This week I received the “Blogger Recognition Award” from the stunning Ms. Carmel Reeves of Smart Living Blog. I just got a Facebook notification and lo and behold, such recognition to start the day right for me! I am equally honored and humbled having my advocacy noticed. 

Carmel Reeves’ site is LifeHacker meets Martha Stewart.  And no, boys, you will actually enjoy reading her articles. I guarantee it!  I have learned a lot from her materials. Her site is a gold mine of ideas and tips that I usually end up nodding satisfied after finishing an article of hers. It is that good. Anyhow, this recognition comes with a price. A price I’m thrilled to do. Here we go! 

What is the Blogger Recognition Award? 

It’s a way of giving recognition to sites that truly breaks the mold. It is also a way to inspire and encourage aspiring bloggers/content creators who are interested in starting one. Such a recognition also allows link building (hence, being associated) with more experienced/seasoned bloggers. In that way, these already stable sites can generate traffic to the new sites they are linked with. And I think it’s a lovely practice. With that said, here are the requirements for the recognition:

You must thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Write a blog post to show the award.

Write a brief story how your blog started.

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

Select 10 bloggers to pass this award to.

Comment on each nominated blogger to let them know that they are nominated and provide a link to this post.

Sounds easy? Probably. But doing the whole thing on a mobile phone is pretty darn challenging. 

How I/We started

I started The Ugly Writers way back 2011 as world literature educational site. The students loved it and looked forward to original content. I set the thought aside as my objective is to provide educational materials for my subject. August of last year, I started a separate new site hosted by WordPress that did just what my students were clamoring for. I renamed my world lit site as Litera and used The Ugly Writers for the new one. Ten posts in and I attracted the minds of two ladies who went and became regulars of the site. I upgraded and got the site hosted by Siteground and it started to really pick up speed. I started welcoming more contributors and decided accepting guest posts as well. Now, the site is catering to 10k monthly views and houses the best minds in the world whether as regular or guest contributors. My advocacy remained the same for The Ugly Writers: To be a haven for aspiring writers and frequent readers. 

Dispensing Advice

Starting up a site is easy. Maintaining the site and your passion as well is tricky. Some advice I can dispense for aspiring writers/bloggers are the following:

  1. Be passionate about what you do. Once in, you are no longer doing it for yourself, you are doing a public service. Provide great content. Relate to your audience. Give them reason to stay. 
  2. Reach out. Your work doesn’t end up after hitting that publish button. No, you’re only getting started. Share it. Promote it to the best you can. Interact and engage with your existing readers and attract new ones. 
  3. Now, I am only supposed to do two but think of my third as a bonus. Free. Of. Charge. HELP OUT new bloggers. Whether it’s technical, aesthetic or downright promotional. You’ve already experienced the hardships of starting one, and I am betting my ass you wished someone helped you out along the way. If nobody was there for you, it is not an excuse for you to leave newbies out and dry. Be a big brother (or sister) to them. Support them the best you can. 


Of course, the end part of the program is tricky as I equally love all the sites/blogs I have been reading lately. The following are the people and their blogs that I believe deserve this recognition:

  1. Syl Dinada (and his self-named site

Syl is this force in the blogosphere that you may have never heard of. His site exudes a truly remarkable mind. If you are running low on inspiration and creativity, you better have his site on your subscription box. 

  1. Paige Butler and her The Anxious Photographer

The Ugly Writer meets an Anxious Photographer. Haha! I always loved a witty url/site name. And this is one of my most recent favorites. Paige’s anxiety doesn’t show on her site. On the contrary, it exudes fun and confidence and I think that is what attracted me the most to her site, plus the fact that I’m a shutterbug myself. 

  1. Zoey Schwan’s and her Zoey Valuated

Zoey is already an institution in the blogging scene but that doesn’t stop her from being a responsible and helpful member of our industry. I love her Life Lessons segment (the froggie series) as it goes beyond race, gender and belief. It’s a bunch of gold nuggets of advice that do not sound condescending. 

  1. Jackie Hauer and her Haute Mess Life

Jackie’s site made me realize that not all women are coordinated and has their shit all figured out (pardon the language) which is a breath of fresh air. I love every DIYs and fashion hauls on her site whether it’s a success or a failure. The way she delivers each and every article feels like my girl best friend is showing me stuff I normally won’t listen, watch or give a damn. I’m a guy and I’m loving every bits and pieces of it. 

  1. Nathalie Atienza and her Black Shirt Thirteen

You may remember Nat’s guest post piece “a million pieces” and how it captured a lot of reactions on TUW. Check her site is you haven’t and you will stumble upon another gem entitled Mediocrity. It’s a sad read but it really hits home there. Make sure to subscribe on her site to avoid missing out another so-much-feels article from this leftie! 

  1. Anant Shahi and his Evolving Perceptions

Anant has powerful words tucked under the already crowded title/name of his page. Do look it up, there are ridiculously waaaay too many Evolving Perceptions out there, but his is the best. This writer releases wait-worthy articles and his humor is contagious. Catch some of his guest posts here if you need more proof then head over to his site! 

  1. Karen Kaye Lastimosa and her Dancing Morphemes / Kathleen Lastimosa and her Paper Doll Writes

I feel bad whenever I break this two apart so to make abide by the limit of this award, I will have to squeeze the two under my number 7. Do not undermine the URL/blog names, these two Lastimosas write incredibly well. I have had the pleasure to feature their works on TUW and I am looking forward for more. 

Dancing Morphemes delivers great finds that goes beyond YA (young adults, FYI). And yes, she admits she Is odd and I agree, and I love it! Paper Doll Writes is a melting pot of Kathleen’s creativity all packed in a world of pink, would you believe that?! 

  1. Niz Abdallah-Caliolio and her This Girl Named Nizrhane

This patriotic Germany-based 27 year old Pinay is a multitude. She is a writer in every sense of the word, even if she says otherwise. Enter the mind of a confidently perturbed lady. Every word from her resonates a passion that will never extinguished. 

  1. Amanda Kat and her Last Few Pages

Amanda is a member of TUW. The second site Amanda owned, Last Few Pages is her passionate attempt to do what she really wants. To read. LFP will be a collection of book and film reviews from her, her mom and yours truly. Amanda has a another page called Last Few Pages

  1. Marisse Lee and her Harping by a Pixie

Marisse or better known as Harping by a Pixie is a Jane of all Trades. An entrepreneur, writer, an advocate and a dreamer. She gave up her corporate life to start her own business and with that, her new adventure began. Aside from being a regular at TUW, she recently started Harping by a Pixie to document her adventures (and misadventures) as a global woman, that is if her internet connection is good. Catch more of her works here and on her site. 

Whew, that took me a while… Thanks again to Carmel for this great opportunity to feature other sites I enjoy.  

Please check out some of the latest posts from our beloved Uglies. 


My version of the said award