Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging Business (K2 #19)

Question of the Week
I heard from a friend that when you maintain a blog, and lots of people visit your blog, you get paid. If this is the case, who pays you? He also told me that the larger the number of people visiting my blog the more money I get. How does this work?
- Pem Tshering, DHI

Answer
Dear Pem,

Your friend is right. You can earn some tiru by placing online advertisements on your blog. When readers visit your website to read your posts, a few of them might click on an online ad. For every ad click, an advertiser will pay you a few ngultrums. This is called pay-per-click. The more visitors you have, the more ad clicks. The more clicks, the more money...

I will shortly explain how to place these ads. But first, one piece of advice: Don't turn in your resignation letter just yet! Indeed, the idea of making a living as a blogger may seem attractive: you wake up in the morning, update your blog while sipping some suja, and then enjoy the rest of the leisurely day as thousands of ngultrums keep pouring into your bank account. The harsh reality, however, is that very few people can actually make a living by blogging. Why? First, most blogs see very few visitors. Second, only a small percentage of the visitors will actually click on ads. And lastly, each click will usually earn only a few ngultrums.

That being said, if you run a popular blog, you might want to give it a shot. Who knows - it might pay pay for a plate of momos every now and then. I recommend hosting your blog for free on Blogger.com, the most popular blogging platform in Bhutan. After signing into your blog, click "Monetize" in the blog's settings, and just follow the instructions. As part of of the setup, you will be asked to sign up for AdSense, a Google service that automatically displays various ads on your blog. When a visitor clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays Google, from which Google will give you a cut (that's basically how Google makes its fortune!). Once your total earnings reach $100, Google will send you a cheque (make sure your bank accepts US cheques).

Some people try to cheat by repeatedly clicking on ads on their own website, or asking their friends to do that for them. This is called click fraud. In addition to being in violation of Google's policy and causing bad karma, this practice will most likely be detected by Google, and your account will be blocked forever.

Last but not least: It's easy to get distracted by all this ad business, but it's usually not worth it. Save your energy and focus on writing great blog posts that your readers will enjoy. That's the real reward!

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to boaz@thimphutech.com