Pradeep Goyal Curated

Founder of CashOverflow

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Pradeep Goyal have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Pradeep Goyal's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming entrepreneurs. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • What’s your favorite marketing book? Can you name a few marketing blogs that helped you in your blogging journey?

    I have read a lot of books & blogs on marketing. I published a list of my favorite marketing books on StartupKarma. I loved Traction and Hooked for startup marketing. Everyone should read a couple of books on human psychology to get better at marketing. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, is a must to read book. My favorite blog list keeps on changing as I learn & grow. In the starting days of my blogging I learned a lot from Buffer, Groove and OkDork blogs. I recommend Banklinko for SEO and CopyHackers for content writing. These days, I don’t read blogs but I learn by observing what bloggers and marketers are doing.

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  • Most people start blogging because they think it’s an easy platform to earn passive income. But only a few of them end up doing this with passion. What are your thoughts on blogging for money vs blogging for passion?

    The first thing is that you should start blogging to learn content marketing. Money will come when you start getting organic traffic on your website. The second thing is that you should run your blog like a business. Below are 5 building blocks of any business and I applied the same on my blog. A profitable Idea Capital (Money from your own pocket or from an investor) A Team (You can not execute everything yourself) A product that can solve at least one problem of your customer Customer who are willing to pay for your product or service I was able to understand the common pitfalls of business during my failed attempt of startups. I got success on my blogging business by applying the same knowledge. I suggest new comers to try out things and grow by doing mistakes. You don’t have to worry about technical things because WordPress blogs are very easy to maintain.

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  • What are your future goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

    There are Two prominent future goals that I have set for myself. The First goal is to make sure that I publish valuable content in CashOverflow that can genuinely help readers in their path of pursuing financial freedom. I am also heavily invested in helping other people succeed in starting a blog and earning a passive income. I will give more time to fellow startup founders and bloggers who are doing meaningful work. I am planning physical workshops in Delhi and Bangalore but those will be open to a limited audience. I am no more worried about growing traffic or bringing in more revenue for CashOverflow. The Second goal is more to do with marketing. I intend to build a liberal digital marketing agency — where every process will be so transparent that every member would have access to client’s proposals, income/expense reports, resource allocation, and profit distribution. Everything will be run on a voluntary basis. I will facilitate the process initially but hope to have the community running automatically after a few years.

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  • Being a Solo Founder, how do you keep yourself motivated?

    I have been working from home since many years so I am habitual of working alone. I get demotivated when I don’t see the impact of my work. That’s why I have built a community around me that keeps me motivated to generate valuable content every day.

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  • What are the two ends of blogging?

    There are two ends of blog business and most of the people are not aware of it. Front End, that is visible to everyone on my website. It looks like a simple blog but actually, there is a hidden conversion funnel inside the articles. We consciously keep the number of articles low to provide maximum relevant content to someone looking to save money, invest or generate passive income in India. The flow of articles is designed in a way that people looking for starting an online business or freelance work signup for my emails. Back End, Under the complete control of business owner. Out of 200,000 monthly visitors, about 3000 people signup for my email every month. I send them free PDFs and valuable content via emails. I remove 50% of people from my email funnel after observing their behaviour for a few days (email open/click patterns). After removing non-relevant subscribers, I have more than 10,000 email subscribers who are highly engaged with my emails. I selectively share discounts on the products to my subscribers based on their interests and business level. In that way, they get the benefit of joining my newsletter because they get free advice and discounts on their favourite products. I keep on making money from front end and back end of my business without compromising with ethics.

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  • What is your business model?

    I ran my blog like a business, But I consciously avoided monetizing till it was having a monthly traffic of around 30,000. I started experimenting with Ads and Affiliate marketing in the ratio of 20:80 respectively to test which is a good fit for my business without compromising my reader’s experience. One of my income streams is from Affiliate marketing. I built affiliate partnerships covering financial products, website hosting, amazon affiliate, travel-related booking, and content marketing tools. Initially, with a traffic of around 30,000, I was able to generate a modest revenue of Rs 60,000 per month. Eventually, I diversified to build a host of other revenue streams in the past 1 year that fetched me Rs 3,00,000 per month These income streams include: Affiliate Marketing Partnerships with brands Content Writing Paid Newsletters Display Ads Consulting Content Marketing Course

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  • How did you get your initial users?

