Why now?

The economy is in a downturn, jobs are unsteady.

If you’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that job security is an illusion. You’re eliminated if your job is deemed not essential. Even businesses have to shut down if they aren’t deemed essential (bye bubble/ boba tea and spa parlours!). It’s during this downturn that the world has come to realise just how fragile our jobs are.

Since economic progress is on a pause right now, it’s the best time to seize this downtime to reflect and focus inward on OURSELVES – our well-being, including what makes us happy, what fuels us, and pursuing our interests that have been put in the back seat because we spend 40+ hours a week in our jobs.

Whether you are currently still in a job and are working for home or if you’re recently out of job because of the pandemic and have to stay home, we have one thing in common.

We have more TIME on our hands.

If you’ve been watching more shows, starting to bake, working out at home more, reading more books, learning dance moves on TikTok or finally picking up your dusty guitar, these are all testaments to us having more time on our hands.

Why not use this time to invest in your interests and potentially convert it into a small business which you can operate and earn a side hustle from?

If you’re recently out of job, hurray! It’s good news because your time is now freed up to pursue things you’ve always wanted to but couldn’t because you were previously bound by your job responsibilities.

You have 3 choices:

  1. Sulk and wait for money to drop from the sky (i.e. the economy to return and people to start hiring again)
  2. Search up remote jobs and continue being at the whim of other (unreasonable) bosses
  3. Be your own boss – start the project you’ve always wanted to and that gives your life a purpose, while converting your pet project into a money-making opportunity!

There’s no better time than now to start working on being your own boss and building your business to ensure your own kind of job security, because at least you’re IN CONTROL.

Why start your own business and become your own boss?

girl-laptop-working-digital-nomad travel blogger

Working from a lodge in South Africa

Do you want to spend endless days being privy to your boss’ moods? Do you want your creativity to be quashed because it doesn’t align with the company’s directions? Do you want to work endlessly with no end or progression in sight? Do you want to endure another day of working with co-workers whom you can’t be yourself with because one small misstep may cause them to backstab you?

Thought so.

Do you see a gaping problem in the world where you have the knowledge to and can solve to make the world a better place? Do you think you can provide value and make this group of audience’s lives better? Well, don’t let your ingenuity and creativity stay hidden! Step up and let your ideas be heard.

Imagine all the work freedom you can get – you’re free to pursue your work in any direction you believe in, you get to decide who will be in your team of hustlers, you’re fully transparent about and are in control of your profit and losses, you see tangible results from any effort you put in…. The list goes on. I’ll save the perks of being your own boss in another post where I share my wins from being a self-made entrepreneur.

Best of all, you get to invest your precious time into creating and sharing something meaningful to YOU.

But I don’t know where to start..?

A good way to start brainstorming how you want to maximise your life and live your life to the fullest is this:

Imagine yourself 3-5 years from now. What would your life be like? Envision yourself doing what you love most if you had no restrains or restrictions.

Write it down. Now that’s your long-term goal to work towards! I won’t get into the detail of setting goals but from there, set mini goals to check in and brainstorm possible ways to integrate what you want into your daily life, so that eventually you can make your lifelong goal a reality.

(Perhaps this deserves another post on my real-life case study?)

Anything is possible as long as you believe in it. How else do you think I managed to make travel blogging and going around the world a full-time job?

Why start a blog?

laptop map flatlay travel help careerWhether it is selling physical products, a course, a skill, operating a physical shop or simply a space to share your beliefs and thoughts with like-minded people, let’s admit it, you can find your audience all online.

This stay-at-home period is testament to the fact that the internet is more important than ever, and everything and everyone is going online in order to survive. Heck, even swimming instructors are devising swim lessons to teach online to survive!

There’s no better time than NOW to start working on your online content because people are looking for ways to learn everything ONLINE.

To attract your audience to your products or brand, it always starts with having content to show them. Whether it is via visual images (Instagram) or video (YouTube) or through words, you need content. 

Why blogging then?

It’s the path of least resistance, I’d say. You don’t need to learn heavy editing skills, you don’t need any app to download. You simply open a note and pour your heart out. It’s fuss-free and free!

A blog is used to show that you’re an expertise in your topic. Sharing content revolving around your topic is a way to attract your target audience and build yourself as an authority in your field.

You get to pursue your interest, own your own brand, decide how you want to uniquely brand yourself, have a say in the design elements on your site… You are in creative control!

There is literally 0 start up cost! It can be done as a side hustle, and you don’t even have to devote full-time work hours to it. Think about it – a side hustle that allows you to earn money on auto-pilot? What better way to make good use of your spare time?

Need I also say that once you’ve got your fundamentals set up, it’s really simple to maintain? Depending on the amount of time you want to devote to it, you can update your posts daily, weekly or monthly. Once your posts are online and recognised by Google, it stays on the World Wide Web forever!

And your blog could be about anything you fancy! Make up, food, music, graphics, photography, or even to set up your own portfolio for future clients to reference.

From there, you can begin creating your very own community of like-minded people! Whether it is creating a Facebook group, Instagram group chat, or Telegram group channel, the opportunities are endless.

That’s why starting a blog is as important as any digital marketing strategy to get the word out and create awareness.

I give you a step-by-step guide on how to start your blog here.

How do I make money blogging?

The holy grail of this article, isn’t it? Well, if a girl-next-door like me is able to pursue her passion in travel and turn her travel blog into a full-time income and TRAVEL FOR FREE, what’s to say you can’t do what your heart desires?

I go in depth in this post about how my income exploded when I went blogging full-time. In a nutshell, I earn from a variety of sources such as:

  • Freelance writing
  • Freelance digital marketing consultant (SEO, social media, PR)
  • Affiliates
  • Advertising
  • Brand collaborations

Watch this video for my full backstory:

bel around the world - my story

If you’re new into the world of blogging, may I enlighten you by sharing how some top bloggers (depending on their niche) are earning 6 figures every month?!

So yes, blogging is definitely a profitable side hustle.

What if I don’t have a writing flair?

Oh darling, do you know, you can hire writers to get the words out really affordably on freelance service sites like Fiverr and Upwork? There are also productivity tools like Grammarly to make your writing flawless.

Of course, building a brand is more than just creating a blog. It is having the right branding principles, learning how to manage social media and community engagement, using the right tools to ensure your article appears at the top of Google (aka SEO) and the most important of all – knowing how to market your brand wiht

You can do that through organic searches, running ads, participating in forum groups, collaborations with similar brands and PR.

The opportunities to grow your brand and business are endless! Lucky for you, I’m about to break each topic into easily digestible pieces for you in the coming posts.

What are you waiting for?

How to blog effectively:

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.