See Wee Heng is a social media and digital marketer. But what many don’t know about him is that under that disguise, he is also the man behind the popular blog, AspirantSG, which over the years have garnered a strong following. So how does he manage his time between his day job and a blog that has an audience that craves for new reads? Also, what is his advice to people who aspire to be an influencer in this day and age?
We caught up with Wee Heng to find out more.
What is AspirantSG?
AspirantSG is a food, travel, lifestyle and social media blog in Singapore with a readership of 400,000 page views monthly. The blog reaches out to Professionals, Managers, Entrepreneurs and Businessmen (PMEBs) – generally working adults with spending power and a penchant for lifestyle, travel and more exquisite things in life.
How long have you been running Aspirant SG and what inspired you to start the blog?
AspirantSG started in 2012, so I have been running it for six years. I have a passion for good food, travels and photography hence I wanted to share my experience with folks who ‘aspire’ for similar pleasures in life.
Back then, I was also ‘foolishly’ inspired by the ancients – Pharaohs & Emperors who left legacies behind after their death. I wanted the blog and my experience to be available on the world wide web long after I am gone in the future, which unfortunately was quite a silly concept because the website goes down once you stop paying for your domain and web hosting.
What were the challenges you faced when you started AspirantSG?
Well, the biggest challenge was readership. It can be demoralising curating content when no one reads. I had to find channels to get my content out to potential readers and learned the hard way that I must curate contents that people want to read and not the other way round.
How long did it take for you to hit your first million page views and how did you feel when you saw the figures?
Wow, I forgot how long that took me. I was more obsessed with keeping traffic up month on month than to track the increasing traffic. If I am not wrong, it should have taken me between 2 and 2.5 years.
We know that you have a full-time job. How do you manage your time to keep the popular blog afloat?
Having made friends with PR agencies and communications folks, I now have the luxury of picking the releases and experience that I wish to focus on.
Content curation for the entire upcoming work week has to be squeezed within the previous weekend.
Did anything change after being acquired by TIN Communications?
Dennis Toh and William Ang have their style when it comes to content curation. I supposed I was fortunate that AspirantSG was not overly reliant on my persona hence my readers were able to tolerate slight shifts in writing style and content line-ups.
Now that I am with a progressive and supportive employer, I am glad that I can regain editorial control of AspirantSG and continue to pursue my blogging passion.
As a veteran blogger with loads of digital media experience, what are your thoughts on the current influencer hype?
I feel that we are the heyday of the ‘Super Influencers’ and they should seriously reap their worth when the sun still shines. Micro-influencers may be the next upcoming trends when people want to see things through the lens of numerous ‘average person’.
What’s your advice to people who want to start their blog/website or be an influencer in this saturated market?
Blogging or running a website if you have the passion and commitment can develop into an excellent secondary source of income for rainy days or retirement planning. But to activate this source of income, you must have good business sense, hungry and be on an active lookout for various income streams. I have met many passionate bloggers who are good at their craft but not able to get their worth of secondary income.