An Interview with Harsh Agrawal of Shoutmeloud

harsh-agrawal-shoutmeloudHarsh Agrawal is one of the few professional bloggers from India. Harsh writes a technology blog at Shoutmeloud where he shares Blogging tips, Computers,technology and ideas behind making money online.

Apart from writing a blog,Shoutmeloud also provides various blogging services, like article writers, WordPress set up, SEO for wordpress , BlogSpot to wordpress migration etc.

1.”Shoutmeloud”. The name itself is very interesting.Tell us something about  the idea behind starting your blog.Did you started out just as a hobby or were you aware of the bigger Picture ?

I started blogging almost 3 years back with my personal blogs. More of a college guy with thoughts and dream of changing the world. It was like a personal diary to me and I wrote random stuff. Professional Blogging is something I never thought of.
Later in September 2008 I started with a BlogSpot blog on technology niche.In November I migrated to WordPress and it was in march I realized the potential behind Blogging and I left my job as a software engineer at Accenture and took blogging as full time profession.
When I was thinking of my  blog name instead of going for some keyword rich name, I thought of branding. Because in long term its branding which matters the most. I don’t know how this name strike into my mind, but I remember, the time Shoutmeloud name came into my mind. First thing which I was doing, is buying the domain name.
2.How many blogs do you have or write for currently ?

Right now I have 4 blogs in which 3 of them I write personally and rest 1 is shared by two more others.
www.Shoutmeloud.com : This is my first love and here I write about technology, WordPress  Blogging and Make money online.   I started with Technology niche but later on I started putting my experience with wordpress and blogging at this blog and people started liking such posts more than technology blogs. So now I cover almost 3-4 posts a day on different topics.
www.chromoz.com : I bought this domain because of its name Chrome + Mozilla (Chromoz). I thought of making it a browser specific blog, but later on I dumped the idea and converted it into Hollly-Bolly-Entertainment blog.
www.themepremium.com : This is the latest blog in my blog network. After 1 year of regular Blogging  I realize I’m in Love with wordpress. I created lots of blogs for my clients, theme customization, BlogSpot to wordpress migration and SEO. So I thought of putting every thing here. My idea is to create a wordpress A-Z guide on this blog. Lets see how it turns out to be.
www.callingallgeeks.org : This blog I bought from one of my blogger friend some time back. It’s still under construction .

3.As you said , your blog is all about computers, technology Blogging etc. Don’t you think that the tech niche is getting saturated due to the overwhelming number of tech blogs arising every now and then ?

I might disagree with this. I have seen almost 1000 blogs rising in tech niche in these 1 year, Most common problem with new tech blogs are, they cover all the latest news for a while and after that no updates. For a good tech blog, it’s very important to cover each and every latest major tech update. That is the thing which will give you the authority.

4. If you can please share your blogging toolkit, What Software or hardware you use on a daily basis
?
I have a dell Studio  Laptop which is the only piece of hardware I got . I will be getting a Desktop with 32″ LCD screen soon and will be setting up proper office for me. Some of the software’s which I use on Daily basis and recommend for every one : Windows Live Writer,Feed Demon,Tweet Deck,Firefox /Chrome.Two of Firefox Extension which is my life line :Xmarks,Easy comment.

5.What was that major break which made you realize that you should be a Professional Blogger and quit your day job ?

I remember the first day when I made 10$ back in February 2009. I was very happy and I shared the joy with all of my friends. Online income was a myth for me that time and I was so wrong.
In my starting days I never blogged for money. One major reason was I was not aware of money behind a blog. I added adsense in February 2009 and started  making few dollars in a month. Though I started researching on affiliate marketing and I realize the potential behind blogging.
I left my current job with Convergys and become professional blogger. The time I become professional Blogger, I already had a job security with Accenture, so I was willing to take the risk. And glad That I have taken professional blogging as career.My last monthly income report from blogging still making me appreciate my decision. :)

6.Everyone talks “Content is King” .According to you Who is the “queen” when it comes to blogging ?

