Expert Speaks: In Conversation with Harsh Agrawal, Founder of Shoutmeloud

Today at ‘Expert Speaks‘, we have Harsh Agrawal, the Founder of Shoutmeloud a popular internet marketing blog where you find proven strategies and tips to grow your online business and blog.

In this Interview, Harsh talks briefly about his Journey towards Success, his passion towards blogs and writing and also we will take a glimpse of his daily life too.

We are indeed thankful to Harsh, that he could find time to answer our questions with utmost patience, making each of his answers highly useful and effective to our readers.

Hello Harsh, welcome to LearnWoo. So, please tell us about your journey from an Engineer to now best blogger of India?

Hey team, thank you for the kind invitation. My journey is very simple, as an accident led me to the journey of a notable blogger of India.

It was 2008 when I started my first blog out of pure passion, and to fulfill my curious nature, to discover great things and share them with the world. It was 2009 when I met with a life-changing accident and my entire life and career took an unexpected turn.

Instead of giving away my life with the sadness that I may never walk properly, I turned these adversities into a career opportunity, and a professional blogger was born there. Fortunately, I could later walk and take part in many adventure sports thanks to a doctor named Prateek Gupta.

By that time I decided to become a pro-blogger, and in 3 years time, ShoutMeLoud started winning awards and received many praises from national and international media. One of my memorable moment was when my college awarded me with Entrepreneurship award”

After Completing Engineering you had an offer from Accenture but you decided to go with your blog? Even at that time blogging was not a widely accepted job or social-media was not such a popular term. How difficult was that for you?

It was a crucial decision in my career because on the one hand there was this amazing opportunity to work in a multinational company, and on the other hand, it was a career full of uncertainty. I sought advice from some of the brightest people in my circle, and the best advice I liked came from my buddy Keshav.

He said one thing

“Harsh, we all work in a company with the dream of starting something of our own, and you, my friend, are already doing it, so why would you want to work for someone else if you are your own boss?”

His words resonated in my mind, and at that moment I decided not to join Accenture and to continue blogging as my full-time career. Looking back on my decision, I am overwhelmed and proud to listen to my gut feeling.

Tell us more about ShoutMeLoud?

ShoutMeLoud is your one stop solution for all things digital. Be it blogging, YouTube, SEO, Podcasting, you will learn everything for free. I started ShoutMeLoud as a passion on 1st December 2008, and even after over 11 years, it remains something which is crafted out of sheer passion. 

Recently I also added ShoutUniversity which is not a structured course to learn everything about making $1000/month with affiliate marketing.

 As the CEO of ShoutMeLoud, you must have a lot of responsibilities and pressure. Which aspect of your work do you like the most?

I enjoy innovative and creative thinking. I still do a lot of content creation, and a lot of my time goes into managing my team of 3-4 people who are among the smartest people in the world.

I also spend a lot of time answering users “questions on various social media platforms, as understanding the problem of young guns, and helping them develop gives me the joy of fulfilment.

What does your normal day look like?

I am an early riser and start my day with yoga and meditation. I determine my intention for the day by scheduling it early and then filling my gratitude diary. This is an integral part of my morning ritual, and without it my day feels incomplete.

Usually I concentrate on three important tasks for the day and spend a lot of time with my students in the ShoutUniversity Forum.

I work with a technique called the Pomodoro Technique, where I set a timer of 35 minutes Pomo for each task. After each Pomo, I take a break of 5-10 minutes in which I stretch my body or go for a walk. As someone who has been working from home for 11 years, this technique helps me maintain a healthy body and mind. One can use this tool called Focus booster to implement Pomodoro in their day to day life.

At the end of my day, I read a book or read my subscribed feeds on Feedly App. I stay away from distractions like social media Netflix for entertainment as my source of entertainment catches up with my family, friends and books.

What are the pros and cons of working for yourself?

There are many advantages and disadvantages, and one of them is that one is not limited by the abilities or thinking of another. If one works for others, one’s thoughts are limited if the superior does not think ahead. This is one reason I work with smartest people who can think and make decisions of their own. I believe every leader should do the same for people who are working with them.

The only disadvantage of being your own boss is that you work alone and you have to be your own cheerleader. It helps a lot to have a community or be part of a group here. To me, it’s my private ShoutUniversity group where I hang out with some of the smartest people in the world.

What are the other ways for a blog to grow?

Here are a few areas in which every blog should pay attention to grow:

  • SEO: Search engine optimization can do wonder for any blog. ShoutMeLoud drives 85% of its 1 million page views via search engines, and it would not be possible without rock-solid SEO.
  • Converting visitors into subscribers: One should pay attention to converting readers into subscribers. This is one critical way to grow your blog. Using techniques like Email-marketing, Push notification can do wonder for a blog. I use Convertkit and PushEngage respectively for both the techniques. 
  • Social media marketing – If done right, Social media marketing can boost your brand visibility in a very short span. 

Outside work, what do you enjoy the most? And how do you manage work-life balance as it is quite difficult in today’s time?

I live a simple but exciting life and always ask my team to keep the hashtag #nostress. The work is something that should bring joy and not stress.

Following this philosophy, I do things slowly but make quick decisions.

At the moment I can’t travel because of COVID, otherwise I love travelling as my source of entertainment and to relax. I’ve been to countries like Antarctica, Africa, Russia and every trip has brought out the best in me.

Once a year I disconnect to connect and go to the Vipassana Retreat. This is a 10-day retreat where I meditate for 10 hours a day and maintain noble silence. I have been doing this for 3 years and something that has a profound impact on my life. I recommend every human being to go for these 10 days retreat (Dhamma.org), as it provides a great opportunity to disconnect from the Internet and connect with our core.

I read your blogs and totally love it. So, how do you maintain the content quality of blogs? Please tell us more about this?

Thank you very much, and I am glad to hear this:

I just focus on solving a problem and educating our readers with the latest marketing technologies. As the intent is right, it is also reflected in the quality of the content.

We have very strict measures to ensure that only helpful content on the blog goes live, and we spend a lot of time updating old content. ShoutMeLoud has over 1700 articles, and we do a lot of content pruning, restructuring to keep them up to date.

We follow a checklist to publish content, and similar to a checklist to be followed after content is published.

I can say you were way ahead of the time. You were already enjoying Work from Home which became the new norm for the entire world because of COVID-19. How do you look at this for the future? What’s your view on the new norm and how can we maintain our productivity while doing Work from home?

This is an excellent question, and yes, working from home has become a new norm, and I see that in the future any company could offer flexibility to work from home.

Establishing purpose and planning is the way to maintain productivity when working from home. It is important to take care of their physical and mental health at the same time, to ensure that their body and mind are taken care of along with their intellect and brain.

Have a specific time for the family and they should note it in the calendar, just like one book their important meetings. For example, a date night with your loved one or a family night with the whole family. This may sound mushy, but a happy family and healthy relationship are the keys to a productive life.

Any advice you want to give people who want to follow your path?

The world of blogging is limitless, and if you’ve been waiting to get started, starts taking action. Over time, you’ll either realize whether this is for you, or you’ll fail, which is itself a great learning curve. Anyone of these two is better than not trying. 

 

 

 

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