Want to earn a little on the side while you explore your hobby? Why not take up blogging?
Outside Nepal, there are folks who are pursuing viable careers as bloggers. Some, like Harsh Agrawal from India with his award-winning blog ShoutMeLoud.com, have even become global celebrities. But professional blogging is still in its infancy in Nepal.
Ganesh Karki, who started blogging in 2008, says being a blogger at the time was something completely new. He used to write poems in Nepali and found they had a big audience online. “I started seeing it as an income source,” he says. He regularly updates contents on paniphoto.com and ujyaalopato.com and claims to earn $150-200 a month through his blogs.
Does blogging have a scope in Nepal? “If you are ready to put in some effort, it can be an additional source of income and, if you are any good, you get recognized globally,” Karki says.
Mahesh Gautam, who started blogging a year ago, runs three blogging websites—theviralstars.com, tecktruck.com, and nepalientertainment.com. On an average, he earns around Rs 10,000 a month from them. “They allow me to cover some of my monthly expenses,” he says. Of his three sites, the first two are in English while the third is in Nepali.
Bikash Rai, another blogger at nepalitrends.com, started out by sharing his knowledge of trending topics. He says, “Blogging has scope if you can cover global topics. But, really, it can be on any topic if you are ready to work hard to popularize your blogs.”
Google AdSense is the most common (though not for blogs in Nepali) source of revenue for Nepali bloggers. You earn a certain amount when visitors click on ads on your website.
Besides AdSense, backlink selling, and sponsored content (ads from different companies) are other viable income sources for Nepali bloggers.
Rai says he earns Rs. 15,000 a month on average working only in his free time. But income is not fixed and depends on such factors as traffic, ads, and other sponsored content.
You can also do affiliate marketing on a commission basis as well as instant articles. “Affiliate marketing is best for tech-related blogs. For instant articles, you have to connect your website to a Facebook page,” Rai adds.
Shankar Kapri, a blogger at meronotice.com, says he has earned $200 in two months by blogging. “The income depends on your effort and traffic,” he adds.
How does the blogger get the generated income? Facebook makes the deposits in your bank account. Google used to pay through Western Union but has started directly depositing money in your bank account as well. Some international clients even pay through PayPal.
But as PayPal is not available in Nepal. Rai has found a way out though. He adds, “In that case, I channel my income through my friends abroad.”
“Only good traffic earns good money,” is the mantra bloggers live by. But the blogs targeting Nepali audiences find it hard to get traffic, not the least because Google ads don’t apply in the case of Nepali blogs.
And the competition is tough. “Your blogs must be unique and the very best,” says Rai.
Lack of knowledge about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another problem. “Many bloggers neglect SEO and their contents don’t reach target audience,” says Aakash Karki, an SEO consultant for bloggers. SEO is compulsory to rank in Google and get traffic. “When someone searches related content on Google and doesn’t find your blog, your site doesn’t get visitors, simple as that,” he says.
Nor, for that matter, are Nepalis used to the idea of blogging. “They are more into news website and largely in the dark about blogging,” says Ganesh Karki. He says most Nepali bloggers are irregulars, just like him. As his content is in Nepali and competition has increased, it is not generating the income it used to.
So there are plenty of obstacles for would-be Nepali bloggers. Right now, it appears to be a good source of additional income if you have something else going on the side. It may be a tougher sell as a full-time career option.