Jumpstart: The iBlog9 Experience

Image from http://www.benfrancia.com/
Most of us bloggers can identify with that cartoon.

During the open mike sessions at the recent “The iBlog9: The 9th Philippine Blogging Summit,” we heard from people who are either thinking of blogging or those who already started blogging but felt so guilty because they did not really continue doing so. 

Take heart. It’s something all of us face. Most if not all bloggers at one point have clicked the “new post” button, then stared at the blank screen for some time and in the end logged out in frustration.

It’s good that that did not keep us from joining iBlog9.

There was a time when my writing juices dried up. But when I attended events such as the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit, I got so inspired that slowly but surely I resumed blogging. (See my blog post “Out of the Box.”) Now, I am even earning through some social media projects.

That’s why when I heard those who were struggling in blogging, I prayed a silent prayer for them. I believe that for them to experience such jumpstarts, they should answer these questions: “Why am I a blogger? Why do I blog?”

From left to right: Me, Carlo Angelo GonzalesBarry Daguio and Ben Francia
Image from the Facebook page of Anna Lorraine Angeles

In his “Blogging as an effective Content Marketing Tool for Businesses” talk, Internet Marketing guru Ben Francia encouraged the participants with this quote from Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” He also told us, “Be personal. Tell your story.” No one could really write the way you could write. No one could tell your story better than… who else but you! Social Media Consultant Carlo Gonzales agrees. “Why a story? People resonate more. Stories are easier to create and share.” (“Blogging and Social Media Goodness”)

“Bloggers are opinionated,” as Jonel Uy of Let’s Go Sago travel blog and Blogger Circles shared in his “Understanding the Blogger Psyche.” He also said, “Bloggers are passionate.” Opinion and passion are much like gasoline and matches. One must get to the point that he could no longer keep that opinion to himself. Passion would compel the blogger to express the opinion. 

With Jason Cruz
“Writing down ideas and opinions gives them life. Publishing them creates longevity,” as social media specialist Jason Cruz puts it in his “Blogging and Social Thought Leadership” talk.

One also need not become popular to be an influential blogger. As digital strategist Jonha Revesencio of http://ijustdid.org/ succinctly put it, “Popularity gets people’s attention. Influence gets people to action.” (“How to Get the Influencers Write About Your Startup”) Just focus on your influence. The popularity would come later.

A blogger may wonder whether to write a long or a short post. Jason Cruz answers it this way, “How long should a blog post be? As long as you think you have written enough.”

With Video Blogger Randolph Novino
a.k.a. pinoyscreencast 
On the other hand, Ben Francia suggests video blogs. “I would rather watch a short video than read a long article.” Video blogger Randolph Novino of Pinoy Screencast shared some tips on “Building your Identity as a Video Blogger.” He said, “Don’t be afraid to experiment now. Content is your equipment. Focus on connecting with people. Learn from your mistakes. Listen to your audience.”

With Janette "Digital Filipino" Toral
Ultimately, Janette Toral of Digital Filipino reminds bloggers to remember these three words: “Reach. Relevance. Resonance.” (“Bloggers as Digital Influencers”) We must ask ourselves these questions: “Who are we really targeting with our blogs?” “How could we stand out?” “How could we make them identify with us?” Our answers to those questions would set us and our blogs apart from the rest.

I’m looking forward that, as iBlog celebrates its first decade next year, the aspiring and the frustrated bloggers I heard in the open mike sessions would be telling a different story about themselves. By then, I’d like to hear them say that iBlog9 ignited the spark that has set their blogs on fire.

From the Facebook page of iBlog - The Philippine Blogging Summit

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