Startup eSeries: How to Shout Out Loud to Make Money - Common Sense Living Newsletter
 
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Startup eSeries: How to Shout Out Loud to Make Money

Entrepreneurship
Life
Aug 30, 2014

 

Today's featured young entrepreneur is equipped with various tools - he is clear about what he has to offer, knows how to reach his audience, and optimises every technology available to make his businesses profitable.

Harsh Agrawal is among India's top five professional bloggers or 'pro bloggers'. For those of you who don't know what blogs are, an article on The Latest List Of Top 10 Professional Bloggers in India 2014 elaborates: Bloggers are the people who form, run, update and make internet a better place for you all! Without them, internet is nothing. Blogging is the job which pays a lot while it facilitates you with a satisfaction of serving.

The Startup eSeries sets out to capture the spirit of technologically-backed enterprise. These insights can inspire you to follow your entrepreneurial dreams taking you down your own path of success.

At Common Sense Living, we believe that everyone has a right to wealth. And amassing wealth and fame need not be rocket science. They could be small acts of working on what you enjoy doing, adding a dash of marketing expertise, and selling it to the world. The ideas on the Startup eSeries are the first step toward making your dreams a reality.

The internet has made making money that much easier. Our wealth coach Mark Ford attributes part of his multi-million dollar wealth to online ventures. In his Wealth Builders Club he shows you how to generate extra income and retire rich by starting online businesses and working from the comfort of your home, or from anywhere in the world. As a wealth coach, Mark has had years of experience enabling others to start their own businesses.

And through his blog Harsh Agrawal does the same...

Blogging to Share Knowledge

A software engineer by profession, Harsh was always interested in technology and started experimenting with the internet from his college days. He was particularly interested in social engineering and "how things worked on the internet." This led him to create his first few blogs in 2008. It was only after graduation and six months into a full-time job, that Harsh decided he wanted to blog professionally.

"My blogging started off with the simple need to share what I had learned so far. So I read up extensively on blogging and started writing what I knew in my own words. I didn't know I could make money from it then, I was just writing to share my knowledge," says Harsh.

How ShoutMeLoud was conceptualised

Harsh's first and most popular blog ShoutMeLoud, named because "'shouters' are those who shout on the internet and believe in the power of blogs", has a combined viewership of more than 3.5 lac. It's ranked as the second highest revenue-earning blog in the country with a page rank of 6 and Alexa rank of 2.6k (Source). An Alexa rank is calculated keeping in mind the number of unique visitors and page views a site gets every day.

Harsh initially started writing about hardcore technology. Soon he moved to writing about blogging itself and how to make money online. He felt there was a lot of information out there but it "was scattered" and hence difficult to find in one place.

Today, Harsh manages eight blogs and two portals with a small team who help develop content, answer reader queries and work on the promotions with him.

How to make money from blogging

Harsh strongly endorses affiliate marketing as one of the most lucrative sources of income online. "Since everything is sold online, all you need to do is link to other's sites and change your own link with theirs." Additionally, Harsh conducts an online blog consultancy where he trains on everything from how to start and manage a blog, the workings of SEO and AdSense, how to create better content and even reviews blogs.

He is soon launching ShoutUniversity.com, an all-structured membership programme for blogging and SEO. His blogs make added revenue through regular Buysellads and private ads. Harsh also develops and sells online marketing products and mobile apps.

In the last few years, Harsh has seen an international and Indian audience. Taking from his popular blog, he has recently branded his company ShoutDreams.

How to develop good content

For successful blogging, Harsh focuses on the reader: "Ask what the reader is gaining from it, if it's making him think, connecting with him and conveying the message. And finally try to help him take action."

He believes blogging is a form of storytelling and the tone should be a personal one. Readers also like the use of numbers and statistics. 'How to' articles are a rage online and creating lists like 'the top ten' also get good hits. Blogs also need to be visually appealing - nice formatting, easy on the eye, and visual effects like gif images and infographics add to a blog's appeal.

Harsh emphasises to new bloggers the absolute necessity of a basic understanding of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation and its effective use while blogging. "SEO helps the right people find the right content. This is Google's way of understanding your content better and helping people find it easily. The use of more related words in the article and sometimes lengthy, but meaningful, copy works effectively toward the same," explains Harsh.

ShoutMeLoud gets 80-85% unique visitors per day from search engines alone.

How to stay connected to your audience

Like in any other business, blogging requires you to be constantly connected to your consumers. Moreso as responses on the internet are much quicker. Harsh stays in touch with his readers through regular
e-mailers that are personalised by him. He uses all social media channels to communicate with readers and asks them for feedback regularly.

He confirms that it is indeed a numbers game on the internet and the number of 'shares' a blog has are indicators of its success. Most web users have short attention spans and make their decision to read a blog "in less than 2-3 seconds. Thus, the numbers on your social media panel give it credibility. They mean you're getting more traffic."

Being a business, he also needs to ensure readers keep coming back to the site. To keep his content updated and engaging, Harsh himself stays on top of his game by reading his pet subject, technology, and several other blogs every day. His multiple apps like news360 help him discover and curate online content of his interest and industry forums keep him abreast of trends.

While the internet offers everything, the ongoing challenge Harsh identifies in this medium is "how to make the reader take action."

The future of blogging

Blogging has gained great momentum in the last five years. In India, the most frequent bloggers are largely in the age group of 18-30. Harsh says, "This is a group that is ready to take the challenge. But they have a hard time explaining to their families that they are not just sitting in front of a computer doing nothing."

While the growth in blogging has been slow in India as compared to the Americas and Europe, Harsh does believe it will soon become a lucrative career option. And this for him is the primary objective of ShoutMeLoud. Harsh says, "When I started, my aim was to make a noise about blogs and how people could use them as effective tools to display their skills and make money online."

Blogging is open and available to everyone. All you need is a computer and Internet connection and you can set out to tell your story and make money online. People of all ages, interest in any subject, knowledge in any area, can get online and start writing.

Harsh's soaring income, growing enterprise and increasing number of followers clearly display the vibrancy of this new-age business. So pay attention to the 'how tos' from the success of ShoutMeLoud and go make some noise yourself.

Top 10 Blogging Tips to Help You 'Shout' Online

  1. Be clear as to why you want to blog
  2. Be passionate about your subject
  3. Be specific to your industry
  4. Be regular with your blogging
  5. Be focussed on creating unique content
  6. Be a good marketer
  7. Be a constant learner
  8. Be committed to research
  9. Be an observer on the internet
  10. Be ready to improvise and implement

 
 

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3 Responses to "Startup eSeries: How to Shout Out Loud to Make Money"

narsy

19 Feb, 2015

Hi it's good

Like (1)

ILESH PATEL

28 Nov, 2014

THINK PASSIONATELY - MONEY MATTERS

Like (2)

Sarjeet Singh Rattan

05 Oct, 2014

CSL is an excellent effort. Please keep obliging me.

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