Hello! Today, I’ve a terrific story to share from Isabel Leong. She might be speaking about how she made the transition to change into a full-time journey blogger. Enjoy!

I’m Isabel, digital nomad and full-time journey blogger at Bel Around The World. Since its inception as a pastime weblog after I was in college in 2015 till now, I’ve earned over $79,000 from it.

This is excluding sponsored 5-star experiences resembling skydiving and going up on ice glaciers in New Zealand, doing white shark cave diving, paragliding and occurring luxurious safaris in South Africa, flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, glamping in Australia, visiting overwater villas within the Maldives and extra.

At its peak, the positioning fetches a month-to-month common of over 55,000 web page views month-to-month. Thanks to the standard, constant, passive visitors and revenue, my dream of travelling full-time is now attainable via this journey weblog.

It was not all the time like that…

Growing up in Singapore, life was.. monochrome, to explain it at finest. Don’t get me fallacious, I’m not attempting to downplay my nation. It’s simply that having been born and bred right here all my life, the nation to me was congested with skyscrapers, man-made gardens, and the very best pure level on this city-state is a hill that’s solely as excessive as 164m.

There was a lot extra I wished to see, extra lands to discover, nationwide parks to get misplaced in, world wonders to lose myself in and other people I haven’t met outdoors of this nation.

I by no means imagined how my life could be so intertwined with journey till one fateful journey after I purchased a one-way ticket to a continent I had not but visited earlier than in my life. 

Who knew this might ceaselessly alter the trajectory of my life?

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It was meant to be a semester-long examine overseas program, the place I’d spend as much as 6 months in Europe. To put together for this huge journey, I bear in mind packing an infinite suitcase – virtually as much as my waist – as if I used to be leaving dwelling for good, and getting a DSLR for my twenty first birthday in preparation for this huge journey. It was a giant deal, getting a correct digital camera for the primary time. It was my first huge funding in my life as a 21-year-old, a prelude to a life the place photographing would change into so indispensable in my life now.

Throughout my finances pupil journey round Central and West Europe, I feverishly snapped images, spent my time researching locations to go to, experimented with the most cost effective methods to journey extra and created itineraries for ease of journey. 

Throughout all of it, I created a weblog to doc all my journey suggestions and methods in order that others after me might have a neater time travelling.

It was a while in that study-travel life-style amidst my poring on journey blogs that I found that dream lives do come true – journey bloggers can really journey and weblog full-time! Doesn’t it sound too good to be true?

Since then, this fantasy concept that sooner or later I’ll lead a lifetime of full-time journey too lingered behind my thoughts, whereas balancing the realities of my very own circumstance – that I’m a contemporary uni graduate with no work expertise and connections to talk of…

I returned from my 6 month Europe journey with 16 international locations on my belt, of which I visited 55 cities and discovered find out how to say “hello” in 11 completely different languages.

As with everybody else who graduated from college, getting a job was the following transition. There was no room for the rest. Such is life, I believed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I sucked it up and put in my finest effort. 

I acquired my first job as a graduate partially because of the work I’ve executed on my journey weblog and social media; a task in a social media company complemented my expertise being a journey blogger.

I’ve labored and interned throughout my education days, and I by no means actually thought I match into the company tradition. I believed being in a boutique artistic company with most of my colleagues from Spain may assist.

No surprises; it didn’t.

A 12 months after commencement, I made a decision company life was not for me. Rather than working to appease individuals and slogging arduous for another person’s dream, I made a decision to make my very own desires a actuality.

Having all the time wished to stay and work overseas to expertise a special setting, I left every thing and mustered the braveness to take a plunge and do a 6-month working vacation in New Zealand.

Coming from the town, I discovered myself falling in love with the simplicity of a rural village after dwelling in a small city in New Zealand, Fox Glacier. During that stint, I helped vacationers witness a few of nature’s most interesting pure glaciers.