    So, I devised the following three-step content strategy to bring that initial traction and further grow it to 200,000 monthly traffic: Content Creation Content Distribution Measure and Optimize Content creation involved a short-term and a long-term strategy. Short-term strategy was writing articles that people love to share and long-term strategy was bringing lots of traffic from google search, otherwise referred to as SEO. I published only 18 articles in the first year. But people loved whatever I published. The short-term strategy became successful as the articles I wrote became viral and brought in the necessary traffic to CashOverflow.Similarly, for the long-term strategy, I performed keyword research and made a list of topics that people were searching for and wrote content on the same. But, content creation alone doesn’t help in bringing your targeted traffic, no matter how good your content is. Therefore, once I published the content on CashOverflow the next task was Content Distribution which again involved two strategies Link building Article Promotion So, for link building, I reached out to hundreds of people in my industry including different media publications and niche websites. Through this strategy, I was able to publish 100s of articles (guest posting) on these platforms in exchange for backlinks to my website. Some of the big names are Entrepreneur.com LifeHacker Huffington Post YourStory Inc42 CashOverflow’s authority increased because the quality of these publications/websites was very high and my content started to rank well in the search results. That’s how I grew my traffic further. Along with link building, whenever I published a new article on CashOverflow, I reached out to people on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Email to promote the same extensively. Lastly, as part of measure & optimize strategy, I measured my website’s traffic consistently with the help of Google Analytics and improved my content strategy accordingly. I heavily relied on SEO because that was a natural fit to what I was doing on CashOverflow. SEO is not always a good strategy for everyone. I ask some startups to ignore SEO totally and focus on other areas of Content Marketing.

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  • How are you running your blog as your business?

    I built my website on WordPress which is extremely easy. All I needed was a Hosting Service, a registered Domain Name, and a WordPress account to get things up and running. The simple looking first version of my website: Archived Link It takes less than 60 minute to start your website, I explained the step by step process to start a blog or website here. (Just $2 domain and $48 for high-performance hosting) But just the website or blog will not make anyone successful. We should understand how to run our blog as a business that can generate a passive income every month. That’s what I talk about in my articles. My riskiest assumption was that people were interested in reading about practical money-saving hacks (on travel, credit cards, shopping, taxes etc). To validate my hypothesis I needed a seed audience. For that, I built a small private community and asked for their feedback on my content. (Now I have extended that community to a curated Facebook Group — Blogging to Business). There are two ways to define your audience. The first is conventional path of Defining demographics Identifying the goal & interests of my audience Defining emotions that trigger action Figuring out what exactly my readers expect from me Checking the blogs in my niche and the comments on their articles Asking questions to my audience in the Facebook Groups and Quora The other way is what I actually did — I just believed that my audience was much like me, people who love to save money. It’s easy to write content when your target audience is like you. They have same goals in life and they go through same struggles and pain. With that belief, I went about writing good content and published them on my blog. Often, I was writing from my direct experience. The blog gained traffic, comments started pouring in, and my readers loved the articles. This convinced me that there was a market out there for my blog and I was providing them genuine help through my articles.

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  • What according to you is Financial freedom? How can one attain this in this day and age?

    Financial Freedom is doing what you love without worrying about earning money. This means you have multiple passive income sources that fulfill your needs without your active participation. You can utilize your time in doing what you love the most. Attaining Financial Freedom in what time and age are very subjective. It varies from person to person depending on the present financial situation as well as how much fire he has to achieve the goal. But I can say that if you are determined about your goal and consistent in your efforts, you can achieve it at an early stage. If I give you my own example, I achieved Financial Freedom at the age of 35.

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  • The Corona Pandemic has hit most of the Brick and Mortar businesses. However, several online businesses have remained immune to this pandemic to a certain extent. Do you think Online businesses is the way ahead?

