One of the most exciting things about the world of blogging is that anyone can start a brand or business of their own — no matter where they might live in the world. Having been in the industry for 20 years now and starting my first blog back in 2007, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people and watch their personal brands grow over the years. Harsh Agrawal is one such blogger, who I actually had the opportunity to meet last year at Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. Today he has one of the most successful and popular blogs in India. Be sure to check out this story and actionable advice below, in the latest edition of the Meet the Bloggers series.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
- Services: I used to offer blog-related services. When I first started out, I made my first few bucks by offering services on my blog and via forums like Digital Forum. I still remember the day when I got my first ever online payment of $10 via PayPal. I fixed an issue related to the Google Webmaster Tool for a blogger.
- Affiliate Marketing: This is my primary source of income. I made my first few affiliate sales by promoting Dreamhost (the web-hosting service that I was using at the time).
- Google AdSense: I also monetized ShoutMeLoud with AdSense for the first 3-4 years. I liked using AdSense because it gave a consistent recurring income (which is crucial for financial stability).
- Direct Ads: After I started building a name for ShoutMeLoud, direct ad sales started coming in. Even today, direct ad sales add a good chunk of income to my overall revenue.
- Sponsored Posts: Companies also pay money for product reviews.
- Products: The very first product that I launched at ShoutMeLoud was our ShoutMeLoud WordPress theme. It was getting good sales, but later I had to shut it down due to lack of support. Theme businesses require a lot of support & resources. Later on, I added a few eBooks, WordPress plugins & some other things. I sell everything from ShoutMeLoud store which I created using the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
- SEMrush: My favorite tool for keyword research, checking backlinks, and also for performing SEO audits.
- Bufferapp: I use it for scheduling all of my social media updates. I have been paying for this tool for 3 years & never had a single issue.
- Camtasia: I use this for making screencasts for my YouTube channel. I would also recommend checking out TubeBuddy which is another great tool for YouTubers.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
- Setting up & installing WordPress is free.
- I would use a free theme & all of the essential free plugins.
- I would spend about $60/year on hosting + a domain name.
- And I would spend the rest of the money on a logo & proper branding.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
- Email: Harsh@shoutmeloud.com
- Personal blog: denharsh.com
Thanks again Harsh for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.