Blogging in Malaysia – Don’t Follow the Herd, Be Yourself
Malaysian have all the natural requirements to become a success in blogging. Multi-language and a mixed cultural environment make us more adaptive towards multiple issues. Those are advantages and blessings as a whole.
It’s the year 2020; platforms like TikTok and Zoom took off, and social media websites of the previous generation, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are still going strong around the globe.
And we don’t even have to bring up YouTube as a platform, with its billions of views and just as many videos. With so many content creators out there, the competition is fierce.
So, as a creative Malaysian individual who wants to express themselves, you would be forgiven for thinking that starting a blog for their online business seems…a bit redundant.
However, blogging is still as popular as ever, and millions of people worldwide flock to popular blogs for information about the latest trends and events.
And if you happen to be a creative writer with a desire to share your content with eager Malaysian readers, do stick around.
In this article, we will teach you the basics of creating a successful blog in Malaysia.
Why Even Bother to Start a Blog?
As we stated earlier, there are so many popular platforms out there for content creators. Let’s take YouTube, for example.
In 2016, a survey found that Malaysians spend twice as much time watching YouTube videos compared to the rest of the world.
Two out of three Malaysians are smartphone users, and each individual Malaysian spends roughly 80 minutes a day on the website.
That’s quite the number, wouldn’t you agree?
So why not start a YouTube channel instead of blogging?
Well, that’s because there are quite a few benefits to having a blog.
Let’s list off a few.
1. Blogging as a Source of Revenue
For years now, people have been turning their blogs into successful business ventures.
Malaysia’s own Lim Hong Kiat has been doing it for years, and his blog is one of the highest-rated Malaysian pages on Google.
So, if you work hard on your blog, with a consistent upload rate and decent interaction with your readers, you can capitalize on your writing.
Blogs can be great as supplemental income sources, i.e., you can “earn some scratch” on the side.
But if they grow successful enough, they can become your full-time job. In other words, you will literally earn money doing something you love.
2. Promoting a Business
Let’s say that you own a business.
It can be anything, from handmade crafts to selling insurance.
In this day and age, the best marketing you can do for your business is to promote it online.
Now, we all know that using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., is the go-to option.
However, having a business-related blog will actually improve your business’ online traffic even more than social networks.
In 2020, most businesses will have a blog embedded within their official website.
Usually, these blogs contain important information related to the business, as well as some opinion pieces and reviews within the trade.
For example, if we own a cookware manufacturing company, our blog will focus on cooking, dish maintenance, and product reviews.
By reading a blog directly related to the business, a customer will know that you’re a professional.
More importantly, they will share the blog on their own social media, spreading the good word for you.
3. Forming Bonds and Relationships with Readers
Blogging about something you love will inevitably connect you with people who share your interests.
Even if the reader has never seen you in real life, your passion for the topic will reach them, and they’ll form a strong bond.
So, if you maintain a trendy blog and continue writing out of passion, you can make new friends and expand your circle.
4. Forging a Personal Brand
By far, the biggest advantage of owning a blog is that it helps you build your own brand.
If you work hard enough and maintain a constant blogging presence, soon enough, people will begin to knock on your door.
More often than not, popular blogs become great CV boosters that catapult creative people into stardom. You become an influencer who gets to promote and review products from various businesses, from small-scale ventures to multimillion-dollar companies.
Of course, the Malaysian blogosphere is right there at the top when it comes to personal branding. People like Sue Lynn Tiong (might be familiar with Bangsar Babe) and André Amir have started out as bloggers.
As of 2020, she is a highly-respected individual in the field of fashion, travel, and the food industry, while he is one of the best male fashion bloggers in Southeast Asia.
And they are far from being the only two big Malaysian names out there.
You might be the ‘NEXT’ one.
5. A Business You Actually Own
One thing that separates blogs from profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is autonomy.
For instance, we can all write blogs on our Facebook pages, and they’ll help us promote a brand.
But those posts are the property of Facebook, as is the profile we own.
If they wanted to, Facebook admins could modify, change, and even delete anything we post on their platform.
With blogging sites, that’s not the case. A typical blog host is just that — a host.
