We recently interviewed Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan, a teenager blogger who earns few thousand dollars every month from his blogs. Read the complete interview to learn more about his experience and how he achieved the success in blogging.
Interview with Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
You have been a well known blogger and an inspiration to many other new bloggers. Can you please tell our readers a little about yourself? What are you hobbies?
I am a high school graduate from The Oxford Senior Secondary School, Bangalore. My native is Ajmer (Rajasthan). I shifted to Bangalore after my 10th standard because I had heard a lot about the city as the “IT city of India”. Apart from blogging, My hobbies include basketball and dancing(still learning). I am a kid with huge dreams.
How old are you? How many blogs do you have now? Does any of your family members help you in blogging?
I am 17 years old. I started my first blog when I was 9. However, I launched my first proper blog when I was 11 and registered my first ever domain as Commenti.org when I was 13. Today, I have around 5 active blogs.
My family is not exactly having any technical background. My dad is in the army and my mum is a housewife. So, you can’t actually expect them to help me in blogging. Till now, I am the only blogger from my family - I hope my younger brother joins me in a year or two.
Can you tell us about your blogging journey? How did you enter into blogging?
I can still remember when I was 9, I read an article in a Hindi Newspaper about blogging. That article was basically describing what blogging is and how someone can make a blog and then make money out of it. Along with that, the article also contained some links of blogs of famous personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and APJ Abdul Kalam.
The day I read that article, I was so interested in it - that I wanted to try out blogging and to have my own blog. But, that wasn't so easy as I didn't have an Internet connection at my home and the cost of browsing at a cyber cafe was 60 Rs/hour (Maybe because it was 2004 or it was Jaipur and not Bangalore). My pocket money at that time was just 300 Rs/month, that meant I could just browse Internet for 5 hours a month. That was a real struggle time. I wanted to do something, but I couldn't.(Might sound silly to today’s bloggers as unlimited Internet is a common thing today).
I launched my first ever blog within a week of reading the article vijay39.blogspot.com. I had never tried writing in my life, but I knew, writing or putting something interesting on the blog will get many visitors and that will fetch me money. After a long research, I found a website which was very popular for online gaming - Miniclip.com . They used to have flash games on their website and those games were really popular. But everyone, who wanted to play that, had to browse through 5-6 pages to ultimately reach to that play page and Internet in my locality was not as fast as broad bands because those were mainly BSNL dial up Internet with a browsing speed of 100kbps. So I wanted to embed those games. I just gave around 10 links on the homepage and just after clicking to any link, anyone could play that game on the second page. I used to update my blog every week with 10 most popular games on miniclip. I told my friends about this and it went viral within no time. In first 2 months, I got 20k page views (According to the blogger dashboard). That was an inspiration and gave me the confidence that I could do something in blogging (It wasn't proper blogging though). But that, I think was the perfect start for any blogger.
What made your blog popular? How did you make it interesting to your current readers?
Every blogger gets famous for the consistency and style. I always think twice before publishing a blog post - whether I actually wrote it professionally. My main blog is mainly a tutorial blog and expect people to understand every single word, if they are depending upon me and my blog. I try to write for readers not for search engines and my readers prove it right in the comment box.
What is your background in the niche you are blogging? Why did you choose this niche?
I am mainly a technical geek. I love experimenting with new technology (New OS, new programs, editing software and programming languages) and gadgets. I have an Android Phone, Android Tab, Windows phone and of course Nokia Symbian. I keep experimenting, researching and updating on my blog.
On why I choose this niche - Answer can be something very common. I chose it because it was a profitable niche and I could see many blogs. So I thought, there will be a lot of money if I start blogging in this niche and later I felt I was wrong. Money doesn't come with choosing the niche, it comes with hard work and dedication. The perfect answer will be 50% because I liked tech and 50% because it was profitable.
Which websites do you browse regularly to update your tech knowledge?
tech.Yahoo.com, Bgr.com, GSMArena.com, xda-developers.com are some of the big market players according to me and I regularly visit these websites to get some knowledge.
