South Korean wives star in blogs
By Ahn Mi-Young Aug 28, 2006, 11:23 GMT
Seoul - South Korean housewives are defying the conventional image that to be a popular blogger you must be young and tech-savvy.
The growing number of so-called 'wifeloggers' are becoming stars in their own rights and making money from their online diaries.
While most South Korean bloggers are between the ages of 20 to 29 and also play computer games, housewives tend to use the internet to search for cooking and educational tips and shopping bargains, according to the National Internet Development Agency (NIDA).
Hyun Jin-Hee, 42, runs a cooking blog that usually attracts 20,000 visitors a day. She started blogging last year to collect information about how to cook for her two daughters who suffer from atopy, a skin disease. After she posted her own secret recipes for her daughter's meals, traffic to her site increased.
'I've found that there are legions of housewives who snapped up every piece of recipe that I posted,' Hyun said.
Marketing executives are tapping into the powerful influence these wifeloggers wield and have invited some to lecture at workshops and are placing ads on their web sites.
A kitchen manufacturer recently started to advertise on Hyun's blog and though she declined to say how much money she earns from this ad placement, Hyun did divulge she is earning almost as much as an average salary at a company.
Convex Oven, a local vendor for kitchenware appliances, shunned conventional mass media and successfully used a network of wifeloggers to promote its March launch of a mini-oven.
'We contacted a dozen of wifeloggers and offered them free delivery of our mini-ovens,' said Kim Min-Ja who heads the planning team at Convex Oven.
After sampling the mini-oven, wifeloggers posted a positive feedback on the product and Convex watched the buzz spread across blogs.
'We are selling at least 5,000 units of mini-ovens a month,' said Kim from Convex Oven.
Moon Sung-Shill, 31, began blogging in 2004 to post her journals and pictures and evolved into cooking. Her web site now attracts 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a day as well as the interest of food distributors.
Her popularity has earned her a new job. She now cooks dishes using products from companies, takes photos of the finished product and posts them on the company's web site as well as her own blog.
Beside free food products Moon also receives monthly pay from the companies.
'I love what I am doing,' said Moon, who sometimes appears on TV as a guest cook.
'Because I can do this while taking care of my children. I am cooking in my kitchen after I sent my children out to kindergarten. I am posting the picture of my cooking dishes while my kids are sleeping,' she said
She says her blogging job with the food companies earns her at least 5 million won (5,376 dollars) a month.
About 59 per cent of South Korea's full-time housewives, or 3.18 million women, are internet users. Of those, an estimated 280,000 are active bloggers, according to the LG Economic Research Institute, a think tank for the electronics giant.
Experts advise wives thinking of starting their own blog to make the content distinguishable from others.
'That could be something like your own recipe, your own experience of making Do-It-Yourself furniture or your travel experience at good restaurants. And make it funny by spicing it with your personal episodes,' said Son Min-Sun from the LG Economic Research Institute.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur