I’ve been wanting to update this post for a while now.

Because things change every few weeks in the blogging industry.

Detailed tutorials take a lot of time to make. So, I thought I'd try something different and create a list post of the most important blogging lessons I've learned so far.


I want to sum up all my learning for the past few years that you could consume in 1 post – the best tips I’ve accumilated over so many years of online business.

A little back story:

I started Mary Angela Designs (my first blog that no longer exists) in 2015. It was a fun project that I believed would make money immediately.

Sadly, it didn’t.

Even after one year of writing 100+ posts.

Even after hitting 50K+ page views every month.

I explain most of my blogging mistakes here. 

Overall, it was a powerful lesson, and I paid attention to all my mistakes. The main ones were:

So naturally, I was scared when I wanted to start my second blog. I was worried that it would fail, but I bit the bullet and did it anyway.

Because in 2018, I knew better!

And now, looking back, I can see that the decision to do so was totally worth it.

I don’t get many pageviews on this blog today, but I still make over $4-5K every month – most of it coming from my digital products, including my eBooks and printable planners.

I convert over 15% of my readers into buyers almost immediately with my tripwire products alone. 

Digital products are a huge part of my income and contribute massively to my passive income as well.

I am honored and touched by the kind emails I receive daily from my readers, either thanking me for my advice or posts or just finding value in my products.

It powers me through blogging and pushes me to work harder on Stray Curls.

I’ve definitely learned a lot of blogging lessons over the past few years and I wanted to share some of the most amazing discoveries that positively impacted my blog in this post.

These lessons have helped me start multiple websites in the:

So, as you can see… I really have my hands full and I love researching new strategies that will make blogging:

  • Easy
  • More fun
  • Worth it (by bringing in a good income each month)

And that’s why I’m including some of the best things I’ve learned in this blog post!

But before that, really quickly…

This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to feed my sweet, adorable pooches.

Stray Curls Angela has two adorable labrador girls.

1. Progress over perfection

Being consistent is something I have struggled with for a long time.

I am an artist.

This means I have a lot of unfinished drawing pieces, many different art styles, and many projects that I promise I will come around to but never do.

Procrastination is second nature to me.

The main reason is – Perfectionism. 

Until something is perfect, I cannot publish it to the world; otherwise, I’d die of shame. (I’m kidding, of course, but you get the drift)

This year has taught me that perfectionism can be detrimental to your success.

While I was sitting and mulling over a giant 5K word post, scrutinizing every paragraph and adding brand new hand-drawn illustrations, my competitors were pushing out seven 2K word posts a month or more.

All my perfectionism did was make me lose traffic. Losing traffic means:

  • Gaining fewer leads
  • Gaining fewer sales
  • Losing Brand authority (Google likes blogs to be consistent)

Basically, I was creating more than publishing.

So, even if I worked two weeks on a post, someone seeing my blog page would be like, “Huh? She’s only posted twice this month? Maybe, she’s not active?”

That really blows.

So, what hacks did I use to overcome this need to write perfect posts?

1. Write more list posts

List posts are very easy to create – no matter your niche.

Instead of every post being a heavy tutorial, I started writing shorter posts that were more readable and enjoyable.

They helped boost traffic and got me lots of leads!

Each of these shorter posts contained nuggets of wisdom that could be implemented almost immediately.

2. I started recycling content

Instead of using ten new hand-drawn illustrations for each post, I’d create 3 or 4 new ones and reuse old pieces for my new post.

I apply the same method for social media posts.

Once I finish writing a post, I take little snippets from the post queue it in my Smarterqueue and link back to the post. It recycles all my posts, so I never run out of social media posts.

Recycling posts is a great way to save time and get more eyes on your content.

This saves me so much time from thinking of different captions or posts for my social media.

3. I stopped obsessing with quality

I always stress Quality over Quantity.

You’ve heard me repeat this a thousand times.

But the truth is, sometimes perfectionists can go overboard.

The best way to deal with this? Set deadlines.

Set a deadline for how much research you’re going to do. Once you cross that time limit – stop. You’ve done enough. You’re going to wear yourself out if you research any further.

Set deadlines for writing posts, writing emails, everything.

This brings me to my next most important point…

2. A monthly plan goes a hell of a long way

I love to plan, but 2024 made my planning more organized.

Before, I’d set childish and unreasonable goals like – Getting 1K followers on Pinterest or making $1K blogging. That was it.

Those were my blogging goals, and I’d wake up each day thinking how to hit them.

I never broke down those blogging goals or identified tasks to help me reach them.

