same time. It turns out, there were 3 of us that got invited. We were all greeted by the branch manager and we all ate together and giving out opinions about the dishes; how they tasted, suggestions, etc. The other bloggers were very outspoken, while I was quiet. It was really a struggle for me simply just to attend the event so talking about the food out loud and what I think about it is another level for me.  I just kept on eating and just listened to other bloggers’ opinions. Even if I know there it was my turn to speak, I remained silent and just smiled at them while nodding that the dishes were good. Gosh, it was quite embarrassing for me yet an eye-opener. All this time I thought we will just eat, chat a bit, and then blog the experience afterwards.  

Me with the food bloggers (the other two left early)

All in all, the entire experience was quite refreshing and educational for me. I considered it as one of my turning points in blogging because I learned a lot from my fellow food bloggers and gave me ideas on what to do the next time I get invited. 

 Invitations Started Flowing In

As the years went by, I started receiving various invitations from consumer brands about doing a food review, product review, food delivery review, even an underwear review.  I do get to enjoy the products they offered in exchange for my reviews because they were essential to me even without any cash equivalent.   

Did I Reject Projects?

Yes, I did, but mostly the ones that requires me going somewhere because it’s either a conflict of schedule or I’m not feeling well. It’s okay to say no to brands especially if you’re feeling sick because you might cause more harm than good when you push yourself to attend to events feeling sick. Another thing that I reject also is adult content because it’s not a good fit to my family-friendly blog.


Did I get bored of Blogging?

Of course, I did – multiple times! There was even some months where I didn’t blog at all either because I was busy at home taking care of the kids or I just didn’t have any fresh new experiences to share with everyone.  But sometime in 2018, a friend of mine invited me to join an earning opportunity using our blogs. That’s when I learned that I can actually earn from blogging by posting advertisements, posting sponsored articles, and the like. Nowadays, posting sponsored articles with links has become an essential part of digital marketing, more specifically  called search engine optimization which helps websites get on top of search engines.

Being an Influencer

I was totally clueless on what an influencer was. I was referred by my fellow mommy bloggers into social media campaigns where a brand wants to create a blog post and share to my social media channels or sometimes just a social media post is enough. I learned that this is what they would call being a social media influencer. Nowadays, brands require minimum number of followers, for example, in Instagram of 3k, 5k, or even 20k before you qualify to join their campaign so growing your number of followers is essential if you want to become an influencer.  You may also find tips on partnering with social media influencers online if you want to know more.  This is an area where I need so much improvement on. 


How Did I Improve as an Influencer

I learned that being lazy does not help if I want to become serious of being an influencer and I have to thank my fellow mommy bloggers for convincing me to join marketing sites like Intellifluence that helps influencers and brands meet, and online groups / communities that help us improve. My blog is very simple and I am constantly trying to improve myself through these communities or groups that give tips or advice. My particular niche initially started as food review and then it evolved into parenting so now I join mommy influencer groups to help me with my influencer skills such as food photography and social media tips particular how people can see my posts even more.

You know what they say, never stop learning if you want to grow. I am currently 39 and joining the group of women in their 40s next year, but I still feel like a kid trying to learn new things and ideas which sometimes is a pain at first, but at the end of day, it feels refreshing and fantastic. 

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