The Woke Salaryman (Singapore Blog)
The Woke Salaryman is a blog that creates finance-oriented content geared towards millennials and the Gen Z demographic. Since its inception in 2019, The Woke Salaryman has garnered over 210,000 likes on Facebook and over 186,000 followers on Instagram.
In September 2019, The Woke Salaryman co-founders He Ruiming and Goh Wei Choon were the recipients of the SGX Orb Award, an initiative that recognises top content in finance journalism among bloggers and online news sites.
According to co-founder He Ruiming, The Woke Salaryman (TWS) started as a way for both himself and fellow co-founder Goh Wei Choon to accumulate content for a portfolio. They had meant to use the user traffic numbers to create workshops for clients or start a content agency.
However, after TWS’ first post went viral, generating over 6,000 shares on Facebook in a few weeks, Ruiming and Wei Choon decided to delve further into content creation and personal finance education with The Woke Salaryman.
As of January 2021, both co-founders He Ruiming and Goh Wei Choon work full-time to create content for The Woke Salaryman. After starting The Woke Salaryman, both Ruiming and Wei Choon held day jobs in the media industry before leaving in mid-2020 to focus on The Woke Salaryman full-time.
From 2006 to 2009, he studied at Ngee Ann Polytechnic where he graduated with a Diploma in Mass Communication from the School of Film and Media Studies. From 2011 to 2013, Ruiming studied at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in communications and criminology.
He Ruiming worked as a copywriter for advertising agency Havas Worldwide Digital from August 2014 to May 2015. He concurrently worked as a creative services team manager for alternative news site Mothership from July 2014 to November 2017. From January 2018 to May 2019, he was a content lead for advertising agency BLK J and subsequently a creative lead for online property portal 99.co from June 2019 to July 2020.
Goh Wei Choon
From 2010 to 2014, Wei Choon studied at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in animation. While in NTU, Goh Wei Choon was a student artist for Hey! Magazine, the university’s award winning magazine that detailed various aspects of campus life. From 2014 to 2016, Wei Choon furthered his studies at NTU, obtaining a Master of Arts in animation.
From August 2016 to November 2018, Goh Wei Choon worked as a content specialist for Mothership, and subsequently as a creative marketing specialist for medical devices company Dornier MedTech from December 2018 to April 2020.
In April 2019, The Woke Salaryman uploaded their first comic post, “Important Things I Had To Do To Save $100,000 Before I Turned 30 In Singapore”. The post went viral, garnering over 6,000 shares on Facebook within a few weeks. Most of TWS’ posts on Facebook garner an average of over 500 shares.
In a 2020 interview on the Becoming Friends podcast, co-founder Goh Wei Choon was quoted as having said the following about the message The Woke Salaryman is trying to bring across to their audience:
“I want people to develop better relationships with money, and I say relationship because money is something you have to have [a] conversation with because it changes based on what your goals in life are, and it’s something you need to go back and update from time to time. That’s why I think we appeal to beginners the most, it’s to even realise that money is an important thing but not the absolute thing.”
According to co-founder He Ruiming, approximately 75% of The Woke Salaryman’s traffic comes from Singapore, with readers from Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States making up the rest.
Five months after their first post, The Woke Salaryman partnered with financial statutory board Central Provident Fund (CPF) to produce their first sponsored post. Since then, TWS has partnered with various clients such as Singapore Airlines, OCBC and IMDA to produce educational content on financial literacy.
In a 2020 interview with marketing agency website With Content, He Ruiming was quoted as having said the following:
“Five months in, we had our first sponsored post. They reached out to us through email, and that was when we realised that perhaps The Woke Salaryman could be directly monetised in a sustainable and responsible way. We thought we would have to approach a client, but it turns out that our efforts turned into the perfect example of the power of inbound marketing.”
The Woke Salaryman works with one to two clients a month, and sponsored content and articles also contain comics and educational information, with the sponsors stated upfront at the beginning of each post.
The Woke Salaryman’s content focuses on educating people about personal finance and financial independence, with topics such as stock market investments, having a high yield savings account and saving money during National Service. TWS has also allowed guest writers to contribute their personal stories, such as “What I Learnt From Earning More Than My Ex-Husband”.
Due to the success of their content on financial independence, He Ruiming and Goh Wei Choon are contemplating holding a bootcamp in the future for people who want to obtain more information on finance so that they are better equipped with the knowledge to make financial decisions.
Since its inception in April 2019, The Woke Salaryman has been featured by several media publications. The following is a list of its media features over the years.
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References / Citations
- Yeoh, Grace., Smalley, Ruth. “The rise of personal finance bloggers, out to save financially illiterate millennials”. Channel News Asia. July 20, 2020. Accessed 5 January, 2021.
- “SGX Orb Awards winners share their thoughts with Focus”. The World Federation of Exchanges. September 2019. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- “Award Categories and Winners”. Singapore Exchange. n.d. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- Laing, Callum. “He Ruiming, Co-founder at The Woke Salaryman”. Empirics Asia. March 25, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- Rodriguez, Derek. “Comic Relief”. Hey! Magazine. September 17, 2021. Accessed 5 January, 2021.
- “This is our promise to you”. The Woke Salaryman. n.d. Accessed 6 January, 2020.
- Seow, Joanna. “Drawing on comics to get their content out to followers”. The Straits Times. December 20, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- He Ruiming. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed 5 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/in/heruiming/?originalSubdomain=sg
- “Media and Communications”. University of Melbourne. n.d. Accessed 5 January, 2021.
- “Criminology”. University of Melbourne. n.d. Accessed 5 January, 2021.
- Goh Wei Choon. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed 5 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/in/wei-choon-goh-60517911a/?originalSubdomain=sg
- The Woke Salaryman. Facebook. October 29, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/wokesalaryman/posts/2768863063429196
- The Woke Salaryman. Facebook. October 10, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/wokesalaryman/posts/2750161748632661
- The Woke Salaryman. Facebook. July 28, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/wokesalaryman/posts/2682857595363077
- Annette Lee. “The Woke Salaryman: Making personal finance... entertaining & cute | Becoming Friends With Ep 2”. Youtube. November 13, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- Abigail, Theodora Sarah. “How The Woke Salaryman Became an “Undeniable” Player in Personal Finance Content”. With Content. July 20, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- “What we think of CPF, honestly delivered”. The Woke Salaryman. September 20, 2019. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- “Before you see the world, go to Southeast Asia”. The Woke Salaryman. January 13, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021
- “If you don’t even have a high yield savings account, forget about financial independence”. The Woke Salaryman. April 6, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- “The catering executive who taught himself how to code in 1998”. The Woke Salaryman. January 4, 2021. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- thewokesalaryman. Instagram. October 5, 2019. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B3ONIoLF2pZ/
- thewokesalaryman. Instagram. April 6, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B-oDbcvFVYJ/
- thewokesalaryman. Instagram. September 18, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/CFQwF0rlugo/
- Tay, Julian. “You Can Get Therapy Online Without Worrying About Costs, Bill Paid For By Woke Salaryman”. Mustshare News. November 11, 2020. Accessed 6 January, 2021.
- “Why The Woke Salaryman Is Shamelessly Downgrading…”. Seedly. November 3, 2019. Accessed 6 January, 2021.