Interview with Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspirations

Written by: Abhinav

On Mar 4th, 2007

Amit Agarwal, the author of the the Digital Inspirations blog, is India’s first professional blogger. Recently, we asked him a few questions and the answers, like the man himself, are simple and straightforward. Aspiring professional bloggers (we know that there are a good number of you out there) would do well to keep them in mind. Once you have read the interview below, please leave behind a comment or send us an email to let us know what you think about the professional blogging scene in India, the technology blogs out there and what value these add to your life. Also, if you know of other Indian bloggers who are blogging for a living, please let us know. Now, to the interview itself.
iLeher: In your view, what is professional blogging? How would you describe what you do in terms of it being an economic function?

Amit: When you are not posting pictures of your cat sitting on the couch or not writing about what you had for dinner last night.

iLeher: Many of us consider a profession to be something one does from 9 to 5. Do you blog for some specific time (9 to 5) or do you do it as and when you feel like? How much time do you spend a day blogging/researching?

Amit: My blogging schedule is generally dependent on the site traffic. Since a bulk of my readers are from US and Europe, I like to post new stuff in the evenings here.

I generally work between 10-12 hours a day and more than half of that time goes in researching topics that might interest DI readers.

iLeher: How do you decide on stories and how do you go about identifying what would make a good story?

Amit: I get a lot of queries from readers on technology and related topics. Plus I read hundreds of RSS feeds to track what’s hot and might interest people.

iLeher: Are there many more in India like you?

Amit: There are tons of good technology bloggers in India though I am not sure if they blog full-time.

iLeher: Do you have any advice to those wanting to blog for a profession?

Amit: It’s a very risky business because you are dependent on so many other factors like SE rankings, inbound links, etc. Therefore, try to have a backup plan before making your blog a profession.

iLeher: What are some of the best Indian blogs you like?

Amit: I like reading Ouch My Toe, Swadeshe, Newsmericks, VentureWoods and Mad Momma.

iLeher: How do you characterize the typical readers of yours and other Indian blogs? (young, savvy, etc.)

Amit: The majority is young but there are some very senior people as well who read my blog.

iLeher: What do you do to promote your blog?

Amit: I focus on writing regularly and rest everything follows automatically. But yes, DI web address is printed on my business card.

iLeher: How has the blogging scene evolved over the years in India?

Amit: It’s growing and will continue to grow. No doubts about that and conferences such as BlogCamp and BarCamp will just aid in spreading the awareness.
iLeher: How much money do you make off your blog and what are the various channels ?

Amit: I think my blog generates some decent revenue and most of that is via online advertising. I do some consulting work as well.

iLeher: What is the most important thing for a blogger? (E.g., honesty to the readers, “interestingness”, etc)

Amit: Always disclose your sources of information and give them due credit.

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Entry Filed under: indian blogs

17 Responses

  1. 1. Indian Job Blogger said on March 5th, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Professional blogging is growing at a great pace in India these days and it is surely the next big thing.
    Bloggers like Amit deserve kudos for being the first to take initiative.
    They are a source of inspiration for bloggers like me.

  2. 2. Madhur said on March 5th, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Indian Job Blogger,

    Its very interesting to see professional blogging efforts in “verticals” like your job blog. Going by the stats and numbers, its clear that your blog has a very good following. The interesting thing though is that I don’t see ads on your blog. How do you make money? (If thats the intent at all)

  3. 3. Nitesh said on March 5th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    It was interesting to read interview of India’s first professional blogger.

    As you have asked about scene for professional blogging, I think it is still in beginning phase and will take some time at this stage to evolve.

    Amit is very right when he says that one should have backup plans before going into professional blogging but I think he can’t generalize for other parts of world where it is a profiting business.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. 4. Abhinav said on March 5th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    @Indian Job Blogger: Are you charging companies looking to recruit people directly for entries they can place on your site?

  5. 5. Salman Siddiqui said on March 6th, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Blogging in India is at the rise. But as Amit Sir says, you need to have backups before you enter into full time blogging world.

    When I started blogging, some 7 months back, I used to copy DI’s posts without any links. Amit Sir caught me and mailed and asked me to stop doing that. I learned a lesson.

    Later google adsense banned me for fraud clicks (They were correct, I did have fraud clicks). I learned another lesson.

    Now I work on completely new blog with all started from scratch and recently my template crashed for some unknown reasons. I learned another lesson…

    And with these incidents my passion has kept increasing day by day, with all the rules followed. I link back, I openly disclose my sources and I try to be very honest.