Do you write articles in other sites?
Guest posting is very much essential for a blogger. I do write in a lot of sites as a guest blogger to gain more and more exposure for myself, my blog and hopefully get some visitors too.
What do you do when you are not building software or contributing in technical web sites and blogs?
I love traveling and eating. So when I am not working, you can see me either hanging out at a cool place in Bangalore or wherever I am, or you can find me trying out a new restaurant or a new dish.
How many hours do you work on your blog(s)?
I work on an average of 7-8 hours when I am not traveling and am not having any other personal or family related task to complete.
Which webmaster/blogger is your role model? Which sites/blogs you like to follow?
It will not be fair with tons of famous bloggers if I take a single name here. I do like many blogs for various reasons. Some blogs I read because they provide good blogging tutorials, WordPress tutorials or tutorials related to Windows and Mac. I respect every single blogger whom I follow and I will seriously not be able to name any one or two of them.
Who are the top 5 technical experts/bloggers in your network? Can you mention the name of the big bloggers in your friends list/network?
In my network and friends list, I do know some of the big fishes of Blogosphere, like you (ISC and Techulator), Harsh Agarwal (Shoutmeloud), Pradeep Kumar( HBB), Bishwajeet Mahato (comptalks) and Amit Shaw (itechcode). I am inspired by every single member of the above mentioned list and I do want to see my name too in the same list someday.
What do you think about the future of blogging? Do you think it will continue to be a profitable business in the long run?
Blogging, doesn't matter how you consider it. Either as business or passion, you will need consistency. I accept, that the increasing competition has decreased the possible chances in blogging, but still there is lot more to come out of those inspired and enthusiastic bloggers. About the profit part, I just feel that anything done with true dedication and consistency will fetch you money. If you are a blogger today and lack consistency, you can not earn much today or after 20 years.
What are your future plans ? Are you planning to be a full time blogger?
I am planning to take my engineering degree from United States. After that, I do want to be a full time blogger and along with that, I want to start some online startup firm (I haven't figured it out yet, what exactly it will be, as I am still working on many ideas to finalize the ultimate one).
Do you like to share your earnings? What are the sources of income?
I will surely not disclose it item wise, but I can give a brief idea of my most popular blogs and earning sources. My Highest earning blog is Commenti.org (Paid Posts, No AdSense there), Geeksworkshop.info (AdSense and Paid Posts) and KPSblog.com (AdSense). There are a couple of other blogs but their contribution is not as big so as to list them here. All my blogs and online activities fetch me an average of 2500-3000$ per month.
Do you use affiliate marketing to earn revenue? What is your advice to others on affiliate marketing?
I have never tried affiliate marketing. It is always not about the commission, sometimes it is about giving wrong information to the buyer. Clickbank (The most popular affiliate network) is full of ebooks which can be easily found on many other websites for free, but still marketers somehow convince buyers by excessive promotion and fake promises just to earn their commission. I feel affiliate marketing should only be limited to products which are there on Amazon, Flipkart etc. In that you get product which is real and worth buying, in that case you won't seriously mind if your retailer gives 10% to the person who recommended it, but you will seriously feel bad if you come to know that you bought a weight loss ebook in 50$ and 49$ went to the person who sent you an email with the link and not the person who actually sold you the product.
Which source of revenue do you suggest as an alternative to Google AdSense?
There are many other ad networks in the market, which are not as effective as AdSense, but still, you will get something similar. Networks like Tribal Fusion, Technorati, Bing and BuySellAds can be an alternative (Though half of them use Google AdSenseads).
Which are the online social communities you are most active on?
Facebook and Linkedin. I am pretty active on twitter too.
Most big bloggers have reported that their revenue has been coming down in last few years due to high competition. Is your earnings growing in the last few years? How is your traffic growing?
Revenue is going down mainly because spamming is increasing. Competition was never a factor behind the revenue. If 10 new blogs go online, there are 10 advertisers also who join Google Adsense or other ad platforms. Also, 5-7 years back, I think there was only Google AdSense as a preferred source of earning, today, there are hundreds of ad networks and websites providing paid posts, sponsored links etc. So ultimately, this competition has given many new ways of earning.
