Blogging Industry in India – An Overview

My first association with blogging happened in 2003 when my mom bought the ‘Google Cash Cow’ CDs out of curiosity. Marketed as the ultimate money making machine with free hosting and free website that supposedly let’s you make millions in a short span of time, the Indian blogging industry has gone beyond the Google Cash Cow’s and evolved as a strong publishable medium, with the number of professional tech bloggers, personal bloggers and business bloggers on the rise.

Before I go further, let me point out that Indian blogging industry is not well documented. Whatever we know are from rare market surveys and reports.

Dominant Blogging Statistics

Blogging Industry English is the dominant language; however, blogging in other vernacular languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Marathi are on the rise too.

According to the data released by the We Are Social, a social media agency, 8% of the Indian population, which is about 100,000,000 people, is internet users and among them, only 15% of them are involved in blogging.

MSN Live survey of 2006 says that men dominate the Indian blogosphere and WatBlog.com says blogging in India is popular only with a certain section of society. On the basis of the above data, two things are worth noticing:

  • Male bloggers are more visible in the Indian blogosphere. Take a look at any business blogs or those typical ‘making money from blogging’ sites, the webmasters are all male. Call this a lack of knowledge or simple complacence, women professional bloggers from India are hard to find. Most of the women bloggers use the blogging medium as personal diaries only.
  • Blogging is class-based, to a certain extent. This is because internet penetration in India’s rural heartland is negligible. Moreover, 72% of Indian population lives in the rural areas, which is more than the combined population of USA and Western Europe!

What do Indians Blog About?

Indian bloggers have multifarious purposes for blogs. While the numbers of newbie mommy blogs from India are on the rise, many others take to professional blogging as well. Look at Amit Agarwal from Labnol.org, one of the most respected Indian blogger. Here is a brief account of most popular blogging niches in India:

1. Technology – It is not without reason that India is known as the ‘tech hub’. There is a rising number of tech bloggers within the age group of 19-25 year bracket.

2. Cricket – The gentleman’s game is a religion in India (*not a bit exaggerating*). Thousands of blogs are dedicated to cricket, encompassing every aspect of the game.

3. Finance – Finance blogging is a popular niche too. One can find blogs / columns / stories / expert tips from finance experts on top finance blogs like AbhishekRungta.com and MoneyControl.com.

4. Business / PR – India is growing in the SME sector and with high influx of corporate investment, cross-cultural business relations have grown significantly in which blogs like WATBlog.com, BuyerBehavior.org, Trak.in, CapitalMind.in are popular.

5. Coupons – There are blogs that strictly cater to audiences who are on the lookout of online coupons for eCommerce purchases. The coupons-based blogs sell coupons and vouchers at less than market rate and make money.

These are the five main categories of blogging. Of course, there are personal blogs too but when we talk about niches, these are the main ones.

Do Indian Bloggers Earn?

I recently came across a 14-year old who earns about 1000 USD per month from his blog! Quite an achievement for this young guy but what I am saying is that making money through blogging is a main motivation for the young Indian bloggers, especially when it comes to advertisement earnings.

Admittedly, AdSense revenue earning is the prime source, followed by InfoLinks.com, Chitika.com and others. Indian blog monetization is in a phase where US blogs, specifically, were in 2004-2006. Therefore, there is a lot to be learned because what we are doing now is going with ‘tried and tested’ paths rather than concentrating on innovation.

Anyways, after advertisement earning come those blogs which are solution-oriented like Blog Consultancy, Writing Services, Tech Training, SEO Services and others.

Blogging Controversies and Regulations

The Indian blogging industry has received more negative coverage than positive ones, making people see this field with unnecessary skepticism. Corporate bigwigs like Infosys and Wipro have come out with ‘blogging guidelines’ for its employees, which if violated, can lead to severe penalties and in some cases, termination of employment.

