I started blogging in 2008 when I was still a college student. During the time I was taught to target a broader audience that can easily relate to the topic that I’m writing about. These audience were considered the ‘paying’ audience as they tend to buy stuff online and even if you’re not selling anything, these people will theoretically make you more money if you have ads on your site.
The reason I brought that up is because as a blogger living in the Philippines, there really isn’t that much to gain for the niches I’m writing about if I decide to gain local audience primarily. I used to blog about NBA basketball and this blog was about internet marketing. That being said, it was a must for me to really write for people living in US and probably UK if I want to make progress as a blogger (which was to make money back then).
My experience with monetizing a blog was mainly with direct ad sales, affiliate marketing and info product sales. Those three monetization methods would easily tell you that it’s imperative for me to have an audience based in US/UK in order to maximize my revenue. Now this is not a hardened-fast rule but is largely dependent on the topic that you’re writing about. For instance, no one here would really pay for an advertising spot on an NBA basketball blog whereas a blog about gadget and technology might be pleasing for local distributors of imported products.
For MelvinBlog, it was plain and simple. Most people who like to start making money online are living in those countries and more importantly willing to pay for education. That alone was enough since an audience like that would allow me to attract advertisers looking for those people granted that I have traffic coming from those countries.
But change is inevitable as they say.
When did it all change
It changed for me when I started working a normal 9-5 job after graduating from college. Obviously I didn’t have as much time to run a blog let alone 2 or more blogs. I also had some consulting and freelance on the side that kept me really busy. It’s quite fair to say too that my passion for blogging and writing was not as beaming as it used to.
As years go by, I did not care that much if this blog would make money as I’m making some from my job and side stuff. One thing was clear though and that was I did not want to just flush out this blog. I wanted to keep it, write on it whenever I feel I wanted to write, but not care too much if anyone is reading it or if it’s making money.
I also started to develop a passion for high quality audio reproduction through headphones so as I started accumulating them, I decided to build a headphone review site which is more targeted locally. And that is why I came up with .ph domain for headphone.ph. 🙂
Blogging for Local Audience
Most of the traffic of my headphone review site is local traffic but I don’t mind it because the headphones that I’m getting for review are also coming in here. There are also local events and gatherings that I enjoy going to and by having that local readership as a base, it allows me to connect easier with other people as well as form business relationship with distributors.
The same has happened here at MelvinBlog. If you’ve been following this blog for the last 8-10 months you would notice that I started accommodating local businesses/distributors as they approach me. Applewerkz, Zalora, PricePanda, EasyTaxi, etc. I’ve also been invited to local events in exchange for a write up about their product afterwards. I still get some advertisement requests here and there but they’re few and far between. And as previously mentioned, I don’t feel too interested anymore in pursuing that model of monetization.
Overall I feel like I’m still in my early stages of writing and marketing for a local audience and doing local partnerships and deals. Sure this may not yield nearly the same amount of money I used to make before but I feel I’m enjoying this more.
I guess that’s my evolution as a blogger. 🙂