To Blog Or Not to Blog (From Blogging Tips to Alopecia Areata)

Last Friday, May 24th 2013, I attended the Blog@Talk Bohol Seminar – Workshop at the Arabelle Suites. This was the first ever workshop I’ve attended since I’ve started working online 3 years ago. So, I was really excited and was so eager to learn. I wanted to share my experience and my insights on the said activity, so here goes:

DSCF1631Social techpreneur Ruben Licera, Jr.  started out with the question, “Why Blog?” (This guy’s got ample experience on blogging, internet marketing, SEO, etc.).

He’s right. Why do I blog?

First thing that came out of my mind was that I wanted to get back to writing. Honestly, I kind of missed doing my thing. My first online jobs were writing but I never got a chance to actually get recognized as the “blogger” or the “writer”. I’ve written articles for websites that tackle fashion brands, health, international holidays, real estate, stuff toys and a lot more. I’ve had so many clients before but I never got to see my real name out there.

Ruben shared the following reasons why people blog:

  1. To express feelings, thoughts and experiences
  2. To market or promote something
  3. To help people
  4. To connect with people like you
  5. To establish yourself as an expert
  6. To make a difference
  7. To stay active or knowledgeable in a field or topic
  8. To stay connected with family and friends
  9. To make money
  10. To have fun and be creative

If you notice, I have highlighted most of the above-mentioned reasons. For now, those are my objectives especially that I’m not yet a well-known blogger. I don’t know if I will ever become one but I do look forward to that stage. Wishful thinking. 🙂

I also want to promote something and earn money at the same time. However, I just think that these objectives should come at a later time.

WordPress Developer Junix Villacorta tackled about the basics of blogging. There was a lot to be shared and a lot to be learned from DSCF1634his presentation. However, the time was limited, as speakers were only given more or less an hour to discuss their topics. Plus, the internet connection wasn’t that good. It’s a necessity especially that the topics are relevant to the Internet world. Yet, there’s nothing we can do. I just hope time will come that the internet will be readily accessible wherever we go in this little province called Bohol.

A funny Spaniard looking guy named Ka Bino Guerrero (I guess he has Spanish descent though because of the family name) talked about ways to promote blogs through social media. His presentation was full of fun as he’s got a great sense of humor. He is a heritage interpreter and a tourist guide at the same time. If I were a tourist, I would truly have fun with a very outgoing tourist guide like Ka Bino. One of the things I couldn’t forget from his presentation was on the secrets to Twitter. He mentioned three: Tweet – Retweet – Follow.

Funny guy Ka Bino explains how to promote blogs through social media.

Funny guy Ka Bino explains how to promote blogs through social media.

Edik Dolotina, the photographer who only owns a phone camera.

Edik Dolotina, the photographer who only owns a phone camera.

Boholano blogger Edik Dolotina shared about his experiences as a blogger. I couldn’t forget this guy because of his tagline, “The photographer who only owns a phone camera”. It’s interesting, right? Nowadays, you’ll see photographers bringing all those expensive DSLR cameras. But here’s a Boholano blogger who depends on his phone camera. He mentioned also about someone who merely copied his blog posts, which made him feel bad. I wanted to know more about how he handled the situation. But time was limited. I planned on asking about it during the open forum but unfortunately, time was again limited.

Albert Balbutin shares about his very interesting personal blog, Filipeanut.

Albert Balbutin shares about his very interesting personal blog, Filipeanut.

Janetter Toral's video presentation, which she did in Boracay.

Janette Toral’s video presentation, which she did in Boracay.

A Fil-Am blogger named Albert Balbutin also gave an interesting presentation. Love his personal blog, especially on how he designed his blog’s logo. He grew up in the US but his blog posts spoke of how proud he is to be a Filipino, much more a Boholano. Kudos to you, Albert!

Certified inbound marketer Bjorn Bernales focused on blogging for business. One thing I couldn’t forget from his presentation was a very important tip: to create a blog editorial plan. I’ve seen one before which site editors at Crowdsourcing.org (where I presently work) referred to. But I never thought about it as an essential tool in blogging. So, I’m starting one as well.

E-commerce specialist Janette Toral wasn’t able to make it to even, so she sent a video presentation instead.

The beautiful Abby Asistio shares her struggles with Alopecia Areata.

The beautiful Abby Asistio shares her struggles with Alopecia Areata.

Last but not the least, celebrity blogger Abby Asistio, also shared her experience as well as her talent in singing. I’ve seen her on Kris TV before. So, when I saw her in the event’s tarpauline, I got even more excited as I wanted to take a personal look at her and hear her talk about her struggles. Despite of having a hair loss condition known as Alopecia Areata, Abby is a beautiful woman inside and out.

According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, “Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body”. So, just imagine if you had this condition since you were born. It’s difficult, right?

Abby shared her struggles as a child when she got bullied as a kid, when she wore wigs for most of her life. But when someone encouraged her to just go out there without wearing any wig, she also decided to search on the internet, for resources about the condition. From that time on, she realized that she wasn’t alone. She saw that were others like her and they weren’t afraid to go out and show to the world that they are bald. So, one day, she decided to finally face everyone without a wig, to just be bald. Then she started the Alopecia Awareness Campaign, encouraging everyone to do the double “A” sign. She didn’t expect it to have a great impact, but it did! Bravo!

Abby sings her heart out ...

Abby sings her heart out …

While listening to her, I could really see her strength as a woman.

