The 8th Philippine Blogging Summit, known as the iBlog8, is one of the biggest blogging events in the country. That is why when the organizers called out for speakers, I did not hesitate to submit a proposal for speakership. The topic I submitted was “How to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd”, which is intended to give some power to motivate bloggers in pushing their blogs to the zenith of success.
Why day 2?
iBlog8 was a two-day event held on May 25 and 26 at Malcolm Theater, Malcolm Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City. I wanted to speak during the first day since it was targeted for businesses, marketers and entrepreneurs, and my blog is actually on the business niche. But I was already scheduled to attend as a speaker in another event, which unfortunately was postponed to another date due to some circumstances. That’s the story why I was on the Day 2 instead of Day 1. Nevertheless, blogging, even without the business mix, is just equally interesting.
It was my first time
Yes, it was mostly my first time. It was my first time to attend such blogging event, first time to speak in front of a crowd in Metro Manila, first time to be in the huge campus of UP Diliman, and even first time to hold and use a remote control for PowerPoint presentation. That is why I couldn’t help myself but speak while my nerves are running all over my body. But as I said in my talk, you need to be bold to stand out from the crowd. So there you go, I set myself as an example. 🙂 But of course, I will not dare to speak, if I don’t have a strong foundation in the blogging industry.
My talk and presentation
All speakers were only given 20 minute time to present and discuss their respective topics. And for a broad topic like mine, that length of time is considerably short. Fortunately, I have the privilege to elaborate it on this blog post. 🙂
My talk aimed to share some powerful messages to intensify the bloggers’ desire in bringing their blogs to the top. Teaching people how to make their blogs stand out from the crowd is one topic that is very challenging. As the speaker, you have to show them that your own blog has already stood out from the crowd. But due to the short time of my talk, I have focused on talking about my key points and not about myself. I thought that the introduction about me as the speaker before my talk will be enough. But it wasn’t enough, so allow me to introduce myself and my blog further before I discuss my slide deck.
Me as the blogger
Though I’m a newbie when it comes to blogging events, I am already blogging for more than 5 years, developing various blogs for different purposes. I’ve also been a writer and a contributor to various sites on the Internet on finance and personal development topics. I’m a SEO and SMM fundamentalist – that’s what I call myself when it comes to Internet marketing. I’m also offering website development services and business consultancy to various clients.
My previous blogs were actually targeted to international audience. That is why I’m not known in my own country. I actually have more online friends from other countries than Filipino friends before. But I realized that something is not right. So I created my current blog, BusinessTips.Ph, to concentrate on serving Filipinos, and next, the world. I’m not actually used to divulging my personal life and personal achievements, so let me introduce more my blog instead. ?
About my blog
After I gave my talk, I was actually expecting that someone will ask a question about my credibility. Haha. Of course, when you are speaking such kind of topic, you must have the authority to talk. But no one asked that question. Perhaps, they are just shy to stand up. ? I escaped introducing my blog during the talk for the following reasons: limited time, avoiding self promotion, and making it safe for the event’s sponsors. I’m not also used to bragging about myself or any of my work. But just to give some inspiration and support my topic, I list down the following things about my blog, BusinessTips.Ph.
1. It was launched on February 26, 2011, and it is just over a year old now.
2. Currently receiving an average of 100K visitors per month.
3. One of the top 100,000 websites in the world according to Alexa.com
4. One of the top 5 most visited business blogs in the Philippines according to TopBlogs.com.ph
5. One of the top 100 small business blogs according to Technorati.com (updated frequently)
6. Finalist in 3 categories during the 2011 Philippine Blog Awards
7. Featured in Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine March 2012 Issue
8. Got mentioned in International business sites, such as BusinessInsider.com and SmallBiztrends.com
9. Earning passive income, even I don’t go to work. 🙂
10. Lastly, receiving uplifting thank you messages from its readers and followers.
I hope those things have somehow earned me some credibility and authority. I wish I can do better next time. 🙂
Let’s go to my presentation
Here is my slide deck during the iBlog8. You may download it for current and future reference.
