Monday, May 29, 2017

Blog Biz: Become a blog queen with these 3 steps

This post is dedicated to my Loyal Reader MJ Lagrimas who sent me messages via my Facebook page. She was asking for blogging tips and I was happy to answer. I know I need to do a blogging workshop soon because my readers keep asking me about my blogging career! When I can breathe again, folks! Lots on my plate these days but, yes, let's do one again soon. Meanwhile, let me quickly throw out a few blogging tips today!

Blogging is such a popular option for moms who want to still make a living while being there for their little ones. I'm living proof it can be done. However, making a living from a blog is harder than it looks. In fact, a lot of people are unsure of how to get started. 

Here are three steps for beginner bloggers to ensure you are on the right path to successful blogging.

Write what you know.
One of the first things you need to do is think about what to write about. I can't stress it enough that you need to write about something you're passionate about. You want a topic that you can talk about in great detail and that you actually enjoy writing about. A lot of moms head down the route of parenting when it comes to their blog. This is a good idea because not only is this a topic you'll always have a passion for, you'll also never run out of readers. There are always new moms trying to hunt down help and advice when they start their journey into parenthood. As your kids get older, you'll find new things to talk about. This topic is an endless source of stories! 

But if you would rather keep your personal life private, that's okay, too. Lots of bloggers have found success writing about the clothes they wear, doing beauty reviews, dishing out household DIY tips, sharing recipes, and whatever topic there is under the sun.

Once you have a topic, make sure you stick with it on your blog. After blogging for 11 years, I've found that focusing on a topic keeps readers loyal and brings more advertising opportunities. People know what to expect from you, they think you become the expert on that particular issue, and brands that are aligned with what you write about want to be identified with you.

Always use good photos.
Even if your stories are good, blocks of endless text can be a strain on the eye. Often, online readers need photos to give them a break from reading. Plus, photos are a great tool for making a story more memorable. You know what they say about pictures being worth a thousand words!

Now this is important: Make sure that whichever photos you use, you have the legal right to use them. If it’s not copyright-free, you could be heading down the road to a legal battle! With practically everyone owning a smart phone these days, you seriously don't have an excuse not to take your own photos for your blog.

Lazy to take your own photos? Well, thank goodness there's stock photography! The photo I used up there is from Pexels, for example, and it was free. The problem with free stock photos, however, is they're not very good. Again, see the photo I used as an example. While I like orange and gingham, I must say that is not a fabulous blouse! Plus, she's pretending she's typing but her laptop is obviously not on (see screen). Oh well. That's what you get when you get free! So shoot your own pics!

(Hehe, did anyone notice I ignored my advice and picked a bad photo?)

Work on your branding.
At my recent and oh so successful Boss Bellas: Mompreneurship 01 workshop, we talked about passion, purpose and plans. Branding falls under plans. You may have a dream and the heart but when you don't know how to execute it, nothing will happen.

Blogging—if you want to earn from it—is your product. So it’s important that you work on your branding to ensure your blog is a success. You want people to instantly recognize it’s your blog when they land on it. For one thing, you should create a logo. This can go at the top of your homepage and then can be repeated as they click through the blog. (I'm introducing a logo for Topaz Horizon, by the way! Watch for it as my friend, Patricia Villa of Fancy Girl Designs, works on it.) You also might want to stick to a specific color theme on your blog, which you maintain throughout your social media accounts. Creating a look that's all your own will make your blog unique to you and ensure it’s memorable.

Now, no matter how pretty your blog is, if the content is worthless, then it won't succeed. Again, I'm proof that a blog doesn't need to look perfect to be successful. For me, compelling content and authenticity matter more than looking pretty. My best example for this is gorgeous packaging—it may make you take it off the shelves and buy it but if the product isn't good, you'll never buy it again. So work on your content—writing and photos—before you think of design.

After all, it's the stories you tell that make readers want to stay longer. More readers means more influence. And that's how brands start paying attention... and paying money.

Good luck, mommies! Send me your blogging questions and maybe I'll do a blogging workshop again soon. I want every mom who wants to earn from blogging succeed. Any work that can help us stay with our kids more is always a good thing!

Friday, May 26, 2017

My back-to-school haul from National Book Store!

This post is brought to you by National Book Store.

I am DONE with my back-to-school shopping! Uniforms, check! School books, check! School supplies, check! And more happily, I even got to buy some stuff FOR ME because shopping for others is definitely more fun if you get yourself some treats, too. Am I right, moms?

