Running a content website in India is definitely full of challenges – from building team, to growing traffic and obviously monetising the platform are the major areas of concern for any content website in India. Even we at Inc42 Magazine struggle for keeping a balance between quality content, readership, traffic and then lastly revenues.
Adding on, raising funding is again something hard to earn for any media or a content website, as investors shy away from investing.
Launched two years back, tech blog The Techpanda recently announced that they will be seizing off operations. Though exact reasons are not clear, but a blogpost by the team says the following:
“Birthdays are supposed to be loads of moments of happiness put together. Although I am happy we’ve turned 2 today but still there is a very sad part to it.
Sad part is that we have to pull the plug on TheTechPanda. All those who’ve been following us closely would know that Saraswathi is taking some time off for family and I have been caught up with a lot of work as part of my full-time studies at SPJIMR. We’ve tried real hard to keep things going for as long as we could but we made up our mind that we’d either do this the best way or not do it at all.”
We spoke to Saraswathi Pulluru, Co-Founder and Chief Editor at TechPanda to understand what went wrong and what are her views for a running a content website.The three things Saraswathi emphasises on are:
An awesome team is a key to any successful venture and when it comes to content business, Team becomes the most vital element. As per Saraswathi, at least 1 person should be full time on founder’s level. “You can not run a content website with full time jobs especially when competing in the startup space. There is so much action going on throughout the day that a startup blog cannot afford to miss,” adds Saraswathi.
Consistency with Quality
Another thing which brings regular reader to the website is consistency and quality. TheTechPanda did have a rule to publish x no. of articles everyday on the blog with high quality standards, and this one habit has paid off really well. A lot of inbound interest got generated, and the blogger / author was very agile when dealing with startup folks.
Having a content calendar for the next couple of weeks is a must, it gives control on the overall direction in which the blog is going towards.
Differentiated Content with Opinion
The main difference between mainstream media and a blog is opinion. Blogs should have an opinion on things, whether right or wrong. Along with this,there should be variety of content on the blog, a good combination of text, visuals, original and curated content. And a strong online outreach strategy should be used by the blog along with content, adds Saraswathi.
Monetizing content is one of the toughest businesses out there. If all the things mentioned above i.e, Team, Consistency and Differentiation is done correctly, it will pave way for awesome and high quality content thus readers, traffic and then revenue. So revenue comes last in the karma cycle but one has to plan it from the beginning and then have to strategize top to bottom.
In past two years, The Techpanda featured over 500 startups and itself it was featured among the Top 100 startups in India, featured on Alexa’s top 50,000 sites globally and top 5,000 in India. It was part of events like the TechCrunch Bangalore, mBillionth Awards, Lean Startup Machine, Startup Saturday, LSM Bangalore, etc. The blog use to get traffic from over 40 countries.
“Well, we’re entrepreneurs ourselves. So, it’s obvious we won’t give up. We’re working out some plans of partnerships/sale among other things. One thing is for sure, we’re definitely heading to something bigger and better, in fact, awesomer,” said Prateek Panda.
While there will be no new posts, but the team has promised to keep the website running for people to view the already published posts.
The TechPanda use to compete with other blogs in the similar domain in India like NextBigWhat, TechCircle, Yourstory etc.