Moved by the awesome feedback that we have been receiving from our readers for our previous Interview of Pradeep Kumar from Hellboundbloggers.com, we planned to make this a regular thing. We will be interviewing many more professional bloggers.
Harsh Agarwal has been a professional blogger with many blogs under his name:
- http://denharsh.com (Personal Blog)
First of all thanks for the interview and featuring me in front of your awesome readers. Just for new comer, I’m a professional blogger and make a living out of Blogging. I don’t work for any company and I don’t work in traditional 9-6 time job. I live a digital life and work according to my convenience.
Why do you blog?
I blog because I love doing it. I love sharing what I have learned and this also give me opportunity to learn new things and do a thorough research on new topics.
How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2008 and professionally it’s going to be 3rd year In 3 months.
How many hours do you dedicate to your blog daily?
In starting days it used to be close to 14 hours a day but these days it’s decreased to 8 hours. Since I have a team, so we divide work and this way every work is achieved without any hassle and in time. For example, I maintain 6 blogs and it’s not easy to maintain all the blogs myself. So I have one blog editor @droidsid and experienced writers who make work easier for us.
What’s the first reaction of people when you tell them you are a blogger?
“How do you make money” and” how much can you make via Blogging?”. These are two common questions followed by what is blogging and what do you blog about? . This is probably a dilemma of professional bloggers in India. People are still not aware of blogging and it’s still not considered as one of the professional job. Though in metros, all big companies and news agencies are recognizing power of blogging and making things easier for us.
How many RSS feeds do you read daily? If you could read only one blog, which one would you pick?
It’s really impossible to pick any1 from tons of feeds I’m subscribed to. My daily work involves atleast 2 hour of reading and I believe I’m subscribe to almost 200+ feeds and try to cover as many as I can every day. Every writer have their own unique style and way to present the article and telling anyone the best would be bias from my end. Though here are some of the blogs which I enjoy reading: Slashgear.com, Ampercent.com, Search engine land and many more.
What is the secret of your success?
KISS: Keep it simple silly. I always followed one simple rule while writing and that is writer for readers and in plain simple english. I try to keep this in my mind “Reader might be reading such topic for the first time, so always start with the basic. More over at the starting days of Blogging, I used to comment a lot and within short time I made connection with many successful bloggers, which always helped in a way or other.
About Your Blog:
What is the average number of daily posts on the blog?
I try to keep it between 2-4 depending upon the quality of guest post submission. I personally target atleast 2 posts a day. At this time (August 2011) we are close to our 2500th post on ShoutMeLoud 3000 posts on CallingAllGeeks.
How many page views the blog generates daily?
Before Panda it used to be 15000 but after Panda rolled out, it’s went as low as 8k on shoutMeLoud and on CallingAllgeeks
Do you use paid writers? How many?
We have almost 10 paid writers who writes according to their convenience. It’s not like regular job but it’s like you work with your ease. Though every paid writers have minimum target to achieve /month.
What is the biggest mistake you did on your blog?
That’s a tough one and there are a couple of newbie mistakes which I made and I believe it’s for good. Else I would not have learned from my mistakes. First ever mistake was not using blog as a professional blog from day1. I used free themes. never research about SEO, wrote small posts (100 words), these are a couple of mistakes which I did in starting days of my blogging career.
What is the blog’s monthly revenue?
It’s variable but it’s close to $10000. Biggest contribution if my services and Affiliate marketing.
Do you make money directly from your blog through your own products/services?
I offers services but have not launched any product like eBook or theme. Though I have some plans for products and with right time, we will go live with our new blogging products. I offer various WordPress related services including BlogSpot to WordPress migration, and my blog helps drive traffic and thus more clients.
What is the main revenue source of your blog?
As I mentioned above, it’s Affiliate marketing and services. Mostly Affiliate marketing contributes around 3-4K$ which is a huge contribution every month.
Have you ever invested money in promotion?
Yah many times like sponsoring blog content, theme and so on. Though investment was never so big and never crossed $300 at one time. Though I’m considering looking to promote my brand “ShoutDreams Blog Network” once it’s officially launched.
What is the best promotion technique you have used?
As I said, I used traditional way of promotion and social media promotion. I believe most viral and effective way of promotion is by Social media and guest posting promotion. Social media helps to create awareness about your brand in mass and thus more brand recognition and more sales.
What is your favorite social bookmarking site?
I used to be a crazy fan of Digg until they created their own grave. These days I love spending time on Stumble Upon and Reddit. Mostly StumbleUpon as I usually use it on my iPad to discover new and interesting content.
What is more important, community or traffic?
Community is always better than traffic. 10 loyal reader is anytime better than 100 readers. Though it all depends on kind of niche or according to your blogging plan. Though if you successfully create a community around your blog, your traffic will automatically improve with time.
What is the best way to boost the RSS subscriber base?
How do you like word “Free” ? This is one word, which is ruling world of advertising since it was born. Simply, to get more RSS subscriber or Email list, offer something for free in return like eBook or theme or anything which might worth something. Else you can also go traditional way, by putting subscription options at prominent places and reminding users after every post to subscribe to your blog.
Would you use Black Hat SEO?
I do keep reading about Black hat SEO to keep myself updated with latest tips anc SEO hacks. Though I would never suggest trying any Black hat method, because this may give you a short term benefit but in long run it can completely destroy your site.
How important is the design of a website? (0 to 10)
It’s a famous saying “”First impression is the last impression” and same goes with any blog or website. If your design is good, readers and tend to stay on your site and if design sucks or blog have too many ads, you will see high bounce rate. I will give 8/10 as an importance for blog design.
What would you suggest to the student bloggers?
Make most out of your leisure time and start blogging. Start with a free BlogSpot blog with 0 investment and learn Blogging. It will enhance your skills and more over you will have something productive to do in your leisure time. And god knows, the time when you are leaving college, you might start hiring people for your blog instead of working for someone else. Since you are not in a risk zone, chances of you growing as a professional blogger is higher than any other people who do part time blogging along with office work.
If you could give one advice for a novice blogger, what would this be?
Be original and find your own voice and style. Every blogger have their own style, like someone is good with Video blogging someone is great with gadget review, some one is good with his analytical skills. Find your skills and your style, and stick to it. Most important find a niche (Topic), instead of writing on multiple topic. Niche websites are always better than multi-topic site.
Thanks a lot for taking out the time for the interview and wish you all the best 🙂