4 Years as a Filipino Content Creator: A Huge ETHT Milestone!
April 9, 2021, marks the 4th year of Erik the Hungry Traveller (ETHT) as a PH Content Creator. I honestly never would have imagined the website I created out of impulse would grow and reach the audience it has come now.
You see, I started the blog because I wanted to try something different. A decision that my former self would have never done…
Doing the unexpected became the theme for the website for the past four years.
This Filipino Content Creator is Expanding the Platform and Keeping it Real!
I am not going to lie; I wanted the ETHT brand to thrive. When I started the website, my mind went through a lot of possibilities! Am I going to be famous? To be rich or to be the talk of the town. Finally, I get to show those naysayers that I am better than them. I can potentially be one of the top Filipino Content Creator -s!
Submit! My blog was live, and I kept on writing about my solo travels. My friends liked my post – well, I forced them to like it. Don’t get me started with my family. But other than them, the blog never really had any traction. No one out of my inner circle read my blog.
Weeks turned to months, and months turned into a year. ETHT had some “fan base,” but let’s be honest, it was nowhere the popularity I wanted it to be.
There was a point where I gave up; I felt like a joke. Another initiative I tried and failed. Well, the good thing is I had one year for my blog domain to expire. I had nothing to lose, so I did the unexpected. I tried again.
Never Give Up on Your Passion!
Writing is my passion. I enjoy writing, and it is a way for me to express my emotions my thought. I expected that writing a blog would be easy. I know the basics – how to write a sentence, subject-verb agreement. I thought that was it.
That was where I failed the first time. My Ego was too big for my current skills. Some humble pie I got to eat. But that realization (not being as good as I thought I was) started the breakthrough for a better Erik the Hungry Traveller brand!
Extended Hours of Research and Youtube Videos: Being a Filipino Content Creator is TOUGH!
I hated going back to formal education, and I knew from Day 1 of my Human Resources job that I hated being in HR as intense as I hate the taste of raw garlic!
But I had to work- I had to keep the HR job though I wouldn’t say I liked it, but it brought money and funded my travels. Doing a job I want was why I devoted my time to learning the technical side of blogging.
I had to learn both the literature and technical aspects of blogging and website design. My goal was to make blogging the primary profession and bidding farewell to Human Resources.
Fast Forward to Year 2 of being a Filipino Content Creator
I studied the craft and improved my writing. I spoke from the heart. That was what I was proud of. What I put out to the world was authentic and oozing with passion. I had fun doing the blog. Then people started to notice.
I got offers to visit hotels and restaurants, mainly in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. People started to notice the blog!
Then Feedspot, a popular RSS reader, recognized the blog as one of the best Male Blogger Websites in the Philippines. I shared the spotlight with other famous bloggers and magazines. Then other recognitions and offers came.
I got the opportunity to collaborate with mainstream media and even went as far as almost closing a deal with a cab-hailing company + an international bank collaboration (I am not sure if I am allowed to disclose but go figure). It was a TVC that should have been aired in all South East Asia but did not materialize as they went in another creative route. They launched the product, but the city dwellers did not grab the marketing for the product collaboration (get it… wink)
Anyway, despite that missed opportunity, I never gave up! The fact that they noticed me and my skills was more than enough. I was on my way to becoming a known and famous writer/blogger.
Then COVID Happened.
It all went downhill for me when COVID 19 started. For someone whose blog was aptly named Erik the HUNGRY TRAVELLER. I was f*cked! We were not allowed to travel and had to stay at home.
I hated that year! Yes, we can all talk about the positive effects of the pandemic, but let’s be honest. The previous year brought more harm than good. And no matter how we sugarcoat and maintain a positive outlook, needless to say, the year was highly shitty!
My Worst Writing and Source of Inspiration
If I were a singer-songwriter, I would have to declare my 3rd album (my 3rd year) as the worst album I have ever created. I lost touch with reality, and I became too desperate to fit in and change my site’s concept. I gave away my creative freedom in exchange for popularity.
Yes, I got noticed, especially from the Cebu Philippines market, which I never bothered nor cared to focus on during the past years—but looking back at my work. I hated it! I wouldn’t say I liked the fact that I became too mainstream. I submitted to the whims of others who also had vested interest.
The writing was good. But it was not the authentic me. But now I know better.
April 2021: ETHT is back!
The 4th year of Erik the Hungry Traveller as a PH Content Creator. I wanted to write but never really got any excellent inspiration from January to March of this year. Plus, when I back-read most of my post last year, it sent shivers to my spine. It was not who I am nor the whole concept that I wanted Erik the Hungry Traveller to head. It was primarily the reason why I lost all my creative input.
Taking some time off to look back and reassess my blog helped a lot. It made me realize my strengths and that I have been holding back my potential all along. The insecurities mixed with how the pandemic changed my mental wellbeing turned me into someone I am not.
Back to Basics and Keeping it Real.
Don’t get me wrong; I still desire to be a known and respected food and travel blogger. I still have that intense need to make blogging a full-time job.
With that said, I want to do it on my accords. Listening to my gut and taking the direction where I feel and think is the right one for the brand. I started this blog with the passion in my heart and the desire to improve continuously.
A Rebranding Until It is Safe to Travel Again
This whole post in its entirety is just a rant about how not to lose your authentic self despite all the noise going around. 2021 is way better than last year, but I have accepted the reality that traveling will not happen for me this year.
Thus expect inevitable changes for the website. Well, for one, Erik the Hungry Traveller will now be ETHT. I still am a Hungry Traveller, but for practicality, expansion, rebranding, and shortening the name, it’s ETHT moving forth.
The Changes for the ETHT Brand
I still am to talk about food, restaurants, and even hotels, but the website will also speak about Wellness and Mental Health.
As someone who has been a mental health ambassador, I always wanted to talk about wellness on my blog but never really had the opportunity to do so until now. And with my Life Coach accreditation that I finally got this year, I can say I also have the authority and credibility to touch on Life and Being Healthy in Mind and Spirit!
Incorporating my professional background in mental health brings in more dynamics for this site (I hope). It also grounds me on my purpose on why I still decided to continue my ETHT journey and career despite last year’s unfortunate turn of events.
Four years of ETHT! More focused on the Philippines – Cebu.
This new chapter for the ETHT brand will be focused on fun yet thought-provoking and quality posts. I now know where I wish to head, and I am more centered and focused on my platform. So I do hope for my audience of 4 years you do still get to stick around as I embark on a new year! A year of more meaningful and authentic insights!
Finally, I truly am very grateful to all those who visited and cheered for this site for four incredible years from the bottom of my heart. Onwards we go!