If this were an ordinary year, I would be celebrating my blog’s 12th anniversary with giveaways and a lunch treat for a small group of readers. But this is not an ordinary year. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year here in the Philippines, I haven’t really been able to celebrate my blogversary. The year 2021 in fact marks my 12th year in the blogosphere. A lot of my contemporaries have actually quit. Some have switched to exclusively posting on social media. But I think I like writing too much to stop blogging. So I’m still here. I now have a 20-year old kid and my youngest is already a teen.
The blogging landscape has changed a lot. Blogs used to be more personal. When I started, I was just writing about my experiences — what I ate, what I watched, what I read… stuff like that. I was pretty clueless and directionless so my blog didn’t have a specific niche. It was more of posting whatever I fancied. A couple of years into it, I started getting contacted by PR agencies and brands. I’d get invited to events. They’d send stuff my way for feature or review. I went into my excited phase and said yes to practically everything. Never mind that I lived in QC and the event was in SM Mall of Asia. Or that I was being required to do a lot of things for the “gifts” sent my way. Ah yes, I was very amenable to whatever. Since I was always posting about food, beauty products, and mommy stuff, I’d get sent products related to these topics.
A few more years into it, I started taking a step back from everything and re-examining my blogging life. I was getting tired and I was starting to realize that I was running myself ragged with everything I was agreeing to. Back then, I didn’t know some of the things I was doing already fell under “paid work” in other parts of the world. I didn’t even know I could earn money from blogging until several years into it. It was then I decided to be more selective about the events I attended and the “work” I agreed to. Going back to the more personal approach I started with became one of my goals. I learned to say no and refuse to promote or accept things I knew I wouldn’t use.
Now over a decade in this industry, I’m not nearly as excitable and I have a clearer idea of what direction I want to go. I’m constantly being inspired and challenged by the new breed of influencers with more unique content to offer. During the pandemic I’ve somehow switched from being beauty and lifestyle-centric to being more food-centric. I’m thinking if I should go back to doing what I used to do… like makeup posts? Should I transition to video and start working on my YouTube channel? I know that the word “influencer” has a lot of negative connotations so I don’t really want to refer to myself as one. However, like it or not, influencers and influencer marketing are here to stay. What’s important is staying true to yourself and using whatever power you have to work for the greater good. I’m actually thinking of uploading a piece about getting vaccinated for COVID-19 because I know a lot of people are still on the fence about it, but I’ll have to do my part and make sure my piece is backed with research first.
I guess I’m commemorating my 12th year of my blogging journey at home in community quarantine again like last year. Really hoping that we can get back to some semblance of normalcy soon. Until then, I’ll just be in my corner of the web. Thank you for staying with me.
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