Their job is to provide you with a stable platform and all the necessary tools for writing. But the page you use is your own.
Unless you’re breaking the law or the site’s rules, your posts will remain there untouched. The only one who can fiddle around with them is you.
Why Malaysian has the advantage of becoming a good blogger
For a starter, most Malaysian speak, read, and write English.
The English language has dominated the internet and an estimated 55.5% of all the websites available around are in English.
Furthermore, most of the tutorials, supports of setting up websites, or becoming a successful blogger are in English as well.
It’s a matter of time that eventually, we will turn to these guidelines or tutorials for help. And our basic English will be a helping hand in understanding them.
Malaysia, being a multiracial and cultural nation had enabled its citizens to be adaptive and more tolerant of each other.
We see this as a huge advantage as Malaysians are more sensitive to issues and are able to view things from a more general perspective.
Thus churning and giving out more specific solutions or ideas to their readers in return.
Last but most importantly, the cost of running a blog is so low in Malaysia.
You all will be shocked to learn that Malaysia is among the cheapest internet in the world of averagely RM 130 per month for a broadband package.
We are ranking even higher than our neighbor down the South, Singapore by a large margin.
Broadband or internet connection is one of the basics in maintaining a healthy and running blog.
With our cheaper rate of broadband monthly, it’s much easy to keep it up even we are not generating income from the blog yet.
How to Start a Blog: A Simple Beginner’s Guide
As you can see, there are lots of valid reasons why you should start a blog.
And while starting a blog isn’t that complicated, we understand that there are folks out there who aren’t sure where to begin.
So, we’ve devised a quick guide into blog-making that will provide all of the basics.
Let’s get into it!
Step 1: Decide on Your Niche
If you’re a versatile person who can write on a host of topics, like George R. R. Martin, you can get away with a mixed-topic blog.
However, not too many people can do that. More importantly, people who actively read blogs like consistency.
In other words, they will always Google blogs on a specific topic, like cooking, cleaning, maintenance, pets, etc.
That’s what you need to focus on.
To put it simply, you need a niche.
Now, which niche should you pick?
Well, the best solution is the simplest one — write about what you like and what you know best.
However, don’t stray from it too much.
Let’s take video game reviews as an example.
If you want to build a brand reviewing video games, your content should almost entirely focus on them.
Imagine if you were reading a gaming blog, and suddenly a text about current politics or furniture shopping pops up.
As a reader, you will be confused and, if more non-gaming articles pop up, you’ll leave the blog altogether.
Step 2: Pick a Platform
Now that you’ve picked a niche, it’s time to find a good blogging platform.
Most people recommend WordPress, and we can definitely see why.
It’s easy to use, offers lots of neat designs, and you can start off for free.
To throw in some numbers, WordPress accounts for more than 30% of websites in the world and the nearest rival is 6.7% (Joomla).
Claiming the ‘most popular CMS’ for the seventh year in a row.
Quite some remarkable achievements there.
However, as a serious blogger, you shouldn’t be using a free site hosted by WordPress.
You should pay for your own domain name and maintain it properly.
Let’s use the gaming blog example again.
Which gaming blog sounds more professional to you, powerglovegaming.wordpress.com or powerglovegaming.com?
There are several benefits to having your own paid domain name.
First of all, it makes your brand stand out.
Next, you have to pay a monthly fee, which will motivate you to work hard and maintain the blog.
With a free host, you risk procrastinating and losing lots of traffic.
Finally, your own domain name will rank better in search results, and that’s something you have to constantly work on.
Step 3: Build Your Website
Do you have your niche and blogging platform?
Then it’s time to create and build your website.
For that, you will need a domain name and a hosting plan.
The domain name is the address you’ll be using.
Our own gaming example from above was powerglovegaming.com; that’s the address that will appear in browser searches, and the one people will recognize.
A hosting plan involves a provider where everything on your website, from texts to images and other data, is stored.
And we have the best web hosting for Malaysia here.
Beginners usually don’t know which hosting provider to choose since there are so many out there.
Moreover, not all of them are available in Malaysia.
But one provider that has worked well for years is Hostgator.
