Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Top 10 Myths of a Blogger

When you think of a "blogger", what actually comes to your mind? I've ever heard of this criticism, "People nowadays consider themselves a model because they pose in front of camera, and a photographer because they own a DSLR" And then, "A blogger shouldn't be classified as a blogger just because he/she owns a blog"

I'm not sure how people define "blogger" nowadays. I guess you are a blogger if you share content with your readers regularly and really DO own a blog.
 The only difference is whether you consider yourself to be a "celebrity blogger".  That's a different story.. (Which is also happening in a heated debate between 2 bloggers and their fans..)

Now there is another group of people who thinks that blogging is the easy way out to earn big money.

NOT TRUE.

Read more to find out the top 10 Myths of a Blogger. Never be a victim of these myths if you ever want to start a blog and be successful.

These are just my personal opinions and may not be 100% applicable to all. 

BLOGGING MAKES YOU RICH

Uh-oh. You just landed yourself at the wrong starting line from the moment you got that in your head. Just because celebrity bloggers like Xiaxue and Qiu Qiu exists, it does not imply that blogging can help you earn big bucks. Those famous bloggers probably had their unique and interesting content, together with years of hard work and opportunities to reach this far. Blogging takes a lot of hard work to become successful, it could take months or even years just to see some results. You won't get paid unless you really hit a certain influential level or blog traffic. 

If you start off blogging with the mindset that you will definitely get rich with it, (sad to say but) it will be hard to get far.


BLOGGER = FULL-TIME JOB

This is similar to the previous point. No doubt blogging has very attractive benefits which cause people to take up blogging as a job. But then again, like what I've said, it is not easy to earn money from blogging. In fact, even many popular bloggers who are earning a lot from paid advertorials, have their own stable job apart from blogging. But of course, being a full-time blogger is quite shiok. Imagine working from home in front of your laptop.


(I mean no insults to any professional bloggers)

BLOGGERS GET FREE STUFF ALL THE TIME

Just because bloggers get sponsored for "this" and "that", doesn't mean they are free. There is no free lunch in this world. You can see it as "free" just because we don't pay in terms of monetary value. But it is an exchange of deal (see it as a business). As a blogger, we receive complimentary products/ services so that we can write a review/ advertorial on our blog. It is not free because there is a lot of effort put in into just one blog post. Just so you know, one can possibly take a few hours just to churn out a decent blog post. 

That brings me to the next point.


BEING A BLOGGER IS EASY

Or so you thought. Being a blogger is never as easy as you thought. It requires a lot of hard work, patience, and dedication to build up a blog and write quality content. You have to spend time attending events, marketing yourself, and building connections with others. It's almost impossible to get popular overnight, unless your post went viral. And then again, you have to remain "active" because blog traffic doesn't stay permanent. 

I am neither complaining, nor am I discouraging people to start a blog. In fact, I enjoy blogging and of course the perks that come along with it. I just hope bloggers are given more recognition for their effort and work, and blogging don't come off as an easy job in others' eyes. 

If it was really easy, every blogger would be successful and rich by now.


BLOGGERS SHOULD BE SKILLED WRITERS

Nope, a blogger do not have to be very skilful in writing, neither is it necessary to have all those "flowery" and chim language in your blog posts. As long as you can write decently, get your point across to your readers, and of course able to capture the readers' attention, then it is absolutely fine. It's not a magazine or essay you're writing on anyway.  To be honest, I'm not very good at writing, but I'm trying to improve on that.  

Having a flair in writing is beneficial, but it isn't a necessity.


BLOGGERS SHOULD LOOK GOOD

Yes there are many good-looking bloggers out there. But I don't think it is fair to say that you cannot be a blogger if you don't look pretty/ handsome. After all, blogging is about having your own "voice" on an open platform. No doubt that the best-looking ones are likely to get a lot of followers. If you're a fashion or beauty blogger, then it might be an advantage if you look attractive. But if you really have good quality content, people will eventually enjoy reading it.


BLOGGERS HAVE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH

When people get scolded for some controversial opinion they posted on their blog, many will reply: "This is my blog, I can write anything and everything I want." Hmmm. Yes and no. I respect that many bloggers dare to voice out their opinions and have a say in something that they disagree with. After all, not everyone has the courage to do that. But if your statement has crossed the line (either legally or ethically), I don't think it is acceptable to say that you have the right to post anything you like, especially if you are a public figure. Again, it's just my personal opinion.