If content is King then SEO is the Queen. Without SEO and proper promotion, even a quality content is useless.

7.How much time you devote to your blog everyday ?

These days I’m working almost 10-12 hours a day because of new projects and clients work. Else usually I work 5-6 hours a day and never touch my laptop on weekends.

8.According to you, on an Average how much time a blogger should wait before monetizing his/her blog ?

Wow love this question because recently I wrote about the same : Google adsense on new Budding Bloggers blog.The thing is any blogger can start monetizing his blog from the first day. Though he needs to take care of ad placement. Keep ads as minimum as possible or keep it away from content. use sidebar, header or Footer. But keep the content neat, clean and readable.
Why I support monetizing from the first day, because a new blogger has no idea on how to make money from starting and he might land into low paying advertisers like adbrite , adsdaq and so on. The more advertisers he interact with, he will understand what is good and bad. Something like “People learn from their own mistakes”.

9.What has been some of the challenges ?

When I started blogging, I left my social life my biggest and only mistake.. Though now I’m covering it up.

10.If you were given the chance to start your blog afresh what would you change ?

When I started my blog I was not aware of SEO , commenting and promoting the article. I wrote some great tips and tricks which are lost in the time capsule. The only thing which I struggled with the most was theme and designing. First thing which I will do from day 1 is Getting a cool design and a logo to brand my blog. Rest I will not change anything, because I learned everything from my own mistakes.

11.Tell us some Blogs that you love reading ? Who are the bloggers you admire the most ?

When I have not started with a serious blogging, I used to read Nirmals blog, Rahul (Devilsworkshop), Honeytech blog and Amit Agarwal (labnol) blog.
These are few blogs which encouraged me to start a blog, its not because they write about blogging.But I used to be a techie guy, who was into Linux, Gadgets, Computers, hardware and I always wanted to share what I know.
These days some of the blogs which I read on daily basis are  Mashable,ReadwriteWeb,Dailyblogtips. I admire Rahul from Devilsworkshop , because the way he helped me from the first day. Darren from Problogger is all time favorite because of his writing style and probably any one can learn anything from him. He is one of the blogger who share each and every trick he use to make money.
Few Bloggers which I recently interacted with and like them are George Serradinho, Himanshu Yadav, and Surender Sharma.

12.What would you want to suggest to those bloggers who are staring out today ?

Get the basics right. Like before driving a car on road, we practice it on ground or driving school. Start with a free BlogSpot or wordpress.com blog and understand the basics of Blogging. Another thing, Never blog for money.Always remember Money is Evil, If you are blogging for money, you are not blogging, you are doing a business. So Blog for Blogging.

13.How difficult it is to maintain the rhythm in blogging for students, Working professionals etc? You have passed through that phase and i would love to hear  some of the experiences.

I believe college life is the best time to start a blog, because that is the time when any one is full of enthusiasm and lots of energy. I always regret that I should have started shoutmeloud back in my college days.
I have a very simple theory.Imagine any student start with a blog in college and even if he is not writing posts every day but some how 20 posts a month . So 240 posts in an year and by the time he will be out of college he will have a blog with almost 500+ posts and obviously an authority, ranking , subscribers, and an acceptable number of readers.Don’t you think, he have a job security in the name of his blog?

15.Where do you want to see shoutmeloud in a couple of years ?

I have lots of planning for Shoutmeloud. My first one is to create a network of blogs under Shoutmeloud banner. Which I can say is work under progress. Making Shoutmeloud a complete blogging solution in India, which will take care of every thing a webmaster , blogger and a company needs. Though It will take time, may be couple of years, but that’s why we dream to make them a reality.
Thanks Harsh.It was a pleasure talking to you !

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Amit Banerjee is the founding editor and owner of Ampercent. He is a die hard technology enthusiast and writes about all things technology, How to guides, tutorials and search engines. Follow him on Twitter, read his personal blog or drop him an email.