Whoa! I was never aware that my blogging journey has been for 14 long years already. I would simply describe this overwhelming length in my writings as ‘for years’ or ‘more or less a decade.’
While most bloggers, especially the professional bloggers, out there say that it is not for everyone, hence the sudden death of many blogs after just a few months or years, blogging requires but a genuine passion that as Merriam-Webster defines, ‘a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.’
Benefits of Blogging
Blogging indeed has become my passion, and:
- a personally managed and controlled digital address and space amidst the content ownership crisis over the web
- an outlet for me to share my knowledge, experiential learning, and insights
- a refuge that provides me comfort, intimacy, and self-identity redemption after a long and tiring day or week of being a wage slave
- a product of hard work, commitment, and self-learning, and still a project in the making
- a virtual portfolio that demonstrates my creative self and the improvement of my writing, language, and technical skills over time
- a platform for me to connect with my readers and the rest of the digital world (as I don’t normally share my stories on Facebook)
- a source of extra income as I monetize my content through Google AdSense, affiliate links, and other sponsorships
- a portal to the ever expanding opportunities that the web and digital technologies offer
- and, an already rewarding and yet, still promising fallback career
Beginnings and Big Milestones
2008 — Birth of the Blogging Interest. As early as this year when I migrated to the city for college education and was introduced to the web in one of my technical subjects, I got an instant interest to have my own digital space.
I tried several free blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress (not to be confused with WordPress.org), but I wasn’t happy about all the restrictions, and all these attempts did not materialize. I can no longer remember the titles of the first blogs I had.
Being a working student back then, I did not have the resources to start a self-hosted blog. I never even had a laptop nor a decent smartphone, but I always wanted to have a website or a blog. I rather focused on my studies.
2012 — Dark Years of Blogging and the Go-with-the-Flow Teaching Career. After graduating with honors, I started my teaching career in my alma mater, focused on it, and set my digital interests aside.
As I simply describe it, it was the longest period when the blogging interest was simply locked away in darkness.
I also passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in the same year. I found an instant passive fulfillment in my teaching career, but I was never happy with the limited growth opportunities, the poor work conditions, and the small salary. I started to feel being a wage slave.
Two years after, in 2014, I quit my first job and got immediately hired in another school. I must say I had the search for a greener pasture.
2017 — iMillennial: First Self-Hosted Blog. Three years after the transfer and benefitting from the more favorable conditions in the new school, I created my first self-hosted blog — www.i-Millennial.com.
The nonhyphenated version of the domain was no longer available that time, but I still pushed through with the purchase and the project amidst the known cons of having the hyphen.
I was super excited that I had already my goal materializing, started serious blogging, and got instantly approved for Google AdSense monetization. In November, I got my first payout amounting to 102.04USD. I was finally earning!
It all went through as planned. I also jumpstarted my local stock investment and the search for wider knowledge about personal finance which brought me more motivation and content to write. iMillennial became an instant personal finance blog.
In a year, I gained a good web presence with many articles appearing on the first pages on Google search and hitting around 80,000 to 100,000 pageviews per month.
I started earning from ad placements which covered all my blogging expenses, from web host fees to premium website themes. I also started receiving paid guest and sponsored posts through email.
2018 — AcadShare: Second Self-Hosted Blog, plus a Book Publication. After an upgrade to my webhost account with SiteGround, I created another website, www.AcadShare.com, that since then has served as a repository of academic and classroom materials I designed myself.
It’s also monetized with Google AdSense, but it hasn’t brought much earnings unlike the other. Good thing about it, I can easily retrieve classroom resources which I can use for the courses repeatedly taught for the past years.
In the same year, my colleagues and I published a book — Pusuan Mo: An Anthology of Literary Works for Millennials — where I was able to share some of my prized blogs. It was a flop though, and being a major financier, I suffered a big financial loss.
I went busy with other personal and school stuff thereafter, and I struggled producing content on a daily or weekly basis, but sponsored articles compensated for what I missed. The blog remained active, and hence survived the years.
Google AdSense earnings curve flattened but never totally dropped. Monthly payment thresholds of 100USD were still regularly hit. Anyway, I already got two websites monetized.
2020 — signedMARCO Site Migration and Rebranding. I ditched the old domain. I migrated the site to this current address —www.signedMARCO.com — and had almost sleepless nights for a week addressing all technical issues caused by the migration. I also tweaked the structure and designs of the blog from its original and premium MH Magazine theme.
Pandemic hit, and the work-from-home arrangement allowed me more time to blog, but there was little improvement in terms of web traffic.
The number of less relevant sponsored articles, mostly about cryptocurrency and explicit product marketing, against quality self-produced content, had a negative impact on user experience. I knew it.
2023 — signedMARCO Site Makeover and Moving Forward. In a previous article, I shared how I planned to make a transition from my day job to a full freelance career due to some personal reasons, including the loss of job motivation and burnout.
I included serious blogging among the big plans, and here are a few specific targets for this:
- Write and publish at least two quality articles per week on this blog.
- Maximize Google AdSense ads placement revenues.
- Improve website user experience and domain authority score.
- Accept all media conference invitations and work with both big and small brands.
- Get selective in accepting sponsored articles and link insertion requests for quality control.
In fact, I already started working at the backend. I had another design tweaks and site makeover which included the improved yet still minimalist logo.
At the same time, I began to address some identified user experience-related issues such as the cumulative layout shifts (CLS) and page loading speed.
I also had the initial steps to quality control. For the first time, I declined the regularly received sponsored articles about cryptocurrencies as I am in a serious consideration whether these articles really provide value to my regular blog visitors or not.
I plan to rather reinvest in self-produced quality and relevant content.
It has been a long blogging journey already, but a longer way ahead. Who says blogging is already dead amidst the rise of the vlogs and TikTok videos?
Blogging remains relevant. People still read blogs, and so I see myself blogging for another 14 years and even more. Laban!