Apart from advertorials and reviews, I would also like to include some of my personal moments on this blog which may also serve as a better platform for you to get to know me better. That is if you want to. 😉
July 2013 marks a significant month for me in relation to blogging. I have had 2 other domains, from raves-and-rants at weebly to jeangan.wp to this – at MY FAT POCKET!
The transition was a swift and impromptu one because as a perfectionist, I always strive to get hold of the best one. if not better than its predecessor. That was why I switched from weebly, to wordpress and to the curreny MFP platform which runs on wordpress as well.
Collating all these months mark a 1 year anniversary for my blogging experience thus far. Compared to other ‘pioneer’ batch of bloggers, of those I have seen and come to know about in this blogosphere or at media events, I am seriously a nobody. And I don’t wish to be a somebody too.
I don’t wish to gain popularity because that comes with a hefty price to pay.
Money, sponsorship of products and popularity didn’t make it to my bucket-list when I first started blogging proper (not including blogs which I created when I was younger).
If you would have recalled, my intention was just to share whatever experience I have with others and my first topic-content blog entry was on Bare Aesthetics on IPL for underarm hair removal. Speaking of which, they have recently ceased operations and I was quite upset because not only that my appointment is due in Aug, I found that their service and quality rather awesome as well. So it’s really quite a pity 🙁 Plus, I’d only paid $88 for UNLIMITED sessions via Groupon.
A little on this IPL experience thus far :
- Hair growth is now much slower
- Underarms are much fairer
I mean after 6 sessions of IPL, although the hair still grows back (at a much slower rate), I think I’ve achieved much from it! 🙂
Now I’ve just gotta keep a lookout for other beauty salons… 🙁
So yup, the reason why I had created a blog and started blogging was simply to share my reviews!
And then one thing led on to another…
And here I am, blogging on MFP as a resident blogger as well as its beauty editor 🙂
It’s not all airy fairy with pink fairy dust that comes along with blogging, and I think I have learn some stuffs that I want to share with you guys 🙂
1. You need to be sociable, or at least have great PR skills
As an introvert (yes don’t be shocked), I am not a very sociable person by nature. I mean I do have friends but most of them are my bf’s friends and since we have been together for quite some time (approaching 5.5 years *gasps*!), they have somehow naturally became my friends too. I don’t mean that I go out with them alone with my bf or at least very very seldom, but somehow I’ve clicked and have been joining in their group outings too.
I have a very very few friends who I try to make much effort now to meet up/catch up face-to-face/whatsapp every now and then. They are those whom I can click very well and pour out my problems too, although I am still quite a very private person, keeping some stuffs to myself, except for my bf. He’s the one I tell EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to.
It was really really awkward in the first place, and still is currently at media events when everyone knows everyone else except me.
Moreover, I do not have a friendly face (one of my good friends just commented that I look even more unfriendly now with my red hair) because I seldom smile. Sometimes it means something but most of the times, it does not. I am just like that and that is how I’ve often ‘offended’ people without knowing it and I try not to fake a smile when I don’t feel like it.
But being a blogger has taught me how to interact with people more often and basically, how to be friendlier. My bf don’t have a problem with that because he’s very friendly. Yes, and so they said opposites attract, isn’t it? 😉
It was a little awkward too when I told another fellow blogger that I’m actually an introvert and she was shocked to know that because that’s like against the blogger’s code of conduct. If that is so, I am almost faulting at non-compliance.
I don’t really agree very much on the definition set by Wikipedia :
For me, it’s more of :
Introverts are generally good listeners, and though they are known for having fewer friends, the friendships they do keep are typically very strong. You know, quality vs quantity. I don’t desire carlsberg world of friends whereby nobody understands me or are close to me or they are just purely acquaintances.
Introverts are also known for having better attention spans and focus, making them more effective at staying on task when working on involved projects. Some studies have also suggested that introverts have better long-term memory than their extroverted counterparts.
Extracted from here.
I can be friendly, but only when I want to and am comfortable with you. I admit that I do take a long time to warm up to people, but once I am all warm, hot and fuzzy, I can assure you that I will be your good friend 🙂 I hope my handful of good friends would agree to this, ahem ;p
Of all the bloggers I have met thus far, they have superb PR skills. I mean some people are natural, while others could be faking it… but I guess I will just have to keep improving on this. I mean having PR skills are helpful in every and any aspect in life, be it in school, social events, work place etc…
Now that I am working towards a better smile with the help of my braces, I need to constantly remind myself sub-consciously to S-M-I-L-E more. I mean first impressions count, don’t they?
So please don’t judge me from my unfriendly face which I’m always telling others that that is actually my face at its ‘default’ mode. And being a thinker, most of the times I get overwhelmed and swallowed by my own thoughts, hence that serious face.
If you do happen to meet me on the streets, don’t stare at me like I’m some weirdo (because I will get offended lol), just come up to me very gently (please don’t give me a scare, my weak heart won’t be able to take it, as I am quite a jumpy person) and say hi! 😀
Besides smiling, I think I have loads to work on in keep conversations going. Most of the times it’s awkward because I have no idea what to say and sometimes I seek help from my social-butterfly bf. LOL 🙂
2. Blogging does not equate to creating a blog and write
This dawned upon me only when my sister commented on some of the bloggers’ work which her co engaged to advert on the co’s products.
Yes, with all the perks of being a blogger, it too comes with a hefty price too.
No doubt, you get free things (of which some I don’t use that is why I am giving them away – read here on my recent MAJOR BEAUTY GIVEAWAY if you havent alr! ) but you will need to return them a favour by blogging. And it’s not just cutting and pasting, or by just uploading some blur pics (sorry for those blurred ones I have uploaded ahem) and insert some sketchy filmsy lacking-in-content-quality paragraphs or worse still, few liners.
And if you’re not a full-time blogger, which I am not and don’t think I will ever be (some have asked me this, and my answer is quite simple, then why the hell am I studying so much for ?! I don’t know about u, but it just doesn’t feel right. My parents would most prolly disown me as well, nah I’m kidding, not till that extent… I HOPE) you need very good TIME-MANAGEMENT SKILLS.
Advertorials have deadlines or either that, you know you owe others a blog post if the event/date of receipt was eons agooooooo and that can only happen if you take your work seriously and take pride in it. You would be nonchalant if you aren’t serious about being a blogger.
With that in mind and what my sister told me, I felt that my blogging style needed some change. I admit I don’t have a flair for writing and I am constantly being reminded of my (already) limited vocab and grammatical errors when I blog. My English was good back in primary school but plummeted all the way when I was in secondary school. Even up to JC, I was struggling with GP while others who ate more potatoes than me on a daily basis (for that I must reckon potatoes meant reading) could easily tackle it.
As a result, my results for English weren’t fantastic.
It was only when I read law that my English improved tremendously. And it’s true. It is difficult to ‘study’ a language besides gaining a wider vocab knowledge and remember all those ‘skills’ and ‘rules’ but reading, speaking and listening really does help.
Check the dictionary whenever you come across words you don’t know of. That was what my mum used to tell me when I was younger, and what I told my students when I was tutoring. Now, I am imparting this ‘skill’ to you too. LOL.
Google is your best friend. Well, at least to me. It’s a friend and a teacher. I google almost everything I don’t know of. Listen more to BBC etc or read more.
After awhile with consistency and diligence, your language would improve, that I can assure you.
I mean if you’re a consistent reader of mine, you would see how much more effort (and time!) I devote to each and every blog post now compared to last time. And I also realised that top bloggers such as XX, QQ, BunBun etc tend to write lengthy blog posts too, even when they are inactive for awhile (XX) or active (QQ).
I do receive comments like, “Thank you for the detailed write-up”, and by that, I know my work, effort and time is very much appreciated by some of my readers.
But then, “detailed” may also mean “lor sor” la and I don’t deny that I am quite “lor sor” when it comes to words. I type more than I speak. 😀
So it all boils down to :
That’s very important.
As I have mentioned previously, I do not have a flair for writing. I am not born a writer by nature, like how some of my friends are.