Whether it is the case of blogger Chautanya Kunte portraying the famous journalist, Barkha Dutt from NDTV, in negative light or the case of blogger Gaurav Sabnis, critically writing about Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), the term “freedom of expression” does not bode well with the Indian government.

It seems that the government is going the ‘Chinese’ way, curbing internet freedom and surrounding it with bureaucracy. In March 2011, amendments to the IT Rules Act directed Internet Service Providers to direct the general public and bloggers as to what consists of publishable and non-publishable content, giving the ISPs right to block content from user access.

Nevertheless, to wrap up this discussion, Indian blogging is a billion dollar industry when combined with eCommerce. Blogging is a profitable field, provided one follows certain rules and regulations. However, there are some, including me, who think that the power of blogging should be used aesthetically. From India’s perspective, blogging has potential, more when Internet access reaches more people and users are sensitized about the concept and potential of ‘blogging’.

 

About 

Chitraparna Sinha is an experienced freelance content developer and the founder of SocialVani, a resourceful blog for small business entrepreneurs and assisting clients in start-up blogging.

120 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

      • Hey Chitra,

        Nice to see you here explaining about the blogging industry. Well, truly said and even I am impressed. Yeah, there are some really trending topics like Cricket, & technology (as I am a big fan of both of them) and you said it very well about the Indian bloggers.

        In fact, It would be great if you could reveal that boy’s name who is earning 1000$ at a young age of 14.

        I think it’s important for me to know that as I am 13 and earn half of that figure just via Content Writing but never knew that person :D

        Well, You have delivered really informative things here. :)

        Thanks for the wonderful post.

        • Hi Kuldeep,

          Sorry, can’t reveal the name! Poor fellow will be downed in questions and queries. All I can say is he earns all this moolah with blogging advertisement, sponsored posts and paid reviews. :)

    • Well, I tried to. Indian blogging industry is vast. What I have covered is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Indian blogging vs government is something on which a book can be written!

  1. In my case, i have encountered a few Indian writers and freelancers and they did really well. Well, we cannot deny the fact that there are also detractors that are bragging the good ones, I think not only Indians though :)

    Good job on this one Chitraparna

  2. Thanks Chitra for explaining the indian blogging industry.
    I am agree with you that Indian blogging is a billion dollar industry hope we also can earn Billion dollar from Blogging :) There is lots of topic but you mentioned the top topics.
    BTW who is that guy $1000 ???
    I am really eager to know his(14 Year Age :o ) name.
    Thanks for sharing such a superb info.

  3. Very nice post Chitra, really the example of 14-year old earning so much is correct? If yes then its is like an inspiration for new bloggers like me.

  4. Hey Chitraparna,

    Great article with buckets of useful information about blogging in India.

    There are many inspiring bloggers from India. And I guess, they write on most of the online topics.

    Thanks for sharing this. :D

  5. Hey Chitra :)

    You covered some of the amazing facts here. I myself have been blogging and faced lots of issues when it comes to blog from India. But still we bloggers can overcome any situations and follow our passion :D

    Happy Blogging and Thanks to Ileane also :D

    • One major situation is this – audience barrier.

      An US blog targets US audience first.
      An Indian blog target US audience first too. Why? Because of less internet penetration in India and even less number of blogs.

  6. Excellent post and some real top notch insights. I did not realize many of the information you provide here and that is something that I will keep note of.

    Now I understand better why I have a lot of visitors from India when it comes to providing some tips on AdSense, lol. Another issue that called my attention was that the IT Act is somewhat severe and I was under the impression that it was more liberal…

    • Whenever there is AdSense related post, Indian bloggers will be there, lol. I do not fancy AdSense much but many of my blogger friends go ga-ga over it. Blogging is like a personal TV (ain’t this a new post idea!! ahem :) )

      Yes, the IT act is severe but as I said, one has to maintain aesthetics. By writing negative about someone won’t help the cause, like the cases I wrote in the article. There is something called ‘constructive criticism’ and bloggers especially have to maintain that. :)

      • I totally understand that in some cases, the act is necessary and your reasoning does make sense.

