Blogging in Thailand, and by the way, “What the Hellsa Blog?”

What the hellsa blog?

I've been wondering this for a while before December 2006.

When I came to Thailand two years ago I needed a break for a year from internet technology, computers, and worrying about websites, money online, accounts, bills… So I gave myself a year. Then as I started to get slowly back into it… easing myself into it, if you will… I noticed – WOW, I've missed a LOT.

I used to be on top of the game – ecommerce ANYTHING, I knew the game. Internet communications – I KNEW inside and out. I knew everything that someone could or couldn't do with the state of technology as it was. I knew because if it could be done, I was DOING IT. I was an internet geek of the highest degree.

Over the last 2 years I decided that I'd rested enough and as I got into it again and relearned what I'd forgotten and what had changed. That wasn't too bad. I already had a base to start from. But then I had to (and am still) finding out what is NEW. There is so much.

Some of you know, in December I started this blog and decided it was a way to write in short pieces without writing a book. I like to write about the experiences that happen or that I make happen and yet I'm not a "whole book person". I couldn't do it. I've tried. I have 3 books that are sort of autobiographical, all focusing on a different area of weirdness about my life, but that's all they are – 3 pieces of separate books that I'm not sure could be fused into one book. Possibly with a LOT of work – and I'm not really a whole book person – not even putting 3 partial books into one book. I guess because I'm not an "editing person" either. I don't enjoy it on a large scale. On a small scale – yes, I love to fix something small. But I'm just not an editing kind of person.

I'm a creating type of person. If I'm not creating something – I'm not a happy campfire. I need to be DOING something – making something – I need to see WHAT I've made and PRODUCE something worthwhile in my eyes.

Like God. I'm a bit like God. I need to look at what I created and say, "It is good". If I can't do that – then I'd better be running, biking, climbing something, surfing, bodysurfing, bodyboarding, or exploring something new. These are the things that get me revved up. I need to be revved up.

Blogging is kind of revving me up. I think it's going to be long-term. At the beginning of 2007 I declared this "Year of the Vern". Of course I'm all about big headlines to make people laugh. I love to make people see something from my point of view which I've learned is a little bit different. In psychology they told me I was an INTJ type on the Myers-Briggs personality test. They gave me a short (1 page) definition what that meant (to them).

I listened, and yeah, that sounded like me. I thought – well that's normal enough – yeah, that's me. Then they told me – about 1% of the population of the USA falls into that group of people.

1%? Hmm.

So, 99% of people in the USA are not coming from the same place as me? That's strange. That's really strange. It explains some things! I've never felt understood. I'm AMAZED when I make a connection with someone – when we actually see things the same way. It's a rarity.

Anyway, so I got reading about blogging. Here it is in a nutshell.

Blogging is writing something that is uploaded to a web server that then displays it for the world to see (on the internet).

Blogging can be for fun. Or, it can be for profit. I like fun, but to have fun while profiting, really seems like the best of both worlds.

So, if one blogs daily with 300+ words per day that focuses on some topic closely enough that Google sends her love in the form of search engine ranking for your blog's pages then you get traffic.

Traffic is YOU.

You came here to the blog. You are traffic for this site. This is one case where a LOT of traffic is a good thing. THE GREATEST THING to a blog. My blogging site can handle a LOT of traffic. A terabyte of file transfer… before they (blogger.com) became upset and wanted to charge me money for all the traffic, or wanted to slow down my web site so they serve less files (web pages).

Anyway, I'm getting all nerdy about it, or about to… let me get back to simplicity.

You are traffic. Traffic comes to the site for a reason. Hopefully the SAME traffic keeps coming back to the site. Hopefully that same traffic tells their friends and more traffic comes to the site.

Traffic coming to the site and reading lots of stuff = pageviews. One pageview is one page of HTML on the blog.

A page of HTML on the blog has what VERN wrote – and also what VERN put on the blog – ads. I put Google Adsense ads on the blog so that in case someone gets bored of my blog, or they see a catchy headline from an ad that catches their attention and they get interested, if even for a split second, they do something.

They CLICK the ad.

If an ad gets CLICKED, VERN gets paid. It's a really simple idea. And one that some bloggers are making over half a million dollars with. Yes, that much. There are some bloggers that decided, before blogging was BIG that they would blog about – BLOGGING. How to blog. What's a blog. Tips for blogging, etc.

Other people decided, they wanted to blog about mobile phones. Some about new notebook computers. Some about cooking. Some about writing. Some about cartoons. Some about singing. Some about news. Some about politics. Some about worms.

Literally one CAN blog about anything. Whether or not the blog ever gets enough traffic to become profitable is the question.

Vern chose to blog about Thailand and living here. This blog is hopefully capturing a piece of the Thailand diaspora and flinging it out there on one's and zero's for you to appreciate sometimes. If Vern does it right, the traffic will continue to grow and eventually reach a point where there are so many people coming to read what has been written and as a side-effect of that, clicking on ads when they're bored or see something cool in the ad.

If Vern does it wrong, there's a LOT of stuff to read that nobody is reading. Little traffic, or, just a few hundred people that are bringing in a little bit of spending money, but no more than a few pizzas per month spending money.

Right now, after 2.3 months of blogging at ThaiPulse! Vern is pulling about 3 pizzas per month from his blog. Now, that is NOT BAD at all really. Vern loves pizza. That's 36 pizzas a year, and even if Vern stopped blogging TODAY that number would likely continue for a couple months before dropping to 2 pizzas per month and probably hovering there for a year or more. That's how traffic goes.

Traffic comes and goes. But, it goes slowly if one has built a base of articles to read that are relevant for a long time. Vern has put 136 articles online since late December. Once Vern gets outta this school contract in Mid March Vern will start cranking articles and should be doing 2-3 blog posts per day on each blog.

