Interview with Harsh Agrawal – Founder of ShoutMeLoud



Today we have Harsh Agrawal with us.  Harsh Agrawal is a ProBlogger & Entrepreneur. Harsh runs a very successful blog ShoutMeLoud which made him into one of the India’s leading blogger. ShoutMeLoud covers topics likes SEO, WordPress, Affiliate marketing, making money online and general tips to help bloggers. You should also checkout Harsh Agrawal’s personal website DenHarsh and follow him on Twitter @denharsh.

Let’s learn from his experience and start the interview.

Harsh Agrawal with WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg

 1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Everyone, I’m Harsh Agrawal a Professional Blogger from India and an engineer by education. I started Blogging just after college and it was all out of curiosity and because of my hunger to learn more. I blog about WordPress, SEO and Blogging and you can see my work at ShoutMeLoud.

I work from home from last 4 years and it has been an amazing journey for me. I learned new things every day, meet awesome people every day in the form of readers, get to learn about latest technology and web stuff and in one word I’m a “Solopreneur“.

2. When you were first introduced to the WordPress blogging platform?

I started my Blogging journey in 2008 with BlogSpot like most of newbies and within a month, I realized the importance of having a self hosted Blog for more exposure, and no wonder I opted for WordPress. That time, I was really unaware of power of WordPress, but I jumped into it as most of top blogs I knew where using WordPress. My real eye opener for Blogging was Wordcamp event which happened in New Delhi in 2009, where I get to meet people like Matt and Om Malik and that gave me a great motivational boost in the initial days of Blogging.

3. How did your Blogging journey started?

I got to know about WordPress around October 2008 and I’m not sure how, but I was watching few videos on Youtube where I learned about how WordPress works. Later on, I see most of top blogs which I follow (Problogger.net, Dailyblogtips), were using WordPress and I could clearly see the limitations of BlogSpot and in November 2009, I bought a domain and hosting from Dreamhost and started my Blogging journey with WordPress.

4. Every website has a back story behind it. Tell us story of shoutmeloud.com. What motivated you to to start it?

I have always been a learner and I love to share and talk about things which I know. I started a BlogSpot blog in August 2008, and I used to write mostly about Technology. My real exposure came when, one of my article made Digg front page and on a single day I received almost 20K visits, which was unbelievable for me that time.

So, I thought of taking Blogging to next level and get a custom domain and hosting and start with a self hosted blog for total control. The most critical part was branding the domain with a catchy and memorable name, and after thinking about it for a week, one fine day Shout-Me-Loud word striked me and it was unique. Since, I was a college pass-out and didn’t had any credit card to buy hosting, I took help of my friend and bought one year hosting along with domain name.

ShoutMeLoud was initially started as Tech blog, but later on I started writing about Blogging, WordPress and SEO. All the posts were written from self learning and self-experience. I got good reaction and push from my readers and later on Blogging & WordPress become the main niche.

My major decision making point was to take Blogging as a Profession or join Accenture and keep blogging as a side business. That time, I Was making almost $1000/month from Blogging and I realized I could do better if I take it as a full-time job. I opted for it and I don’t regret it anytime now, which you can see from ShoutMeLoud monthly income reports.

In between, I got few good media coverage and I started to explore more. The real upset for me was last year when Panda hit my blog and I lost almost 40% traffic and my traffic was dying every day. At one point, I stopped publishing for a week but later on I realize it’s just an algo and I have to learn from my mistake. That’s the time, when I dived into the world of SEO and started getting more closer to it. One of my article How to recover from Google panda, was an outcome of my experience.

5. What networking do you do that you feel helps your online business?

There are many things which we need to take care when it comes to networking. We have to prioritize many things, as in professional Blogging it’s just not only about readers but we should make good relation with Other Bloggers, service providers in our niche, Industry leaders and PR guys.

For readers, the best way to network is with Blog comments and your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and any other channel which you use. They are looking for a solution to the problem or many of them don’t know the problem until they are aware of it.

To connect with other bloggers, you need to use your personal skills. Bloggers meet, media event is one of the best way to get started and once you meet a Blogger who share the same views like you, make a connection. It should be a perfect combo of Professional + personal touch. If you are in same town, meet them once in a while. If not, stay in touch over phone, Skype or any other communication channel. Though, do understand like you, he has his priorities and respect the time. Make all your communication and interaction meaningful.

For PR and media companies:

It’s your work that they need. They are not interested in your personal life, so keep the communication professional. The only key is constant communication because with PR companies, “out of sight is out of mind” holds true.

6. What’s next for you, are you working on any projects or products we should be looking forward to? Give us the behind the scenes exclusive – something you haven’t announced yet anywhere else!

I’m from India, and despite of most of freelancing work outsourced from here, People like Freelance writers, developers and other niche people are failed to start something of their own. I have been asked by many of my close friends to teach them blogging as they want to earn from home. Most of these people are Freelancer, Housewives or some of them are retired army officer.

I realized, with a blog it’s easier to offer content but having a place, where only premium content and forum support is offered, this could create a huge difference and I may fulfill my vision of bringing Blogging as a career in my country.

