[Interview] Award-Winning Blogger Grace Tan – On Blogging, Collaboration And More

Image credit: Grace Tan

Seven years ago, Grace Tan did the unexpected. She quit her $114,000 job and became a full-time blogger at WorkingWithGrace. Originally, it started off as an interview blog. Grace interviewed celebrities, entrepreneurs, and millionaires with the goal of sharing their secrets of success with her readers.

Today, Grace blogs about practically everything under the sun. From food to lifestyle to books! She was also featured on The Sunday Times, invited to being a speaker at the Singapore Writers Festival, and wrote a book of her own, aptly titled Blogging for a Living.

Intrigued? Check out this fast and furious interview we did with her:

Q1. Imagine a solopreneur who’s debating between a personal blog and company blog for her one-woman business. What actionable advice or strategies would you give her?

That’s not one question; it’s two! 😛

One of the main considerations would be: Do you already have an exit strategy for your business? Put simply, are you going to sell it at some point in the  future? That would guide a lot of decisions such as:

(1) What you are going to name your company. (Tip: Including your name in the business name might be tricky if you want to sell it later),

(2) if it’s a personal blog, it might be a little more difficult to sell as well. And if you are not a huge fan of writing, and prefer outsourcing the work, just stick with a business blog. Personal blogs require lots of commitment, so be honest with yourself and do only what you love.

Q2. Micro-influencers are known for being authentic; they only work with brands they love and trust. How should a brand effectively engage a blogger and ensure a smooth-sailing process?

It’s easy to find out who’s loving your brand: they’re already blogging about you or sharing updates on social media about you. When dealing with human beings, don’t expect a “smooth-sailing process” every single time. That said, there are some simple (common sense) things to note, such as laying out objectives clearly right at the start instead of requesting multiple revisions later, making payment on time, allowing the influencer to keep their voice instead of regurgitating your marketing spiel. And don’t micro-manage!

Q3. Every blogger / micro-influencer views success in their own ways. It could be a big number of followers or working with big brands. I’m curious to know — how do you measure a blog’s success?

It all depends on the blogger’s objectives for the blog. If I’m starting a blog about guppies (I’m really passionate about them), it doesn’t matter if I don’t have a million followers. If only one other person reads my guppy blog, and learns something useful, I’m already over the moon.

Q4. So what is it you set out to achieve?

For me, I started my blog in October 2010 simply because I wanted to interview successful individuals in various fields. I ended up interviewing millionaires, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and even Warren Buffett’s son, Peter Buffett, has been featured on my blog. I’ve also always had a dream of becoming an author.

Image credit: Grace Tan

And my book, Blogging For A Living, was a bestseller soon after it was launched. I’ve always liked to teach and after winning the Best Individual Blog Award at the 2013 Singapore Blog Awards (hosted by SPH), I coached two other people who achieved similar success – one won in 2014, the other (who’s now 70 years old) was a Top 10 finalist.

 I think I’ve succeeded. I don’t have 1 million followers. But I couldn’t care less. 

You can start a blog today about any topic you’re passionate about, and if you manage to keep to it beyond two years, I’m already full of respect for you. Because it requires passion, hard work, dedication and grit.

 

 

Want to get started on your blog and make blogging as a full-time career? It’s possible. Sign up for our blogging GIGshop! Meet Grace in person at her on May 23rd 2018. She’ll show you the ropes and guide you what it takes to be a successful blogger.

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