I've been writing online since 1995. I started doing journals of my life, of goofy personal anecdotes as I was already building websites and didn't have content for them during the dial up era. My official hosted website started around 2003 as I've seen a surge of it of sorts in the US. I felt there were barely a few blogs in the Philippines and most of them were transcribed in Filipino which I wasn't too confident writing with. It was awesome to have been able to talk to them (US bloggers) while I was starting, I got the advice I needed from industry leaders/professional bloggers whom I could learn from early on.
I started covering local events in Manila and saw how my writing passion could help businesses and startups be known on the web. This started the expansion of my network as I got to be recognized with the value of what I write and see conversion first hand as people started to tell me about what I wrote about this and that product. In 2010, I got bit by the photography bug and bought my first DSLR camera. With it, I combined my love for fashion, photography and writing appearing in Philippine Fashion Week, fashion shows, bi annual brand shows (the biggest in the country) and got to see the Philippines brightest celebrities, international stars, models, fashion designers and got to know them a little better. I also started to interview stars from broadcast stations, and increased my tribe including those from other countries because of the medium I decided to write with and established what my website is today.
Prior to that, I've been working for a multinational corporation as a Computer Engineer. It was totally off from my day job but it was something that I believed would take me places, unbeknownst to some of my peers. Others say it was a crazy idea to quit a secure and prestigious job and do this full time. When I left the corporate world a few years ago and did this stint, I didn't feel that it was work and I was only following my passion. I also had the chance to write for a travel magazine, a men's magazine with an international circulation which was only a dream for a budding writer like me. It happened all so fast, but I'm glad to have been able to go through the trials and tribulations of blogging early on.
|Some international celebrities who have graced my blog. There are more, we couldn't fit them in one frame!|
Here’s some pointers to note if you would like to start in the same profession:
1. Don’t do it because you can earn from it. It’s a perk, but it’s not a good place to start. Pretty soon, you’ll run out of ideas and you won’t be in the right place to find inspiration to write if it’s something you’re not passionate about.
2. Get a handy camera. These days, telling a story isn’t just going to cut it if you don’t spend time telling a story with photos or videos. Invest in a good digital camera or a mobile phone that can be your best buddy when doing interviews. It will save you a lot of time. Owning your own images and videos will also save you from the headache of fighting copyright issues from day 1.
3. Be nice to people. Say hello and thank you often. Make sure the connections you make in one event last a lifetime because brands, deals, people would make you thrive in this industry. Help them as they help you.
4. Appreciate the little things. From saying thanks to a simple gift, it wouldn’t hurt to reciprocate the good things people do for you.
5. Don’t shortchange yourself. In this industry, the last person that should doubt yourself is YOU. If you feel and think you are in the right, fight for it. Just like in any job, the playing field is huge… and there are people that will take advantage of your kindness. Be nice, but if you find a situation where you need to be stern, become it.
6. Be honest with your readers, because they can spot who’s not from a mile away even before you press that publish button.
7. Follow your passion. At the end of the day, it will make you happy.
One of the highlights of my career probably was the chance to go back to my university and tell them about what I've gone through; so they too would take the chance and follow their dreams. I’ve been blogging for a little around 22 years, yet I feel like I’ve just started doing what I love… and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon. Passion is an ingredient mostly looked over, but it is the most important thing I've had - it kept my desire for writing stay.