This is a huge mistake.

Now, I identify what tasks will get me closer to my goals and then add those tasks to my monthly list.

Let me explain.

  • More blog posts equals more traffic – so write more blog posts (maybe 10 a month).
  • More pins mean more clicks and traffic (requires less time and energy than writing posts) (so maybe 30 a month?)

You can also think about this in terms of income.

For instance, ad revenue is quite passive, so you just need to drive more traffic to posts – you can do this with social media.

But let’s say you want more money quickly. Your options are:

  • Create a quick tripwire and promote the freebie to your email list
  • Create a quick product (a small eBook) and promote it to your email list
  • Write a detailed tutorial explaining how to use an affiliate product and hope that the clicks get you commissions.

This makes your tasks more doable, right?

Let’s say you want to earn $300 with your services:

Learn how to make money as an artist. This post includes several ways you can make money with your art and drawing skills!

Now, in order to hit that $300 with client services, what should I do?

  • Write 3 posts that attract clients and lead them to the Services Page
  • Publish at least 20 posts on social media (like FB and Twitter) to raise awareness of my services (this I would break down again into what type of posts I would publish)
  • Do a client outreach by cold-emailing prospective clients
  • Showcase a client’s testimonial on your email list

All that’s left is to allocate these tasks to each day.

So, I would take my notes app or planner (whichever you prefer) and allocate tasks for each day.

Another great idea to save time is to list down all your tasks at the beginning of the month so that you don't need to waste time every day thinking of stuff to do for your blog.

This gives me clarity.

Planning my tasks ahead of time gives me clarity and allows me to work just 20 hours or less a week.

I can now wake up each morning with a clear plan of what I must do daily. I don’t focus on anything else except the tasks on my daily plan.

I highly recommend you get my updated 50-page blog planner that you can print at leisure and organize your blog plans.

This 50 page cute blog planner only costs $7 and will help you organize your blog thoroughly!

3. Tripwires, baby!

I really never explored this strategy properly until 2020.

Why did I join this so late?

A tripwire is a small product, anywhere between $5-$50, that is sold as a one-time offer to readers after they opt in for a freebie.

Basically, anyone who signs up to receive a freebie on your Blog is quickly redirected to a tripwire page (with a countdown timer) as soon as they enter their credentials (name and email) in your opt-in form or landing page.

Pros of having a tripwire:

1. It breaks down your reader’s resistance to purchase from you

This is crucial for selling eBooks, eCourses, services, or membership programs.

Your reader gets a taste of your paid product and is inclined to purchase more products from you. Meaning that you convert more readers of your Blog to customers.

2. It helps build an email list full of buyers

These people who convert into buyers immediately join your email list, and your chances of selling higher-paid products to them increase significantly.

It’s easier to nurture and trust people who have already purchased from you.

3. It’s an excellent source of passive income

Granted – it’s not a lot of money. But it’s income that you don’t need to work for actively. This is purely passive income profit.

You can wake up to Tripwire Sales every morning once you implement them.

Tripwires are a great way to make sales every day. I don't actively push sales to my tripwire products, I just link to freebies within each post.

In my eBook – Little Tripwire, I explain the exact tripwire strategy that I use to convert 15% of readers to buyers immediately when they sign up to my email list and get this kind of sales. Check it out here.

I also illustrate several other bloggers’ tripwires so you can create your own within 24 hours!

4. You need to invest money to see money

Blogging is definitely a jump in the dark – I get it.

I live in India.

I don’t know many bloggers here where I stay. Everything I know and learn about blogging is online on my laptop.

Is it scary? Yes, in the beginning.

Not so much now.

There is a risk when you start a blog – not if you’ll make money but when. When you’re going to see money from blogging is a huge fear that lives in every blogger when they start their blogs.

It’s completely natural, and you can only do what’s best – work hard and keep learning from your mistakes.

Not everybody who starts a blog takes it seriously. Many people believe they can start a blog for free and make millions a year.

No. That’s not how it works.

Today, everybody is starting a blog and paying for it. By paying, I mean getting a paid domain and hosting and investing in a good WordPress theme like Divi or Avada.

You cannot possibly hope to achieve much if you start a blog for free. You’re already jeopardizing your success.

And if you don’t have the money to invest in your new blog or cannot afford it, don’t start one to ONLY make money.

You will be wasting a lot of time.

Please note that I am not saying this to discourage you, this is a harsh truth that I had to learn from trying to go down the cheap route with my previous blog.

