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Hi there! My name is Gay Aida Dumaguing, you can call me Gay or Gigi (my nickname) - just don't call me Aida because that would be my Mama. I'm a 27 years old experienced SEO specialist and social media manager, born and raise in the Philippines, working online since 2009 as a freelancer based in Cebu Philippines.

Just click on the coloured tabs below to find out more about me, my knowledge, skills and more!

My Blog

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Reasons Why I’m a Freelance SEO Specialist

I’ve turned 4 last year as a SEO specialist, and as someone who’s working this long in a field it can also mean that I’m at least good at it – well, as far as I know. With that, there have been a number of companies here in the Philippines sending me an email an offering me a position in their company. Mostly, they’re supervisor, team lead, manager level positions but I was not interested – yeap, I’m not at all, the name is just attractive not the job itself (LOL).

Anyway, I’ve been offered jobs in Manila too (so I have to move from Cebu to Manila for that) but then again I’ve rejected it. Many people wonder why, it’s a great opportunity I know but why am I not interested at all?

That’s mainly because I prefer to work freelance – meaning not working exclusively for someone, or for a company.

Let me share with you my five (5) reasons why I’d prefer a freelance job, than a job with a high position and a huge salary.

Work Anywhere and Anytime

Most of the freelancers can work anywhere, and anytime, but some clients online are micromanagers. As for me, I prefer to work flexible. Not only because of the 9-5 work, but also because I have an insomnia and I’m trying to get rid of it. There are also times that I work at night, so I wake up late. Most of the times too, my mind works a lot way better late in the afternoon or at night.

Plus, I’m a traveler. I’m one of the WithLocals Ambassador here in the Philippines, so I have to go somewhere from time to time. And being able to work anytime and anywhere, I can cover the hours that I wasn’t able to work. Plus, this can help avoid SEO patterns too (since I work in different hours).

Different Clients = Different Niche 

As someone who offer a SEO service, you get a lot of inquiries by different business owners. It’s sometimes a disadvantage on not having an experience on a certain niche or market of a business. Having an experience on that, is a huge advantage it can make things a lot easier since you most likely know what are your audience. And being able to have and try different market and different business niche, is really great and a plus.

More Clients, Great Portfolio

Well, of course if you’ll got different clients, you can also get more clients. Having said that you’ll get clients on different business niche, and a number of clients, can totally help with your portfolio. Some clients who wish to hire someone are attracted to someone’s portfolio, this can totally be a plus for you – especially as someone who works online.

This is why designers (graphic designers, web designers, etc.), and SEO specialists like me like being a freelance.

Drop Anytime

The disadvantages of working online, is that you may get fired anytime. Even if you do sign a contract with the employer, which can really still be useless since we’re both from different countries and its quiet a waste to go to that country if you only wish to get paid.

But then, not all employers does not follow the contract. Most of the employers whom I have a contract with did worked with me for that specific months/years that the contract is valid. But then, there are jobs online wherein employers does not have a contract, you can totally get fired anytime. It’s unstable.

More Clients, Better Income (and more source of Income)

Having said above, and that the employer can fire you anytime it’s not wise to work for someone exclusively. A lot of client do ask me for this, but really, it’s not wise at all. It’s an unstable job, and having no income in a snap can kill online workers like me. It’s hard to replace a client and find another job – it’s a competitive market online, especially with the hiring process.

Also, some clients wants someone really cheap, they pay low and offer low salaries. P10,000 (around $250) won't get us much and just enough to pay bills. Yes, Philippines is cheap but not that cheap - FYI.

So, I really appreciate the clients that I have now as a freelance SEO specialist and the clients who are open for freelancers like me.

But please take note, that being able to work as a freelance needs a self-discipline. Some people can’t just control themselves but if you can, why not be a freelancer, right? Still, it can be sometimes hard to find a client who’s okay with working someone for a freelance, especially if it’s a direct client. But if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find some opportunities on oDesk, Freelancer, and similar platforms.

Friday, January 2, 2015

#Throwback 2014 - Year in Review

When 2013 ended, I've made a post titled 12 Months of Highlights for #Throwback2013. Since 2014 ended, and Facebook got this year in review I want to take a look back of 2014 since I felt like it was a great year. So yes, this is inspired with what I did last year when 2013 ended, and the Facebook Year in Review - since I don't like what's on mine.

I've achieved a lot this year, and done a lot. I've been to places, done things, and got opportunities that I never thought I'll get. I am so blessed in 2014, and here's why.

January New Year, New Home

We've been just renting a home since I stayed here. So I've been moving a lot lately and for 2014, tihs is our home. Hopefully, after the renewal of our contract, we'll be able stay longer since we already feel at home.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

Feb Firmoo FREE Eyeglass

I don't have a 20-20 vision and I've been wanting to get a new eyeglasses to help me read and work better. Thanks to Firmoo who gave me a new eyeglass which up to now I wasn't able to change the glass.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

March Dog! contacted me, they wanted to send me something for my dogs. Since I do have 4 of them. They sent me this furminator which helps with the hair shedding of my dogs, totally helped that my Mama loves it, but Kiara nd Kovu here loves it the most.