So, right now I would like not to give a detailed information until it’s launched but right now, on the top of my priority list is creating a membership site to make people understand learn about Blogging for money, how to use WordPress and How to create a successful blog which can generate decent income working from home.

I’m not sure about the deadline as this is in initial stage, but I’m sure it will be coming anytime by next year.

Along with it, I’m focusing more on Video Blogging and setting up a Video studio at my house. You might see me more on talking about Blogging and WordPress on my Youtube channel @denharsh.

7. If there was one thing that you wish you knew before you started the site, what would that be?

I thought Blogging is/was easy but it’s not. When you are opting Blogging as professional career, everything changes. Along with keeping up readers expectations, you need to work on monetization and many other things.

If I recall it properly, I would emphasize more on learning SEO and specially WordPress SEO. At the initial days, most of my traffic source was Blog commenting and despite of publishing 3-4 articles a day, I was missing traffic. Later on, few of my online friends helped me to learn about all in one SEO plugin and meta values, and I realized I was missing a lot.

Another thing which I realized over the time is importance of using a Premium theme. In the initial days, I changed my theme every week which not only broke down the SEO structure of my blog but also hampered my blog branding and identity. The best thing to do is, grab a Premium theme and stick to it for long. If you wanna change something, focus on offering better user experience in the form of content, navigation, site speed and community building.

8. Where do you see WordPress Five years from now.

The way Internet is evolving, WordPress will grow and change drastically in next 5 years.. BuddyPress may become part of WordPress …It may evolve from Blogging platform to a complete social network, as everything search and sales are getting more dependent on Social recommendation and it has to be a part of it.

More over, WordPress will not just be a web platform, it will also grow in mobile sector and soon, WordPress will be more than just CMS…It’s hard to say, how technology will change but yes, WordPress growth is immense and you can see how serious Automattic team is about their iOS and other mobile os Apps with recent massive upgrade.

9. Tell us few apps/services that you are using these days. (for example: Mailchimp, GetClicky, Buysellads, Magazine3, etc,.)

At the time of writing, I’m using following apps/services:

I could go on talking about Blogging day and night and I believe it’s better I should end myself with a thank you note, before I keep on talking. Thanks again for having me here and thanks to your readers for giving their valuable time to read this interview.

Checkout Harsh Agrawal’s personal website DenHarsh and follow him on Twitter @denharsh.

This Post Has 59 Comments

  1. Sri Ganesh.M says:

    Nice Interview and Harsh Agarwal was one among the bloggers who inspired be to start my own blog. and actually what is “Blog” i learned from these buddies !

  2. Vivek Nath.R says:

    He is my favorite blogger, I follow Harsh’s post regularly. BTW his name is
    “Harsh Agrawal” not “Harsh Agarwal”

  3. Very inspiring interview. Nice share.

  4. Sai Kumar says:

    Hi Matt, Really a great job. This interview is a great inspiration for all newbie bloggers where Harsh Agarwal is really a Great and Successful Blogger.

  5. Very nice interview with some good concerning questions for every blogger to learn. Harsh has been in my bookmarks from the time I started to blog and has been a continuous source of inspiration and information for me. It is very good to see him featured here and to know more about him via these questions.

    • Matt Kaludi says:

      Thanks Praveen. Our team did some research before choosing these question.

      We had a goal in mind which was to help others learn from the experience of guests and get to know them. We worked hard on it. I’m glad you like the interview, i think our hardwork is finally paying off!

      • Matt – I am sure your team has done a good job at it. I once had a series of interviews of many good bloggers on my website and called it “The Naked Truth” series. It was such a wonderful experience learning about each one and there were plenty of new things one could learn by reading them.

  6. Lakhyajyoti says:

    I have always been a great fan of you.Learn lots of new things about blogging from shoutmeloud.com. Wish you all the success in life.

  7. Ammar Ali says:

    Hi Matt,
    You did great job. Harsh interview is always great inspiration for all newbie bloggers ;)

    Keep it up Harsh! :)

  8. Kulwant Nagi says:

    Happy to see the inspirational interview.
    I am going to note down all the tools you are using for Blogging !! :)

  9. Good interview Matt. Thanks for the list Harsh, its very useful. I wish to read “How you manage to bring your blog content and other stuff”. I know its related to generating ideas, but that is not enough, what to do stand still? Harsh?

  10. learntourism says:

    As usual great learning experience to hear the interview of a Problogger like Harsh.

    The tools he mentioned are great and would like to aply that all in practical.

    Kudos to the Interviewer.

    Regards

    Pankaj Kumar

  11. gunjan says:

    harsh agrawal i found your website when i search top 10 blog list on google.Really i am so impressed from you,i know many technical thing but i d’nt apply these things in real life,but really harsh after read your interview and read your priceless articles i decided that i also apply my skill in real life..Thanks a lot..yaar sahi bataun mai to tumhara fan ho gaya hun.

  12. Rohit says:

    great..interview wish you a great success Harsh..

