If you have followed me for a while either on social media or my blog, you will know that the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 decimated my Virtual Assistant business in a matter of days.
During a week where hours felt like days, each time my phone rang it seemed to be a client cancelling my services. With their businesses closed and no financial support plan from the government in place yet, each of them were suffering uncertainty and immediate loss of earnings, and so were having to strip back their outgoings….which included me and my social media services.
With my husband in a fixed-term contract at the time and a freeze put on recruitment, we were looking down the barrel of surviving off the income from my part-time job, which wouldn’t even cover the bills. I had sleepless nights with the worry and knew the time had come to overhaul my business model!
First steps – investigating passive income streams
I spent the first part of lockdown reading everything I could find about making money online without paying clients – from creating online courses, e-books and downloadables to becoming a social media influencer or an affiliate for brands and hosting advertising on your website, I wanted to try it all!!!
So, try it I did!
Writing my Virtual Assistant course
Prior to setting up as a Virtual Assistant on maternity leave, I worked as a trainer for seven years and had spent time in senior positions in quality assurance. I had achieved adult teaching qualifications and designed and delivered 1:1 and group sessions, plus I was familiar with e-learning platforms.
I had had it in my mind for a while that I would like to create a course teaching others how to become a Virtual Assistant but had never had the time. Lockdown gave me time!!!
By the time my kids went back to school in September, it was all written and ready to record. I launched it and to date have had 504 enrolments!!
Other passive income streams
As part of my course, I recommend brands that I am already using and have been for a number of years. I approached each brand I use – my insurance company, online design software, website hosting, writing checkers etc – and signed up as an affiliate, meaning that each time someone signs up or purchases from my link, I receive a small fee.
My course also has a number of resources included, such as planners, which I published for sale on my website as standalone downloadable products!
Cue one of my first loves – writing!
Before I started blogging, I thought it was the reserve of lifestyle influencers and didn’t feel like I would have anything people would want to hear. But after reading about SEO and signing up to some blogging campaign groups, I realised how wrong I had been! You can have success in any niche!
I decided to focus on building my website through blogging with the ultimate aim of being paid to blog. You hear about people quitting their jobs all the time in order to blog, right! Why couldn’t that be me too? So, blogging it was, and the plan was that I would drive sales of my course and affiliations through my blog too.
I overhauled my website and turn it into a Virtual Assistant training and resource hub, rather than what it had been previously – a website about me as a Virtual Assistant, which would appeal to potential clients.
I wrote a few blogs, posted them to social media and had a really warm response from my audience! My focus then turned to guest blogging, reading that I would need links to build my website authority and as they say, the rest is history!
Where things are at now
Just 13 months ago, I had my first guest blog published and my website had a domain authority of 1. A combination of teaching myself SEO, working hard on my blogs and publishing consistently, plus collaborating with other bloggers to boost my website:
- saw my website grow to a domain authority of 16
- enabled me to collaborate with two brands this year with sponsored links
- had me just last week celebrating my very first sponsored blog post! I was actually paid to write a blog!
The 10-year-old me who used to devour books and spend her evenings researching her own projects and writing short stories, would be so proud.
And actually, 38-year-old me is pretty proud of the turnaround too! My client work resumed once the Covid-19 situation stabilised, and in fact I am currently busier than ever before, but knowing that I have established several additional streams of income means that should for whatever reason, I lose a client, I will hopefully avoid losing that much sleep again!