Does it pay to sway?

Zero dollars for haircut

When Miss Melissa Koh got her long tresses snipped to shoulder-length, her social media followers wanted to know which salon she visited.

They also wanted to know much the haircut cost.

The answer: Nothing.

The 25-year-old blogger has a steady stream of brands clamouring for space on her social media accounts, which include a Facebook page, Twitter account and website.

Some clients pay her to put up full-fledged advertorials, while others simply want her to be seen with the product or using the service.

Her Instagram account, which has 82,000 followers is updated two to three times a day.

Miss Koh, who graduated with a degree in business from the National University of Singapore, participated and won several beauty pageants when she was still in school.

She makes a living through her online clothing store, advertising on her blog and fronting a range of advertising campaigns.

She cannot put a finger on how many requests she gets a month for sponsorships and advertorials.

But offhand, she estimates the number to be in the hundreds.

She collaborates with companies including nail salons, dental clinics, sports labels and even pet-grooming companies.

"My blog is rather fashion-focused, so the sponsorships and advertorials I accept also tend to fall into that genre," she explains.

Most of the time, advertisers approach her, asking if she will represent their brand.

Occasionally, when she chances upon a brand she is keen to work with, she approaches blog advertising company Nuffnang to help facilitate the deal.

It is a constant challenge to be creative in the different posts she puts up, she says.

"At some point, I'll somehow feel like I am having a (creative) block, and that is when I say, 'I need a break'."

Miss Koh says trips overseas can be helpful in getting out of the rut.

And while most would consider the life of a blogger cushy and glamorous, she says it can be all-consuming.

Sometimes, it even spills over to her boyfriend, Mr Jonathan Raedeke.

"We could be sitting down for a meal, and I just want to dig in, but he will ask if we have to take a photo first," she says with a laugh.

Still, it is not a lifestyle she would complain about.

"I enjoy taking photos and the work in general, and I am grateful for all the opportunities," she says.

"My blog is rather fashion-focused, so the sponsorships and advertorials I accept also tend to fall into that genre."

benitaay@sph.com.sg

This article was first published on Aug 17, 2014.
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