Aung Kham: “I think I should stop writing for a while. My English is too bad. I have to improve my English skill. I’ll attend IELTS class at British Council and only after it, I should write again”
David Madden: “Aung Kham, never stop doing good thing only because you’re not perfect”.
Last six months ago, I was talking with David Madden, founder of Phandeeyar. He is one of my mentor for me in this career. Because of his motivational words, I kept on writing no matter I’m bad at English language.
Being a blogger in Myanmar is hard. One of my friend, a Malaysian PR professional told me that in Singapore, government started tax regulation for bloggers because bloggers in Singapore are monetising personally by their blog. They have Google Adsense income and review income. So when talking about Myanmar, Google is not ready yet to introduce Google Adsense in Myanmar. Only few businesses are interested to pay hundreds of dollars for a review article and to pay 50 dollar for banner advertisement. So how do bloggers in Myanmar survive? Well, bloggers are being told ‘aim’t no body get time for it’.
Offline publishers are transforming into digital media by having websites and mobile applications. They have lots of difficulties as well but they can survive because of their offline income and funding from international organisations. Bloggers in Myanmar create their blog with their pocket money and keep it up by their budget and so do I. I started blogging Myanmar-Entrepreneur on March 6. So it’s been a journey of more than two years. At first year, I was able to write one article per day because I had enough time to do that way. But in 2016, my expense expanded and I had to work more and more. I started own business with other co-founders and I didn’t have much time to update my blog. I had to generate income of over 100 USD per day to survive in Yangon along with my family. So except sleeping hour, all my time is invested in working life. I didn’t even have one hour more to write on this blog. You know I never write something without taking deep research. it takes time to outcome a quality article on Myanmar-Entrepreneur.
Beside this blog, I’m a founder, blogger, freelance writer, trainer and consultant for multiple companies. That’s the way I survive to be being a blogger in Myanmar. So do you wonder how other bloggers survive? A famous blogger , Winkabarkyaw, is a working employee in Malaysia for a company. Thet Naing Soe, founder of MyanmarMobileApp.com, started other ventures such as mobile phone training centre and mobile phone service centre. My other blogger friends are working at tech companies as a digital marketer, marketing employee and copy writers. Some bloggers opened computer training centres.
Only 5 percent of Myanmar bloggers write in English language. I even just started writing in English from March, 2014. At that time, I was working in Rocket Internet Myanmar as an online marketing manager. I was assigned to write about Myanmar real estate and Myanmar car market in English language. We call it SEO on-page article with focused keywords and call-to-action style article. I was behind the expectation of the company. If other people were me, they will resign from that position because of shame and depression. But for me, I saw it as a challenge and opportunity to write in English. I practiced writing a lot. So I found out that the best way to practice is to start a blog. So I started Myanmar-Entrepreneur.com. At first, I didn’t have special idea like educating Myanmar, making the bridge between Myanmar and international entrepreneurs and so on. But later, I saw that Myanmar-Entrepreneur.com is an opportunity to do good things a lot in Myanmar. It can inform people, educate people and organise entrepreneurs.
I had chance to meet Jorge, a Spain journalist who interest about Myanmar. He and I together started a new journey recently with Euro-Myanmar news platform. It aim to make a bridge between Myanmar and European businesses. Stay tuned about it. So the more I want to write, the more I had to learn and read a lot. The more I learn and read, I came to realise that there are so much thing I don’t know what happen in Myanmar and what happen in the world. I’m just a diploma graduate by Engineering subject which is too far to relate with my current my career. I read a survey in Stack Overflow that more than half of the programmers in the world are self-taught. I’m not a programmers. But I self-taughted to become a tech blogger, entrepreneurial blogger, digital marketers, copy-writer, social media specialist, etc. I wish to study again in an University to expand my knowledge so that I can share more. The more I learn, the more I can share my knowledge.
Myanmar should have more blogs and websites. Content about Myanmar is not so much on internet. Although many people from other countries mistakes Myanmar with ‘Bahama’, there also many people who interest about Myanmar around the world. Myanmar language is now used for Google, Facebook and other major websites. More about Myanmar should be online including business, entertainment, lifestyle, etc. I also expect local business and international business in Myanmar support bloggers and news website in Myanmar to survive. It doesn’t mean to be funding only. It also mean to be like paying for review article writing, PR news publishing and display advertisement. Please pay Myanmar bloggers and online writers. Please support Myanmar websites to live long. The ecosystem is relying on each other. If there is no Myanmar content online, there will be no advertisement online. If there is no advertisement online, there will be no digital media. If there is no digital media, there will be no digital age. You know what happen where no digital community exist.
It is time to go beyond Facebook. Facebook launched instant articles. But does it mean you to keep on staying on Facebook only? Facebook partnered with WordPress for instant article. Those who use WordPress for website operation can benefit by using instant article feature. Website owners never need to worry about Facebook’s domination. Click Through Rate can be raised by posting link type posts. Facebook can even become a supporter for your website traffic.
Future topics to be reading from Myanmar-Entrepreneur will include
- What websites you can start in Myanmar
- Stock market about Myanmar
- Real Estate Market future in Myanmar
- Interviews with local entrepreneurs
- Business news
and much more. Also please suggest topics that you like to hear about. I invite freelance writer to grow the website. You can talk about your business. You can talk about your experience. In a way, it will support your business and personal development. If you are interest to fund or invest the website, please contact as well.
Thank you everyone. By the way, I’m travelling to U.S from this April 23 to May 15 with international visitor leadership program offered under U.S Embassy Rangoon. I will be in Washington D.C, New York, Boston, L.A, Kansas, Salt Lake and Indianapolis. If there is anyone from U.S. who want to exchange knowledge, please contact me. Happy Myanmar new year, everyone.
Never stop doing good things only because you are not perfect.
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