It offers amazing integration with WordPress and, more importantly, has low-cost, basic 5-year plans for beginner bloggers.
You do not need to worry about hosting, renewal fee and etc for the next coming 5 years!
There’s also a question of what domain name to choose.
We advise sticking to the following tips (they all apply to the Power Glove Gaming example above):
- Keep the name short and to the point
- Make the name relevant to your niche
- Pick a creative, brandable name
- Make sure it’s easy to pronounce
- If you can, get a .com domain for optimal traffic
Step 4: Plan Everything Out
With the technical details secured, all you need is an overall plan for the blog.
That means deciding on two crucial aspects:
– How often will you upload content?
– What types of content will you provide?
The first part is simple enough.
You have to decide on a schedule and stick to it.
The texts shouldn’t be too far apart, because you won’t have any return readers.
But you also don’t want to clutter the blog with too much content.
We recommend posting once a week and increasing the rate only on special occasions.
Now, when you’re writing texts on a topic, you have to decide what form they’ll take.
Let’s use our Power Glove Gaming example again.
As a gaming blogger, you can review the latest releases or give detailed analyses on old ones.
However, you can also branch out with the top 10 lists, interviews, opinion pieces, speculations, and even some technical guides on console and/or PC maintenance.
Before you decide on your approach, browse through popular blogs related to your niche, and do some thorough research.
Remember, they will be your competition, and you’ll need to outdo them.
Step 5: Promotion
Promoting the blog is an important step, and it requires you to be quite active.
So, here are some of the ways you can promote and grow your blog:
- Make sure the texts are SEO-friendly
- Share them on popular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Use a video-sharing platform for promotion (YouTube or Bitchute)
- If you build up a decent user base, set up an email newsletter
We remember Hostinger being the cheapest web hosting that every Malaysian could ever get.
While this is still true for the extremely low introductory fee of RM 2.99 per month.
But if we are into a more resourceful and useful hosting plan, we had to give it to Hostgator.
Here’s why given that we want to own our blog for the next 5 years to come.
|Owning cost (5 years)||RM 756 ($180)||RM 239.40|
Hostgator total of 5 years hosting price is $180 and it’s RM 756 after conversion to Ringgit.
Where Hostinger’s low introductory fee is only applicable for the first 4 years of RM 2.99/mo.
Its renewal is at RM7.99/mo for the next 12 months in total of 5 years ownership and brings up the total to RM 239.40.
From our observation, the biggest drawback would be the bandwidth limitation by Hostinger.
We wouldn’t want to get held back from our blog’s growth and aren’t able to serve them to more visitors.
The very reason for the build-up of the blog is to have more visitors and traffic so we can generate income from it.
The bandwidth depends on your page size and how many visitors you are getting daily as well.
A simple calculation of a 200kb page size and you are getting 1000 visits daily and they come for a one-page view only.
This will takes up around 6GB in a month. 100GB will be gone in 16 months.
Next year onwards, you either upgrade them or your site is inaccessible. You do the math here.
The scope and practicality are much more and costs way more than the price of 3x differences of the hosting package itself.
Hostinger is good for the hobbyist or someone who is learning and are not expecting growth from their websites.
If you are serious about building a career or a blog that can actually generate income, which you really should be aiming for, then you would go for Hostgator.
*Conversion from USD to RM is $1 ≈ RM 4.2
We wouldn’t have recommended Hostgator if we did not inspect or have a deep check on them for you.
Up-to-date, we recorded a 100% uptime from Hostgator which is very impressive given it’s a shared hosting environment.
And a return ping time of averagely around 0.75ms.
Nothings beat that so far if you check out our average ping time for 6 Malaysia web hosts that we constantly monitor.
The above five steps are all that it takes for you to create and run successful blogging in Malaysia.
We focused on Malaysian bloggers, but these steps actually apply to everyone worldwide.
So, as a final piece of advice, we suggest that you find out what the Malaysian internet users love to read the most.
That way, you can focus on providing the best content that will be directly relatable to the Malaysian audience.
Hostgator Malaysia would be the perfect blogging stage for any Malaysians that would like to take a first step out.