September 6, 2017

How to engage your audience online: 7 Things I learned from The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017

Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017
The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017 was an event brought by National Book Store. It was held at Raffles Makati last August 25-27, 2017. Free Admission.

You know what's one beautiful thing that came out of MY being out of school?

It's finally being able to attend events that otherwise I would be too busy for.  Of course this is only possible because my parents are still supporting me financially - added reason to be grateful.

The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017 was held last August 25-27. Sadly, I had work on the 26th and the 27th so I was only able to attend the first day. Nevertheless, I learned a lot and came out inspired to read and write and blog!

Of course I wouldn't want to be selfish and keep what I've learned for myself. Just as I've received, so will I share what I've learned from ABS CBN Publishing's How to Engage You Audience Online featuring prominent Filipino online personalities - Lloyd Cadena, Kara Karinyosa, and Alex Calleja.

7 things I learned from the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival

1. Great things take time to grow

Online public figures do not become online sensations overnight. For example, Lloyd Cadena started vlogging in Youtube way back in 2008 and look where he is now? From 2008 to 2017, that's 9 years of creating content and every step of that is important to get him in his current position.

You may have a post that can go viral today, but one post is not enough for you to sustain that virulence (virality?). For you to maintain your online presence, you have to have a strong foundation of good content or else your 15 minutes of fame will soon be over.

Remember: Work takes time. Be patient.

Encouragement Quote for Online Creatives, Content Creator

2. Get to know your audience

We've heard  from several authors and public speakers that if we want to get noticed online, we have to get to know our audience. This is difficult because for some of us, we start our blogs thinking we want our voices to be heard. However, we forget to ask the vital question: who will be there at the other end of the line?.

In order to have a thriving blog, you need to engage an audience. That number in your pageview stats? Those aren't just numbers. They correspond to people, and those people, they are your audience.  You may have gained them accidentally or strategically, but one thing's for sure, you have to bring them back, and you have to keep them, and you have to get new ones, in order for your blog to keep on thriving.

If you don't have a target audience in mind, then think: who will benefit from my experiences. Who are actually visiting my blog? Once you've answered these questions, you may now ask: What can I actually offer them?

Encouragement Quote for online creatives, content creator

When you've figured that out, know what your audience likes, needs and write about those things. Know where your audience hangs out (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, etc.) and share your content in those places.

Okay so I realized that there's a lot to be said about listening to your audience. I'll be ending it here for now but I'll probably write about this again soon. Will you be willing to be back for that? I hope!

3. Be YOUnique

In order to make it online, you should always give your audience something of value. However, there are a lot of other content creators that can give them what they need. So how can you stand out? Here's what you have to do:

YOU have to bring out something unique, something only YOU can put forth. 

There may be other people who can bring out the same content as what you're offering. But you know what separates him/her from you? Your personality

Infuse your personality into your workIn your articles incorporate YOUR stories, give YOUR own examples.

Encouragement Quote for online creatives, content creator

4. Learning never ends

Creating online content is for lifelong learners. Why? Because for online content creators, learning never ends. The world is constantly changing - people's behavior, technology, trends, etc.  Online creatives have to always be on the lookout for these things. Therefore, we should be willing to learn, and relearn over and over and over and over and over again.
Encouragement for online creatives, content creator
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5. Learn from feedback

At first I was really hesitant to get my work out in social media because I was afraid of how people will react. Then I realized. How can I get people to read my stuff if I don't inform them I have stuff to offer? So I went out there and exposed myself.

Now that I got my work out in the web, the next concern was, how will I handle it when no one would want to read it in spite of my offer? Or if they do read it, what if they wouldn't like it, and think that I'm just some writer wannabe?

Then I realized. IT'S OKAY.

If I don't write and have my work read, and criticized, then I wouldn't become a writer, EVER. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. In both cases you weren't able to achieve what you set out to do,  but at least when you try, you get an opportunity to learn. You later on use this learning as a springboard for when you try again. That way you'll land farther than your previous attempt. :)

Encouragement Quotes for online creatives, content creator

The last 2 items are things that I learned from the session on  The curse of the happy ending: The challenge of reinventing romance by CNN Philippines Life, featuring Samantha Lee, Mina Esguerra, Prime Cruz and Benedict Mique

 6. The magic of creativity: Your only limit is your own imagination

If you can think it, you can do it (so long as you put in the work), but if you can't think it, then you may not be able to do it (unless you're lucky!).

Let your imagination go wild, anything is possible.
Encouragement quotes for online creatives, content creator

Be reminded though that without putting in the work in execution, your dreams might never become reality. So it's important to not just think, but also do. Let us be reminded by Gary Vaynerchuk when he said that:

Encouragement quotes for online creatives, content creators

7. Beauty is order in Chaos

Since anything can be possible, we may get caught in a confusing mess by our imagination, but you should not worry. You know why? Because once you'll find order in that chaotic exploration, then EUREKA! You'll definitely come up with something worth sharing!

Encouragement Quotes for online creatives, content creators

There's an infinite number of musical notes but you have to hit the right ones at the right times in order to make a melody. There are a myriad of colors but you have to choose the right ones and put them in the right places in order to bring harmony.   There are countless of words but you have to mold them into a literary piece. There are countless of experiences but you have to weave them together to make a story.

To wrap, I'm grateful to the organizers of the event, to the guests, and to everyone who were involved in making The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017 possible. Although I only attended Day 1, the experience opened a whole new chamber in my brain that I wasn't able to access before. I gained a new perspective to creativity, which I'm sure will bring a new dimension to my work. I'm excited to share with the rest of the world what comes out of it!

So stick around my friend!

Let us look forward to The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2018! But first, let's visit the 38th Manila International Book Fair This coming September 13-17 at the SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia Complex, Philippines! Shall we?


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Other bloggers could be part of your audience too! Wanna learn how to connect with other bloggers? See How I connected with other bloggers and you can too!

Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017


  1. Great tips here. Finding my target audience has always been my biggest challenge but I'm figuring it out slowly. Like you say, it doesn't happen overnight :)

    1. I'm slowly learning who my audience is :) I'm still in the process of figuring things out :) Here's to us! :)

  2. Yes, we all need patience, I agree!

  3. True, and well said...making sense in targeting the right audience can be one pain is a pain, but an even greater pain when wondering what content is best served to your audience,

    thanks Karla, keeping it real is what we got to do...thanks big time

    1. I agree! Sometimes you know what your audience would want but you just don't have enough passion to write about the topic! What a struggle!

  4. These are really good tips! I definitely need help finding my target audience! Like you said in time it will come, I've only been back to blogging for about a month and half. Thank you!

    1. Yes, it will come :) See which people you attract. :)

  5. These are great realisation as a newbie to blogging world. Indeed success doesn't come overnight. And what I like is being you, yourself to make it real! Thanks ��

    1. Yes! You can't sustain your blog if you pretend to be someone else. There are a lot of people in this world. You just have to look for your tribe :)

    2. Can't agree with you more, great post, love the be 'Younique' angle, the more authentic you get, the more people would want to follow you and connect because they identify and see themselves, or at least a version of themselves in you. Kudos and cheers.

  6. These are great tips for a new blogger. I found them very helpful and one thing I need to do is find out who my audience is Thanks for the post

    1. I guess that's a real problem for a lot of us. Looking for our audience :) I'm still trying to figure that out myself. :)

  7. Really good tips and advice thank you for sharing what you learnt it is very helpful

  8. ''Beauty Is Order In Chaos'' I love that line so much. It's very generous of you to share what you learned. The 'Younique' stunt is great. Great post, thanks for the great tips!

  9. Sounds like you learned a lot! I think the slow growth is the hardest thing to hold on to. It doesn't happen overnight, but if you are consistent you WILL get there.

  10. I really struggle with the patience bit.. I just want everything to me, NOW! :D

  11. Sounds like a great conference. I am working on building up my content and happy with a slow and steady growth in my blog viewers and subscribers. Connecting with people is my main goal, nothing makes my day more than a subscriber who reads and replies to me email. It is so fun getting to know people from all over the world.

  12. This is good. I have learned that my storytelling captures audiences more than doing it like the next person. I love connecting with others and networking as well.You never know who's watching from your audience that can take you a little higher.

  13. Thanks for this post. You offer lots of great advice and reminders. I can definitely relate to the hesitance on putting yourself out there, but as you said, it has to be done!


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