BLOGGING IS DANGEROUS

I think most of us, especially the younger generations are not aware of the potential dangers of the Internet. Posting your feelings and personal life updates on your blog openly is so common nowadays. Cyberbullying becomes so prevalent because anyone can access your data so easily and use that as a tool of criticism or personal attack. Photos of your past can be dug out with just a few clicks on Google. 

I agree that blogging has its risks. As a blogger, one has to embrace both the love and hatred comments from readers. But I don't think that being a blogger is dangerous if you can achieve a balance and not go around to offend anyone with your malicious comments online. Beware of what you post on the internet.


NICHE BLOGGERS ATTRACT MORE READERS

Niche means that you only blog about a specific topic or category for e.g. beauty, food, technology. Some people feel that niche bloggers are more successful because they can target a certain group of readers. Others might think otherwise because they feel that niche blogs limit their potential due to the narrow topic. I guess it's really up to your comfort level, and whichever way makes you feel good about blogging, just follow your instinct. I prefer to blog about different things and I am sticking to that.


BLOGGERS NEED TO BLOG EVERYDAY

Blogging used to be the popular trend whereby teenagers blog about their daily life. Some people feel that blogs have to be updated regularly to keep the traffic coming in. But that isn't always true. Blogging every single day without fail might be possible for the first 2 weeks. Subsequently, you will probably tire yourself out and those daily blog posts are created at the expense of good quality.

After all, consistency is all you need.


This list probably doesn't says it all, if you know about any myths of a blogger, feel free to comment below and let me know! If you like this post, please share it!

Follow me at @m0nice on instagram for more updates!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Food Review: Percolate Cafe @ Bedok North

Percolate is a newly opened cafe just beneath the HDB blocks along Bedok North Road. With only a small seating capacity, this cafe gives a simple and cosy ambience, and is perfect for a quick chill out with your friends over a cup of nice warm coffee. There was also a steady stream of customers and left no seats empty most of the time.


Since the cafe was newly opened when we visited the place, there were only limited choices on this simple menu board. Simple coffee, tea, sandwiches and cakes are served in the cafe. 


Though there were only limited choices, I was already attracted to the vibrant colours of the cake placed at the display counter - Banoffee Cake, Salted Caramel Cake and Red Velvet Cake. There were also some assorted pastries like tarts and croissants. 



The cakes are so photo-worthy! I am already in love with the colours of the cakes before tasting them. 

On a side note, do check out the Classy Rope Bracelet that was sponsored by @Glistenjewel. Super in love with this stylish and classy piece. 


White Coffee 
$4

Pretty latte art isn't it? The coffee was smooth but a little acidic for me. Might be too strong for some who prefer their coffee to be sweet. Prices are value-for-money though - starting only from $3 onwards. 


This Black Triangle Statement Necklace is from @glistenjewel as well!


I found the coffee a little too bitter and strong for my taste so I added some sugar that is available in a glass jar just beside the counter. 


Iced Chocolate
$5


Banoffee Cake
$7

When I saw this at the display, I was already attracted to the unique combination of 3 different layers in one cake - banana, salted caramel and graham crackers, encased in vanilla cream cheese and chocolate frosting. You get to taste 3 different cake layers with 1 price and that sounds really worth it! Especially for those who find eating the same flavour very boring. The cream cheese was very rich and sweet and it matched the lightness of the cake. The chocolate coating was not overly sweet. Thumbs up for this!


Red Velvet Cake
$6

The Red Velvet Cake is suited more for the eyes than the mouth as we both could not really taste much from it apart from the cream cheese. However, the texture was moist and light which makes it a great cake if you are not too fancy over strongly flavoured cakes. 



The prices here are pretty affordable by cafes standard and the quality is quite decent as well. I'm hoping that they will introduce more food items onto the menu in the future - perhaps some main course to satisfy our tummies. Do drop by at Percolate Cafe if you live at the East! 

http://percolate.sg

Address:
136 Bedok North Avenue 3 
#01-152B
Singapore 460136

Contact:
8259 0316

Friday, 25 July 2014

Media Invite: Hee Kee Desserts 囍记 @ Jurong Point (Promo Code)

QUOTE MONICE FOR 10% OFF YOUR BILL (Till 19 Aug 2014)


I was invited to Hee Kee 囍记 Desserts Food Tasting Session last weekend! 

囍记 which means 'Treasuring Happiness', is located in Jurong Point Mall with a vintage-inspired 40 seating. Hee Kee Desserts has much to offer - a delectable spread of 80 desserts which includes the traditional tong sui (literally translated from the Cantonese as sugar water). Most of its HongKong styled delicacies are hand-made from its in-house chefs and some are prepared with a local twist to suit the Singaporean's taste. 

