I never planned on being a Google guide.

in #travel4 years ago

I never planned on being a Google guide.
Blogging and photography were enough for me, until my friends (all of them are excitable foodies) suggested that my pictures (of food at restaurants) were good enough to eat.
Having foodies as friends meant they would talk about new restaurants, going on endlessly about where they ate last, how the chicken/steaks/salads/desserts were so wonderful, how we have to go, etc. etc.
While they raved about the good experiences they have had, and the ones they were contemplating, I started photographing entree's and desserts. sometimes the interiors of grocery stores (Uncle Giuseppe's and Fairway market come to mind). Google maps was the best home for these pictures. quietly I added more, and felt empowered when I got emails like this:

I guess it was the positive reinforcement that spurred me on.
Trying not to be a "Diva", I took photos of exceptional and pedestrian foods. Letting the viewer decide helps them focus on what was served, and if it is to their liking.
Then I started adding more detail to my reviews.
Answering questions, enjoying any positive responses.
My list of reviews grew. Google wanted more; writing me with suggestions. Notifying me that I can "add a review to help others".
By this time, I was hooked.
Friends and family started to enjoy that I would photograph their meals, their favorite restaurants, parks, and stores.
My passion is growing.
I never tell restaurants I am reviewing them, and I would never barter a review - I saw the issues with Yelp and Amazon with bogus reviews, and swore that I would never stoop to that level. In addition, I look like a grandpa, so no one suspects me as a reviewer. This makes any experience I have more authentic and shareable.
I also started noting handicap accessibility, parking, costs, best time to visit, and wait times, etc. I wanted to inform and provide more than a simplistic thumbs up and picture of soup. I added CONTEXT. Visual appeal. And most important, my observation of what makes each place special.
So there you have it - I never planned on becoming a Google guide, but hey, I sure do enjoy being one!
Thank you for reading this - I hope you enjoyed it and will be influenced by my reviews!
Original Post: https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/General-Discussion/I-never-planned-on-being-a-Google-guide/m-p/1353998#M315816

My Blog: https://thechenkinreport.com

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