I first found out about Grace Tan’s new book Blogging for a Living when my aunt shared with me her Facebook post about it, along with an exclusive offer for a free 2 hour blogging workshop for the first 20 that purchased the book from her.
After reading the Facebook post, I promptly paid (Ibank) her for the book and signed up for the course mainly because it is one of my dream to be a book author (along with many of my other life ambitions, heh!) and as a fellow Singaporean blogger, I wanted to support her and also read what she has to say about Blogging. The workshop was simply a bonus and I am really glad I signed up, turned up and met her in person (see her post hereb.). More about that later, I will review the book first followed by the workshop! 🙂
I will not divulge all the tips and tricks that Grace shares in the book, so that you will pay a small cost of ~$22 (slightly more with gst) at major book stores (see below for listings) and support our local author! 🙂
But I will share some parts from the book which I found to be very interesting for me, and hopefully also interest you to get the book. 🙂
Grace Tan’s Tips for blogging success (Summary):
1. Discover your passion. Blog about what you are passionate about so that it does not feel like ‘work’ and will be sustainable in the long run.
Ena: I can’t agree more with her, the reason why I am able to sustain this blog is because I love what I do here. Whether it’s a beauty product review, fashion apparel outfit of the day or restaurant/food places recommendation, I blog about them simply because I enjoy doing so and sharing about them on my blog to my friends and readers!
2. Do something different. Focus on your strengths and who you really are and convey that through your blog. Grace is famous for interviewing entrepreneurs, celebrities and millionaires for her blog. So find a way to make yourself and your blog memorable.
Ena: This is a point that I am still working on, I don’t think I have a very strong unique selling point (USP) that distinguishes me from other Singaporean lifestyle blogger. But I do think right now that my blog name – Ena Teo – is quite unique. I hope in time, people can begin to remember my name, face, blog name and for writing articulate, in-depth and honest reviews about fashion, beauty and more. 😉
3. Emulate your way to success. In short, what you want to know about blogging, you can figure out from studying other, more established blogs.
Ena: This is a point that I’ve applied many a times on my own blog. Whenever I am in doubt, I’d reference other blogs and essentially, my blog is a result of my version of the best features that I liked on a few of my favourite blogs. 🙂
Another excerpt from the book, from an interview she had with Silver Ang:
“Also don’t start a blog because you think it will earn you good money. It is a lot of hard work if you don’t enjoy blogging. You want good money? Go into the banking and financing industry. And don’t think that that’s going to be easy either.”
Ena: As a part-time blogger, I can assure you that blogging is not an easy feat. Don’t expect money to drop your way just by writing and posting photos on your blog, that is if you even do that consistently. Just like any other task in life, you reap what you sow. A blogger has to be consistent and diligent in creating good content in order to reap rewards, whether in kind such as products, services or even cash. At this moment, I don’t make a single cent off my blog and in fact I’ve put in some money into this blog, to pay for my own domain. But I’ve reaped rewards in sponsored products sent for reviews, invitation to events and most rewardingly, a community of WordPress bloggers and friends I’ve made through this blog. 🙂
One last excerpt from chapter 9 “Different ways to monetize your blog in Singapore”:
Write a book. If you have the expertise, you can also write a book and get it published, or sell it online as an e-book; it is a great way to earn passive income off your work!
