Show Me the (Blogging) Money!

As Carly Rae Jepsen’s highly infectious Call Me Maybe ditty continues to play in my head, I think about where I’m at, and where I’m going with regards to blogging.  It’s been one and a half years since I started on this journey, and it’s time I contemplated on my blogging goals- if I had any.

Looking back, I was like a fish out of water, struggling to navigate my way through the blogosphere.  With the help of a blogger friend, I started taking baby steps towards creating my own blog.  She helped guide me through the process of buying a domain name and getting a webhosting service.

I thought blogging was only about writing something people would find interesting enough to read.  I couldn’t be more wrong.  I was slightly overwhelmed by all the things I had to learn.  I suddenly experienced a deluge of terms such as page rank, SEO, backlinks, etc.  There were so many aspects to blogging that were alien to a neophyte like me.

Now, I’m faced with the inevitable question:  what are my blogging goals?  How do they fit in with my interests and lifestyle in general?

Initially, I wanted an outlet for my thoughts and feelings.  I knew it was time to ditch my Hello Kitty journal and move on to the more high-tech world of blogging.

Looking to the future, I know that I could somehow make a living out of this blog.  The spirit of entrepreneurship runs in the family, and I believe this will be my contribution.

If I want to make a business out of this, I know I should work harder.  That would mean signing up for directory submission sites in order to put my blog out there.  This method proves to help websites gain higher rankings, and gain quality traffic.  I will also have to learn the ropes of SEO.

Who knows? I just might come up with an e-book or something.

Are You Having a Bad (Online) Face Day?

It takes nearly a lifetime to build your reputation online, but it takes only minutes for someone to destroy all of that.  Scary but true.  With the advent of social networking sites, blogs, and other online forums, it has become almost effortless to ruin someone else’s reputation.  With a few clicks of the mouse, you can make lives miserable.

This is where online reputation management comes in.  Sounds like something out of a boring Business 101 class, I know, but it is quite essential in the online world.  In a nutshell, it means controlling or monitoring search engine result pages, and tracking how a client is mentioned in social networking sites and the like.

It’s pretty amazing how sophisticated this is.  Both online and offline techniques work at promoting positive content while pushing down certain links which pertain to the negative.

How does this relate to us mom bloggers, then?  Well, for some of you who may have online businesses such as digiscrapping shops, your reputation is highly important.  How can you sell anything online if people read nasty things about you?  That story about a dark relationship you had way back in high school can prove to be detrimental to how people perceive you online.

Just for kicks, try googling your name or your blog title.  Hopefully there’s nobody out there trying to slander your name all over the place.

The (Humble) Beginnings of a Pepperrific Life

A few posts back, I wrote about February being the month of my blog’s anniversary.  Yes, it’s been a year since I started blogging.  I have finally found an online venue where I can showcase whatever writing prowess I think I possess.  Through this blog, I am also able to share with readers who stop by out of their own free will-no, I didn’t drug them- the tiny bits of insight on parenting I pick up here and there.

So, how did it all begin?  I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that I wanted to build a website.  It did take a lot of careful discernment on my part, some and prodding from my cousin.  I was looking for something worthwhile to do to occupy my free time, and she encouraged me to start my own blog.  She introduced me to a blogger friend, and she helped show me the ropes of putting up a blog.

Over lunch break at work, I pondered on various ideas for a blog title.  I’m not quite sure what led me to choosing The Pepperrific Life, but that’s what I ended up with.  I wasted no time registering that domain name.  After buying a domain name, I subscribed to a web hosting service, got the WordPress platform set up, and the rest is pepperrific history.

If you don’t have one already, go ahead and start your own blog.  It will help get your creative juices flowing, and will open doors to opportunities and friendships.

Blog Voyeurism

If blog-hopping were as calorie-burning as running around the racetrack, I’d probably be ten pounds lighter with a body that would make Scarlet Johansson green with envy.  Blog-hopping is an activity which I have come to enjoy, as I am taken to different parts of the world with just a click of the mouse.  I can go from Minnesota to Manila in as little as 30 minutes without having to say, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

Visiting other blogs allows me to gain insight into what goes on in people’s lives and how they view the world around them.   Simply put, I find delight in prying into the more personal side of people-with their consent.  “Guided gossip”, if you may.  Seriously, reading others’ blogs never fails to give me a fresh perspective on things.   On cloudy days, I learn to see the silver lining.  I almost feel God uses other bloggers to speak to me.

In this light, I’ve decided to join the BC Bloggers Secret link exchange founded by Paula of Mommy Diary.  Through this, I can connect with other bloggers and feed the blog voyeur in me.   If you happen to be a blog voyeur yourself, you might be interested in joining here.[ad#bc bloggers]

5 Ways to Cure Writer’s Block

photo by Google Images

At some point, I’m sure you have fallen victim to writer’s, or blogger’s block. It’s when you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to think of anything to write about. If you feel it’s not yet time to go so low as to blog about your next-door neighbor’s tighty whities hanging on the clothesline, then consider these pretty helpful ways to ease writer’s block

Read. No, not other people’s mail. Just read about what people are talking about. The net is replete with hot topics related to whatever your sphere of interest may be. Sign up for Google Alerts, and receive email updates on hot topics on any subject you desire.