I'm pretty sure I can find lotsa happiness with delicious food and desserts ☺



(This photo was taken before the rest of the bloggers reached)

We were given the TOP 6 Desserts to try! All in full size! They are really generous!!

And guess what? The top 6 desserts flavour are either mango, milk, durian or coconut! OMG! I feel like the menu was customized just for me! Haha. Can't believe it contains all my favourite flavours and I was so excited to taste them one by one.

Anyway, just a little something more about me. I was born in HongKong and migrated with my family to SG when I was almost 3. I have been going back to visit my relatives almost every year and without fail, I will try to find the best dessert shops to satisfy my cravings. At SG, to be honest, it is mostly a disappointment. But at Hee Kee, the quality and taste is really on par with some of the best you can find at HK. I am really hoping that they will soon open another outlet around the Central or East! 

I can already hear the desserts screaming for my name!!!



Traditional steamed milk pudding ($3.50) 



This is definitely one of my all-time favourite! I have always been looking for steamed milk pudding and has even resorted to making it at home. It can be served hot or chilled, but I prefer the hot one. 

What makes the traditional steamed milk pudding such a tantalizing dish is the texture of it. It is slightly wobbly and incredibly silky smooth without any air bubbles. It should be soft enough to melt in your mouth but not too watery. This has the perfect balance and the fragrance of the milk is simply too addictive.

The texture is so smooth I wished that my face is as smooth as this! 



Homemade beancurd with Gula Melaka ($3.30)



The Gula Melaka syrup added a hint of sweetness to the silky homemade beancurd with a slight camarelized taste. It would have been better if the taste of Gula Melaka syrup had slightly more flavour in it. This was one of my least favourite among the top 6 desserts, but the smooth texture of the homemade beancurd ought to deserve some credits. 




Whole coconut with coconut ice cream & peanut crush ($8.80) 




Having the whole coconut as the base makes eating dessert feel like a tropical vacation and it was served with a refreshing cup of coconut juice! I was enjoying the luscious and creamy coconut ice-cream topped with peanuts that added a good crunch to it. You know how troublesome it is to "dig" the coconut flesh out yourself usually? The white soft coconut flesh was nicely scraped out for us to enjoy conveniently. Mmmmm slurrrrppps!!


Mango Cheong Fun ($3.30 per piece) 


Any DIMSUM for you? Haha kiddin'. 

Instead of the typical savoury cheong fun you can find in restaurants, you will find yourself hooked onto the sweet version instead! The white slippery coat is made of fragrant and sweet coconut. Take a bite through the surface and you will be blessed with a surprising centre filled with a huge chunk of juicy and fresh mango. I am already in love with the silky smooth skin and the perfect combination of both has just got me addicted all over again.  


Check out how glossy and smooth the sweet coconut infused skin is! And best of all? They are hand-made! 


D24 durian sauce with sago ($5.80) 


The durian pulp was so fragrant, rich and creamy! (Of course, only for the durian lovers). In fact, the dish lived up to its name as 'D24 durian' as the flesh was really delicious and flavourful. I can feel it melting in my mouth! The texture of the "sauce" was so thick and filling that I could barely finish everything. 



Durian Pancake (From $3.30) 


Perfect for durian lovers as well. The durian pancake deserves a huge applause with its smooth consistency of the thin coconut infused skin and the softness of the creamy durian puree. There is an overall burst of flavours that makes one bite never enough! 


All the dishes here fit my tastebuds perfectly and I couldn't ask for more! You just have to taste it for yourself! Prices are quite affordable starting from about $3++ only! And guess what, there is additional promotion on top of it! 

Highly Recommended: ☑
Steamed milk pudding
Whole coconut with coconut ice-cream and peanut crush
Mango Cheong Fun

FOR MY READERS:

Quote "MONICE" to enjoy 10% off your bill! 
(Until 19 August 2014 only)

That's not all!

Hee Kee will be having their own Instagram contest until 19 August as well, with now up to $100 worth of vouchers to be won! All participants have to do is follow Hee Kee Desserts (@heekeedesserts) on Instagram, snap a picture and Instagram their dessert and tell us what’s so great about it and hashtag #heekeedesserts. Winners will be selected at random.


Hee Kee Desserts Address:

JP 2, Jurong Point 
1 Jurong West Central 2
#03-54/55 

Tel: 6795 0765




Hashtags (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter): #heekeedesserts 

Thank you Hee Kee Desserts and Platform PR for having me there to try such awesome desserts! 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Domino's Behind the Scenes Blogger Meet

I'm back at Domino's Pizza again! 

It's actually one of my favourite pizza places of all time!! Whenever I'm hungry at home and can't be bothered to step out of the house, Pizza will always be on my mind. Because it's simply too convenient. Especially with Domino's Pizza 30min delivery guarantee (15min for takeaway), gone are those times when you get so frustrated over the long wait. If the order is late, you get a FREE pizza on your next order! I do admit that sometimes I wish the delivery will be late *Evil me*

And besides, using the Domino's Pizza app allows you to track your order (with the Great Pizza Service Tracker) - whether your pizza is in the oven, packing or on the way to your house. At the end of your order, you get to shake your phone to receive a FREE side dish

I attended the Domino's Behind the Scenes Blogger Meet last week and I was pretty excited for the event because we will be given an exclusive kitchen tour. I love baking so I couldn't wait to know how pizzas are made back at the kitchen! 

A group photo with the other bloggers. 



When everyone is busying munching on their food, I'm busy uploading my photos on Instagram hahaha. And that's after everyone have spent forever to finish taking photos of very single dish.

One of them actually asked us if we bloggers ever get to eat piping hot food. My answer? "Yup, during steamboat." Or teppanyaki perhaps. Another answered, "When I get a second serving" Hahaha. 

Crazy Chicken Crunchies (Tom Yam)



Garlic Cheese Onion Rings
My FAVE side dish!!!


Golden Roasted Drummets (6 pcs)


Napolitana Baked Meatballs (NEW)

The meatballs are smothered in Mozzarella Cheese and has a satisfying tangy taste due to the classic Napolitana Sauce. Best of all, the meatballs had a very firm and bouncy texture to it and every bite was so juicy! Texture is the most critical part of a perfect meatball and the Domino's meatballs met my expectations!  


PIZZAS

28 different pizzas
6 different sauces
5 pizza crusts

FOR YOU TO CHOOSE FROM! 

Usually I order the Classified Chicken as it's my fave! And if surcharge is not an issue, I would love the ones with prawns! 












Chocolate Lava Cake



The thick gooey chocolate lava flowing out.. 

I feel that this is suitable for chocolate lovers as it is so rich and thick in flavour and texture. I feel that it's a tad too sweet for my liking, while many of the other bloggers have huge praises over this. I guess it's up to your preference! For me, I think it will be great for sharing as I couldn't really finish the whole cake. 

There is even more excitement after finishing up the pizzas! 

WE GET TO MAKE OUR OWN PIZZAS!! (That is why we are in some shower caps for hygiene purposes)

OMG! How awesome! We get an exclusive kitchen tour and still get hands-on experience on making pizzas! It was interesting to watch the chefs at work and they were really super enthusiastic at their jobs. I think loving your job and having passion for it makes the job whole lot easier right? I was so eager when it is finally my turn to customize my own pizza! 

It's a fun process but it's not as easy as you think, especially when you have to commit to the guaranteed time limit. We were being told that the fastest pizza being made in the pizza-making competition overseas was 3 large pizzas in 30 seconds (Not inc baking of course). You should have seen the reaction on all of our faces! Jaw-dropping! 



Here is my final creation! Not very even and doesn't look too nice ): I made a mistake by "hiding" all the colorful ingredients at the bottom. Oh well, but it's still delicious with Domino's pizza dough and ingredients! I shared it with my family for supper! 


And if you are looking for jobs, Domino's Pizza has much to offer for their job positions - Delivery Experts, Pizza Chef and Management positions.

Employee benefits include:
☺ 13th month salary with perfomance bonuses
☺ Medical benefits and employee insurance
☺ Flexibility in arranging working hours
☺ Attendance and punctuality incentives
☺ Prospect of further career advancements with Domino's
☺ Referral incentives

On top of that, they have also launched an incentive program called the 'Rolex Challenge'.
Can you imagine taking home a specially customized Domino's stainless steel Rolex watch or USD 2,000 ?! OMG. That's super awesome! All you got to do is to complete 4 weeks of sales above the fixed appropriate targets, as well as achieving outstanding performance through evaluation reports.

Performance comes with motivation! 

If you're looking for a non-mundane job, perhaps Domino's is your answer. Domino's Pizza Singapore and Malaysia has also received the 'HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2013' awarded by HR Asia. 



For more details, call 9424 3003 or scan the QR code!




Thanks The Influencer Network and Domino's Pizza for the invite!