Many travelers hope a travel blog is going to provide enough income to have a location independent lifestyle. What could be better than getting paid to write about your travel experiences? The problem is that blogging is one of the most difficult ways to earn an income online. It takes a phenomenal ongoing effort to write and promote posts and even then you have to steer topics towards selling something; you don’t make money by writing an online travel diary. There are much more effective, faster and reliable ways to earn money while traveling.
Want to be a Millionaire?
Imagine if you had one hundred thousand dollars in the bank. In today’s financial climate, you would be pretty lucky to earn a safe 3% per year or $3,000 ($250 per month). That means if you could make $250 per month in regular passive income, it would be the equivalent of having $100,000 in savings. If you could ratchet that up to $2500 per month you would in fact have the income of a millionaire. ($1,000,000 X 3% = $30,000 per year. $30,000 / 12 = $2,500 per month)
Elusive Passive Income
The hard part, of course, is earning the passive income. After all, if it were so easy everyone would be doing it. Many of the travelers I have interviewed are proving that consistent online income is definitely possible. (Check out some of my interviews with Pat Flynn, Kirsty Henderson, Karol Gajda, Nomadic Matt-Mathew Kepnes, etc.) One thing I can attest to, and I know all the people I have interviewed would agree, is that passive income is NOT easy. It takes a lot of upfront work and knowledge of internet marketing. You have to spend hundreds or probably thousands of hours learning until you can consistently deliver profitable results.
If Blogging Doesn’t Work, What Does?
There are people making money blogging, so I know it is not impossible. It is just really, really hard. There are rock stars making millions traveling the world, but there are also countless musicians that play only as a hobby. Becoming a successful A-list blogger is a lot like becoming a rock star. It takes years of dedicated, focused effort and some good luck helps a lot too.
A better alternative to blogging is creating mini-sites to market other people’s products or services. This is often referred to as affiliate marketing. It basically means building a small website to get targeted traffic to sell things. You don’t have to create the products because there are thousands made by others to sell already. You just have to get traffic to a site. If a sale is made through your web site you earn a commission, often around 50%. So for a $100 product, you would earn $50 per sale. Five sales per month would earn you $250, the equivalent of $100,000 in the bank as I mentioned above.
Get Rich Quick (Earn a Decent Income Slowly)
There is a science to getting traffic and finding out what works and doesn’t. It can take years to get that level of marketing and technical sophistication. There are some good training programs to walk newbies through all the steps of creating niche affiliate marketing sites. Some programs can cost thousands dollars, especially if there is a real life seminar, and others are membership programs for $97 per month or more. While I am sure those programs have value, they are a far too pricey for most people starting out.
I have just completed Corbett Barr’s Affiliate Marketing for Beginners course and found it to be a great inexpensive course to get started in affiliate marketing. Corbett walks you through all the steps in choosing topics, researching market potential, finding products to sell, creating mini-sites, search engine optimization and more with a real affiliate marketing example. The best part is that all the modules have comments so that you can ask questions that Corbett will answer. The modules explain everything clearly and concisely without all the hype and pushy sales tactics. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners is relaunching today (August 10th) with a two day discount. The price increases on Thursday.
To be clear, this is not a quick and easy way to riches. It takes time to research niches, find products and start earning commissions. Some of your sites might be successful, some not. Like anything in life, consistent effort and regular improvements are required to find out what works best. My niche sites make almost no money at all. When I got started I didn’t know how to research key words and optimize sites effectively. Actually, I didn’t even bother to find products to sell. I hoped to earn enough from Google Adsense. Well, I know that ads alone don’t earn much income. Now I need to put in the work to implement Corbett’s techniques.
Again, if you don’t have the motivation to implement what you learn in the course then save your money. Corbett makes it clear that his program is about ethical marketing of good products that people want to buy. Creating a sustainable income honestly, takes work and time. If you want to get a good, easy to understand, comprehensive introduction into building mini-sites and Internet market, then Affiliate Marketing for Beginners is good value for the price.
You have probably guessed that I get a commission for selling Corbett’s program (affiliate marketing) :-). For anyone who buys through the links on this page, I would like to offer an extra mastermind group where we can regularly share our experiences, problems and lessons learned. If you are interested in working through Affiliate Marketing for Beginners with me please email after you go through the course. It would be great to bounce ideas off of others doing similar things. I can show you some of the sites I have and mistakes I have made to hopefully save you some time when you do it for yourself.