I started blogging in 2007 with simple intention. I just want to establish a website where I can create a network and share my ideas. It all started when I stumbled upon a magazine website by K-zone (yes, I’m already 21 years old that time yet still fascinated by their geeky contents that are mostly catered for kids ranging from 9-12 years of age haha). The website was filled with many informative articles which inspired me to create my own. It was my cousin (who was actually 6 years younger than me) who helped me find a way to create a website for free and that’s where we discovered “blogspot“. I do not even know what blogging means and all I did is to follow the instructions on how to publish my article. The user-friendly interface of Blogger (and not to mention their huge collection of default templates) allows me to publish my articles with no ease and that’s when BlueDreamer’s Paradise was born.
My Very First Blog!
Bluedreamer’s Paradise is basically a blogsite that list down anything. The topics are ranging from anime, games, entertainment and more. I used to rank them from top 5 to top 1 (with one being the highest). Honestly, I started out by copying content from WikiPedia and other sources. I compiled all the information and put them all together to form what we used to refer now as “Listicle“. The Blog title eventually changed to Bluedreamer’s Top Five which I personally think is more appropriate for my theme. The early format is one post per rank so if I am going to make “Top Five Longest Running Anime Series” that means I need to publish 5 posts consecutively. This format eventually changed and I decided to simply put them all in one post to make my articles more organized.
I personally don’t know why and how I came up with such pseudonym. Maybe because I am such an emo and a loner guy and the name Bluedreamer is quite a good fit. I decided to stick with it and that’s where my new persona was born. For someone like me who suffers much from depression and anxiety, i found a new confidence through my online identity. It feels like I’m free to share everything I want without the feeling of being judged or misinterpreted. For me, my blog has become a platform to freely express my thoughts. It feels like I have accomplished something through my blog that I can never do in real life. You see, for the past ten years, blogging has become my passion. I may not be a great or an influential blogger but I love what I do. I appreciate my small circle of blogger friends and I am happy from what I am getting from my blog in return.
MyBlogLog and Friendster
Year 2007 is not yet a glorious year for giant social media networks like Facebook and Instagram and Blogging was not even a household name yet. I spent a year in blogging without any readers or comments but when I finally got my very first reader, I became eager to increase my readership so I looked for possible platforms where I can promote my blog for free. It’s funny that i do not even know how to input a hyperlink that time and I had to raise the embarrassing question at Yahoo Answers. Upon doing research, I discovered the world of MyBlogLog. Some of you might not be familiar with it but during that time MyBloglog was the hottest social networking tool online. It was acquired by Yahoo in 2007. Mybloglog has this “widget” thing that allows you to track people who visited your site. They also have platforms where you can promote your links and a community you can grow. This is where I met most of my long time blogger buddies. Some of them are no longer into blogging but we still keep in touch. Another interesting Social Media platform is Friendster. They got this Blog features which allows me to promote my links (yes, i finally master the hyperlinks that time).
Blogging Memes, Award Tags and Blog Hopping
Memes have different meaning before. It is not about those hilarious memes we used to see from 9gag. Blogging memes are like daily chores for bloggers but at the same time an effective way to grow your community and network. There’s the “Music Monday“, “Thumbs Up Tuesday“, “Wordless Wednesday“, “Thankful Thursday“, “Color Friday” and more. It’s like a blog syndicating task where bloggers or participants should visit each others blogs but in a “FUN” blog hopping way as they all follow certain themes without any decisive sponsored posts involve. It’s all for fun and nothing more! It’s not about link building, it’s not about mandatory follow for follow and it’s not about earning followers. It is about building community of blogger who share the same interest! you might came across that “Liebster Award” recently but before, there were bunch of blogging awards being distributed on the blogosphere. Bloggers will pay efforts and time responding to those tags and awards too. Blog hopping is also a common thing during my early years in blogging. Take note, bloggers are hopping from one blog to another without any help of any blog syndication group. This is why we have BLOGROLL on our side bar so every time we feel like we want to visit our friends blogs, we can just click their link on our side bar and be updated with their latest content.
Interesting Blog of the Month and Blog Idol
If you know my Top Five blog (i bet you don’t), you should know that I used to have that monthly portion which I aptly called “IBOTM or Interesting Blog of the Month” where I feature a blogger on a monthly basis. I will simply send them a set of questions and post it in my blog. You see, I am still being influenced by K-Zone here. I want to feature random things in my blog and turn into an online magazine or something. I also had this Blog Idol contest which is obviously patterned after American Idol but instead of singing, the participants will be asked to submit their preferred songs based on the given theme. I was lucky enough to get real sponsors and real prizes were given away. That was four successful Blog Idol years! I also like to note that most of my readers were Malaysians. The blogging community in Malaysia is truly overwhelming!
Page Ranks and Sponsored Posts Opportunity
It took me two years before applying for Adsense. I realized that Blogging can be an effective tool in earning money based on the testimonials by other bloggers. I am so clueless on how it works and I do not know where and how to start until someone approached me to submit my site to some online companies. She told me that my site already has decent traffic and also a Pagerank 3. I do not exactly know the figures she was talking about but I gave it a try anyway. During my early years in blogging, I was lucky enough that many online companies were offering a lot of great opportunities for bloggers to earn. Really, they do not require specific figures and as long as you can blog about them, you’re in! Payperpost, BuyBlogReviews, PayU2blog, SocialSpark and SponsoredReviews are few of the most prominent companies that time. Some sites require bidding, others are free to grab while some will assign you certain tasks or topics to post. It’s really a rewarding incentive for bloggers! Who would have thought that you can actually earn money just by posting some articles?