        Now I totally love the idea of that “possible” new blog post. If you do ever write “blogging is like a TV”, let me know. I am intrigued :)

  7. Are you sure about 15% of the Indian Internet users are involved in blogging? I think that number sounds really, really high. Imagine, that for every 100 local visitors you get on your blog, 15 of them would actually not just be an average internet user, but be “involved with blogging” already?

    Maybe it’s true because only tech savvy Indians are online, so the step from “being online to becoming a blogger”, is not as big as in other countries where getting online is basically a human right these days.

    • Well, 15% is the data I got from the reports mentioned in the blog. Perhaps the numbers also include inactive bloggers too….those bloggers who blog few times a month….but yes, you are right about that most of the Indian bloggers are tech savvy.

  8. I am also from India. Bloggers in India are rising rapidly and everyone wants to earn money. Most of the blogs are on Technology only. My best blogger is Amit Agrawal who is one of the most popular blogger in the World. But in India, its really hard to get Adsense approved so there is a bit disadvantage for Indians.

    • Well, I am lucky in this case. My AdSense account was approved 4-5 years back when I had started blogging just for fun and then couldn’t continue because of studies.

      Its true that getting AdSense approved in India is difficult. Even if you manage to, there is a chance of getting banned easily :P

  9. Very excellent look into Indian blogging. I don’t have a ton experience working directly with Indian Bloggers but from the experience I do have I’ve found some fantastic Tech Resources and Insights.

    Thanks for this great look into a different blogging culture from my own.

    Ryan H.

  10. Abhi,

    Its so funny when i checked my stas and saw that my blog [] is more popular in India than my home country, Nigeria.

    It happens that Indians are very lovely when it comes to blog and they love to write for people too.

    Sheyi

  11. May i know personally url of the 14 years kid blogger that who earns 1000$ per month ? i’m too 16 years blogger but not crossed 300$ per month :P

  12. Naveen kulkarni

    Hi chitraparna,
    Insightful article. I must appreciate you for writing first of its kind of article about blogging industry in India.

    To partially disagree with you, blogging is not an industry in India, yet.
    It is seen as an extended medium for writers and hobbiists. And that’s okay.

    At the same time , I am noticing that lots of good bloggers from India are shining out there. Such as Amit Agarwal or even Jill sunny ( he is just 16) .

    Yes, blogging is powerful medium and it’s going to be embraced by more and more writers in future.

    • Well, that’s what I wrote about in the beginning. Blogging can become an ‘industry’ but it isn’t yet because no one is paying it much attention. Moreover, the government will try not to turn this into an ‘industry’ because it will mean handing over ‘power’ and ‘freedom of speech’ to bloggers which they don’t clearly want… :)

  13. I too am quite eager to know who is that guy who earns 1K$ / month. And it is possible because once you have established the base, it is easier to grow up high. Nice article Chitraparna Sinha.

  14. Aasma

    That’s certainly a great achievement specially for 14 year kid to earn $1k per month. I too have thought many a times to start my own blog but didn’t get any interesting idea, if I get one then I would love to start my own blog. ;)

  15. India mostly blog about Tech and they very good at it too. It’s really amazing to see a young guy earn money with blogging, $1000/per month is pretty high.

  16. This article really highlights everything you would find in an Indian blogger mine is also on Tech blog but my strategy and ways are different .

    Another point which is strong mentioned in the article is expression of freedom of mind , yes this is a kind of setback for indian bloggers really !

  17. Amit Agarwal started this Indian revolution and there are many techies who left their jobs to pursue this internet phenomenon in India. All the best to the fellow bloggers :)

  18. awesome post…nice to see that we Indians are rising in the field of blogging…..although 15 % looks like too much for Indians thoughs… atleast for now….

