Making Money Online in Pakistan

Blogging is no more a new phenomenon in Pakistan. Many Pakistani online users are writing their own and rest are reading others’ blogs and interacting in meaningful ways. Their voice is being heard in the blogsphere. Getting paid for blogging is still a new idea in Pakistan though.

There are reasons for this. Ironically, corporate Pakistan is yet not aware of blogs as economical, effective and interactive marketing tool. Like anywhere else, blogs can be a welcome mat for local businesses to reach out across the world but this has not started happening yet. Which is why Pakistan blogsphere can be characterized by only anti-establishment, noncommercial write-ups and rants, mostly. Exceptions aside, Pakistan blogs are mainly personal where bloggers post purely because of their own interests.

One wonder why local businesses have failed to notice the growing readership and influence of these Internet postings and the buzz corporate blogging can create particularly as a process of Search Engine Marketing or targeting online segment of consumers. But this is not about how Pakistani businesses can harness the power of blogs to reach out. This is about the options available to Pakistan bloggers to get paid for their work online.

Payments by most online advertising programs and affiliates are made through Paypal – widely used online money transfer service. Sadly, Paypal is not available in Pakistan so far. This alone puts Pakistan bloggers at a great disadvantage because without Paypal account they cannot join most of the programs.

That said, Pakistan bloggers are exceptionally good (and I am not being ethnocentric here). They have acumen for corporate writing. Their language and blogging skills and networking capabilities can be compared with any bloggers’ community in the world. Internet coverage and users ‘ base is constantly growing. Even trend to shop online is taking off. Given chance, all this can indirectly help in efforts to make making through blogging.

Despite the odds, some of the savvy Pakistan bloggers are already using different methods to make money from blogs; Google AdSense advertising program being the first choice. Google pays through check and is liberal in taking small blogs in their program. Only recently, Google has started paying in Pakistan through Western Union and now bloggers here don’t have to wait for 40 long days to get their checks cleared through normal banking channels or pay them $ 12 for every transaction.

Google’s AdSense program, which started in 2003, pays Web publishers including bloggers based on how many times advertisements on their sites receive clicks. Google places the ads on participating Web sites using contextual word matching, in an attempt to ensure that the advertisements relate to the content on the page. Users’ friendly AdSense also offers the opportunity to monetize site searches while providing a powerful and fast search engine for blogs sites. Google places relevant ads along with search results pages. Clicks on these ads also earn the site owner revenue. Earnings are not big mainly because there are not many local ads in Google’s AdWord inventory. “Things are changing,” says Badar Khushnud, Google country representative, “as Pakistan businesses have started using AdWord program.”

AdBrite and Bidvertiser – both click based advertising programs that make payments through checks – closely follow AdSense.

Bloggers can also make money through “affiliate networks,” which, in contrast to Google’s automated system, allow blog writers to choose which advertisements to put on their pages. They also can be paid based on how often ads on their sites lead to sales rather than how often the ads receive clicks. I have experience with Text Link Ads (they pay through check) and it is fun working with them. They sell space off my blogs and I have control over what appears on my multiple blogs.

Then, businesses and organizations from all over the world offer to pay bloggers for mentioning them, their products and or services in blogs in order to create an online buzz, get more traffic and better page rank. Many online services like Pay Per Post, Sponsored Review, Loud Launch – paypal required – and Reviewme to name just a few, have come up. These services manage growing demands by advertisers and arrange supply through interested bloggers. Few months ago, I had signed up for Reviewme because they also pay through check. Reviewme offers products or services for review. I write about whatever I like and they pay me fifty percent of what they charge the advertisers. This arrangement works fine for me.

I have tried with merchandising through my blogs as well. Attempt to sell my own books (and the one I had translated) was a good experience. While I did not have a lot of success with merchandising – I am sure other bloggers can see this as an opportunity to make some money from blogs by selling products. That is not all. Bloggers can sell branded products whatever way their entrepreneurial heart desires using CafePress by creating and adding online store’s link to blogs and CafePress will do the rest. There are so many more ways to earn money by blogging for those who are interested in earning using blogs. Driven by demand, more advertising programs, affiliates and sponsors and others are coming up every day. Bloggers can experiment with different programs that suit them and can create diverse stream of earnings.