Kudos to you, Abby!

She made me realize a lot of things. When I was younger, I wasn’t bald, but I also got bullied, for being chubby and for undergoing through precocious puberty (which I will be sharing my experience as well in a later blog post). Growing up was not that easy as well. It affected my self esteem.

So, looking at Abby that day, and especially after watching her sing her original composition entitled “Beautiful”, I got inspired to blog, to show off my skills, and to be confident at what I do.

Aside from all the blogging tips I learned from the workshop, Abby Asistio made me realize that I am beautiful in my own way. I just have to believe! To free myself and to let go of  my insecurities. Like Abby, let’s keep on believing in ourselves!

From left to right: Ruben Licera Jr., Abby Asistio, Edik Dolotina, Junix Villacorta, Ka Bino Guerrero, Bjorn Bernales, Albert Balbutin (Photo by Blogtalks)

From left to right: Ruben Licera Jr., Abby Asistio, Edik Dolotina, Junix Villacorta, Ka Bino Guerrero, Bjorn Bernales, Albert Balbutin
(Photo by Blogtalks)

My photo ops with the girl who started it all...

My photo ops with the girl who started it all…

Photo Ops with the Social Techpreneur, Ruben Licera, Jr.

Photo Ops with the Social Techpreneur, Ruben Licera, Jr.

Blog @ Talk Seminar participants doing the AA sign

Blog@Talk Seminar – Workshop speakers and participants doing the AA sign (Image: Bohol Blogtalks Seminar – Workshop)

 

This is for you Abby, got my kids to do the AA sign… an addition to your AAawareness Photos!

My eldest, Francis, doing the AA sign

My eldest, Francis, doing the AA sign

My second son, RV, doing his AA sign

My second son, RV, doing his AA sign

My youngest, TJ, and his not so clear double A sign

My youngest, TJ, and his not so clear double A sign

*Thanks to the Ms. Dalareich Polot, BiCTC, and the Cebu Blogger Society for this event! I’m truly looking forward to another one!

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14 thoughts on “To Blog Or Not to Blog (From Blogging Tips to Alopecia Areata)

  1. Hi Nette: Here is the answer to your supposed query which was not raised at the forum. I directly message the blog owner about his copying my blog in toto. He apologized though. But I gave him tips on how to write a blog by not copying other’s works. We can always quote-unquote anyone. Writing, as I’ve said at Blog@Talks, is a serious matter. We should perspire to learn and relearn the art.

    • Hello Sir,

      Thank you for your checking out my blog and for answering my query 🙂

      So, that’s what happened. I guess my imagination was exaggerated. I thought it went on to something like filing a case. But it’s good to hear that the person admitted his fault and apologized for it. You are right, we should perspire to learn and relearn. 🙂

      It was nice to connect with you online. 🙂

    • You’re right, Earl! I look forward to that day where our youngsters would also look into this opportunity, rather than dwelling too much on social media. Social media is really necessary, but there’s more than that 🙂 Thanks for checking out my blog.

  2. thank you so much for supporting abby 🙂 we had fun in Bohol! Bloggers are the best! good job you guys! keep on blogging 🙂

    • Wow! Didn’t expect for you to drop by. You’re welcome! Don’t know Abby personally but she’s worth blogging/writing about. At the same time, I was also hoping that I could inspire others to write and believe in their own selves – just like what Abby did.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Ms. Janette… Didn’t expect you to take the time to read it 🙂 But it really means a lot. I’m also looking forward to meeting others and attending events as well – that would help me in my craft.

  3. Hi Archenette! Salamat kaayo for bearing with ahong bungkag ng binisaya! I hope to one day do bisaya justice by improving pohon. Until then see you at the next event! Amping diha!

    • Hi Albert,

      Thanks for dropping by! No worries, you speak well in both languages. I loved your presentation, as it’s a concrete example of what blogging can do for individuals.

      Looking forward to seeing you in another event as well 🙂

  4. Hi Nette 🙂 So yan no more “maam” ha.. 🙂 Hopefully we can work together soon in other blogging events here in Bohol soon! I’m glad reading blog posts from you guys who attended the event. 🙂

    • Hi Ma’am,

      Thanks for dropping by. Took me awhile to respond. Been really busy lately with work.

      Looking forward to attend other events as well, so sad I wasn’t able to attend the event organized by Ms. Janette Toral.

  5. I can totally see myself re-living the event through your blog. A wonderful coverage of everything, Nette. I hope I’ll get the pleasure of meeting you in person during future events!

    Oh and if you’re interested in anything tech and in meeting like-minded folk, there are organizations, along with Bohol Bloggers, here in Bohol like Google Developer’s Group and Techtalks.ph (http://techtalks.ph/join/). Dalerich and I are also members of these. There are frequent events hosted by them. Maybe you’ll find something that interests you 😀

    • Hey, thanks for the long comment 🙂

      I joined the group already. I have been working online for almost 4 years now. So, my days are always spent at home. When I found out about the workshop, I got interested and I said to myself that it’s time for me to actually venture into other things, to expose myself and meet other people. The feeling was great. I didn’t expect that there are already Boholanos who are doing what you and Dalareich are doing. Back then, my peers were only interested on Facebook. I only know a few who went beyond FB. Anyways, nice meeting you online, Ashley!!! Thanks for the compliment towards my blog 🙂 … Means a lot to me 🙂

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