  19. Amazing post on Indian blogging. Really Great. But one more thing is there There are so many guys who earns 1000$ and tell others that they are making 2000$ just to make a great appearance among other fellow bloggers.

    • Yes, that very true Atish.

      I didn’t believe this guy initially. I thought he was just bluffing but then he showed me his earnings report….I was shockingly pleased :) :)

      Nevertheless, one thing I agree is no one, blogger or not, should parade their earnings online. I know some say this is inspiring and motivational for new bloggers but half the time, it isn’t either of them.

      What do you say?

      • Yes Chitraparna I agree. If there are guys who produce false data then there are so many other honest bloggers too. All are not the same.

    • Hmm.. it might be but that $1000 is not a small amount for this region when we have $1 = 70 – 80 local currency. Our average officer gets salary of 20-30 thousands per month. :-)

      • Hey Suresh, I lived in Nepal for 2 years, did 5th and 6th standard schooling there….just loved the place but had to leave because of rising Mao problems. :)

        Anyways, just wanted to say that bloggers from Nepal stand to benefit a lot because of the currency advantage.

  20. i know so many indian bloggers earn more then 100$ a day. but really we paid less on home clicks and always trying to generate US, UK and other top countries.

    • The reason why we target US and UK audience is because blogging and its peripheries are “established” there but not in India. I believe that blogging has more potential when the blogger is not counting on just advertisement revenues.

      What do you think?

  21. Nice analysis and because Nepal shares many characteristics with India, the discussion holds true to the Nepalese bloggers as well. But still, it is the beginning stage and our regulations has not considered online media as journalism yet, there is in fact no regulating body. The good thing is that, here is more freedom of speech and the bad thing is that it is very hard to do online transactions. We as an independent and individual bloggers are not allowed to spend in foreign currency. PayPal does not work here and Click bank does not support Nepal yet. So the monetization opportunities are tightly limited to the Advertisements only.

    Lets hope it will improve and we can be better bloggers in coming days ;-)

  22. Hi Chitraparna,

    I knew that blogging was big in India, but seeing this detailed post has surely been an eye opener! I’m especially impressed with what you shared about the 14-year-old blogger who is pulling in a consistent 4 figure monthly income at such an early age! What a testament to the viability of blogging!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful information!

    Best regards,
    Cat Alexandra
    Alexandra Marketing Group

  23. Chitraparna – This was awesome stuff you outlaid about Indian blogging industry and it’s current scenario. I was amazed at the 8% stats you put forth as ones who use internet, is it really so? I was thinking it must be more than half of our population.

    Anyway, as you have rightly said, the monetization of blogs in India is limited when compared to the eastern countries and more bloggers get into controversies, thanks to the political and beuracratic nature of our society.

    Thanks for sharing and Ileane – thanks for publishing this.

    • To be honest, I was quite surprised by the stats too while researching for this post.

      BTW, don’t forget – India’s population is HUGE…HUGE…. and 8% doesn’t sound bad at all…LOL :)

  24. Interesting post, there are a lots of tech blogs definitively.
    Maybe because technology is really the top thing in our lives and jobs today :)

  25. Jack Sander

    There are many talented bloggers in India and I happen to have met a few of them. It’s just amazing how these guys are so aware of technology and internet strategies.

  26. Hi Chitra,
    While searching for one article I landed here and from the Home Page I saw your Avatar so Immediately I Jumped up here to read what you have written as this evening I had visited ur Blog to see whether you have posted any New article or not and then at last I got your article here. Well Written Post as usual very helpful.

    Keep it Up.
    ~Debasis :)

  27. Great post Chitra ! Blogging has now become a good profession to opt out for in India, and the number of pro bloggers have been increasing at a rapid pace !

  28. Hi Chitra ,
    India is a big country and so that the industry is vast and full of talent. Hats off to you for sharing such a knowledgeful article .

