What? You Blog All Day? (and other raised-eyebrow comments I get)

What? You Blog All Day? (and other raised-eyebrow comments I get)

I just came from a blogging-entrepreneurship class earlier today, and realized a lot of things about myself as an online writer. I wrote this entry a couple of weeks ago, but I somehow couldn’t finish it. After today’s class, this post has finally been put into perspective, and I feel like I can now publish it. — Martine, July 13, 2012.

Has this happened to you: You know, when someone asks you what you do for a living, and you tell them “I’m a blogger,” or “I’m a work-at-home mom,” and they give you “the look.” This “look” looks something like this:

I’ve gotten that look many times: the widening of the eyes and raised brows that almost touch the edge of one’s scalp, beaming an expression that’s a cross between feigned politeness and slight disbelief. Many times, I’ve dreaded “the look,” mainly because I was tired of explaining to people what it is that I do “for a living.” During those times, I wasn’t ready to explain what I did all day, from home, on my laptop. Because making a living as a blogger — for many people — still warrants an explanation.

What is it exactly that do I do for a living, you ask? 

I am a freelance writer. As a writer, I often write about being a work at home mom, here on my blog. Because of the writing I do on this blog, I have also managed to:

  • write blog articles for other websites and blogs;
  • Tweet and I Facebook on my own social media accounts, as well as those of my clients, for a huge chunk of the day;
  • get hired by companies and small businesses to do variety of marketing copy;
  • edit and conceptualize digital and print publications,
… among other things. I’ve gotten freelance writing work because of my blog. Somehow, some people liked what they read on my blog and decided to ask me, “Well, now, why don’t you also write for my company?” And I have been doing so.


I’m Booked Through May!

Songbird Pocket

This May has been crazy busy so far — and the month just started. Whew. I’ve signed on to do new projects with new clients, and have a couple more meetings this month with potential partners both for the blog and for my writing business. So far, “mothers’ May” is looking bright for the blog, and on the work front.

The first half of this month has been busy, with the Mommy Matters and Mommy Mundo events lined up (Catch the #RealMoms again, by the way, this May 13, 2 PM, in TriNoMa, Quezon City!), and the second half of it will have me busy with client projects and the upcoming HAPI Homeschooling Conference, of which I am an active participant. (If you’re interested, please register at www.hapihomeschooler.com!)

I’m also fully booked on the blog for giveaways and contests for May and the beginning of June. I get a ton of requests each month requesting for giveaways! If you’re looking for opportunities to run contests here to promote your brand or business, I’m willing to work with you. Just drop me a line, and we can come up with something for the June-July stretch. You may also browse through my Media Kit to see if you want to work on any particular kind of campaign for your business.

If you’re looking into blog consultations, I’m also booked through May, but you can always reserve a slot by emailing me at the.dainty.mom[at]gmail[dot]com with your concerns.

I’m also fully booked for tutorials for start-up bloggers. Again, if you’d like to set up an appointment, I’m taking bookings for June.

Whew. This is why it rocks to work from home!


Photo: stirwise

Back from the Beach, and Back to Blogging

Back from the Beach, and Back to Blogging

Well, that was an awesome four days at the beach! My family and I are super-charged after a much needed vacation. My husband and I also celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary — woohoo! Yes, we went to Boracay, and it’s as beautiful as people has said it is. It was my first time to go, as it was my son’s. Catching the awesome sunsets each day; playing in the sand; taking cool dips in the water; enjoying fruit shakes while lounging on deck chairs overlooking expansive white sands; food-tripping; and spending time away from the city were just what the three of us needed. I’m happy to report we’re all nicely browned (thank you, SPF +50 protection), and have all gained a few pounds (thank you Two Seasons, Lemon iCafe, Gastoff Ribs, Fish Bar, and several other restos that I’ve lost count of).

Now, I’m looking forward to going back to work, back to blogging. Hope your summer days have been just as sweet!

My Online Writing Job

I’ve been freelance writing for about three months now. Well, I was doing it on and off for about a year, but only began accepting regular jobs this past summer. To date, I have two regular sources of income on the side, added to my regular job at a tutorial center.
Having a job on the side has definitely benefited me in more ways than financially. It hasn’t been without its faults, of course. There’s never a perfect job, I say, although some people have been awfully nice to me and have been very understanding of my situation as a working mom. I’ve been given flexible submission schedules and topics to write about that are not super out of my world or psyche. In fact, there have been a lot of assignments that were effortless to write. A handful were chores, admittedly. Still, writing for a living albeit part-time seems less like work for me and more of something useful to do.
I recently got published for writing about home-based writing jobs like my own via a publishing service that I use. Hopefully with more regularity, I can start writing less for others and more for myself, about what I truly love and am passionate about. For now, let me share a few writing hobs where you might find writing jobs of interest, particularly if you are looking to be a working mom.

Work At Home Moms. This is a hub particularly for moms, and features a huge directory listing of work-at-home options. From typing jobs, to data entry, virtual assistant jobs to graphic design, consultancy, and more, the WAHM database is specifically targeted at mommies, making these jobs particularly suited to those who have families and want to have a source of income on the side.

Online Writing Jobs. This is a common listing of job ad databases such as Craigslist, oDesk and others. It’s one of the largest job advertisement sites targeted towards freelance writers, and jobs are categorized according to the type of writing job required, such as content, copy, magazine and many others.

Suite 101. One of the largest article hubs for freelance writers, Suite101 is the Internet’s largest community of writers. Suite101 allows writers to write what they want, enabling them to earn from royalties of the original articles they have written. The great thing about Suite is that you don’t have to think or research so much; you can write about what interests you, and hopefully get published and recognized.

Well, I can’t write for long about this because, as you know, I have to get back to work. To writing. I’m all for working from home these days, thanks to the bub, so you can understand why I may be pressed for time writing this post.

I’ve got to go now. Baby needs feeding!

The Secret to Writing Well

According to a favorite teacher of mine, the secret to writing well consisted of two things: constancy and passion. The first is a given: To write well, you need practice. The second is more of an innate, driving force rather than a state of mind. With constancy, you strive to be grammatically correct, follow proper writing conventions; you stick to the proven techniques. With passion, you strive for excellence because you write with purpose, with drive.

In the day-to-day routine of writing content (which includes ghost writing, content writing, copy writing, among others), you can expect to tighten your bootstraps, suck it up and just go to work. Not that it’s easy to take a couple of keyword phrases and string them together into a coherent, well-researched piece. When you take a look a much of the web writing that’s out there, much of it is meaningless, redundant and dry. Still, there are those gems of content that are probably penned by well-meaning writers who value excellence over deadlines, quality over payments.

When it comes to blogging, sometimes passion can take a full-on turn for either the best or the worst. I find the best bloggers are those who write from the gut, that’s why I follow a few personal blogs of interest such as this, this and this. I love it when people write about what they love because there’s an extra factor in their musings. A writer with passion has the ability to take you into his or her world.

As for me, it’s become a personal goal (aspiration? mission?) to try and meld the two together. Especially now that I need to help out with the family budget, I try to make my mission as a mom and provider to fuel both the constancy and the passion to write. It’s why I decided to still work alongside being a mom. It’s why I decided to start writing again when before I put it to rest because it took too much time. Today, I will suck it up, go to work and take whatever enjoyment I can squeeze out of the things I need to do. I just need to stick a picture of my baby son right here on the left-hand side of my monitor…that’s enough motivation to keep on keeping on.