A word of caution; earning through blogging does require persistent postings of quality contents and blog promotion. Best is to keep blogging for joy and monetize blogs on the side; keeping money making expectations realistic. It is a long and slow process. Only “17 percent of most popular bloggers in NYC earn more than thousand dollars a month. That leaves a whooping 83 percent earning less,” revealed a NYC Blogger Summit Survey earlier this year. But again these figures are relative.

Blogging is a creative activity and fun. Most bloggers enjoy blogging. That is why they are blogging in the first place. Now let’s think about getting paid for blogging.Some of the sources that pay through check and I have experienced are Google, Link Worth, Earn $$ with WidgetBucks and ReviewMe.

Posted in Making Money Online | Tagged | 71 Comments

Start a blog

Blogging is a popular pastime and  at the same time a serious profession). Each blogger brings something unique to the web. That could be something as personal as an record of an uneventful life and as rare as specialized knowledge of an esoteric subject and a whole lot in between. It could also be a lifetime of experience that affects the way others sees the world, and how they think about what they see.

This is truer for people who take up blogging late in life. They might not have spent decades online to draw on, but old-new bloggers do have maturity, confidence, and perhaps most important of all, the time and patience to learn. “Also they can be expected to bring out good bogs because of their experience and practical observation of the world around.”

I usually surf blogs for and or by senior citizens. I am always impressed by the the wisdom of people over the age of 70. Like many bloggers, senior citizens blog about everything. “Forget shuffleboard, needlepoint, and bingo. Web logs, usually considered the domain of alienated adolescents and home for screeds from middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens,” reads a report.

Blurb of another senior bolgger reads, I started on computers in mid-2004, with an old used Dell. Luckily, I survived, and here I am, still at it. Many wonder why – including me sometimes. What else is there when you’re 78+ and your git up ‘n go all got up ‘n went?

In Pakistani context, senior citizens have a tremendous influence over young generation. They can absolutely make a difference in Pakistan’s bottom line. I know many senior citizens have fun using the Internet and they often go to some of the more popular sites. The percentage of people who use the Internet in Pakistan is much higher and increasing with every passing day. May be this is due to interest in age-related topics such as travel, financial concerns, and health care related to them. While it will be interesting study to examine which types of interests (from Email to social networking, photo sharing and looking at current news and weather) senior citizens have and what they are pursuing online, I suggest senior citizens must consider blogging not only as a hobby or a pastime but also as an economic option and start exploring the income power of blogging.

What you think?

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Computing is here to stay

Beyond desktop and mainframe computing, advent of shared applications is another way to meet some or almost all aspects of information technology (IT) needs. Concept of application service provision has come a long way since it first came on the scene in the late 1990s? Originally, the idea of virtual cooperation and application sharing came from Bill Davidow, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. What Bill foresaw as the future of computing is already in practice; a new IT business model.

Hi-tech developments and changes at a fast rate are moving towards convergence of the software, information, technology carriers, and computer engineering. Result: IT structural designs are shifting from desktop and mainframe environments towards Internet based structures. Similarly, software applications are altering from made to order and separately owned solutions towards pre-packaged and Web based solutions. It is in this context that ASP business model is getting more interest as a hot trend. Continue reading

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The Apricot Road to Yarkand by Salman Rashid

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Read The Apricot Road to Yarkand by Salman Rashid here

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Blogging fusion

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Calling Pakistani bloggers

I am listing Pakistani blogs and bloggers here. Criteria are very simple; either I have to know you or you have to tell me (or you have to be very famous) and I will list.

Tweeple (uses of Twitter who are saying a whole lot in just 140 characters) are also welcome and will be listed. You can also email (sajshirazi@gmail.com) your suggestions.

Posted in Fine Art of Blogging, Top Pakistan Blogs | Tagged , , | 14 Comments