Here are a few crucial investments you have to make:

  • Hosting and Domain
  • A good WordPress theme (like Divi or Avada)
  • An email marketing software ( ConvertKit – this is an additional traffic booster because every time you send an email, you get a surge of clicks to your blog post )
  • Keysearch (to help you identify good long-tail keywords, use KSDISC for 20% off)

If you want to do more research, I have a post that speaks about the real expenses of running and maintaining a blog. 

5. Focus on high ROI tasks

ROI stands for Return on Investment.

Now, your investment can be time and/or money. For me, it’s both.

For instance, I bought PinInspector (it’s a Keyword Tool for Pinterest) that saves me a lot of time researching popular Pinterest topics and ideas. I don’t have time to sit and guess what’s doing well so I like this tool.

And cut out the rest of the crap or reduce it to a minuscule amount of time.

Saving time on redundant tasks helps me put my sole focus on tasks like writing newsletters or making more social media posts – these help me gain more brand recognition and more money.

This is why I also like mini-products like Tripwires.

I explain my whole Tripwire strategy in this eBook. The more people you have on your list, the more digital product sales you’ll make.

It’s inevitable.

So, now that I know writing emails makes me more money than writing social media posts, I dedicate more time to that!

Do you see how ROI works?

Likewise, replying to comments and emails doesn’t make me direct money, obviously. So, instead of checking my emails every day, I only look at them in the morning and reply to important emails. The rest can be attended to at the end of the week.

I do not check my emails when I work. It is a huge time-drainer.

I do not engage in Facebook groups every day because getting clients is no longer part of my monetization strategy. Once a week is aplenty.

I have tried to cut down all tasks that suck my time and energy and also give me minimal returns.

And because of this, I can work barely 4 hours a day and still make the same amount each month.

6. Stick to your strengths

In 2018 (the year I started Stray Curls), I wanted to create an eCourse.

Yes, a full-fledged course.

I did my research and found out the following:

  • An eCourse required a lot of planning (regarding the modules, the type of content, etc)
  • It required a lot of time to make (consider the risk of making no sales after launching)
  • I had to purchase hosting for the eCourse (and it was a huge expense since I wasn’t making much money on my blog)
  • I didn’t have a huge email list, so the chances of making back my investment were slim
  • I couldn’t imagine making more than 1-2 courses

After researching, I decided that an eCourse was not a good fit for me, so I opted to write an eBook.

That $14 eBook made me $1000 in the first 40 days of launching it. I was really proud of that achievement.

Making sales with my own digital product was a huge achievement for me and one that I'll never forget.

Writing comes to me very naturally because I’m a born storyteller. I try to compliment my writing with my illustrations, making it more fun because I love to make people laugh.

In 2020 alone, I wrote 4 eBooks and created 1 mega-huge eCourse.

digital products created in 2020

All in all, it was a very productive year. But the course required too much maintenance from my side and I took it down.

I cater to beginner and intermediate bloggers, and my audience prefers my writing because they are more comfortable with it.

I know my strengths, and sometimes it’s okay to not be good at everything.

Many bloggers in the same niche prefer eCourses, and that’s fine, too.

There is no one side to blogging.

You can make money blogging and doing what you enjoy. So, if you prefer affiliate marketing rather than writing sponsored posts, do it!

I prefer making money via eBooks, ad revenue and affiliate marketing, and each blog post is geared toward helping women get one step closer to their blogging goals – whether it is traffic, making money, or both.

Salma uses her Web Design blog to raise awareness of her web designing skills and get her clients. She makes well over $5K a month doing what she does.

(Yes, I made that illustration for her, isn’t it cute?)

Lisa Glanz uses her beautiful illustration blog to sell her clipart, huge illustration bundles. She also uses it to raise awareness of her Skillshare Classes.

Lisa Glanz uses her website to raise awareness on her Skillshare classes and get illustration sales.

Likewise, figure out what your strengths are and use your blog to highlight them!

7. It’s not shameful to ask for help when you’re failing

As a person who used to be too proud to ask for help, this one took me some time to learn and make peace with.

You see, I pride myself on the fact that I can learn everything by myself.

Up to a certain stage, it worked.

But this process takes longer and there are some things you cannot get for free no matter how far and wide you look.

When I got a digital tablet and tried to learn illustrating by myself, it took me a lot of time to learn. But once I took a couple of these cost-effective drawing courses, I was able to speed up my learning from months to days.

And I improved drastically.

I explain my whole illustrating process and tools here.

Experimenting and tweaking are good ways to learn something, but if you can learn from someone who got ahead much faster, why not spend a few bucks learning from these experts?

