free or fee

This question was posed to me during my sister’s wedding dinner just now when I talk about my blog.

It startled me coz I’ve never thought about that or seen it that way before. Sure, the free or fee mindset is very rampant nowadays in the commercialization of blogs. Why do I do this for hotels, places, events etc etc without a fee?

…coz I don’t see it as promoting it for free. The world would be a sad place if everything is done for profit instead of passion, if the exchange of currency is involved in every single venture that we do.

Also, I see sixthseal.com as a springboard for me to bigger and better things – I’ve always wanted to be a personality on Discovery Travel & Adventure, going to different places and trying new things, experience new cultures.

I haven’t given up on that dream yet. :)

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21 Responses to “Why do I promote eating outlets for free?”

  1. This looks familiar, this the one in JayaOne?

  2. Have you tried out for their auditions? I think you’d make an interesting host, based on your posts here :)

  3. HB, My mother is a freelance mystery shopping or Standard Control Agent. She get asignment from Sizzler, Chili, and many other businesses. She checked on how good is the food, services, ect. She paid per asignment and free meals paid back to her. I thought are you so well known get these businesses to see your blog is popular let you write about it as free promotion for them.
    It help you fray your expenses and those businesses are seen all over the world by mean your blog Sixthseal. It all up to you and I really enjoy reading your blog everyday.

  4. Dude, I think you’re good in promoting businesses and you share so much of Malaysia places and foods and cultures to many bloggers who live else where. I lived in States and never seen Southeast Asia. By reading your blog I now interested to visit soon. I am ABC and like to other Chinese lived in Asia.
    I heard many people in States who do blogs get paid by sponcers for promoting businesses. Your blog got most hits to interest them.

  5. HB, I am surprise you never got paid for promoting businesses. Your blog got lot hits and is very popular with oversea Chinese from all over the world. It fresh interesting blog for people to comment many things. I like it for getting to see some part of your homeland. Enjoy the food entries very much.
    You need to defray costs by having sponcers and after so many years they would like very much more bloggers see their ads and businesses.

  6. Like you, i have been writing food posts for free too and family members ask me the same question like ppl asked you. My sister was so against it that she banned me from taking pictures whenever i’m out to dine with her. It sucks sometimes.
    Fact is, i am writing all the food posts for the sake of my hobby. I love eating and good food makes me happy. Of course, having it free would be a lot nicer. I am not popular but i enjoyed doing advertising good food! By blogging , i even learn photography techniques!
    It all comes down to doing something we enjoyed. I thought blogging was a good therapy. So, cheers to both our blogs!
    ** sorry for the lenghty comment :P
    http://www.chefmel.blogspot.com

  7. HB, I like your way of describing a business, restaurant, cafe. Those self proclaimed “professional” bloggers’ blogs has no personality like yours. As they collect money, they just throw only good words on the business. Which is not what I look for if it’s a restaurant. I want good and bad review. I want good observation. Anyway, I’ll see you on travel channel one day. Have you watch No Reservation with Anthony Bourdin? So far, he’s the best(people, this is my opinion).

  8. try for ho-chak(spelling?) on 8tv..
    me always want to be a mtv vj(lol)..

  9. You should try your hand at writing (travel & food writer?)- you write exceptionally well and I enjoy reading your blog for the language as much as the contents.

  10. Hey.. I think you really can host any travel & food program well. May be you can write in and give it a try. By the time you are very very famous, don’t forget me. LOL

  11. Discovery? OK la we become co-hosts!

  12. The recent proliferation of advertorial in blogs has no doubt swayed credibility of the posts on blogs. I welcome your straight and honest views and reviews via your blog. I think it is great that we still have someone whom put down their honest opinions in regards to current day products and services fees or no fees involved. No doubt, I do understand the need for bloggers to have finances to support their hosting services etc, but I would very much prefer ads like adsense rather then advertorials as we can safely choose to ignore.
    Programs like discovery living and adventure, guidebooks like lonely planet and rough guide imho gets their viewer-ship via honest and unbiased reviews. I pretty much shun out old time popular bloggers of the like of kennysia, ky and st where most of their post had evolved into ad machines with sponsorship product and trips. But this is just my choice of the role of a reader who is looking for straight up, neat and unbiased posts. Anyway, keep up the good work and as ali g put it, keep it real :)

  13. Yes, don’t everything talk about money la .. so make sure u blog more about my kokoberry for free ah, haha in return i belanja u pearl milk tea again la.. hahaha.

  14. yo dude, how much did you get your VPS for?

  15. HB, I heart you deep deep with the free promotion on Malaysian local restorants, both good and bad, although it is uncommon for you to do bad reviews on them. LOL Nobody promotes Sibu like you do. Majority of the Blogs nowadays are so polluted. Nuff said.
    Although your blog are staining more with the eyesore advertorial, I understand that you need the financial aids, and I can always ignore those posts. :P
    Seriously, in my own opinion, you are the only qualified person in Malaysia that have all the creativity, personality, writing skills and look to chase that dream. Unfortunately, not your cooking skills. LOL How about you try to contact discovery channel or Anthony Bourdain in person and show them your blog, you never know what will happen from there. No rugi to try. I like your ulat sago eating vlog.
    http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Anthony_Bourdain

  16. Hey Dude, I let you in on something I try out for a TV project sometime ago. I speak English well with good background but producer inform me my accent was too thick for people in States to understand me. I saw the tape and listen to myself. Yes so now taking voice and speech class to better myself.
    I not giving up yet and took producer advice to heart to better myself. So listen to TV shows hosts and yourself to see if it clear for veiwers to understand.

