2024 is here!

I still can’t believe time flies this fast – it felt like 2023 was just yesterday.

If you feel like everything changes around you fast, you’re not alone.

Every day, there is some new development in the blogging world; rules are changing, methods that used to work before no longer work today, and businesses have to adapt to not get left behind.

So, today, I want to talk about how you can adapt or actually move toward success with your blog/business.

Welcome to Stray Curls.

If you’re new here, my name is Angela, and I am a 31-year-old Blogger and Illustrator living in Bangalore (yes, it’s been 7 years since I started this blog), India, with my 2 dogs.

I currently have 5 blogs/websites, including this one, and it’s definitely going to be a challenge growing them simultaneously. (I started a new one last month.)

*rubs hands together excitedly*

Please consider getting my 24-month blog plan (it’s currently my bestseller) that describes exactly what you need to do each month to start and grow a blog to $5K.

It’s very detailed and includes the exact strategies I’ve used to grow my 3 other blogs.

24 month blog plan

This post does contain affiliate links. Clicking on said affiliate links may earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. The money I earn from this blog is used to pamper my pups and myself and allows me to do research on blogging so that I can provide methods and strategies that are updated and actually work.

Stray Curls Angela has two adorable labrador girls.

If you had a good 2023 blog-wise, I am very happy for you; perhaps there is more room for improvement.

However, if you didn’t have a good year, or let’s say, your blog hasn’t had a chance to grow yet and make you a full-time income, then please know that it’s not too late to start making this work.

Blogging is a very tense subject.

Most people still don’t know what it is.

They assume it’s like an online diary where you just write posts that you think off the top of your head.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not 2001.

You cannot treat your blog as your diary.

Nobody wants to know about you or your cat.

Blogging is all about content marketing. Personal blogs are outdated.

They want to know how you can help them – that’s it.

If I had to simplify it: Your reader just wants to know the solution to their problem.

This is the strategy that goes behind it. It’s not just luck.

It’s about understanding your niche and then passionately answering questions (no matter how beginner-level you feel they are) in detail so that you can get found on Google and become an expert on the topic.

A Blog is a great way to tell your story to the world. This is one of the reasons you should start a blog!

So, before you do anything else, here are a few things to help you get back on the right track.

1. Understand your niche (really)

The key to making your blog work is looking at your niche and studying your competitors.

Take your time to study your niche – properly.

This cannot be done in one day.

It may take you a few weeks and that’s alright.

This is the research stage and it’s crucial!

Try to see if this niche you are so interested in is actually something people want to read.

Please be patient in your first year of blogging. It's going to take a while for the results to show and you can't feel disappointed when you don't see them immediately.

Look at popular websites and gauge the traffic to understand whether this particular niche is in demand.

You might really like it, but is it something a lot of people are interested in?

Are the topics really doing well?

Are there constant memes or videos constantly made around the topic?

Is it evergreen? Is it going to be this way 12 years from now?

Look at Quora and social media, and see whether people are even interested in it.

Once you know for certain that your niche is good, start researching what topics do well.

Look at popular blogs and social media and look at trending hashtags or trending topics.

I open Facebook and Instagram only to understand what people are talking about. It helps me keep track of what’s trending.

I join relevant Facebook groups to see what questions people are asking.

I joined an Etsy Support Group just to understand how Etsy works, and now I can either start a blog or write an eBook because I know exactly what people need help with regarding Etsy.

Likewise, before you start writing, join groups on Reddit, Facebook, or Quora and see what people are talking about.

Understand the subject of your blog entirely.

2. Aim to be different

Be a unicorn among horses.

I know, it’s much harder now in 2024 – people have taken this advice to heart and almost everybody is trying to be unique or re-invent the wheel.

It’s hard, but it’s not impossible.

Let me give you a simple example.

If you want to build a food blog, you can start one – but it’s no longer 2010.

You need to ask yourself, “There are 10 million food blogs on the internet right now, how can I aim to be different?”

You have to ask yourself questions like:

  • What can I offer my readers that nobody else can?
  • How can I bring a whole new take on this?
  • What can I do to stand out from this already-crowded market?
  • How can I be super unique on social media to attract a large crowd?

Remember Tasty videos?

They started making 1-minute recipe videos and they made easy cooking worldwide famous!

They revolutionized easy cooking.

Since they started this trend, several cooks now use this method to showcase their recipes on YouTube and Instagram reels.

Let me show you my own example.

For instance, when starting my comic brand several years ago, I noticed that most female comic artists were highlighting their personal struggles.

I wanted to be different – because I needed an edge in this field.

I wanted to build an audience much faster.

So I narrowed down my focus to only hair problems.

Nobody was doing it back then.

It was definitely a shot in the dark, but for some reason, it clicked. I garnered about 180K followers on Instagram in 6 months just by drawing comics around the topic – hair.

That strategy no longer works because Instagram has now moved to Reels and videos (posting static content is unimaginably difficult because it doesn’t gain as many followers now).

Even when I started this blog, tons of blogs talked about blogging.

I asked myself how I could be different – and I did something nobody was doing – I incorporated illustrations and mild comedy together in this blog.

It stood out, so my pins do really well on Pinterest.

But my point is, take some time to think about how you can be different.

Don’t be just another brown cow in a sea of brown cows – be a different-colored cow.

No offense to cows in general – I love them; they all look like my older pup – plump and adorable.

Bartering services with people in your niche is a great way to start building a portfolio.

3. Analyze what did well

I mean, look at your content for the last 6 months.

