The evolution of a professional blogger

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Jane’s followers view her as a fashion and lifestyle icon.Jane’s followers view her as a fashion and lifestyle icon.

There are many professional bloggers in Malaysia, that is those whose main profession is blogging. But not many can claim to be ranked in the Top 10 bloggers in the country.

Jane Lau (also known as Chuckei) is one such influential blogger, whose readers view her as a fashion and lifestyle icon. She is also an up-and-coming DJ and has invested in a coffee-house styled café.

Jane started blogging as a schoolgirl at the age of 14. Back then blogging was just an “in-thing” that everyone was doing, so she hopped on the bandwagon as well.

“To me, blogging was just like keeping a diary except it’s online and for everyone to see,” she recalls. “Somehow my blog developed an audience which grew bigger and bigger. At first it was just schoolmates who were reading it, but in time I developed a following way beyond my social circles. That realisation motivated me to blog even more.”

Of course back then she had no idea that she would be blogging for a living.

Jane 2It was just a fun activity that she did. When she graduated from secondary school, she started modelling part time and enrolled in a multimedia design course at a local private university. And of course she continued blogging, even more prolifically.

Her blog, Chuckei.com really took off, so much so that she actually dropped out of college and started blogging professionally.

Her first taste of blogging as a career prospect happened after she signed up for Nuffnang, the popular local blogging advertising network. Because her blog was very popular, she was able to generate quite a lot of income from advertising.

“My primary source of income is from advertising,” she says, adding that she also gets some money from sponsorships by different brands. Not all sponsorships come in the form of money though. Sometimes they offer products or services in kind. “They (the sponsors) usually approach me by e-mail and if I’m interested, I’ll set up a meeting and we discuss the terms. There’s usually a fee involved but sometimes we do a barter (free products or services in exchange for publicity via her blog).

Since she started blogging professionally about six years ago, the blogging scene has changed a lot, primarily because of the emergence of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, which she uses a lot.

Being passionate

Jane’s Facebook Page has an impressive 340,744 “Likes” while her Instagram account has a whopping 391,000 followers. Impressive by any standards.

Her advice for aspiring professional bloggers is to be passionate about blogging. “Anyone can start a blog but how many people can create interesting postings on a regular basis? It take a lot of hard work and creativity and passion.”

These days, Jane supplements her blogs with social media postings. In fact, she is far more active on social media than blogging now. “I use Instagram a lot more because it’s so much easier to update and lots of people like to view Instragram updates,” she says.

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Besides blogging and updating her social media pages, Jane is also a part-time DJ and has even invested some of her earnings into a coffee-houses style café.

Will these other activities lead her to give up blogging at some point? “Definitely not,” she says. “It’s a record of my life’s journey. Why should I stop? Besides, blogging has been very good to me. It’s allowed me to experience many things and venture into many different areas. I’m grateful for what it has brought me to. I will continue to blog until I’m old and grey.”

Oon Yeoh is a new media consultant.

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