It’s been a while since I last featured an Inspiring Woman on the blog. This is not because I don’t see a lot of inspiring women around me (of course not!), but for the reason that I want to focus more on women who have touched my life and the lives of others in her own distinct, personal way.
Martine de Luna is a mother, a wife, a friend. She was instrumental in breathing life into The Spoiled Mummy blog — back then when it was just a concept. That was almost three years ago when she was just starting her “blog coaching”. She was a patient teacher, given that I knew nothing about blogging and the ins and outs of the social media world. Since that fateful day when I finally decided to publish my first post, becoming a blogger has changed my life completely. And for those changes, I have Martine here to thank (or blame) for!! 🙂
Yes, it was Martine who made me realize that I have something inside me worth more than what others can see. It was Martine who encouraged me to think outside the box, push myself beyond my limits and run after my passions – even if they all scared me. It was Martine who taught me that I can do all things, accomplish anything, as long as I put my heart and soul into it. After all, she said, we are to live our lives inspired as well as inspiring others, no matter what our circumstances may be.
Martine has not just inspired me, but countless other women, mothers and bloggers too. Let’s take a look and get to know her more and her inspiring story…
Tell us a little bit about who Martine de Luna is.
Well, I’m a housewife and mother who spends the day researching blog trends and social media strategies, after waking up around 8:30 AM to make breakfast and do a bit of drawing and crafting and monkeying around with my homeschooled preschooler son. You might say I’m an online entrepreneur who checks and delete emails, Skypes with her clients who are building their blogs and websites (if not meeting them somewhere in the city to talk about the same things — their blogs and websites). On any day, you’ll see I am a regular homemaker who prefers staying in than being in the latest resto or shopping destination or blog event, who folds laundry and abhors putting it away but will decorate her home here and there with things lying around the house.
After I do all that, I’ll write about some of it on my blog, which is how most people know me : A blogger.
What do people not really know about me? Well, I don’t like people fussing over me, unless you mean my husband, who adores me in his own special way. I’m his baby. But other than that, I prefer to not dwell much on who mentioned me, or where I’ve been seen. This interview, however, is like me talking to a friend (that’s you, Grace), so I’m just imagining we’re hanging out over your usual cup of black coffee (no sugar) and whatever usual fatty order I may have off the menu. Haha!
What made you start a blog?
I’ve been blogging since 2001. I stopped in 2003, deleted all the content, then jumpstarted DaintyMom.com in 2009, when I was pregnant. It used to be a private blog on WordPress.com, and I publicized it in 2010. Eventually, the blog grew a following as a mommy-blog, and I would get invited to events, press launches, product review opportunities, etc.
After 3-4 years of being a mommy blog, I decided I wanted to reach more women with a broader message, and that is, that blogging can be something to help you create a life you love. I started calling the blog “Make it Blissful” towards the end of 2013, and launched it in 2014. It’s now known as a blog community, complete with a main blog, and offline events such as workshops and blogger gatherings, like the Blissmakerie 2014.
What is Make It Blissful all about?
Make it Blissful is a community blog about living a meaningful life, basically. “Meaningful living”, to me means living according to what defines and completes your worldview. The content in the website — from tips on blogging, articles on home & relationships, interviews with inspiring bloggers, and lifelong learning — is all geared at helping women live inspired, informed lives, no matter where they are in life.
Aside from being a blogger, you are also a blog coach and a workshop creator. Tell us how did this come about?
A “blog coach” is common in places like the U.S. and Australia, which boasts an active blog community and culture. In the Philippines, it’s a new idea and concept. I simply wanted to be one of the first people here to offer services as a blog coach, someone who helps individuals craft not just blog, any online platform that they want to leverage towards their personal brands or their businesses.
As a workshop creator and teacher, I’m passionate about lifelong learning. I started to create learning events around blogging and social media training, which I would teach. In 2014, I branched out to collaborate with crafters and other bloggers on these workshops.
You also started the WAHM and / or “Blissful Movement” , a community amongst fellow women bloggers. What is the inspiration behind these groups?
I think more than anything, what I am passionate about is COLLABORATION. I don’t believe that competition is beneficial to anyone in the online, social media driven world anymore. You can’t be “the best lifestyle blogger” or “the best foodie blogger” anymore. That’s so traditional, so last-decade. If you’re not collaborating with people like you, you won’t grow, your brand will not last. I created the WAHMderful (wahmderfullife.com) movement and the Make it Blissful community with the intention of uniting like-minded women under different umbrellas that championed their causes. The WAHMderful Workshops are for the training & support of work at home moms, while the Make it Blissful community is basically a coming-together of people who read the blog, attend Blissful Workshops, and connect over our active social media communities on Instagram and Facebook.