Tweet away. If you find immeasurable ecstasy when you go on twitter, then this would be a good venue for you to find out hot topics worth writing about. People tweet about almost anything nowadays.

Look inside. Delve deep within your reachable levels of consciousness to dig up something worth divulging to the world. Be wary, as any information you give out on the internet can and may be used against you. You could pick up on any recent incident in your life, and work around that.

Have a say. Give your opinion on latest topics or world issues. Who knows, your two cents might come back to you a hundredfold.

Join memes. In the blogging world, memes are given themes or topics which you write about. This is likewise an excellent way to gain traffic for your blog, as other bloggers who joined a certain meme are obliged to visit your site to view your post for that particular meme.

If all else fails, just take consolation in the fact that writer’s block does happen to everyone, and it is not a permanent disease. You can always draw inspiration from the things you see and hear around you…yes, even if it’s your neighbor’s constant bickering.

Circle of Moms Top 25 Blogs on Single Parenting: I’m nominated!

I can’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling at this very moment. I’m elated, ecstatic, speechless, excited, nervous all in the same breath. Somewhere in the middle of all this blogging, I must be doing something good, as (drumroll, please!) this blog has been nominated to the Circle of Moms Top 25 Blogs on Single Parenting .

I need your help. Please vote by clicking on the above link. You’ll find The Pepperrific Life on the list, and please click on the “thumbs up” icon below “Votes”.

Thanks very much :)

Versatile Blogger Award

If you could see me now, I am grinning from ear to ear. My cup of gratitude is about to overflow, as I am so wholeheartedly thankful to Mama Mia of Online Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom for giving me this Versatile Blogger Award. A recognition such as this is truly flattering, and makes me want to jump 6 feet up in the air.

Here are the rules which come with the award:
1. Thank and link back to the blogger that awarded you the badge.
2. Share 7 things about you.
3. Award 5 or 15 other bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers to let them know about the award.

Here are 7 things you might want to know about me:

  1. I love tokwa / tofu.
  2. More than tofu and anything else, I love my daughter to bits.
  3. Eighties music makes me smile and dance- and when I dance, everyone else smiles.
  4. I play the guitar, and one day hope to be in a band.
  5. I believe that money can buy you happiness…well, to a certain degree
  6. I sometimes don’t think before I speak. This, of course, gets me into trouble.
  7. I speak softly…but I carry a BBBIIIIGGGG stick!

I want to pass on this award to the bloggers behind the following blogs:

Willa- SMART MOMMY
AC- HAPPY HOME WORKING
Jem- EXPERIENCE OF A SUPER MOMMY
Jen- JEN’S JOYFUL LIFE
Eds- WHIMS AND VIEWS
Carlota- DASHING SMILES
Gagay-I AM BUT… GAGAY.
Levy- LEVYousa
Kero- KERO’S CELEBRATION
Josie- MOMMA HELPS

Blogging for Fitness

Washboard abs, a toned tummy, firm thighs… these are the images which usually come to mind when we hear the word “fitness”. Fitness is not limited to the physical, though. There is also such a thing as mental and emotional fitness. Blogging helps keep me mentally and emotionally fit.

I started to blog only 3 weeks ago, and I must say, it has so far done me a great deal of good. It has become my soothing balm for the aches and pains of the daily grind…the icy lemonade which refreshes me after a long walk under the sun. It has been a welcome respite from a tedious day in the office. Blogging is my “un-sweaty” alternative to going on a treadmill at the gym. I get just the same kind of high without having to put up with that cheeky gym assistant.

Blogging has enhanced my emotional fitness in the sense that it has boosted my confidence in my ability to write. This renewed confidence has permeated into other aspects of my life as well. I feel I am better able to cope with the challenges of motherhood, and I am more headstrong in overcoming problems at work. Mentally, it gets my mind working, so I feel I’m a good 50 years away from getting rusty. It’s workout for my dendrites.

In the beginning, I felt like I was a fish out of water. I felt uncomfortable and intimidated by the enormous wealth of knowledge that had to be amassed in blogosphere. Terms such as meme tracking and link exchange were all Greek to me. Now, I live and breathe these words like they were particles of oxygen passing through my lungs.

My ultimate goal is to make a living out of blogging. I’d be living out everyone’s dream of earning money while doing what one is passionate about. In order to achieve this goal, of course, I’ll have to keep learning and honing my craft. I should not be content with what I already know, and what I can already do. Specifically for 2011, I hope to continue building my site, attracting (read: luring within the bounds of decency) readers in the process. Baby steps will get me there.

Now, if I could just keep this laptop steady on my belly as I do reverse ab crunches…

This is my entry to the Coolbuster.net ExtraBLOGanza contest

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