Make Your Blog An Award-Winning Blog: 1st Dec 2013

Singapore Blog Awards Trophy

It is one thing to win a blog award. It is quite another to help someone else get good enough to win a blog award.

This is the challenge I have thrown myself. :D

Today, 5 bloggers attended this workshop which have set them on the path to winning their first blog award. I’ll be with them the entire way and I’m sure that in 2014, I’ll be able to celebrate their wins with them. :)

What They Learnt Today:

1) What Is The SBA & Why Do People Bother?

2) Which Categories To Concentrate Your Efforts On?

3) Why Some Blogs Win Awards While Others Don’t

4) What To Do Between NOW And SBA 2014

What They Said After The Workshop:

“This workshop teaches me how to prepare for SBA 2014!”

“Good to know why and how those bloggers won this year!”

“Insightful tips!”

“Really awesome… and really worth the fees”

“Insider knowledge of what it takes to win!”

Singapore Blog Awards 2013 Winners

To find out more about upcoming workshops or to engage me for personal coaching, drop me an email at gracewwg [at] gmail [dot] com. :)

Blogging Workshop – Learn How To Own An Award-Winning Blog

How to own an award-winning blog? The easy, no-brainer way would be to buy one (some blogs are for sale). The other route – the one I took – is to make your blog awesome enough to win awards. :)

[Earlier Blogpost: What It Takes to Win A Blog Award]

I did an interview with OMY.SG / MyPaper and my interviewer wanted to find out what I thought were the reasons why some people win awards while others don’t.

My short and simple answer: Bloggers who did not win, did not want to win the award enough. If you want something badly enough, you will get it.

I read blogs… a lot of them.

And some of the finalists this year, who took part but didn’t win, had the audacity to blog about their excuses for not winning:

1) The voting process is too long, too tiring!

2) Other bloggers have more fans!

3) I submitted my blog for too many categories, became a finalist in many of those categories, but I’m too busy to do the required blogposts! [This one REALLY makes me angry! For depriving other hardworking bloggers of the chance to compete!]

Just have a look around the blogosphere and you will find more blogposts with very lame excuses for why these blog owners did not win at the Singapore Blog Awards 2013.

My response to them (if they end up reading this post)…

1) There is NOTHING you can do about the voting process. What you CAN change is HOW you perceive it. Think of yourself as a marathon runner; you have to outrun and outlast all the other runners. Are you going to give up halfway AFTER beating so many other nominees to get into the race? Give your best, or don’t submit your blog next year! Or the year after too!

2) Bloggers weren’t BORN POPULAR! They GREW their fanbase by creating a buzzing community, by doing giveaways (like I do), by engaging their readers and fans on a daily basis, by learning from other more successful bloggers, among other things. If your fanbase is small, grow it! Don’t sit around at home and whine that “Oh… so-and-so has more fans than me. I am sure to lose”. Get up and put up a good fight. So what if someone has 4,000 fans and you only have 400? You think all 4,000 will vote? And besides, SEVENTY PERCENT is from blogposts – YOU determine the outcome. The votes are just icing on the cake!

3) Bloggers who submit their blogs in multiple categories then run out of steam and get so overwhelmed are really ridiculous! After you become a finalist, there’s a blogging component. I’m a finalist in only one category, so I can put laser-sharp focus onto my one blogpost. YOU, on the other hand, have FOUR blogposts to handle. No wonder you are giving up! I don’t even want to comment on the quality of your blogposts.

I took a risk this year… I nominated myself in 2 categories, became a finalist in 1 of them, and won. Last year, which was my first year of competing, I nominated myself in 4 categories (2 of which were not even very relevant), became a finalist in 1, and did not win.

What do you learn from this?

If you’d like to hear more from me about my strategies for winning this year’s blog awards, what I do to grow my fanbase, and how I decide what to blog about, come for any of my 2 upcoming Blogging Workshops:

1) 20th July (Saturday), 3pm to 5pm

2) 18th August (Sunday), 10am to 12 noon

Venue: A location in town, to be announced later

Bring: Laptop/netbook/tablet (optional) or good ol’ pen and paper

Group size: Maximum 5 people per session

Notes provided? Yes

What else? FREE LIFETIME Email Coaching 

How Much? S$250

How To Sign Up: Email gracewwg@gmail.com with subject title “Blogging Workshop”, with your name, handphone number and preferred date (2o July or 18 Aug) and I will send you payment details. 

-

From the desk of Grace Tan,

Owner of this award-winning blog, WorkingWithGrace.wordpress.com :)

*BTW, I’m in Korea on a sponsored trip till 18th July so I’ll take a while to reply to your emails. Be patient. :)

Blogging Workshop: What It Takes To Win A Blog Award

Last year, I made my first attempt at winning a blog award by entering my blog into the Singapore Blog Awards 2012. I got into the Top 10 for my category (Best Individual Blog) but did not win the trophy. :(

I wondered what it took to win the award. Why did that person win and in what way was his blog “superior” to mine?

