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150 Days of Documenting My Side Hustle Journey

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Making my own money has always been my biggest motivator in almost everything that I do except my imposter-syndrome-heavy-foray in creative writing. But the rest? Blogging. My shift to the B2B content writing space. And even my recent dip into the Tiktok world. But my biggest problem has always been consistency. I have four unfinished book projects. A 14-year-old blog that should have been making constant consistent passive income but doesn’t. And yet I started another blog I started three-ish years ago but remains empty (and I pay for the domain every year and maintenance and all.)

I recently encountered a tiktoker/side hustler who challenges herself to make an extra $100 every day on side hustles mainly affiliates and data annotation. Data annotation jobs are common in the US, but not in Asia or Europe. So it doesn’t work for me.

Affiliate marketing

But my yahoo account, mainly used for social media trash is subscribed to a lot of affiliate marketing stuff. Many of them are modern-day digital pyramid schemes—yes, looking at you MRR schemes. LOL. And there are many high-ticket affiliate marketing, which personally, doesn’t dwell well with me. I’m not really a sales person. And I don’t intend to make millions from these courses and all.

Travel blog

But I do have a blog. And I do know how travel affiliates work. And SEO. And it has been my goal to be admitted in the mediavine program. But for my blog to make a decent passive income, I HAVE TO SHOW UP EVERY SINGLE DAY.

So I called this my life after five pm.

I set an hour and a half timer, check the SEO keywords on Ahrefs and Keysearch of the places I visited, and started typing away, without much thought on the literaryness of the word written (my blog is not the venue of it) and weaponize ChatGPT to structure and draft the article. Of course I have to rewrite most of them, but the point is AI is an assistant, and it makes it a lot easier when there is something to work on already. Remember I challenge myself to do the whole thing within 1 hour and thirty minutes.

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An old photo of me working remotely in Sapa, Vietnam

And once I’m done writing, I check my phone for all the photos I took during my trip and airdrop them to the macmini and layout them on Canva.

And for more professional-looking photos (I stopped bringing my DSLR in most of my trips ever since I stopped working as a travel journalist :P), I simply source them on Canva since I have a premium account I use for work, for my blog, and for other personal projects that I have.

I then implement affiliates mostly on,, Klook, and Getyourguide on TravelPayouts, the central platform for everything travel. It makes it a lot easier. Imagine back then, there are so many separate affiliates for every travel booking site, and they all have a payment threshold.

But with travelpayouts, all earnings are pooled in one place, so it is much easier to reach the payment threshold.


A month ago, I started taking my @homehums account seriously, but virality has been elusive and I’m still tinkering on everything and see which ones tick. But my views are growing every day. I’m now in 46K views a month and I predicted by mid-November I will reach the 100k views a month which is the Tiktok requirement for monetization.

One caveat that I haven’t resolved though is that my Tiktok remains a Vietnamese account! Which is really weird since it has been two years since I left the country.

So what are the goals?

Reach 100k views a month on Tiktok.

Get a paid partnership deal before 2023 ends.

Reach $100-$200 a month on travelpayout earnings. As of writing I’m at $57.

Reach 5000 sessions before the year ends on my blog. And 50000 by mid-2024.

Lofty goals

Are they? They are quite average I would say. As long as I keep showing up, I’m now on Day 5, I’m positive these are doable. Of course there are contingencies to think of. I’m pregnant and expected to give birth by January. But I reckon I can use my maternity leave to slowly but consistently build my passive income stream.

My goal is not to become rich from these side hustles. I’ll be more than happy to have extra $500 a month by mid-2024.

So wish me luck!

And if you want to follow my side hustle journey, you can find me on Tiktok and IG: @jonajournals

That’s for now!



Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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