In the age of shortened attention spans, fake news, bot accounts, and countless platforms to self-publish or claim your 15 minutes of fame, lasting as a relevant entity online (and offline) is no mean feat. Neither is constantly landing in “bloggers you must follow” lists. There’s the Top 50 Blogs from the Philippines 2017 , and Top 20 Travel Blogs in the Philippines to Inspire Your Wanderlust. Travel blogger and brand ambassador for Blood Red Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap, aka EAZY Traveler, is one such relevant entity. And he is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his blog this year.
If you follow him on Instagram, Facebook, or his actual blog www.eazytraveler.net, you’ll realize that this guy is constantly on the go. He seems to be always on the move, especially in the last couple of years. In fact, you might wonder how we even managed to pin him down to pick his brain. Fortunately, we’ve done this before–read his first interview here. Below are his replies to 10 questions which he answered across 4 countries and 8 cities in over two weeks.
Let’s start with the milestones and stats. Where have you been?
EAZY: Been to all 81 provinces in the Philippines and all 11 nations in Southeast Asia. Been to 21 countries
How did you get started? Were you always the journal-type of person who noted down thoughts and experiences? Give us a background of who you were and what you were up to in the years leading up to when you started your blog in 2008.
EAZY: My blog started as platform to share analog photographs I took during my travels, during my breaks from my office job in advertising. I’ve always loved to write, having written a monthly book review column in a local Cebu paper, so it was a natural transition to get into travel writing.
What was the blogosphere like when you started blogging?
EAZY: There weren’t too many back then. I remember reading a handful like Ivan About Town, Out of Town Blog, and Langyaw.
Whose blogs inspired you to get yours going?
EAZY: Reading the works of acclaimed travel writers like Pico Iyer stir my creative juices.
When did blogging become both a lifestyle and a sustainable source of income for you?
EAZY: My travel blog is my online portfolio, really. I earn way more from getting commissioned to write and shoot for travel magazines.
Where is home? And how many days in a year are you actually in it?
EAZY: I’m based both in Cebu and Makati with no definite schedule. It really depends where my next media tour or story assignment will be.
Where are you the rest of the year? Describe a typical day/week/month in the life of EAZY Traveler.
EAZY: There isn’t really a typical day for me. Part of the excitement (and stress?) of being a travel journalist is not really knowing what your week is going to be like or where you’ll end up next.
There’s dibs on new hotels, products and experiences that attract newbies to bash away at their keyboards and create that first blog post. But what are the perks that people don’t really know about?
EAZY: Feeling good upon learning how a blog post or article helped local communities and their advocacy.
Is there a down-side to blogging and being a blogger? Are the secret hardships?
EAZY: Most people think it’s all glamorous or frivolous, but there’s a lot of hard work and hustling to survive in this industry.
There are bloggers, and then there are successful bloggers, because there’s blogging, and there’s navel-gazing. What are your tips to a new blogger to avoid the latter?
EAZY: Develop a unique voice but learn to temper personal opinions and insights with objective content such as facts and histories. Also, write to express not to impress.
Are there brands with whom you have a relationship similar to your 3-year partnership with Blood Red? Why are you a travel blogger and brand ambassador?
EAZY: While there’s no ambassadorship involved, I’ve worked repeatedly with AirAsia, Northern Philippines Visitors Bureau, and GayaTravel, a leading travel magazine in Malaysia for media tours. I only partner with brands that are relevant to my niche and ones that I love and believe in. Blood Red has been easy to collaborate with over the years and they develop products that fit my lifestyle like a glove.