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Meet The Man Who's Making ₹22,00,000 Per Month From Blogging

It all started when a car accident laid him low…

27/03/2017 2:55 PM IST | Updated 30/03/2017 1:18 PM IST

I came across Harsh Agrawal's blog, ShoutMeLoud, two years back when I was looking for some help to fix a WordPress issue for my website. I liked the way he put so much content around blogging and WordPress on his blog.

I asked him if I could submit a guest post and he agreed. Since I am passionately in love with credit cards and money-saving hacks, I wrote one article on making $2500 with a credit card sign up in the USA. That was my first ever guest post on a tech blog.

For the first few months, I was not even aware that my blog could make me money. Blogging back then was like playing cricket with your buddies." Harsh Agrawal

We became good friends and thought of running some experiments together but could not materialise anything because of lack of time.

Interview with Harsh Agrawal of ShoutMeLoud

Today I am starting to interview bloggers and entrepreneurs who are running their businesses with low investment and are making at least ₹100,000 per month as passive income. Harsh is inspiring a lot of people to make money online through blogging. I am glad he accepted my request for the interview.

I love transparency, and so does Harsh. He has been disclosing his income since 2009 when he made his first $434. As per his latest income report of Dec 2016, he made $34,390 (₹22,38,960) that month. Here are the details:

  • Affiliate earnings: $31,635.64
  • Media.net: $226.44
  • AdsOptimal: $302.25
  • Google AdSense: $293
  • Viglink: $25.90
  • Ezoic AdSense Optimizer: $99.41
  • ShoutMeLoud Store: $1,179.97
  • PushEngage: $24.50
  • ShoutMyDomain: 260.76
  • Amazon KDP: $10.70
  • ClickBank: $332

Isn't it fantastic? Earning more than ₹22,00,000 rupees from online work! I know, I know, he is a top blogger of India and he gets traffic in the millions. But do you think he was a top blogger in 2009?

I was working as a senior software engineer in 2009 in a top Gurgaon MNC after passing my computer science engineering from a premier engineering institute. In 2009, while I was crying for a salary increment of 10%, Harsh started building his online assets.

A few of my colleagues and friends are earning ₹20 lakh per year but Harsh is earning more than ₹2 crores per year. He can enjoy his vacations without impacting his income while all my friends beg for one extra leave day for an extended weekend vacation.

I won't get into details, but in short, the doctor was saying, "Dude, your life is going to be uncool now. You won't be able to walk properly again." Harsh Agrawal

When Harsh met with an accident

My friends who are still struggling with their job will remain "poor" even if they start earning ₹50 lakh a year because they sold all their time to their employer. They don't have time for their kids and family. They are missing family functions and weddings because they are overloaded by work.

I feel jealous of Harsh. Just kidding. I admire his work and attitude. He is an inspiration for many bloggers who want to take control of their life and earnings.

Do you know how Harsh started his blogging? By borrowing a credit card from a friend to buy his website domain in 2008.

He had thought of starting a blog since 2006 and it took him two years to actually do it. Harsh started blogging part-time, as he still had a full-time job. He initially pursued blogging as a hobby because it made him happy. That enjoyment is what made him want to continue and get even better as a blogger and online marketer.

He started blogging with Blogspot, but he quickly move to a self-hosted WordPress blog.

He met with an accident in 2009 and had to leave his job at a call centre and that's when things took off, ironically.

He says, "I got hit by an overspeeding cab a few days after my birthday. My left foot was hurt very badly, but instead of being sad, I was feeling happy that I would be able to get some rest for a few weeks. It's ironic that when we are sick, that's the time we get the maximum amount of love from family and friends. I was only 22 then and those were my thoughts...A week after the first diagnosis, though, the doctor told me my fracture was not a normal one—it was called a lisfranc fracture. I won't get into details, but in short, the doctor was saying, "Dude, your life is going to be uncool now. You won't be able to walk properly again."