This year – and my second attempt – I went home with the trophy. :) (Psst… The 2012 winner was again one of my “competitors”)

And I believe I now have some answers. ;)

So if you are thinking of starting a blog, or you already have a blog and would like to get those same answers, join me for my next Blogging Workshop.

Two dates to choose from: 20 July (Saturday) / 18 August (Sunday) [Pick one]

Time: 20 July 3pm to 5pm, 18 August 10am to 12noon

Venue: A location in town, to be announced later

Bring: Laptop/netbook/tablet (optional) or good ol’ pen and paper

Group size: Maximum 5 people per session

Notes provided? Yes

What else? FREE… LIFETIME Email Coaching 

 

What’s going to be covered:

1) Blog Content – What Is GOOD Blog Content?

2) Blog Monetization – How To Make Money From ANY Blog [In an Ethical, Moral and Legal manner, of course]

3) Blog Awards – Why Some People Win Awards While Others Don’t [The Brutal, Honest Truth]

 

How Much? S$250

No gimmicks, No up-sell, No subsequent course. You walk away with everything you require.

How To Sign Up: Email gracewwg@gmail.com with subject title “Blogging Workshop”, with your name, handphone number and preferred date (2o July or 18 Aug) and I will send you payment details. 

Hurry! – ONLY 5 seats per session and ONLY two sessions. It’s a fact that only a handful of bloggers will walk home each year with the trophies and awesome prizes. The rest go home empty-handed. Which group do you want to be in?

THANK YOU!

It’s pretty amazing how, before winning the award, I’d visualized the trophy sitting on a corner of my desk and how it now IS sitting prettily on that same corner of my desk. :)

I’d like to share with you what happened during those special moments after my name was announced on stage, and what’s going to happen next now that I’ve won the award…

I’ve already confessed right here on this blog that my nervousness was off-the-charts the week leading up to the awards ceremony. I love surprises but the anticipation really was killing me. I think I did alright after the emcee announced that I had won the award. Did not trip while getting onstage to collect the trophy (hur hur), smiled my best at the photographer, and got off stage…

Only to have tears well up in my eyes.

There would be a video interview right after each award recipient got off stage so on one hand, I wanted to cry a bucket’s worth of joyful tears but on the other hand, I had to hold myself together. I was staring at the ceiling the whole time, hoping gravity would help keep the tears from spilling out of my eyes. Janet from Omy gave me a tissue and helpfully suggested that I go freshen up in the washroom. :D

And the interview went well, I think. Though I have no idea when and where the video would be uploaded. :D

So, besides winning the uber-cool trophy, I have also gotten:

1) A $300 Exabytes voucher + 1 free Domain + a $200 Pebble Watch

2) A pair of Glossi sunglasses worth $280

3) A JBL On Tour Micro Speaker AND

4) A 9-day SPONSORED TRIP to Northern Territory, Australia in August!!!

I’m certainly looking forward to the trip with all the other Singapore Blog Awards 2013 winners! :)

And yes, I’ll definitely be back for more come Singapore Blog Awards 2014.

I’d already declared on Facebook that if I lost the award this year to any of the 3 cartoonist finalists (out of a total of 10 finalists) in my category, I’d start drawing cartoons come 2014. Thankfully, I can now spare everyone the horror of viewing my “artwork”. Hehe!

And coming up next:

1) My Book Launch – Just some final touches and my book should be ready for print. Exciting! It’s titled ‘Blogging for a Living’ and I think it’d be very useful for bloggers, people who work with bloggers, and anyone else who’s curious about whether bloggers actually make money and how they monetize their blogs.

2) Blogging Workshops! – I’ve actually taken a long hiatus from these as I have other projects I’m working on. But after winning the blog award, I have renewed confidence that what I have to share is going to be very helpful to those who attend my workshops. I’ll release the dates tomorrow so do watch out for the blogpost. :)

3) More interviews – This is what is unique about my blog so I WILL make it happen. I’ll be on the lookout for more interesting and inspiring people to feature here so stay tuned!

And finally, a big THANK YOU to…

1) My Creator. I don’t usually speak about my faith but trust me when I tell you I prayed really hard that I’d win the award! :D I have a little card I keep in my wallet that reads “Where the will of God leads you, the grace of God will keep you”. Amen.

2) My family, especially my dad – his interview helped me win the blog award :)

3) My fiance, who’s been by my side through my ups and downs, and topsy-turvy crazy blogger’s life.

4) My readers, fans, friends and all who cast their votes for me, a big big THANK YOU!

5) The hardworking Omy.sg team – Alvin, Janet, Ruilong, and everyone else.

