Blogging as a profession is still quite a new thing in India. I remember that back in year 2005 I did not even know that there can be a profession called blogging when I first met full time technology blogger from India – Amit Agarwal from Digital Inspiration – one of the most renowned technology blogs on the Internet. One casual small meeting of about 10 bloggers at Ansal plaza Delhi was a start point for me. I was accompanying my school friend and co-founder of Technixmedia – Abhishek Bhatnagar. Abhishek has been blogging actively since his college days. When I met these group of people, most of them blogging as a hobby or part-time profession, it gave me some idea of what is blogging. As Abhishek and I have been good friends since school time, we eventually stared blogging together on a computer troubleshooting blog. Since we are both engineers, we decided to venture into technology blogging only, as that is the area where we have a level of expertise which is very important to be a successful in any stream.
Abhishek has been blogging on technology since 2006, and I joined him around end of 2007. We had been both working on it part time with our day jobs as Software Engineers; eventually we quit our jobs and became full time technology bloggers. We now have a network of technology blogs / websites which are together under one umbrella called Technixmedia.com
I will share some of the leanings and tips for people aspiring to take up blogging as a profession.
These tips are based on our experiences over last 3 years and the tips we get from the people who are in this profession for long time.
- Blog on the topics that you are passionate about – With time, blogging may not seem as much fun as it used to be when you started it. This is so because if you are writing about something which is not your passion, it seems like work and you may get bored and eventually will abandon doing it.
- Take it seriously – Professionals take their professions seriously, and blogging is no exception. People feel that blogging does not require serious efforts or dedication, which is not true; it requires commitment, dedication and serious attention. If you are passionate about the topic you have be chosen, you will not find it difficult to take it seriously.
- Blogging is not quick money – Blogging may not start fetching you money from the beginning. Depending on your niche and writing skills, it may take up to a year maybe more to break even and making money out of it. So if you have loans to pay and financial liabilities, start blogging part time and do it on regular basis, I recommend to spend about 2 hours on it every day if you are involved in a full time job also. Do it early morning or in the evening i.e. before or after your day job is over. If you are a student, you have the best of both worlds, because students can manage time in better way compared to professionals and students are always surrounded by energetic and vibrant energies of their peers. Start working on it; don’t wait for things to happen, start now. If you are able to achieve good readership and traffic, you can start making money by monetizing it through online advertisement and affiliate marketing. Earning potential varies over the different niches and depends on website traffic too, be patient and go easy in the beginning.
- Go out and talk to bloggers – There are no better ways of getting to learn a lot in very little time than meeting other bloggers who write on related topics. Meeting people from blogging arenas helps you broaden your vision, discuss and solve problems. They usually share their experiences and problems they faced and will guide you on how to avoid the problems they faced, so you can learn from others mistake and make sure that you contribute in same way by discussing your experiences with them.
- Don’t have money to spend on hosting? Get a free blog – Although this is not recommended if you want to blog professionally, but if you don’t have money to afford a self-hosted web space, which usually costs about $5 or Rs. 250 per month, you have alternatives to start blog on wordpress.com However, it’s a good idea to register a domain name which costs around $10 or Rs.500 per year and redirect it to your free blog. But if you can spend money on self-hosted web-space, you must go for it right from the beginning because on free blogging services like wordpress.com (which is an excellent service) don’t allow to monetize it via ads. Most of the people who want to do it part time can afford this cost and many of the student bloggers can also save some of their pocket money on a potential profession.
- Blog regularly – Well as discussed with many bloggers many time, there is nothing like a perfect number of blog articles per week or per day, rather more important thing is consistency. If you write one article a week, its fine, but do not break the frequency. You should not write 2 on a day and not post on your blog for next 2 weeks. The basic mantra is to maintain a rhythm and try not to break it. It helps in two ways, you develop a habit of writing in a more regular way, and people start coming back to your website when they expect new content, this helps build reputation and readership.
- NEVER EVER Copy Past Content – Copyright Awareness – New bloggers who don’t know the meaning of copyrights, intellectual property rights tend to do a mistake of copying content from other blogs or websites. This is potentially fatal for a professional blogger and had deep and long lasting implications. It may damage the prospects and the brand you build with your blog permanently. There are two reasons for not copying content from others , reason 1 – It is illegal to copy content from someone as its their copyright and intellectual property and your website can be barred from search engines or completely brought down legally by filing a DMCA with search engines and hosting companies. Reason 2 – When you copy content, most search engines have technology to detect that it is duplicate content and will hurt your traffic in a bad way and you will loose on traffic and revenues. This will also hurts and spoil your reputation and brand name. This does not mean that you should not write on the topics which other write, you can surely write on same topics, but in your own words and point of view. You can also use the data by others by providing them credit. Many of the blogs allow you to publish a small part, few lines or one paragraph or excerpt with link-back to the source. To know what is allowed and what is not, always read copyright policy of the website / blog from where you are taking some text or data for reference. Here is a reference to study more on Copyrights [source - Wikipedia]
- Write guest post for other blogs – Most of the new bloggers are not known in the online blogging community, to get some exposure you can write a guest post for some known blogs of your niche and communicate with these bloggers to publish it. Guest posts are the articles which a blogger writes for some blog/websites other than his/her own blog. Such guest posts have a link-back to the author’s blog, this helps in getting recognition, reader’s attention and search engine’s attention as well. We also accept guest posts on technology, if you want to publish, drop a mail at admin[at]technixmedia[dot]com . Best example of guest post is this post which has been contributed by me for reputed entrepreneurship blog YourStory.in
- Read Read And Read More – This is the golden rule for blogging. Knowledge comes from various sources; I consider reading as one of the best sources. Subscribe to blogs of your niche via RSS, email subscription or whatever way you want to read them. Read magazines and books of your field to expand your horizon of knowledge. Read often and read good and relevant stuff. This makes you equipped with the knowledge to understand things, know more and write better. Reading topics related to your area will give you good ideas and topics to write on.
- Understand and communicate with your readers – The popularity and success of your blog will depend on how well your readers like it. Read all the comments that you get your blogs and try to reply back to these comments via comments, or email if needed. Try to understand the needs of your readers from your blog and try to include the information and content they need. Run competitions or ask questions at times, this helps to engage readers and makes them come back often.
There is no end to the tips on blogging but these points are really important for beginners. Many of you might already be blogging successfully and might have much more valuable tips to share, please do so by commenting on this post. Our good wishes to the new bloggers and entrepreneurs. If you have any specific queries for us to answer, please ask them via twitter @rohit_khurana or @abhishek
Technixmedia (www.technixmedia.com) is an online technology media network of websites. It covers technology news and articles on various topics like computer tips and tricks, computer troubleshooting, website reviews, mobile phone tips and tricks, iPhone news and application, automobile news and a question answer portal for computer related problems. It has been co-founded by two technology bloggers Abhishek Bhatnagar (www.abhishekbhatnagar.com) and Rohit Khurana (www.rohitkhurana.com). They are both engineers by qualification and had worked as software engineers in the beginning of their career. They are school friends and have been blogging on technology since year 2006.
Thanks Shradha Sharma for providing us an opportunity to write a guest post for YourStory.in , I feel really honored to write it for you. This is a guest post contributed by Rohit Khurana from www.technixmedia.com