My Very First Domain and 20 Other Blogs!!!
My ideas are overflowing but I just can put them all in my blog specially that it only focus on a certain theme. As a result, I surprisingly came up with not just two but 20 other blogs and I do not even know how did I manage to update them all! There’s a “Song to Remember” that focuses on Music, Tv Marathon, World of Creeps, Just Buzzing and a whole lot more. Although I have to be honest that most blogs were made to meet the demands of Paid blogging companies. I was out of control and as long as I get paid regardless of the topics, I will not mind accepting them. I started to accept gambling, pharmaceutical products, dating sites and more without knowing how much it will affect my blog stats and also my credibility. Sometimes I have to make up stories just to make the keywords relevant without realizing that I’m starting to lose the real essence of blogging. It has become a business opportunity and it feels like my contents are becoming corrupt and unreliable. The demands for blogs with self-hosted domains are increasing so I decided to buy three sites domains including Feed Ur Mind (about foods), My Daily News Stand (for Current events) and Bluedreamer (Product reviews and health). Yes, this site is initially made to meet the demands of Paid blogging companies who are looking for certain niche. Most of my early posts were just “fillers”, some non-sense articles that I post in between each sponsored content just to make it look like this blog is not all about sponsored posts. I’m guilty but I soon realized all the consequences. When the paid blogging companies no longer active, i decided to revamp some of my blogs while others were intentionally left out. Bluedreamer soon became “It’s Me BlueDreamer” and has become a personal blog.
Stepping Out Of Comfort Zone and Finding My Niche!
I’ve been into blogging for ten years but I spent my early eight years as a non-existent blogger. I kept my circle small. I have many blogger friends but I never met them in person. My anxiety prevents me from attending blogger events, meet ups and other related gatherings until one day, i decided to step out of my comfort zone. I attended an event for the first time and met bloggers for real haha (di naman pala sila nangangain lols). It feels weird but exciting at the same time and I just realized that I should have done it long time ago! I decided to step out of my comfort zone not just in blogging but also in real life. I decided to engage myself with travels which I personally enjoyed. I never really thought that I will be able to conquer my fear of traveling alone but I made it. I found the joy of blogging my journey and my experiences until I realized that I’m starting to find my blogging niche after many years! I started to find myself more productive and fruitful. My motivation to blog has never been more overwhelming!
Expanding Readership and Bigger Circle
When I started to get random inquiries about my blog posts, I realized that I should strive for more readers by sticking to my niche. For me, one of the most rewarding parts of blogging is when you get responses from your readers and thanking you for helping them through the information you provide. Expanding readership however is quite a tough task as it requires consistency and effort. I also learned how social media can create a huge impact for your blog and expand your reach. Unfortunately for me, despite the decade of blogging, I did nothing much to expand my network. I’m more like a late bloomer (for the lack of the better term) but like they used to say, learning is a continuous process and there’s always a room for improvements. Blogging helped me in so many ways and it taught me things beyond expectations. From being someone who is not techie and who doesn’t even know how to insert a hyperlink to where I am right now, I know I have come a long way and there’s still a long long path to take. There are many things to discover and many things to learn. I may not be a successful or influential blogger but I am happy to where I am right now and I am so excited to see where my future blogging career will take me.
Focusing On my Content and How it Pays off
One thing I have learned from blogging is to make your content a top priority. Don’t get me wrong, I know nothing much about SEO but based on what I have read from many sites, providing quality content plays a huge role in adding value to your blog. I am not a great writer but I try my best to give what my readers want. I decided to put myself as a reader and ask myself what exactly a reader would like to know, what things will keep them entertained, what facts do they really need and what new information can catch their interest and attention. Like I said, I am not an expert and I don’t know what all the technical things a blogger can do to make his or her site more visible but for me, my priority is to keep my blog alive as long as I can. I was really overwhelmed when my site made it on the list of top 50 blogs from the Philippines (a list made by ASEAN Up). I actually thought that my site was included there by mistake. I checked the list repeatedly just to convinced myself that it is really my site haha. A recognition like this motivates me even more to keep on blogging. It inflames my passion to write and to improve myself as a blogger.
So Where Do I Fit in?
Blogging helped and changed me in so many ways. As I’ve said, I spent most of my blogging years with small circle of blogging friends. I used to hop from one blog to another until it became a routine. I never really thought of competing or trying myself to be relevant and I do not even know how to label myself as a blogger (if there’s such a thing). I blog with passion and I do everything by heart. It’s like my blog is already a part of me that can never be taken away. I’ve been into blogosphere for ten years, observing and absorbing everything I can possibly apply to make my blog more appealing and engaging for my readers. I do not know where exactly I fit in but I am happy to where I am and where my blog is heading and I am so thankful that my passion for blogging never fades.
I don’t know how long my blogging career will last or how will this simple page can immortalize my journey and experiences but as long as I can, i will continue doing it because this is what I want and this is the only thing that makes me feel better! Hopefully I can last for another decade or so.