"I am a blogger" - this statement used to fill me with curiosity, questioning why said person thought they were so interesting that they needed to write about it. Now, this statement fills me with dread.
I guess that's why I try and blog/write more about "feelings, nothing more than feelings" and marriage and life etc - though you may have seen my Laborie review and post on Waterkloof
To make things clear, I don't believe blogging is just used for people with Wordpress or Blogger, I think it's also for people with websites that they update on a frequent level with posts pertaining to themselves and their likes. (I hope that makes sense).
Going back to why bloggers scare me a little - haven't we all seen a bit of a shift in the way bloggers behave these days...the way consumers behave has shifted dramatically and we basically all think we're entitled to the very best of everything. How many times have I gone out to a restaurant and been overtly critical because it now feels like the norm. I have to mentally slap myself or get Mr H to do it for me.
This new trend of needing the best and getting it for free has spawned the term "Blegging" - to beg and blog. Or blog to beg. Or beg so you can blog.
Here are my top tips on how to Bleg successfully. Now go forth and annoy the hell out of everyone.
1) Start a blog - let's use food as the example - get a huge following by doing some giveaways and write some decent fluffy pieces. Then get out and eat. But when you eat, document each moment and critique it as if you have a Michelin Star to give - and if it's bad, make this fact known - be thoroughly disagreeable and make sure you get a free meal out it.
It's best if you never paid in the first place.
2) Be rude to PRs. I once listened to a conversation between two bloggers who were bemoaning one of my favorite PR companies and calling them stupid because they had the audacity to send them an invite for an event in the week when obviously they are working. I've heard bleggers demand that they get a weekend time instead and write quite nasty emails/pieces if they don't.
Alternatively, suck up to PRs because they hold the key to your freebies. There are many companies out there that will burn your name off their list if you say one negative thing. "Gosh it's a little warm today at this event" - people have died for less!
3) Heard about an amazing event but didn't make the guest list...this is when you get emailing. Be diligent, be ruthless - don't stop emailing the PR company until you get invited. You're special damn it.
And when that invite does get sent to you because you threatened to kidnap their cat, turn up to the event, moan about everything and then leave early. They should have invited you in the first place.
4) Demand to bring a friend or partner with you EVERYWHERE (even day time events) even if they add nothing to the event. It's important to try every item off the menu so if you bring someone with, you don't look like a total glutton.
5) There is no such thing as shame, so if you got a freebie from a restaurant/winery/shop tweet about it until your fingers are so numb you can barely hold your phone anymore. (disclaimer - I do tweet about events and reviews I get offered but you might have seen that I am sometimes too honest for my own good. one day I will get fired. Or killed)
Truthfully, I receive a lot of freebies but that's more because of my job and position and I do tweet about them ESPECIALLY when it's absolutely awesome or when I know that the PR and the winery put a lot of effort into the media drop or the event.
I also get a lot of free press releases sent to me on events with the opening line "it would be so good if you would share this with your readership" and honestly I get so sick of it that I have started emailing back asking them to either take out a Sponsored article or send me tickets coz doing work for free ain't making anyone's day. Maybe I'm now a Blegger...I think it's actually quite a fine line.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
I don't think you'll ever see Paid-for-content on this blog because a) I'm too weird and brutal for that b) I think the only fitting advert would be for anger management