From Conventional to the New (The Jump from Traditional Media to Blogging)

Should Bloggers Be Compensated for Reviews? Why Don’t Others Accept Fees?
September 23, 2018
Blogging mistakes - blogger - blogging tips - mommy blogger - Bacolod blogger- Bacolod mommy blogger - Negrense bloggers
Blogging Mistakes That Newbies Make
September 27, 2018

From Conventional to the New (The Jump from Traditional Media to Blogging)

After 14 years writing for a local paper, I finally took the plunge and dove into the strange (to me) waters of social media and blogging.  Writing for a blog and writing for a newspaper are both the same.  Both involve writing.  Well, I discovered that there’s writing and, then, there’s writing as I straddle two different kinds of media.

My hamper overfloweth with Sunstar issues

The Beginning

Let me start by telling you how I started writing.  I discovered my talent for writing in grade school when I began contributing children’s poems to the school paper of St. Scholastica’s Academy The Dove.  It all seemed like child’s play to me.  Words just sprung into my mind and my awkward fingers wrote line after line seamlessly.

Then, writing took a back seat to other pursuits like…high school crushes.  Then,  college.  Then, work. Then, a prodding deep inside me that there should be something more worthwhile than what I was doing then.  I looked no further and saw how a life-changing direction was just literally at my fingertips.

Picking up my pen changed my life for sure.  It became a struggle trying to wrack my brains on what topic to write about each week.  It became a struggle groping around my grey matter for the right words to be succinct.  It was a challenge to switch from early-to-bed to staying up ‘til past midnight so that I could beat the deadline.  It was also not very encouraging that writing my column did not pay well at all and I had expenses to consider in order to come up with an article in the first place.

Nonetheless, I discovered my strengths in the process.  I developed self-discipline, and more awareness of my environment.  I became better with my people skills, and at the same time learned how to set limits after knowing that people will use me for free media coverage.

The Turning Point

Although I was steeped in the traditional media form called print, the changing face of information was undeniably catching up with me.  If I should last in this field, the way to go was blogging and social media.  I am fortunate to have met the expert bloggers of Bacolod.  It was a whole new world for me as  I observed what they do and how they do it.  I found it intimidating and exciting, and decided to join the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc.

With a little help from the NBSI president Ed Joven, I was able to set up my website  Finding a theme so that I can find my niche was not difficult.  As a columnist for a community paper, my focus was mainly on events, industries, businesses, sites and attractions of Negros Occidental.  This interest is also bolstered by my other job as a professional DOT-accredited tourist guide., in effect, became a continuation of my newspaper column Kaleidoscope.

It’s a fine day to start a new blog

After Ed had set up my website and posted some articles just to start me off in my new endeavor, I was on my own.

More Than Just a Laptop and a Camera

Blogging is just more than being armed with a laptop and a camera.  Here, let me enumerate what I do as a newspaper columnist vis-à-vis as a blogger.

Writing for a Newspaper

For an event:

  1. Accept invitation.
  2. Choose outfit, get dressed, put on makeup.
  3. Travel to event venue. Pay for taxicab.
  4. Make small talk. Be pleasant to host. Circulate and greet people I know.
  5. Take photographs. Smile a lot.
  6. Take down notes.
  7. Travel back home.

For a topic I choose to feature:

  1. Choose outfit, get dressed.
  2. Travel to destination. Pay for travel expenses including meals.
  3. Interview resource person(s).
  4. Take down notes.
  5. Take photographs.
  6. Travel back home.

Both of the above involve spending time travelling and being at the site and going back home.  More time is spent actually writing. Here’s what really goes on when I start writing.

  • Think of an appropriate title.
  • Make an outline of what to write.
  • Take a looong time to start first paragraph. This is the dreaded writer’s block.
  • Stay up past midnight to finish article – and this is after writing for two days.

After the above, the final steps would be to email my article and photos to the editorial staff and do this before or on my deadline.

Writing a Blog

Writing for a blog has the same initial steps as covering an event and doing an article on a topic I have chosen. But, wait!  There’s more!

As a blogger, I have become my own:

  1. Editor
  2. Lay-out artist, and
  3. Publisher

I pay for my domain. I upgrade my camera (currently a Samsung Duos J6). I spend more time because I am Editor, Lay-out Artist, and Publisher rolled into one. And how on earth would I know that it takes patience and technical savvy to post all those darn photos? And why didn’t anyone tell me there will be times when I would want to bang my head on the wall during power interruptions?

Getting ready to wrack my brains now

With all that out of my system, let me sum it up with this:  blogging seriously is NOT a hobby.  It is a job, and turns me into a professional blogger.  What I like about my job is that my work is out there on the web in perpetuity.  Unless *cough, cough* the Publisher decides to take it down.


1 Comment

  1. Chris J says:

    Hi, Betsy…yah, interesting article. Moving from a professional print journalist to self-publishing blogger, quite an adjustment. I’m hoping myself to become an accredited DOT tour guide here but at the local DOT office, I learned that there is no current budget or plan for another course to be offered. Maybe. Possibly. In the meantime, my wife encourages me to return to my blogging, using my foreign perspective as the selling point…or the easiest way to piss off people locally! I’ll be paying more attention to the Negrensrbloggers, I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *