hanks to the Internet, blogging culture in India has become increasingly popular in the past few years. From Bollywood to politics, bloggers have left no field unexplored and have carved a niche for themselves by being their own editors and disseminating news and views. Blogs provide individuals with the fastest means of expressing oneself and sharing this with the world with the mere click of a button. In an attempt to promote this concept and help people get acquainted with it, IIT Roorkee graduate Amit Agarwal started the India Blog School, a non-profit first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to spread the blogging culture in India though training and offline interaction.
"When I started blogging seven years ago, not many people knew about the concept. I started this venture to share my knowledge with people who wanted to take up blogging professionally and add more people to the blogosphere," says Agarwal, who quit his high-paying job and went on to become one of India's most famous bloggers. He has been awarded the Most Valuable Professional award for five years in a row (2007-2011) by Microsoft.
Started in January 2010, the school has so far conducted one free-of-cost seminar for amateurs and professionals, with help from Google, to help them understand the field better. "It is difficult as I have to manage everything on my own, from planning to advertising to the execution. However, I was amazed at the number of people who attended our first seminar. It made me realise that people are interested; they just need a little push. I am in talks with a few companies to make this seminar a regular event," Agarwal told Guardian20. He explains how bloggers can monetise their blogs by using advertisements and sponsored writings, and gives participants several tips that will help them become good bloggers.
"One needs to be an expert on the topic he/she wishes to write about. The world on the Web is very smart, you cannot fool them. It is essential for a blogger to be a good writer as a blog needs return traffic for it to be successful. Blogs also let you meet like-minded people and preserve memories," he says.
Atul Anand, an avid blogger, agrees, "Blogging in India these days is not only limited to information exchange but is also a treasure trove of emotions and personal experiences. It offers people an equal and unbiased platform to tell their story." He says, "New bloggers are often confused about what to write, how to go about it and what appeals to the masses. If the India Blog School can guide bloggers, while still preserving its originality, then it is sure to usher in a new era in Indian blogging."