How I Started A $4.5K/Month Blog Helping Young Women Build Creative Online Businesses
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Heya! My name is Angela and I’m the Creator, Illustrator, and Writer behind the blog Stray Curls. I help bright, young women build creative online businesses that stand out from the norm. My blog is unique because I use humor and hand-drawn illustrations to effectively communicate with my readers.
Apart from writing content that really resonates with Women Entrepreneurs, I sell digital products like eBooks and Printable Planners that help Women grow their blog and blog consistently.
Currently, my favorite product is The Complete Roadmap to Building a Profitable Side Hustle. This eBook teaches people to set up an Online Business in which they can integrate their products, services and a little bit of themselves to create a profitable side hustle that brings in money on autopilot.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I have a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but I never wanted to work in a Corporate job from 9-5. I wanted to stay at home and spend time with my new pup. So, I learned how to make websites and I started getting clients via Facebook Groups.
It was fun. I also did a lot of Graphic Designing but not having a Drawing Tablet really limited my creativity. I saved up and got a Wacom that I started practicing on straight away!
I feel email marketing is highly underrated. Your money is in your mailing list.
I started an Online Store on the side on Etsy to sell my digital prints just for fun.
By 2017, I started posting Comics on Instagram and I got loads of Illustration Clients. I realized I was having way too much fun making curly hair comics and drawing portraits, so I slowly migrated from creating websites to making illustrations and comics.
I grew my Instagram account to 180K followers in 6 months. I started creating merchandise like notebooks, badges, and calendars and selling them on my Website.
In January 2018, a glitch affected my Account and I was unable to post. Heartbroken, I sat around moping for 3 months before a few of my friends stepped in and told me to start a Website.
They firmly believed that Social Media could collapse any day and having a fully-fledged business that depended only on Social Media was a bad idea.
So, in April 2018, I started my Blog on Stray Curls.
I didn’t know which niche to pursue, so I started blogging about Art, Creativity, and Online Businesses. Eventually I realized I needed to narrow down my niche. I was really good at starting Online Businesses. I had given advice to loads of Artists and Creators and I thought… why not make this MY thing?
That’s how Stray Curls was born!
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Creating Digital Products is loads of fun for me. Because I love teaching, writing, and drawing and I get to combine all of my interests to create a project that will change the world! eBooks will always be my jam and I take great pride in my work.
I sought to create something different from Stray Curls.
I wanted to infuse my personality and my talent into my Blog and my digital products so I make sure that I include loads of humor and illustrations.
I truly believe that it’s much more fun to learn something new when you’re entertained.
So all my products don’t just come with detailed tutorials but include lots of colorful and fun illustrations!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I feel the most attractive feature of my Blog is the colorful illustrations. It’s taken me a while to build this Brand, to infuse my personality in my Blog, my Newsletters, my Products, and it’s been worth it!
I make it a point to reply to every single email and comment. I truly believe that being kind and helpful gets you very far in life, not just in Business.
I feel email marketing is highly underrated. Your money is in your mailing list. It’s been my major source of income. I love writing weekly emails to my Readers. I make it very personal by talking about what I’m doing each week with my pups. This really helps my Readers realize that there’s a person behind the screen.
It’s educational as well and I love adding in little jokes to make them laugh. I think email marketing should be a blogger’s primary focus from day 1.
I haven’t spent a single dime on ads. In the future, I definitely want to incorporate this into my business strategy. Currently, everything is organic.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I think I’m doing really well. In 2018, I only wanted proof that I could earn from my Blog. I achieved that.
In 2019, I focused on creating content that would help me build a Brand and attract an audience. Making money was secondary. 2019 was a brilliant year because I ran multiple experiments, launched 2 eBooks, and narrowed down my niche.
This year, I want to implement more sales funnels and create products for intermediate Bloggers. I am making several changes to the way I blog by making it slightly more advanced.
All in all, I want to build a fun brand for women who want to learn and be entertained at the same time! I believe that education should be fun. That’s when whatever you’ve learned sticks with you!
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I learned that focusing more of your time on tasks that actually increase your income is the best way to grow your Blog and Business. Tracking where I’m spending my time, actually helped boost my Blog Traffic and Income.
The key to actually making sales and making your business work is to show people that you’re really informative and know your stuff.
Being organized and writing things down actually helps you save tons of time. Creating a Plan for each Quarter, mapping out your content in advance really helps you grow as a Business.
Working consistently on your Blog is undoubtedly hard. Life happens. And mustering the discipline to work on your Blog despite not having a higher authority peeking over your shoulder requires a great deal of mental strength and passion for your Business.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
- ConvertKit - Email Marketing Software
- SendOwl - Digital Products
- Tailwind - Pinterest Scheduler
- WordPress - CMS
- iPad Pro and Apple Pencil - For my Illustrations
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I love to read. I believe that reading at least 2-3 books in your field a month really helps you become a better Business Person. It’s crucial to write down your takeaways from each book you read.
Meera Kothand: One Hour Content Plan - This eBook taught me how to write good content and understand what to write for whom. It’s a book that every single Content Marketer must read!
Garrett Moon: 10X Marketing Formula - A Brilliant Book that teaches a person how to get leads and convert traffic by just writing content that’s utterly brilliant.
Jack Canfield: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be - This Book taught me the principles I needed to sit down and draft a Business Plan. Basically, you can get anything you want. You just have to make a plan and follow it to the bone.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Find your USP (Unique Selling Position): There are a lot of people in your niche writing about the same thing but they’re not you. Find out how you can stand out in a sea of Bloggers by exploiting what you’re good at!
Write Content that’s mind-blowing: Don’t hold anything back. The key to actually making sales and making your business work is to show people that you’re really informative and know your stuff. Learn how to write really good blog posts that are 10 times better than the competition. You will stand out.
Analyze your Progress each month: Write down everything that worked and didn’t work. Draft goals for the next month. See what’s bringing you the largest income. Write down 3 tips to increase that particular income the next month. Unless you analyze your growth, you cannot expect to grow as a Blogger.
Pay attention to your Target Audience: Focus on them, not you. By actually using their words, targeting their pain points, and creating products specifically for them, you will actually make money.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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