Content Marketing

Interview with Harsh Agrawal - Inspiration to Indian Bloggers

Picture of Chandraveer Singh

by Chandraveer Singh

Harsh Agrawal is a popular name in the blogging industry. He is the brain behind “Shout-me-loud”, a blog publication focused on blogging, Affiliate marketing, SEO and Social media marketing.

Recently, We had the pleasure of chatting with him on his Content creation process. Read on for premium advice for new bloggers and his inspirational story of starting his venture.

Looking back, where did it all begin?

It all started one fine day when I was browsing the internet in my final year of engineering. I bumped into a platform by Google called BlogSpot, and I was like, this is so cool! I could now document my learning and share it with the world. It was just a typical BlogSpot blog that did not last for long.

After I completed engineering (I.T.), I joined a call center (Convergys). While waiting for the joining date from Accenture, I started ShoutMeLoud. The call center was a tough night job, but my passion for writing got me going, and within a few months, it got excellent traction. At the same time, I discovered something called "AdSense" and "Affiliate marketing," which is available for anyone to join, and my perspective about blogging completely changed. When I made my first few hundred dollars, it seemed too good to be true.

To give a little background, I'm a small-town boy, and a part of my future was pre-written. Get an engineering degree, work in an I.T.. company, and grow my salary by 10-20% every year.

Luckily, I discovered blogging at the right time. I know India is full of talented people, and if they could also know about this way of making money while following their passion, it could be a game-changer for many.

This is where I made that the mission for ShoutMeLoud, to educate people about how they can monetize their passion. ShoutMeLoud moved from being a tech blog to a platform that started teaching people about becoming their own boss.

harsh agrawal

What's in the name?

Shout - Me - Loud = Speak your mind and let it shout via any online medium.

What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?

I believe it has to do with the intent. Being a blogger and entrepreneur who started without any godfather, everything was self-discovered. This put me into a unique situation to understand what any blogger would require to scale up and become successful.

Rather than creating content for the heck of it, I just developed content that made an impact on our reader’s life.

It is all practical content with examples. DIY and practical content is what made ShoutMeLoud a multi-award-winning blog.

Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?

So, there are a few ways I decide on what content to be produced.

  • Readers’ comments and queries: Our readers are the biggest source of inspiration for new content. As I get new queries and I see it's a real pain point, it straight away goes to the content basket.
  • My pain point: As I'm scaling up ShoutMeLoud, I know the specific content which could help other bloggers. Those ideas go to our content box.
  • Keyword research: I also use tools like SEMRush to perform keyword research and find what other users are searching for. This kind of research helps us to write content which is sought by high numbers, and they become stable traffic drivers for us.

I do pay extra attention to Keyword clustering and search intent to cleanup my keyword list.

I use Asana & Trello to manage my content. Anyone can create a copy of this Trello board for their content management.

How do you make moolah with your efforts?

How do you make moolah with your efforts?

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Selling our own eBooks
  • Sponsored posts

You can find a complete list of blog monetization techniques in this article.

How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?

I'm very picky when it comes to working with brands. One of the core ShoutMeLoud values is that no one should lose money because of us. So, we have a process to evaluate products before writing about them.

This makes the process a little slow, but eventually, it works best for everyone, our readers, the brand and ShoutMeLoud.

One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile

Due to my work at ShoutMeLoud, I received the entrepreneurship award from my college. Being an average student, I never thought something like this would ever happen.

Entrepreneurship Award

Addressing a hall full of college students, I said, "Never let anyone tell you what to do in your life, go out and make your own path, it will be worth it." I felt ecstatic as I walked back to my seat.

This is the moment that I always cherish.

If not blogging, you would be?

In adventure sports.

A day in your life...

I start early (around 7) with Yoga practice.

I maintain a journal called "5b minute journal". My target is to do at least 3 significant things every day.

Usually, it contains stuff like:

  • Writing (new or updating outdated content)
  • Optimizing blog for SEO/UX
  • Replying to comments
  • Learning something new
  • Trying new tools, apps, and plugins.

On some days, I work 10+ hours, and on some days I don't work at all. On average, I work 8-10 hours a day. When I started off, I used to work 14-16 hours a day.

Along with this, I make it a point to meet at least 2 fellow entrepreneurs every month to learn from their journey and experience. Since I have a work from home lifestyle, meeting fellow entrepreneur keeps my social aspects online.

Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

Blogging is a great career opportunity, and it works best when you do it in your style while taking advantage of available data.

Use tools like SEMRush, AccuRanker, SocialPilot, and other digital marketing tools to level up your game.

Follow top bloggers in your industry and see what they are doing, and always ask why they are doing it. This can be a shortcut towards building a successful career.

Last, but not not the least, never stop learning. More than speed, it is the consistency that can help you achieve your life’s biggest goals.

Your Favorite Influencer

Syed Balkhi for his inspiring work in the WordPress community.

The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

I wish to continue inspiring this generation to not be defined by where they are from. At times, success can be achieved without having any godfather or any support.

Picture of Chandraveer Singh

Chandraveer Singh

Chandraveer is a content writer at Socialpilot. Writing well researched and quality content is his forte. He is an avid reader of cat memes and tries very hard to put them in company blogs. He also loves to write his bio in the third person.

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