Blog reflections: Interview with Luis Katigbak

by Ka Edong on February 13, 2009

Got an email from Luis Katigbak, multi-awarded writer and  ‘ole friend from High School.

Luis wrote:

Am talking to a class tomorrow about online writing (am also thinking of writing an article on the topic) and I have a few questions I was hoping you would have the time and inclination to answer. 🙂

Note: Studes from Luis class, do drop a note 😉

I took some time to answer Luis’ questions. I like these questions and I like it when I put it into written words. It’s an opportunity for me to share my thoughts, and capture those reflections as well.

Here are some excerpts of my replies to Luis’ blogging questions. Oops, I find myself editting some of my replies. 😀

Blog Reflections

1. Do you have an audience in mind when you work on your blog, Technobiography? If so, what is your idea of that audience?

When i started out, my primary audience was myself.
I just wanted to express myself, capture the ideas, the emotions.

Things are different now. I do have an audience and I need to consider my audience too when I write.

I consider two segments of my audience.

  1. First segment is very similar in profile to me: 20-35, tech-savvy, online folks, mobile, internet folks, professionals.
  2. The Second segment is a steady stream of passers-by: 15-50, looking for information, used Google to find me, looking for ideas, looking for solutions to common daily problems.

2. Do you track the number of visitors your blog gets? How? How often? Do you notice ‘trends’? And if I may ask, how large is your audience currently? (You don’t have to answer that.) ;p

Yes, I do. I used to check daily. Lately, I check once a week.
I use either google adsense (ad revenues which happen to have stats on pageviews) or google analytics (more useful for analyzing traffic).

Yes, some trends:

  • christmas time is slow; people party more than surf during Christmas season.
  • saturday and sunday is slow. a slight peak on mondays (people catching up with goings-on) then more or less steady T-F.

Related question — how does one learn what the top Philippine sites/blogs are? Alexa?

Quick answer: www.pinoytopblogs.com
not loading right now though.

Yes, Alexa is one, Technorati is another.

Here’s one for websites:
http://www.topphilippinewebsites.com/

3. What are the things you do to build the audience of your blogs?

Some rules-of-thumb, things that I sometimes don’t get to follow

  • post regularly (at least once a week is a good frequency)
  • be interesting
  • add value (don’t just scrape other sites’ content). give an opinion, an insight, a suggestion
  • capture the emotion
  • post interesting photos

4. Do you make an income off your online presence? If so, how?

Absolutely!

My biggest “income”:
a trip to south-africa after being found by the worldbank as a very prolific mobile-commerce blogger.

As for real money, I get a steady stream of virtually passive income. For instance, one time I did not post anything at all for almost 2 months. I still got the same (not less) income those months compared to months I was blogging. That’s when I realized it IS passive income.

> And what is your advice for people who also want to make money by taking advantage of online media opportunities?

How do i answer this question? 🙂

To *blog* for *profits* –> it’s not a good place to start. if you’re blogging, do it because you want to do it, because it comes from a higher purpose (whatever it is). profits comes as a bonus later … much later 😉 .
The purpose will be the fuel that will drive your content.

But to give a more straight answer to your question,

  • build a brand for yourself
  • have a wide online presence (multiply, facebook, twitter)
  • although focus your content in one primary location (e.g. a main blog or website) –> this main site can be shared through-out your online presence
  • multiply a very good platform for pinoy entrepreneurs with a concrete product or service to deliver. Note that the core of that biz model is the product/service, then the multiply site is a channel for reaching people — a marketing channel, a presence, a storefront. The multiply site is *not* the product in itself.

5. What do you find most rewarding about working on your blog? And ultimately, what do you want to accomplish with your blog?

  1. Helping people — I enjoy it a whole lot when my articles are found by people seeking answers. (see my vendo articles. So many students doing thesis, asking for leads, ideas etc. … btw, I don’t reply to each of them)
    See also my article “panalo o panloloko“. It started out as info about sms scams — it evolved into a database of the latest scams and the numbers/names that the scammers are using
  2. Legacy/ Journal — as early as now, i love it when i’m able to quote articles i wrote from three years ago. I love the thought that my grand-children will be able to read about what lolo edwin was up to when he was in his 20’s/30’s.
  3. Capturing the moment — I cringe when i read some of my very emotional posts (some are anonymous) and recognize how much I’ve grown.

What do I want to accomplish?
First — to develop my blog to pursue the three rewards i’ve described above.
Second — control of my time and my finances. Blogging is one of my avenues for achieving financial freedom. This also leads to being able to spend time the way I want without being tied-down by employment.

It’s funny that I end with financial freedom, whereas I shared earlier that it’s not a good place to *start*.
I guess it will take a  lot of maturity to balance blogging and profits.
I know of many people who started blogging with profits as their primary goal.

If profit is your fuel, get ready to run out.

But if your passion is your fuel, you won’t run out.

Lastly, here’s something that I’d like to refer you and your class to:

http://antondiaz.com/ — see especially the january 1 PDF e-book. It’s a very good resource for starting out.

Have a great class, Luis!

Edwin

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