Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lessons I Learned at the iBlog3

iBlog3 is the third Philippine Blogging Summit. It was held at the School of Economics in UP Diliman last April 13 and 14, 2007. I didn't get to sit-in the talks on the first day, but I sat-in all the talks for day 2.


What I spoke about...

(1) Be found!

Make sure you are searchable online. With the 200% increase in marketing messages that we receive everyday, it's easy to get lost in the pile. We blog because we want to get read, so make sure you are: (1) unique; (2) relevant; (3) and that you have a niche. In today's world, it's not about mass marketing your site, it's about finding the people who will "buy" what you are saying. To be found, do some search engine optimization (check Google's Website Optimizer) or advertise through Google Adwords. (And, of course, if you want to monetize your site, use Google Adsense).

Wanna be searched in Google? Add your blog's URL here. And check out Yehey.com's blog directory, coming soon.

(2) Janette's Question: What is it that you want bloggers to ponder on?

I adhere to what Anton said in his talk. He said, "Blog about what's beautiful" and that thought stuck in my mind while waiting for my turn to talk. Whenever I travel I only hear negative news about our country. I think it is our responsibility to share to the world how beautiful our country is and that it is safe to travel here. Aside from that, we should also blog responsibly.

(3) How much does blogging cost?

I heard this question asked again and again during the summit. Blogging is FREE! (Well save for connectivity fees, but you can always bum some airtime at a friend's place if needed). All you need to do is sign-up for an account in Blogger and then you can immediately start blogging.

I love using Blogger! You should too!

I've learned so much about blogging in the past few months! And the tremendous change in traffic I've been getting the past few months (1,100% growth!) has spurred me to blog more. Some things I learned in the past few months from professional and hobbyist blogger friends and from experience:

(1) Find a niche.
(2) Blog as much as you can.
(3) Labelling/tagging is very important.
(4) Check Google Zeitgeist for the latest trends in searches.
(5) Market your blog through networking, link lovin', commenting.
(6) Do a little SEO. Well, ask Marc. Check your traffic and where it's coming from once in a while. (7) Speak in a universal language.
(8) Don't be scared to write. Everybody makes grammatical mistakes.
(9) Got blog backlog? Do a rundown post instead.
(10) Got bloggers block? Play badminton with bloggers and the intellectual conversation around you will surely get your block unblocked. You'll be running home to blog in no time.

Things I picked up from the speakers:

Abe Olandres - he's been blogging for 7 years and originally blogged about personal stuff but eventually realized he had to strategize about what he wrote about. It was only in the past 2 years that he has managed to monetize his blog.

Anton Diaz - blog about what's beautiful!

Manuel Quezon III - he said that at the end of the day everything is political. Ergo, everything is about power.

Wilson Chua - he spoke about the importance of podcasting and making your podcasts searchable on the web.

Aileen Apolo - er, this is me, more about what I spoke about below.

Norman Agatep - 20 to 30% of the market are prosumers (the first movers) and they will be the ones who would convince the rest of the market to use or not use your product/service.

Alecks Pabico - he shared the difference between journalism and blogging. Journalists adhere to a strict discipline since they have to make sure all facts are true and all sources are credible.

J. Angelo Racoma - he reiterated that trust is important especially in social news.

Malou Mangahas - she said that new media is where everybody should go and that media has recognized blogging as an important tool and that's the main reason why GMA has set up their own blog network.

Marc Macalua - the founder of SEO Philippines gave tips on how to increase your traffic and shared his insights on how to monetize your website. Also, be an expert in your field, just make sure you don't decorate your blog in pink.

Jayvee Fernandez - Jayvee basically taught us how to make raket from blogging. He said that it's easier to blog than to write for a magazine and the pay's really competitive since aside from per article fees you also get commissions depending on the traffic your write-ups generate if you write for a blog network.

Gail dela Cruz-Villanueva - inasmuch as her husband's "controversial post" was discussed, Gail spoke about how to brand one's blog.

Congratulations to Janette Toral, JJ Disini and the other organizers for a very successful event!

13 comments:

  1. You summed up everything pretty well for day 2. We learn so many new things from seasoned bloggers. I always tell would-be blogger to try blogspot.com because it's free.

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  2. Thanks Noemi! I'm always open to learning something new and asking questions from experts always satisfies my inquisitive mind. Blogger's the best! Hehehe :)

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  3. Hello Aileen! I'm so glad to read this post! Celeste here from Baguio (Pierre introduced us yesterday at the after-iblog3 gathering at the University Hotel). I specifically attended iBlog3 to look into encouraging my students to blog in Google. We already have a page-- it's really bare and I want to create shared authors, plus enhance it. Here's my class' site: http://carpediemgrade9.blogspot.com/. Any comments? I hope you can come up to Baguio soon and we can probably work on you speaking before the students at Brent? Glad to have met you!

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  4. Hello Aileen. Great wrap up and thanks for sharing your discussion points. I really urge you to consider having a blogger.com conference. I'll be more than willing to help out. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Celeste! I remember you (of course!). We're planning a Baguio trip in May or June. Let's see what we could do. I'll be posting as well something about Google Apps for Education, I think you'll be able to benefit from this as well. ;)

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  6. Hi Janette, Glad to be of service! Lemme check what we can do for Blogger. I'll let you know. Thanks again! :)

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  7. hello! i was supposed to ask you about recovering a blog from Blogger. it's just weird that my old blog (in Blogger) got deleted (or was marked as spam) and my adsense on my hosted blog invalidated. i'm with aisa (the one that inquired about a job-op). :)

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  8. Hi! Kindly read up on it at http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=41973&topic=10428 If you have more questions you can write Blogger support through http://help.blogger.com.

    For your Adsense inquiry, kindly email adsense dash support at google dot com. Thanks.

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  9. ok. followed and resubmitted.. thanks!

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  10. Cge, will not be shy na! Hehehe! Zimm

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  11. Great advice here! Thanks!

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  12. Hi Aileen!

    Just wanted to know if you will have a bloggers conference or "bloggers kapihan" sometime in mid to late june this year? I am much interested in pursuing writing a blog and have some "feeble attempts" lately. But have problems of finding "content" that will interest readers, not just myself.

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  13. Hi this is Irene of Bitstop Network Services Inc.(www.bnshosting.net) just saying thank you for linking and promoting eradioportal.com!
    Merry Christmas!!!
    A warm thanks from eradioportal.com

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