If something, assembly individuals in Europe throughout my semester overseas who have been engaged in work they love and doing a working vacation in New Zealand the place you may earn a dwelling even engaged on a farm reassured me that the definition of labor doesn’t all the time need to default to being in a closed area 55 storeys up, surrounded by different smartly-dressed-yet-deadpan-faces questioning their which means in life.

At that time, my journey weblog nonetheless existed as a pastime bringing in a espresso fund revenue, on no account near working a full-time workplace job.

It took immense braveness and calculated threat to do what I did subsequent.

I took a wager on my journey weblog and went on to stay within the mountains of Japan, the place I devoted full-time hours to make my weblog generate an honest revenue.

3 months in, I used to be extra in love with nature, connecting with cultures and locations I’ve by no means been greater than ever. I used to be additionally hitting my month-to-month revenue objectives, incomes at the least the equal of what I’d’ve earned again dwelling in a full-time job. 

The solely distinction is, I’m loving what I do, and I’m loving the place I’m. Imagine waking as much as freshly fallen snow on the mountains of Japan. I bear in mind how I used to be blinded by the whiteness of every thing after I awakened, the gentle, powdery style of snow shavings in my mouth and the crunch of ice as I made child footprints on the fluffy fallen snow on the bottom. I by no means wished to be wherever else.

That additionally taught me an essential lesson: in case you by no means take your weblog severely and make investments effort and time into it, it’ll by no means advance past a pastime weblog.

Since I’m within the journey area, I’ve been in a position to stay 5-star experiences resembling skydiving and going up on ice glaciers in New Zealand, do white shark cave diving, paraglide and go on luxurious safaris in South Africa, flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, take my household glamping in Australia, and go to overwater villas within the Maldives, amongst others.

I even had the chance to do out-of-the-world experiences like dwelling on a ship in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia that I usually wouldn’t signal myself up for.

That’s what dwelling a lifetime of mini-retirements is like, the place I’d work arduous in between intervals of enjoying arduous. I didn’t need to slog my prime years away, solely to change into too jaded with life and really feel like I’m too previous to do something enjoyable.

The journey weblog opened up a world of prospects I’d by no means envisioned myself doing earlier than.

Because I wasn’t tied right down to a bodily job in a bodily location, I had the liberty to work from wherever and stay in international locations I really like like Japan and Hawaii.

From travelling throughout continents in Europe, Asia and Oceania, I’ve discovered that there’s extra to life than chasing the company race. 

It’s about experiencing the world and taking life classes from the individuals we meet of various cultures and views. It’s about trusting your self and pursuing what you like regardless of going through exterior oppositions – which explains how I’m dwelling my dream of working by myself model spreading the phrase of journey and serving to different bloggers obtain the identical dream of labor independence at this time.

As I kind this from a restaurant on a seaside in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, the place I’ve been on the street for the final 7 months because the pandemic hit, life then has by no means been the identical. 

If you’d requested me 5 years in the past, I wouldn’t even have dared think about myself leaving the comforts of my dwelling with nothing however my weblog to my title to depend on for revenue. I’d’ve thought such a life was reserved for the C-Suites who’ve spent many years working their manner up MNCs and have lots of of workers managing the corporate whereas they sip margaritas by the seaside.

While I’ll not have wealth to my title, at the least I’ve lived a life the best way I wished, a lifetime of no regrets.

I’ve discovered to like the problem of the unknown, to face my fears, to embrace uncertainty, to belief in serendipity.

Because life is extra rewarding that manner.

My story is a testomony that a lifetime of work freedom, whether or not meaning working for your self or working remotely, and mini-retirements can occur at any age. I made it occur on the age of 25, and you’ll too, anytime you set your thoughts on making what you like be just right for you.


More than attributing my work-life freedom to my journey weblog, there are specific common classes you may take away from it, particularly in case you’re a blogger.

From being a pastime journey blogger to at least one who blogs full-time, there have been a number of issues I needed I’d strategized higher in order that I might half the time I take to show my weblog right into a money-making enterprise.