  13. This interview will make inspiration to many readers like me and we want more interviews with famous bloggers.

  14. ansh says:

    nice interview. . . . !!!!

  15. Paras Sharma says:

    You have inspired many wanna be bloggers Harsh !! Many Thanks

  16. deepak says:

    It’s motivational. It helps to get some important links and some important blogging tools.
    Thanks you..:)

  17. Vikash Yadav says:

    Hey magazine3 i like this post because Harsh Agrawal is my Favorite blogger.

    • Matt Kaludi says:

      Thanks Vikash Yadav, I’m glad you like the interview. Harsh is not only your favourite but he is favourite of every blogger.

  18. Sohil Memon says:

    Hello M3,
    Well-constrained post Sir. I really like the interview of this Harsh Agrawal, he is the one of the most famous bloggers and I really like his blog :D Thanks for sharing his great info :) It will be inspirational to me :D

  19. Pawan says:

    Great interview. One I would also like to be interviewd like Harsh.

  20. Jeanne Maxie says:

    Basically post. This website is incredibly interesting, I added the idea in order to my personal favorites, Do you are capable of doing the same along with mine.

  21. shyantan says:

    Hey magazine3 i like this post i am a big fan of harsh agarwal and his shoutmeloud,
    frankly speaking i learned the ABCD of blogging from him or we can say by his shoutmeloud.com
    the interview is really awsome i am fully inspired and motivated

  22. Md Ismail says:

    Harsh is my real inspiration. I am proud to follow shout me loud. The content is very clean and easy readable. Thank you Harsha.

  23. Samer says:

    Nice interview Matt, covered almost everything in view words, nice to see your next interview with another blogger.

  24. Mukesh Mali says:

    Bloggers like harsh are lighthouses for newbie bloggers … I always follow Shout me loud :)

  25. Harshit says:

    You’re great Harsh Agarwal, i found some important tips for my blog. And I am ready to read your another interview. Thanks

  26. Shubh says:

    Really ShoutMeLoud is like a Ideal for newbies…

  27. Harsh Agrawal is my favorite blogger.

    after the reading a story of Harsh agrawal on Shoutmeloud
    i migrate my blogger blog to wordpress.

  28. Amit kumar says:

    i am a Big fan of Harsh (shoutmeloud) and i like to read everything about shoutmeloud.
    thanks Matt for introduce us with Harsh.
    i learnt many thing after reading this interview like-strugle & experience of Harsh during the starting of shoutmeloud.

  29. Ajit Tiwari says:

    Hello Matt,
    First of all thanks for Featuring Harsh, as today i was keen to read more about the Author of ShoutmeLoud, So this is the second interview of Harsh what am reading,( first was on Kulwant Nagi blogs ).
    And its inspiring specially to a new bloggers.

    Thanks for the incredible post, about the true blogging entrepreneur appreciate your post.

  30. Ajay says:

    thank u for giving this interview and now i am motivated, my website is http://techaj.com and for technology news news and hacking safety tips. if you will get anything wrong then mail me please

  31. Abhay says:

    I am always reading every post published on shoutmeloud

  32. Syed Danial says:

    I always visit shoutmeloud whenever i need any help regarding wordpress it’s a great blog

  33. Hi Matt,
    nice interview, Harsh is very inspiring, specially he motivates and supports new bloggers like me. . Thanks for sharing. . .

  34. Hii Matt and Magazine3

    Thanku for a pleasant interview of my inspirational Harsh Agrawal.

  35. thanks for sharing this is truly inspirational..thanks

  36. Saurav says:

    Really very nice interview Harsh. Your experience in your life and your words really inspires me a lot.

  37. Kaka Singh says:

    Hello mate ! You inspired me a lot. I will work hard to become like Harsh Agrawal. Really enjoyed this article. Thanks for sharing

  38. Chevy says:

    Great Interview .. i am a fan of harsh agarwal.. He is one of the person i look up to for my blogging inspiration and ideas .Super Awesome Interview. I loved it!

  39. Savita says:

    Good to read your interview Harsh. You are really an ideal for new bloggers.

  40. itechaleart says:

    Nice interviews and thank you to Harsh Agrawal for sharing his knowledge with us. :)

  41. Ahmed Shawan says:

    Great to see Harsh Agrawal at Magazin3. I’m always inspired with any suggestion from new delhi’s top tech blogger Harsh Agrawal. Surely i’d check some tools pointed out there for Keyword research and Content Marketing.

    Thanks for this remarkable interview to Magazine3 once again

  42. Akhil says:

    First of all thanks Matt to share with us the valuable knowledge and experience of Harsh sir’s blogging journey through your interview.
    He is a successful blogger because he focus on maintaining quality content and understanding his readers. I am always thankful to him because whenever i search for any query related to SEO or WORDPRESS,i could always find the best result in Shoutmeloud. I am always inapired by the way he presents his views and knowledge. I wonder how could you limit your interview in 9 questions, I would have asked 50 more questions.

  43. abuzar says:

    Great interview… it’s always good to hear from top bloggers about their personal life as an interview it gives us alot of inspiration… thanks for having this interview…

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