If you like to write, becoming a key opinion leader (KOL) in the cyberworld could be a quick path to a well-paying career, much more so than becoming an author of books, a local KOL told Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly.
There are said to be about 250 KOLs in Hong Kong, who possess in-depth knowledge about specific fields that span from beauty products to food, from electronic gadgets to cars.
KOLs typically have built up a large group of followers.
Companies post advertisements on their blogs or pay them to write promotional articles.
A well-known local writer surnamed Yu, whose Facebook account has more than 100,000 followers, shared his fee table with the magazine.
For writing a promotional blog post of up to 100 words, he charges as much as HK$7,500 (US$966).
A long piece of up to 2,000 words costs about HK$25,000.
KOL advertising is gaining momentum, because brand owners can more easily quantify its reach and target their pitches to specific types of readers.
“As long as there are lots of likes, companies are happy to spend their advertising dollars on the blog,” Yu said.
However, it’s important to balance sponsored material with genuine content, otherwise readers may get upset and leave.
Yu knows well how to win eyeballs.
“There are basically two reasons why readers like a story,” he said.
“One is because they can relate to it. The other is they think the writer really knows the subject well.”
He gave would-be KOLs some pointers from his experience: “Don’t write too long, too detailed.
“Simplify, or break it down into a few stories if the topic is a difficult one.
“Keep it light.”
Yu has published 11 books over the past few years.
But he said writing books is far less motivating financially.
The author usually gets less than 15 percent of a book’s sales. Yu netted about HK$30,000 per book.
But it takes him four or five months on average to finish writing one.
“That means a mere HK$8,000-9,000 for a month’s work,” he said.
Writing blog posts as a KOL is clearly a better deal.
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