But I try.
And although it’s has always been a battle of quality and quantity, nevertheless, always remember this, quality is quite impossible if quantity is not there. I’m not debunking this notion of “quality over quantity” but think about it, if there is no substantial length, how can there be quality content?
As I’ve said, I’m quite “lor sor” with words, so that is one reminder I have to take note of and try not to digress so much by inserting uncountable brackets here and there (AHEM! Oops! =x).
Check and recheck. Save it as draft if you’re sick of typing and tired of reactivating your brain cells once you are done with your blog post. Come back to it when you’re feeling better/in the mood/full of inspiration and improvise.
I should really stop here, for I would be shooting myself in the foot if I’d continued any further (stop being “lor sor” and stop it with the brackets! :O)
If I can type so much, you know understand what I meant that I am consumed by my own thoughts sometimes? 😉
And I try to practise what I preach, so that was also the reason why I invested in a better camera… but photography skills is another matter altogether, heh.
3. Don’t always believe what you read
Pfft, this seems quite illogical like as if I’m getting you not to believe whatever I have painstakingly noted down thus far.
I don’t mean that.
But this is in relation to sponsored advertorials.
I know how it feels to get a shittified product/service via sponsorship and how you are always more inclined towards providing a positive review other than a negative one.
I am actually undergoing such experience right now as with other bloggers, but… I can’t spill the beans yet. At least not now.
And recalling back the time when I had actually given a product 3/5 stars, I was questioned by the sponsor as to my reason for doing so.
Sometimes, it’s not that bloggers merely want to enjoy free stuffs/discounts or other entitlements and thus, blog up a positive review, but you need to understand the difficult position we face too.
It’s not that we want, but sometimes it’s more of feeling obliged to and I admit, that’s kinda sad and unfair 🙁
That was also the dilemma that Bunbun was facing in her recent horrible experience with a sponsored facial treatment. I didn’t really follow through so am not sure if she did eventually reveal the name of the salon. I just know that she has been refusing to divulge which salon it was.
4. The power of social media
I own accounts in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pininterest and have a Facebook page as well.
But the only main social media I have been using was only Facebook.
I was very active on Twitter and IG in the past but soon got bored of it and MIA-ed for some time. Don’t worry, I am back! 🙂
As much as popularity may not be one of the goals to achieve when I started blogging, popularity also mean EVERYTHING to a blogger, in relation to the numeric figures of readership. That is how companies find you to get you sponsored or decide if you are eligible (i.e. worth wasting $ on or not) and some would outrightly ask you for the numeric figures for your blog readership, twitter and IG followers and fb page likes…
Like money, it’s all about the NUMBERS.
I must admit that it is a little disgusting to self-promote (yes I do that, I mean, who doesn’t especially when you’re just starting out vs a well-established blogger?) but that’s the kind of ‘skin’ you need to have.
A very thick one.
Even when I share on my own personal FB account, I feel extremely embarrassed (IF YOU NEVER KNEW, NOW YOU DO)!
I don’t need to go into details on how important social media platforms are in the current era but it seems a little too overwhelming for me to be active on all of them all the time.
It’s like after publishing a post, you will be like, “Oh I have to repost on my Facebook page too” or “Shucks, I forgot to share this on my IG” etc etc…
Yada yada yada, but I’m trying my best… :’)
5. The market is extremely saturated
Similar to blogshops, the blogosphere for bloggers is as saturated as well.
Everyone wants to own a blog shop, everyone wants to be a blogger, albeit a successful one.
Being a blogger is similar to being a product. How you market yourself is extremely important and how others perceive you despite you trying to market yourself in a certain way.
It’s all about marketing, marketing and more marketing…and not forgetting commitment, responsibility, writing skills etc.
I would need to improve on this for sure. 🙂
I hope through these reflections on my experience has helped you one or another, be it if you’re thinking of being a blogger, new to this blogosphere or even an established blogger…
And hopefully, when I’ve become more acquainted with this blogosphere, I would include more useful experience and strike out those I intend to achieve/improve on 🙂
Thanks for reading! 😀