Can You Make Real Money By Blogging In Malaysia?
Can you make money blogging in Malaysia? The simple answer is yes. The real question is, are there enough money for it to be your only source of income?
It’s not as easy as it sounds so don’t expect to rake in the cash the moment you set up your blog. There are many things involved in establishing a website as a source of income.
Here, we ask the people who are helping the bloggers make money and also the bloggers themselves in Malaysia, to see if there is real money in the Malaysian blogosphere.
Is it more than just a ‘hobby’?
There are three categories of bloggers all over the world. The hobbyist who blogs for fun and doesn’t earn an income, the part-time blogger who blogs to earn a side-income to supplement their monthly salary, and lastly the full-time blogger who earns their main income from the blog.
Under all these categories, there are two types of blog – lifestyle or niche. Most bloggers who made it full-time in Malaysia are niche bloggers, such as Paul Tan, who started out with a blog on automobiles and KC Lau, who blogs about personal finance.
“My initial objective has always been to share financial information and tips, and monetising it was secondary,” said Lau.
“Frankly, I did think about making some money from the blog because there are already many bloggers making good money from blog at the time I started blogging, back in December 2006. However, I’m fortunate enough to make it full-time!” he added.
However, there are some bloggers who have made a name for themselves as lifestyle bloggers, such as Kinky Blue Fairy and Chuckei. They blog about their life and experiences – and their readers are enticed to find out more about them through their blog.
Where does the money come from?
For the lifestyle bloggers, the persona they have created online has attracted various brands to advertise on their website, either through banner advertisements, product reviews or advertorials. By lending their credibility, they charge a fee for their effort and for exposing their fans and readers to the advertising.
Another way to make serious money is what a foreign blogger in Malaysia, Zuzanna Chmielewska, does. Chmielewska who blogs in Polish about Asia (mostly Malaysia), has established herself in a niche travel market through her blogs. Polish tourists have been contacting her through her blog to engage her as tour guide in Malaysia.
“When you are blogging about a niche topic, it is important to establish thought leadership and make yourself credible. People will contact you even without any advertisements,” said Chmielewska.
The possibilities are limitless. For Malaysia’s first full-time blogger, Liew Cheon Fong of LiewCF.com, shared that FriedBeef’s Tech revenue programmes worked for him.
“These work for me: Google AdSense, Text Link Ads, Tribal Fusion, BlogAds, Chitika, FeedBurner Ad Network. These don’t work well enough for me: Any kind of affiliate programme,” said Liew.
How much can you make?
Blogging may seem easy for some but the toughest part is to make it profitable. What does it take to make it your full-time gig?
According to an anonymous source from a digital agency in Petaling Jaya, on average, popular bloggers in Malaysia bring in about RM4,000 to RM5,000. There are even bloggers who rake in RM30,000 a month on advertising alone!
However, monetising your readers is just the tip of the blogging iceberg. Some bloggers turn the readers into customers for their own products or services.
“What I find to be the best business model is to make your blog readers your customers. It is pure common sense as it is more profitable to make your visitors customers, rather than sending them all to your advertisers,” said Lau, the personal finance blogger, adding that bloggers can create and sell their own products like books, e-books, courses and even membership on their sites.
The income potential for a blog is infinite – just like starting your own business. Setting up and monetising your own blog, however, takes a lot more work. However, there’s no real career path or trajectory to base expectations on. Some people have made hundreds of thousands of dollars writing their blog (or sold their blogs for millions), while others have yet to make a cent from theirs.
“Even though you start blogging part-time, you have to approach it like a full time endeavour. Give yourself 12-24 months to work on the blog. If you can still persist after that, your blog will most likely grow further,” Lau advised.
One thing is sure – blogging is not to be overlooked as an effective source of income.