Interview with Harsh Agrawal of shoutmeloud.com
After starting “Pro-Blogger’s Interview Series” on this blog, I have regularly published the interviews of Famous Bloggers like Syed Balki of WPBeginner, Syed Faizan Ali of MyBloggerLab, Spencer Haws, SEO specialist Neil Patel, Kulwant Nagi of Bloggingcage and many Others. I have already received lots of thanks via EMails for publishing these interviews which motivates me to continue this series. However, I also get few EMails where user asks questions like-” Are you Publishing the interviews of Pro-Bloggers for increasing your traffic?“. These are useless questions because I never thought about traffic while publishing these interviews. I publish these interviews to help myself and other new bloggers, Who don’t even know the ABC of Professional blogging. As far as Getting traffic through them is concerned, It is impossible. Without writing Quality and Engaging content on your blog, You can’t attract Targeted traffic to your blog.
Today, I am really excited to say that We have Harsh Agrawal with us. If you are a blogger, You can’t say that you don’t know “Harsh Agrawal” because he is among the best Bloggers of India. According to me, He is the second best Indian Blogger after Amit Aggarwal of Labnol. Harsh runs a successful blog ShoutMeLoud which covers topics like SEO, WordPress, Affiliate marketing, making money online and other Field related to Blogging. To know more about ShoutMeLoud, see the below given video:
(1) I don’t think you need an introduction but as a part of the formality, can you please tell our readers a little about yourself, your blogging journey and Your Blogs?
Ravi, first of all thanks for having me on your esteemed blog, and it’s a pleasure to be here.
Hey you, I’m Harsh Agrawal from New Delhi. I’m an engineer by education and later on quit my daily job to become a professional blogger. I started my first blog in 2008 by name ShoutMeLoud.com and later on formed ShoutDreams which is a parent company and manageing 8 niche blog at the moment. From last 5 years I have been working from home, and making over $40,000/year from blogging. My main blog ShoutMeLoud is targeted to Small businesses and Young guns of India, and helping them to make a career in blogging.
(2) The name “Shout Me Loud” itself is totally different from normal names. Is there any interesting story behind naming your blog as “Shout Me loud”?
When I was thinking about the domain name of my blog, branding was the first thing that came into my mind. Instead of going for a generic name like Techtips, techblog, I thought of picking a name which doesn’t resemble anything and could be or could become anything. There is an interesting story about how this name came into my mind.
Back in 2008, I was working for convergys @Gurgaon, and we used to get company cab to commute from workplace to our house. That’s almost an hour journey, and I used to mind-map most of my ideas in the cab. After 2 days of brainstorming, I couldn’t think of any catchy name, and one day while commuting, I saw a billboard image, in which a character had an expression of making noise which was reaching out to masses, and from there Shout word come into the picture, and later on Shout Me Loud. 🙂
(3)How many hours do you spend per day on your blog(s)?
One of the best part about professional blogging is, there is no fixed time for work. The flexibility comes with my own preference, but I require minimum of 6-7 hours everyday to work on my blogs. On an average I work at least 8 hours every-day, and sometime it goes to working 14-16 hours non-stop. Just to bust a myth, Blogging is fun job, as this is something we enjoy doing, but it requires a lot of effort and serious time to get things done.
(4)List of Paid or Free Tools/plugins, you are using at ShoutmeLoud? According to you, what are the must use Plugins for a wordPress user?
You can find a long list of plugins I use at ShoutMeLoud over here, and here are some of the must have plugin for every blog based on my experience:
WOrdPress SEO by Yoast: Best free plugin to completely control the SEO of On site and on page.
EasyWpSEO: This is a premium plugin and I love it for 2 major features: LSI keyword and readability. This plugin cost $37 and it’s worth every penny.
W3 Total cache: This is site optimization plugin,since Google rank website based on page loading time, this is one of the best caching plugin for WordPress.
WP Smush.it: This is another useful plugin whcih helps in copress the image and lower down the overall size of the image. It helps in faster loading of your posts.
PushPress: This handy plugin helps in faster indexing of your blog.
Broken link checkeR: This plugin is for old WordPress blog, which helps in quickly fix broken links.
Gocodes: Though this plugin is not updated from long, but I still use and love this plugin for managing my affiliate links. Best part, this is a free plugin.
(5) How do you make money from your blog? How can a new blogger make a decent income from his blog?
Ravi, I’m a strong believer of never put all eggs in one basket. That’s the reason, I use various monetization techniques. That starts from Google AdSense, Affiliate marketing, Sponsored reviews, Blog consultancy and so on. You can find a complete list over here.
I believe every blog and blogger can make money, but the real question is how much? If a blogger is starting with a proper strategy and blog business plan, he can earn enough money to live a free life, and never have to worry about anything. Usually it takes 3-4 months for a any dedicated blogger to start making decent income from a blog.
(6)New Bloggers often finds it difficult to drive traffic to their blog. When you were new to blogging, how did you managed to bring lots of traffic to your blogs?
When I started blogging, I was not worried about traffic or monetizing it. I started blogging out of passion for learning and sharing. Infact, When I started in September 2008, I had no idea about AdSense or I never felt the need for getting great traffic. I was writing about things that I love to talk about, and people were coming to my blog by word to mouth marketing or mostly due to blog commenting. Back in 2008-2009, I was very active with commenting on blogs, and I used to add long comments on every blog post I used to read and there was a time when I used to comment on atleast 50+ blog posts on a given day.
Later on I learned about SEO, and started implementing my learning on my blog, and till now my 80% traffic is organic. For any new blogger, I would highly recommend to put dedicated time at the beginning to learn about SEO and social media marketing.
(7) Mistakes are always a part of life. Have you ever made mistakes as a newbie blogger? If yes, what were they and what lesson did you learn from them?
I was a self taught blogger, and I made many mistakes and learned from it. It would be hard to point out one, but here is one that I like to talk about right now:
Changing blog design: I was obsessed with widgets and blog design. There was a time, when I used to change my blog theme atleast 4-5 times in a month, and more over my sidebar was full with useless widgets like live traffic report and so on. One rule of branding is, make your design memorable to people, and that happens when you are consistent with your design. This is one thing which I learned the hard-way.
(8) Successful bloggers like Amit Agarwal and you has inspired many bloggers in India. Now many young bloggers are taking it seriously. According to you, who will succeed and who will fail?
For me success is an endless journey, and there is nothing call success or failure in blogging. Every blog and blogger has his own story, and If anyone is putting efforts in the right way, he will definitely succeed. Do remember, hardworking is not the key to success, it’s smartwork which takes you to the place.
Anyone who is determined and passionate enough to create a successful blog, he would eventually make it. Most important ingredients are: Consistency, integrity, IQ, and passion.
(9)Now a days most of the new bloggers (specially from developing countries) starts blogging on common topics like Making money online, Blogging tutorials, Technology etc but very few of them achieve good results. According to you, which are the best topics for a new bloggers to start blogging?
This is one of the biggest mistake that young bloggers are doing when picking the topic/niche of their blog. For example, if I tell you that Forex blogs make $10000/month easily, you will be determined to create a blog, but the question is would you enjoy working on a niche that doesn’t interest you?
Think about the difference between an office job and blogging. Many of us hate working @office because we are working for money, and we are working just coz it’s a need and it’s not something we enjoy doing.
Similarly, if you are blogging on a topic that doesn’t interest you, you will get bored and you will eventually give up. My suggestion is, pick a topic that you love reading or talking about every-time, and make sure that topic has monetization aspect. If you want to read more about it, here is a detailed post which I have written some time back.
(10)According to You, What are the essential requirements to become a successful blogger-Is that technical skills or anything else?
One of the major requisite is passion and second is writing skills. If you are good at writing, you don’t need anything else. You can easily outsource all the technical requirement online, and just focus on blogging. And yes, one need to have basic skills of blogging which are SEO, blog writing, Social-media marketing.
(11) A blog whose audience are webmasters can’t make decent income only from Adsense. What are your recommended methods for them?
AdSense is just one of many monetization technique, and if AdSense is not working out; don’t worry about it. One can easily take advantage of other techniques like Affiliate marketing, review or sponsored posts, to make money. All you need is a good traffic, and community around your blog, and various monetization technique would come of it’s own.
One good and most reputed way is by creating an eBook, and selling it for a reasonable price. If you have a good blog, you can make a good income out of it. Here are some working monetization techniques which works for non-adsense bloggers.
(12) Most of us know Harsh Aggarwal as a blogger who give lots of time on Internet. Tell our readers about your Offline Life?
I always believe in work hard and play harder. I’m quite active on my offline life, where I spend quality time with friends, I travel a lot and I love adventure sports. If I’m not working, I’m mostly exploring the places which I have not seen before. I strongly believe in: Life is about learning and exploring unseen horizons.
(13)Do you think, blogging is a good alternative of regular Job? If yes then why?
Blogging is certainly one of the great career alternative for anyone or atleast it’s a great source for enhancing your own knowledge. Blogging requires you to read a lot, which helps in personal development, and at the same time writing helps you to express yourself better. This is one aspect of blogging, and if you are actually making money doing this, you are making money by doing something you love doing.
(15)Any advice that you can give to our readers for their success?
Read all the success stories you can read about, as there are so many things to learn from people who made it to the top. Read inspiring and motivational stories, and read about life hacks. Work on adopting good habit, and become a better person every day. A real successful person is not only success at his work, but it’s overall success around his work, personal life and with himself.
That’s the end of great interview with Harsh Agrawal of shoutmeloud.com. Have you learnt anything from this interview? If yes, Share with others by commenting.