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She gets $45,000 a year
by Benita Aw Yeong

Miss Naomi Neo barely spends any money living a dream lifestyle.

Just 18, the blogger gets up to $45,000 worth of free hair treatments, make-up, skincare and gadgets in a year.

All these from a range of companies keen to get a mention on her blog and social media accounts.

Her blog receives 250,000 to 280,000 hits a month, while her Instagram account has 142,000 followers.

The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts student says she does not approach advertisers for sponsorships.

Instead, they come to her or Gushcloud, the influencer marketing company, which she is affiliated to. Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy.

Miss Neo says: "On a monthly basis, I receive at least 50 to 80 e-mail regarding sponsorships.

"Many of them are from blogshops and they approach me directly. About three to five go through Gushcloud."

Traditionally, sponsorships are thought of as providing a product or service free to an influential figure.

"Some of them, such as make-up and skincare companies, do pay on top of providing the products to you free," says Miss Neo.

Gushcloud manages a network of more than 100 "influencers", which include bloggers and YouTubers.

They actively seek out advertisers and sponsors for their clients, in exchange for a commission of about 30 per cent per campaign.

Although the constant supply of freebies is a perk for any blogger, Miss Neo says she has turned down some requests.

She does not like those who sound rude in their e-mail.

"Also, these days I think twice before working with companies which are start-ups. There is a lot of back and forth, and in the end, they usually decide not to go through with it," she explains.

Her favourite sponsorship is from shoes and accessories store P.V.S, located at Cineleisure Orchard.

"They bring in shoes, shades and snapbacks from renowned brands such as Jeffrey Campbell, Haters, Y.R.U, Dr Martens, and so on.

"I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Campbell, so this is definitely at the top of my list," she says.

But Miss Neo insists that blogging is not all rainbows and butterflies.

She says it is often challenging to juggle schoolwork and blogging. She is also in the public eye constantly.

"It is hard to survive in such a competitive environment with people commenting on every little thing you do.

"It sometimes feels like you are not given the space to improve, or do whatever you like without feeling like you owe everyone an explanation," she says.

Still, she keeps doing it because she genuinely likes blogging, she says.

"I have yet to achieve my goal - which is to be successful, and to prove all these people wrong, and that I can make it if I put my heart into it," says the feisty teenager.

Her dream sponsorship?

"Either clothes from US label Nasty Gal, or cab vouchers. Three-quarters of my monthly expenses are made up of taxi fare."

"I have yet to achieve my goal - which is to be successful, and to prove all these people wrong, and that I can make it if I put my heart into it."

This article was first published on August 17, 2014.
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