Thank you Tmart!

April None

I do have posts and updates on April, but nothing really special happened. So I guess, this was a relaxing yet boring month of the year.

May Google Day be With Us! Kiddie Break with McDonalds

The organizers of the event are a good friends of mine, since I was free for that day and did register to join the event. They've asked me if I'd be interested to be one of the volunteers of the event.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on
Share the blessings. I'm always like that. Time to share it with my three (3) nieces!

I was invited by McDonalds to attend their Kiddie Graduation Party, was just supposed to bring Ella (the little one) with me but when I got there their marketing told me to bring the older sisters too. The other two (2) immediately did go to the mall and joined us.

They were so happy and McDonalds was really nice to give the kids their favorite, the kiddie meals. They gave us snacks, they let us enjoy the other free activities there and all. Thank you McDonalds!

June Birthday

June is my birth month. I was one of the lucky bloggers who was invited to come and enjoy Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark Cebu for a day, that is just few days after my birthday. So, I really felt like I celebrated my 27th birthday with a bang!

It was also the month when I was selected to be the FIRST Ambassador in the Philippines.

July to Bohol

It's not my first time to visit Bohol, I've been to Bohol before my 2014 visit. I was like around 7 when I last visited the beautiful island, thanks to WithLocals! I enjoyed it more now, since I was able to appreciate it more now and I'd really love to go back and revisit Bohol again this 2015.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

Augusto Fun!

Just right on the first day of August, I was invited by Canon to meet their newly selected Canon Philippines president.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

I only did not get to meet the new Canon Philippines president, but also Senator Panfilo Lacson at the PNHRS (Philippines National Health Research System).

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

After that, as a WithLocals Ambassador I was sent to verify an experience and meet up with a host, and the whalesharks of Oslob.

September Speak Up!

Along with Ruben Licera Jr., Bjorn Bernales, Joy Tabar, Junix Villacorta, Mary Narvasa, Chanel Imperial, and other fellow Cebu based bloggers we've created a Cebu Blogging group named "Cebu Blogging Community". And our first event is the Cebu Blogging Summit, where we invited bloggers based in Cebu to come and join us, learn, and make blogging friends.

As one of the community leads, they'd wanted me to speak and share something to fellow Cebu bloggers.

October Weds, Politics, Trade and Tourism

One of the closest guy friends that I have got married to his long time girlfriend, and now his wife. So happy for both of them!

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

As usual, I'm the third wheel in these two (2) pair of lovers.

Few weeks later, I went to Davao to attend the BIMP EAGA 2014 wherein traders, business owners, and government representatives from 5 Asian countries will go to Davao.

I'm one of the bloggers who was invited, one (1) each from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao plus they've added another one for national to cover the event along with the traditional media.

With that, I was able to come up close with the Former President of the Philippines Fidel V. Ramos.

And of course, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

It was also this same month when Hootsuite contacted me if I'll be interested to apply as a Hootsuite Ambassador. Which was really cool!

November Earth Beauties and Beach Bums

The Ms. Earth candidates was divided into groups, and one of the groups was sent to Cebu to tour around and of course show their individual talents. Along with fellow iNewMedia, we were lucky to be able to meet and greet the Candidates and witness their talents.

The Ms. Earth candidates was really nice and cool to let me have a photo with them, they're all so pretty.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

I ended November with a trip to Ilo-ilo for a job with WithLocals as an Ambassador.

We're in Guimaras island in this photo, it was also a great sight, a great place to be, to relax and beach bum.

Along with fellow bloggers, we've decided to go to Boracay since we're just 5 hours away from the famous island.

December Fly

My plan was, Boracay is my last trip of the year. But an opportunity comes along from AirAsia where they'll be sending Chanel and I along with the orphan kids to Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. It's the first time the kids fly with the plane, so it was a really good experience not only for me, but also for the kids too.

Other than that, I was able to meet one of the few female Pilots in the Philippines, Capt. Gisela Zambrano Bendong-Boniel. Meeting her makes me feel like wanting to be a pilot too.

I'm very thankful for every single person, every company, everyone who believed in me, given me a chance to prove myself, to grow and to enjoy what the world can offer. Thank you everyone for the opportunity, love, and support. I'm so blessed to have you all with me. My God bless us all and fill our lives with love this 2015 and to the years ahead of us.

Happy 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How to Build an Engaging Social Media Community?

How to Build an Engaging Social Media Community
I’ve been more on focus with my SEO services for the past 4 years that I only offer a basic social media management to my clients (who wish to have one). But other than that, I still want to grow and learn more not only about SEO but the entire internet marketing stuff (e.g. ads, social media, etc.). I only not just want to be a SEO specialist, I want to be able to say I'm an Internet Marketer - hopefully someday by improving myself at least a bit every now and then.

As what I’ve shared with you guys here in the blog, I’ve recently joined the awesome team of Hootsuite Ambassadors. One of the perks of being one of them is learning more about social media and ways to improve yourself on it and correct your current techniques for better audience. And all these, can be learned through the Hootsuite University.

