Abe Olandres is a techie who earns six figures a month without holding a day job. Instead of trolling in an office cubicle all day, he spends his working hours in chic cafes drinking latte and typing on his trusty laptop computer.
Olandres is a professional blogger, a new breed of Web-based entrepreneur who writes about his personal experiences and reviews gadgets for a living. Olandres is hardly alone in this new growth market. A huge number of local bloggers--blog is an abbreviation of "Web log"--are steadily revolutionizing the way people interact all over the world.
Indeed, Olandres\\\' Yugatech.com blog has morphed from an online diary to a top resource portal for local techies--a sort of news service where reviews of the latest gadgets to hit the local market are posted, critiqued, and discussed.
"I started blogging in 2000 with a personal journal," he recalls. "Back then, I wasn\\\'t making any money from it. It was just a way for me to share my expertise with other people. But in 2004, I shifted to blogging about technology exclusively, and that\\\'s when the advertisers came calling."
According to Olandres, bloggers typically have a number of revenue streams: sponsored content or posts that take up a particular product or company, paid subscriptions to the blog, or paid advertisements. Yugatech has taken the paid advertisement route, wherein companies pay it a certain fee either for a specific period of time, the number of ad clicks, or the number of "impressions" or times the ad was displayed on the site.
He explains that for a blog to succeed and make money, it must have a specific target and fill a particular need for Web surfers. In his case, he has chosen to focus on gadget reviews, eschewing the personality-driven nature of most other blogs. His site gets at least 300,000 pageviews a month, with 500 to 1,000 unique or new page-views per day. He pays a dedicated server of a foreign Web services firm to host his site. (For startups in the blog business, he suggests getting hosting services that cost less than P1,000 a month.)
"Some blogs are general blogs that talk about the daily lives of their authors," he says. "However, I find that unless you are already famous before you start blogging, there\\\'s only a very small chance that you can attract user traffic to visit and read your posts. In my case, I decided to focus on technology because it\\\'s my area of expertise, having worked for the IT industry for almost a decade."
Another successful blogger, Anton Diaz, says that people who want to earn big from doing Web entries should concentrate on brand-building above all else. He explains: "A blog is such a personal device, and to succeed you need to put your personal stamp on it. This is one of the reasons why a blog takes anywhere from six months to one year to start earning. You first have to build an image, look, and feel for your site."