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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living

The Expat Chat is a weekday podcast where we interview inspiring expats who have thrown off the constraints of western congestion to enjoy their dream lifestyle in other parts of the world...often for a fraction of their cost of living back home. If you want the travels of Rick Stearn with the freedom of Tim Ferriss this podcast is for you.Subscribe today.
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Nov 23, 2015

If others can make money online why can’t I? That’s the question that Sharon Gourlay asked herself in 2013. With her kids still of pre-school age she knew she had a window of opportunity to give up her job, build an online income and move overseas, enjoying the world while living off her digital income.

Within 12 months Sharon had started to get results – she has since built her online business up to $5000 per month and growing while she enjoys living in Penang (very affordably) and traveling the world from her base with her family of 4 (also very affordably).

In this interview Sharon shares the story of how she built her blog, how she finds living in Penang, and gives some tips on how to monetize a travel blog which she also shares via her website www.digitalnomadwannabe.com

What I learned from Sharon’s interview:

  1. You can build a blog worth $5000 per month. We know from our interview with Yeison and Samantha that this is possible. Sharon did it by having a plan as to how she hoped to earn it and working hard on targeting to her market.
  2. SEO is important. Sharon focused on this part of building her blog, knowing that it would take time but would give her strong long term benefits so that she could eventually just focus her time on maintaining her business
  3. Invest in learning what you need to learn. Sharon spent all the initial money she made from her blog on educating herself further
  4. Diversify your income. Sharon has been closed down by an affiliate company so it only emphasizes that you don’t want to rely entirely on any one source of income – you never know when Facebook, Google or someone else will decide they don’t like what you are doing – and remember; with many of these large companies you are considered guilty until you prove you are innocent.
  5. Write quality content. Too often when looking to earn online income or build traffic it becomes a focus about looking for tricks to build your business. As Sharon rightly says it isn’t just about the number of website visitors but whether you are getting the right visitors who will take action. Don’t become fixated on page views either.
  6. Look at Norwegian airlines for budget flights. I just priced a fare from Bangkok to Oslo at $US152. They also offer transatlantic deals – may be well worth a look
  7. You can travel Europe on under $100 per day as a family of four, its all about traveling slow and looking for affordable food and accommodation. Crack those nuts and the cost can drop substantially.
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