Is Indian Blog Advertising Finally Taking Off?
Some of you might have noticed that DesiPundit and other Indian sites now carry ads for an online Indian reality show called oktatabyebye.com (Full Disclosure: I'm not getting paid for promoting them:-( ). This may be some sort of first in the Indian Blogosphere. With sites like Indian Bloggers providing the readership stats of some of the registered blogs, it becomes easier for advertisers to know about the reach of some of the desi blogs. However, if the advertiser is looking to promote a particular product like a book or a music album, they need to zero in on blogs that target a specific audience. This might just be a beginning and we can see more and more of these instances in the near future. At last, we might just have some option other than the ubiquitous Google Adsense.
For advertisment, Indian blogs usually stick to the tried and tested medium of Google Adsense, which generates ads by reading your contents. While Adsense is safe, it doesn’t drum up that much money, even for the more popular blogs in India.
At the outset, oktatabyebye will launch a contest, where someone, preferably a blogger, gets Rs 50,000, a laptop and a digital camera to trot around India and blog live from any location. ‘‘We want to eventually have a travel community and a structured website which will be self-sustained,’’ says Rao. ‘‘The blogger will be providing articles for our bank.’’
In a few months, oktatabyebye hopes to get 25,000 registered users. Which is where the banner advertisements and plugs on blogs come in. ‘‘I’m sure one popular Indian blog couldn’t get us as much traffic as say Rediff or Yahoo. But if we spread the word on many Indian blogs, it might have the same effect.’’
Using ‘‘instinct’’ and a few other judging techniques — number of comments, inbound links, site statistics — the team narrowed down about 60 Indian blogs to advertise on. ‘‘The investment is really small, about a couple of lakhs,’’ says Rao, ‘‘And the money to travel and the laptop and so on are provided by makemytrip.’’
On a related note, this blog was also approached by an advertiser. The ad for an online travel portal called Cfares is now featured prominently at the top of the homepage. More than anything, I wanted to experiment whether such ads really work. Let’s see what the outcome is.