    Still I know road to full time blogger is very tough, so I am studying too 😉

    Thank You for all Amit sir for all the scolding.

  6. 6. Ranjan said on March 6th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Gautam Ghosh’s blog http://gauteg.blogspot.com and Rashmi Bansal’s http://youthcurry.blogspot.com are other inspiring blogs.

    I guess it’s important for having a certain attitude towards blogging and basically enjoying it!

  7. 7. Indian Job Blogger said on March 6th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    @Madhur
    Wordpress does not allow any sort of Ads and I was also not looking for any sort of revenue initially since I started the blog only to share the info.
    But now I am hoping to make some money so that I am able to support this blog and take it to the next level.
    Do let me know if you have some suggestion for me !!

  8. 8. Indian Job Blogger said on March 6th, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    @Abhinav
    I am not charging companies for posting their requirements and the Job Posting is completely FREE currently.
    So all the recruiters are most welcome !!

  9. 9. Vish said on March 6th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    @Indian Job Blogger:
    1. How about syndicating your content to other old/new media in exchange for traffic/ad revenues.

  10. 10. Abhinav said on March 7th, 2007 at 6:07 am

    @Indian Job Blogger:
    Thats interesting. So essentially, you are hoping to turn preofessional. Wish you all the best!

    @Vish:
    Thats an interesting thought. Syndicating takes away a lot of risk. But of course, in that case, your content is subject to approval from the mainstream media! Blogging is so much more fun because you are your own editor!

    Amit mentions in his replies that you need to have a backup plan. So here’s a question to Salman, Nitesh, Ranjan and all of you out there – what will your backup plan be? If you can blog about something you are confident enough to make your backup, are you not all set?

  11. 11. Vish said on March 7th, 2007 at 6:55 am

    I feel if there is anybody interested in the blogger’s content (in this case job postings) they and the blogger can come to a mutual agreement. So now the blogger may get revenues or traffic or both and the other party gets the content.So its a win-win situation for all.
    My 2 cents.

  12. 12. Chandra said on March 8th, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Professional blogging has yet to get the real momentum. But, I am not sure how long a professional blogger can make money for a living with affiliates and ad-publishing programs. We definitely should have a back up plan if professional blog is not going click. I think, working as a free lance consultant in your niche and professional blogging would definitely work.

    One more thing I want to share here is, I really want see professionals in India start blogging and share their experiences. One good example I have found is, http://www.shekharkapur.com/blog/ , this is the blog of film maker Shekhar Kapur.
    Personally I have learnt a lot of techniques in web designing from the blog’s of world renowned web designers….
    Hope we will see more blogs from the professionals/successful people in India where they share their expertise….

  13. 13. Startup Dunia - Indian startups and Entrepreneurship » Blog Archive » Indian blogosphere making great strides said on March 13th, 2007 at 3:11 am

    […] The most prominent Indian professional bloggers that come to mind are Om Malik (no intro needed) and Amit Agarwal – author of Digital Inspirations. Team iLeher recently did a QnA session with him, which you can check out on their website. […]

  14. 14. Amit Agarwal said on March 15th, 2007 at 6:12 am

    @Abhinav – since you wanted to know my backup plan:

    one – i also write for few other publications

    second – the computer engg degree might help in securing a job..thanks to the booming IT economy.

  15. 15. This blog is (the) ONE! « Swadeshe said on April 22nd, 2007 at 7:18 am

    […] Top posts: January 16, 2007 Top posts: January 14, 2007 Top posts: January 04, 2007 Growing blogs: January 03, 2007 Top posts: January 03, 2007 Growing blogs: November 20, 2006 And then a few weeks back Amit Agarwal — the face of blogging as a profession in India — mentioned in an interview on iLeher that he like reading Swadeshe! Dang! Why did he do that? That places pressure of performance on my lazy shoulders! […]

  16. 16. This blog is (the) ONE! « Swadeshe said on April 22nd, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    […] And then a few weeks back Amit Agarwal — the face of blogging as a profession in India — mentioned in an interview on iLeher that he liked reading Swadeshe! Dang! Why did he do that? That puts pressure of performance on my lazy shoulders! […]

  17. 17. Sagar trapasia said on August 12th, 2007 at 5:50 am

    Well,this guy earning RS. 7 lac/month has an IITian mind and thats the prime reason between a normal blogger and this blogger.Webmastering profession is going to get huge notice in coming several years.
    Makes an ideal for me to persuade my goal.

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