On the 1st of December 2019, ShoutMeLoud had its 11th anniversary and I wanted to write my blogging journey which could help others to take up blogging as a serious career.
This is going to be a nice personal read, as it’s about me and my blogging journey so far. So if you are passionate about blogging then only read it, otherwise, check out the other categories of ShoutMeLoud.
This post is all about how I started my first blog and later on how I created a network of profitable blogs, after the first successful blog.
A Little About Me:
For the new readers, I’m Harsh Agrawal, Founder of ShoutMeLoud.
I’m an accidental blogger and an engineer by education.
11 years back, I never imagined that I would be living a boss free life and speaking at international conferences in exotic places like Las Vegas, Russia, Milan to name a few.
I have dedicated my good 11+ years to blogging and helping numerous individuals to grow in their careers. Helping others grow has always been my biggest driving force and in this story will tell you about the important time period of my blogging journey.
Getting back to my educational background, I completed engineering in I.T. stream (2008) and by the end of my final year; I was placed in one of the most reputed I.T. Companies: Accenture.
My Blogging Journey: How it all started
The first three months of blogging:
I started blogging just out of fun in September of 2008 and started writing about things that I knew. I began my blogging journey on the BlogSpot platform. I was more interested in network and computer security, so I started with a community on Orkut called “Underground world.”
The first domain name which I wanted to be the underground world, which was already taken.
So I started with the domain name virgintech.blogspot, and at the end of three months I was getting appreciation from my readers and I thought of investing in my blog.
I bought Web-hosting and a domain from and migrated my blog to WordPress.
How an accident changed my life?
On June 28th, 2009, I had a terrible accident that changed my life forever. The doctors told me that I would never be able to walk again, and I nearly lost all hope and faith for a good life.
I was devastated for days but when I saw my parents crying, the strange realization of “Am I the only one with the problem?” changed the course of my life.
That one profound thought had a great impact on my journey. I was bed-ridden for 6-7 months but instead of giving up, I turned it into an oppurtunity. I spend countless hour learning and honing my skills in blogging.
A big thanks to an excellent surgeon (Dr. Prateek Gupta), I ultimately was able to walk and run again after being bedridden for seven months.
Selecting a domain name + Hosting
By the end of three months, I was aware of the importance of branding of a blog. Initially, I was thinking of some domain name with a keyword containing ‘Tech” but choose “Shout-Me-Loud” for its uniqueness and for better branding.
For hosting, right now ShoutMeLoud is hosted on Kinsta.
How ShoutMeLoud found its niche?
Initially, I wrote about the usual tech stuff which you could probably find on other blogs. Later on, when I discovered that blogging could make money, I was blown away with this idea.
I was wondering why nobody told me that I could follow my passion and make money. That’s where I made a mission that I will let others know about blogging and how they can follow their passion and live a boss free life.
After all, life has much more to offer than working for someone and living paycheck to paycheck.
This is where I started sharing everything I was learning about blogging and started sharing my experience of making money from blogging.
Since all content was based on my own learning experience and experiments, soon ShoutMeLoud visitors started liking it and that’s how ShoutMeLoud found its niche.
My First Income from blogging:
As I mentioned, I started blogging out of passion and my love for writing.
I had no idea what AdSense was or what SEO was when I started. I was a hobby blogger and with time I learned about AdSense and other advertising programs. Though before that I learned SEO by reading lots of blogs and experimenting every day.
I still remember my first $10, which I earned via helping a 45-year-old Australian guy with his WordPress issue. That was my first online income and that’s how I discovered about PayPal which enables anyone to receive payment globally. Later on, I added AdSense, and in the first month, I made $40 which I consider as a good start.
Hobby Blogger to A Professional blogging:
It was not an easy decision and convincing my family was not an easy task, but I took my chance and selected what I liked. By that time I started making decent money which could take care of my daily needs.
On another note, I have done my blogging business plan, and I knew how I’m going to take ShoutMeLoud to the next stage.
How an accident changed my life:
On June 29th, 2009 ( a week after my birthday) I met with an accident, and my leg was badly hurt.
The Doctor put me on bed rest for 6 months and that’s when my life changed. I was broken down by the fact that I would not be able to walk, but later on, I saw my parents were crying because of me.
