Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Make Money Online So You Can Live and Travel Freely

By Winston Wu (Founder of HappierAbroad)



Hi all, 
I think I've found a solution to the perpetual traveler's dilemma of balancing work and freedom to travel, and to escaping the global economic enslavement system as well. As we all know, the basic dilemma is this: If you travel a lot, you eventually run out of money and have to go to work. But if you get a job, then you have to be there everyday and lose the freedom to travel. 

Until now, that dilemma seemed inherently irreconcilable. But with the advent of the internet, people are now making money online in a variety of ways. The ideal scenario is to earn "passive residual income" where you get paid every month without working, by automating some kind of online business. The benefits of this are priceless: 

1) It lets you live anywhere and travel anywhere without being tied down to one location, thus giving you freedom of mobility. 
2) You don't have to rent an office space or shop or hire workers. The only people you have to work with are those you partner up with for deals that are mutually beneficiary - where you help each other, do cross-promotions, or affiliate partnerships where you earn commissions from each other. 
3) In a regular job, once you stop working, you stop getting paid. But in an automated online passive income enterprise, once it becomes stable and established, you can stop working and still CONTINUE getting paid! That's the beauty of it - which gives you true freedom! 


 

These inspirational quotes accurately portray the insanity of working for others: 

"What's the point of making a living, if all you do everyday is work to make a living?" - Pat Flynn, Passive Income Guru

"When you work for someone, you trade time for dollars. But if you invest your time into creating a business, you produce a cash flow operation that works for YOU!" - Pat Flynn, Passive Income Guru 

"Active vs. Passive income: With active income, when you stop working, you stop getting paid. But with automated passive income, when you stop working, you still continue getting paid! That equals Freedom!" - Key point on many passive income websites 

So true when you think about it, isn't it? And it makes so much sense too. Why live as a slave, instead of trying to find a way out of it so you can be free? 

I've been building online passive income the last three years and have now finally earned enough to travel without having to work, as long as I travel frugally within inexpensive countries. I did it by creating, promoting and operating a fairly successful Global Dating and Living website and movement at HappierAbroad.com, and earning a combination of 1) advertising revenue, 2) affiliate sales commissions, and 3) ebook sales from it. The more traffic I've built up, the more I've earned. After three years, I've now built up a stable traffic base and income from it, and its popularity is ever-growing. 

I'm not rich by any means, but I earn enough to live off of,to be financially independent, as long as I live or travel in inexpensive areas and stay in simple or modest accommodations, or use free accommodation sites such as CouchSurfing.com, HospitalityClub.org or GlobalFreeloaders.com. Freedom at last! (even if it means the freedom to live simply) 

If any of you are interested in doing the same thing, I have a few tips and links below for you to check out about realistic ways to make money online. But I should warn you though - this is not easy at all. It requires a lot of hard work, slow growth and months with no pay. It's not enough to have a good strategy or formulas (thought those may help). You gotta do something you really believe in and stick to it. 

Don't believe the hyped claims of all those internet marketing gurus out there who make money by teaching you how to make money. Such folks may provide some good advice on building websites and driving traffic to them, but they often exaggerate their income claims in order to attract wannabees and keep them from getting discouraged, otherwise these gurus won't make money themselves. 

While anyone will tell you that it is hard work to make money in your own business (even the deceptive Amway and its MLM copycats will tell you that), what they WON'T tell you is that the rate of growth is very slow, unless you are lucky enough to have outside forces helping you. 

Instead, these internet marketing gurus will paint a false picture - that when you start trying to earn money online, you work hard for one month and earn a few thousand dollars, and then it goes uphill from there. That's where they are deceiving you and painting a false picture of reality. But of course, they have a vested interest in retaining their followers and not letting them get discouraged; that's why they exaggerate the rate of growth of online income, rather than tell you the brutal truth about it. Therefore, where these gurus deceive you is in their false portrayal of the rate of growth in this type of venture, even if they admit that "you have to work hard to make money online". 

In actuality though, the picture is not that rosy. When you start out, you will be earning virtually NOTHING the first few months, and when you do, it will start as a slow trickle. First you might earn 20 dollars a month, followed by 40, then 60, and so forth, more or less. But that's assuming you are able to make it work. It takes a lot of endurance to continue and not give up. Only those who really believe in what they are doing and persist will make something out of it. 

I have a close friend who runs a highly successful medical diagnostic and information website. He is a genius computer programmer and expert online entrepreneur. He makes about $400 a day (but has made up to $800 a day during his best periods), or about $12,000 a month, from online medical diagnostic services and medical information pages that run Google Adsense (http://www.google.com/adsense). I've seen his earnings and extravagant spending habits. But he told me that when he first started, he was only making $40 a week! ($120 a month) 

Overall, it's not easy and the growth happens very slowly, but once you reach a stable significant growth, you are free and that is priceless. However, not everyone will succeed. Success will depend on a combination of factors: your endurance, perseverance, passion, luck, timing, help from others, market forces, random traffic flows, your skill in SEO (search engine optimization), and the popularity of your field of expertise or the niche you're involved in, among other factors. It's not something that anyone can just get up and do. This is one of those things where "many try, but few succeed." Again, you gotta do something you really believe in and stick to it through thick and thin. 