6) All my interviewees. You guys make this blog special. I like eating the same food all the time so if I’d become a food blogger, this blog would receive a ‘flame’ award, not a blog award. I think it’s better off being an interview blog, with the occasional lifestyle post. ;)

Steve Jobs told us to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” while one Facebook fan told me to “stay humble” and I replied with a “Why not stay awesome?”. So, here’s what I’d like to share with you…

Stay Humble, Stay Awesome! :D

Lady First Singapore 女人我最大 by Starhub – Episode 2

[If you have missed Episode 1, here it is]

In episode 1, the Lady First Singapore team shared about the makeup and hair woes of Singaporean ladies living on this oh-so-hot-and-humid island. In the same vein, episode 2 is about the problems we face when dressing up – what’s cool enough for this climate but warm enough so we don’t shiver after stepping into air-conditioned rooms?

Also, this episode tackles some of those body shape issues faced by local women – do you find that you are too short, too plump, too skinny, pear-shaped, look fat in photographs, etc? Then you’ll love episode 2. :)

With Pauline this time is Clarence and Kevin (who takes on a ‘stylist’ role). I’m very impressed by Kevin actually!

Here are some of the ladies after their fashion makeovers:

Lady First Singapore Episode 2

The guest in the middle (可欣) is rather short and from the back, it seems as though she has a long bottom (measured from waistline to end of butt). I think Kevin commented that it’s due to lack of exercise. ;) In any case, he put her in high-waist pants as you can see from the picture and they made her legs look SO LONG! Also, she put on really high heels in the same color as her pants so it looks like an extension of the outfit, creating a visually lengthening effect.

Kelly (second from right) came in a baggy outfit resembling pyjamas so they put a belt on her to pull in that waist and also gave her more fashionable shoes. Kevin mentioned that guys don’t like ladies in leggings, though he failed to explain why. Maybe men want to see more skin? :D But it seems wedges are considered less intimidating than stiletto heels:

Lady First Singapore Episode 2 Kelly's outfit makeover

Kevin advised Kelly not to dress like guys or men would only view her as one of their “bros” and not as someone they could possibly date. He later gave her an outfit makeover and had her wear a white flowing dress with pink accessories. Also, he mentioned that in fashion are shoes with a sporty, athletic look. Statement necklaces also help to jazz up any outfit.

Another guest, Celyn, laments her pear-shaped figure but Kevin dressed her up like a Japanese girl and she looked great – less stout, plus the skirt helped hide her fleshy bum. Apparently, light blue denim jackets are very popular this year too. Kevin advised against big tote bags for bigger ladies, and he chose a smaller neon pink bag for Celyn.

As for another guest, Angel, whose face tends to look ‘fat’ in photographs, the consensus was that she had done too much ‘shading’ on her face, which made her face look “dirty”. What she was taught was that a pearlescent blush/makeup can give her a ‘dewy’ look. Also, her face and eyes are round, so she should make her eyes look wider with eyeliner (which shouldn’t extend beyond the length of her eyebrows!)

The ‘highlight of the show was very likely the makeover for the fifth guest, Christina. She is obese and Kevin showed her how to flaunt her curves appropriately:

Lady First Singapore Episode 2 Christina's makeover

“Where are you looking, Kevin?” :D

Kevin explained that while polka dots are tricky for obese folks, the trick is in choosing outfits with dots that are spaced far apart, on a black base, and the dots should be off-white instead of pure white. He had Christina put on shape wear which, coupled with the ‘ribbon dress’s deep V neckline’, resulted in a well-fitted look. The dress also hid her big thighs and her pastel purple suede shoes gave her a more proportional look overall – apparently because shoes in brighter colors help “expand” the area around her feet, thus “balancing out” her ‘bigger’ body. Kevin also gave her a rich, plum lip color to help make her face look smaller. How? A nude lip color would make it seem as though the lower portion of her face is just one huge mass of flesh. The outstanding plum color helps ‘break’ this “continuity” and makes the face look a little smaller. Now we know. :D

I think this episode is largely a success – us Singaporean ladies now know how to look good despite our flaws. However, I do still think that the outfits do not really suit our climate. I do love dressing up but it’s SO HOT here that I just want to put on a tee and shorts, not a whole denim jacket + dress + hat ensemble! (@_@)

In any case, I’m looking forward to Episode 3! :) I’ll also be blogging about Kevin’s recommended makeup and beauty products in a bit so come back again soon. Leave me a comment (even if you just want to say ‘THANKS!’) so I know people are reading this and appreciating it, then I’ll post about the upcoming episodes too. :) Have a question? Leave a comment! :)

The ONLY time I will ask for your help this year:

I’ve been nominated for Best Individual Blog this year at the Singapore Blog Awards 2013.

Could you help vote for me?

Just one minute, and two steps:

1) Register here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2013/register/

2) Log in, and vote here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2013/category/?cat=individual

(I’m the one with the Hello Kitty) *meow*

THANKS! :D