When I was in Business School, instead of WallStreet Journal or Singapore Business Times, I was more interested in reading tech blogs (or some may call it tech publications). The regular ones that I followed closely and covers the Asia startup scenes are SGEntrepreneur, e27 and TechInAsia. (there are more now and you can get it from this Quora List)
One of my friend, who’s currently working in a corporate sector whatsapp me and ask.
wah, tech blog can also raise money. I wonder if the tech sector in SG is in a bubble? oh seh liao loh, bryan you chose the startup path, now maybe you can too raise big money too. Do you know how the tech blogs make money? Maybe I should quit my job and start blogging now, what do you think?
My answer to him “LOL”
And I did not continue the conversation, but I thought it would be great for me to blog it out and share with everyone my thoughts, especially on the part about how tech blogs make money? this is because as an entrepreneur, how do you make money is the most frequent question I received from investors so when my friend when pops me this question for tech blogs, I thought I must really look into this and so I made it the title post. I also broke down his questions into 4 parts.
1. I wonder if the tech sector in SG is in a bubble?
2. now maybe you can too raise big money too.
3. How the tech blogs make money?
I am a sucker for tech stuff, so I also followed several podcasts (although I’m learning to run one now). Coincidently, the following day I caught This Week In Startups and the podcast was an interview session Sarah Lacy - Founder of PandoMedia or better know as PandoDaily
PandoDaily, to me is a tech blog that covers everything from the root of tech startups. And it is on my must read list for international startups news especially in the US. So in the podcast, she shared a little about how PandoDaily makes money, beside the most common ads, she also runs PandoMonthly – where she will have a weekly fire chat with successful founders and investors. And to view these interviews, you can either buy a ticket or subscribe for a membership. (here’s a Quora ans on how mashable,Techcrunch, and TNW does it)
Further research into this topic leads me to find out more and here’s some of the revenue streams (may not be comprehensive, so if you know more, do share with me)
- Ads – although it seems to be the easiest to implement, I do not really see a lot of ads on these tech blogs.
- Events – personally I think events / conferences are the ones that MAY bring in the most revenues next to ads, because almost every tech publication seems to run an event. For examples:
- Research - Gigaom does this very well, coz hey cover startups in cleantech even Intraix got some reports from them. And they charge you a leg and an arm for it.
- Job portal – startups are always looking out for talents, because these tech blogs reach the correct audiences, very often they also offer a job portal or job board on their site.
So how about local Tech Blogs? They unlike the US Tech Blogs who have pretty close revenue stream. They each have their own angles.
I look through SGE, but could not find any flagship events that they do. (Maybe I missed out) But I do realised they run the following
- Research - by Terence Lee Currently the latest report they have on hand is about beauty box services and it cost USD 599
- Job portal - Only SGE has it (Triple Point Jobs), but it seems like the last update was in March 2012 and if you click on http://jobs.triplepoint.asia/ it will direct you back to home page.
- events – needless to say event is their money making machine, otherwise how would they been able to bootstrap? e27 flagship event is Echelon - it’s an great launch platform for startups and the application deadline has been extended to 28 Feb 2013
- events – their flagship event is Startup Asia, this year it’s going to be on 4-5 April and registration takes place here. Tickets are going off at $300 for startups and $80 for students.
- Job listing - Maybe TechInAsia is looking into this too, because currently the link states “coming soon”
Bro, if you happen to read my blog, I hope this answer your question on how tech blogs make money.
4. Maybe I should quit my job and start blogging now,
And btw starting up is not easy, e27 has been around since 2006 and for the most part they have bootstrapping. Can you take the risk of not having any income, having extreme mood swings and the cold showers from your users/investors.
[Idea] These three local tech blogs have their huge following, yet they do not run a job listing or portal like the tech blogs in US. Maybe this calls for a collaboration between PSDPY and them? What do you think? love to hear your thoughts.
- e27 gets USD 613K investment from B Dash Ventures and others (sgentrepreneurs.com)
- 37 Things All New Entrepreneurs Say (spinnakr.com)
- Tickets for PandoMonthly SF with Dropbox’s Drew Houston on sale now! (pandodaily.com)