Tuesday, May 4, 2021

My Journey as a Blogger for the last 16 years and Counting

Wow, who would have thought that I’d become a blogger or an online content maker / influencer this long? The past 16 years have been fun, tiring but fruitful if I may say and I certainly have no regrets in hopping or creating my path in this online thingy.

As I slowly squeeze myself in the online world in 2004, meeting friends from my country and even those from other nations through social media made me excited. Back in the days where I am still novice, I find it very amusing that I was able to interact with people through my computer in the comfort of my home.

One day, while I’m on Yahoo messenger talking to a friend, she happened to talk about her blog. Not sure what she was talking about so I asked her more details about it. It turns out that it was like a diary where we can write anything about our life or ideas and the only difference is that it is written or published online. Few more conversations about that topic, I found myself asking her to teach me how to set up my own.  She happily guided me and in no time my 1st ever blog – Simply Jen was born. 

It was in January 7, 2005 when my 1st blog post  was published in Bravenet (bravejournal). Too bad, I wasn’t able to take a screenshot of it because I can’t access it anymore. Not wanting to pay the premium account after few years of using their service, they deleted it and I have no choice but to let it go. 

Not long after, I decided to open a new blog: A Slice of Life in January 2, 2007 at Blogger (dot)com, a free hosted blog platform where I etched my online presence more. The interface was blogger friendly and blog entries are time (date) stamped unlike at my 1st blog. It made my blogging blissful as I was able to write more posts not just about my life but some interesting topics about what was happening in my country or world during those days. It is indeed refreshing to have found another venue to share my thoughts and partly it became my hobby at that time. 

Time passed by and while I was enjoying my days publishing entries from time to time at my blog, another friend of my mine introduced me to the world of paid blogging. Curiosity sparked and of course thrill surfaced upon me after hearing that. At first, I never believed it was true until she showed some payment proofs. Thoughts that it is too good to be true entered my mind but hey, I was wrong. I signed up to give it a try and I was dumbfounded that I can truly be compensated for publishing a blog post about a certain product or service. Without a doubt, a blogger can work hand-in-hand with companies to market their product or service.

As a blogger, year 2007 was a great time for me for I have created multiple posts and blogs. It’s like enjoying what I love to do and in the end I was also compensated through numerous paid blogging works. I assume it was also the time when a lot of companies wanted online presence. Not only they have created their websites but they also contacted bloggers simply because they wanted to reach more to their customers or would be clients as part of their marketing strategy.  This scenario is where marketing agencies and bloggers played an important part.   

Getting the opportunity to create an article to be published on my blog is not that simple since a lot of marketing agencies have some standards or criteria to qualify for a job. With that in mind, every blogger needs to be sure that their blogs are a perfect fit for the campaign. High or good page rank, alexa, domain authority, hosted or blogs with domain names are just some of the requirements to be able to get the job.

To keep up with the phase, I decided to create more blogs with different niche and this blog Scraps and Shots was also born.  I’ve created some on free hosted blog platform and those with hosting services as well. It was a lot of effort and I remember staying up late just to polish my blogs to make sure that they are presentable enough for agencies to consider them to be approved in their marketing campaigns. Bloggers often times spent a lot of time interacting with each other to improve our backlinks and ranking. Joining viral linking, tags, memes, Alexa hopping, blog contests and entrecards are just some of the ways that I did as a blogger to improve my blog’s standing. Whew, it was often tiring but that doesn’t stop me as I was determined to improve my ranking.

Signing up to a lot of sites kept me busy and made blogging a full time career aside from the fact that I was also a digital graphic designer during those days. Equipped with a desire to earn while still loving or doing what I love by writing posts or articles, I bravely immersed myself in the blogging world. Even though, my grammar missed a point or two and my thoughts about the topic sometimes swerve a little, I believe I was able to pull it off. I think that you don’t need to be an excellent writer as long as you can clearly relay the message to your readers. Brilliant writers with well made articles will definitely be prioritized by agencies to have more work and high compensation.  Aside from article writing, some companies can require side bar linking of their sites, social media sharing, infographic postings or even just a copy-paste of pre-written articles type of work on your blog.

There are great content writers and influencers that I was able to come across and it made me more inspired. That alone, helped me to keep writing and somewhat made me realize that in those 16 years (and counting) of blogging, I can say that I also did a good if not a great job.

These days, we have seen the rise of various social media formats like Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube and Snapchat just to name a few where anyone can just freely sign up and post to their heart’s content. Quite a lot of people have become instant celebrities and great influencers / content creators when their videos or posts become viral. Moreover, this sets online influencers as a great tool to promote products that’s why companies collab with them in exchange of products or monetary. More especially when you have heaps of followers, advertisers will surely contact you.

As a blogger, I always hope that my readers can learn from my posts or enjoy reading them. Recently, I also tried being a vlogger by creating my own Youtube channel: Tita Jen. It’s another medium to share my shopping finds, traveling adventures and more in video format this time. With only 10 months of vlogging, I am certainly still learning and trying to improve my skills in talking in front of a camera. A dream that one day, advertisers will directly contact me for collaboration just like those popular influencers excites me. If that day will come, it’ll be a dream come true.

Blogging is still popular, however, it is not like in those days when I first started. Maintaining several blogs or posting quite often maybe a little tasking but I’m certainly not letting go of my blogs anytime soon. As long as there are stories to tell, experiences to share and products/services to promote, I’ll be keeping my blogging fingers on my keyboard. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Flying With Your Dog

Putting a dog on an airplane can be a harrowing experience for you and your pup. It’s best to find another way to travel; however, if flying is your only option, take these ideas into account.

Flight Times

It’s important to make reservations for your dog and yourself at the same time. Most airlines have special pages on their websites to explain exactly what the rules are for flying with your dog. Read them carefully and leave enough time to visit a vet if necessary. Consider when the plane is scheduled to take off and arrive. If you’re flying across the country with your new certified German Shepherd puppies, for example, you will want to avoid flying in the heat of the day for the dogs’ comfort and safety.


Whether your fur baby is a teacup poodle or a Great Dane, it will need to be in an airline-approved crate or carrier. Small dogs can sometimes ride in their carrier under the seat in front of you. Larger dogs, obviously, will need to go in the cargo hold. Carefully label the carrier with all your contact information, the dog’s name and arrows pointing up. Write the words “live animal” in permanent marker on all sides.


Check the airline rules on vaccinations and leave yourself plenty of time to visit the vet. Make sure you get copies of all shot records. While at the vet, ask about whether a tranquilizer for your dog would be appropriate. Not all airlines allow it, but some vets recommend it because of the stress that goes along with flying.


Finally, check the animal quarantine rules for the state you are flying into. Hawaii’s extremely stringent quarantine policy, for example, makes getting your dog released to you directly at the airport possible but improbable. A year in advance of your travel date is not too early to investigate the restrictions at your destination.

Driving across country with a dog in the backseat can be challenging, but it may be preferable to putting your dog on a plane. Consider the hassle before proceeding.