    Yes. Online businesses are immune because you are not physically bound to do your business. You don’t have to physically go somewhere to open your store, or your office. Secondly, you are not limited to a particular region as compared to traditional businesses. The whole world is your market, you are not restricted to one place, you can sell anything to anyone living anywhere in the world. Although, online e-commerce businesses have got affected to some extent due to lockdown around the world and deliveries hindered. But info products didn’t get much impact due to this pandemic situation across the globe.

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  • Tell us more about the importance of investing early in our lives.

    When you start investing at an early age, you get more time for your money to grow with the power of compounding. The more time you have, the more your money will exponentially increase. Secondly, when you start early, you can invest in high risk-high rewards instruments like investing in stocks, that help you grow money faster and in the worst-case scenario, if such investments make losses, you will have long time horizon to wait for your investments to recover.

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  • Tell us more about your venture CashOverflow?

    CashOverflow is one of the top personal finance blogs in India. CashOverflow won the best blog award in 2017. Apart from that, I also educate people to manage their personal finances to achieve financial independence.

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  • What are the 3 solid tips you have for new bloggers?

    1. Earn money by doing freelance work till you start making money from your blog. Spend 30% of your time on freelancing assignments and 70% time on growing your business. These freelancing assignments can be for Other bloggers in your niche. Startups that need help with content writing for their products or platforms. Paid guest posts on popular media platforms like YourStory, Inc 42, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and so on. 2. Building a community around your business can be a big asset since they can help you in building your blog in the right direction. From generating content ideas to taking feedback on your newly published articles to promoting your content, having a community will help you to optimize your content so that your traffic will grow further. When I generate new article ideas for CashOverflow, I take the help of my community to know what they want me to write on. Below is a snapshot demonstrating the ideas I got from my community and audience. articles ideas 3. Traffic is important but the most important thing is targeted traffic. In my workshops, I have come across people who have 500,000 monthly traffic on their websites but are having less than Rs 100,000 monthly income. In general, there are 3 ways to get traffic on your website #1. Organic traffic through Google SEO #2. Paid traffic through Ads #3. Referred traffic from forums/guest-posts I get 80% of traffic from Google, one of my friends gets 80% referred traffic from Quora, and another friend who is an affiliate marker gets 80% traffic from Paid Ads. All of us are successful in our respective businesses as we ensure that our traffic is aligned with our business goals .

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  • How will be the future of digital marketing after 5 years especially in India?

    India started buying online – thanks to e-commerce players like Flipkart and Amazon. And thanks to companies like JIO who made the internet accessible to every corner of India. The future of digital marketing is bright till companies are selling their products online. We started an amazon affiliate website a few months back and started making money recently. Here are the income stats.

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  • Which are the 5 blogging tools you can’t live without?

    I am not a big fan of tools for blogging because I believe that success happens in blogging by executing a powerful strategy than investing in a lot of tools. Since you asked for tools, I love and recommend following. 1. Thrive Themes I use Thrive wordpress theme for all my affiliate websites. It is a premium theme that makes your website look beautiful and clean. They have a lot of plugins and themes that you can buy separately or join their monthly membership to get access to everything. 2. Drip or Convertkit Drip is a powerful email marketing tool that helps me to reach the inbox of my subscribers instead of spam. It also helps me to have complete control on my subscribers, from the backend, by tagging them into various categories, allowing me to send separate emails to regular subscribers & buyers of my products, run separate campaigns etc. 3. SocialAlert If you want to track & trend your hashtags on twitter, then use SocialAlert tool. 4. Mammoth .docx converter Mammoth is a WordPress plugin that helps me to upload my entire article from Google docs to WordPress in a simple way. It converts the docs format to HTML for wordpress without changing the structure of my article. 5. Mindmeister MindMeister is my favorite online mind mapping tool that lets me to visualize and capture my thoughts during brainstorming, note taking, and other work tasks. 6. Zoom Zoom is a cloud based video and audio conferencing tool that helps me to host live webinars, record them, and also communicate with my team & clients in a conference setting. 7. Workflowy This is simple tool to plan my activities in bullet points format. It’s like putting your brain dump in a list format and then improvising your ideas

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  • What exactly would you do if you had to start blogging from scratch today?

