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?
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.