Blogging 101 With Celine Chiam | Clozette

March is the month for celebrating International Women’s Day and this year's theme is “Make It Happen”. For this, I thought I might as well write about something within my area of familiarity: how to start being a blogger and eventually #MakeItHappen in the blogging world!


It won’t come as a surprise to me if many aspire to be bloggers, whether it be in fashion or beauty blogging. There are many reasons for this: it can be a passion for writing, for taking photos, or for reviewing products. Many have asked me how I began my journey as a blogger; and come to think of it, it’s been more than two years since I started!




After experimenting here and there, I soon realize food blogging (my initial blog genre) was not exactly for me and I soon ventured into beauty and lifestyle blogging. It has been slightly more than a year since the switch and I must say I love what I am doing. I may not be the best person to talk about blogging, nor am I very popular and successful in this area; but with some experiences with brands and PRs and having been through the blogging journey from the very beginning, I do have some tips for you if you would like to give blogging a try! 

Discover your area of interests 





To some, it’s straightforward. Skincare, makeup, lifestyle gadgets, fashion--take your pick. It can also be a combination of a few too. For example, my blog covers skincare and lifestyle, including bits of travel! But to some, like what I’ve said earlier, you may have to experiment a little before discovering the area where your interests truly lie. Hopefully, it’s not too difficult. If you’re an avid instagrammer, have a look at your instagram feed and see the type of photos you've been posting. That should give you the answer to your interests!


Start off with your own purchases 


You have to start off somewhere; and you definitely should not expect things to fall from the sky. That being said, you have to start off with buying the items you would like to try and write a comprehensive review on it. The more brands and product types you cover, the more noticeable you and you blog will be. 


A quick tip: It’s damaging to the wallet if one has to constantly buy the latest and newest beauty invention in the market. You can reduce the cost of buying by sharing your purchases with your girl friends! Instead of buying all the products, you can do a swap with your friends and review more items. Some beauty bloggers like myself still exchange products or apparels now and then if we’re really interested to review the brand/products.




Of course we do not deny hygiene is an issue, so products with pumping bottles would be the best when engaging this exchange. Fashion apparels shouldn’t be a problem if you and your friends wear the same size. It's a great way to bond with your BFFs as well! 


Tip: If your wallet is tight, try beauty boxes that provide samples. Sample sizes can be used for reviews too--do not belittle them!



Join beauty/fashion communities for bloggers 


The key to success and building your network is by taking baby steps. Start off by joining blogger communities. It’s really okay to start off small because as long you put in the effort and ensure the quality of your posts, there will be fruition. Another way is to join in competitions like Blog Awards or Instagram Competitions. Even if you do not win, at least you get a certain level of exposure or recognition. Sometimes you may also win items from the giveaway and that will give you more things to blog about! Put it this way, rewards only go to those who work hard for it, and not to those who sit and wait for miracles to happen. 



I got to be involved in the LANEIGExClozette Korean Makeover!


Grab attention (but in a proper way)


Grabbing the right attention can be tricky. One way to do it is to use the relevant hashtags on instagram. If you happen to post a photo of your recent beauty haul or your outfit flatlay, tag the relevant brands or include their official hashtags to let them notice you and your account. The other way is to post it on their facebook page. If you have done the review and you would like to let more people read about it, try posting the blog URL link onto the relevant brand’s official FB page. It's a great way to get noticed and increase your readership.





Have passion and be yourself


The final words come from the bottom of my heart: Passion is the only thing that will keep you going. There are no shortcuts and there shouldn’t be any. To start off, blogging should be a passion and no one can influence or dissuade you from it. Blogging is also a commitment; and it is much harder and tougher than it may seem on the surface. Outsiders will never see the effort and time spent behind one single blog post. Imagine the time spent to attend an event, trying out the products, taking photos, subsequently editing those photos, and then writing the post. All of these take a lot of time and effort, so be prepared.




With that said, I have really enjoyed blogging and making new friends in the blogosphere. Blogging has given me opportunities to experiment new things and discover gems along the way. For that, I would like to give thanks to all the important people who have accompanied me throughout this journey, the sponsors and PRs for the constant showering of love, and everyone who has been supporting me. Blogging is truly a community.



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Sometimes women are stereotyped to being inclined to only take on "girly" jobs and are questioned when they aspire to do "manly" jobs. The truth is, women can aspire to be whatever they want to be; because whatever the challenges, they will #MakeItHappen in their chosen path. In fact, they can even juggle two passions at once!


Our very ambitious Clozette Ambassadors from the Philippines, Debbie and Demmie Fermin, are the best examples of this. They are twins who aspire to be medical practitioners while strutting down the halls of med school in their fashionable clothes, keeping their love for fashion blogging alive.