    Most of the bloggers spend several days in just deciding on the name of their blog. I think we should quickly choose a blog name and start blogging. Second thing, I would leave my miser behavior aside and put the business hat from day first if I have to start blogging from scratch. I would invest money in a good hosting service, SEO optimised theme and hire professional writers to grow my content business. I would invest next round of money in hiring consultants who can help me improve the SEO and conversion of my blog. Even people like Pat Flynn invest money into SEO audit and consulting because they know the value of hiring experts. Every $100 invested in an expert comes back with $10,000 ROI in the future.

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  • What challenges have you faced when you started blogging?

    I did not face any challenges that most of new bloggers face because I never thought that I will monetise my blog. I am from a startup background and CashOverflow was my side project. Whatever I was learning about content marketing, I was just practising on my personal finance blog. If I have to point out one challenge, then I would say that the biggest challenge is providing value to readers without launching a software product. I did not want to invest in yet another software tool but still want to learn about the launch process of a tool and find paying customers. So I started premium newsletters (weekly insightful email) in 2017 to help 1000 people in starting & growing an online business. The biggest challenge was making them committed to their own work. People expect the results (money) as soon as they start a website or blog. To make them committed, I started giving them assignments and asked to fill up their progress in Google form. I removed the members from the Newsletters when they failed to submit their progress continuously for two months. I have shared the details in this article — My Experience & Learnings of Running paid Email Newsletters for 9 Months (Highly recommended for anyone who is running a content-based online business.) It worked both ways, I lost a few good members who could not fill up the forms because of some personal issues, and some who thanked me for pushing them to jump the wall every month. I stopped enrolling new members into premium newsletters after filtering out a passionate and committed group of about 250 members out of more than 500 people who joined till date. I will continue to work with them in the future.

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  • What is your secret to making 3 lakhs ($5000) per month from blogging?

    I ran my blog like a business, but I consciously avoided monetizing till it was having a monthly traffic of around 30,000. I started experimenting with Ads and Affiliate marketing in the ratio of 20:80 respectively to test which is a good fit for my business without compromising my reader’s experience. Even today, you won’t see Ads on my website. I keep the Ads to a minimum and focus on other areas since reader’s experience is very important to me. One of my main income streams is from Affiliate marketing. I built affiliate partnerships covering financial products, website hosting, amazon affiliate, travel-related booking, and content marketing tools. Initially, with a traffic of around 30,000, I was able to generate a modest revenue of Rs 60,000 per month. Eventually, I diversified to build a host of other revenue streams in the past 1 year that fetched me Rs 3,00,000 per month as seen below. These income streams include: Affiliate Marketing Partnerships with brands Content Writing Paid Newsletters Display Ads Consulting Content Marketing Course Coming to the secret, you can use following insights to double your profits on your blog if you are running your blog like a business. There are two ends of blog business and most of the people are not aware of it. Front End, that is visible to everyone on my website. It looks like a simple blog but actually, there are powerful conversion funnel hidden inside the articles. We consciously keep the number of articles low to provide maximum relevant content to someone looking to save money, invest or generate passive income in India. The flow of articles is designed in a way that people looking for starting an online business or freelance work signup for my emails. Back End, Under the complete control of business owner. Out of 200,000 monthly visitors, about 3000 people signup for my email every month. I send them free PDFs and valuable content via emails. I keep only engaging audience in my email list. I remove 50% of people from my email funnel who do not open my emails. After removing non-relevant subscribers, I have more than 18,000 email subscribers who are highly engaged with my emails. I selectively share discounts on the products to my subscribers based on their interests and business level. In that way, they get the benefit of joining my newsletter because they get free advice and discounts on their favourite products. I keep on making money from front end and back end of my business without compromising with ethics. I don’t promote every product that offers me commission. Instead, I selectively share products that will benefit my audience. In 90% cases, I use the same product that I share with my audience.

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  • What would be your advice to our readers who aspire to make money online or start their own blog?

    Just focus on one thing. No blogging niche is saturated. There is always an opportunity for new people to grow. People still read. People still watch. Blogging or YouTube, do whatever you like but just focus on one thing, one niche at a time. It's better to earn 1 Lakh from one thing rather than earning pennies from 10 different things.

