Markku is a twentyâ€“something Filipino geek who grew up around (Metro) Manila, but proudly labels himself as a trueâ€“blue Cebuano. After attending the Philippine Science High School, he studied at the University of the Philippines and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. After passing the boards in 2002 and more than a year of soulâ€“searching, he is currently working for one of the pioneers in the Philippine IT industry. (OK, I just got this from his About page.)
- How would you define problogging?
Problogging is the synergy of blogging and earning a living. Basically, it is the more current form of “writing for a living.” Professional blogging is writing with the desire to earn, usually by providing services for readers. Most of the time, this means making information readily available for those seek them, in a concise and straightforward way.
- When did you start blogging? When did you get into problogging and how did you realize that there’s some money to be had from it?
I got into writing online around 2001, maybe earlier, though my oldest documented entry was written August 2002.
Back then, blogging was not as mainstream as it is now and I was just someone with a thing for writing and web design.
I got into problogging by accident a few years ago, intrigued by Google’s Adsense program. I was writing solely for my weblog and felt that putting song lyrics into my daily entries tarnished its readability, so I started a lyrics weblog. It was conceived as a repository of lyrics for songs I find interesting. After several months, I was happily surprised to see that it was suddenly earning quite well after I placed the lyrics of Bamboo’s first album, “As The Music Plays.“
From then on, it was a matter of getting the next OPM lyrics that readers would soon be looking for.
- Which blogs are you writing for and which blog networks are you affiliated with?
I consider myself an independent blogger, though soon I will be linking with the best Filipino bloggers to produce a network of quality weblogs providing for every Filipino netizen’s needs.
Right now, I still write though irregularly for my personal weblog rebelpixel productions and post on lyrics! I run a few other weblogs on other topics like photography, problogging, and web 2.0 development, though most of these sites are in still in their infancy.
Of course I have others in my sleeves, though some may never see public consumption.
- Are you problogging part time or full time? Do you see this career as a part time gig or you are looking into going fulltime problogging?
Though I’d love to do problogging full-time, I’ve come to accept that this career is not for everyone. I know I can lean on my weblogs financially if such desperate times do come, but I’d rather keep it on the side so I can pursue other interests.
- How do you monetize your blog? Which ones bring in the most revenues?
The ones I use now are Google AdSense, Text-Link-Ads and Adbrite. I used Chitika before but I’m very unhappy with the way they treat their publishers, especially those from countries similar to the Philippines.
- What are the requirements to go into problogging for a network? Flat fee or profit sharing? How much is the salary range?
For problogging to be a viable occupation, it should earn as much as other journalists in the print media. Otherwise, the quality of writers will be very poor.
Blogging for a network should be a two-way relationship for the writers and the network itself. Everyone should benefit one way or another. For network bloggers, there should be a guaranteed flat fee with incentives for hard-workers.
- How much time do you spend on problogging?
I spend at least three hours a week to write for my weblogs, though this is a mix of personal writing and problogging. It fluctuates a lot, as there are days where I put in more hours than I’d put in in a month.
- What other benefits do you get from problogging?
It’s nice to have a little extra to support other pursuits, and in my case problogging has helped me take my photography hobby seriously.
- What’s the most significant event/moment you had in your entire problogging career?
Nothing beats the time I bought my own laptop, all of it from my blogging income.
- What personal tips can you share with bloggers who want to try out problogging?
You can’t write for a topic you know nothing about, and pretending could only get you so far. Focus on the primary gains of blogging, which is open communication, and make it work to your advantage. More often than not, blogging itself should not be your source of income. Use it to show your strength and skills, like a photographer running a photoblog, or a web developer teaching the new tricks of the trade.
For those insistent on jumping into the problogging bandwagon, then go ahead and try. There isn’t much to lose, just make sure you do it with passion and determination. Lastly, enjoy it while it lasts.