  29. Hey it’s a informative post, I too felt that number of female bloggers are very low in India specially in the niche such as money making, blogging, seo etc. They are much involved in fashion and traveling blogs.

    • You are very true. Even if women are in fashion and traveling niches, they are blogging nonetheless…however, the ratio is too less. Another reason for this is ghostwriting. I know countless women writers who ghostwrite crazily for blogs but they don’t get any credit…just few bucks and that’s it! Sad but true.

      • Yes you are right, female bloggers of India are mostly working for seo and web designing firms as a content writer just for few bucks. And one more thing I am noticing about Indian female bloggers is that most of them are not monetizing their blogs. I don’t understand why they are not using their writing skill and blogging passion for earning.

        • Hey Nice article on blogging. Blogging is easy who will spend time on marketing it. The same time if we invest in real life would yield us good money, this is what i felt after creating a blog and marketing it. Hope one day This blogging and marketing becomes known to all Indians who knows one day a course or subject on this may be introduced in schools or colleges.. :) Paid article is good way to earn money by spending less time on internet.

          Above most of comments says who is that guy earned 1k money per month Why? What s the use if you come to know who is that? IF you want to know the earning of top 30 young bloggers just google it you will get it. The top bloggers like kidblogger smartblogger etc have chose to be different than trying to come out of crowd.

          Any ways nice site on tips to blog

  30. Blogging in India is one thing I really am amused on knowing because most of my friends who’s from India are very well aware of the rampant blogging issues. Well I really enjoyed reading their blogs too and in fact they also share what they really know.

  31. Ammara Wasim

    Hi Chitraparna! I am also going to start blogging. I have deep interest in it. When i see your post it attract me a lot and before reading this post i was sure that this post will defiantly increase my knowledge. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I have seen most of the Indian blogger are blogging on technology and gadgets. I thinks most of them are like tech stuff in India. Even female bloggers are blogging on tech stuff rather than blogging on content like beauty. Cricket is like their religion and they worship cricketers. So it is not a surprise to see Indians are blogging on Cricket.

  33. bhushan

    Hello Chitra,

    An excellent article with good blog, can you suggest how much a blogger can generate money from 10,000 Unqiue visitor based on a tech blog, I know ad-sense has lower rate based on geography domain and area like India should have lower rates, please suggest..

    • Hi Bhushan

      Apologies for the late response. Other than advertisements, the best way is to offer a product or service. Maybe take on some affiliate products. Since it is tech blog, go into affiliating electronic products.

      • I was just checking the people who are replying on this post, most of them have their own blog and they just step in either to rewrite same post or to leave their link. Most of those are MFA(Mad for Adsense) but I am sure all those thousands of blogger those are coming hardly hundard’s of them would survived, since the market is not that great until you are old player and have good pool of followers. With this my question remain same here how much money we should expect on tech blog from 10,000 unique visitor per day. could you please reply.

        • Bhushan,

          There is no fixed standard for expecting money….No one can say for sure how much you can earn with 10,ooo UV per day. All depends on YOUR revenue model, which will differ from every other blogger.

          …and no one is going to tell anyone how much they are earning with such high amount of visits per day.

  34. Good post Chitraparna. I have come across a huge number of food blogs as well. Indians love food and apparently love to share their wonderful recipes via food blogs as well.

  35. Nice post,
    i really like the article, but very much shock to know that MNC are making some sort of regulation.
    we must really encourage blogging

    • Yes we must encourage blogging…maybe MNC’s are threatened by it because employees can reveal details about an organization, which the organization does not want and hence, they are introducing blogger’s code of conduct.

  36. Really awesome post. You have covered the most popular topic at which Indians blog. As I think you should also include entertainment blog b’coz beginners from India has a great craze about it.

  37. many thanks Jafar for the insight to blogging in India, I can only hope more Indian women in time will have the resources and capability to contribute to the blogging world.