Yes, you will buy a few dud products. But this teaches you to do your research before buying.

I once purchased a $27 workbook that didn’t teach me anything. It was pure fluff.

I was disappointed. I returned to the blogger’s posts and realized that every post was well within 500 words and only had flowery language.

She kept pointing to her products but never really revealed what they would teach.

Her premise went along:

“After buying this workbook, you’ll make $1000 in sales”

All is well and good, but what methods would she be teaching that would lead me to make $1000 in sales? It was not mentioned.

So, blaming her for the product was wrong because it was my fault for not being diligent.

And that’s okay – lesson learned!

By the time 2020 rolled around, I started investing in really good products from Bloggers I really loved, and I saw results almost instantaneously.

I also practiced and perfected my technique in growing traffic to websites.

I experimented with different niches to understand how SEO really works and really understood how Search Engines work, and I’ve written an eBook that explains what you need to do each month to grow your website to $5K a month.

24 month blog plan


I’ve rinsed and repeated this process for every single website I own – and I can assure you it works if you put in the effort.

Additionally, here are a few products I bought recently and highly recommend to anyone who wants help in these fields:

Journey to the Centre of Amazon by Debbie Gartner

I did my research on Debbie before buying this eCourse. She makes $4-5K per month via Amazon affiliate marketing alone. She’s made over $180K in amazon commissions totally and I checked out a few of her blog posts before purchasing this eCourse.

All of it confirmed that this would be a good buy. So, I went ahead and got it ASAP.

I don’t have many amazon affiliate posts – but implementing her strategies in just 2-3 of my best ones, increased my sales almost immediately.

I highly recommend this eCourse to anyone wanting to learn how to double or triple their amazon affiliate sales.

Pinteresting Strategies by Carly

2020 was awful for bloggers using Pinterest.

Don't pin more than 2-5 pins a day because you can be marked as Spam on Pinterest.

We saw huge drops in impressions, link clicks and traffic.

And I knew my Tailwind strategy was no longer working because I was just losing traffic from Pinterest. So, I bit the bullet and finally invested in Carly’s eCourse, and in this post, I explain how I used her eCourse to make manual pinning work for me.

Affiliate Marketing by Carly

This eCourse was the first one I got from Carly.

And it made me realize that this Blogger is all about quality and results. Her students have amazing takeaways. This eCourse taught me how to write better emails and become better at affiliate marketing in general.

However, if you’re focused on Amazon affiliate marketing alone, I highly suggest you get Debbie’s eCourse first because it deals specifically with Amazon affiliate marketing hacks.

All in all, buying these eCourses helped me make leaps of progress quickly.

And these are the major lessons I learned while blogging that made a huge difference in how I blog and earn.

Major takeaways from my blogging lessons:

When you start a blog, I can guarantee you will succeed if you follow these steps to the bone:

  1. Choose a profitable blogging niche, I have a workbook that will help.
  2. Blog consistently – create a schedule that works for you and stick to it no matter how hard it is or how much you want to give up. Create a content plan for every quarter in advance so that you don’t have to do research daily or rummage for post ideas.
  3. Add monetizing strategies 6 months to 1 year from when you start. This helps you build loyalty and will help you make money much faster.

The key to adding the right monetization strategy is to see how your competitors are making money.

In my Hair Blog, this was my monetization strategy

  • Write 10 posts a month and include Amazon Affiliate links to hair products I use
  • Apply for She Media ads – I did this in Month 8.
  • Start Pinterest and slowly try to increase traffic to the blog.

You can read my Income Report for this new blog here. 

So, apart from following the steps above, you must be patient.

It takes a while to determine what monetizing and promotional strategies will work for you. Every blogger is different and their struggles are different.

In the end, patience and consistency are the key to achieving success in the long term.

You cannot fail if you do this.

Now, if you’re keen on reaching your goals faster and shortening your learning time, I have an excellent resource and summarizes all the major takeaways:

  • The basic but most ignored tips which are crucial for building a successful blog
  • Included are all the important Traffic and SEO tips I’ve implemented to land on the front pages of Google Search
  • The steps that helped me discover my brand and voice
  • The best monetization methods that will bring you money quickly
  • My productivity tips that you can use instead of hiring a VA
  • My personal strategies for maintaining a positive mindset even when nothing is going right

Behold my eBook – 50 Hacks.

50 hacks that helped me reach 5K per month blogging

And if you’re looking for more resources to help you on your blogging journey, here are some excellent guides:

So, tell me, what lesson did you learn after months/years of blogging that made a huge difference to your blog?