And that’s…

To begin specializing in Website positioning from the very starting.

If I did, I’d have written Website positioning-optimised articles from the get-go, as an alternative of getting to dedicate additional hours to backtrack to the tens of articles I’d haphazardly wrote after I first began running a blog to re-optimize or delete them.

If I did, my aged posts would have stood a greater probability at rating on Google earlier as an alternative of competing with the various web sites at this time.

If I did, I might have shaved off half the time I spent attempting to make my different social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) work in driving visitors to my weblog. 

You see, I’ve discovered (the good distance) that the easiest way to drive visitors to your web site is when consumer intent matches what your articles are about. That’s achieved when customers search on Google what they’re searching for and your article solutions their query. As for social media, they exist primarily as an inspirational platform, thus click-through charges are as a rule lower than optimum.

WHAT IS Website positioning

But first, let’s discuss Website positioning and what the massive deal about it’s.

If you see pages rating on the primary few positions while you key in a sure search time period on Google, that’s the results of Website positioning being executed proper.

Website positioning, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is all about optimizing your web site for engines like google to assist them acknowledge what your content material is about and rank them on Google for sure key phrases.

Think of Website positioning as a bridge that hyperlinks what you’re sharing along with your target market. You can have 1,000,000 articles, however with out Website positioning, all these articles and the dear information you’re sharing will simply be buried within the tens of millions of internet pages on-line. 



One examine analyzed over 80 million key phrases and billions of search outcomes to know how customers have interaction with SERPs. 

The examine confirmed that the primary end result that you just see in Google Search has a mean click-through fee of 28.5%. The second end result has half the CTR, at 15.7%. 

From the third end result and under, the CTR decreases exponentially.

Thus, in case you’re not rating on the primary, second or third end result, the probabilities of having your web page clicked on are nearly zero.

In abstract, the upper your article is rating on Google, the higher your visibility, and the extra individuals will click on to your web site.

It’s all because of growing my visitors and readers to my web site via showing on the high of search engine end result pages that I used to be in a position to earn a passive revenue from running a blog, all with out promoting a single services or products on my journey weblog!



In this web age, what customers need now’s to learn. They need to know in the event that they’re making the fitting buying selection. Between selecting between Adidas, Nike or Asics sneakers, how will you determine which is sweet for operating lengthy distance? Do you take a look at who advertises higher? 

No. You Google critiques about them.

We as customers are actually primed to disregard advertisements. People might be guarded in the event that they assume that they’re being bought to. Advertisements are not as efficient.

Moral of the story? 

Education is the brand new advertising and marketing.

Your viewers don’t like being bought to. They like being taught, guided and suggested.

Now that we’ve established that content material is essential for your online business, what in case you’ve written lots of of articles however none of them are seen by anybody, aside from the restricted few that you just push out to by yourself social platforms?

This is the place Website positioning comes into play.



There are a few elements that come into play relating to rating your pages on engines like google, however earlier than we go on to the complexities of it, it’s best to all the time preserve these in thoughts everytime you need to write articles that rank:

  1. Your article ought to resolve a query
  2. Your web page ought to present an excellent consumer expertise
  3. Your web site ought to have backlinks (different web sites linking to you)
  4. Your article must be as reliable as attainable


1. Your article ought to resolve a query

What I imply by answering a query is that your articles must be one thing your target market is Googling about.

So how do you discover out what your viewers is Googling?

The best and free manner is to go to Google search, kind a generic search time period. 

Google auto-populates longer-tail key phrases which might be 3 to five phrases lengthy. This offers you an concept on what different key phrases your viewers are looking about that revolves round your core key phrase.

Secondly, while you enter the search outcomes web page, there are generally Featured Snippets the place it exhibits questions that “People also ask”. You can use these inquiries to reply your viewers and present your skilled information of the subject.

