Bloggers and Making Money: The Debate

Photo: Tangled Web/ This has been going around the blogosphere for a while now, especially in IFB . Some said bloggers shou...

This has been going around the blogosphere for a while now, especially in IFB.

Some said bloggers should be compensated for their efforts, while others believe that getting payment/sponsorship ruins the authenticity of the blog and its content.

We all would like to make some money on the side, especially when the bloggers are students and don't have any sources of income (like us). We're not even fashion students to begin with.

"What costs?
Blogging is FREE!"

To quote Annabel from Blushing Ambition who left a comment on IFB about the whole Chictopia/Payless hoo-ha:

"The moment blogging becomes “all about the money” you’re merely a slave to a corporate structure of attaching a value to a creative outlet such as fashion blogging. I find it sad when many bloggers today can talk about is gaining compensation for exposure and increasing their amount of readers just for more sponsorship opportunities. Whatever happened to genuinely writing for an audience interested in what you have to say or photograph?"

Attending events cost money. From previous experience, attending the Malaysian-International Fashion Week (M-IFW) for our previous publication personally cost me RM125 ($45), not including meals. That's another RM10 per meal at least, as it was in the heart of the city.

Parking: Average RM7 per entry
(after 6pm, so I missed the day shows, or else it could add up to RM20 a day as the parking fees are about RM2-3 per hour)
Toll charges: RM8 (both ways)
Petrol: RM10
Total: RM25/day, RM125/week

RM125 is a little under half the average monthly allowance of most college students here. We did not have any funds then, and I had to fork out my own money to cover the transportation costs to cover on M-IFW, so did Anna and Shez.

Hope you'll get a clearer picture on what goes into covering events (well, in Kuala Lumpur anyway). As we cover more events, and share them with our readers, it costs us more money. Heck, even using the internet costs everyone money.

Photo: Ello Love

Camera equipment are probably the most expensive, but we're lucky as we each have our own DSLRs and video cameras. What about other bloggers who cannot afford better cameras? It's a well-known fact that fashion blogs with beautiful photos are the most popular, like Sea of Shoes for example.

More bloggers are renting out ad spaces even more than before, as it is the easiest way to earn some cash. It is only right if the earnings are used towards further improvising the blog e.g. getting a domain, revamping layout, business cards, cover overhead costs etc.

However, we should not be swayed by the offers made by advertisers. We are own our blogs, and are responsible to ensure that our content are unbiased. We have the rights to say no to an offer if it doesn't comply with our policies.

This is just from our point of view as we try to cover as many art and fashion events around Kuala Lumpur to show what Malaysia has to offer. Unfortunately, we don't have much spare cash (and time) to attend each and every event.

People always assume that Malaysia is an extreme Muslim country. Some people have not even heard of Malaysia! Only when we tell them that "we're above Singapore, below Thailand," then they'll understand.

There still are a lot of grey areas when it comes to monetizing your blog. We'd love to hear your opinions and suggestions.

Inspired after reading "Why Shouldn't Fashion Bloggers Make Money Blogging?" by Grechen

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  1. the thing is - it is your free choice to attend events, just as it is your choice to write about events.

    i am with anabelle on this one - "Whatever happened to genuinely writing for an audience interested in what you have to say or photograph?"

    looks like those times are about to be gone.

  2. but, as I always say - if you really support what you advertise - then it is acceptable.

  3. It really depends on the type of blog you have.

    We'd like to show the world what Malaysia has to offer, and that includes visiting exhibitions (which we will attend a few after our exams).

    After all, there are loads of things to learn whenever we attend events, and we hope it'll show through our posts ;)

    We do of course believe in writing honestly. If we like what we see, then we'll give good reviews.

  4. As a fellow blogging I can commiserate with your desire for compensation. However the reasoning seems a little like justification than logic. Yes. living costs, and recreation does too. Let's say your hobby is baseball, You pay to play, to view, etc. It's like a baseball fan demanding to be paid to do something he loves.

    Here's the deal on real. MARKET = SUPPLY AND DEMAND. come up with content reader's are willing to pay for, or a demographic advertisers are willing to pay you to reach, and voila! you just turned a hobby into a business.

    You're welcome.

  5. Thank you, Citizen Rosebud!

    Yes, we are working on coming up with great content, but we want to branch off from more than just posting really great images, covers and editorials.

    Covering on local art and fashion events was one of the objectives of this blog since before we chose our name ;)

    Also, Elements Magazine is not a personal blog, and will never charge our readers.


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