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Friday, October 9, 2009

I blog, therefore I am!

Blogging to the bank

Blogging also presents an attractive business model.
For a trend that literally crawled its way through Indian cyber circles, it took a government directive banning a few blogs to get everyone to understand what they’d been deprived of. In July 2006, when 153 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) acr oss the country blocked 17 websites, on the orders of the federal government, the blog made its presence first felt.

The Indian blogger had come of age but wasn’t being taken seriously. With the ban, the seriousness kicked in.

Source of income

More importantly, it’s the business model of blogging that grabs everyone’s fancy. For one, the blogger who could, now, not just sustain the costs incurred in buying and sustaining a domain besides putting up a website offering information, he could actually make a regular earning out of it. And, the earnings came from several quarters; sometimes directly from advertisements he could source from viewers and those interested in viewers. For example, if a blogger wrote an extensive, widely-read blog on say cooperative housing laws, he could obtain advertisements from housing society related product or service providers that could include water tank providers, security service provider, civil works consultants, engineers, painting contractors and so on and forth, directly to his blog and charge them for the same. After all, the blog would be read by his target reader who’d double up his target client.

And then, there’re affiliate programmes that are easy and effective for a blogger to make money on the Internet. A blogger can promote products and get paid a commission for promoting them instead of charging a direct advertising fee. Dell computers, Amazon, Expedia, AT&T, Delta airlines and Walmart and several others pay commission to sell their products online.

What’s easiest about affiliate programmes is that getting into a working relation with any of these companies takes very little time. As opposed to traditional modes of business wherein you may need to spend a lot of time convincing a potential partner of your worth, an affiliate program allows you to get commissions straightaway without the regular brouhaha.

Most successful, probably owing to its simplicity, has been the Google AdSense method of making money. It’s a huge hit with advertisers, bloggers as well as Google itself. By posting their ads on individual blogging sites, the advertiser’s ads get displayed on more web sites all over the internet (instead of just Google’s site) and get much more exposure. More exposure means more clicks and even more traffic for their site over a shorter period of time.

This translates into good news for Google because the more traffic the advertisers receive, the faster their advertising funds are used up. Importantly, the advertiser gets charged each time their site gets a visit and they continue to keep pooling in more and more revenue into their account for increased exposure. Google, on its part, shares some of the profit with the blogger, besides building loyalty with the blog-owner while providing their invaluable “pay-on-hit” service to advertisers, making it a win-win situation all the way.

For the professional blogger who may not be in it for the money earned through advertisers or commissions, there’s the benefit of raking in business or a thrust in professional activity on the basis of the blog itself. For example, a fashion designer could get orders directly from a firm looking to source work and whose consultant had been an avid reader of a particular designer’s blog.

Attractive option

Although paid-for-blogging is frowned upon in the blogosphere which prefers to perceive blogging as a form of expression free from professional profiteering, there’s a distinct surge in individual bloggers considering full time blogging as a career option. What’s more, companies too are looking forward to recruiting them. Also, opposed to plain ‘googling’ names of prospective recruits, HR sleuths now actively follow blogs to gauge the knowledge and understanding of jobseekers.

For those looking to blog for business or convert it into a career option, it isn’t as easy as it may seem. It takes a lot more than you would give to a job. Apart from the vision, the creativity, the hard work, there’re unending hours of online involvement and cyber interplay with viewers who’d pose queries by the second. If you manage to reach that far, you’ve probably caught up with success too.

source: Hindu


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