For the first few months, I was not even aware that my blog could make me money. Blogging back then was like playing cricket with your buddies." Harsh Agrawal

Harsh was filled with despair at first. " For the first two days, I was angry and frustrated. Imagine yourself at the age of 22 and you lose one of your biggest functions— walking." Fortunately, acceptance and determination took over soon. "It took me two-three days to notice the sadness in people around me and realize that their sadness was because of me. This is when a strange realization of 'Am I the only one with the problem' changed my whole life. Rather than sulking, I accepted my fate and started focusing on what I could do from there."

This is the point at which the accident turned into a life-changing opportunity for Harsh. "For the next several months, I dedicated myself to learning about blogging and practicing as much as I could. I have a saying for this: 'Anything can be learned by anyone who takes the trouble to learn it.'"

Fortunately, the news became even better when a surgery fixed Harsh's foot for good. "Now I can walk and smile at the same time," he says.

At first Harsh did not worry about money. "The years 2008-2009 were a golden time for blogging. I never cared about money at that time. In fact, for the first few months, I was not even aware that my blog could make me money. My biggest wins were those few comments and those few social media shares I would get on occasion. Blogging back then was like playing cricket with your buddies. It was not about winning or losing but having a good time."

And what about now? How does he deal with it when the results don't match expectations. Harsh is philosophical. "I started from zero, and if I need to, I can start all over again. I will survive, as long as I have a brain in my head and energy in my body."

But even though the money was coming in and Harsh enjoyed all the trappings of success he reached a low point in 2016. "It was as if I were losing my purpose. For weeks (if not months) I kept asking myself, what next? How much more money do I need? How many more possessions do I need?

I started from zero, and if I need to, I can start all over again. I will survive, as long as I have a brain in my head and energy in my body. Harsh Agrawal

At this juncture, when he was questioning his desire to wok and grow his blog, a vipassana meditation course saved the day. "Those 10 days of noble silence and continuous meditation taught me enough to pursue my passion with joy for many more years to come," he says.

Harsh's productivity hacks

So, what's the schedule Harsh needs to maintain? How does he stay productive? "For people like me who work from home, maintaining a schedule is the biggest challenge. I focus on working at least 6-7 hours a day and I work using the Pomodoro technique. I maintain a journal called a productivity planner which helps me manage my day and week to come."

In his own words, here are Harsh's tips for success.

  • Pomodoro technique: In this technique, you divide your work into two-three blocks. Every block consists of 25 minutes and you can use a timer tool like Focus Booster to time yourself. When you start the timer for 25 minutes, you focus only on doing one task. No matter what, you won't do anything else unless it's an emergency. This requires practice initially, but once you master it, you will start getting things done much more efficiently.
  • Start the day with important tasks: Earlier, I used to schedule my meetings in the morning or afternoon, and later I realised this was not productive. Especially in team meetings, discussion takes away too much of my energy and by the end of the day I couldn't focus on real stuff. I start my day with important things first, which is usually planning and writing. Most of my creative work is done before 3pm. The evening time is mostly for meetings or other mundane tasks.
  • No Facebook: I love Facebook because there is so much to learn from it as a marketer. Everything about Facebook is based on psychology and it does a fine job of making people hooked. Yet I don't have the Facebook app on my phone because I end up scrolling through my timeline too often. One reason for this is because Facebook offers instant gratification. Every time you open Facebook, you see your notifications waiting for you. Most of the time it's useless, but I realised that it makes us feel like something is there for us. All I'm saying is, Facebook is great if you have no other business to do.
  • Disable push notifications: This is another hack that I use to ensure I don't get distracted. For all of my apps (it doesn't matter how important the app is), push notifications are disabled. This ensures that I never get distracted by that notification sound and use my phone only when I need to.
  • Speed up mouse speed: This technique I picked from Noah of Sumo.com. Just by speeding up my mouse speed to maximum, I save a lot of time in the long run. It takes 1-2 hours of getting used to, but it's completely worth it.

The full version of this story, including more tips from Harsh, is published on CashOverflow

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