139 – #howtobeyou

(I don’t usually rant and I prefer to keep things to myself, but this one really needs to get off my chest.)

They say being a blogger is hard work, but I disagree. In fact, some have it as easy as pie – and without even lifting a finger! Simply re-posting press releases, collecting event loot bags, and not giving two shits about grammar – but still gaining a lot of followers online. A lot of them even hit the big-time…now that’s the life!

Meanwhile, I do steps to ensure that the posts I publish are readable, sensible, and understandable. In short, I make sure that I don’t serve crap to the intended audience. After all, would you expect people to react positively when you give them stones but they ask for eggs all the while? Yes, my grammar may not be that impeccable – but at least I try to hit a high rate of accuracy.

I’ve been blogging for three years now, but I’ve barely hit the big time. Maybe because I still prefer using elbow grease than taking the easier way to the top? However, some serve up crap – and get money and blog hits in the process, plus a free pass! I’m amazed at how these people can turn shit into gold! Step aside, Nicolas Flamel; now there are better alchemists than you!

Let me use this hashtag to summarize what I feel: #howtobeyoupo – how can I create money out of plain crap. It’s something I want to seriously learn. I’m working hard and exerting effort, only to get a measly number of views. I’m jealous of their capabilities, you know; I don’t have the looks and I don’t have the followers. All I have is…well, what do I have anyway? How to be you guys, really? They’re hot, I’m not…what a shame.

I did some research about packages that public relations (PR) companies offer to bloggers, but to no avail. I once considered getting in touch with some PR people; however, even they wouldn’t believe that I’m a blogger.

(Speaking of which, I once considered applying in a PR / ad agency as a press release writer. I had this image of being abruptly thrown into the world of Mad Men – yes, the one with Don Draper – when I get hired in one of those Taguig-based agencies. Sadly, this never happened – mainly because of my introverted nature and lack of credentials.)

Oh well, I guess raw effort is no longer popular in this day and age of fads and trends. The millennials have it better; hell, most of the new ones (up and running for less than a year) have more views than mine! I feel a shred of pity for the next generation, though; not knowing the value of hard work and being used to entitlement and instant gratification?

Seriously, has humanity gone this low?

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29 thoughts on “139 – #howtobeyou

  1. ha ha ha what to say? this is life…maybe write about love, create a winning love hashtag and write short stories about teen love, the same love story that we’ve read and seen 10 years ago, just change the names of the characters…then maybe…

    • Sadly, there will be a certain point where you will stop by and ask: is it actually worth it? In the middle of it all, you’ll drop the tools and ponder if all the hard work is even worth exerting effort on. I’ve had that realization after being in hiatus for two months.

      Don’t get me wrong – I have no regrets putting up this blog three years ago. However, reviewing products and restaurants is not a joke. I do spend a substantial amount of money just to produce content that readers may find valuable. If I wasn’t blogging about the experience, I would have been dismissed as someone wasting money instead of experiencing things and writing about them.

      Maybe it’s just that pain of rejection and under-appreciation. It feels like shit, while others have it easy and simply parrot content. Either way, it’s disheartening and disappointing.

  2. colossal na nga yan para sakin e kung maituturing. ako bro 3 years na rin 5291 views parin to be exact. sabihin na natin yung 91 dun ako sumilip sa sarili kong blog magka-stats lang.

    minsan naisip ko baka hindi catchy mga tags ko tapos baka yung mga post ko pang-underground at hindi pangmasa. sinubukan ko ring magsulat ng mga topic na alam kong dudumugin ng mambabasa pero bukod sa napagod ako ng kaka-adopt sa style na hindi akin, WALA PA RING NAGBABASA!!

    minsan I try to justify na hindi naman pagsusulat ang main source ng income ko pero syempre, gusto ko ring sumikat at maging kilalang manunulat gaya for example ni bob ong.

    siguro parang paga-artista rin yan. either hindi pa panahon o talagang hindi para sa akin na sumikat sa larangan na to…

    • Yun nga eh, ganoon din ang pakiramdam ko. Sa loob ng tatlong taong pagba-blog ko, sinubukan ko nang mag-iba ng posting style (text-pictures-text sa isang entry, image-heavy sa pangalawa, etc). Kaso parang wala eh.

      I feel your pain pare; nakakalungkot na sa panahon ngayon, wala nang nagbabasa. Saturated na kasi ang blogosphere ngayon sa dami ng mga “blogger” kuno na puro press release lang ang nilalagay sa blog. Napaghahalataang nakikisakay lang sa trend.

