Making A Bundle From Blogs
Thu, 2010-02-18 11:48 — admin
This week The Circle features an article written by SEGi University College student Grace Oon who looks at the burgeoning blogging scene that has become brisk business for many.
Wake up. Switch on the laptop. Check blog. Take a photo. Post today's camwhore picture. Go to college. Quickie status update during lunch break. Back home. Reply comments. Does this sound familiar to you?
Today, going online does not limit us to only emails and MSN messengers; it has been upgraded to enable us to document our daily lives at our finger tips, literally. Gone are the days when teenagers keep diaries, write secret love confessions, secured with lock and key, to prevent others from intruding into their affairs. Blogs have enabled, or rather liberated both introverts and extroverts alike, to express themselves by posting blog posts and sharing their personal lives to the World Wide Web.
One phenomenon that has made blogging popular, especially in Malaysia, is the establishment of blog advertising companies. Two of the pioneering companies are Nuffnang - who made their mark into the blogging arena in February 2007 - and Advertlets, who launched the following month.
These two organisations took local blogs, bloggers and blogging to a new level by paying bloggers to allow them to put up their ad banners within the desired blogs.
Soon, people began to get paychecks and more saw the potential in "making money" through their blogs. However, a controversy soon started regarding Advertlets not wanting to pay their bloggers; this resulted in many bloggers jumping ship, to be with Nuffnang.
Initially, this concept attracted many students and young working adults, the motivation being the extra pocket money earned from keeping a heavily-visited blog, naturally: The more the visitors, the bigger the paychecks.
Nicole Tan, 26, from nicolekiss.blogspot.com tells that she made the choice to stick to Nuffnang due to better perks. Being a popular blogger, Nicole was in a dilemma when the ad companies announced that they were launching a loyalty program - which enables a blogger to receive higher earnings if they only maintained a sole blog ad network. The tie-breaker was when she won a brand new Playstion Portable from Nuffnang three years ago.
"I used to be on both ad networks. But then I decided that Nuffnang was better for me, it gives me more income."
Ringo Tan (aka Cheesie), 25, from cheeserland.com said that she first started her blog with a friend for the fun of it. Writing comes naturally for Ringo as she is a Communications major. After blogging for more than five years, Ringo has risen to fame as one of Malaysia's top bloggers and has since made blogging a full-time career. Cheeserland attracts 8,000 unique visitors per day, with posts related to fashion, travel, food and pets. It is believed that Ringo's paycheck could fetch up to five-figures a month.
Today, being a top blogger is equivalent to being a celebrity. You receive product samples, get invited to press conferences and to attend concerts, fly to exotic vacations and of course, become an ambassador for your sponsors.
Aside from all the financial perks, being a top blogger also means that you have a higher social status. Nicole was offered a column in The Star Metro ( English newspaper in Malaysia) to write about her personal adventures and mishaps as a blogger. On the other hand, Tan has trademarked her blog to be an Advertorial blogTM, hence making her personal site into her own media.
Like celebrities, bloggers are susceptible to rumours and gossip. "People will start to comment on your appearance, photos, voice, etc. because they expect you to be of some standard," said Tan.
"I have received many comments; people calling me stupid and ugly based purely on my online persona - yet they have never met me in person. It gets a little annoying sometimes but I have learnt to deal with this little irritation by ignoring the baseless comments."
Many readers have complained that Tan has been posting 'too many advertorials' and they miss her old usual posts. "I can't help it because my blog is my main income source. I would love to post more of my personal stuff up but sometimes bloggers get bogged down with writer's block too, you know?"
As more and more bloggers are born, with a growing number turning their hobby into a source of constant income. do not be surprised when, one day, a child scribbles "Blogger" in their ambition column.
Grace Oon is a Communication major student with the American Degree Program at SEGi University College Kota Damansara.
To get in touch with Grace Oon drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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