Friday, January 11, 2008

Delhi techie blogs to pay for studies aborad

Blogger Ankur Shankar has a mission - to blog his way to the London School of Economics (LSE). The 25-year-old techie in NOIDA wants to study economics at LSE. He has an admission offer, but no funds. Ankur is hopeful that his blog would raise ad revenue to pay for his studies in London.

It works this way. Google’s Adsense places assorted ads on Ankur’s blog. His earnings are related to the number of hits his blog gets; and the ‘clicks’ for a specified ad. Online advertising in India represents about 10 percent of the companies' overall advertisement budgets, according to Business Standard. Media pundits reckon this form of marketing has huge potential; it has scope for ‘contextual advertising’ that seeks to match buyers with sellers in a meaningful way.

Advertisements appearing on blogs are chosen to flog products and services that would interest the niche readership of a given blog. Ankur posts short stories, on a daily basis; a story a day for 180 days. Ankur’s blog – The Million Dollar Story – is a six-month project that started in December last. He needs to raise $1,10,000, by May-end, so as to enable him to join the two-year M Sc course in Economics, starting at LSE in July, 2008. It is reckoned he would need a million page-views a month, for the next five months.

Whether Ankur’s Million-dollar-story would raise a million page views a month is a mega question. Undoubtedly, his endeavour has evoked much word-of-blog support and several bloggers have put Ankur on their blogroll. What gets him readers, however, would depend on the appeal of Ankur’s posts. The blogger is set to turn out a story a day; and he reportedly spends some three hours every evening on his blog post, apart from holding a day job.

A reader’s comment left on a recent post says it all – “…effort is highly commendable, but you need to take more time and write better stories; your stories haven’t excited me to come back and read another one”. It occurs to me that Ankur, instead of slogging it out on his own, could take on board a bunch of bloggers contributing posts to his blog. This could be a way to boost page-views; and the contributing bloggers would have the satisfaction of furthering Ankur’s cause.

In the last five weeks Ankur’s blog has raised a little more than $300, creditable in itself, but it doesn’t look as if it would take him anywhere close to the target figure. Ankur is, however, hopeful that the buzz his blog generates among bloggers and in the mainstream media would get him noticed by a corporate sponsor. And he promises to work for any company that sponsors his LSE course, for five years after his graduation.

Cross-posted in SiliconIndia, Desicritics

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