As a writer, what is the creative process like for you? What is the story behind each story that you come up with?
I can go and be a “trained” writer insofar as my copywriting services go. Nowadays, I mostly just write for the blog; I hardly get to write anymore for anything else, which is OK, since my blog is my brand. I normally spend two nights a week writing blog posts. I make sure each blog post has a good photo to go along with it. I don’t typically write about everything I’ve done, or my usual day. (Though my daily snippets are sort of documented through my Instagram vignettes @martinedeluna). If I have a strong message for the blog community, I make sure I spend a good amount of time jotting my train of thought and writing a substantial blog post.
What do you think about the blogging industry now? What does the future hold for us women or mommy bloggers?
I’m currently in talks with a couple of international blogging communities, similar to Make it Blissful. We’ve all agreed that the international blogging scene is looking to global collaborations. Thanks to social media and blogging, people from around the world can collab with bloggers from different continents, be it through community hashtags on Instagram, to blogging series and online workshops that launchpad from one blogger’s blog to another’s. Everyone can be a blog superstar and brand, if they invest in their skills and talents.
Being in the industry for a good number of years now, what are the usual challenges that you face as a blogger and how do you handle them? Have you had to deal with critics or negative comments in the past?
I’ve dealt with my share of naysayers and detractors. All bloggers have them, some just have more than others. I haven’t had a lot (thankfully), but then I don’t have a super big community. I’d rather just be helpful to a few who really value my blog and its intentions, than try to be a blog celebrity. When I do encounter “negatrons”, I don’t react publicly. If they email me privately to “attack” me, then I normally just reply courteously thanking them for their opinion. I don’t have to be mean. 🙂
Being one of our Inspiring Women featured here on the TSM blog, can you tell us, where do you get your daily dose of inspiration? Or rather, what really inspires you?
Beauty in the ordinary things in my home that I see in a different light. A good book, poetry, or a coffee table book of paintings and pictures. A simple recipe shared by a friend. Fellow bloggers. I’m a simple person, I don’t need a lot to go into a moment of inspiration.
As someone who is still “new” in blogging, can you share with me (and to all the other moms out there who would like to start a blog), your tips on how to have a successful blog?
If you want to just get your feet wet in the blog world, just start. There’s no rule to how you should start, except to open up a free blog (like on WordPress.com — recommended), tinker around with it, write your thoughts, and be consistent. Get used to writing, even if you’re not a writer. If you like taking photos, start a photo-blog: post a photo a day and write a short paragraph about your musings (or not; again, no rules here).
If you want to seriously start blogging right off with a solid brand, direction and plan, then seek a mentor to help you or a blog coach (like me!). I personally learned how to grow my blog’s brand because I had wonderful mentors, took classes, hired coaches to train me. Blogging for the long haul means knowing who you are, what you stand for and how best to present your “who” and “why” in a unique package, that is, the design, content and organic marketing of your blog. Join blog communities; connect with other like-minded bloggers, both online and offline; never settle for creating sub-standard content. People can tell when you are putting your heart into your blog and will respect that.
With a very busy daily schedule, how do you balance your time between your writing, blog coaching, mentoring and being a mummy and wife?
I don’t have a list of tactics, just a principle: Know when you mean “yes” and when you mean “no.” I say “yes” to the things that matter most to me : my family, our homeschool, our nuclear lifestyle of being homebased and flexible in our work. I say “no” to things that will stress me out or not help me live my bliss, my idea of fulfillment and happiness. I’m able to control my schedule by paring it down as much as possible, with this “yes-no” philosophy of slow, intention-based living. Just like I write about on the blog: My intention is to be able to create a life of bliss for myself, and I can definitely do that when I let my priorities set the pattern for my days.
I always say that there’s a “Spoiled Mummy” in each of us. What do you think makes you, Martine de Luna, a Spoiled Mummy? 🙂
I believe I’m spoiled in that I know what I take pleasure in and I have no guilt whatsoever in indulging in it. I don’t have expensive tastes, but I find I live a life of luxury, because I get to live on my own terms, not anyone else’s.
See the first event collaboration of The Spoiled Mummy and Martine de Luna called Unstyling : The Workshop, by clicking here.
And get to know Martine more by visiting her website at www.makeitblissful.com
To read our previous Inspiring Women feature, click here.