March ’15 Report: The Addictiveness of Blogging about K-Dramas

It’s hard to say what’s more addictive, watching K-dramas or blogging about them.

Because K-dramas fall gloriously beyond the bounds of American “good taste,” we don’t have to suffer fatuous Entertainment Weekly or Hollywood Reporter articles about the shows that intrigue and seduce us. The discussion of subtitled K-dramas takes place on big forums and small blogs—but it always happens beyond the eyes of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker.

I love that when you search for information about a drama, Google is as likely to send you to a blog by a college student in the Philippines as to Wikipedia. It reminds me of the internet two decades ago, when the web was dominated by personal sites, each making their own individual cry of the heart.

I love it even more that some web readers find K-Drama Today and stop by to read my posts. Thank you, thank you! I’m honored and excited when I check my sweet, sweet Google analytics info (below).

february 2015 site numbers

I read a lot of computer websites last year when I was re-learning WordPress, and some of the most fascinating articles I came across were the posts about the “business” of blogging itself. (It’s a business in that it keeps us busy, not necessarily in any other way.)

I don’t know what percentage of the internet is sites devoted to various kinds of fandom, K-drama or otherwise. But I do know that fan energy and excitement provide a lot of the pages out there on the web. And most of that creative energy will never show up in any country’s GDP, because we’re not writing for money.

That said, if I ever figure out a way to make money writing about K-dramas, I’ll be sure to let you know, so that we can all benefit!

Visits to this site are pretty steady around 500 visits a day and just over 9000 unique visitors a month.

That’s about 9000 times more people than read the poetry and essays I publish in tiny literary magazines. As a creative writer, I was used to not knowing if I had any readers. But it turns out that knowing someone is reading—even if they disagree with me or think I’m crazy!—is a huge thrill.

party108

I try to be rational and balance that thrill with my jobs that pay the bills. Since this site’s income is a little less than zero. But it’s hard sometimes to resist writing another post—which is why I say it’s addictive.

I allowed Google ads on this site a couple months ago, and since then ads have paid for about 80% of the web hosting costs. The hosting costs themselves aren’t much, fewer than ten dollars a month. (Google’s irritating rules require me to be vague, even though the world cries out for transparency!)

Since even the New York Times has to hustle to stay in business these days, these numbers don’t surprise me.

If they do surprise you and you’re curious how some blogs support themselves, it’s usually through having an enormous number of visitors. (Or writing about business, but I’m thinking here about fan and entertainment sites.) Drama Beans, for instance, has 1.8 million visits a month according to one estimate. I take this number with a grain of salt, but basic arithmetic shows that websites need at least that many visitors for writers to get paid (paid relatively little, I might add).

february 2015 map

The best reason to blog about K-dramas is simply that it’s hard not to. When a show is interesting or intriguing, I can’t stop wanting to talk to someone about it.

And if the people I can talk to are all over the world, that’s even better. Only a quarter of my visitors are from the United States, and I love it.

Google shows where visitors come from on the neat map above. The giant circle in the ocean west of Africa is a data anomaly (that’s the visitors without geographic data), but the rest of the circles here, big and small, show visitors’ locations. The big circle over southeast Asia is Singapore. I also have a lot of readers in Malaysia, India and Indonesia. I’ve never been to any of these countries, and I love knowing we have K-dramas in common.

Wherever you’re from, thanks for stopping by and making the addiction worthwhile!

Only twenty-four hours till episode 19 of Kill Me, Heal Me

5 thoughts on “March ’15 Report: The Addictiveness of Blogging about K-Dramas

  1. Awww! Your welcome Odessa. I love that there are so many sites where I can discusses my favourite and sometimes not so favourite dramas with other people. And that’s not restricted to any geographical region. Where I’m from (the Caribbean), there’s a very small number of persons who actually watch k-dramas. So every time someone asks me about my fave shows I have to endure them judging me. Usually they say, “Why do you watch those stuff?”. “Aren’t subtitles annoying?, “But it’s not in English” blah, blah, blah etc. But it’s great when I can share my passion with others. I mean, how can I be watching shows like Kill Me Heal Me and not obsess over it with a soul? Who would I theorize with? Plus it’s so much more fun!

    Thank you too Odessa for your thoughts. They give us other opinions and angles to our fave dramas. And since South Korea produces dramas like they’re nothing, It’s fun to talk about a show while it’s on air.

  2. I love your blog Odessa! And I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here. The blogs dedicated to korean dramas feel more like friends corner, free from judgement and its more personal which is fascinating to be honest. I mean there’s too many people getting hurt over nothing or criticizing how the stories in american dramas work and don’t work these days. Its a bit out of control in that area right now.
    For me, I love korean drama partly because being an South Asian myself, I can relate to the cultural aspects more easily. I mean Amercian dramas are fine but the whole first kiss, hands touching, the magical meeting of the OTP, they may sound irrational to many but I love those tiny significant moments. Also you’re right its either a small community or big forum. People who love the korean drama-land and write reviews, they just simply pour their heart out. Its not always about what makes sense, what’s logical and that escapism is something I cherish a lot. I get enough dose of reality in my daily life and everyday problems that come with them, when I watch a drama I don’t need to bothered about that. I just want to be immersed in a good drama and not think about anything else the whole time.

  3. quick comment……
    I love your blog and you put the right word to express the feeling
    truly thanks for your effort and I hope you can continue to write

    will be back later,
    ps: I already finish KMHM

  4. @ vie: Thanks! I couldn’t relax today till I’d written about the last episode. Clearly an addiction. 🙂

    @ Ironsky: Interesting. I like to hear why other people prefer Korean over American stuff, because even though I’m American, I relate more to K-drama. Like you, I like the escapism and the sweet emotions. A lot of my American friends don’t watch TV at all any more because the new stuff here gets us really, really depressed. And you said it perfectly, we get more than enough reality from our daily lives. I always feel a little more hopeful after watching K-drama, or even writing and reading about it. And hope’s a good thing.

    @ Camille: It sounds like people in the Caribbean are like people up here. I have funny conversations with friends who get stuck on the “It’s not in English?” part. I guess having them think I’m crazy is the the price for awesome stories. I’m so lucky you’re watching with me!

  5. Hey!:) I normally don’t leave comments and don’t participate in discussion, but I do read them. Maybe I ought to more often. Those close to me know I have an addiction to Asian dramas, mainly Korean… You just can’t escape once you’re in. Its hard to find others near you who have the same obsession. And, there are people who think we are crazy. I’m about to start blogging on Asian dramas… Well, stories in general, but mostly about the shows I love watching. I was wondering about making money from it and found your post enlightening. Thank you for that:) I wish there were an easier way to earn money for doing what you love.

    Just an idea, but I thought about doing designs and making items to sell connected to the blog. Like through zazzle (I think that’s what its called) and teespring. Maybe also write short stories and sell them for like a dollar on the blog. My brother suggested donations. For the products, not things that are copywriter, but different designs that feature your blog’s logo and name. Perhaps someday Korea will realize they should pay a portion to fans to do fan service for them. Maybe obsessed fan bloggers could get together and open a website and collaborate to draw talents together to write stories (not copywriting), cartoon drawings, paintings, shirt designs, etc. Haha… I go crazy with brainstorming and daydreaming. It doesn’t help that my biggest obsession is Asian drama and its all I think about.

    Descendants of the Sun starts this month!!!

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