Traffic will ramp up (hopefully) and Vern will eat more pizza.

At some point there is a tipping point at Google where she decides to SHOWER a blogger with Big Love… when that happens traffic jumps quite a bit. Some say this happens after a year, and some say after 6 months or so. I say that it depends entirely on the topic of your blog, and how much relevant and new material you're spitting out for the masses everyday, week, month and if it's consistently spit or not.

Google loves spit everyday. If you spit 300 words or more focused around a subject that people are searching on – that is the best kind of spit. Google will spit back eventually for that, in the form of an overabundance of Google lovespit.

Are you following me yet?

So anyway, the point of this article is that… ANYONE CAN BLOG. There are some VERY talented writers out there in the expat community in Thailand and all over ASIA. I have read a helluvalotta blogs lately just to get an idea what people are doing right and wrong – and what I can do to bring traffic to ThaiPulse!

I haven't seen anyone really blogging it up so hard that it looks like they're trying to take over Thailand. I think it's possible though. Thailand's expat community is so diverse that it's impossible to bring them all together reading the same blog. I decided that last month. Thailand's expat community comes from everywhere and they like too many different things that I'm not necessarily interested in, nor want to write about.

I have some blogs with a narrower focus that should do OK if this one doesn't, but this is the blog I really enjoy doing since it's spontaneous and can cover any subject that deals with Thailand.

If you decide to blog you have to ask yourself, are you doing it just for yourself and friends to keep them up to date with what you're doing in Asia, or are you going for the Google Love?

If going for the Google love, choose a topic for your blog that you will love to blog about EVERY day at least 300 words per day. If you do that, it's very likely that in 6-12 months you'll have something that's giving you some residual income through ads on your site. You could choose to go through blogger.com and get a blog or you could use wordpress, typepad, or a host of others. There are free blogs and blogs you pay for. I'd go with free for a while. Maybe forever.

Blogger offers so many things that are sweet with their blogs that I don't miss much.

Making money through Google ads on your blog is not the only way to monetize (make money with) your blog. Some sell adspace on their blogs to others. Some sell their blog after a certain time. Some will create a network of blogs around the same topic, travel for instance. A group of writers writing about travel everyday – each of them putting in 300 words every day, turns into SOMETHING later on. Almost guaranteed.

A guy I worked with once, who had made millions of dollars as a personal sales broker of stocks and who started an internet company that I worked with him at, told me a couple things about what leads to success. One of those things was CREATING SOMETHING. CONTENT for the internet is a prime example of creating something. That "something" should be something that is fairly or entirely UNIQUE and hard for others to duplicate.

You could sell a product or products on your blog. If you're blogging about a technology item like mobile phones, you'd have people reading your blog that are into mobile phone technology and they buy phones – so they might buy on your site if you had that service.

You could blog for another site and get paid for it. Problogger.net has job listings of just this sort of thing. You could blog on someone else's site about something that relates to that site. You could get a salary or, work out a mutually symbiotic relationship by agreeing to blog on their site- and you split the revenue off the ads that are displayed on the pages you blog on at their site.

You could sell your site outright once you got some traffic – because others will use that traffic to monetize their own sites that relate to yours.

You could have a donations button in the hopes that some would donate to your site because you've helped them out in some way, or they want to help you out in some way.

Besides Google there are a HOST of other companies that offer ads on your blog – and they're relatively easy to set up. Yahoo also offers ads similar to Google and often times has better conversions. You'd need to test many types of ads on your site once you get traffic.

Traffic IS ESSENTIAL THOUGH. Once you have it you can monetize your site.

If you can do that, create a blog about something you like/love – and create something that others WANT, LIKE, or NEED. Then you can have something. Blogging enables EVERYONE that likes to write about something that someone else wants to read about, an opportunity for success on some level. What success you get out of blogging is up to you, your drive, and the importance you place on creating this unique material. But, it's sort of "sky is the limit".

There are MANY people making over $50K USD with their blogs. MANY, as in thousands upon thousands… You could do it too!

If you need any help getting started with your blog – just let me know and I'll try to help you get pointed in the right direction with things.

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

3 thoughts on “Blogging in Thailand, and by the way, “What the Hellsa Blog?””

  1. Jason, hey – how’s it going? Your blog is looking great – you’re writing like mad. Goodstuff. Hey, I started a blog network – I’m talking to some of the top writers in Thailand and some are even considering authoring blogs in the network! I’m psyched. I wanted to ask you first before someone else wants it – but, do you want to author the Isaan blog in the network? For more info see the main site: http://www.thaipulse.com and let me know. I like how you write, it’s entertaining and easy-reading. You have a good blogging persona. I think others would read your blog a lot. Anyway – go read about it and if you like the idea – I’d like to have you be an author. I’m contacting and accepting apps from only great writers, most blogs will be authored by people I contact directly.

    Ok – have a look. Thanks, hope all is well for you. Vern

  2. Hey Vern. Thanks for the great info about the blog. I know that you are a technology Guru and I always pick up good info from stuff on your blog. I try and read all your stuff on all your web pages and the recipes for Thai food from Joy are awsome I have printed of many and making a little Thai recipe book (don’t worry I won’t publish it that’s something joy should do). I am planning on putting on more pictures I have a good amount of pictures in stock now and will have more time now that its holidays. I am really new at this sort of thing but really enjoy it.
    Good luck with all that you have planned mate and look forward to reading future blogs. Best wishes to you mate Jason. (I will try and bookmark your site as well I have told a lot of my friends about it back in Australia)

  3. Vern,
    After 61 years I know that I’m Traffic. And once I get to the RP I may take you up on your offer of
    blogging help. Enjoy the pizza.
    Lee

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