An open letter to all bloggers, vloggers, journalists & digital media sources

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By Stefanie Michaels

As many of you may know, last week a business owner that many people had not ever heard of, chose to ban all bloggers from his hotel. His irrational reasoning was due to a younger blogger, Elle Darby, who simply asked for a complimentary stay in exchange for reviewing his property on her social media platforms. Her ask was standard. As we also know, this is typical protocol amongst many journalists, influencers and bloggers alike.

After much back-and-forth between the blogger and hotel owner, along with an excess of commentary from the public, both the blogger and the business owner received global press coverage on this matter.

Many of the public chose to take a side, not understanding the value we bring as “bloggers” to brands and businesses – large and small.

Some of us started in traditional print and newspaper outlets, and as we may have shifted into the digital space, we still remain completely professional in every aspect of our business. Many of us have received college degrees, endlessly studied our craft and have ultimately made successful businesses out of our current blogs/brands after making the risky leap from the traditional to the online world.

Many of the “bloggers” that would be “banned” from the owner’s hotel property also work for larger traditional outlets (with significant print and digital presence), such as Travel & Leisure, The Food Network, Travel Channel, Time Magazine, Vogue, The New York Times, amongst so many others— “bloggers” in the realm of the internet.

We are legitimate forces that warrant businesses to work with us and garner exposure through mutually beneficial relationships. There is a reason we have countless opportunities each year to work alongside, promote and partner up with everything from Fortune 500 companies to the small “mom & pop” businesses or online entities.

Often times, we become an extension of public relations and marketing.

I personally reached out to the business owner, who banned bloggers, asking questions that needed to be answered, as many outlets simply regurgitated the story, and to no avail. However, he did promise he would be in touch upon returning from his travels.

My intent was to find out why the ban for ALL bloggers? I tend to naturally think, when someone doesn’t respond, they are running away from the topic at hand.

For many of us, at this stage in the game, we choose to work with and promote those who deserve it. We choose to work with nice people, people that are kind to others, and in return we remember those who are not, ultimately deciding to not mention their businesses or even to spend any of our personal monies with them.

We remember those who use us, who refuse to pay us, and who disregard us as mere “bloggers” or social media entities with little to offer. We have a lot to offer as many brands confirm this by working with us.

We simply don’t need to defend our value and what we bring to the table.

After all, those complaining about “bloggers” are the same people who turn to blogs for information from anything from tech to politics, travel and more.

However, it is also important for all of us to maintain our own professionalism, step above the fray, ignore jealousy, negativity, and remain passionate for what we do, who we work with and the positive outcomes we bring along the way.

Those of us who step up will continue to grow our businesses and brands while doing so.


Photo: Adventure Girl, Inc./

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Stefanie Michaels, aka ‘Adventure Girl’, spends more than 180 days a year on the road seeking out great spots for adventures, dining, shopping, hotels and more. Dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” by Vanity Fair Magazine for being one of Twitter’s first icon’s to reach over 1 million followers, her fans continue to grow across all of her digital media platforms. Follow her @adventuregirl as she shares photos, updates and more.