This is where I had a strange realization that I’m not the only one with the problem and this is where I should focus on how I can make things better for me and for people around me.
I was only 22 but this strange realization has given new strength and direction to my life which is continued until now.
Since I had nothing else to do in those bedridden months, I dedicated myself completely to blogging. I used to spend almost 14 hours a day in front of my laptop, most of the time writing and learning new things.
Those 6 months changed everything in my life and given me a new direction. I read as much as I could, and I studied many top blogs and how they succeeded.
Partnership with another Blogger:
Around January of 2011, I partnered with a Pune-based blogger to take blogging to the next level. Since we both have a similar vision for empowering the youth with online money making/Digital marketing, we thought of doing this together.
Later things didn’t turn up as expected, and I shifted back to Delhi to start my own venture.
One thing which I learned from this experience is, one should be mindful when getting into partnerships. If you are undergoing a partnership, you should do the paperwork first and have complete exit clauses.
My dream and vision till now is making blogging a full-time business and help individuals around the globe to learn the art of blogging.
Like Rome was not built in a day, it will eventually take some time, but someday I will touch that dream, where I will have a big office and many bloggers will be writing on their blogs sitting in their office.
I started to taking advantage of my current domain name and named my company as ShoutDreams.
Current Blog Network:
Many people have asked me how do I manage blogs on our network. It’s not an easy task to maintain multiple blogs and their social media presence. You need to have a team who can treat all blogs as their own blog.
Whenever I hire someone (Editor, paid author), I ensure they are working because their heart is in the work they are doing.
I divide work amongst all of them, and moreover, we work in a model where everyone’s suggestions are welcome.
When anyone sets up a company, the biggest problem you face is finding the right team. Your foundation determines the future of your company and the whole plan.
Moreover, these days there is no requirement of having a physical office. Distributed team works best for people like us who are in creative field and need a fluid working style.
It has its own pros and cons, but so far I enjoyed working with my remote team. We have a member of about 3-4 people who work on various aspect of ShoutDreams Blog network.
Earning from Blogging:
This is the most interesting part of my blogging life. If I would have gone ahead with my 9-6 job, I would be making $20-35k per year.
With blogging and other online activities, I have managed to make more than $550K a year, which is 15x of the amount from my job.
Moreover, by the end, I’m my own boss and I work within my own comfort. I’m sharing this part with you because I want you to take blogging seriously, and you might end up living a life that you never imagined.
I’m not an award kind of guy, but, when ShoutMeLoud won best Indian blog awards numerous times, it definitely made me feel good. However, my biggest joy came after receiving the “entrepreneurship award” from the very same college where I have spent 4 years of my engineering career.
Trip to Antarctica:
I always wondered “how’s life going to be in Antarctica?”. In December 2017, I got a chance to visit Antarctica.
I wonder “Would this be possible without blogging”?
The biggest challenge as a blogger:
The last 11 years have been pretty amazing but it also comes with a significant price. This section is more of a suggestion if you take a route as a blogger, freelancer or someone working from home.
Our work style requires minimum social interaction, less physical movement, no cheerleaders, and this has its advantage and a great disadvantage. So you need to find a balance to ensure you add enough social interaction in the form of YouTube interviews, Podcast interviews, social meet up in your community, join some interest group.
At the same time, you need to create a system which illuminate motivation and inspiration all the time to help you keep moving forward.
In nutshell, you need to find a way to talk to more people in person or in the face. This will be really helpful in the time to come. I discovered this issue a little late, but taking certain actions as mentioned above helped me to get over this feeling.
What’s Next for ShoutMeLoud?
We will keep evolving as a blog to teach blogging, SEO and how you can make a living from home. I will keep you updated with what’s going to happen or when that happen.
ShoutMeLoud is not a business for me, it is a home. I spend time here, because I know people who visit, they are going to add something meaningful in their life.
This post was written because many people wanted to know a little background about me, and about ShoutMeLoud.
I will be writing more posts on how we work as a team, and what are the options you have to grow along with ShoutMeLoud.
Meanwhile, let me know if you have any feedback for me or for ShoutMeLoud?
Read: After 2191 days of blogging, all I can say – Blogging is incredible ( Anniversary post)
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