February 2, 2022

A Lookback To My Growth as a Blogger/Influencer

Whenever I think back about why I started blogging and where I am when now relating to it, I always feel mind-blown and humbled at the same time. During the time I started my blog, it was also the time of the rise of social media. We were all still basically using social media to connect with friends on a daily basis, share our thoughts in a few sentences and see what others think about it. 

There was also a point that we all rely to the internet to search for feedback on things that we want to purchase or try, food to eat, restaurants to try, places that we want to go to. There were a handful of reliable bloggers at that time who were my go-to blogs for fashion, travel or food/restaurant related contents. But today, if I am being honest, almost everyone is an influencer in their own means. Just sharing a food, you bought or cooked on your social media, and one person from your network sees that and was encouraged to try it too makes you an influencer, right? Because you have influenced their attitude of trying or buying. 

era where I was more into apparel store reviews

Still true to this day, I feel a little uncomfortable to be called an influencer. I still consider myself as a casual blogger who started it all back in 2011, as a past-time to take my mind off from the routines of daily life with the idea or the goal of relating to anyone by sharing my life experiences and things that I am deeply passionate about: food, beauty, fashion, travel and lifestyle. I may insert out of niche topics here and there, but they still are surely in-line with what my blog is all about. 

I wanted my blog to be an online journal, something that I can go back to, to reminisce, to see how I lived my life when I’m old and grey. Even before the advent of social media, I am already very much into taking photos of food, things and sceneries and documenting them in journals and DIY scrapbooks. Unfortunately, there was not a bigger audience for that to reach, just the circle of friends and family that I can show them to. 

flatlay gaming

So, when digital and online platforms emerged, I was ecstatic to upload those captured moments and share details about them. I reckon I shared a lot of photos on Multiply so friends can see them too whenever and wherever. I also joined review platforms like TripAdvisor, Cosmopolitan PH community, Chictopia, etc., to share my apparel, restaurant or travel reviews. And later came Friendster, Facebook and then Blogger.

When I started my blog, I was aiming to focus on fashion and beauty, then I inserted some food and travel posts and then eventually the niche became lifestyle-focused, which incorporated just about anything and everything under the sun. 

Meeting People
I do not know about other bloggers or influencers, but for me, probably the best thing that I gained out of all these, is meeting new people. I consider myself as an extrovert introvert. I have an ample amount of people in my close circle, but when I started blogging and attending events, I met a lot of people from all walks of life. 

There is a handful of the new people I met that I consider as close friends now who I share even the most intimate details of my life. Some remained as acquaintances and business connections for years. I have gone out and travelled locally and abroad with some of them too and that is even outside of the blogging/influencer sphere.

What I also love most about meeting new people in the blogging/influencer community is that I have learned a lot from them. Those learnings are not even confined to the blogging/influencer realm; I learned about photography, improvement in writing, life hacks, businesses and other general or profession-specific knowledge -- which I really find valuable in my daily life both as a regular person and as a blogger/influencer. As much as I am sharing my life with those people I meet, I am also glad that they are imparting their life to me. These really widened my view of life and the world, and I consider those moments really precious. 

some travel collabs

Going Places
Ever since I was in college, I really had a penchant for travelling; and during those times, I was already gathering keepsakes like photos, stuff, knowledge and memories. And when I started my blog, I was happy to share those photos and travel experiences to the world or to whoever who would stumble upon my blog. 

If you will read some of my travel posts, they are detailed; but you would also notice that they are more of storytelling than a review or suggestion of a certain travel spot or hotel or accommodation. I have always wanted to sound like I am telling a story of my travels to a friend. Like, “oh I went to this resto in Siargao, or I stayed at this resort in Siquijor, or I stayed at this Airbnb in Hong Kong and this is my experience” and all other what nots related to that trip. 

some travel collabs

Most of my travels that I post on my blog and on my other social media, are at my own expense. But there are times that I am fortunate enough to be invited y brands to travel and experience new things, food and places. There are advantages and downsides to a sponsored travel opportunity, but I always look at the beneficial things that come out of it and just try my best to enjoy those moments. I mean, who in their right mind would dare complain about a free travel opportunity right?

