Olivia Mcdonald looking out at the colorful houses of Busan, South Korea

How To Make $2,000 Per Month As A Blogging Virtual Assistant

Wanting to monetize your travel blogging skills? Have you ever thought about becoming a blogging virtual assistant?

I had the chance to sit down with a Scale Your Travel Blog student, Olivia Mcdonald of Defining Decade, for an interview about how she’s able to take her blogging skills and turn it into a lucrative side hustle while she travels the world and grows her own travel blog.

Olivia is going to share with us:

  • How she got started as a blogging virtual assistant
  • How much she is able to make each month from VA work
  • What tasks she takes on each week
  • The steps you need to get started as a blogging virtual assistant

Jump into our conversation below, or watch her interview on our Youtube channel here:

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    Tell us about yourself and how you got started as a blogging virtual assistant.

    I’m Olivia, and I’m from Brisbane Australia.

    I started my travel blog around about two years ago and then about a year ago I joined Scale Your Travel Blog. I’m in the process of building up my blog into a business that can fully support me.

    Olivia walking down a narrow street looking at the beautiful white houses.

    I had this huge travel itch. I was keen to leave my full-time job and that’s when I started looking for blogging virtual assistant work, and work that I could do remotely. I also wanted the work to be closely aligned to what I’m doing with my blog.

    Do you consider what you do to be “blogging VA” work?

    I generally say freelance work. Freelance copywriting is the most common term I use. I also do editing for SEO purposes and then some social media, so it encompasses a lot of different things.

    How much do you make per month as a blogging virtual assistant or freelancer? Are there some months that are better than others?

    I make anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 USD per month and I do this on a part-time basis. I’m not working full-time hours with my current client because of my travel schedule.

    I usually bill my clients per hour, so it depends on how much work there is or how much time I have. I’ve also worked with clients where I’m doing solely copywriting work and I will bill them per word, so my income certainly fluctuates each month.

    When you travel, are you able to take on fewer clients? Can you work around your schedule pretty easily?

    For the client I’m working with now, I was working full-time hours and I knew I was going to be traveling for three months, so I was doing two full-time jobs at once to try to get as much work done and earn as much money as I could.

    Olivia looking out toward the ocean from a viewpoint with beautiful buildings and a coastline behind her.

    Now that I am traveling I’m able to dial that back so it’s sustainable for me and fits my schedule.

    Has travel blogging VA allowed you to quit your job and travel whenever you’d like?

    Yes, I quit my job with the intention of not going back.

    I’m still new to this journey in terms of freelance and VA work, but I’ve had enough clients under my belt that I have confidence that I can build it up into a full-time income if that’s what I choose.

    Right now, I’m trying to split my time between working for other travel bloggers as a freelancer and having enough time for my blog because I don’t necessarily want or need to work on a full-time basis at this point.

    Olivia flying first class on Emirates with a glass of champagne in her hand.

    As a blogging virtual assistant, it gives me the ultimate flexibility, but of course, if funds get low I can either talk to my current clients about more opportunities or I can look for more VA work with other bloggers.

    On average, what does your day-to-day look like as a blogging VA? What tasks do you do?

    Right now, a big focus of mine is updating old content. I’m working with a creator who has thousands and thousands of posts, and she has this massive spreadsheet of everything that needs updating.

    We have a step-by-step process, which starts with updating the content to make sure that it’s still relevant. In the world of travel everything changes quickly, so making sure that everything is up to date for the current year.

    Then I do things like:

    • Updating affiliate links
    • Updating for new images (if she’s traveled to this place and she was originally using stock images, I replace those images)
    • Reposting old content to social media to continue driving traffic
    • Creating new articles (researching for new content, etc)
    • Using ChatGPT to update content

    I absolutely love working in this space because I’m so focused on travel. I’m able to bring my travel experiences to the job as well.

    What is your favorite part about working as a blogging VA?

    It’s the flexibility and the freedom. In this stage of my life, I really want to focus on growing my business and building a career that I love and that will be sustainable for me in future.

    Olivia on the coast line of Kangaroo Island with beautiful blue water behind her.

    Being able to work my own hours and travel whenever I want is very important. I can work at 6:00am. and then come home after a day of traveling and work at 9:00pm. It’s the ultimate flexibility.

    You also don’t have the corporate politics; you’re just diving into the work that you want to do. I love copywriting, editing images, photography, etc., so time really flies.

    Not only that, but all of the people I’ve worked for are small business owners and they’re people I look up to. They’ve achieved things that I want to achieve, and to be able to work closely with them is really important to me.

    Do you need to meet a lot of deadlines as a blogging VA?

    If anything, I put the deadlines on myself. I don’t think anyone’s told me “we need this done by this date.” It’s more like “when can you have this done?” and I’ll respond, “I can get it to you in two days.”

    In the world of travel blogging, nothing is ever urgent, but for me it’s really important to deliver value to the client as quickly as possible.

    Is becoming a blogging VA something others could do?

    Definitely! However, the virtual assistant world can be a little intimidating at first. You’ll see virtual assistants glorifying their jobs all over TikTok and Instagram, and when you give it a shot, you might hear crickets.

    A blonde girl sitting on a retaining wall with a beautiful ancient city behind her.

    But for me, I found success through two important things. First is you need to have a niche. You need to position yourself in the market as someone with expertise in a particular area. For me it’s SEO and travel blogging.

    Your niche might be social media in the fashion industry. It might be writing technical guides for a software as a service company. It could be anything, but be clear on that.

    Secondly is building out your network. For me, your course, Scale Your Travel Blog, has been huge for providing me with a network of other travel bloggers that are looking for help and want people who are trained and have that expertise. That’s been amazing for me to get clients.

    And just putting yourself out there. Going to conferences, getting on social media, etc. You need to put yourself out there and build your own community.

    Has your blog contributed to the success of finding clients and being able to charge more for your work?

    My blog is a portfolio of work. lt shows that I know SEO, it shows my tone of voice, my photography, design skills, etc. It’s the easiest way to show a client that I’m going to be a right fit for them.

    A girl standing next to a fence at the edge of a cliff, looking out into the blue ocean below.

    In terms of charging more, again it goes back to Scale Your Travel Blog. It’s a digital piece of paper that shows that I’ve got this certification, I’ve got this training, I’m following this process. If they’re aligned with that then it’ll be a good fit.

    What are the necessary steps to get started with blogging VA work?

    Step One: Choose A Niche

    You need to choose a niche. You need to define what skill sets you’re going to deliver. A client will be much more impressed with someone who is closely aligned to their industry and to what they’re trying to achieve.

    Step Two: Educate Yourself

    You need to get educated and invest in yourself as much as possible. If you want to work for bigger businesses, you could get a University degree. For smaller businesses and other bloggers, Scale Travel Your Travel Blog is the best option for SEO, affiliate marketing, etc.

    You can even consider social media courses, photography courses, VA freelancing courses. There are so many really great courses that can help you grow your skills and network.

    Investing in your education is vital.

    Step Three: Build Your Portfolio

    If you’re a travel blogger and have a website, you’re halfway there. But if not, you might want to consider setting up a blog as a portfolio of work. You could also create a PDF document, or if you’ve managed other people’s social media accounts, you can use that to show clients your work.

    A girl walking on the sand dunes of Western Australia.

    Step Four: Join Facebook Groups

    I found this really helpful to build my network and find people that are looking to hire.

    Try not to pick the Facebook groups that have millions of people and are filled with spam. Find the groups that are true to your niche and start connecting with people there.

    Step Five: Pitch Yourself Repeatedly

    Send those emails, send those DMs.

    And that doesn’t mean just sending 5 emails and calling it a day. You need to send 20, 30, 40 emails and get no response, and then keep going.

    I’ve had people who have said we can’t work with you now because of our budget, but we’re about to launch this project and we’ll get in touch then. Sometimes it’s just a “not now” and your name will be on their radar for when they do need your help.

    Step Six: Be Persistent

    Lastly, you need to be persistent. Keep going. It can be a tough gig. I had months when I only got crickets and other months when I had 3 people reach out to me when I haven’t even reached out to them.

    You have to be consistent and not take anything to heart.

    Do you have any other unique tips for those looking to become a blogging VA as a side hustle or as a full-time job?

    You need to be comfortable with the fact that it isn’t guaranteed income. You’re not working on a contract and it could all disappear tomorrow.

    Olivia sitting on a car next to the bright blue ocean in Kangaroo Island.

    I’ve had clients who have ghosted me, clients who had budget cuts, and you need to be okay with the fact that it’s not a full-time job. You’re not guaranteed work tomorrow.

    For me, I’m okay with that because I have some savings, but then I also have like a plan B.

    Where else can people find you, hire you, or connect with you?

    You can check out my travel blog: Defining Decade

    And you can also reach out to me via email at: hello@definingdecade.com

    I’d love to connect and chat!

    A HUGE thank you to Olivia for all of the strategies and tips that she shared with us about becoming a travel blogging virtual assistant.