While I’m a big believer in having hobbies for nothing more than the sheer joy and fulfilment it can bring to your life, attempting to monetise your hobby is not a bad way to start dipping your toes in entrepreneurship culture. The transition from ‘hey this is fun’ to ‘omg people want to pay me for this??’ is nothing short of amazing. I sincerely hope everyone will get to feel that.
(Note: Not everyone can or should be an entrepreneur, but everyone should have entrepreneurial mindset, ie problem-solving skills and all that, wouldn’t you agree?)
RoR started as a hobby, too
Personally, I started writing personal finance blog articles as a hobby. I offered it as a service while I was looking for a new job, but it eventually expanded into this whole Ringgit Oh Ringgit shebang and its current 8 sources of income, so I never looked back. But of course, I also failed figured out a few ways that didn’t work along the process.
Obviously, I wasn’t the only Malaysian who have attempted to monetise my hobbies. And when I asked RoR readers about it, I was blown away by the variety of answers – your hobbies are hella cool, some of them I never even heard of!
With their permission, I compiled some of the answers – thanks so much to everyone who agreed to be featured in this article 🙂 Definitely opened my eyes on the many possibilities of side incomes, and I hope it’ll do the same for other readers too.
In 2019, I launched my first ever book, Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1. That did well (so much that I wrote a case study on selling online), so I worked on (1) a sequel and (2) the Malay translation.
After over a year of planning – including organising a writing competition to source for the short stories, hiring a Malay translator, getting the book designed and printed etc – On 26 April 2020 finally I launched 2 new additions to the #MyMoneyStories book series:
Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 2. The sequel of the Money Stories series. It contains 11 personal finance-themed short stories
Cerita Duit Orang Malaysia: Jilid 1. The Malay translation of Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1, with two additional stories (total 13 stories).
>>Click here to purchase all #MyMoneyStories books<<
Launching the books means *selling* the books. Because this is my second time doing it, and by now I have a bit of experience, I decided to make a how to sell books in Malaysia guide. I figured this guide would be useful for not just current and future book sellers, but also any online seller.
Before we start, a confession: SELF-PROMOTION IS STILL HELLA HARD FOR ME. I have a lot of mental block when it comes to promoting my own work (ESPECIALLY my own work). And that is NOT the trait of a good salesperson.
But… one does not grow in the comfort zone. So what if it’s hard, I get to challenge myself. And as one of my fav personalities, Marie Forleo said, “Do hard things” and “Everything is Figureoutable”.
How to Sell Books in Malaysia: What I Did to Increase Sales
So. I want to sell more books. You want to earn extra money. Both of us can get what we want, I’m giving this affiliate system a shot. Help me sell any of the Money Stories from Malaysia book series and earn up to RM17 per successful order.
I mean, if some of you are already promoting it for free, why not make money from it, right? 🙂
(Oh in case you’re new here. I’m Suraya, the personal finance blogger behind ringgitohringgit.com, and I write about how I apply personal finance advice. I share exactly what I do to earn/save/invest money, not just the theory stuff. Sometimes it gets crazy meta, like this one over here.)
Being self-employed sounds all nice and romantic until you realise that we are the most financially vulnerable group in this pandemic situation. According to a study by INCEIF (The Global University of Islamic Finance), 71.4% of self-employed have less than one month’s worth of savings.
(Private sector employees aren’t faring much better either – 82.7% have less than 2 months’ of savings.)
The good news is the Economic Stimulus package as announced by the PH government was somewhat useful. I’m sure many of us sighed a big relief upon knowing that we can defer payments for our mortgages, car loans and others (except credit card, which you can restructure), thus freeing up our monthly financial commitments.
Did you know you can buy a business in Malaysia? Some of you may already know this, but I didn’t up until my mid-20s, so here I am putting that fact out there.
If you’ve always wanted to test your entrepreneurial side, you can buy a business from any of the options listed below, instead of starting one from scratch. Kind of like the same idea as buying clothes off the rack rather than sewing it yourself. Might need alterations, but it’s ready-to-wear.
What type of business, you ask? Oh dudettes. So many types. Anything you can think of. We’re talking:
On 1 and 2 February 2020, I self-organised not one, but FOUR money management workshops in one weekend. Tiring? Yeah. Fulfilling AND profitable? HELL YEAH.
In this article, I’d like to share with you the exact steps I used to plan and execute the workshops, from ideation to execution. I did almost everything myself, with the help of various online tools and platforms.
There are seven steps involved. Use this as a guide if you’re planning to organise your own workshops, in any niche, to earn as side income.
And wow did Twitterjaya respond. 30 ‘yes’ replies as of time of writing! So here you go – an article about everything a beginner should know about how to make money with social media skills.
Note: as social media is still evolving, I plan to continually update this article, but it should be a good starting point.
Just a little heads up before you get too excited – just because social media marketing sounds fun af (and it is), doesn’t mean its not work. The ‘social media efforts are best done regularly and consistently‘ part is the work part.
Let’s play a game. Anytime you see someone asking the understandably common question of ‘What should I invest in?’ online – in Facebook, Twitter, any social media really – try and see if you can find that one fella who reply back ‘you should invest in yourself first’.
Which is, you know, not wrong. But it *is* condescending and out of place. I said what I said.
(Btw – the answer to that question is in this article. Most people start their investment journey with one of these five types of investments)
But fine. Like I said, those fellas – and its almost always fellas – are not wrong (again, I said what I said). It *is* important to invest in yourself first, I agree.
How does ‘invest in yourself’ look like in practice though? In this article I’d like to share how I’ve been interpreting that statement. The steps are loosely chronological.
#1 – Get access to learning materials
Non-fiction books. Courses – online and offline. Any source of new knowledge, paid or free. I’d put travel in this category too.
You already know this – it’s too obvious and I’m not even going to expand this section beyond this.
One of my favourite things about being a writer is the creativity I can apply during the content creation and monetisation process. There are so many ways to earn money!
And you know what? Anyone can write. And everyone has a network of friends and family to tap into. It’s just a matter of doing it well, in a ‘everyone likes to buy but no one likes to be sold’ kinda way.
In this article, I would like to share with my fellow content creators – both current, future and even casual ones – the referral programmes that I have experience in using, plus the amount of income they have generated for me so far.
I’m also giving links of posts containing the referral links so you can have a sense of what types of content do well, and which do not. Knowing what *doesn’t* work is part of learning too.