A discussion on the various methods a Singaporean blog can monetise itself aside from the usual advertorials and web banners.
We talked about how a blog could be seen as a form of entrepreneurship in our previous article. We also pointed out that blogs in Singapore typically do not take enough “business perspectives” when it comes to blogging, despite their best intentions to try make some money or garner some sponsorships for their blogs.
So today we want to draw your attention to some ways blogs can generate a revenue stream through the application of focused business perspectives/agendas. For discussion sake, we will not cover ways that blog advertising agencies such as NuffNang and GushCloud have already formulated. If you are interested in what they have to offer, do go visit their sites. (Hey guys, any money for advertising or click through here?)
Let’s get started.
Think out of the “blogs” (box)
We know advertorial posts and banner ads are the most common ways to generate revenue and earn a quick buck, but bloggers do not need to restrict to themselves to just these.
Big and successful tech companies (think Google & Facebook) do not rely on traditional business models that the market has already established for them. They find their own creative ways to provide a value-add for their advertisers, and eventually earn their advertising dollars through these methods.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying you need to aspire to compete to be the next Facebook. What we are saying is that you don’t need to be satisfied with what the current market is able to offer you.
For starters, you can always speak directly to brands whose products you enjoy and are keen to review. Nobody set any ground rules saying that only blog advertising agencies can speak to these brands.
Review their products, and send your blog entries to them, for free. Let them know you are a keen supporter of their brand and that you will be more than happy to feature other products, if they were to send them across. Show consistency. Direct sponsorship may not be as difficult as you might think, if you know the right brands to engage.
If covering someone else’s product is not your cup of tea, then ask yourself what your long-term plans are. Do you want to start your own fashion label, a wedding planning agency or even your own hair saloon? If that’s the plan, why not start blogging about topics related to these areas today. That way when you start your own business, you will be able to leverage on the traffic from your blog to capture initial traction for your business.
One reason why many mainstream bloggers in Singapore find it difficult to monetise their blogs is because of their perception that revenue needs to be generated within Singapore. It is not difficult to see why.
Having a Singapore based advertiser pay you for a post to drive the sales of a Singapore based product is logical and makes sense for many people. There is however no need to stay confined to just the Singapore market.
Global companies such as Amazon have their “Amazon Associate” program that allows you to leverage on traffic from all over the world. It doesn’t matter if your readers are from Singapore or Malaysia or even America. You earn money when you help direct traffic from your blog to amazon products that you feature.
Many businesses here struggle because they find themselves frequently competing with other businesses within a very competitive and highly saturated Singapore market. This is no different for blogs. You can choose to compete with Xiaxue and other popular bloggers for limited advertising dollar within Singapore. Or you can decide that the world is your playground, and craft your articles such that they transcend borders and appeal to readers from different countries. Make the world your target audience, not just Singapore.
If your blog is a business…
Then you need to cultivate long-term and endearing relationships with your advertisers like what good companies do, and not just be looking out for your own short-term gains.
The way to cultivate such relationships is to ask yourself what you can do for your advertisers, and not what they can do for you. If they have an event that they would like to promote, ask yourself questions such as how your blog can support it and not what is in it for you. Prove to them that your blog is effective and provides value, and they will come back for more.
And if your answer to the above questions is an advertorial post and a web banner to direct traffic, no offense but you probably should think a lot harder on how you can value add services for your advertisers. If they had wanted advertorials and ad space, they could have gone directly to blog advertising agencies for these “solutions”.
Ask yourself these business like questions. Once you have the answers, leverage on them for your blog.
We hope this article inspires you to think differently. Do drop us a note about your thoughts and follow us on Facebook if you have not done so.
Royalty-free photo from Getty Images. Used with appreciation.
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