Instagram photographers, YouTubers, social media influencers, bloggers.
These are the jobs that were not present during Generation Y or even the early years of X. Hence, even today, some may see them as mere passion projects. Others however, take opportunities by the reins and grow their following in order to turn what they love into what they do.
28-year old Malaysian, Grace Myu is one such individual. She has been actively blogging for 3 years and dedicates her time and heart into producing content on beauty, fashion, fitness and lifestyle.
Followers and engagement are vital for social media influencers and Grace reveals to Vulcan Post what it’s really like to become a full-time blogger in Malaysia today.
Planning Is Vital
The Mass Communication and Psychology graduate had always dreamt of being a magazine writer, but what materialised in the end was her blog which she puts most of her attention towards. She currently blogs full-time alongside running an online shop with her boyfriend.
Grace said, “In a typical day, I would be catching up on emails, attending events, going out for appointments, coming back home to try on products and finally the writing down the blog post.”
Contrary to popular belief, there is much planning involved in getting even a single blog post up. Grace noted, “First, you need to gather all relevant data for the story. I envision the post goals, what my readers will get out of it. Then I think of story angles and brainstorm for ideas. After that, if there isn’t enough data, you need to get back out there and search more for it.”
Aside from just writing, curating images and editing them requires a good chunk of time too, on top of promoting her blog posts through social media to gain traction. “As a blogger, you need to stay relevant and as you know, everything moves quickly on the web, so there’s a lot of catching up to do whenever you are online,” noted Grace.
Perks Are Great, But The Stigma Is There
Not many bloggers manage to get a big break, and Grace wasn’t even sure how it happened for her, but she vividly remembers her 27th birthday, which was celebrated at a Benefit outlet, had been fully sponsored for.
“It was a major deal for me and that’s when other brands began to notice me. From then on, I received countless invitations to exclusive local beauty events, and also a chance to fly to Taiwan by AirAsia,” Grace noted.
Even with all the perks, such as “exploring destinations that you never thought you would,” Grace points out that that is not always the case. In fact, she actually used to dislike being referred to as a blogger due to the social stigma. One such stigma that she had to face was being seen as somewhat of a “freeloader”, which is often associated with the blogging line.
On top of that, “slow payments, rejection and unwanted frenemies,” are also some of the situations that a blogger unfortunately has to deal with. Still, she enjoys what she does because unlike a typical 9–5, “You don’t have to worry about the drama of office politics or constantly report to a boss and you get to have flexible hours,” Grace said.
Gaining Revenue And Engagement
While these might be perks of being your own boss, it is still vital to gain revenue, especially when this is her full-time job. Grace revealed that this is still largely based on numbers.
“The more followers you have, the more revenue you can get. In Malaysia, it’s mostly on blog advertorials, video appearances, and social media postings,” Grace said.
Being on social media, it is also important to constantly be updated and Grace found that Pinterest is a great way to look for ideas on how to increase engagement. Her own tips for navigating the website is to look for “SEO tips” or “social media tips”, as this would help provide her insights on how to grow her social media reach.
Considering how social media is constantly updating by the minute, Grace has to always be on her toes to keep up with the times, such as adapting to Instagram’s algorithm update. When it first rolled out, many were against the update, especially brands and social media influencers.
Grace combats this algorithm update by keeping herself updated through subscribing to relevant self-help sites that help grow her blog and portals. “They have articles on how to combat the algorithm,” added Grace.
It’s all in a day’s work for a blogger, but she chooses to do this daily as she gets recognised as an individual and receives credit for her own work. This gives her satisfaction in what she does.
If there is one thing she hopes her blog is able to achieve from her time as a blogger, it is to help her readers make informed decisions. She frankly stated, “For sponsored products, if there is any inconsistency I will state it upfront.”
Thus far, with 3,800 Facebook followers, 10,800 Instagram followers, 450 Twitter followers, 300 Pinterest followers, on top of 10,000 page views per day on her blog, Grace seems to be taking it all in her own stride.
Feature Image Credit: Portrait works Facebook