“The old days of society being dependent on traditional media companies for news are over, and the media companies are very aware of it. They can no longer control the flow of information and provide only what they choose. Actually, they can, but the problem they face is that people are tuning them out and getting their news from other sources, such as Twitter. Having other options effectively turns every human being with a cellphone into a one-person media company.” — The Social Media Sales Revolution
I believe that statement, these days, every human being with a cellphone could easily turn himself into a one-person media company. Reading about it jumpstarted this little plan on pursuing a career in the digital industry. I thought the job description “virtual professional” has a nice ring to it. If you agree with me, keep reading. If you don’t, keep reading anyway because the virtual world is such an irresistible place to be in, and that’s why you’re online right now.
I’ve always wanted to set up my own blog site. When I finally decided on setting up one, the blogging industry has ballooned to a billion blogger participants already, with a million more bloggers adding to the statistics each day. I had to keep up, but didn’t know how, so I attended webinars, online classes, and workshops. With all these, I discovered a ton of things to do with social media and social networking – yes, they’re not limited to making friends, making enemies, or stalking your ex.
Since setting up a one-man media company is remotely impossible for me or you right now, especially if you just got the idea here, I have listed a few options for your future online or virtual career.
BE AN ONLINE SELLER
Before I got my hands into blogging, I was trying to run an online store using a spare cellphone and a high-speed internet connection. I started with Facebook pages reinforced by an Instagram account, and then settled with the online selling platform, Shopee. With Shopee, I was able to really sell products, even hard-to-sell bikinis.
It is so easy to set up a store on Shopee, you’ll start selling in no time!
- Download the app on your phone – in this day and age you should be running everything on your phone, including your businesses.
- Create an account – it’s as easy as setting up a Pinterest or an Instagram account.
- Upload photos of your products – make sure they are yours and use only the best shots because photogenic products are easily sold.
- Fill out the areas for product description – be patient and honest with this because this also saves you time answering to private message or chat queries that should be available to your customers for reading in the first place.
- As an additional tip or step for this matter, pick a reputable courier for taking your products to your valuable, and often times, impatient customers. All the efforts you exerted in setting up a store with beautiful photos, and clever product descriptions may go to waste if your courier service fails to send your deliveries on time, or in good condition.
I have friends who focus on selling pre-loved items, and they run their stores on the selling platform dedicated to that called, Carousel. You may also try Shopify, Instagram, or the good old Facebook Pages.
Online-selling and/or running an online business is not limited to physical products. According to virtual business coach, Jon Orana, there are five products you can sell online:
- Audio books
- Video Courses
- Hybrid Format (combination of e-book and audio book)
- Online Coaching (Skype/ Webinars/ Facetime sessions)
The most doable for me is eBooking. Audio booking to online coaching would require equipments to enhance your audience’s audio or audio-visual experience – a quiet recording room, recording tools, editing tools, and of course, a charming voice and personality. Businessmen, especially online businessmen just got to have that X-factor!
With eBooking, no worries about not having a pleasing personality, as long as you have your content ready, the conversion from your file to an eBook is easy breezy these days.
There are programs you can buy online for as low as $27 that magically turns your files (Microsoft Office files or content straight from your website) into an eBook-Amazon Kindle-ready file. You may check out Designrr or Ebookit. Read the reviews and watch the tutorials on YouTube before you buy or subscribe to these platforms.
BE A VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL
Online careers now are no longer limited to “Virtual Assistants” or people who work for remote employers as their, well, assistants. Jomar Hilario, otherwise known as the Philippine Internet Marketing Guru and the author of “Virtual Careers”, coined the term, “Virtual Professionals”.
He predicted that, “In 2025, the virtual careers industry in the Philippines will rival that of the Overseas Filipino Professionals in the amount of money it will bring into the country.” I believe his words. This booming industry has given Filipinos the option to just stay in their country, much better, stay at home and raise their families while earning foreign currencies straight to their PayPal accounts.
These virtual careers range from tutors, transcribers, translators, content providers, social media managers, product marketers and specialists to the high-end app developers, programmers, designers, etc. You have so much to choose from, you may even do double or triple jobs as most of them pay by the hour.
What does the job entail? For jobs that require screen-to-screen interaction with employers and/or customers, of course you need a good working desktop or laptop, a high-speed internet (5Mbps at least), a headset, a microphone, a Skype account, and a PayPal account.
