Around three years ago I embarked on my first “work abroad” adventure.
I remember buying my one-way plane ticket to the Philippines, wondering how I’d balance spending time with my girlfriend, seeing a new place, and working abroad all at the same time.
Back then I was probably making about $3,500 per month as a blogger.
I had an online course I sold to my audience, and I was just learning the ropes of owning my own business.
A lot of people reading this might’ve been searching online about working abroad for a year, or how to work abroad, and you’re probably looking for advice on how to win jobs and stuff.
That’s pretty cool, and I wish you the best in that endeavor, but I wanted to show you another door — let’s call it door #2, where you’ll not only be able to have more freedom over your own movement, but you’ll probably be happier and make more money as well.
Door #2 is all about blogging.
I’ll do my best to detail how I’ve worked abroad over the last four years, and how you might be able to do the same, but first, let’s talk about some of the benefits of working abroad.
Why You Should Work Abroad For A Year
I think that pretty much all 20-somethings and recent graduates should work abroad for a year. Is it an absolute requirement and will it rain hellfire if you don’t?
Of course not. You can do whatever you want, but I believe the benefits of working abroad for a year are too great to pass up.
For one, staying in a single place for a year is the definition of an immersive experience. It’s like a hard reset on your worldview.
I lived in the Philippines for two years and I am a totally different thinker now than I was three years ago. I’ve become hyper-aware that life outside the America bubble, in countries like Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, is extremely difficult for a lot of people.
But seeing poverty and interacting with people who are currently living in poverty are two totally different things.
Most vacations last about a week, right? If you’re lucky enough to get 2–3 weeks off work, then you’re probably going to hop around Europe for a bit and see the best of everything.
When you work abroad for a year, though, it’s totally different. You’re not just seeing the whoosh of beautiful sights and sounds outside your car or train window. You’re now essentially part of the ecosystem of the place you’re in. In a few months, you’ll essentially become a local, and that’s a very rewarding experience to have.
Whether you’re a nomadic English teacher or a blogger, I think working abroad for a year is a MUST-HAVE experience.
How To Work Abroad As A Blogger
If you want to know how to work abroad as a blogger, here’s the general gist of it..
- Write for about a year with zero expectations.
- When you start averaging 20,000 views per month, setup an email list.
- After you’ve built your email list to 1,000 people, come up with a few online course ideas and ask your audience which ones they like the most.
- Create said course.
- Sell said course.
- Continue writing and selling that course until you get sick of it.
Congratulations, you now have an online business. Let me continue to break this down into a few more “lessons” for you..
Lesson #1: Blogging Is About Monetizing An Audience
The first thing you need to understand about making money blogging is that it’s all about monetizing an audience.
You (hopefully) create stuff people want to read, provide some value to them, and since you’ve helped them, there’s opportunities for them to help you, too.
Here’s a few ways you can monetize an audience as a blogger..
- Sell ad space on your blog.
- Get brands to pay you for a “sponsored” blog post on your website.
- Sell online courses directly to your audience.
- Write for Medium’s partner program.
- Make money with some affiliate programs (I.E. You shout out a product and if your audience buys, you get a small commission).
There’s tons of other ways to monetize an audience, but for all intents and purposes these are the most popular ones.
Lesson #2: Making Money As A Blogger Is About Tactics, Not Creativity
I love writing. It’s very cathartic for me to sit down in front of a blank draft and fill it with words.
However, when you want to start a business as a blogger, raw creativity is NOT going to get you there. You need to start creating things for the sole purpose of driving dollars into your pockets.
Sure, you can make money on Medium by writing about whatever you want, but most people don’t make more than $100 per month.
I make quadruple what I earn on Medium with my writing course, and the coal that powers that engine consists of sales funnels and copywriting and blog posts that I’m trying to manufacture virality with.
So, if working abroad as a blogger intrigues you in any way, just understand that you’re not always going to be writing about whatever you want. You need to be tactical. You need to figure out what your audience wants and give them more of it. Sometimes the best-written posts don’t get read, while the best-marketed posts get all the shine.
You need to learn how to play the marketing game as a blogger.
Do This: Write 50 posts on a website like Medium. After you’re done, isolate the blog posts that performed better than the rest. Great, now write more about these topics. Eventually you’ll be able to create an email list and maybe even a product about them.
Lesson #3: Email Lists Are So Important Because That’s Traffic That You Own
I’ve talked about email lists extensively in other posts, but just know that this step is crucial.
Typically bloggers rely on platforms like Medium to make sure their blog posts get shown to their followers. You can cut the middle-man out of this equation by starting an email list. Once someone subscribes to your list, that’s traffic that you own. You can send them an email at any time.
This ensures that any future messages about products, sponsored posts, or affiliate posts will be seen by whoever follows you.
To make sure people have an incentive to sign up, create an email freebie for them that they get in exchange for giving you their email address.
Lesson #4: Learn How To Monetize An Online Course
I cover all of this in another post, too. Just know that online courses are my favorite way to monetize an audience because you make something truly useful for your audience, and it’s typically priced higher than $197 as well — meaning you make more money for each sale.
How Much Do I Make While Working Abroad?
I average about $8,000 per month. After taxes, though, that initial sum comes out to about $6,250.
Travel costs and expenses can be high, but for the most part I’ve made enough to invest pretty significant money into the stock market and various cryptocurrencies.
How It’s Felt To Work Abroad The Last Three Years
I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Here’s a few benefits I feel I’ve received from working abroad.
- The ability to see my family whenever I want.
- The ability to immerse myself in cultures most people would never be able to visit.
- Full freedom from working a 9–5 job.
- Increased awareness at just how privileged I really am.
- A drastic shift in my priorities in life.
- The sheer bliss of being able to “red pill” from American society and become a different person.
I’m such a huge fan of traveling. I think traveling is the best way to develop yourself and improve who you are.
Tying you work to traveling so intimately allows you to stay immersed outside of the America bubble (or wherever you grew up) for an extended period of time.
This is an experience so few of us are allowed to have. That’s the real treasure of being able to work abroad, and if you have the chance to do so, I pray you jump on it.