Since becoming a blogger six years ago, I have sat and observed how the blogging industry has taken over the way EVERYBODY get’s their information. And I have been a champion of that shift. Bloggers have become the “tastemakers” that determine today’s trends in music, entertainment and Hollywood.
I, along with my blogging brethrens’, tiring efforts are responsible for certain artists getting signed, hit songs, and brands & products becoming household names, at least when it comes to the vast land of the internet.
And though most bloggers happily log into their computers logging in hours and hours to bring our readers the latest on any and everything, I don’t feel that I’m alone when I sit back and think to myself, “what’s in it for me.”
My inbox fills up with 1000′s of emails a day from hopeful artists who want to get their talents and brands out to the masses. As of late I have been very particular in who I get behind and what I blog about. Since leaving the safe halls of SOHH.com, I’ve learn how to better understand how to operate an internet business [and let's be clear this is a business]. And in a time where the world, particularly the entertainment industry, have come to rely on bloggers in the capacity in which they have, it’s high time bloggers start to become more respected in the game.
“What’s in it for me,” has become a daily mantra that I have adopted. Anything that Gyant blogs about is done out of luv, but it’s become abundantly clear that the industry I hold near and dear to my heart is severely undervaluing my industry.
I can’t go one day without someone reaching out for something that at the end of the day does nothing for me.
Certain publicists, record label executives, artist and managers get it. And every time they reach out to Gyant there’s always something in it for me that is meant to motivate me a little more.
But more times than not a lot of people look at what I, and many other bloggers do, as a hobby. People still think that we get our rocks off by blogging/talking about them. And that, that’s “payment” enough.
Yesterday, while talking to Jeezy, the top selling MC and I made small talk as he did some publicity for his brand new sneaker he’s got with Adidas. Jeezy immediately showed me luv, and even offered to give gyantunplugged.com an exclusive gift for my readers. [more on that later]. It immediately got me to thinking, “If Jeezy can take note of a bloggers value in today’s time by making sure that his event benefits him and me, then why am I wasting my time on those who don’t?”
New comer Verse with Interscope records rounded up a few top bloggers, and took everyone to lunch on him just to show that the Virgin Islands entertainer gets it and wanted to set a good first impression. Other artists have flown bloggers around the globe to tag along on their exclusive events.
Ron Hurd at Def Jam always provides bloggers with whatever they need within reason. Ron has invited me to chop it up and attend private lunches with the likes of LL Cool J and Jeremih. Ron, and Def Jam understands the need to make it inviting for media [bloggers] to cover their artists.
Rico Brooks over Block Entertainment sent me over a bottle of Cristal and Aces of Spades champagne one time after reading a blog I did on both celebrity beverages of choice. The President of Block ENT has executed many ideas that Gyant and Gyantunplugged.com have benefited.
I ran into the owner of trendy clothing line Cavi Clothing. After speaking to him about me being a blogger, and understanding that his brand needs internet luv, I was shipped a box of exclusive clothing that left me eternally grateful.
One artist called me up for a meeting and presented me with $2,000 cash just as a thank you for embracing them and looking the other way when gossip ish develops that’s clearly not true.
Promoters, Hannah Kang, Botchey & Zae, and Laura Giles ALWAYS show luv to the bloggers on their now very well-known and established “Investment Club.” I’ve never seen a blogger have to pony up cash when they roll through their spots. I’ve come with 5 deep sometimes and it’s never been an issue.
The list goes on and on.
To those who have looked out, I will ALWAYS support no matter what*. And their standard should be adopted by the masses as the blog power becomes more and more powerful with each passing day.
One artist who I got behind when everyone said I was crazy, has gone on to sell records, sold out tours and gets free swag from today’s top companies on the regular. Has that artist, or his manager looked back and shown me love on anything? Nope. These days I rarely hear from them unless its to post a new song, or do damage control when they post racial slurs on their twitter page.
So, while it’s great to say that I was directly responsible for getting hip-hop fans and other bloggers to take dude to the next level, I got to ask, “whats in it for me?”
Another artists manager calls me regularly to keep showing love to his artist who is immensely talented, but who’s fanbase needs improving. Never once has anyone from this artists team reach out and say, “hey, we appreciate what you’re doing – what can we do as a thank you?” And subsequently I have declined covering this artist in any extreme capacity.
There’s tons of examples to use, but the point of this blog is to check ALL y’all out there who think that bloggers will continue to look out for you when you’re not looking out for us.
Am I advocating ponying up cash for a blog ala payola – absolutely not!
But “luv” can be shown in SO many ways. Why not buy an ad on a blog site, offer to do a site takeover, when you’re out on tour fly a blogger out on YOUR dime, take a blogger to lunch. Or hell if you’re too lazy or stupid to think of anything innovative, simply put some money in a bloggers hand when you spot them out with a simple, “I appreciate you, or “Thank you.”
And this notion extends to artists, record labels, broadcast and cable networks, who want bloggers to essentially WORK in helping them promote and advertise their product. Because when you pull away all the layers, that’s what you’re asking a blogger to do.
And lets be clear, inviting a blogger out to your event is NOT luv because we know you’re going to be expecting coverage on our site the next day.
* Since alot of people are misreading my, “I will ALWAYS support no matter what.” No, you can not buy my opinion, but the “support” will always be there. Support comes in MANY ways.
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