Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Meet Aurora Afable, Entrepreneur and Blogger

Aurora Afable is a biochem student, blogger, entrepreneur, and more. She's been blogging since she was 16, and over time, it became her profession. She has also written and published a book about outsourcing. Learn more about Aurora and her work by checking out her sites, Cool College Helpers and The Modern Catholic.

1. When did you first become interested in being an entrepreneur?

I've always had an interest in entrepreneurship since I was very young. I lived in a different country back then, and I would sell candy or cellphone credits (since I'm a reseller) to other people. The candy didn't work out, though. I ended up eating the inventory I had! When I moved here, I was eager to find out more about how entrepreneurship worked here. It's very different compared to the previous environment I was in.

Of course, over here everything is modern, so I decided to go to the marketing route, since I'm a technology power-user. I couldn't settle to do the regular college-related jobs. Sadly, I don't have the same amount of energy most college students have because I served in the military (but that's another story). Instead, I took the risk (since it's fun) and just did it. I don't even know how it all began. I guess one day I just woke up and decided that I was going to buy hosting and get myself the two websites.

2. How did you decide on the topics for your websites, Cool College Helpers, and The Modern Catholic?

Good question! You don't find a lot of student entrepreneurs in this niche (as far as I'm concerned). My motto is "there must be a better way," so I have a knack for finding out the best things about how to get something done or make something more enjoyable. My family members always ask me advice on how I do things, and I also had some of my friends do the same when I first started college. I guess you can consider me as a risk-taker because I don't care to fail. All that matters to me is being able to accomplish my goal no matter how many times I fail. This has given me plenty of insight and experience on certain ideas so that I can kind of predict the outcome of a situation. Because I'm a student, I have so much knowledge about the topic that I thought I'd share the tips I have to the world. I really love helping people out. Cool College Helpers is about helping working college students out. I don't do it because of the money. I do it because helping an individual who needs your help not only benefits that person, but it also benefits you because you realize that you're needed in the world.

The Modern Catholic first started off as my personal blog. I guess you can call this blog "pure." I knew I had to change it when I realized that all my interests would not fit this particular theme. The goal of The Modern Catholic was to basically document my journey as I try to come back to my faith, or to God. There was a time in my life where I doubted God. That was when I was depressed, was not doing well in school, had broken up with someone I truly loved, and just seemed to be stuck in a hole. Truly, that was the most challenging year in my life (thus far). I moved to California to leave that and decided to be happy again. The Modern Catholic definitely keeps me straight and reminds me to take a moment and remember my beginning. I believe that some people experience this also, so I decided to make this journey go public.

3. Do you create all of your own content for your sites, or do you work with freelancers at all? In other words, how do you balance your studies with your websites?

I'm really glad you noticed. It is difficult, after all, to work in your career, try and find yourself, and manage to try and help people out. As I started building a site, I did outsource to Filipinos for awhile. There are only a couple articles at CCH that have been written by them, but I was never happy about it because it lacked culture. After a month or so, I decided to let go of them and just write my own articles. The content needed was based on my experience, and it was hard for them to interpret that in writing. Mind you, most of my staff had bachelor's degrees, but the culture just wasn't there. To answer your question, I write ALL the content of my sites except all the legal notes on them.

4. In your opinion, how long does it take to achieve success?

It depends on what you mean by success. My meaning of success would be having a good amount of readers that come back to your site because they trust the kind of advice it gives, or it makes them feel good, or they think that it helps. With a large amount of observation and trial and error, it isn't far. I have been doing this since March, and with the right amount of content, and followers, we've been doing better every day. We have generally increased the fans of our social media profiles, and we've actually had people want to do guest posts. To me, seeing it grow from what it used to be to what it now feels like I am going somewhere like I'm closer to success. At this rate, success seems like it'll be here in about a year hopefully.

5.What do you plan to accomplish, in the next year or so?

Honestly, I haven't even planned that far! I have too many ideas and writing on my hands. Evidently, I am getting there. I just finished scheduling articles for the next three months. At this rate, I should be able to find out a realistic goal for next year. Every day counts as it's part of my statistics. Some days are difficult, and some days are just wonderful, especially when people tell you that what I wrote truly helped them. It's very addictive... I don't receive a lot of gratitude, but out of all the hard work you do, a small thank you once in a while can keep you going. I think it's the same concept as eating sunflower seeds. The amount of work you put into opening the shell does not equal to the amount of food you get. However, a tiny piece of that reward is still enough for you to keep opening a hundred more.

Thanks, Aurora!

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