Dear readers, Today I am very excited to share Orangecopper’s Latest interview with the Harsh Agarwal – Founder & Blogger at ShoutMeLoud.com. He is popular for his high voltage notwork of blogs that helped him quit his Job and excel in his Internet Ventures. I recommend you all to check out his blog as there is loads of great information for new and seasoned bloggers. Thank you Harsh for spending time for our readers.
Please introduce yourself to our readers – Could you describe what are the main sources of your blogging income as a pro blogger?
Answer: Hi Josh first of all thanks for the interview and it’s a pleasure to write something for your awesome readers. Getting back to questions: I’m Harsh Agrawal, a 24 year old Pro blogger from India. I have been blogging professionally from last 2 years and from one blog now we have more than 6 blogs and 3 service portals. You can see my work at ShoutMeLoud, CallingallGeeks and ThesisCustomizationService.
My blogging income source are Google Adsense, BuySellAds, Affiliate marketing and various WordPress services. I make more than $8000/month from different sources via Blogging.
As a blogger, it’s difficult to keep yourself pumped up! What motivates you for Blogging?
Answer: I will call it writer’s block situation and specially I have a team of 5 people, so by the end of the day I get exhausted and hard to find write anything new. Though it;’s always the expectations which keeps me running and writing better. People write a blog for money, fame, and out of interest. For me it’s a combination of all three. I started blogging out of personal interest and later on money and fame followed.. And nothing could be better than if your full time job is something what you love
Tell us about your main project, ShoutmeLoud.com? And why the interesting name?
Answer: ShoutMeLoud is my first blog which I have created and this is the biggest blog which I have at this moment. While selecting the domain name foe my first blog, I wanted to go for something which I can brand easily and which people can remember. I have no idea how this name came into my mind, but one day while traveling, this name came up and now it’s a brand for me. :
Is there a possibility to start a blog today and find success? What would be your advice to a beginner?
Answer: Do your homework first.. Don’t fall for make money online gimmic. Blogging is not everyone job. You have to be a learner to become a blogger. If you are some one who wish to start a blog or who has started blogging, I would recommend to follow this cycle:
- Start writing (Improve and improve)
- Learn SEO ( Read and implement)
- Learn WordPress (Starts with WordPress.com)
- Start making money (Starts with Adsense)
- Learn about Blogging tools ( Started with Windows live writer)
- More over set a business plan for model. You have to be sure about your goal. Blog for yourself and after that Blog for people. Follow simple rule of KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).
If you had to zero down to one good reason for your success, what would be it?
Answer: Sharing everything which I learn.
People often says most of pro blogger doesn’t share their secrets but I believe most of the pro blogger does. Though you have to follow them closely. From the day1 of my blogging journey, I shared each and everything I have learned. That includes how I make money and how I promote myself in social media sites.
If you wish to stand ahead of the crowd, you need to think beyond everyone. Share something which people would like to read, something which one can learn from his own experience.
That’s it and if you are a good writer ( I’m not one yet), people will certainly love your and your blog.
If you can go back and correct few mistakes from the day you started blogging, what would that be?
Answer: I wish if I can. There are many mistakes which I have done so far and possibly there is no way I can correct them now, but I can improve myself by learning from those mistakes. Some of them are:
- Never thought SEO is that important
- Copied pasted article ( I did it at initial days of blogging but learned I’m taking the shorcut way of distruction) . I also made an official aoplogy page for the same later on.
- My language ( English is not my first language and that’s why I made lot of mistakes in grammar which you can still see by browsing my old posts). Later on I worked on it and till now I’m learning something new every day.
- Social life: At one point of time I almost dumped my social life for my online life and I believe it was a disaster for me. Now I maintain a balance between social life and my work.
We see your blog is using thesis theme, could you kindly explain is the thesis theme hyped or does that really hit the right button in optimizing your blog for SEO, let us know your experience using thesis theme?
Answer: Ahh.. I would say this is my fav question reason being I have started using Thesis theme really late and I have seen the real benefit of Thesis when I started using it. Initially even I thought Thesis is overhyped WordPress theme but this theme deserves all the hype and promotion. Though Affiliate string is one of the reason for over promotion.
I started my WordPress journey with Arthemia theme as it was plug and play theme along with great support forum but seriusly it’s an outdated theme. Later on I keep changing theme and this was one big mistake. As most of the theme played with the way my site was indexed in Google and later on I started using Thesis. Within a month my boucne rate landed to 30% and my traffic doubled. Oh Yes, I migrated all my All in ONE settings to Thesis Theme SEO settings. And this theme is something which can be used by any newbie too. Though for customization you need to have basic knowledge of CSS. Later on all my blogs are using Thesis theme and you can see a list of all my blogs and client blogs which are on Thesis here.
We see you are one of the few big Indian names in the blogging scene who has really impressive stats! Ive seen even though many claim to be a ProBlogger not many really are. How does it feel living a Real ProBlogger’s life? (Referring to quitting your day job and living the internet life style)
Answer: I feel happy and sometime proud to be a problogger. Reason being it’s not something which is common in India. I hardly know two three pro bloggers from India and one of them which I admire the most is Amit agarwal from Labnol.org.
I love this life of problogger for many reasons:
I’m my own boss
I live an online life
I can work from any part of the world
And I have to ask most common question to every1 I met: What is blogging ? and how do I make money via Blogging.
Though it doesn’t mean this work is as easy as I put a smiley above. In blogging you have to be super active to be the first one to break the news, first one to bring a tutorials and so on. But by the end of the day, I feel happy for doing something which I really enjoy.
I can see you run seasonal contests on your blog, do they really do the magic, please share your opinion on them.
Answer: Contest are great way to promote your brand and blog. In December 2010 We have completed 2nd anniversary of ShoutMeloud and I run couple of contest to promote my Facebook fan pages for different blogs. Guess what, it worked like charm and more over I hardly spent anything for running such contest.
You can find a detailed overview of how I run contest worth $500 on my blog without spending anything.
Any future plans you would like to share to our readers?
Answer: My only dream so far is bringing blogging as full time profession in India and taking blogging to next level in this country. India is a country of opportunity and I have seen many people who have talent, dreams but could not start with anything because of lack of a platform. So now I’m planning to achieve my dream with my company which is current under registration.
Instead of working as an individual, soon I will be working under a brand name and as a company.
Thanks for your time to read this interview and I would love to connect with you on Twitter @denharsh.