We have great stories of startups which are making millions in revenue, but we ignore the power of blogging, which has equal potential. Every business needs online presence, and many companies use blogs as a customer acquisition strategy. Many entrepreneurs earn income by running a blog.
I met an Indian blogger, Harsh Agrawal, who started his first blog as a hobby, and is now making millions of rupees by doing the same. He transparently discloses his blog income reports. He writes about SEO, social media, starting and managing a blog, and making money online. Let’s learn more about him.
HA: I graduated from engineering in 2008 from Sharda University, and was placed with Accenture. While I was waiting to start work, I joined a call centre in Gurgaon. Since my college days, I have been passionate about computing and technology. While I was working for Convergys, I started a blog on blogspot, and within a month this blog was receiving great responses from readers. After two months, on December 1st 2008, I turned my blog into a self-hosted WordPress. I borrowed money and credit cards from my friends and purchased a host and domain. It was a magical day.And that’s how ShoutMeLoud went online. The funny thing is, initially I had no idea that one can earn from a blog.
YS: Well, that’s interesting! How did you earn your first income online?
HA: You know, earning money online always sounded like a scam to me. Before I started earning, I thought all online money making schemes were flawed. I was proven wrong by a guy who sent me $10 for fixing an SEO-related issue with the Google Webmaster tool. That’s when I created a PayPal account (my first time with PayPal) and earned my first money online. I even called all my friends to tell them that I had made money online. It was a proud moment for me. Later, I started earning money directly from the blog, using AdSense andaffiliate marketing.
YS: When did you decide to turn from hobby blogger to a professional blogger?
HA: Within four months, I realised the potential of blogging, and money started flowing in. I was earning about Rs 35000 monthly, which was double my salary at Convergys.
The turning point in my blogging career came in June 2009, when I had to decide between joining Accenture or continuing blogging. I’m glad that I listened to my heart and chose blogging.
This is how I became a professional blogger.
YS: How big is your team?
HA: I’ve worked with many freelancers in the past, and was never a big fan of working from the office. I believe that true freedom is being able to work from anywhere, atanytime, and I believe this culture is going to be implemented worldwide in the coming years. So this is one of the reasons I did not hire full-time employees. Right now, I have one full-time employee and the rest are freelancers and virtual assistants working from around the globe.
YS: Are you running only one blog?
YS: What are your future plans?
HS: I recently purchased a flat from my blogging income in Gurgaon, and will be shifting there by the end of the year (2015). I plan to then open an office and hire like-minded and highly talented people to work alongside me, and help me scale up my blogging business. Along with that, I’m focusing on content for ShoutMeLoud.com/pro,an online course to learn blogging.
YS: Whatadvice do you have for people who want to start blogging?
HS: Start right away: A lot of people who want to start a blog wait for the right time and a perfect formula. My advice for such people is: start right away. There is no right time for starting anything new. Once you start, you will keep moving.
Learn andpractise: Learning is a continuous process, but one should spend two or three months learning about SEO, social media marketing, and branding. These three things will take you places. I’m assumingyou are a prolific writer. Do remember, we are living in the world where information changes with the snap of a finger. To stay ahead in this era, you need to be constantly in the know of the latest news in your field.