In the Philippines, some of the popular platforms for finding virtual jobs are Hubstaff, and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is not limited to finding virtual jobs. It is basically Facebook for career-oriented people, especially professionals. With LinkedIn, you have to build your profile around your career background, and career aspirations. If you’re a jobseeker, LinkedIn could also be your bestfriend. It connects you to prospective employers, and other professionals who could give you pieces of career advice.
Hubstaff is a good platform for not just finding a job but also for hiring people if you run your own company. The old school jobstreet.com may also land you some good recommendations.
BE AN ONLINE CONTENT PROVIDER
Blogging and vlogging have become very popular means to provide content and engage people on social media. If a blogger or vlogger’s reach is wide enough, he/she becomes a brand ambassador, and a social media influencer.
For someone who’s been working with traditional media, blogging gave me one thing I didn’t know I was longing to have when it comes to writing…control. Blogging turned me into everything I could possibly be in a single post – a writer, a copywriter, an editor, a proofreader and a publisher. Yes, you’re a one-man publishing company. You have control over your content.
Here’s the caveat though, once you published a blog entry, you open that piece of work to criticism. Suddenly, it’s like writing for traditional media again. Of course you will encounter readers who see the world from a perspective that is different from yours, but with the right attitude, feedback makes you a better blogger, or an improved online content provider.
When I heard about the possibility of monetizing a blog, I created tiamanila.com. I was so drawn to the idea of earning a passive income that I equipped myself with the tools for improving my content. That’s how I met my SUPERHERO BLOGGERS group and BOSS BELLAS group. They’re both blogging communities on Facebook. I enrolled in their workshops tackling the topic, “How to create an income-generating blog?”
The speaker I met from BOSS BELLAS workshop was seasoned blogger, Frances Sales, (even her last name sounds income-generating right?) Her blog site is called TopazHorizon.com, it’s an 11-year-old blog with an income of more than 1M pesos per year.
Frances listed the ways on how to earn income from blogging:
- Sponsored content
- Brand collaborations
- Brand ambassadorships
- Paid links
- Affiliate links
They’re all basically about working with a brand and integrating them into your content.The disadvantage though is, you sort of give up control over your content.
My weapon of choice is Affiliate Marketing. With affiliate programs, you simply help sell or promote a website’s products or services.
If you are already running a blog site, and have no idea how to do affiliate marketing, I suggest that you go first to the websites of products you patronize, look for affiliate program links or tabs lying around there. Click on it, fill out the form they will provide you with, then submit, and wait for their approval.
Approval is of course based on whether they like or not the content you have on your blog site. Once approved, they will regularly send you links to put on your blog to promote their products. Of course you can’t just write an entry, you have to think of ways now on how to get your readers to click on the link. Some would ask for a subtle mention of a product or campaign, some would prefer that you directly say, “click on this link”. You have to review their rules, or ask questions as these affiliate programs differ from one another.
Each click and/or purchase of a product using your link is equivalent to a certain amount which becomes your commission, thus your blog’s income.
TIPS FOR BLOGGING:
- Focus on content first, remember that you are a content provider and value generator
- Pick a timely topic
- Write a sexy title or lead
- Use click bait images
- Pick the right time to share (here in the Philippines, the top hours for online engagement are 10am, 5pm, and 9pm)
- Reply to your readers, engage them
- Create a content calendar or list down future topics to make sure you will be able to regularly post new content
- Look into your social media diet and hygiene – as for diet, how often do you plan to post? As for hygiene, how often do you plan to reinforce the post?
- Build traffic by sharing your blog on several social networking platforms
- Build traffic by stepping outside of social media (attend events, meet people, etc.)
- Have something unique to offer – your wit may not be enough in a world full of bloggers/vloggers, and social media influencers. Explore selling products like merchandise, eBooks, audio books, or what have you.
You see, being “social” has its benefits! But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Guess what, I have something coming up this December, and from there you will learn more about social media and the visual industry. I will share more about it in my future posts. I hope this has been helpful to you Tias, Tios, and kiddos. Adios!
|TALK TO TIA! Try blogging or vlogging. No pressure, just try it. Send a link of your site to firstname.lastname@example.org so I could read, cry, and laugh with you about it.|