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  • What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

    I would be doing new experiments with different forms of content marketing after 5 years. My mind works like a scientist who never tired of doing experiments. Immediate goals are to stabilize the existing blogging business and then explore the bigger possibilities with videos & VR.

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  • Looking back in life, which are the 3 things which would you have done differently?

    It's easy to say in the hindsight but the truth is that we can't learn without experiencing failures. Still, If I have to go back in the time and change 3 things then I would be in the following way. 1. Leaving Job the day I realised I was trapped (after 2 years of the job) 2. Not wasting money in my first startup, rather than using that for my learning 3. Running blog as a business from day 1 rather than after 18 months.

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  • As an entrepreneur, how do you plan and manage your personal finances? A lot of our readers are successful freelancers & bloggers making decent money every month and would like to know your inputs on managing & growing that money further.

    I keep my business finance separate from personal finance. We should create excel sheets to track every single penny that's coming in & going out of the business. Take a salary for personal expenses and maintain finance as if you would with a job. Re-invest business profits back into the growth of the business. Buy better tools, hire better people and buy more web properties. On the personal front, spend only on the things that you really need. I spend more money on travel & experiences rather than gadgets. Invest regularly in stocks & growing technologies.

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  • Mention 5 mobile apps which you use in your daily life for managing your work & increasing productivity.

    Todoist, Slack, Gmail, Evernote and Dropbox.

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  • How do you plan your work on a day to day basis?

    There are 2 types of tasks every entrepreneur has to perform. #1. Create Something #2. Manage People I keep some time aside for my creative work, like writing. I write most of my articles & emails myself. The second task is managing team & freelancers. That consumes most of my time because we have to plan, brainstorm new ideas, review the work and execute collaboratively. I block my calendar for the most important activities of the week and then do less important tasks in my free time. Social media is the least important task that I do in the evening when the creative energies are down.

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  • If somebody intends to earn $1000 every month by working online, what would be your suggestion to him/her?

    My first suggestion would be not to focus on $1000. The money as a goal is a distraction because most of the people would fail to earn money in the initial days. What happens when people fail to achieve goals? They stop working, right? Measure your success based on what did you learn in the initial days. Whether you make money or not, you would certainly learn something new when you work online. The learning would eventually convert into earning. That's what happened to me. Even today, I measure my success with my learning goals. Money is the side product of what I learned so far.

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  • Leaving a comfortable full time high paying desk job would have been quite stressful. How did you cope up with the same, involve your family in this decision and align your finances to help you survive during the initial months?

    I worked in a single company for 7 years, a job that I got during campus placement. I was in a comfort zone. Leaving a job and failing within the first year was shocking for my family. But my wife Neha supported me in all my decisions. In fact, she also started a blog BeingHappyMom to share her motherhood journey and to help mom community. Her blog is counted in the top 10 parenting blogs in India. She has been a source of inspiration & support for me. I take care of the finances and she takes care of health & nutrition.

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  • How did your journey exactly start? What made you move to the world of blogging & making money online from your comfortable full-time job?

    I never aimed to become a blogger, I left my job to grow my startup where we lost 15 Lakh rupees in the first year itself. We shut down the startup even before the first anniversary. Making money was not easy when you lack skills. I was a software guy before moving to marketing world. I have never written in my life before becoming a blogger. I became a blogger accidentally when I started using the content as a growth hacking tool for my startup. Then I started earning from my blog accidentally when I was learning affiliate marketing. The mother nature planned things for me - I just executed whatever was in front of me.

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  • Can you please introduce yourself

    Hi, Thanks for inviting me for the interview. I have started my blog CashOverflow in May 2015 out of my own need to express & share personal finance knowledge. It was my hobby project and I never thought of making money from CashOverflow. I was totally dependent on my freelance work and content marketing consulting gigs to earn regular monthly income. After 4 years, now CashOverflow is earning more than $10,000 per month (mostly passively) and won the best blog in personal finance award from IndiBlogger. CashOverflow received more than 1.5 million visitors last year who searched for terms related to earning money, investments and savings. I am passionate about credit cards and saved more than 1 lakh rupees using credit cards last year. I love to travel and we went for month-long vacations in Goa, Thailand and Bali.

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