Of course, if you wish to go extra in-depth with key phrase analysis, I extremely advocate investing in a paid key phrase analysis instrument. 

I take advantage of Keysearch which is nice for newbie bloggers. There are after all extra skilled instruments resembling Ahrefs and SEMrush that you could additionally faucet on. Of the 2 that I’ve used, I discover Ahrefs far more user-friendly.


2. Your web site ought to present an excellent consumer expertise

This 2021, Google is treating consumer expertise severely. This consists of the web page load pace, time till the primary consumer interplay, mobile-friendliness, protected shopping and using HTTPS. To present you the extent of the way it impacts your web page, let’s take the impact of web page load time on bounce charges.

According to Google,

If web page load time will increase from 1 second to three seconds, bounce fee will increase by 32%

If web page load time will increase from 1 second to six seconds, bounce fee will increase by 106%

Some examples of excellent web page expertise embody: 

  • Making certain your advertisements usually are not intrusive
  • Your paragraphs are quick sufficient for straightforward studying particularly on cell
  • Your font textual content must be massive sufficient in order that readers have a straightforward time skimming via
  • Having a desk of contents so your readers know find out how to navigate via your posts
  • A clear weblog interface the place you don’t have buttons overlapping one another
  • A mobile-friendly web site
  • Removing any damaged pages in your web site


3. Your web site ought to have backlinks 

Firstly, what are backlinks and why is it essential?

Backlinks are hyperlinks from an exterior web site to your web site.

According to Rivalmind, “Backlinks are important for SEO because they signal to Google that another resource finds your content valuable enough to link to it within their own content. As a website earns additional backlinks, search engines infer that the website possesses valuable content worth ranking well on the SERPs.”

They’re essential as a result of they join pages, making a map for bots to seek out associated content material and rank them based on what their content material is about.

That means, the extra backlinks you could have from completely different web sites, the extra it tells Google that your web site is an authoritative property in your subject material because you’re being trusted by all these completely different web sites which might be linking to you. The extra Google sees you as authoritative, the upper the chance Google goes to prioritize your content material over the others and rank you on the high of engines like google.

While the overall rule of thumb is that the extra backlinks you may create on your web site, the higher, it’s value noting that not all backlinks are created the identical manner. In truth, some is likely to be detrimental to your web site’s well being.

Strive for do-follow backlinks as no-follow backlinks is not going to cross on hyperlink juice to your web site regardless of how usually it will get linked.

Backlinks from authoritative websites are value greater than low authority, spammy websites. They are those that sign to Google that your web site is credible.

Having related anchor texts additionally play an element. Anchor texts are texts which might be being hyperlinked to your web site. Instead of hyperlinking the phrase “right here“, the hyperlink would rely far more in case you have been to make use of related texts to explain the hyperlink. For occasion, in case you’re linking to finances journey, then the anchor textual content must be “finances journey“.

There are some ways you may create backlinks to your web site, however most significantly, essentially the most pure manner of getting backlinks is to craft factual, informative, resourceful, data-driven, well-researched article items. After all, articles which might be helpful for readers are those that get shared essentially the most, not quick, irrelevant content material.


4. Your article must be as reliable as attainable

Adding authoritative and reliable hyperlinks in your publish indicators to engines like google that article is backed up by dependable sources, thus enhancing your publish’s credibility. 

Some examples of authoritative hyperlinks embody skilled quotes, research, data-backed analysis, thought items from KOLs and many others, that you could embody in your article.

If you’re feeling misplaced and confused about Website positioning, I’m right here to cut back the barrier to studying! To allow you to get began on Website positioning, I’ve created a bite-sized Website positioning course delivered through e-mail. You can obtain my free Website positioning course right here.

Author bio: Full-time journey blogger and Website positioning coach roaming the world at whim, I draw power from being open air. An explorer at coronary heart, the world is my playground. I assist aspiring bloggers and types obtain visitors objectives and monetary freedom with on-line content material and expose millennial travellers to experiences past their imaginations.

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