  3. That’s sort of the mystery, isn’t it?

    When I was still doing Daily Prompts, I came across bloggers who had subscribers by the thousands and posted every single day. The only obvious similarity I found with all them who hailed from different countries and continents? They’re retirees-turned-bloggers. Writing is something that fills a few of their hours. Because they respond to prompts, they come across other bloggers much younger than them. Their constant presence gains them new readers whenever a prompt is made. And they’re kinda like fixtures in the online community.

    At the extreme end of the spectrum are the yuppie and teen bloggers. While they blog at least once a week, they mention their link/s in various social media and app accounts–which they use daily. The ubiquity is a useful tool.

    • They have the luxury of time, my friend. Most of them are American baby boomers and Gen-X’ers who can set aside a few hours. On the lower end, most bloggers who follow me here hail from India. But if you ask me, why would their views matter? They’re not my target audience to begin with – they wouldn’t even know the nuances of what I post here, as Filipinos are my target audience.

      The millennial users, on the other hand, have social media. Not that I’m disparaging social media too (this blog has a Facebook page and Instagram, with the latter I’m planning to revive), but it’s also a reason why the blogosphere is saturated. A lot of voices and links are around, and how do you stand out from the rest?

      • At the top of my head, gimmicks. Going viral because of a trend is somewhat nice but I also see that as temporary and somehow superficial. Although it could work as a bait.

        Then again, there are shticks that become part of a blog/blogger’s signature and could not be discarded so easily.

        Also, having the right connections that would get you into events and places for exclusive stuff and limited items is a great plus! Add to that: having the right people to tweet or whatever about you. I mean, if an average Juan discovers a blog and tells his 25 followers who tell their 25 followers and so on, passing of info might go on a snail’s pace and die faster than you’d think. But if an above average Juan who reaches a wider audience posts about the same blog, there’s a greater chance that tongues would wag way faster about said blog. That or I am painfully idelistic and optimistic.

        The local food bloggers I follow don’t appear to be afraid of being goofy, messy, and real. Some are not outright funny yet become it. If there’s humor to be had, it would be natural.

      • Connections…tried that, but as I’ve mentioned above – even they don’t believe that I blog. I’ve had a few instances of being with people from Ogilvy (that renowned ad agency) back in Araneta, especially during events; I actually mentioned that I blog. However, they only saw me as that press release writer working under marketing.

        In addition, I don’t know if it’s just my introversion kicking in – but I feel that I wouldn’t really last long with a bunch of extroverts. It’s hard, if you ask me.

  4. Somehow, I get you. Saturated na ang blogosphere, hindi tulad ng dati. And yeah, for some reason, merong mga sikat na bloggers na hindi maayos ang grammar (minsan di pa maganda layout ng site, LOL) pero wag ka, influencer!

    Share ko lang personal experience ko: I started my blog way back 2008 with the purpose of being an online diary (paniniwala ko noon na yun ang purpose ng blogging, personal stuff ek-ek). The first time someone contacted me to cover a blogger event was around 2011-2012; kaya ako naimbita kasi may kaibigan ako dun sa company na nagpa-blogger event. Not exactly found organically (Google-speaking), but since then, they’ve invited me to their succeeding events.

    Re: posting PRs, sometimes I do that pero pag wala lang akong oras. Most of the time when I attend events, I write about my personal experience and even use photos that I personally took from my crappy phonecam. Since I started my blog as a personal one, I want to retain that feel kahit may nagpapadala na sa akin ng mga PR. And I only post which I think is appropriate for my blog and readers (picky din ako with events).

    If you want your blog to be out there, it helps to promote it to others. I joined a few blogger groups in Facebook. In fairness naman, dumami yung views ko after joining them. Take note, I’m no extrovert pero I spread my blog and posts around. You’ll never know who’s gonna read your blog. 🙂

    Don’t be disheartened in blogging. Just continue posting. I always consider blogging as a passion project (I don’t earn from it, not yet anyways) so if your heart is into it, don’t stop writing. 🙂

    • Thank you, Ms. Michelle. 🙂

      Nakakatawa lang kasi na napaghahalataan yung mga blogger na nakikisakay lang sa trend. Naalala ko yung mga sinasabi ni Rattus Yu of Lady Rattus / The Lamon Kronicles about sa mga yun. Marami daw views, pero puro PR lang ang pino-post. Kapag daw event, magaling sumipsip sa PR people. Influencers yun ha, pero wag ka – magaling daw sa back-stabbing at rumor-mongering. I actually follow a few here on WordPress, pero hindi na ako magbabanggit ng pangalan kasi…ang matamaan, sapul. (Wala eh, quantity over quality ang labanan – thus the picture of Nelson Muntz in this entry.)