  17. What with it Dude? I am a singer freelance for now. Voice OK but need to improve on my accent for people say when I sing in English word not pronouce clear for them and proper. When I speak it the same so I trying to get tutor to teach me to speak proper English.
    I am born in China but my accent make me not able pronouce English enough. So listen to yourself and ask a well English speaking person if it understandble to them. Good luck in getting on TV.

  18. Yo HB Dude, Readed other bloggers and it true due to I try out for radio job did’nt get it for my accent too heavy. They told me to get speech teacher and learned it well and come back again to try out. I doing it now and soon try out again and other places too. Also watch out I plan to try out for TV. One thing for sure they want and looking for clear speaking person for American viewers to understand.

  19. Well, that’s the use of blogs. People want to read honest reviews and not those paid by the owner of the restaurant/outlet/service for advertisement purposes. That is why sometimes it’s good that we pay for our own meals and then review it so that it is a true representation of the outlet’s service. You’re doing a good job. Hope your dreams will be fulfilled.

  20. My sentiments, exactly. Although sometimes getting paid or invited for a food review is a bonus and stepping stone to being recognized. But you with so much hits and not getting paid/invited, it is quite a surprise. Then again, that only means you write honestly, not with any obligations. I love your archives where you try out snacks, new items in fast food etc.

  21. CarolineL: Yeah, that’s the one. :)
    KittyCat: Thanks for the vote of confidence. I haven’t seen their auditions. I’ll love to try out if I see them auditioning.
    Vickie: That seems like a very interesting job. I wonder if they have a similar opening over here, part time, of course. :)
    I usually pay for the meals myself, and I don’t really mind since I like eating at new places.
    Nick: Yeah, I do have ads on the blog and I do advertorials too, but all of the food reviews are unpaid e.g. no money changes hands. It keeps things real, at least for that part.
    Erica: I don’t get paid for food reviews, but I do advertorials which is kinda like an indirect promotion anyway. Thanks for the reading, and I am interested in getting sponsors for some stuff since the hosting costs has increased now that I’m on a VPS.
    chefmel: It’s kinda like our hobby, eh? So we don’t think of it as promoting food establishments for free. I enjoy eating at new places and taking photos and then writing about it.
    We’re kindred souls, us. :)
    Cheers!
    Blackwidow: Yeah, I love Anthony coz he’s so casual and he’s always game to try new things. Doesn’t blink an eye too, unlike some Taiwan food show hosts which grimaces at the idea of eating anything different and just poke at the food. I like Anthony coz he’s real and he eats all sorts, just like me. :)
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, I hope I can be there someday too.
    benjy8769: Hmm…they already have a host. Or do they change hosts every season? Interesting idea, that. :)
    PB: That’s another idea that I’m toying with – be a food and travel writer, two of my interests. I would love to be a travel writer but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know anyone in the publishing industry…
    Thanks for the kind comments though. Cheers!
    Choonie: Haha! I won’t. :)
    I will try to get into that industry, and I see Travel and Living having all sorts of hosts now so I don’t think my tattoos and new flesh stapling would be a problem. :)
    KY: Can, it’ll be fun. :)
    s: Yeah, I can see your point. Anyway, the problem with AdSense is that my content is not compatible with it – the previous drug posts, alcohol and tobacco posts etc.
    Advertorials should be tagged, mine is under Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! as a reference to the Nirvana VHS/DVD title where the fans claimed they sold out coz they went on MTV.
    All food reviews are not paid for though, it’s a hobby, as well as hotel reviews. I stayed at 4 different hotels in KL just coz I wanted to review Tune, Bintang Warisan, Eastin PJ and Boulevard studio suites. All paid for by myself, no kickbacks. :)
    goolooloo: Haha! Okay, no problem. When are you coming back to Sibu?
    alexallied: It’s about RM 200 per month. I was on a higher package due to the VPS hosts analysing my visitor stats and database pulls.
    fish fish: Thanks for the support, fish fish. :)
    Yeah, I know advertorials is a very controversial subject, but it’s all tagged and it kinda pays for the hosting. :)
    Cheers for the vote of confidence, I would love to be a travel guide or food host on one of the big channels, perhaps I would get the chance. :)
    Anthony ate the sago grub too, that’s why I like him, he’s not squeamish, just like me. I eat anything. :)
    Curtis: Hmm…you have a good point there. I speak with an accent too and my tongue piercing makes me slur some words so that would have to go out when (if) I audition for such a role. Thanks for the tip, I am learning to enunciate myself better.
    Ron: Thanks, I will work on enunciating better coz I notice I speak rather fast (getting a lot of feedback that I speak too rapidly for some people to understand). The tongue piercing makes me slur my words too.
    Gordon: Yeah, that’s one issue I haven’t though about. Thanks for the tip! :)
    eiling: Thanks eiling! :)
    Yeah, blogs are supposed to be the voice of the people. I agree that food reviews should always be honest. I am going to use The Grim Eater category for places where the food isn’t that good. ;)
    Yiling: I do get invites sometimes, but I can’t go due to my base – Sibu. You need to be in KL to be doing stuff like this. Hilton in Kuching invited me to an event and I couldn’t even go (Kuching is about 400 km from Sibu, about a 30 minute flight) coz I had to work.
    Thanks for reading and thanks for the kind comments. :)

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