Let's take a peek at their life and see how this duo gets things done while still looking good. 


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What got you started in fashion blogging? Whose idea was it?



Debbie and Demmie in a sorta matchy matchy look 


We both had separate blogs before. It was more of a personal platform and we just happened to share some outfit posts and fashion ideas here and there. Until the summer before entering medical school came and some of our friends urged us to do a fashion blog together. We decided to give it a try, basically just for fun at first. Surprisingly, we received a lot of views, positive feedbacks, and sponsorship offers. From then on, we decided to blog together!

Were you always fond of dressing up when you were kids? How do people differentiate your style? 


Growing up as identical twins, we were dressed exactly alike by our mom. Entering our teenage years, we decided to deviate from that matchy-matchy norm and to embrace our individualities. Though we still have the same interests, we make it a point to inject our own personalities in our outfits.  We both describe our style as "fashion chameleon” because we are open into trying different trends. We don’t necessarily plan to wear something alike. We just dress up the way each of us feels like.



Demmie wearing an elegant lace on lace outfit. 


We all know that pursuing a medical career is very hard, how do you find the time to balance everything? How do you stay flawless despite the stress?


It is already given that pursuing a medical career is hard, but it all boils down to passion. As what our blog title says, “The Twins Owning It." We are driven to “own” our goals and aspirations in life. We balance everything by managing our time well. We set priorities and we weigh the outcomes. We check our schedules and plan our study strategies and insert shoots and blogging during study breaks. We keep ourselves flawless (but not really because of pulling all-nighters) by having our monthly facial treatments and not missing out on our skin care regimen. 



Debbie in a stylish summer look


What keeps you motivated?


Our family motivates us. We owe our parents a lot for providing us the gift of education and for letting us dream big. At the same time, they helped us grow to be holistic individuals who engage in extracurricular activities.  We are also surrounded everyday by amazing and brilliant doctors who we really look up to. They keep us reminded of what and who we can become someday. We have this voice in our heads saying, “I want to be like you someday”. 



Debbie and Demmie looking fun and happy together



In the future, given that you’re already medical practitioners, are you still going to continue your fashion and beauty blog?


Yes! We would love to continue blogging. We may not just focus on fashion and beauty, but we’ll broaden our horizon by including lifestyle, travel and maybe even health tips!



Demmie in a classic feminine OOTD


What do you love most about what you do? 


It’s realizing what we are capable of - juggling two different worlds. It’s a fulfillment for us to do the things we are passionate about. 



Debbie in a spring-inspired 9-to-5 outfit


What advice can you give to those fashionistas pursuing a challenging career like you do?


Make it happen! If you are eager to pursue a challenging career, make sure to put your heart in it. We are not saying it’s a walk in the park, but the load will be lighter if you love what you do. You are never just a fashionista, you are bound to be more. Find your passion and strut with confidence!



Debbie and Demmie's bonding time


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(cover photo from CrystalPhuong)


Spring is a time for you to play around with your personal style--not just with your makeup and clothes, but also with your shoes! Aside from the classic pumps, heeled boots, and stiletto sandals, what are the other heeled shoes that you should have in your closet this season? 


After consulting the Fashion Community, we came up with the top 5 heels for you to have this Spring!


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Flatforms



(photo from elleur)


The flatform is a ‘90s shoe that has made a strong comeback and it's perfect for spring to refresh your style. The chunky block soles add extra height without sacrificing comfort and style. Wear it if you feel a little nostalgic or if your just want to twist-up your normal minimalist OOTD.  

Corset Heels



(photo from GelaMunoz)


For edgy dressers, skip the boots and opt for a toned down yet fierce-looking corset/caged heels. These are instant scene-stealers that can make your black-with-a-bit-of-grunge outfit look a bit more fancy. 



Low-Heeled Shoes



(photo from RoxanneChia)


Low-heeled shoes are perfect for work during Spring because it makes you look posh and comfortable while getting things done. These may be shorter than the usual heel-height but they look cute and adorable! Perfect for pulling off feminine looks this season. 



Ankle-Strap Heels



(photo from CrystalPhuong)


These heels have taken the fashion world by storm with its simplicity and sophisticated designs. It's a perfect Spring shoe as well because it gives your feet its well-deserved attention and your whole outfit a classy yet trendy look. Wear it with anything for an instant glam look. 



Colourful Heels



(photo from RochelleAbella)


Wear either colourblock heels or floral print heels this Spring. As long as they are colourful, they're definitely in this season! After all, Spring is a bountiful season filled with bold colours and prints, so it's really the best time to get these shoes out of your closet and into your OOTDs.



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