For me, National Book Store is THE source for all the best deals on school supplies. This year, I found Grab & Go packs. Yes, just grab a pre-assembled kit for your specific need! For example, I grabbed the Grade 1-3 pack because it’s just what my little boys need. I love these because it’s so thoughtful! Instead of us moms going around the aisles, hunting down individual items, they’re already all together in one pack!

This Grab & Go pack, however, is for working-mama me—I need art and school supplies for the home as well since my boys leave their art supplies in school. So when we do assignments and projects at home, I’m ready! Because I work, I don’t have time to just drop by the mall and buy what the kids need so I have to stock up. It really helps us working mamas to always be ready!

Here’s what I got from the store when I went shopping at the Glorietta branch with some mommy bloggers:

Kid Made Modern Crayon Gem. This is for my toddler, Piero. He loves it!

Leuchtturm journal because I always need a notebook to jot down my endless To-Do lists. And this is one of the best journals. I make it a point to elevate my experiences, especially the tedious ones, with beautiful things.

Golden clouds notepad because it’s so pretty! And it’s just P100. Grab it na, mommies! And my new discovery: Titus pen. I got this because it’s gold ink and it’s just P7.75. Where else can you buy gold for that price???
Post-it pad. Because reminders to myself never ends.

MEGA magazine and Celebrity Mom magazine. For all the waiting I do when I pick up my kids at school. Plus, I write for MEGA now.

Back-to-school season may be a really busy time, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. I like that at National Book Store, I get to experience convenience, find budget-friendly options, and even... wait for it... I get to shop online because you all know I love shopping online!

If you can’t find the time to go to the store, just shop online at their website,! Right now, there’s a dedicated back-to-school section where you can shop by grade level. You get to see the recommended supplies for each level, choose what you need, check out, and have the items delivered to your home. Orders worth P1,000 or above get free shipping. Here’s what I bought from the NBS online store:

The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs and 365: A Daily Creativity Journal.

You can also call the delivery hotline 8888-627 if you’re too busy even for online shopping! Okay, mommies, good luck on your back-to-school shopping! I highly recommend National Book Store—affordable and fun finds, aircon pa!

For more updates, follow National Book Store on social media: @nbsalert on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and visit their blog at

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Join the Nickelodeon Slime Cup Run 2017! Plus, a giveaway!!!


Hi mommies! I'm with Nickelodeon now!

I'm still the editor of but I took on the Nickelodeon gig because my kids love their shows. As I type, we are watching Peppa Pig. The other shows we watch (yes, we because I have to watch with them!) are Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Loud House, The Fairly Odd Parents, Alvin & The Chipmunks, and Rabbids Invasion. What do your kids watch?

Anyway, I'm here to announce that the super fun Nickelodeon Slime Cup Run is back! Mommies, I saw the race track na and it is AMAZING. The theme this year is a slime factory so they designed an obstacle course that will have you slip through entrance tubes, slide down clean up pipes, jump into a ball mill, treading carefully through filtration pipes, and finally getting a complete wash down... with slime of course! You and your kids (and your pets!) will have so much fun!

Plus, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be there! And Kids Choice Awards Favorite Pinoy Star 2017 winner Nadine Lustre will be handing out the awards to everyone who crosses the finish line! And you'll get slimed at the finish line!

Don't worry—there's a lot of shower areas to clean up afterwards. You can also opt to NOT get slimed, but as my mommy blogger friend Shari of The Misty Mom said, "I want to get slimed!" Slime is part of the fun!

In case you'd rather sit it out, meron din Nickster's Hub where you can relax and enjoy the booths of the sponsors: Nissin Pasta, Propan TLC, Skechers Kids, Toy Kingdom, Pet Express, venue partner Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, official cable partner SkyCable, and media partner

Join the Nickelodeon Slime Cup Run now! Register family and friends at Chris Sports branches at SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta, Market! Market!, SM North, and SM Megamall. You may also pre-register online at You have to register before May 24 so you can get your race kits which will include singlets.

Registration fees per race starting from P350 to P600 will apply. Proceeds will go to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) so if you know someone who loves animals but isn't joining the Slime Cup Run because they think it's just for families, tell them they can join it and raise money for animals instead!

And now... A GIVEAWAY!

Because I'm new at Nickelodeon, I'm debuting with a fun giveaway!

THE PRIZE: One (1) winner of four (4) race kits for the 4K Double Loop Run!

1. Share one or both of the posters below with your Facebook friends and/or Instagram followers.
2. Say why you want to be at the Slime Cup Run!
3. Share this link:
4. Use the hashtags #SlimeCupRunPH and #THxNickelodeon.
5. Pray. =D

I'll pick the lucky mommy (or daddy) on Monday, May 22, 6pm. Good luck!!!