In India, pursuing a career on the internet is still not widely accepted or understood. Some may even consider it a lazy escape route from regular, mainstream jobs. But garnering an audience online, staying creative and consistent, and being able to make money out of it is no child’s play.
Guwahati-based Puspanjalee Das Dutta, who quit her job after the birth of her son, says she desperately wanted to do something for herself and keep herself occupied as a stay-at-home mom, and decided to start blogging in 2011.
In 2016, Puspanjalee was recognised by Google as one of the best content creators on the web and was a part of the Google+ Create programme.
Today, Puspanjalee has over 30 million viewers across her two blogs – My Writing, My Worldand Foodie On The Road – and pursues blogging full-time.
In a Community Chat on the HerStory Women On A Mission Facebook group, Puspanjalee shared her expert insights on blogging and how one can make a career out of it.
Edited excerpts from the chat:
HerStory: I have multiple interests, but how do I decide on which topic to blog about?
Puspanjalee Das Dutta: Write about everything you care for. After a few months, you will find that you are more comfortable in talking about a particular interest that is equally loved by the audience. That’s your topic or niche for the blog – a subject which you love to talk and your audience are looking forward to reading.
HS: How much time do I need to spend on blogging if I take it up as a career? Can I do this along with my day job?
PDD: It depends on what phase you are at in your blogging journey. Some may need to spend 5-7 hours a day whereas some may need to give 2-4 hours. I personally spend 5-6 hours on weekdays. And yes, blogging can be done as a side hustle along with a day job.
HS: How do I continue to remain motivated when the first few blog posts don’t receive much positive response?
PDD: I once stopped blogging completely due to lack of response, but in the end, it was my love for writing that won.
The first blog posts are always hard. Nobody knows you and nobody cares what you are doing. In such cases, be active on social media, share your blog links, but most importantly, talk to other bloggers. Read other people’s blogs and share them on social media; the bloggers always reciprocate.
Blogging is also not just about you. It’s about what your audience wants as well. If you love to create content that helps people, you just keep doing it. Being consistent is one of the things that makes for success in the blogging world. Networking is another key to a successful blog.
HS: I want to start a blog about fashion, but I’m not a writer. How do I go about this?
PDD: You do not need to be a writer to be a blogger. You can start by writing short snippets with pictorial instructions as your blog post. If you are comfortable with camera, start video blogging. Not just tutorials but talk about topics like how to be fashionable on a budget, everyday fashion, and comfortable clothing.
I strongly suggest that you start writing in short snippets, and once you know what is working for you and your desired audience, choose the better format.
HS: Can one start making money from day one with blogging, or does it happen over time? How does one convert writing into a money-making venture?
If you have started a blog just because every other person is a blogger and you do not have a plan, then you will never earn a single penny. But if you are blogging with a purpose and have learned a few things like affiliate marketing, then yes, you can earn money from the first day itself. Making money from a blog is business. And like any other business, it needs work, practice, and consistency.