I feel very strongly about this.
Having lunch with Phobe & Winnie from RE&S Entreprise is always so enjoyable for me. These two ladies are so real, so genuine. It was never anything like PR, never anything like a stressful blogger event nor obligations. We'll gossip about everything over lunch, share knowledge, talk about the food, our pets, our family....
It has become something very personal to me. I really like it, and I can't wait to blog about it and share my awesome experience with you.
Blogging has always been enjoyable for me. Blogging is SOMETIMES enjoyable for me now.
You notice a massive change overnight in the blogosphere.Just last year, blogging is something where you like it, you blog, you don't like it, don't. If it is really something which you don't like, and you know everyone else won't, you say the truth.
This lunch at Kuishin-bo woke me up, making me realize that this kind of personal touch to blogging will be soon be, in fact it already is, walking done the memory lane.
Invitation Emails I receive now are mostly inviting me to TAKE PART in blog contests. No doubt the prizes are getting bigger & better, but the content of the email itself is draining me out just by reading them. In exchange for these prizes, there are strict criteria for my posts, media mentions, garnering for facebook votes, long hours of participation... Not only am I obliged to write, there are specifically things I CAN and CANNOT write about.
I'd love to write for you. But what about my job & family?
Then, there are those who are not even inviting me to anywhere. It comes with an attachment, a press release, 'inviting' me to share their product information with readers.
My blog is not just a space for you to throw in information like that for people to read. Friends do not come to my blog to read these. They are here to read information of the newest products, latest movies, fun places to be with THAT personal touch; THAT real experience.
My question is, how can I help you if I don't even know how awesome your product/activity is?
These invitations are no longer sincere where they see you as a credible blogger, capable of giving the most genuine reviews. Moreover, 99% of these companies are not paying anything. In fact, I strongly think that this is a really sad fact. Don't they think they should put in more confidence in their products?
And a sadder fact is, new bloggers who've just joined the blogosphere are extremely willing to write about them for coverage. First of all, they think that this is how things work. Then it's the fact that they need to start somewhere, they have to.
But bloggers are NOT free labours.
Companies who want bloggers to help them publicise their products, but how many of them out there really know the way to do it? And how many are really sincere in our genuine reviews rather than to rah-rah how good their products are even when it's sometimes, not really true?
I derive with a conclusion:
I am an 'in-between'. STUCK.
I am not as famous as some bloggers who can reach up to 4000 readers a day(that's only like about my 1 month readership). Sidenote: Though there are some out there who thinks that 100 readers per day = famous blog (like wtf).
I am NOT famous. Yet I am thankful I have made many friends who visits my blog at times to check out what activities I'm doing in life. (HELLO TO YOU READING THIS NOW! YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU AND REALLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!).
I had not blogged long enough with hundreds of supporters who come just to read my blog everyday(maybe not enough bitching). Hence, I don't get those ATAS treatment & enough media coverage for my blog.
I can't go up, neither can I go against myself to accept such T&Cs.
I am an 'in-between'.
I dislike companies approaching me, stating that they are going to give me TESTERS WORTH $8.90 & 20% off their products and EXPECT me to write a FULL review + company introduction + whatever facebook and twitter mentions I can do for them.
I WILL NOT do anything like this for you, yah?
First of all, you are giving me T.E.S.T.E.R.S. Don't you know how much it reflects on your company. What about that trust in me as a blogger when all i'm worth is $8.90? You make me wonder if you even read my blog or just googled me randomly?
Read and understand my blog.
Analyse my credibility.
Invite me only when you think I can really help you and trust me that I will.
Make sure the objective of your event/product launch is clear even when you don't have to tell us about it. Share it from your event and have a press release to back you up.
I don't know if you, who's reading this, agree with me. But don't you think we really need to strike a balance to this entire system?
Companies who would like to engage bloggers to cover events/product launches for you, do you want us to do an advertorial or review?
Advertorial: You PAY, we blog. Give us your expectations.
Review: We blog, you listen to our opinions; subjected to the awesomeness of your products. Period.
Seriously, if your products are really worth the mention, and your event is so much fun, I'll be more than a million times happy to pen it down. Although my command of english is not that excellent. At least friends come to read what's real; my experience, my enjoyment & something they'll really like to try after knowing it's interesting.
Bloggers out there, find your worth. Don't just accept anything that comes your way just to get the coverage. We can always buy what we want, all we have to do is save up. We DO help one another all the time. *grins*
If companies and bloggers work out something together, something like this, I believe we can strike a balance soon. That I hope...