Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Celebrities Again!

Our blog got featured in the Straits Times today (Tues, 21 July)! Woot!

- ST Article -

One blogger’s ad income covers her travel expenses and it helps her keep a permanent record. Ms Eunice Khong chronicles her travel experiences on- line. But the 31-year- old’s blog, at Traveler Folio.com, is not just a hobby.

Having won the Best Photography Blog trophy at last year’s Singapore Blog Awards, her readership and online advertising revenue have spiked.

Ms Khong, a professional blogger who left her office job last year, says the income is enough to cover her travel expenses although she declines to reveal how much she earns. She is not the only popular travel blogger in town. Internet search engine results show up at least three other travel blogs authored by Singaporeans.

In the running for this year’s Singapore Blog Awards in the Best Photography Blog category is www.szeping.com, managed by 29-year-old Low Sze Ping. The engineer fills his mostly Chinese language blog with details of his forays in Europe and South-east Asia.

At danyilin.blogspot.com, which attracts a readership of about 2,000 a month from all over the world, Ms Tan Yi Lin, 29, and her husband of four years, Mr Dannie Cho, 33, have been documenting their travel through the Caribbean. The duo is taking a year off work, starting in March this year, to see the Americas. Similarly, freelance travel writer Nellie Huang, 27, has been blogging about her current jaunt through Bolivia at WildJunket.com. The blog attracts a daily readership of about 200 from the United States, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

The bloggers say they write for various reasons.
Ms Khong, whose website registers about two million hits a month, started blogging as a way to keep a permanent record: “I kept a little travel journal when I backpacked in Europe with my husband and nearly could not find it when we moved house a few years ago.”

Blogging, she adds, allows her to share her experiences with friends. Besides blogging about foreign destinations, she also writes about Singapore: “Many of my overseas readers love to read about Singapore.”

Having an international readership also has its perks as Mr Low discovered after meeting one of his regular readers, a Shanghainese woman in her early 20s, during a trip there.

He recalls: “She took me to some alleys to try the local cheap delicacies such as spicy crabs and duck organs.”

The accessibility of travel blogs is another attraction. They can be an easy way to update friends and family when on the road.

But the Chos have discovered first-hand how difficult maintaining a blog while on the move can be.
Mr Cho says: “In the Bahamas, the wi-fi service could not reach our room, so for a couple of nights we had to endure stinging insects outside a restaurant where the service was available.” They are wary of the wide reach of the Internet and are careful to write about their stay only after leaving. “It helps us avoid stalkers and we are also mindful to never post pictures showing the licence plate of our rental cars,” he says.

For Ms Huang, who has been travelling extensively for the past 10 years, her blog is a useful professional tool: “My blog is a platform to display my work and to draw a larger crowd.”

But everyone has discovered that pictures are an integral part of any travel blog. A typical entry on the Chos’ blog for example will feature several large and colourful photographs of scenery and food.
“The pictures not only have to look good but also tell the story of the place and serve to enhance the text,” says Ms Tan.

And travel blogs are not just a detailed recap of the day. Ms Huang says her writing style is “straightforward and personal” but adds that she edits judiciously.

She says: “I do not think readers are interested in my entire itinerary for the day but the specific things I enjoyed.”

For now, she is paying her own way as the revenue she collects from advertising is not substantial, something she hopes will change as her blog attracts more readers.

She says: “I am not too ambitious but I hope that as my blog grows more popular, I can eventually get my travels sponsored.”

-- End Article --

This is really our biggest boost to celebrity status, after being featured on the Pittsburgh Tribune and Escape! magazine. We just need our faces to finally appear on the hoarding around the Marina Bay area to seal our claim to fame. What's taking so long anyway? Hmm...

The number of visitors to our blog also jumped substantially after the ST article appeared. From an average of 70-85 unique visitors, we have so far hit 573 visitors, according to Nuffnang Analytics.

It's certainly nothing compared to the MrBrowns and KennySias of the blogging world, but we still pretty excited. Actually, I don't think excited is an adequate word to describe how we feel. Let's just say it feels damned good. :)

Let's just hope that some of our visitors are here to stay! And while we are at it... sponsorships, anyone?

P.S Thanks to Straits Times for the interview, and my best friend, Roy, for scanning the article for us!


iriene said...

Congrates, It will be my wildest dreams to have such a hits! Keep it up..Go,Go.GO! Do drop by when u r online, tks!

Jemsen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LM said...

Your blog is great! It's my daily pick-me-up at work! And will ask my MIL for the recipes for you : )

Nell said...

hey guys, Nellie here, my blog was featured in the ST article too. Pretty sweet isnt it? I'm in Ecuador now, I see that you guys are in Colombia. Heading this way or up to Central America? It'll be cool to see u guys!

Dannie said...

Hey Nell,

Dropped you a message on Facebook. At least, I'm hoping that's you!


Karachi Hotels said...

Probably one of the good blogs I've seen so far, nicely laid out and quite informative. I havent started exploring the blog yet but something tells me that I'll enjoy reading it :)

Dannie said...

Hi Karachi Hotels,

Glad you like what you've seen so far. Stick with us, it's going to be a great ride as we visit South America!

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