An open letter to advertisers who don’t appreciate our hard work
bDear advertisers, partners, companies, etc.
The moment I receive an e-mail from you and you don’t address me with my name, your message automatically goes to trash no matter which travel company you are representing. Isn’t this basic courtesy? To at least read something about me? Why is that so hard for you when I already have an ‘about’ page on my blog?
I am speaking for all of us bloggers, travel industry or not.
Your ‘no subject’ messages also pass the move to trash category. None of us open messages like this, I am saying this with all honesty. A subject is really important when we are browsing hundreds of e-mails we receive every day. This is very basic, ‘no? I mean putting a subject in your e-mails?
When you tell me you like my stuff, please make it believable. A US-based tour company e-mailed me saying I have awesome pictures in the Grand Canyon as an introduction to their proposal but didn’t work. You know why? I have never been to the United States of America. It seemed to me that you are just guessing what I do and that is not cool. Not to mention you greeted me with “Hi, Psimon!” That is actually not my name nor my blog name. Double whammy.
It’s funny how you have the guts to negotiate and decline my counter-proposal just because you think my authority doesn’t meet your ‘standards’ but let me tell you that you don’t have the right to do that. Yeah, we can meet halfway but I want you to understand that I should have the last say in sealing the deal. Not you. You are asking for a favour, right?
It’s also ridiculous for you to offer $10.00 USD for an article. I mean, come on! I am not a popular travel blogger of some sort but you coming to me means you believe in what I do. And what I do is write. I put all my efforts to it and I’d like to believe I am good at it. I stopped working with companies like these — who think our hard work is worth anything. Our efforts are priceless that’s why a lot of us decline your offers. We are not looking to have gazillion sponsors. We actually choose who we want to work with and we opt for something we believe in.
Another thing that pisses bloggers off is when you actually want to avail our services for FREE. Can you picture what a blogger’s day usually look like? Writing, social media promotions, replying to hundreds of e-mails: all done with so much love and effort, by ourselves. I regard any blogger in all industry as super heroes. I think you should, too.
If you give me a travel organiser plus $200.00 in exchange for a review on my blog, I definitely won’t take it right away. I need to think. I weigh the pros and cons of working with you. I need to work with products I believe in. I don’t want to fool the readers of this blog just because I want to get your free organiser and the cash that goes with it. Most of you think we are after the money but we are actually the exact opposite.
I gave a well-known sports watch company a negative review and their Marketing Manager went crazy on me. Wait, you sent me the product and asked for a review. I did not give you the assurance that you will get something positive because everything will depend on my experience. Another company wrote to me asking for the same thing but he said “we are expecting a positive review in exchange for the product we will send you.” Wait, wait, wait, wait, where did you get that ridiculous idea? That you can actually direct me with what I have to write?
Do you even know why you should kiss our as* and not the other way around? Famous bloggers or not, all of us have loyal following. People who believe in us. People who will buy the products we give positive reviews to. People who have our blogs bookmarked on their computers. They run to us every time they are in need and please believe me when I say that a loyal follower is not your ordinary loyal. They are believers. We will never want them to believe we love your stuff just because you paid us for it.
I may sound like I am attacking you but I am not. I actually want to give you tips on working with bloggers: build relationships and maintain it. Most of you work with us one time and that’s it. There was this instance when I worked with a 5-star hotel in the Philippines: I gave them a positive review because I really liked their wonderful, honest and genuine staff. After a few months, I went back to that hotel but did not request for a room. I just asked a very small favour because I already had a place to stay. The next thing I knew, they were charging me for it. I only asked if I can use their gym for an hour and they wanted me to pay. Again, I mean… come on. I am supposed to be a part of your team now. A friend. An ally. I am pretty sure one-hour in your gym for one person won’t be a large financial loss.
When you are asking for a favour, we deliver. When we’re the one asking, you ignore us.
We are also marketers so we know if you are giving us BS or not. Be genuine. Be your true self. You are not required to smile at us the moment you see us in person. I myself know and understand when people are having a bad day and that’s okay. You are entitled to that. I just don’t like it when you are being fake because you need something from me. So please, please, please, I beg you: be real. Show me who you really are.
We may not like you but we love you. How can we not? You make the travel industry a beautiful place to work in. You make things possible. You do great things. But you have to know that we do the same. We are on the same side here so treat us right.
To be fair, I also want to address the bloggers who are overpricing and think of themselves as the most famous blogger in the world. None of us are actually famous, keep that in mind. Let’s not be rude. Let’s give these companies the treatment they deserve.
If both parties behave, I promise all of you that we will thrive… together.
Love from sunny Boracay,
who is traveling, writing and loving
P.S. I am from the Philippines. Not Philippians. Please get it right.
Are you a blogger? Share the most ridiculous e-mail you received from an advertiser on the comment box below! I would also love to hear what you think about this letter!