      I’ve tried joining Filipino blogger groups one time, problem is that some of them are likewise over-saturated – in addition to the fact na may sarili silang mundo. For SEO naman…much as I appreciate the value of SEO, ang bullshit kasi basahin (pardon me for the term) pag makikita mong tadtad ng keywords. Blogs should give you the impression that you are reading printed material, yes? (Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done SEO writing before, but as a writer – peppering something with keywords for the sake of Google searchability is seriously unattractive.)

      • I’m glad to have never met bloggers na ganun. I’ve heard stories from others, matindi nga raw.

        As for SEO, para sa akin lang naman, hindi mo kailangang magtadtad ng keywords para kay Google. Write for your audience. That’s what I do, pero kung gusto kong ma-crawl siya ni Google, doon ako sa Tags naglalagay ng KWs. Di ko alam kung effective, LOL! Sometimes I put the KWs sa post title (following the first-50-character rule). Pero with the post itself, I let it flow naturally. Ayoko rin yung mukhang ewan yung nasusulat ko dahil lang sa KWs, hehe!

      • That reminds me of the time na nagsulat ako for Essays.ph – mahihilig sa keyword yung mga editor doon, may mga computation pa ng keyword count and stuff. Apparently, yung mga Amerikanong client ang mahilig mag-pepper ng keyword sa mga content nila.

  5. Hi, Monching!

    You’re right. There are some blogs who mysteriously get a lot of invites and views when the posts they publish aren’t that good. And yes, it’s true that there are those who just copy and paste press releases. But always believe that your audience will find you. Just continue what you’re doing now. Your work will stand out. I also recommend that you market yourself. Your audience won’t find you if you don’t put yourself out there. You are your biggest product so you should know how to sell yourself (without selling your soul to the devil).

    You don’t need to have experience to work in a PR agency! I worked as a copywriter for an agency and I didn’t have any PR experience before that. Our agency also accepted fresh graduates. It’s all about the timing. Wait until they have an opening 🙂

    • Thank you. 🙂

      For the PR part, that was around last year when I was disgruntled with my job as a product marketing associate for a publishing company. Got treated like shit without any chance to advance career-wise, and was involved in a power struggle between company executives. Apparently, one side took me in as an administrative assistant – expecting me to waste my years there to “learn”.

      I was passing my resume to a bunch of companies and logging into job search sites…to no avail.

      But yeah, things have turned out nicely for me after that – I’m now working in an e-learning company in Eastwood, three months down the line. 🙂

  6. Oh so relevant to what I’d just posted. The sad truth is that readership is very low in the Philippines. So if you want more audience, you have to keep up with trends. Right now it’s ummm… posting hugot articles and photos. 🙂 Reality bites eh.

    But if you like your own blog and you feel good/proud when you visit it and you have a few dedicated readers, I think that’s the important part.

    Recently someone told me, chase whatever it is that you’re after but make sure it’s aligned with your soul’s intent. How to explain that? Haha. In my case I have to self-reflect why I want high readership, and the truth is that it’s mainly for the ego. But even with modest readership I’m happy with writing/blogging, and I sometimes lose sight of that. 🙂 You have to make a choice there. Change your style to pang-masa or retain your own.

    • I concur with your point regarding trends and readership. Sadly, trends are fleeting and a (hypothetical) blogger who follows them will end up losing his / her self in the sea of fads…or so I think. I already pointed out in an earlier comment above that the world is over-saturated with a twisted idea of love, and adding more would be tantamount to too many cooks spoiling the broth.

      Admittedly, seeing your work being appreciated – whether online or in real life – brings you a sense of fulfillment. Regardless if it’s a blog, a poem, or a photograph – people admiring your masterpiece does make you happy. 🙂

      I also read your reply to my comment on your latest post. Yes, a lot of people who have entered blogging ARE desperate for freebies and sponsorship. Blogging is similar to cosplay nowadays – everyone wants a shot at fame. You’d easily sense that they’re in for the perks upon first glance. Haha, and here’s another observation: most of them write with a not-so-sharp understanding of grammar – so they resort to re-posting press releases given by the PR agency. (Don’t get me wrong; we all have minor grammar lapses sometimes, but at least most of our entries strive to be 80-90% grammatically accurate.)

      Personally though, I’d aim for my readers to not just stop by and read what I post here – but to actually engage me in conversation and talk about my entries. So far, only a few readers have done this – one example would be Mati of Like Reading on Trains, who is an active participant here. (I happen to know him in real life, as we were former workmates in my previous job.) 😉

  7. Pingback: 172 – On Mad Men And The Madder Scramble (Reflections On Four Years, Part 2) | The Monching's Guide

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