#AskTenSeries: Evan Tan on Bloggers as Customer Influencers

In this ‘Ask Ten’ Series post, Evan Tan shares about Freelancer.com, his advocacy, stalking on Instagram (oops, you’re not supposed to know that) and other juicy details.

I personally met Evan through blogger Dems Angeles when Bloggers Ng Pinas was preparing for its 1st Bloggers Talk Series last June 26, 2015.

Yeah, BNP seemed to have a fondness in the word 'series' for our activities. We need to come up with better titles next time.

Okay. Now back to our guest for today.

About Evan Tan

Evan is with Freelancer.com as the Regional Director for SE Asia where he manages a team of communication experts who promote Freelancer.com and its regional websites to stakeholders and the media in the continent.

He's the guy behind Writer In Manila and uses the platform as a venue to express his thoughts about things that catch his attention.

He is also actively involved in an HIV advocacy organization here in the country named The Red Whistle.

But this guy if definitely more than what are mentioned and we are excited to learn more about him....

So we asked Evan...

What are you busy with at the moment? Any business or advocacy?

My work with Freelancer.com takes me to different places, and recently I was just in Iriga for our partnership with the Department of Science and Technology to spread the knowledge of online freelancing in the countryside. We have been going around different communities around the Philippines for these Rural Impact Sourcing workshops—taking us to places such as Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga, and Legazpi, among others.

We also have an ongoing partnership with the Multimedia Development Corporation, an arm of the Malaysian government, which has likewise been actively assisting their underprivileged through a similar model such as the DOST’s. Getting the less privileged online and helping them tap into Freelancer.com to lift their economic status—changing lives, so to speak—is something which drives me and my teammates in the company.

Aside from this, I’ve also been actively involved with The Red Whistle, which is an HIV advocacy organization here in the country. As a member of the LGBT community, I understand how HIV is a disease which strongly affects the community, and spreading awareness on the disease is what we’ve been actively doing.

Check out The Red Whistle's Facebook Page

When and how did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was very young—a friend just actually messaged me a few weeks back on how I wrote short stories for my classmates in elementary. I enjoy reading, and I think that was something that started me with writing my thoughts down. I also used to keep a journal (but I would cringe if anyone gets to read the stuff I wrote when I was younger!)
You've been warned! #Lol

How often do you write?

I’d say I write frequently, although not as frequent as I’d like to for personal projects. That’s something I’d like to change. I’ve put on hold some writing projects which I plan to resume sometime soon. 

Is there something you hate about blogging? If yes, what is it and what will make you change your mind about it?

I don’t really hate blogging as a medium. I think it’s a good way to get your thoughts out there, aside from voicing out your opinions to your friends. I like to refine my thoughts and I think blogging about matters which I find personal allows me to create a conversation around the topics which I find interesting. I like reading about what other people think, and whether or not I agree with what’s said, I am drawn to a well-written blogpost. 
Reading what others think is cool!

Are there topics or niches that you find yourself passionate writing about?

I like reading about articles involving travel, art, philosophy, psychology, technology, fitness and health, and the LGBT advocacy. That’s why I write about those topics as well.

What value do you see in blogging for brands and companies these days?

The thing about blogging is that people appreciate the authenticity that is associated with the medium. It’s a very personal experience. And a really good testimonial can influence other potential customers.

Are there local writers or bloggers you look up to? Which blogs or bloggers do you follow and read?

I find Jessica Zafra witty and funny. She mentored us in a writing workshop and I found her comments on my work as very insightful.
I admire how very brave Ana Santos is with her writing—she is perhaps the only person I know courageous enough to talk about sex here in the Philippines, aside from Dr. Margie Holmes. I especially like how she and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez established Writer’s Block Philippines to impart practical knowledge on becoming better writers.
Irwin and Anna of Swirling Over Coffee are really passionate about what they do (and I trust their word on the best gadgets out there.) I was just reading Dems Angeles’s post on this dermatological treatment she got a few weeks back.
(I stalk David Guison on Instagram, but you didn’t need to know that.)

You may follow Evan on Instagram

I read Brain Pickings, I Fucking Love Science as well as You Are Not So Smart.
I think there’s a lot of good writers and material here in and outside of the country, I simply can’t name everyone. 

What aspect of writing or blogging you would want to learn more of?

I think microblogging is great, but I’m not a big Twitter user. I know people who are avid Redditors. I want to be part of these communities and just understand how these different online cultures and subcultures operate.

Do you see any areas where our fellow bloggers might want to focus on in order to be more relevant and effective? What are these areas?

I see blogs that aren’t well-written, and I think one of the problem is that you really can’t be a good writer if you don’t read a lot. I think we should encourage aspiring bloggers to read more on the topics they want to write about so they can have better opinions.
Well, you want to be good, right?
So, to sum it up: read, read, read; write, write, write.

Thank you, Evan!

Bloggers Ng Pinas will be featuring Filipino bloggers and content creators who are willing to help others to be successful too. 

If you have bloggers or people in mind whom you think could help us enhance the blogging experience of our fellow bloggers, you may comment your suggestions below.

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About Rey Baguio

Rey Baguio
Rey M. Baguio is the Founder of Bloggers Ng Pinas and wears different hats. A Digital Marketing Consultant, Blogger, Community Manager, Content Marketing advocate and a self-proclaimed introvert. He treasures every moment he can spend with himself and yet loves the company of people with positive vibes. You can also read his other blogs: My DigitalPH and Pinas Social.
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