October 15, 2014

Why You Should Blog About Korea

Moving to Korea is quite an adventure and while you will gain invaluable experience while you're here, whether you're enrolled in a language school, teaching English or simply backpacking across the country, writing a blog is one of the best things you can do to document your journey. But your blog doesn't have to be just a diary to keep track of your day-to-day life. In fact, there are a number of benefits to writing a blog, some more valuable than others. Read on to see what you can gain from blogging.


Updating Friends and Family in the Motherland

Considering you're probably moving at least a few thousand miles away from home, blogging is a great way to keep worried parents and curious friends updated on your adventures abroad. Social media sites are a great way to share photos and keep in touch, but blogging allows you to explain the stories behind those photographs and to paint a more accurate portrayal of your life as an expat. It's also a great way to make your friends jealous, or at least envious enough to make them want to pay you a visit.

Educating Yourself and Others

When you start a blog, you'll find yourself constantly wandering about the content of your next post. Such pressure to write about interesting tidbits- whether they be cultural observations, travel tips or personal experiences- will have you wanting to see more, read more and learn more. I'm fairly confident that the reason I've learned so much about Korea is because of this blog, a hobby that pushed me to get out and explore whenever I had the time to do so.

In addition to educating yourself, you have the power to inform others. If you keep at it and post consistently, you'll eventually earn a voice. A voice that can be heard by hundreds, if not thousands of internet users. What you use this power for is up to you, but to be able to raise awareness about particular issues or to shatter a stereotype about a culture evokes positive change, change that you can be responsible for.


A piece on display at the House of Sharing, a safe house for victims of sexual slavery during the Japanese Occupation.

Outlet of Self-Expression

Even if you choose not to promote your blog and instead keep it as a personal journal, the platform allows you to express yourself and your feelings. Sometimes this outlet is necessary when transitioning to a new country, or experiencing the ups and downs of the life of an expat. It's also interesting to be able to read previous writings and observe how both you and your outlook on the world change over time. It serves as a testament to how you grow as an individual.

Networking

One of the cool things about being a blogger in Korea, or a travel blogger in general, is that there is a strong network of fellow writers that exist online and offline. I have mixed feelings about the Korean blogosphere, but for the most part, I have also met some great friends through the hobby. It's not unusual for me to meet up with these blogging buddies for a drink, a photo walk, or even to collaborate on blogging projects. Put yourself out there, don't be afraid to reach out to others and soon enough, you'll have a slew of new friends to explore Korea with.


Korea bloggers have a drink at a Christmas "Tweet-up."

New Career Paths

Although I arrived in Korea with a nursing license, I have held positions as an English teacher, a social media marketer, a public relations coordinator, a travel consultant, a dialogue coach, an expo assistant, a travel show host, an editor and a writer. I can say that my blog has opened up most of these doors for me and has acted not only as a platform to gain exposure but through it, I've learned invaluable skills that I will no doubt use in my future career, whatever that may be.

Even if you're not looking to be a professional writer or an online marketing strategist, your blog will bring you down paths you never even knew existed.


Exploring Samcheongdong on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines iFly TV's "Secrets of Seoul."

Monetary Benefits and Blogger Perks

Sure, work experience and new friends are great reasons to start blogging, but let's be honest here, the tangible benefits are what most bloggers seek. I'll be the first to say that making money with a blog isn't easy; perhaps because profiting from Seoul Searching isn't the reason I write it, I don't really know how to monetize a blog the way professional bloggers do.

However, English blogs about Korea is a fairly untapped niche and Korea-based businesses are more than willing to provide you with perks in exchange for promoting them. While some find this controversial, I believe that if a post is honestly written and is clear in stating that it was sponsored, it's not only fair but beneficial for everyone, including the reader.

Additionally, there are a number of government-sponsored programs (including Global Seoul MatesWorldwide Korea Bloggers, and K-Performance Supporters) that have been established to promote Korea. Bloggers can apply for these programs to participate in free trips, get access to events and even earn some really cool prizes in exchange for blog posts. Other sites, such as Trazy and the upcoming Omija Korea, offer monetary incentives and benefits such as free Korean classes. And for those living outside of Korea, the Korea Tourism Organization has even been known to sponsor airplane tickets to see and blog about the country.



Fellow Global Seoul Mates and I participating in a mission-based challenge to bring to light some of Seoul's unknown attractions.

The benefits of blogging about Korea are endless, so what are you waiting for? Start your blog today!


Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching unless otherwise noted. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.

1 comment:

  1. I visited Korea about a year ago after my new york bus tours with my class fellows. Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of my favorite spots there. It is one of the most beautiful and largest places of this country. It is also called the “Palace of Shining Happiness.” National Palace Museum of Korea and National Folk Museum is also located near this palace. Both of these spots are best to know about the history of this palace.

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