What does it take to become a successful blogger in 2021?

In this blog post, I cover what it takes to become a successful blogger in 2021, by offering some tips and tricks to aspiring bloggers and influencers.

When did you get started with blogging? Why did you choose the ‘lifestyle’ niche? 

I started blogging in 2006, a time when I lived in South Korea. This was also a time when many had just started to leverage digital as a medium. Blogging seemed like a fantastic way to share tidbits about my life in Korea with a global audience.

How did you arrive at the name ‘When The Muse Strikes’ for your blog?

Interestingly, when I started my blogging journey in 2006, I was employed full-time with Samsung Electronics in Korea. Working at one of the best tech companies came with its own set of challenges. One of them was having no time to pursue blogging on weekdays.

‘When The Muse Strikes!’ was a true reflection of my life back then. The muse only struck on weekends or public holidays when there was ample me-time. 

Also, the name was catchy, contemporary, and relevant. I couldn’t have asked for more!

The blog is now into its 15th year running and has transitioned into a leading lifestyle blog where I cover detailed stories on food, travel, technology, social, fashion, and almost anything that falls under the large gamut of lifestyle.

How was your first blogging experience?

It was a breeze; I didn’t have to invest much initially, except paying for a domain name and hosting that is. I always wanted a self-hosted blog.

Second, I was always good at writing but still had to invest in learning photography. I’m now focusing on video content and want to ace that.

Walk us through the process of creating user-generated content.

Being an extrovert, it was easy for me to put myself out there. Holding a camera at outdoor locations, clicking pictures, or striking conversations with random people. I aced this part.

That said, blogging required me to push boundaries; a paradigm shift in the way I created content and approached each story. The blogging ecosystem thrives on creativity. 

I was a solo content creator and I continue to be. But my biggest learning is that there will be a whole bunch of folks you’ll need to work with if you want your blogging journey to take off. That took a while getting used to!

How did you learn to blog?

I learned everything on my own, so in that sense, I feel that my blog has been very much a journey of self-discovery in every single way. The blog has introduced me to the tumultuous world of new-age media. It has taken me to unchartered territories, given umpteen memories to cherish, and most importantly, provided a continuous stream of work and opportunities.

Please share more about your learnings.

The first thing to understand is that social media is a great enabler for your blogging objectives and the distribution of your content. 

If you’re maintaining a blog, you need to identify a niche first, which in layman terms means content that you have great subject matter expertise on. 

Building a rapport with brands and your audience will take time and effort, but once you’re able to showcase quality (and return on investment to brands), many people will come to your blog, again and again, searching for more content or seeking collaborations.

Also remaining truthful and having a good perspective on a broad variety of subjects will help you earn credibility and build engaging content over time.

What are some of the challenging products that you have reviewed so far?

F&B as a product has been pretty challenging to review, especially after Covid. The middlemen (read agencies) thrive on the work we do; barters are suddenly the flavor of the town. I wish this industry can be more regulated and content creators can be paid adequately for their work.

Being a blogger, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

The challenge is to curtail negativity as your brand grows stronger. And as more and more people know about you, and more specifically about your blog, you will notice a certain section of the community trying to bring you down. My suggestion will be to continue to do great work and don’t pay heed to such people.

What plans do you have to scale your blogging operations?

The plan is to continue to do good quality work. Also, one of the things I need to do more is to add variety in the type of posts I write on my blog.

Your advice to those who wish to take up blogging as a profession?

Blogging is low-hanging fruit, yet you can carve a niche for yourself. Just avoid the shortcuts and be on top of your game through ethical and responsible blogging.

If you have had one wish, what would that be?

Post Covid, I would love to travel around the world with my family. Writing about firsthand travel experiences would be so exciting!

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers


  1. Your post is inspiring for every blogger be it new or old, I have been blogging since 2014, yet I learn things everyday. But you know, one thing I have learnt is consistence is the most important thing when it comes to blogging!

  2. Wow so its been good 15 years since u started blogging. Kudos. And we can learn a lot from you.

  3. It is fascinating to read about your blogging journey, the challenges and the successes. There are many tips that would be useful, especially for those starting their own journey. Sandy N Vyjay

  4. amazed to know about your 15 years journey.. awesome tips you have shared . very insightful blog for beginners like me . Thanks for sharing

  5. Wow Rahul.. That was an eye opener and could relate to so many things in this post. Especially the fact that of late most of the collaborations are turning to barters. I too wish if these can be paid for bloggers and writers like us.

  6. 15 years! Wow! Cheers to you. It is so fascinating to know about your blogging journey and to learn a thing or two. Thank you for sharing about your experience.

  7. Congratulations on completing 15 years! That's a very long time and I am sure you would have had so much fun with blogging. It's true that digital is the way to go and hopefully we can revive our travel blogs post covid.

  8. Sometimes blogging is fun, and other times it's a lot of hard work! Great to know about your blogging journey. Keep inspiring.

  9. Wow Rahul, Kudos to you . It is fascinating to know your journey and to learn things. Loved your article.

  10. What a fantastic journey! thank you for sharing your passion and how you have pursued it! I liked your message of following through, and not taking any shortcuts!

  11. Rahul you are one of the finest and vintage blogger that I know and it's always amazing to read your work as you bring so much details with such finesse.

  12. Your experience reflects in your writing and your approach towards blogging. There are no shortcuts to success. Blogging being considered as an unconventional field, bloggers have to prove themselves at every step.

  13. I also feel that to be a successful blogger you need to have patience and consistency with your original work. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  14. Wow 15 years in blogging world..that is super impressive. it was an inspiring read and I loved to read your journey. indeed, creating unique content consistently is an art and we bloggers have to keep a constant motivation to share something useful and informative with our readers.

  15. I started blogging in 2008 and in some ways can identify with your journey. Blogging is evolving and it's important to be updated. Good knowing more about you!

  16. It's good to know about your journey of 15 years. Congratulation on achieving so much. I started blogging 3 years back. I am sure I will learn a lot from you

  17. Always interesting to read about the journey of a blogger. How they began and where they are now. Like our blogging journey has also been fueled by ourselves, learning all along the way.

  18. You are a pro-blogger Rahul and knowing about how you started, survived and future plans in blogging was an interesting read.

  19. You are one of the vintage bloggers and it does it is a pleasure to read your articles and posts. Your blogs and the way you write them clearly shows that they come with experience.

  20. I am so glad to have come across this post from such an ace blogger. It was so interesting to read about your journey, along with the rewards and challenges.

  21. Many many congratulations for completing 15 years in this wonderful world of blogging. Creating good content with consistency is the key for creating viewership. You have done amazing and this is very inspiring for all of us.

  22. Kudos! How absolutely fascinating it is to read your journey. It is indeed wonderful to read inspiring journeys of bloggers, we all can learn a thing or two from their experiences. I agree, there is no shortcuts when it comes to success.

  23. It was a pleasure viewing your 15 years blogging journey at a glance, it undoubtedly is an inspiration to so many budding bloggers

  24. It was indeed a great journey and it gives me immense happiness to see that you are doing really well in this journey of over 15 years. Its relatable too since I am a blogger too and have come a long way in last 5 years

  25. Blogging for so long is impressive, I can totally understand how it could become a part of life now. It is nice to have space on the internet that is just for your thoughts, opinions and ideas


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