As a blogger myself, I get personally annoyed when I hear about unscrupulous bloggers that find ways to take advantage of establishment owners and resort to desperate tactics, such as gate crash events, then DEMAND for GC's and free meals after.
You'd think it would be simple enough concept.. If you're not invited to the event, don't go to it. Trying to Jedi Mind Trick your way inside only works in the movies. (I tried it on my prom date.. It really doesn't work)
I honestly try to keep my hands out of the politics in the Philippine blogging world, but I think it's time I took a stand. After hearing about a recent incident, I have decided that enough is enough and it's time to tell you all how I feel.
Truthfully, I don't get all that many invites compared to other bloggers. But instead of doing something as pathetic as gatecrashing an event (including sneaking in by pretending to need to use the bathroom), I choose to instead just be thankful for the establishments that do recognize the efforts that Rina and I exert to come up with a fun, yet informative food blog in the form of www.thepickiesteater.net. I choose to focus on cherishing my relationship with these people, instead of thinking ill of those who don't know about my blog, or those that feel it is not what they are looking for when it comes to web publicity.
I don't need any awards to validate my accomplishments as a blogger. I have you guys. I have each and everyone of you that at one point in time, I've made laugh, hungry, and perhaps even cry in the four years of The Pickiest Eater's existence.
No award.. no trophy is greater than that.
To the newer bloggers out there, here's some words of advice:
Don't blog just to get into events, and to get loot bags or perks. Blog because you want to share with the world something that you enjoy doing.. Whether your passion is in food, fashion, fitness, beauty or travel, it matters not. The choice is yours. Find it. Write from the heart, and everything else will flow naturally.
You must not allow yourself to be fooled by blogger groups that promise to get you into events, with "Tokens" and loot bags. Do not allow yourself to be used, in exchange for "Exposure" and "freebies". Tell yourself that you're worth more than that. You'll be surprised how this group will instead find ways to exploit you to benefit their own sites.. All done in the guise of "helping you and your blog grow".
I promise you, just blog sincerely and from the heart, and those things will come. PR people and establishments will take notice.
It happened to me. It will happen to you.
Don't let anyone take away from you that incredible feeling you'll get when a restaurant or agency emails you from out of nowhere for the very first time and tells you, "I came across your blog on the net and enjoyed it.. I would like to invite you to..." . Believe me, it is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. The hard work that you thought no one was paying attention to, was actually appreciated by a complete stranger from the other side of town. There is no need to rush it, because it will eventually happen.
And besides, wouldn't it be more fulfilling to know you got invited to an event or restaurant on the strength of your own blog, and not because someone pulled some strings to get you in?
Also, never take not being invited to an event as an insult. Perhaps the PR agency doesn't know your blog just yet. Instead, simply work harder to make them regret not inviting you. When they finally do discover you, hearing them tell say, "I wish I saw your blog sooner! There are so many events you would have been perfect for!" will be extremely gratifying. True Story. ;)
I hope PR Agencies, Marketing reps, and restaurant owners will be more vigilant against bloggers with this sort of Gate crashing Modus Operandi. Do not allow yourself to be bullied. Remember this.. They need you more than you need them. Also, letting one through may empower another in the future. Don't be so worried about said bloggers creating negative publicity. The public will see through their true intentions.
I think i'm the last person who should be giving advice because this whole blogging thing is still a learning process for me as well, but I just really wanted to give my two cents.
Perhaps in your eyes, my opinion is wrong, but let me just say.. This is how I went about blogging career and building my site to what it is today. I played by the rules, never stepped on anyone's toes, and instead built solid foundations of friendship and respect with people within the system, using laughter as my primary tool, instead of fear.
I'll be the first to admit that I've got a long way to go to where I want to be, but I think I've done pretty well for myself, don't you think?