September 13, 2015

Indian bloggers don't want money; brands say, small blogs of no significance

While discussing the relationship between Indian blogs and brands, we had mentioned about a little survey that we recently carried out among bloggers.

In response to a questionnaire sent to randomly selected bloggers whose blogs are in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, we received 23 responses, as follows:

Have you worked to make your blog especially relevant for brands?
  • Personal blogs (14): 13 - no and 1- yes
  • Blogs on fashion, travel, photography, food, decor, book reviews (9): 4 - no and 5 - yes
  • 'No' means they did not especially look for making the blog attractive for brands.
  • 1 food blogger said, she started the blog only after she was widely recognised as a cook and so didn't care for brands (brands themselves came to her).

Has any advertiser / brand approached you with any offer including affiliation, buying ad space, sponsoring a product review, or collaborating in any other matter other than just sending a gift for a product review?  

  • Personal blogs (14): no - 14
  • Food, travel etc blogs (9): no - 4, yes - 5

Have you been given any offer for product reviews? (This question was posed only to food etc bloggers, and not to bloggers with a personal blog.)
  • No - 3 and yes -6
  • Blogs reviewing beauty products quite often received hampers and book reviewers routinely received books. 

Have you approached any advertiser or seller on your own?
  • Personal blogs (14): no - 13 and yes - 1
  • Food etc blogs (9): no - 4 and yes - 5

Do you have a plan for monetising the blog? 
(This question was posed to 8 blogs with no form of monetisation on the blog.)
  • No - 5 and yes - 3
  • Two who said yes seemed to be influenced by our queries.

Do you have a plan for any form of monetisation other than AdSense? 
(This question was posed to bloggers who had only AdSense advertisements and no other form of monetisation on their blogs.)
  • No - 6 and yes - 8
Do you think, anybody planning to buy kitchen items or books would look for your opinion? 
(This question was posed to 5 bloggers whose blogs are popular in their fields: cooking, travel and book reviews.)
  • Yes - 2; don't know / friends might - 3

We also approached a mid-sized, Delhi-based, media company. They had a social media strategy department; in the name of  strategy, they just thought of sale of advertisements to big websites. 

What the head of this department told us:
  • They do not consider ordinary blogs when devising their social media strategy. 
  • They had heard of Huffington Post India and would consider such big names, whether blogs or other types of websites. 
  • In the industry, number of hits (They think hits and page-views are the same!) is what is tossed by advertisers in getting advertisements for their web media clients such as big portals. 
  • DAVP (Indian government's arm of advertising)  gives advertisements to only big websites and newspaper / television portals, and this guides other advertisers. 
  • AdSense is too pervasive but Indian advertisers do not know how to proactively deal with targeted advertising on small websites / blogs. 
  • The impact of affiliate marketing on overall brand creation or sale is not clear to Indian advertisers.

So, allow us to conclude, based on this small interaction, that:
  • Most Indian blogs, who happen to write on personal matters and comments, do not work hard to monetise their blogs and do not connect with brands.
  • Most blogs in categories that see online buyers or are amenable to product reviews have the aim to earn from blogging.
  • Even those bloggers whose main aim is not earning through blogging put AdSense ads in their blogs.
  • Brands and advertisers do not bother for small blogs. 
Articles in this series:
1. How active and influential are Indian bloggers?
2. What is the future of Indian English blogging?
3. Are Indian bloggers so much worse than American and European bloggers?
4. Are Indian English bloggers relevant for brands and advertisers?  

5. Indian bloggers don't want money; brands say, small blogs of no significance (present one)