My 15-slide deck titled “How to Make Your Blog Stand Out From the Crowd” emphasizes 7 key points to boost your blogging power.
1. Build a strong foundation
Build a blog that rocks! If you want to build a blog that will stand out, you have to build it with a strong foundation – as strong as a rock. A great foundation is one that is long lasting. That is why we have to make sure that we have the following elements that must be present in our blogs.
Purpose – Of course every blog has a purpose. But the question is… is that purpose great enough to make your blog stand out from the rest? Yes we cannot deny that making money is one of our goals for building a blog. But making a fortune should not become our primary objective. Earnings will just come out if we have already earned a lot of loyal blog followers after helping them improve their lives. For example, the purpose of my blog, is to bring my own country (Philippines) to the top of the world. That is the reason why I choose dotPH domain instead of dotcom. That nationalistic purpose challenges me everyday to work harder and better than my competition. And because of that hard work, I didn’t realize passive income is already coming to my blog. Success in making money is inevitable if you will only do the right thing, that is, work hard, be patient and serve a lot of people.
Principles – Principles shape us and our blogs. That is why we must choose the better principles. They must also be permanent. They have to be consistent for thousands of years or even forever. For example, I am still using “Honesty is the best policy” in my blog. How about yours?
Mission – You blog mission must be executable. It must be achievable. Before I start this blog, I have this mission to reach a million people through my blog posts and writing. Now, I have already reached more than 900K people (people who visited my blog as of today). A little bit more, and I’m on my next mission.
Core Values – Values, as the word suggests, are very valuable things that we keep in our hearts and we are ready to stand and fight for them. Bloggers should also have the right core values for their blogging life. One of the core values that I keep for my blog is “Integrity”.
Habits – Every blogger must protect their good habits and eradicate their bad habits. It’s good to have the right habits that will help us attain success. However, we must remember that a few good habits might not be enough. That is why we should keep on developing ourselves and add some more good habits. Being patient and hardworking might not be enough. We also have to add some other good habits, such as being on time, consistency, positivity and other helpful habits.
Skills – Bloggers must keep on acquiring useful skills, like writing, graphic and web design, photography, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), general marketing, et cetera. In this world where information is accessible 24/7 and from anywhere through the Internet, there is no excuse for not learning. You can easily Google everything you want to learn.
2. Have a reasonable courage
Calculate, prepare, and take the risk! Don’t be afraid to invest if you can see the light.
Invest more – Make your blog premium and make the blogger in you more professional. Don’t jump on earning income and clutter your blog with ads. Make it look cleaner and more professional. Ease the eyes of your readers. Take the risk of investing on domain name, web hosting, and premium blog design to show your sincerity and to intensify your goal to stand out from the crowd.
Build confidence – Find a mentor, read more, and learn more. As I said earlier, accessing information is a no-brainer task these days. You want a mentor? Just Google the top bloggers in your niche and learn from them.
Train like a champion – Strengthen your stamina physically, mentally, and emotionally. In other words, don’t train like a loser. Bloggers must also maintain a good health.
Focus like a Ninja – Clear your mind. Forgive, forget, and forward. Focus is vital to success. And just like a Ninja, you must learn how to focus to achieve tremendous powers. Apply it to blogging. 🙂
Go outside of your comfort zone – Increase the challenges you take and explore a little bit more.
3. Create a world-class blog
Prepare for global domination!
Know your competition – Use research and analytic tools. A lot of free tools are available online. Spy on your global competitors. Again, google the top 10 blogs and bloggers on your category, and study them. The best tool you need for analyzing is just your “brain”. Online tools, such as Google’s webmaster’s tool, Alexa, Compete, etc., are just supplementary.
Conquer yourself – If you want to conquer the world, start by conquering yourself. Overcome your laziness, impatience, and other worst attributes of yourself. Remember that the worst enemy you could ever face is the worst you.
Conquer your own country – Lead and love your countrymen. Help your community. Win the hearts of you countrymen first, before the foreigners. Find Filipino blogger friends on social networking sites, such as in Facebook and Twitter. There are many of them.
