Category Archives: Blogging

Behind The Scenes and the Future of Our Food Blog

Since 2010, my brother and I have been maintaining our food blog Certified Foodies. We’ve had an amazing ride so far, even being recognized as one of the top food blogs in the country, which is really just the cherry on top.

2013 October cover v1

My brother and I have had this passion for food since we were kids. We both love cooking, him being the more skilled one. So we feel that we were meant to start our own food blog. We never intended to gain fame or even earn from our blog, but we did and continue to do so, which pushes us more to make our food blog better.

During the past 2 years, I’ve seen new food blogs launching here and there, and I was actually glad to see more people becoming more adventurous with food. We’ve received emails and inquiries from new food bloggers asking us for tips and help, and it seems that the most common question was how they can earn from blogging about food. And I think that’s the wrong way to approach blogging, especially when you’re writing about food. If it was for a different niche, I’d be perfectly okay, but I feel like for someone to start a successful food blog, one must have genuine passion for it.

Me at Seoul Garden - just showing you the grill at our table - CertifiedFoodies.com

A really, really, really old photo of me. 😀

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8 Must Have Android Social Media Apps

Social Media Apps for AndroidWorking as a social media manager full-time, I take it upon myself to make sure I’m updated on the latest news and information related to social media, the internet and the world so I can work on strategies and share them with my team. This may prove to be a daunting task with the vast amount of resources we have. Thankfully, there are various Android social media apps for my phone that help me consume contents more efficiently.

Aside from reading up on social media articles, I also make sure that I share articles I find really useful through my various social media accounts. Hopefully, this list will help you.

 

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn

Of course, you shouldn’t be without these apps developed by the various social media sites themselves. The features you use and love on the Web versions are most likely made available on their mobile apps as well since, well, mobile is the future.

Twitter and Facebook apps for Android

I use my Pinterest app for Android for pinning, liking or even organizing my Pinboards. I use Facebook and Twitter for posting images I find amusing that I’d like to share with my network. I use Instagram for almost exactly the same reason.

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Google Plus Shows Recommended Posts

I’m using various plugins on my WordPress blogs to display my recommended posts. I also have plugins specially for social sharing. Just a few minutes ago, after publishing a new review on my blog Pinay Reviewer, I was about to give it a +1 when I saw this new popup screen with Recommended Posts from Google Plus.

Google Plus now shows Recommended Posts on their button

This is the first time I saw this. From my research, the posts that’ll be listed on there will be ranked based on +1s, traffic or visits, and comments. However, I noticed that the posts that are showing up are the most recent ones and are almost in the same category as the currently displayed post.

I love that Google+ has added this because it can help increase traffic to other posts that the viewer might also be interested in. Once they hover their mouse on the G+ button, they’d see that recommended posts bar.

The only downside to this is the reader has to be logged in to Google+ for them to see this. I tried it in an incognito window of Google Chrome and I only saw this message:

Publicly recommend on Google  plus

And then it’ll prompt you to login. I wish it’ll still show the recommended posts even when the visitor is not logged in to Google because I know there are many people who usually just come and go without finding the need to login to their Google account.

I don’t remember seeing this Recommended Posts screen on Google Plus. Have you seen it?

Changes in WordPress 3.4 : Upgrade Now!

I just upgraded my blogs to the new version of WordPress, and I’ve already observed and tinkered with a few of the improvements and additional features of WordPress 3.4 Green‘. I highly recommend you upgrade now, BUT make sure you’ve made a backup of your blog and database first.

Wordpress 3.4 Green

Here are some of the new features of WordPress 3.4 and my feedback:

 

Live Inactive Theme Preview

If you’re planning on switching to a new theme, it’s now easier with WordPress 3.4. It now lets you preview and edit installed themes before you even activate them.

Live Preview of inactive themes

This way, you can design or make changes in the background without visitors seeing any of it. It’s like using plugins like Theme Test Drive.

Live Theme Preview on WordPress 3.4

You can change the main colors, header, background image and basic layout right on the Live Theme Preview page.

The header’s dimensions can also be adjusted depending on your theme. Plus, you can also choose from the default headers that your theme came with or images you already have in your media library.

Change header image on Live Theme Preview page

Every change you make will automatically be applied on the preview on the right. However, in my observation, there’s a slight delay with the changes being applied to the preview, so be patient.

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Reliable Server, Less Downtime, More Earnings

When I started my WordPress blogs in 2010, they were all hosted for free on a server of a fellow blogger. My blogs were all working smoothly ’til last April. The issues were too much to handle, mostly because we didn’t really have any contracts or agreements on SLA management and how technical support will be provided, unlike when you are on a paid hosting.  This is why I decided to move all my WordPress blogs to a new paid hosting.

It’s hard not knowing right away what exactly is the problem with my old server.  The only technical support I get is directly from the generous blogger who gave me the free hosting. Don’t get me wrong, he was VERY helpful and accommodating, and I’m so grateful for that. But, it already came to a point when I was too ashamed to always badger him for questions or my concerns about my blogs. I know he’s too busy with his countless blogs and sites that are earning way more than I do. So, even though I enjoyed the luxury of not worrying about annual fees, I just had to move to a paid hosting.

Though I am working full-time as a Social Media Manager / Marketer, my blogs have been a very good source of income too. The advertisements and the sponsorships that I get are helping me with finances at home (I pay all the bills and also shell out money for groceries, etc). Even if my earnings from blogging isn’t as remarkable as most popular bloggers I know, downtime or issues with my hosting still affect my earnings and I just had to know what’s wrong on my end. And since paid hosting means you get technical support from the hosting company, problems with my sites are resolved faster without that guilt feeling after.

Since most of my blogs already have a following, it does affect viewers’, especially the new ones, first impressions of me and my site. And you know what they say about first impressions.

This year, I’m planning on opening a new blog / website which I think would require me to move to a dedicated hosting or sign up for a company who offers effective cloud performance management. For now, I’m focusing on making the most out of my current blogs and monitor to see if I can handle the pressure of another blog / website that might get more traffic than the ones I currently manage.