For the past 2 years, I have been invited to the following conferences:
|with famous Indonesian Bloggers, Nonadita and DianParamita, |
and the famous Political Filipino Blogger, Tonyo Cruz.
Southeast Asian Blogger's Conference- November 2011, Bali, Indonesia
Blogfest Asia 2012- November 2012, Siem Reap, Cambodia
And yes, to my juniors and friends who are inspired with my craziness, here are some of the things that I think I did to be able to be invited --have airfare, hotel accommodations, meals and tours paid by the organizers and had the opportunity to meet awesome people in the region.
1. Travel or Socialize.
I got my first invitation to the Southeast Asian Blogger's Conference in 2011 (here's from a Cambodian friend and blogger's post whom I met in the Bali Conference and organized the Blogfest Asia 2012) from a guy who coincidentally had the same interests and college degree as me (I met him when I was traveling in Jakarta earlier that year). As a backpacker who blogs and documents about my personal thoughts on the place I travel and how I can show that place how it is to be a Filipino, probably, he thought that it's easy for him to pick me up to attend from the Philippines since I got a so-so decent blog, a flexible personality (euphemism for not high maintenance. Haha) and will say "yes" in a week notice and without notice on what I'm supposed to do. :)
Growing up, I've attended a lot of conferences as a Girls Scout, SK Chairman and a campus writer so I think I learned how to smile when they put you on spotlight. :) So, when someone invites you so that they can fill in an empty slot for a blogger's conference, grab it! It's a win-win, you'll need to do a lot of smiling but that's the start of your unlimited opportunities.
2. Keep an open mind in meeting people, online and offline.
For some people, the internet gives them freedom to be themselves, say anything they want that sometimes they couldn't say or do offline, freedom from geographical limits and distances, and from judgments and long list of qualifications that our "normal" world requires. Just like what we normally do in our everyday encounter with people when we do our usual routine, we have to keep an open mind whenever we encounter people online, never judge and be responsible in whatever you post. You never know, that person might be the organizer of the biggest conference in Asia or you're being stalked by the organizers, watch out!
3. Search for opportunities. Create opportunities.
I am always saying this, "if you feel like there's no opportunity for you, create one" cause that's the only time you'll feel accomplished on that "something" that you are very passionate about. Just like when you say "I want to win a lottery" but you never bet your favorite numbers, opportunities sometimes are within your reach, you're just too intimidated with them.
Search for conferences in whatever level you want (regional, national, worldwide) and maybe you could also search for the qualifications that's consistent in their lists and try to have some of them in your things to learn or achieve because you have to go nearer to your goal by building foundations on their basics. (i.e. blog that has been maintained for years, accreditation to group of bloggers, etc)
Have your strategy in your online image and be consistent, unless you have a character that you're playing and trying to have fortune on, it's important to be consistent with you self offline and online.
And don't forget that blogging is a form of social media, so include in your strategy the consistency with your social media network profiles.
4. Just do it.
One frustrated friend once told me that I was lucky to have been invited, maybe it's because I was a consistent honor student in elementary and high school. Whaaat does it have to do with blogging? Do people ask you nowadays if you were first honor in kinder then they respect you upon knowing that you were? It's all about your present self. Some people might just be so lazy to share their experiences thinking that it's too normal but you have to remember that what's normal for you might not be normal for some people on the other side of the world. And of course, if you'll have amnesia someday like one blogger said, a blog is a good tool to use to remember! haha.
The bottom line is just do it. It will lead somewhere someday.
Think about why you would like to blog. My friend and a wonderful wife and blogger, Lhen Crystobal, always remind me that bloggers should not lose themselves in the process. We should remember why we enjoy doing this from the very beginning.
5. Get in touch with the right people.
After you have given opportunities, never forget about the experience and the people. If you want to be taken seriously, take things seriously online and offline. It's a small world and the Internet makes our world smaller than it used to be so post, email, follow and get in touch with those people that you want to be associated with or you want to learn from.
But at the end of the day, everything depends on your passion and where you want to go because knowing your destination will help you figure out if you have arrived.
For the fun side of the Southeast Asian Blogger's Conference, here's what the lovely Indonesian Entrepreneur, Ollie's compilation of the fun times: