Dushyant Bhatia, 23, gave up his job at JP Morgan to venture out on his own -- a decision that raised eyebrows at home. Bhatia, an accounts graduate, along with Darshan Gusani, a Drexel University pass-out, pooled in resources to start Blogertize last year.
Within seven months, the young entrepreneurs have sold ad inventory worth nearly Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million) and expect to sell another Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) worth pixel ads in the next 60 days.
The site now has over 1,500 bloggers who have purchased ad space. "Although this site was meant for Indians, 75 per cent of the bloggers who have registered are from the US and UK. The rest are from places like India, Malaysia and even Romania," says Bhatia.
Blogertize does not require bloggers to spend time to promote their blogs. That's the job Bhatia's site would do. It creates a link (in the form of an image) to a blog that would be placed on Blogertize for a minimum of three years at prices starting as low as Rs 750.
"Without spending even a single minute on our website, bloggers stand to make thousands of dollars per year just by placing the link to our shopping portal on their blog."
The ad space for bloggers is provided in the form of pixel buttons, which are available in four different sizes of 2000, 4000, 6000 & 8000 pixels for $15, $40, $80 and $150 respectively. "The larger the button, the higher it is placed attracting more visitors," adds Bhatia, who admits that price-conscious Indian bloggers have mostly bought cheaper ad space.
Blogertize is scheduled to launch its online shopping portal by May 31, where the products would be sold by the bloggers advertising with the site. In return, bloggers would get a commission for their services.
"The main idea is to create an online trading store and have bloggers from all over the world. The payout to the bloggers will be up to 75 per cent of the total profit earned by our website on a pro-rata basis," he says.
Bhatia has been approached by buyers, but rejected the offers. He thinks his revenue model would work for Blogertize.
To get on to the next stage, Bhatia is now negotiating with three online entities in India with intentions to acquire one by May in order to kickstart his shopping portal. The start-up is also in talks with a podcasting publishing service website in the US, which will be embedded onto Blogertize eventually.
"We have also entered into collaborations and affiliation programmes with various blogger forums in Malaysia and the US to market the site," says Bhatia.