Ena: As an aspiring book author, I have some ideas on what I’d like to write about, mainly about topics such as fashion and beauty which are of keen interest to me. But it’s been simply a “dream” I’ve yet to put any action to. So meeting Grace in person is an inspiration, to know that someone has done it before me and as Singapore entreprener Adam Khoo would say, “If I can do it, so can you!” Although in this case, it would be, “If Grace can do it, so can you!”. This is a principle I’ve always adopted in life – if I want to achieve something, I’d look to someone who has done it before, and be convinced that if someone has done it before me, surely I can as well! 🙂
Overall book review: 5/5
I’d give this book a 5/5 for it’s content, delivery and layout. For what it’s worth ($22), Grace has shared so many helpful tips in the book that even with many years of blogging, I still found more than 50% of the content to be new and inspiring. It definitely helped that she has interviewed 7 other Singaporean bloggers (Patrick Liew, Celestine Chew, Silver Ang, Alvin Lin, Renee Lorentzen, Daniel Ang & Melissa Koh) who generously shared their experiences about blogging. I love Grace’s writing in the sense that it reads pretty much like how she’d speak to you in person, like a friend. No boring corporate speech but very friendly and engaging. Lastly, the layout was very easy on the eye and there would be lightbulb graphics to emphasize on certain topics of issue of note. If I were a complete newbie to blogging, I might even add a star * to 5/5 because she even has screenshots to detail step by step how to create a blog. That’s a lot of effort for your convenience. Overall, this book is definitely value for money, although I think if there was a special discount for students, it would be even better. As $22 isn’t a lot for me as a working adult but it would be for a student. 😛
Do go by her blog to check out a Book Hunt giveaway with total $1000 worth of SK-II products. 7 winners will be chosen with at least $100 product each! >>http://workingwithgrace.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/book-hunt-for-s1000-sk-ii-products/ Contest ends 12 October, so gotta hurry! For list of places to buy her book, see below. 🙂
Now onto the 2 hour free workshop I attend along with 5 other bloggers!
Overall workshop review: 4/5
I’ve got to say, my favourite part of attending the session was definitely meeting Grace in person. She is simply one of the most down to earth and honest person I know. She simply speaks her mind, gives excellent advice based on her real life experiences.
To be more specific, her advice for getting more traffic to one’s blog is to make opportunities to appear in mainstream media, such as Television (although, who still watches that? :P), newspapers and radio stations. This will greatly increase a blogger’s credibility and awareness. Perhaps it’s not simply about appearing in the media, but to also own the bragging rights to have appeared on the media, as a badge on your blog and book. 😉
Another practical tip she gave on how to be a better blogger is to commit to blogging consistently at least once a week. This is something I have a lot of problems with because I have no obligation to blog, and thus it makes it difficult for me to make a commitment:P However I do see the potential that my blog has, to grow to be a platform known for good recommendations and in-depth reviews for readers and thus I am definitely inspired from the workshop to take my blogging more seriously! Grace is very driven to make a proper/full time income/living off her blog. She sees how every effort she makes towards her blog as a business strategy and opportunity for income and that, is something that is really not easy for many.
Lastly, I am most inspired about how clear she is about living, that she desires to do the things in life that makes her happy and not to waste any moment of it. If there was only one thing I could take away from the workshop, it would definitely be that I want to be able to make decisions that will guide me to a happy living – whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. The reason why I didn’t give the workshop a perfect score is because the session was a tad too long, would be great if it could have been 1.5 hours instead of 2. 🙂
Here’s my review of the workshop, also seen on Grace’s blog:
Jia En, Digital Marketer and Blogger: “I like that I learnt how to be consistent in blogging by making a commitment – like blogging every Sunday. Thank you Grace, I really appreciate your time and sharing”..
It’s actually longer than that, but I guess you have the full version above already! 🙂
Do check out and like Grace’s Facebook page.
You can purchase the Blogging for a Living book at these places here:
Raffles City: 6336 4232
PARCO Millenia: 6336 4232
Robinson Road: 6222 6423
2) Kinokuniya [website]
Singapore Main Store (Ngee Ann City)
Tel: +65 6737 5021
Liang Court Store
Tel: +65 6337 1300
Bugis Junction Store
Tel: +65 6339 1790
Tel: +65 6430 0868
3) Times [website]
Jelita: 6466 5702
Tampines 1: 6782 7017
Centrepoint: 6734 9022
Marina Square: 6334 4650
Paragon: 6836 6182
Plaza Singapura: 63368861
4) Popular Bookstores -> Full list of contact numbers HERE
- F1 Weekend: Full House at my Blogging Workshops! 😀 (workingwithgrace.wordpress.com)