You know buddy, today I am very happy while I am writing the starting part of this post. It is such like a dream come true. I became succeed to get the interview of world’s one of the most renowned blogger, who is my true inspiration for blogging. Yes, It is Harsh Agarwal- the blogging giant. I want to say a big thanks to him for taking some time and getting answers to this interview questions.
I have compiled a list of questions containing questions which are concerning for both beginners and professional bloggers.
I won’t take more time here. As I know you are excited to know the insights of this interview. Harsh has given straightforward answers to the questions.
Let’s start with it.
1. Tell us Something About you and your Blog.
Hey Nikhil, It’s good to be on your web space & speaking to your audience. I’m one of those passionate guys who believe in doing the right thing. By education, I’m an engineer & by profession a Blogger. I started blogging in 2008 with my blog ShoutMeLoud.com, and in last 7 years, it has become a blog which has changed the life of numerous individuals & entrepreneurs. ShoutMeLoud is about learning everything about digital marketing & making a career online. Apart from ShoutMeLoud, we have other niche blogs such as ShoutMeTech.com, Wpfreesetup.com to name a few. I also run a domain selling service called as ShoutMyDomain.
I’m based in Delhi & I love travelling. I’m fascinated with the concept of Digital Nomad & I have been travelling all around the world & working at the same time. My last visit was to Krabi where I stayed for 2 weeks & enjoyed the true meaning of the blogging lifestyle.
2. What do You Recommend for an Indian Blog- A US server Hosting or An Indian Server Hosting of the same Company?
It depends upon the target audience of a blog. Technically, if a blog target audience is in India, one should host their blog on Indian server. This actually helps to load the blog faster. In case, if somebody prefers U.S. based hosting due to server quality, one can use CDN network like Cloudflare, MaxCDN or any other to give the similar experience.
3. What is the Future of SEO? Is it going to die in Next 3 to 5 Years?
SEO is not going to die, but it will shift to a completely new dimension. More than search, a blogger needs to focus on mobile SEO, App SEO. In fact, I’m afraid that the web we know of may die in few years, & mobile phones like Android & iPhone along with social networking site like Facebook will become the major chunk of the web. Those who are interested in the technical part of it should read about App indexing &iOS spotlight in-app search.
4. What things do you Follow while Writing a Blog Post?
The first thing which I keep in mind is the value of the post. One can write a post to drive any traffic & earn money. My goal is slightly different, as I focus on writing those post which is meaningful for me & for ShoutMeLoud readers. Along with that, my strategy is to work on evergreen content so that we can enjoy the true benefits of blogging. Rest, I love making conversation & being simple in my writing & life.
5. You are a Renowned Professional blogger in the World. What are Your Future Plans? What have you decided to bring your Blogging Journey to the Next Level?
Thanks for the kind words. Recently I did an All India road trip (ShoutMeet) & conducted numerous bloggers meet in various states of India. It was a grand success & I realized the need of a blogger across the country. I plan to continue this in coming years & help the blogging community in India to grow.
One challenge which I’m facing is scaling up at this moment. Since I work from home, hiring more people is not convenient. I plan to move to an office soon & hire 2-3 like-minded people who can manage our virtual team. I’m not a big fan of 9-6 work style, but having an office with flexible working hours sounds more productive & a good step towards doing something bigger.
6. What Tools Do You Use To Make Blogging Easier?
I use numerous blogging tools. Here are few which I can think of right now:
- iMac 27”: Can’t think of blogging without it.
- Blue Yeti mic: For sound recording
- iPhone 6: For blogging from mobile
- Snagit: For image capture & editing
- Camtasia: For video recording
- SEMRUSH: My fav. SEO tool
- BufferApp&SocialPilot: for Social Media marketing
- PostPlanner: For Facebook Page management & automation
- Kinsta Hosting: Where ShoutMeLoud is hosted (November 2015)
- Slack: For team communication
- FileZilla: For FTP
- Focusbooster: An app for mac to help me stay productive
- Selfcontrol app: To block access to sites like Facebook when I’m working
- Wunderlist: For task management
- Evernote: For note taking
7. How to Get More Productive As a Blogger?
One needs to be productive in every part of their life. You can’t be just as productive as a blogger when your personal or life outside blogging is not productive. There are few things which work best for me:
- Don’t check your email all the time. If you are a busy blogger, have someone manage your email.
