Hindi blog directory compilation gives deep insight into Hindi blogging
The 2020 edition of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs came out on 30th September. We have been in the job of finding out the best blogs in Hindi for the last 2 months. We have also received dozens of submissions from bloggers.
We take pride in saying that we are perhaps the only people who so painstakingly compile directories - in English and Hindi - by manually visiting each blog many times and applying mind as to whether a blog may be added or not. This, without any fee or other consideration. In doing so, we get a lot of insight into the Indian blogging scene. After two years, we are again sharing our experiences of Hindi blogging in detail. Kindly visit this link If you like to visit our earlier observations on Hindi blogging. This time, we have also looked deeply at video blogging in Hindi.
जाने कहाँ गए वो दिन...
Visitors of Hindi blogs are sad that the top Hindi blogs of the past are either no more or have deteriorated badly. New Hindi bloggers have chosen social networking and video/ image sharing platform rather than standard blogging. That may be true but there are some pointers that suggest that blogging in Hindi is more mature now and is growing in silent ways. Hard-working bloggers can learn from this to become popular and make money from blogging. If you are interested, read till the end. (Caution: this is a long read, running to 2k words!)
Categorizing Hindi bloggers/ blogs into 4-5 main categories will make our task easy in understanding their weaknesses, strengths and working. Let us categorize them according to their blogging goals and content format:
- Hobby/ personal bloggers
- Professional bloggers
- New bloggers wanting to earn money
- Photo bloggers
- Video bloggers
Personal or hobby bloggers in Hindi
This type of blogs ruled the Hindi blogging scene until a few years back. But when Facebook took over the social media, personal or hobby blogging did not remain attractive. Readers who did not have their own blogs chose to desert bloggers but those blog readers/ visitors who themselves maintained blog kept on engaging with other bloggers.
The main problems with personal blogging in Hindi (which have not impacted English blogging that much) are:
- Since Hindi blogging started late, it did not get time to mature before the buzz around blogging started subsiding around 2012.
- Facebook and WhatsApp gave a better platform to socialize. Since most friends and family members chose to be on social apps, it made no sense to remain glued to blogging.
- Social apps became available on smartphones and were easy to handle. One did not have to be a thinker or writer to write small posts or make quick comments on social apps. So, the bloggers, who now got very few comments, shifted to social apps.
- On Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter (and platforms that share images and videos), liking, sharing and making comments were instant. On the other hand, one had to know other tricks of blogging to make the blog popular. That also pulled people away from blogging to social apps.
In the Hindi-knowing population in India, there has been a strong tradition of reading and writing poetry. Though this has declined in recent years, the generation in their 40's or more still has a love for old literature (and old songs) and poetry. So, we find that a large number of blogs that have survived the onslaught of Facebook etc are on literature, especially poetry.
People who have remained attached with Hindi (who have not discarded it in favour of English) are politically and socially active and vocal, not like the rich English-speaking people who show lack of concern for social and political issues. The English-educated youth are busy pursuing their technology or management careers and running big businesses. That could be one reason that Hindi-speaking people who have something worth sharing (more than the quick posts or comments on social networking sites) find value in blogging; they also get a good number of visitors.
Professional Hindi bloggers
There are very few professional bloggers in Hindi. If someone knows English (even if his English is not good) and he is interested in blogging, he jumps to English blogging. There are many reasons for that, e.g.
- Searches on Google are mostly made in English. So, if you write in Hindi, it is difficult to optimize the blog for search.
- English-speaking visitors are more likely to buy goods online and so click on the advertisements.
- One major blogging segment is professional discourse: using blogging for research and discussion on serious subjects rather than for making money. This is non-existent in the Hindi web. The exceptions are (I) the reproduction of newspaper/ magazine columns and editorials in the websites of some media houses and (ii) a few literary blogs and web magazines.
Hindi speakers who want to use online tools to make money choose YouTube and small-video sharing apps rather than do the more painstaking job of standard blogging. At the same time, we find that Hindi bloggers do earn money - and there is good potential for Hindi bloggers to earn money as we discuss in the following segment.
Technology is an area where Hindi blogging is abuzz with activity. Hindi speaking learners look for guidance and updates on tech subjects so that they themselves can earn money from blogging and other tech-related activities. Some of them write in standard Hindi and use English words for technical or popular expressions: that looks to be the best adaptation.
Look how a large number of young Hindi bloggers, those wanting to make money from blogging, behave. They buy cracked themes and reseller hosting plans through WhatsApp or Facebook groups. Some are in the lookout for blogs and websites that have gone down but have high SEO rankings - they put their own content on such blogs/ websites or use these for creating PBN networks/ link exchanges. The blogs of such bloggers have usually copy-pasted content. They also use many blackhat SEO tricks to hurt genuine bloggers and making their blogs show high on search pages. They are seen buying-selling AdSense approved blogs. On AdSense, they indulge in clicking on each other's ads to earn money without the intent to buy.
Such cheap, undesirable activities are hutting Hindi blogging in different ways. For example, Google does not approve AdSense on Indian blogs unless they are six months old. Otherwise too, genuine Indian bloggers complain that it is difficult to get AdSense approval, which is perhaps not the case with bloggers in the US, UK etc.