With such grim odds, if you are still interested and want to follow through on your passion and dreams, then read on. 

Now keep in mind that we talking about automated online passive income here, not active online income where you teach English through Skype, ship products through Ebay, or do freelance work for others. In active online income work, your payment is more fixed and predictable - depending on the hours you work, items you sell, rate of pay per article you write, or whatever deal you've negotiated with the client. 

Anyway, if any of you here are interested in starting your own online business or making money online, here are some no-nonsense tips and links. 

As I know, these are the primary ways one can make money online: 

1. Provide a product or service that people are willing to pay for. (e.g. Ebay.com, Amazon.com, etc.) 
2. Serve as an online middle man and outsource work to others, earning commissions from the deals made and services rendered. 
3. Provide good web content that draws significant steady traffic - by generating content on a website, blog or forum (a public platform where others can generate content for you), and using backlinks, optimized key words for SEO (search engine optimization), advertising and cross-promotions to build up your traffic. Then earn advertising revenue and affiliate commissions from that traffic, and product/service sales as well. (that's what I do) 
4. Do freelance work for others, such as freelance writing, editing, video editing, programming, etc. on a contractual basis. 
5. Provide some kind of personal service, such as consulting, teaching English to foreign students via Skype, etc. 

(You could also work from home by helping manage someone else's website operations, or do some kind of telecommuting work for another company, but then again, that would be working for someone else, not yourself.) 

There are many websites out there that will teach you how to do the above. Just Google "How to make money online" or "How to build a website" to see a list of many of them. Here are some good and informative ones. 

http://www.thewebmoneyworld.com 

http://www.moneyonline.net 

http://www.blogstash.com/53-ways-to-make-money-online/ 

http://www.101waystomakemoney.com 

I personally recommend a Passionpreneur named Walt Goodridge who teaches people how to turn their "passion into profit". His website and books contain a lot of awesome valuable advice in teaching you how to find resourceful ways of doing what you love and making a living from it. See his website here: 

http://www.passionprofit.com 

If you don't have any web design skills, you can consider using SBI to build, launch, promote and manage your web business. They handle all the complicated technical aspects for you. All you need to do is work hard in promoting your passion. Check out their Passion page or their easy-to-understand Video Tour that explains how they can help you and what they can do for you.

For web hosting, I recommend Bluehost. They have UNLIMITED hosting, space, transfers and domain for only $4.95 a month, the best deal you can possibly get. Plus they are known as the web's most reliable host with the best security and customer service. Every webmaster I know recommends them too. Check out their deal here.

If you have any good ebooks to sell, you can sell them through these popular ebook platforms for maximum visibility: 

Amazon Kindle: http://kdp.amazon.com 
Barnes and Noble Nook: http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com 
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com 
ClickBank: http://www.ClickBank.com 

Or from your own site/blog as a PDF. If you'd like to self-publish your book into paperback format for free, without a publishing agent, you can do so at CreateSpace (http://www.createspace.com), which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. However, they take a high percentage of your sale price. 

If you have a distribution line of products to offer that you think will sell, you can sell them on Ebay.com for maximum visibility. 


 

You can start your own blog or forum of course, but driving traffic there is slow and difficult, unless you already have a pre-existing audience or fan base of readers. To earn significant income from such platforms requires significance steady traffic. So it is not easy of course. You need good content, a passion for your niche, the ability to persuade others, help from others in the form of content generation and cross promotions, and luck of course. 

There are popular free blogging platforms that utilize easy and convenient ready made templates that anyone can operate, such as Blogger.com and Wordpress.com. But it's better to have your own domain name for higher keyword authority and a more professional image. Hosting your blog under another domain name, such as http://yourdomainname.blogspot.com, looks second-rate and amateurish. 

You can also connect with advertisers who will pay you to blog about their product or service on sites such as PayPerPost.com. And you can earn ad revenue from high ranking free article platforms with revenue sharing programs, by posting your articles on them. Two popular recommended ones are HubPages.com and InfoBarrel.com. 

If you have any programming skills, web design skills, video editing skills, or good solid writing and editing skills, you can put them to use as a freelancer and work from anywhere in the world on a contract basis. And if you're good, the client may request more of your services on an ongoing basis. Here are a list of sites that offer jobs for freelancers. 

http://myseoblog.net/2008/04/07/lists-of-freelance-sites/ 

http://www.freelancer.com 

http://www.getafreelancer.com 

http://www.elance.com 

http://www.guru.com 

http://www.directfreelance.com 

http://www.demandstudios.com 

http://www.odesk.com 

http://www.essaybay.com 

You can even make money teaching English online! For example: 

http://www.verbalplanet.com/teach-english.asp 

Btw, we have a discussion thread in my forum about this topic as well. If you want to check it out: http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11535 

Anyway, I hope that helps inspire you all to create a life of freedom for yourselves. Remember that where there's a will, there's a way. 

Best Wishes for success and happiness, 
Winston Wu
Founder of HappierAbroad.com


See also:
Alternatives to Having to Work a Regular Job You Don't Like