If it was not for the current world health situation, you would probably see me out and about, attending events and travelling to places that has been in the long standing list of places I want to visit locally and abroad. 


Earning and Opportunities
Let me give a disclaimer that it is not my major goal to earn from being a blogger/influencer, I still stick to why I started on this path. Yet I would be lying if I will say that I don’t enjoy earning through my social media presence. The extra remuneration aside from what I earn from my decent-paying day job is a very much welcome concept. And I don’t see anything wrong with others, being their goal is to monetize their social media and make it as their sole source of income. 

I mean, the earnings I get are what I use to pay for some of my bills, to buy things that I would love to have, to pay for travel expenses or eat out at restaurants I want to try – without taking a portion from my payroll. Also, don’t forget that maintaining social media platforms is with cost. I pay for my blog domain annually, for electricity and for internet service. Moreover, I buy photography gadgets, computer parts, software and other props I may need for my photos or flatlay. So yeah, being a blogger or influencer does come with cost. And if I take those expenses from my salary, it doesn’t seem like a wise move, isn’t it?

Sky Cable x Johnny Walker Game of Thrones Viewing Party
Uniqlo and Kenny Roger's events

It's not bad to earn from the things that you love to do, if only I can have a job that gives me a stable earning while doing the things I love to do, I would take that! If you’re one of those who wants to start a blog or be an influencer and earn exclusively from that, I would still encourage you to do it. There are so many resources online regarding influencer marketing strategies that you can read up on to help you get started. Whatever is your reason of being a blogger/influencer, is valid and don’t let others persuade you otherwise. 

Philippine Airlines Anniversary
CNN Philippines Quiz Night

I have always been grateful that I was introduced to the blogging/influencer world, I was given so many opportunities through it, that I would have not experienced on my own. My photos were featured in Cosmopolitan PH, I was selected by Sample Room PH as blogger of the month, and reposted/regrammed by various brands, left and right collaborations with local and international brands, just to name a few. But more than everything, the knowledge, the skills, the people and the memories are there for me to keep for a lifetime.

Final Thoughts
I have never wished to be famous like other bloggers/influencers who are already household names. I am beyond overwhelmed when some random person tells me that they read my blog or have seen my posts. My goal was simple, but it has become more than that and I am not at all regretful of how it turned out.

Clark Marriott Hotel

There may have been some moments of hiatus, or moments that I had to delete or edit a post because they bring dire memories. Yet what was left are nothing but nice experiences. 1,936,838 page views later on this blog, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, I might go on another hiatus while dealing with in-real-life events or adulting moments, but I will try my best to keep my blog and other social media. I will not stop sharing my own experiences with others, and in turn I hope they also get influenced and inspired. 

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  1. You're an amazing woman whose dedication and passion about it ! You just made it because you work for it ! Really appreciate it,very inspiring

  2. This is a great look back and I appreciate the glimpse into your blogger journey.

  3. Hyun Jang NimFebruary 03, 2022

    Awesome. I am glad that your shared your journey and milestones. It's nice reading your thoughts and seeing old pics of yours. I hope I can see some fashion contents like what you used to do before. You rock! That 1.9M views are super impressive. Borahae ��

  4. Just like you, I'm uncomfortable at the title "influencer," especially that I am. not one. I have very few following compared to the digits that other bloggers/vloggers now have...but I'm okay with it. When I was a younger blogger, I enjoyed attending events and meeting new people. I'd like to believe that I made a handful of good friends, myself. But priorities change, I guess. God bless on the rest of your journey!

  5. Thanks for sharing with us your growth and achievements while blogging. I also started blogging not thinking that it will become my key to achieve many things and go to many places. The best part of it is meeting people I didn't expect, and become friends with them. The compensation that we get are just a little bonus.

  6. That's amazing! i too just started writing some of my stories i might go all the way and publish it. i been slacking a lot but i was inspired by your dedication. thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Wow, you have an exciting blogging journey. And you got to meet interesting people and celebrities. Congrats on what you have already done and achieved and lots of luck for what are yet to come.

  8. That is such a wonderful journey, Jen! You're one of the few micro bloggers that I have found in the industry while looking for a community when I switched to pro-blogging last 2020. Congratulations to all your success in the industry and cheers to more opportunities! :)


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