- Make a To-Do list (Wunderlist) & learn to delegate work. The more you delegate, you will get more done.
- Don’t work on many things at one time. If you are one of those who keep more than 5 tabs opened every time, change this habit. To get things done, focus on one & finish it before moving to other work. Also, read about Pomodoro time management technique.
- When writing, get rid of all the distraction. Disable internet on your Phone & ensure you don’t’ lose focus while researching stuff for your article. If you happened to bump into an interesting topic which is different than what you are working on, bookmark it using Pocket app. You can work on it later, but focus on completing your task first.
- This is the last but most important tip for all the newbies & pro-bloggers. Don’t thrive for perfection, as this is one reason your 80% of work is never completed. It’s a hard thing to do, but with time if you learn to do it, you will know that even the work which you thought is mediocre is useful for many.
8. How Has It Helped To Your Blog? What Things A Blogger Should Consider Before Developing A Mobile App For A Blog?
Mobile app is the future & think of it as important as email marketing. Hire a developer to develop your app. Push notification is must have feature for your app. Along with that, a great UI & UX is important. Treat your mobile app users as the new generation of readers. Most important, if you don’t have an app for now, get one right now. You can always update your app over the time to add new features & functionalities.
9. Which Yields The Most Qualified Traffic for Shoutmeloud: SEO Or SMM?
Of our 1 million page views a month, 80% of traffic is from the Search engine. The 2nd best traffic driving source is direct traffic where people come from bookmarks or typing the URL. It’s shocking & sad to say that only 5% of our traffic comes from Social-media & hopefully we will fix this gap in coming months. If you know of a good social media manager who wants to work full-time for us, feel free to recommend.
10. Do You Believe That Paid Traffic Is Worth For A Blog?
It all depends upon the kind of blog you are running. Paid traffic is definitely good & a successful model for many million dollar blogs. The key here is, if you spend $1 on buying traffic, you should be earning at least $2. This requires a lot of optimization & targeting which can be achieved with practice & A/B testing. In short, yes, paid traffic can do wonder for those who know what they are doing.
11. Now After Huge Work, Shoutmeloud has Become A Popular Blogging Brand. Suggest Some Tips To Create A Brand For A Blog.
Any name becomes a brand when others are talking about it. To become a brand, one need to give a reason for others to talk about it. Social media has empowered us to achieve this at minimal cost & even as a solopreneur. For bloggers, here are few tips:
- Logo &Favico: Your logo is the first thing you want to focus on. Spend a lot of time thinking about the design of the logo.
- Domain Name &tag line: Your domain name is what people would call your brand as. Make sure your domain name is easy to remember, easy to type & easy to pronounce. Along with it, have a catchy tagline. I’m sure many of you know this tagline “ I’m the CEO-Bitch”
- For personal branding use same image (Profile picture) on all social-media sites including Gravatar. Don’t underestimate the power of cover image on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ as they are the most visible space.
- Last but most important is the consistency. If you are not consistent, forget about branding.
- Trigger: Try to have some trigger point for your brand. For example, When we think about Noodles, we say Maggi. When we talk about Cold-drink, we talk about Coco-Cola. For ShoutMeLoud, it’s blogging.
12. You are Making Huge Money through Shoutmeloud as You Publish Your Blog Income Report Each Month. What Do You Suggest For Newbie Through Which They Can Make Money?
When you start blogging, your focus should be on great content & your audience. Convert your traffic into loyal readers & monetize it using Affiliate marketing. Recommend products which you use & which are useful for others. If you are on a multi-niche, you can monetize using AdSense, VigLink or direct ad sales.
Product review & native advertising is going to earn you a great deal of money though this will only work once you have established a quality brand name for your blog. In today’s date, one can establish a branded blog in 3-4 months with hard work & a good strategy.
This was one of Harsh’s fabulous interview in which he talked about the SEO, blogging tools, his future plans, traffic source to Shoutmeloud, making money via blogging and some other stuff. If you want to read similar kind of posts in future, stay tuned and subscribe to my blog. Share this amazing interview on your favorite social media platforms, and show your love.