Hootsuite - Social Relationship Platform

Since I can’t share everything what I’ve learned from the Hootsuite University, it’s hard for me to write all about here and share it for free. But then, lucky you they’ve got a little but worth to read tip on the Hootsuite blog on the 3 Stages of Building Social Media Community.

It may be just few for you for a long post, but still everything in the blog post is valuable plus the videos included make everything much more better. Still, if you want to grow and improve your social media campaign for your business, or learn more about social media, it’s best to go and enroll yourself to the Hootsuite University.

I’m telling you, there are a lot you can learn from the university more than you think. I’ve been enrolled for months and I’m not even on the half of it – though I’m not a Hootsuite certified.

Done reading the article? Let me know what you think about it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Reasons Why Bloggers Don’t Publish Your Press Release

5 Reasons Why Bloggers Don’t Publish Your Press Release
Have you been sending out your press release but only few to none of the bloggers have publish your press release? We’ll, I’m one of the bloggers, and I’m also a marketer, let me share to you some of the reasons why I ignore the press releases that I received from companies.

Please take note that these reasons are my personal reasons, I did not take any surveys and all but most likely these might be the reasons why your press release are being ignored. Also, not ALL press releases that I received are being ignore, I’m quiet picky.

Not Share Worthy

Every day when I open my email, I get at least 20 emails but there are just about 3-5 of them that are really important for me – which is mostly from my SEO service clients. Some are from other marketers offering stuff, and the rest are press release. Please take note, that this is my every day morning email scene.

With all the press release I get, how many of them are share worthy? Well, mostly likely none to one. So don’t just write about anything and every movement about your company, make it news worthy, share worthy, and a must know not only to bloggers but to the readers as well.

Not in the Niche

What’s worst of getting multiple press releases in day? It’s mostly from the same company, they have a lot to share (it seems) and they’ve sent it all separately. Some of these too are not even in my niche, I have 3 blogs right now which are this one, my travel blog, and tech blog. And they’re sending me everything, I can’t just write, post, and share all about them every day.

Am I working for them? Nope.

So that’s why I’m very picky with the topic.

No Photo

I always make sure that every blog post on my blogs have at least one (1) photo. Some of my blog posts even have more than 10 images, and if I don’t have a photo I even make an effort to find one online.

Make an effort to at least include one photo with your press release. We make an effort that our blog won’t look too boring, especially our blog posts. I hope you’re the same too.

Also, don’t just send just any photo, send at least a good photo to go along with the post.

It’s FREE?

Sadly, some press releases sent to me goes along with a message “we would like to share with you our press release FOR FREE”.

Let’s face it, you’ve contacted the blogger because (at least) the blog has an authority, or maybe influential, or got some followers. Admit it, you want advertising to the blog, so why tell us your press release is for free? When you wish to get an advertising for free?

It’s a Press Release

This is my main reason why I usually reject posting it on my blog. It’s a press release, you send it to different people from around the world (or at least within the city) to publish it. So imagine how many websites have published it without editing anything or rewriting it. Imagine how many websites have the same content? Do you even know that search engines like Google don’t like duplicate content?

A blog is a blog, not a press release site. So, I usually advice bloggers (who ask me) to rewrite the press releases they get from company representatives.

Please do take note that bloggers are not like journalists in the traditional news, wherein we get paid (salary) every month to write to the newspaper. We’re bloggers, we make an income through ads, paid opportunities, etc. Nothing is stable. I can earn (from my blog) $10 this month, maybe $100 next month. It totally depends. So yes, that’s why I have a day job as a SEO specialist, and it’s practical and normal to prioritize my work than rewriting your press release and publish it to the blog – well, unless it’s paid.

So yes, if I like a press release, I do rewrite it and finish it about 2-3 hours if no one is disturbing me. So imagine my effort.

Next time (after reading this post), please do think about when or what to send out your press release to bloggers. Don’t send a press release every day and everything about your company that I can make a diary out of it.

Let me leave you a couple of tips on how to make a blogger like me publish your press release:

* Don’t send a press release. Send a unique article that is related to your press release. An article that is solely for that blogger, not for everyone to publish and share. In this way, bloggers like me don’t have to rewrite it and put too much effort. If you do this, it may take just few hours to few days for us to publish it.

* Offer something beneficial to both you and the blogger. What I don’t like with other companies is that they think we’re “JUST A BLOGGER”, we offer everything for free. We have our day time job, and if I do write about you or rewrite your press release, I make a huge effort about it – since I’m not really a writer and it’s hard for me to write. Including something for the blogger to enjoy is a total plus, a simple appreciation to our efforts is highly appreciated.

What other companies did offer me? Well, they invite me to their company events (e.g. new features, product launching, media day, etc.), gift certificates, free lunch or dinner at their hotel or restaurant, etc. It is not necessary that it is expensive.

Tip: It’s best if it’s something that they’ll be able to experience or have something from your company (e.g. a day use at your hotel, a lunch for 2, etc.), so that you’ll only not get your press release published but also you’ll get another blog post about your company on their experience.