  38. I for one would like to see more Indian female bloggers providing insights into Indian cuisine as I am a big Indian curry fan. But also other areas of Indian cuisine also interests me.

  39. Very good article about Indian bloggers. I am from Bihar and had a few sites on Bihar but was not blogging. I recently took up blogging out of interest. If a girl from Bihar can do it, I am sure other people from other places can also do it. Blogging is a million dollar industry. I also think that in order to be a a blogger, you have to be technically minded which many Indians are. Being a Bihari, I can also confirm that many Biharis are too into blogging in different niches. But not all of them take it to the next level and monetise it. As fas as Indian bloggers, there are some very famous Indian bloggers blogging from Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, you name it.

    • I know Shalu…technical knowledge is one area which I lack in and sometimes it gives me big troubles…then I have to ask fellow tech-bloggers to help me out. Nonetheless, tech blogging is very big in India at least.

  40. Nice article Chitra! But I still hate this fact, Google pays very few bucks to Indians though we took google.co.in to the top most level. Its even ready to block our adsense accounts. I hate it

    • Well, what can we do? Love it – hate it – we are stuck with Google. In case you wanna explore advertising options from India, check the ComLuv link.

  41. Bloggers are becoming a tech journalists without a doubt. That is the reason MNCs fear a bit about it as any one have to worry about the proverb that pen is mightier than the sword :)

    In future we can see many journalists born because of blogging :) Totally a brilliant article :P Cheers.

    Robin.

    • I agree with you cent percent. I found the idea that MNC’s are now regulating blog posts quite idiotic because an employee can open a blog under a pen-name and keep on spurring secrets about the MNC, if the blogger chooses too. MNC blogging guidelines won’t help practically :)

  42. kimberly

    this is a really interesting topic to discuss about. i feel that what you said is true to some extent. i also came across indian bloggers who are all male like amit bhawani,amit agarwal,harsh agarwal,etc. i have rarely heard of the indian women bloggers unlike other countries. i think this might be due to the women from india preferring to hide their identity in public to some extent and due to lack of awareness to some extent.

  43. This is a really good article. Thank you for sharing it. It definitely helps people take a look at the blogging patterns and appreciation in India. Countries like India are developing at a great rate, hence the bloggers there have very many topics to choose from.

  44. Interesting on how it is taking a rise in the country of India.

    I found it quite interesting for me living not in the country, and how it has an effect on some of the population.

    Blogging is a way to build your income and have many joining for this reason.

  45. Really interesting article. I have so many Indian readers but only really know a handful of Indian bloggers. So interesting to hear about the blogging scene in India.

  46. The issue with many professional blogs in India is, they want to focus on monetizing it from day one. They want a check from Google in two months and they want to buy a car in 12 months using the blogging revenue. No wonder many people are disappointed.

    As you said somewhere in the comments, I too think it’s important to build an audience, a good amount of credibility & value first. I feel that having advertisements is not a good way to monetize a site, unless it gets a minimum of 1000 UV a day. Your post is quite insightful and lets hope that there will be many Indian blogs with unique Indian flavor in the near future that are highly successful.

  47. Hi Chitraparna, I’m a bit late to this article, but I must leave a comment after reading the post that is because I think I know that 14 years old young guy who is making $1000 from his blog.

  48. An interesting read here Chitra. I see you’ve even managed to cover the topics we Indians blog about. The blog industry is truly on a rise now-a-days. Great post!

  49. All of you guys including that 14 year old boy especially Ileane inspires me a lot.
    I’ve started my blog 3 months back and still not much of a result. Even though i write fresh content and relevant items. I’m not satisfied with my revenue from adsense. Its just like a maximum of 1.5$ per day. :(
    Any ideas?

  50. I agree with your assessment and I too complied top 30 bloggers in personal finance space in India. If you see most of these blogs have been set up in 2011 & 12. With increasing internet penetration and easy to blog applications, Indian bloggers are going to rock cyber world!