Along with the growth of Doha in terms of hotels and dining scene, a huge influx of new bloggers has come along with it. New names, new websites and new faces – it’s quite hard to keep up with all of them specially since they are way too many these days. I’m glad though that the blogging community is growing and that Doha is finally keeping up with the power of social media and bloggers to help their businesses grow.
I have been observing the blogging scene from afar and I noticed one thing, some are obviously in it just for the freebies. Tagging every single establishments on each posts that they do in the hopes of getting noticed or some even go as far as blatantly kissing someone’s ass publicly on their social media channels in the hopes of scoring a freebie. To be very frank, it is quite disgusting to see as to where blogging has come to. It is no longer a channel to give out honest reviews and experiences, it is now a way to get free stuff by writing content which lacks quality.
I have been contemplating about this for quite a long time now and very recently, another blogger has voiced out the same concern during a random conversation that we had. While discussing about the things we’re doing to grow our blogs in the hopes of learning from each other, we realized that not everyone has the same agenda when it comes to blogging. Some bloggers doesn’t even know the statistics of their blog or how to even check it. They don’t care because whatever their statistics is, they will still get invited to attend an event or a complimentary meal for review. With or without audience reach, an invitation will come.
This makes me lose my motivation in some ways. I guess some establishments are to blame too since this is all new to them, they don’t really have a way or doesn’t know how to do a quality check for each websites that they are inviting. In one year that I’ve been blogging here in Doha, I have only been asked for my google analytics by 4 companies. The Entertainer and Doha Marriott are two of them which I will have to specifically mention since they’ve asked for it a couple of times to update their records.
For the new bloggers, focusing on one topic alone is a thing of the past. Bloggers these days will cover just about anything to be able to maximize all the free stuff they can get out of it. One can be a fashion, food, beauty, travel and even car bloggers even if they know nothing about the topic. I have always avoided fashion and beauty events because I’m not really into these kinds of things. I don’t think the readers that I have will benefit from it and I, myself don’t find the value of such things for me or my blog. A lot of people though have decided to take that route even if they know nothing about it. I think they ought to be reminded that being able to dress and prettify yourself doesn’t make you a fashion or beauty blogger. Just the same, enjoying to eat food doesn’t make you a food blogger.
I love to eat so anything that is food-related is a good invitation for me but I can’t really categorize myself as a food blogger because I don’t really have an expertise on it. I can honestly say that I’m a glutton, not a food blogger and I would most likely write about my experience as a whole and not about the food itself when visiting a restaurant. I’m not like Gerry of Boulangerry who can recognize a certain spice used in a food just by having a small taste of it (sometimes, just by smelling it) nor am I like Rachel of Life On The Wedge whose name became synonymous to cheese in the food blogging scene of Doha because of her passion for it.
I may not be like any of them but what I do have a passion for is this blog, Pinay Flying High. This is my baby and I have created a name from it. I have met a few people who recognized me as “the Entertainer girl” as I keep on promoting this app even before becoming their brand ambassador and very recently, someone referred to me as “the girl who wrote about Streetfood Doha” a blog post about this phenomenal Thursday night dining concept which was widely shared on social media right after hitting the publish button. I will of course take care of my name by only giving out honest reviews (in the nicest way possible) and will keep on trying to give high quality posts with photos to go along with it. I never use anyone else’s photos on my reviews, not even photos given by the establishment itself and that I think has become my signature too in the blogging scene of Doha.
The internet is huge, of course there is space for everyone. I’m very happy to see new names, new faces and new websites – one year ago, I was in the exact same position as they are. The only difference is, I had a 7-year blogging experience from Dubai which is a much tougher crowd. I’m seriously hoping though that the space they now occupy in the interwebs will not be wasted and they can only do this by being a blogger, not a free rider.