OVER the past few days, I’ve been receiving messages that more or less say, “Wow, you’re a millionaire!”.

Some were of course written in jest, but people are generally curious if it was true that Malaysian bloggers are earning RM1mil a year, following an article in a local Bahasa Malaysia daily.

Blogger Mira Abu Bakar – or RedMummy as she is more fondly known – was quoted in the article as stating that she had earned up to RM12,000 a month from her blog.

I’d be so lucky to earn that much.

Mira had told me before that five-figure earnings is more the exception, rather than her regular earnings. Unsurprisingly, the sensational headline got local cyberspace all abuzz.

After the initial tweets and status updates about wanting to earn that much as well, others started questioning the accuracy of the RM1mil figure.

Fiona Jitab (, on her blog, asked: “Was it accumulative of all the bloggers? Or one blogger over the course of XX years?”

Another blogger, K. Azwan (, also had similar thoughts.

“Being a blogger myself and knowing how blog ads works, I figured that 1mil is an accumulated amount from hundreds or thousands of Malaysian bloggers. One blogger can’t really make 1mil,” he wrote.

Both bloggers, and many other active social media users, predicted that the headline will cause an influx of people taking up blogging with the hopes of making extra money on the side.

The truth is that it is possible to make some money from one’s blog, but there is no guarantee of how much a blogger can earn from hosting advertisements.

In Malaysia, the most conventional way of making money from one’s blog is via banner advertising. Some people go out to look for their own advertisers, while others sign up for blogging communities and advertising systems like Nuffnang (, GoogleAdsense ( and Advertlets (

Through Nuffnang and Advertlets, bloggers might be offered opportunities to write advertorials, which usually pay more, rather than relying on banner click-throughs.

There are those who make money from endorsements. These bloggers sometimes spend months and years building a brand before they are offered such deals. Then there are those who leverage on their popularity from blogging to make money from other sources – writing, emceeing and modelling among others.

If you’re a newbie who wants to make a bit of extra pocket money from blogging, it is still possible. Here are some tips:

1. Focus on your blog content. Like any other media, content is king and you need to give readers a reason to keep coming back (usually this is material that interest and is relevant to them).

2. Maintain your readership. Advertising is really all about the numbers, and higher readership would naturally translate into more earnings.

3. Publish relevant advertisements. Most bloggers make money via banner advertising (they make money when a reader clicks their advertisements) or advertorials. If you run advertisements which are relevant to your readership, chances are, your number of click-throughs will increase.

4. Join a community. It is hard for bloggers – newbies in particular – to find advertisers on their own. Consider making money via Nuffnang and Google Adsense to start off with.

5. Be patient. It sometimes takes years to start making money (it took me almost eight years of blogging before I earned my first RM50 from Nuffnang). Former radio personality, actor and author Patrick Teoh tweeted last October that he barely made over a couple of hundred ringgit with six months of advertising.

Most importantly, don’t aim for the RM1mil. There’s no way of telling for sure if anyone has actually earned that much (unless you can get it out of the Inland Revenue Board, who might have the figure based on tax declaration from online earnings, as is required by law – yes, bloggers pay tax too!).

While it is realistic to expect to earn some pocket money from blogging, becoming a millionaire is a different story altogether. But if you have it figured out, do share.


Niki blogs at

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