I came to realize that these bloggers are also travelers like me. The difference was that they were able to help more people by listing down their experiences for everyone who needs it. I thought, "For three years, I have been doing the same thing - sharing experiences, suggesting itineraries, referring contact persons. Why don't I just put everything in my blog so that more people could benefit?"
Armed with a basic SEO knowledge (terms such as keyword density, Copyscape and Google Adwords were not really alien to me since I have already worked as an internet content writer for various clients since 2007), I started this blog. Unfortunately, as a newbie blogger with only a couple of real persons I knew who blog, I had to start from scratch and find my way around all by myself. Writing was easy; making people read the content was another story. I was almost disheartened when my Facebook friends did not even "Like" the Facebook page (it was one of the first things I did) though I know that they are lurking at one time or another.
The next thing I did was to join forums and blogger communities. I was really thankful to find my first Google Friend Connect followers from various parts of the world in these communities, and to have my initial set of reading supplements at the same time.
Though I found pleasure in reading the blogs whatever niche they may fall under, I felt I was lacking something. I wanted to be with people who share the same love and passion for travel. Thus, the ever-reliable Google helped me again. Every query I entered led to the same answer: Pinoy Travel Bloggers. I researched how to be a member and immediately knew how. For those who do not know, I used to be a stalker and if I need to research on something, I will do all means to do it - no matter how intense it might be.
I read the requirements and I was pleased to know that everything in this fits in, save for the fact that during that time, I have yet to reach the minimum 20 posts requirement. They wanted a blog with 80% of posts related to travel, and I was sure that my blog would contain more than that.
|each search led to this mysterious badge|
I have to admit that I find it hard to muster the guts to request for membership but since I wanted it so badly, right after making 20 blog posts, I sent them an e-mail introducing myself and my blog. It did not take much long and one afternoon while I was checking my e-mail, voila! I found that I was already welcomed in the Facebook group. The feeling during that time was magical! No exaggeration included.
I was almost not able to sleep that night. I finally found what I was looking for. Hmm. I guess my welcome thread turned discussion board would speak for itself. I tried to keep the screenshot minimal but it still took three consecutive screenshots to capture the whole welcome thread.
When they said "Welcome to the world of magic", I had no idea what it was truly about. As time went on, I was enlightened with the truth behind it. Pinoy Travel Bloggers gave me my little piece of heaven in the online world. I became ultra-obedient to Journeying James' "payong kaibigan" to new members (note: I had to back read to find that post), tried to be friends and interact with everyone, and joined the Blog Carnival consistently. Participating in the Blog Carnival became one of the monthly milestones in my life and during the first two months, I started working on my contributions right after the topic was finalized. During my third month, a sudden thought of a topic entered my mind, and within my third month in the group, my wildest fantasy about hosting a blog carnival became a reality.
Even before joining the group, I had the chance to read the various blog carnivals. How? Through the recommendations of my Facebook friends.
It's been three fruitful months in Pinoy Travel Bloggers, and I only experienced the best so far. From day one of my membership, I said that I love Pinoy Travel Bloggers. Now in my third month, I would still say the same, with conviction. One thing that has yet to happen is to meet PTB members in person, but that's no reason to be sad. It just becomes one of my reasons to wake up smiling each morning, dreaming of the day when I finally meet my online friends on the road.:)
I love PTB and all of my blogger friends. I bet you know who you are as I frequent your blogs. If someone would ask me what's my favorite thing about blogging, I'd answer, "It's meeting new friends". :)