I started blogging back in 2005 or 2006—way back when LiveJournal was still a thing. At that time, I often wrote about my day—similar to how I would write entries in my diary when I was little. Eventually, I moved to another platform called Blogger. And then in 2009, I started a blog on Tumblr called Greta’s Junkyard. Greta was a nickname my cousin used to tease me (even though my real name is Gretchen). Junkyard seemed like the perfect word since the platform would literally be a dump of my favorite things. There were a lot of emo posts, poetry, and entries related to my fandoms then. If you’re looking for ways on how to start blogging, I’d love to share my career journey with you!
The Birth of Greta’s Junkyard
Just a quick background on my education—I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Creative Writing. My track was fiction and I really wanted to write short stories and novels. But I knew that this wasn’t sustainable for a fresh grad, and I had bills to pay. I had to be realistic and find a job that could give me fixed income. While waiting to graduate, I interned at Summit Media and WhenInManila to build a writing portfolio. And right after graduating in 2012, I applied to become a copywriter and marketing assistant at a startup digital marketing agency. I was promoted to brand communications manager four months later.
At that time, I felt so lost and was just going with the flow of things. After a year with the company, I resigned and moved to a bigger digital marketing agency to work as an account manager. It was there that I learned more about website development, social media marketing, search engine marketing and optimization, email marketing, and even influencer marketing. Because I wasn’t doing what I loved anymore, which was writing, my then-boyfriend-now-husband helped me build a more legit platform where I could still write about my favorite things.
Using WordPress as the backend, my own publication was born! I kept the name Greta’s Junkyard as an ode to my now inactive Tumblr account.
How to Start Blogging on the Side
To be honest, I didn’t have that much traffic during my first few months of blogging. But I told myself that it didn’t matter. The traffic would come eventually as long as I was writing quality articles that were optimized for search engines. As I slowly grew my blog on the side, so did my career. After more than a year as an account manager, I accepted a role at a beauty company to become the marketing manager of four brands. This opportunity allowed me to grow my network and I ended up writing more beauty and lifestyle-related articles more than any other topic.
Soon, I started getting offered sponsored posts. I even earned enough to send myself to Ateneo Graduate School of Business to finish a diploma program in marketing, and also the Fashion Institute of the Philippines to complete a certificate course in makeup artistry!
All this happened while I was still working a full-time job. It wasn’t easy and I found myself exhausted most days. But the experience was definitely worth it.
Fulfilling Dream Jobs and Bucket Lists
Thanks to all the opportunities that my blog has given me, I was able to grow and experience so many new things. I was able to ride a helicopter for the first time. I flew to Singapore for an all-expense-paid trip with my siblings to write about several attractions. In the same year, I rode a seaplane for the first time! My husband and I were even treated to an overnight stay in a luxurious resort. Blogging allowed me to receive multiple brand endorsements as well.
Three years later, I got an international opportunity! A Singapore-based company hired me to become a managing editor and help launch an online beauty publication for their client, which happened to be a global beauty and personal care brand.
Nowadays, I’m more focused on my own publication and small businesses. Apart from writing for my blog, I co-founded and help run Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti. Thanks to my blog’s earnings, I was able to launch my own online shop, too.
Tips on How to Start Blogging
If you want to start blogging, below are some tips that might be helpful.
Write About Topics You Love
When I started, my blog was a hodgepodge of different topics because I couldn’t find my niche just yet. I found it easy to write about things I liked such as food and travel. But then I entered the beauty industry, became obsessed with skincare, and learned how to do makeup! And so I became so passionate about those things. When you’re passionate about something, your readers will surely feel it in your articles.
Learn Search Engine Optimization
With so many blogs and publications out there, it can be hard to compete for an audience. But if you learn how to optimize your articles for search engines, people who are searching for topics that you write about can instantly find you! There are a lot of free online courses and resources that can teach you more about SEO. You just need to research! I offer consultation services on SEO as well.
Find Inspiration from Others
…but don’t compare yourself! Just use their story as a guide to help you launch your own platform. You can check out Amanda LaCount’s story on Intellifluence. And I hope that my career journey has inspired you, too!
If you have any other questions on how to start blogging, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section! I’ll be sure to answer them right away. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to stay updated with all things beauty, home, pets, and lifestyle. Until my next article!