Is blogging profitable? Does a blogger make money? Truth behind blogging

Mogul of blogging world Miss Malini gave an interview to BBC World recently if bloggers made enough money from their blogs. She has made a successful business out of it with proper strategic planning and investment. She had the right contacts because of her stint in Radio Jockeying, as a Creative Head of a popular youth channel, writing a Bollywood column in a daily newspaper, etc. But there is no denying the fact that she worked really hard for where she is today. She and her husband are business partners and are not like regular Indian couples. So in short they are not like you and me who have to look after in-laws, children, PTM (Parent Teachers Meetings), family get-togethers, etc. on regular basis. They have to travel a lot, meet various celebs, attend different events and cover them on real-time basis to sustain their blogging business. It’s not easy being a blogger in her lines. Watch her interview here

There are many ezines and bloggers who really make money from their blogs. But let’s face it, most of them don’t. Recently, I met a group of bloggers in one of the events who all have a full-time job and do blogging only as a hobby.  Or many of them blog to attract more traffic to their real business, which is say online accessories store. There are millions of bloggers around the world and most of them want to be fashion bloggers. Why? Because there are perks associated with it. Recently, a car brand flew few fashion bloggers to Goa for a new product launch review (Of course, the product is a car). For me, it was a pure sham, as most of them don’t know to drive, they can’t compare specs with other brands and serious buyers would never take their word for it. Though, a buzz was generated that fashion bloggers were made to stay in a premium hotel, made to party, etc. But that’s it. Do these bloggers believe in the brand? Not really, but who cares as these are one of the perks of being a fashion blogger. Fashion bloggers also get invited to various makeup launches, spa launches, events where they are gifted samples to review and write later. But that’s it. It is the truth; they don’t get paid. Most of them do free reviews. Or they buy their own stuff to write reviews. Food reviewers get invited to restaurant launches, new menu launches where they can taste food and later write about it. So, the crux is, it’s not easy to generate income from your blog.

Most of the brands find bloggers to be easy marketing tools where they have to invest much less than traditional media. And as the supply of bloggers is more than demand, the bloggers lose their bargaining power. You should hear few of the PR people talk about bloggers (whom they think nothing more than freeloaders.) Yet, they want them to be a part of product launches because bloggers have direct-connect with the masses. They can easily influence their readers and friends. So, brands and PR Firms only target bloggers for their promotional events.  To be fair to them, they are running a business and not doing charity. Isn’t it? Who is more valuable to the brands? A blogger with immense fan following on social media and regular interaction on their blog via comments. But, alas! This means you need to sit on your laptop and smartphone 24 by 7. You need to have butter fingers to keep on tweeting, facebooking, instagramming all the time. Otherwise, nobody will like to invest in you.

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So what are the requirements to be a successful blogger?

1. You should love blogging. You should be able to write good and original content without glitches.

2. You need to socialize, socialize, and socialize! Both online and offline! This is where you get introduced to fellow bloggers and prospective clients. Mind it, fellow bloggers are double edged swords. They are your competitors as well as your ally to get you introduced to the right PR channels.

3. You need to find your niche and then know your subject well before you write about it. Don’t just write anything for the sake of it.

4. Give content and image credits wherever necessary. 

5. Invest time to get followers on Twitter and Instagram and interact with them. (As well as other social media networks) Fashion bloggers with good images get instant fan following. 

6. Forget about family life, as blogging is your world. (Pun intended.)

7. You should blog about the brands you believe in and would like to support. That creates your credibility in the blogging world.  Don’t blog about whatever comes your way.

Who am I telling you all this? An insider! Ha ha ha if you would like to believe. I blog. Therefore, that makes me a blogger. Do I make money out of my blog? No, not as much as you would like to believe. Then why do I blog? I blog because, I love to write, I love to read, I have a mini-journalist in me who gets immense satisfaction when I write about the topics which intrigue me, which interest me. I have authored a book and I have authored several articles in the past for various renowned fashion and beauty magazines and portals. Therefore, you can say that blogging keeps my writing bug alive. It makes me better as a writer. I improve with each blog post. I blog on various topics ranging from food, fashion, lifestyle, etc. and I blog because it makes me happy! It’s that simple.  

Who reads me? People from across the world! I have had almost 4.5 Lakh pageviews in a year. I get regular comments on my blog. But I publish only those which are relevant and are not spams. I receive appreciations as well as hate mails. Trust me, you have all sorts of peeps in the digital world. I keep on receiving business plans every second day from people who say that they are my “well-wishers” and would want to help me monetize my blog. In return, they all need share in the profits which I of course deny as I would not like to compromise on my freedom. My expenses on my blog are only hosting and domain name which I have been able to recover through my blog among others. 

I would also like to add this article here which I recently read in ‘Juice’ magazine from Jabong. Very apt article! The credit of this image goes to Juice and Jabong. In this, Brown Paper Bag owners Manasi Poddar and Kanika Parab share their blog monetizing tips.

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So, is blogging profitable? Well, there are perks associated with it; it’s a lifestyle choice but to make it a full time profession, you need to really slog. You need to work hard to achieve the pinnacle and earn big bucks. There is no easy money in blogging!

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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