Tag Archives: Book review

Blogging for a Living by Grace Tan Book & Workshop Review


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! 🙂

Blogging for a Living by award winning Singaporean blogger Grace Tan

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!

 Grace Tan Blogging Workshop Review 22nd Sept 2013

From left to right: Joanna, Nasri, Carol, Leesa, Grace, Myself and Steven.

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:

1) MPH

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

Jurong Store
Tel: +65 6430 0868

3) Times [website]

JCube: 66844150

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


Related articles

Book Recommendation: God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie Debartolo

Trivia before I commence the post: The title was one of the reasons why I picked up the book because I wanted to know what a love story about a God Shaped Hole will unravel.

God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie Debartolo is a mainly a love story about Beatrice “Trixie” Jordan and Jacob Grace, written in Beatrice’s  perspective. It seems like a typical romance story at first glance but upon further reading, one will discover it is anything but typical.

The love story starts fast and furious via an interesting encounter when Beatrice responds to an ad that says, “If your Intentions are Pure, I’m seeking a Friend for the End of the World”.

What starts out as a trial for both individuals blossoms quickly into a beautiful and realistically portrayed romance; entailing the quirky, creative couple’s (Beatrice’s a jewellery designer and Jacob’s a writer) idiosyncrasies and behavior at family and friends gatherings.

Readers will discover the irony upon reading that both main leads acknowledges a God shaped hole within them and all men but does not acknowledge the power of the One.

The story is written in a vivid and arresting manner, that perhaps comes with author Debartolo’s screen-writing experiences. I can imagine the story being translated into an indie film (one that I’d definitely watch and cry.)

The very poignant ending left me with tears in my eyes and is likely to leave one reflecting upon certain helpless moments in life when you know that something is about to happen but there is nothing you can do. I cannot specifically remember anything like that in my life but it impacted me and left me feeling pretty emotional.

I’d recommend this book for its realistically written characters that I’ve come to adore and for its ability to make you feel for them as they experience sadness and joy.

I borrowed the book from the Bedok Public Library Branch. You may check out or purchase the book here (Amazon).

Do comment if this recommendation makes you interested to read the book. Also I’m looking for good books to read, do recommend me if you have any! You may also drop suggestions for my future book reviews. 🙂

Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Hi guys! This is my first book review blog post, hope you’ll like it. I decided to write book reviews because it’s a good way to summarize the story as well as introduce to you books that I read. Do drop me book recommendations under comments! 🙂

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is a story written in the male protagonist, Toru’s perspective in post war Japan about how he deals with loss and love.

Norwegian Wood is definitely not just another predictable romance story. Written in the perspective of the male protaganist, it’s likely a book that boys can appreciate better than girls. I find the male perspective to be interesting, to see the world through a male’s eyes. Girls might appreciate the book as it provides a peek into the minds of boys.

The story is sensual and provocative. Many times I find myself reading through salacious scenes on the train, looking up to check that people are not reading what I’m reading. The sensual scenes are not written like those run-of-the-mill B-grade novels that is filled with tawdry descriptions but rather it is written with literary flair, in an innocent and beautiful light.

I like that the book touches on issues on death, sickness, mental illness as the main themes of the story. Issues that are very intimate, personal and real and rarely the core themes of a romance story. Perhaps that is why this book creates an impact all around the world from decades ago till today.

The story is very much anchored in post modern mentality where there is no judgement on the characters, no matter what actions they take. No matter the severity of the action, it is treated in a matter-of-fact manner, like just a phase of life. The story doesn’t delve into the reasons for Toru’s best friend, Kizuki’s death. In fact the reason is unknown. Perhaps it’s due to Kizuki’s girlfriend, Naoko’s illness but perhaps Naoko’s illness is perpetuated by Kizuki’s death. Neither does the story justify or makes judgement on Toru and his friend, Nagasawa’s philandering ways.

The story is believable in all points except for Naoko’s “retreat” somewhere far out in the countryside. Perhaps the physical retreat, an “asylum” of sorts for the people is meant to be a metaphor of mental escapism for burdened and worn out city-dwellers. Maybe it’s something that really exists in the Japanese culture but it definitely comes across as queer and fantastical, which does not fit well with the story.

Set in a post-war Japan, the entangled romance and friendships between characters are intertwined with patriotic or pseudo-patriotic protests in Toru’s college. The story conveys the very sense of loss, helplessness and acceptance of tragedies experienced by Japanese in the post-war era.

The book is not a favourite for me but it’s definitely a good book for anyone looking for something light to read. It would definitely appeal to anyone who has interest in the Japanese culture. 🙂