  • Did something do well?
  • Did something you tried suddenly take off?
  • Maybe it was a certain kind of post?
  • Or maybe it was a collaboration you did?
  • Perhaps it was a certain video you created?

Whatever it was, do more of what works.

Make sure that you use your reader's excitement to get them to do things like subscribe to your newsletter or add a comment.

This is why it’s taken me years to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Each niche is different.

In my relationship niche, blog posts that are long do well.

I’m very serious when I write in that blog – it’s very heartfelt advice, and the overall tone is kind and patient.

Give love to other artists on Instagram and show them the same kindness you expect.

I am extremely detailed in my drawing blog, www.drawcartoonstyle.com, and each sentence is broken with images – I break down drawing tutorials, so the website is very image-heavy.

There isn’t much text – it’s more dependent on images.

This blog does amazingly well on Pinterest; people eat up cute adorable tutorials – they want to learn how to recreate cute drawings, and hey, I’ll give the people what they damn well want.

So, think about something you did that had good results and do more of that – this is how you work towards strategies that work.

4. Ditch perfection for the love of cows

Alright, I may have a strange fascination for cows – I adore them; they’re cute and cuddly and big dogs, really.

I’m straying from the point.

If you sit back and think that this won’t work or that won’t work and are too afraid to do anything for fear of failing, then blogging is not for you.

Blogging is time-consuming and takes time to work.

Because 50-60% of your initial work will be a waste.

It won’t do much for you.

It takes a long time of consistent effort for you to see what’s working and what isn’t.

I repeat: It takes a while for blogging to work.

You have to throw spaghetti at the wall first.

You need to try out different posts and see what clicks your audience likes or what Google likes.

This takes time and a lot of patience.

It’s very hard to write or create when it’s a ghost town – you have to rely on inward validation and motivation. Nobody is cheering you on, I get it, but that’s what differentiates people who succeed and people who quit.

The people who succeed are the ones who create even when nobody is watching.

It’s very, very hard to write when nobody is reading your work.

I know, I’ve been there.

But it’s very important to keep pressing on because only when you move forward can you actually get somewhere.

There is a HUGE difference between failing even though you tried – and failing because you never tried at all.

Know the difference.

5. Play to your strengths

Create a business plan before you start blogging. This will serve as a blueprint for your blog and help you even create a content plan more easily.

If you started blogging because you saw many people doing it, it won’t last long, especially if writing is not your forte.

I feel sorry for those who hate writing.

They think ChatGPT will help them get an audience and build traffic.


If someone wanted to read ChatGPT answers, they’d go to ChatGPT – why would they read your blog to see copy-paste answers?

This is something I just don’t get.

Yes, you’re going to hit me with the argument that most of the BIG SEO guy are doing it; they’re using AI to write their blog posts.

Hell, they can afford to.

Because they’ve been SEO specialists for over 10 years.

They don’t mind their experimental blog failing – they have 15 other blogs making the big bucks. They have teams of writers working for them.

You and I don’t have that kind of time to waste.

We must use tried and tested methods to get to where we want to go.

This is why I say please love writing.

If you don’t, play to your other strengths.

  • Make videos on Youtube or Instagram
  • Pin on Pinterest
  • Draw for a living
  • Sell your work on Etsy
  • Bake and hire a PR person to do your marketing

Do what you love doing – and do it for a while before you think of monetizing it.

6. Keep tweaking along the way

Now that you understand that you have to put in the hours, sweat and tears – do it.

But don’t just blindly work for months at a stretch without pausing to breathe.

At the beginning of every single month, look at your work in the past month.

Note down things like:

  • How many hours you worked?
  • Which strategies ended up paying off the most?
  • What are your high-value tasks and low-value tasks? (which tasks ended up bringing you more success/money)
  • What could you have done better? What other tasks you can do that are related to the high-value tasks to double your income/followers?
  • How can you get more brand recognition? How can you make your blog more engaging?
  • How can you get people to talk about your blog/business?
  • What is missing?

Then you sit down and plan for the upcoming month. Note the tasks you have to get done no matter what.

And if you have time, write down tasks you want to experiment with.

For instance, I noted that Pinterest brings me good clicks and nice affiliate income for my drawing blog – so I try to put in time to make pins and pin them regularly. 

If there are tasks you do not enjoy, delegate them or find a way to automate them.

I find it absolutely boring to schedule social media, because I have to copy-paste the same post in several platforms, so I use SmarterQueue for that.

7. Be realistic about your time

I know the near year brings forth a lot of excitement and joy.

Right now, you may want to take on a lot more work.

But don’t do that – that’s the quickest way to burn out.

The chances of becoming a successful blogger without a plan is close to zero. So, take your time to plan your blog posts in advance!

Take it easy.

Stick to a couple of tasks – you’re human, you don’t have to do everything.

Focus on SEO and content writing if you’re beginning.

Focus more on content-updation and promotion if you’re a seasoned blogger.

Take your time with your business.

Don’t pressure yourself to do too much.

Remember, you need to sustain this schedule for a long time – so do a little bit each day and move the needle a tiny bit each day. =)

And leave a tiny bit of room to research and try out new strategies – this will help keep your mind open to new things.

To summarize:

If you actually read this whole blog post, thank you for reading my non-stop rant.

And be sure to download my free blog planner here:

Get my 12 page blog planner for 2020 for free! This printable fun blog planner comes with stickers and lots ofwriting space to help you grow your blog!

Okay, I’m done.

What are you most excited about your blog this year? Please, please tell me so we can giggle about it like teens in college.

Talking about blogging seriously gives me a rush.


And here are a few more posts you may find helpful: