How four avid bloggers from Chennai made fortune by blogging
For most people, blogging serves as a good pastime, a forum to air or read views and opinions. However, for four yuppies from Chennai, harnessing the power of blogs has proved to be a money-minting venture million dollar business, to be precise.
Launched in August 2007, IndiBlogger.in started as a free blogging platform for Indians. However, the founders—Renie Ravin, Karthik DR, Vineet Rajan and Anoop Johnson—had a bigger game plan: to mobilize the blogosphere, a nascent field at the time, so that companies and brands could engage with their customers. The idea was conceptualized by the founders (barring Rajan), all in their 20s, at a party in early August 2007. Convinced that they were on to a good thing, the trio quit their respective jobs shortly afterwards and focused on their start-up. Rajan left his account manager's job with Hewlett Packard, Hyderabad, to join IndiBlogger after a bloggers' meet in Pune, in March 2008.
Luckily for the founders, they found an angel investor who chipped in with the seed capital. The money was spent on building infrastructure and marketing.
Here's how IndiBlogger works: Registering one's blog is free of charge, but members must publish at least five blog posts to continue to be a part of the community. The company's eight-strong team handles support and moderation from Chennai and Bangalore. The revenue comes from connecting brands and bloggers via unique blogging contests and meets, which are organized periodically across the country. The idea stems from the fact that brands see value in connecting with bloggers, who can influence the purchase decisions of their peer groups. In fact, a Neilsen report, Global Trust in Advertising Survey 2011, shows that less than a third of Netizens trust advertisements, while 92% have faith in peer and word-of-mouth recommendations.