How did blogging help you personally other than making money?
Blogging made me a great thinker and a good writer. If I start writing on a topic now, I can surely write a 1000 word message on some topic and then I conclude those 1000 words in 100 words. This power has been given to me by blogging. My writing skills have become great and I feel proud for that.
Also, blogging made me go and attend many events as a media person and interact with other bloggers, company officials etc. That is kinda a great exposure to go to great places and meet people, that too not on my money.
What does your family think about your blogs?
They think it can't be a permanent career option and they keep convincing me to stop it ASAP and start studying seriously. I am still trying that one day, I will make them believe what blogging is and what are the possibilities being a blogger.
What do you think about the Panda and Penguin updates from Google? Did your blogs get affected by it? What advice you give to other bloggers to avoid Panda/Penguin penalties?
Google says that, it is to remove bad quality blogs from the search results. But, if some blog has millions of links, then even they think it is bad and penalise it. I know many such bloggers who were very much hard working and so much consistent in blogging, but still their blog got penalized and once penalized, they lose any chance of getting their rankings back. I think, Google should think about those penalized blogs after a certain time (6 months or 1 year) and if that blog removes all the bad factors associated, the penalty should be removed.
One of my very popular blog got penalized by Penguin last year, since that time, my organic traffic is down by 95%. I am still hoping that Google will consider my blog someday and remove the penalty. For the bloggers, I just wanna say “be original”. Keep writing content and do not focus only on SEO. First, build some authority - people will link to your blogs themselves.
What do you think about the future of SEO?
With these Panda and Penguin updates on the way, I think SEO will just be for name sake after a few years. Google is always telling people to be be original and focus on the content, so I think it is going to be a tough task for those who think that just SEO can make them the king of blogosphere.
What you advice - focus on a single site or create several sites in various niche?
Warren Buffett (The 2nd richest person in the world) once said, do not invest what all you have in a single thing. Here, I want to repeat the same. If you just give everything to a single blog and if it gets penalized (You will never know for what Google Penalized your blog), you will end up losing everything you have. So I think in this time, having different blogs with specific niche is better.
I have seen in many online blogger communities, many bloggers sharing insulting information about other prominent bloggers. What is your take on such unhealthy practices?
I believe in a saying, if others start talking about you behind your back, just understand you are going ahead. There will surely be people like them everywhere, not just in blogging.We can not actually do anything about them. Being a blogger, I can just say that we must respect the achievements of others. If there is a blogger who started his blog in the same period when I did, and today he is having PR 5 and Alexa 10k, then I must appreciate him for his hard work and accept that I couldn't be as better as he was in this period.
Which technology company do you like the most - Microsoft/Google/Apple? Which company do you think will be doing best after 5 years from now?
Out of the 3 companies you mentioned, I like Google the most. It was Apple till Steve jobs was the CEO, but I think Apple won't be as successful without Steve Jobs. 5 years down the line, I think Google will be the best. Google is still the best and I don't see any of Google product losing the plot in the next few years.
More reading: Blogging as a fulltime career
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|Article by Tony John|
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.
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|Author: Sukhdev Singh 25 Feb 2013||Member Level: Gold Points : 2|
|A very well written and inspiring interview which can guide and inspire our young members to learn about blogging. Your interview will act as a wonderful guide for the members who wish to interview bloggers and post the interviews in our Articles Section.|
|Author: Godson 26 Feb 2013||Member Level: Gold Points : 2|
|Thank you Sir for providing such an inspiring interview. This interview was a great inspiration for me. I think everyone who reads this interview will come to know about the real possibilities of a blogger.|
|Author: thomas jose 03 Mar 2013||Member Level: Silver Points : 0|
|Very informative interview. His ideas are innovating and thought provoking. I must say that i enjoyed the part of reading newspaper and finding the idea of blogging.|