Conquer the world – If you can conquer yourself and win the hearts of your countrymen, then you will have the bigger chance to conquer the world. If you know your global competition, you will know how to stand out globally. Remember that every blog post you publish is a bullet you fire to the world. That is why you have to strive in making each of your blog post as best as you can. If you have conquered your own laziness, then you can do that.
4. Be Unique
As I emphasized during my talk, don’t just be a flower, but be a power! You have to be unique to stand out from the crowd. Here’s how you can do that.
Be the one – Explore yourself. Find your passion and expertise. How to find your passion? Spend more time to yourself. Practice meditation and spiritual activities.
Be the first one – Be the discoverer, the inventor or the whistleblower. You also need courage to do this. If you’re on the news niche, be the news breaker.
Be number one – Declare war! Compete and have the winning spirit. Do not act like a weakling!
Give extra ones – Wow your audience! Be extraordinary by always giving that little extra. Be generous and provide rich and well researched blog posts.
5. Be a light
Enlighten to be heightened! As you see a Christmas tree on my PowerPoint deck, you will observe that the brightest star is always put on the top. If you want to stand out from the crowd as a blogger, then you have to share the brightest answers and solutions to people’s questions and problems.
You also have to:
Inspire people – Move people by blogging answers and solutions to their long-reigning questions and problems. If you want to earn loyal followers, you have to strive in inspiring and improving their lives.
Be honest – Build trust and confidence. Truth is light; lies are pieces of darkness. Have a common sense.
Be a role model – Walk the talk and show proof. Your blog post and stories will be more powerful if you can provide substantial evidence.
Educate – Be generous in sharing your knowledge and expertise. Be a motivational speaker by becoming a motivated person.
Don’t just focus on the “media” in the “social media”, but focus on the “social” – the people.
Connect to your blog. Claim your blog, and let your blog claim you. You and your blog must work as one. I gave the fusion technique in the Anime “Dragon Ball” as an example for this.
Connect to the blogosphere. Make your blog naturally worthy of connection or back linking. Social media marketing is more effective if we concentrate on providing value and making lasting human relationship. We don’t just leave a comment to a certain blog to earn back link, but we have to comment to add value to the blog.
Connect to the right crowd. Stand out from the crowd of bloggers, not spammers. Know your place. 🙂
Be human. Have compassion. Create lasting relationships with your audience and social media connections. Bloggers should be compassionate to understand the happiness, as well as the sufferings of their audience. I just don’t know if spammers can feel the pain of their victim bloggers and website owners.
7. Finally, be consistent.
Your persistence and consistency will determine your success.
Blogging is not an easy career. Competition is tough and you have to adapt to the fast-changing blogging environment. Moreover, the largest search engine, Google, which is the largest referrer of traffic to most sites, is also frequently updating (Panda, Penguin, etc.,). That is why even if you have stood out from the crowd, you also have to maintain that achievement at all cost.
We are facing better yet harder challenges everyday. Hence, consistency is a must. As I cited the heroes in the Anime films during my talk, they are not having long vacations or they are not just “Noynoying”. But they are continuously fighting for justice and defending their loved ones. This is also true in blogging, we must continue overcoming every challenge we face, whether they are getting easier or harder.
If you want to learn further and more specifically on that topic, you may read my previous post about “100 ways to making your blog stand out from the crowd”.
That was my talk all about. I hope you have learned something and many things on my presentation. I actually spoke Tagalog during the iBlog8, since Google can’t still crawl information on live voices. Haha. I’ve learned many things on the event, like how to be a better speaker the second time around. 🙂
I want to thank the iBlog Philippines organization, Janette Toral of Digital Filipino (organizer of iBlog8), fellow speaker Kim Tyrone Agapito (for accompanying me inside the UP campus), all the dynamic bloggers who participated on the successful summit, and all the readers who are reading this blog post now. I hope to see you all in iBlog9 and in the other future blogging events!