Hello SEMrush blog readers!
We are very happy to share with you an interview with Harsh Agrawal, a young entrepreneur, the mastermind behind the world famous ShoutMeLoud blog and a super-affiliate in our BeRush Affiliate Program.
In this interview, Harsh Agrawal shares his tips on blogging, digital marketing and affiliate marketing, so keep reading to get the scoop!
Victoria Galperina: To start off, please tell our readers a bit about yourself. Where are you from and when did you first start your online business?
Harsh Agrawal: Hey Victoria, thanks for having me on your esteemed blog. For those who don’t know me, I’m Harsh Agrawal, a professional blogger from New Delhi, India. I started my online journey in 2008 with a BlogSpot blog and later shifted to WordPress and created ShoutMeLoud.com
Today, ShoutMeLoud is a community for bloggers and digital marketers to learn about being successful online. Speaking of stats, ShoutMeLoud has a global Alexa rank of under 2000 and it receives about 1 million page views a month. What’s interesting: 80% of our traffic is organic.
I started blogging because of my passion for learning and sharing to help others. I believed being a curious guy since my childhood, and that helped me to become a learner for life.
I love experimenting and recently started my journey as a digital nomad. Last month, I traveled to the beautiful island of Krabi in Thailand and stayed there for half a month to work. In simple words, blogging has given me the freedom that I never thought of in my wildest of dreams.
VG: India has made a huge impact on tech in general and digital marketing in particular. What's next for the digital economy in India?
HA: India is a country which is going through big digital marketing growth. This is one reason that all global leaders in tech like Google, Facebook and Amazon are so serious about the Indian digital market. One reason is, a vast section of Indian population are yet to explore the Internet which gives a great opportunity for any Internet companies to tap the market first.
I would also like to thank our current prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi who is far-sighted and promotes the concept of Digital India to grow India with the current trend.
VG: Your successful website ShoutMeLoud has beginner, intermediate and advanced topics. How do you organize this content so it serves people at all levels?
HA: This is one of the challenges I face every day as when I publish articles for newbies, my regular advanced users dislike it. They expect more advanced topics which is hard to fulfill every day. As a marketer and blogger, I need to ensure that newbies also get to know about blogging and that is why I often publish entry level articles to get them on board and then expose them to vast world of online marketing.
Readers love ShoutMeLoud because there is something new to learn every other day. So, it gives them a reason to keep coming back. Here is an interesting fact: 15% of all the traffic we get is direct traffic.
VG: What are the top four lessons you have learned since founding ShoutMeLoud?
HA: It’s really hard to pick the top four, as every other day I learn something new. Here are few of them which I can think of right now:
- If you want to live a different life than others, don’t do the same thing as everyone is doing.
- Work with people who are passionate about the thing they do.
- To become truly productive, you need to take care of all the aspects of your life. Example: gym is important for your body, so is meditation equally important for the growth of your brain.
- The Internet is a tricky place and you need to be smart along with hard worker to stand out.
- Success is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
VG: Is ShoutMeLoud the only project you are working on at the moment, or do you have some side projects as well?
HA: I’m a professional blogger which means I make my bread and butter online. I have been raised by people who taught me “never put all your eggs in one basket” and this is one piece of advice which I always give it to my readers.
That’s one reason I have few more projects along with ShoutMeLoud to ensure if something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean end of a career for me.
Currently I have a network of blogs on niche that I’m interested in and love writing about them because I like it. Here are few of the blogs where you can see why I love few other niches:
- ShoutMeTech: Technology niche
- WPfreesetup.com: For WordPress tutorials
- ShoutMeHindi: This is to help new generation of Internet users to learn about online marketing in their native language.
- ShoutMyDomain: My domain selling business
I’m a firm believer of quality over quantity so my other blogs are updated when there is something important or useful to share with others.
VG: What would you advice someone who wants to make money as an affiliate? Are there any particular niches that you prefer? Recommended companies?
HA: There are multiple ways to become success as an affiliate marketer. When you are working online, you should focus on establishing something which gives you result for a longer run. For example, start a blog or a website on price comparison or anything which adds value to others more than you.
Focus on a niche that you are passionate about and if you don’t know your passion, discover it. If you don’t discover it, you are never truly lived. Ensure that niche you pick have has some monetary value.
Here are some more tips:
- Focus on content marketing to make a difference along with sales.
- Educate users about the product and focus on your copy. A good affiliate marketer needs to be an outstanding salesperson and copywriter.
- Use Link Cloaker from day one, otherwise link management will be your biggest problem later on.
- Stay ahead of tech and understand what’s working and what’s not. Especially when a big portion of the web is shifting to mobile, you can’t expect to earn same with a years-old strategy.
- Focus on lean marketing. Do more of what’s working and get rid of what’s not.
VG: What is your advice to young bloggers who are just starting out?
HA: Blogging has become a new age business and it’s more than a style statement in today’s time. One thing which one should know who plans to earn money from a blog; it’s a slow process. It’s a very slow process, but it pays really well in a longer run. Along with money, you will be discovering more about yourself.
When you are starting out, here are a few things you should learn and take care of:
- Writing: The only way you can create a difference is by your choice of words. Spend time learning about writing and write daily.
- SEO: Search engine optimization is the best way to drive targeted traffic who needs a solution or who need the help of your article. Learn about search engine optimization from day one, as this could help your blog to grow in a smaller span of time.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, Harsh!
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