Even professional bloggers in Hindi do not care for language and web design. They routinely make mistakes of grammar and matras (glyphs) - which shows their poor educational standard as well as carelessness. Hindi blogs also suffer from design issues such as clutter, too many advertisements and too many colours.
Making money from blogging in Hindi
As said above, Hindi bloggers also make money.
There are many factors that favour a good blogger in Hindi, and all boil down to one thing: High demand for good content on blogs and its low supply. Let me take the example of tech blogging in Hindi.
First, note the low supply of good content:
Critically examine Hindi blogs and vlogs on YouTube etc and you will find that the information and advice given on them is usually sub-standard. Going by the standard of content and language, you can conclude that these are created by semi-literate boys and girls who have learnt the tricks through some cheap course or got trained on the job. As discussed in the above section, such bloggers do not mind using unethical tricks themselves and sharing such tricks as exclusive blogging or tech advice.
Now look at the high demand for good blog content in Hindi:
One of the mainstays of technology blogs is to give solutions to technical problems. The other main areas are: discussions around technology and review of gadgets. Worldwide, there is a big audience for such information and advice. In Hindi, it is even more because there is a huge population of youth who are poorly trained and thus keep facing problems in their work. They keep searching for solutions, but find it difficult to comprehend the solutions given in English. There is also a big population on new bloggers who want to get rich quick. When their skills do not get them money, they keep searching for advice in Hindi.
What we said above about technology blogs applies to other niches too, in some or the other ways. For example, video channels on food suffer from big quality issues. Not many standard food blogs are there in Hindi though food blogging is a buzzing niche in India (in English, I mean). Other earning niches such as travel and tourism, beauty and fashion, health and fitness have the same status: poor supply and high demand for quality blog content in Hindi.
These weaknesses of professional Hindi blogging offer a big opportunity for bloggers who are prepared to work hard, be sincere and be patient. If you are a Hindi blogger, this is great learning for you. Give good information, in detail. Have serious discussions. Write well, in standard Hindi (of course, use English where needed). Don't compromise on quality. You will succeed, though it will take time because visitors are currently used to sub-standard stuff, which also claims to give quick results.
Photo blogging in Hindi
Photo blogging has mostly shifted to Instagram and Pinterest rather than through standard blogs. Many pins and posts can be seen on these platforms in Hindi. Hindi songs and movies, romance, fashion and beauty, dresses, personal photos, jokes, politics and memes on different themes are popular in Hindi, and some accounts have many thousand followers. Some bloggers on these platforms are reported to be making money too.
While Pinterest is still mostly image sharing site, Instagram is moving more towards video sharing.
Video blogging in Hindi
YouTube is the medium of choice for Hindi video bloggers, followed by Instagram and short-video sharing sites. Before TikTok was banned by the Indian government in June 2020, it was the fastest-growing social site in Hindi and the most popular after WhatsApp.
The new bloggers in Hindi are jumping onboard YouTube rather than opening standard blogs. The main reasons for this are:
- Videos get good viewership as it is effortless to watch videos. Videos also make the concepts clear by showing rather than writing.
- Videos are also more appealing, being a visual and moving medium. They especially suit fashion, romance, travel and culture, DIY (= do it yourself) and tutorials. They also convey news better than written reports.
- Videos are better suited than text for mobile phones. A large number of internet users are on mobile phones in India. Hindi speakers, who are distributed in small towns and villages as much as big cities, have very little access to desktops and laptops.
- Data rates in India are among the lowest in the world. That has resulted in a boom in video sharing.
- The short-videos take very little effort to make and can convey a message very effectively in a very short clip. It is tempting to make videos, especially if one has some knowledge of useful life-hacks (cooking, dance, music, mechanical works, electric repairs, etc) but are poor in expressing themselves in writing. Short-video sharing apps such as TikTok, and their focus on local content and local languages have made them very popular.
- Video sharing apps are optimized for mobile phones and setting them up is very easy. They are in a way an extension of social networking. Standard blogs need a lot of background work.
- Video apps create communities and that leads to wide sharing of videos. Videos on one social networking site such as Facebook and Twitter, or instant messaging app such as WhatsApp and Telegram can be very easily shared with other apps.
- The young generation is hooked to videos, especially the entertaining ones. A huge market has grown for such videos.
- Many video bloggers have earned handsomely through their videos on YouTube and other video-sharing sites. They have become role models for others who keep creating interesting, even titillating and indiscreet, videos in the hope to become popular and earn money.
Some peculiarities of Hindi video blogs have been shared in previous sections, and so I am not repeating them here. Let me conclude this section with some tips to video bloggers in Hindi, based on our observations: Take good care of your language (for example, do not repeat dosto again and again, and do not be too fast). Keep the background of your video simple. Give such tips that are really useful and are not illegal/ unethical.
If you have any other specific observations on Hindi blogging, do share with us. Also suggest what you consider at best Hindi blogs so that we include them in our Hindi blog directory.