Tell me about your Blog?
I run Bestblogs.asia which is my outlet on the growing Asian blogging and Affiliate Marketing scene. My background is in web design and development and have lived in China for over 7 years, so I write about my first hand experiences. The Asia Internet Scene is expected to have huge growth over the next few years (Baidu, Alipay, Alibaba to name a few sites) and my site is the most established resource in this field.
What was your first blog?
The Bestblogs.asia blog has evolved greatly, from the now defunct Asia Weblog Awards in 2003 to a directory where Asian bloggers could submit their sites and get them promoted. I noticed I was getting alot of hits and backlinks to the page, so built a dedicated site which also offers articles to bloggers and marketers.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?
My tip is after you’ve bought a domain name, just create a site straight away. Even if it’s a coming soon page with a form to capture email addresses of potential users, at least something is done and has room for expansion.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
If a site is popular, advertisers contact you directly. I’ve gained alot of revenue from this way, but it’s normally one off adverts and isn’t a guaranteed form of income. Choosing an established advertiser on a well known network would be the best solution but here in Asia, affiliate networks are only just getting established.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
I wish bloggers wouldn’t self-promote themselves too much. I know when writing a blog, it’s useful to let the user know who you are and what you do…but writing about how much you earnt and not explaining how you did it is useless for the reader.
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
I do see growth in the China blogging and online fields, with CNNIC Stats (Dec 2009) showing that there’s annual online spending of $1.25 trillion in China, 87 million online shoppers and only an internet population of 338 million out of 1.33 billion people…it shows me there is alot of room for growth.
What new ideas are advertisers coming up with to take advantage of new trends?
I’m not sure if there are new ideas at the moment. Social media is taking off and there seems to be new clones of all the major sites every day. Whoever is making the clones and getting them established, must have good business sense and I take my hat off to them since they are identifying and fulfilling a need. For example Facebook isn’t well known in China and it’s blocked. So local companies have created profitable multi-million dollar portals like BaiShehui, Pengyou and Taojianghui which gives the user what they want.
What do you do to improve the world?
On my websites, I try to offer free information which isn’t bogged down with adverts. I’m probably one of those rare bloggers that doesn’t look for profit in everything I do. In my personal life, I try to treat all individuals with respect and think of each day as a new challenge.
What do you do that is green?
I don’t drive and try to walk to most locations if they are close by.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I’ve been living off my blogs and affiliate earnings full time since 2003. I’m trying to move away from spending so much time online and have been concentrating on my love of painting, where I’ve been quite successful and sold pieces to Hong Kong celebrities.
What’s your favourite book?
When I was small I loved the Hungry Caterpillar, the story contains great illustrations and is a fun read, especially now I have a son of my own to read it to. (Murray – I loved that book)
What is on your iPod?
I listen to Radio 1 music and football discussion on Talksport.
What are your contact details (email, company, blog, Facebook, MySpace, forums, etc)?
Facebook, twitter and MySpace are blocked over here, so my company details are Misohoni.com, where I’m available for SEO and web work. My artwork is visible at Gilesdawe.com.
What events do you go to?
I try to go to local events in China and Hong Kong. The scene is still developing, but in Asian countries like Malaysia they are taking off quickly and heard great things about the Nuffnang affiliate network for local bloggers.
How do you prefer to communicate?
Email is the best way of getting hold of me. I work on a system of answering all emails and try to have an empty inbox.