Updated: September 3, 2017
Note from Niall: this is a guest post from the legendary Agness and Cez of eTramping.com.
Let’s use this opportunity to take a quick look at some dream jobs.
We’ll kick off with a rock star.
Who wouldn’t want to play in front of thousands of adoring fans, all screaming your name and fainting when you tore your shirt off?
How about a sports personality?
Scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final? Lifting the silverware at Wimbledon? Securing a nail-biting world championship at tiddlywinks?
Or there’s the Oscar-winning actor.
Flashbulbs bursting as you strut your stuff on the red carpet for one of the finest performances ever captured on film.
For most of us, such occupations will remain little more than fantasy, but there is one dream job that anyone can achieve with the right attitude and a little guidance. And that dream job – the dreamiest of dream jobs – is to be a self-employed full-time traveller.
It’s the kind of job that doesn’t really exist unless you create it by yourself. It gives you a great opportunity to earn money and be your own boss while exploring the whole world.
How do we know?
Well, that’s our job.
Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Agness and Cez, best friends and travel junkies, on the road from our home country of Poland since 2011.
We basically got fed up with the rat race and left behind promising careers in boring stuff, in order to satisfy our intense (borderline psychotic) wanderlust.
Along the way we’ve had many ups and downs, trials and tribulations, broken hearts and broken bones; but we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Shortly after embarking upon this crazy adventure, we set up our own travel blog, eTramping.com, and set out to discover the best ways to continue trotting the globe while leaving that old nine to five grind behind.
We were super stoked when our buddy Niall agreed for us to guest post and pen a few words about our experiences in how we’ve managed to keep the wolves from the door for so long, while seeing as much of this beautiful planet as we can in the process.
So today we’d like to share with you three great ways for earning money while traveling.
(Legally. Three great legal ways for earning money while traveling. *cough*)
Teaching English (in China)
Alright, alright. So you’re not technically traveling if you remain in one place for an extended period of time – but hear us out.
You can teach English all over the world, but we both have had amazing experiences teaching it in China – so that’s what we’re regaling you with – and for a number of different reasons.
It was May 2011 when Agness decided that the lure of the east was too great to ignore, and applied online for a teaching position. Following a short Skype interview, she got the job and before you could say “past progressive” – her bags were packed for China. It wasn’t long before Cez jumped on the band wagon to the land of the dragon and joined her.
But how do you do it?
First things first – the ability to speak English would be a very good idea.
You don’t have to be a native speaker (remember that we’re from Poland) but you do have to be fluent, with a good grasp of the grammar.
Now you don’t necessarily have to do a Teach English as a Foreign Language course (TEFL), but we would highly recommend it – as it will open more doors and earn you more money. It’ll also help you brush up on your own knowledge gaps too – and is extremely useful if you’ve never taught anything a day in your life.
This actually deserves a mention on its own, as you can find teaching positions even if you’ve never taught before and especially in schools where they’re crying out for staff. The demand is so great that you’ll always be able to find work, and we can help you to teach English in China, no matter your qualifications, experience or skillset.
(Although it’s obviously a massive advantage if you’re not an escaped convict.)
So what are the plus points we were telling you about?
Well you can earn silly amounts of money if you apply yourself, as living expenses are low and salaries can be high. In fact, it’s possible to save $18,000 a year while teaching English in China, including what you would spend on exploring the region – which isn’t that much if you’re a savvy budget traveler.
And that’s the best part – using your days off and weekends to get out there and see one of the most diverse, historic, beautiful and fascinating countries and cultures on earth. And you’ll still come away with money in your pocket for the journey to your next destination.
Try it for a year – and then travel until your heart’s content.
We can assure you it’s well, well worth it – with the added advantage of being a shining light on any resume.
Now this is much more suitable for those who prefer not to be so tied down to one place.
All you need is a decent wifi connection and a quiet corner of a hostel where a big group of Aussie lads are not trying to force shots down your neck.
The World Wide Web is a big wide world for writers, and we’ve managed to earn some extra traveling dollars by channeling our inner Hemingway and writing content for other websites, blogs, social media and news outlets.
Companies will always need copy for their online presence, and all you have to do is be able to string a solid sentence together and get noticed.
But how do you do that?
Prospective employers post literally hundreds of new jobs on there every single day, so set up a profile, sell yourself to the best of your ability and apply like a maniac to as many positions possible before passing out over your keyboard.
As some famous person once said; “write what you know”, so a good start would be to focus on content you’re actually interested in. Why would you write about cats if you’re a dog person? We’re obviously interested in travel, so that’s what we go for, but if you like gaming, sports, music, cross-stitch or trainspotting – then go for your life!
When you write about what you enjoy and what you know – you write well and you write efficiently – and employers will see that a mile away.
Potential employers will usually give you a spec of what they’re looking for and you have to come up with a strong, eye catching and well-written proposal to grab their attention.
Then the world is your lobster and the earning potential uncapped, but the rates do vary wildly depending on the employer and your ability. You could be paid per hour, per word or per project, which you must ensure you negotiate beforehand.
Entry level content writers might be looking at anything from $0.50 to $2.00 per 100 words, which definitely isn’t much, but we’ve all had to start somewhere. With time and experience you can be rising to dizzying pay heights, and then you can afford to dine out in the south of France rather than another depressing night of ramen noodles.
Oh, and you’re on the blog of the best bloke who can teach you about negotiating prices, getting new gigs, and everything in between – Niall with his 3M1K course (just go and see what that’s about).
Note from Niall: or just sign up below and I’ll send you my free “work online” mini course by email.
Ahhh now, this is probably our favourite, since we have devoted much of our time establishing our labour of love, eTramping.com (along with Fit Travelling, Run Agness Run and aTukTuk = each of these blogs devoted to one of our passions).
Setting up your own blog is a great way to earn money while traveling, but it’s not a quick fix, and we should warn that it takes time, effort and dedication if you wish to succeed. But there’s no reason why you can’t, especially with patience and hard work, and if you’re not just uploading videos of penguins falling over. Even though that’s hilarious.
Revenue from blogging is generated in a number of ways:
- Advertising – where clients approach you to promote their product on your website and give you a fee for your trouble.
- Affiliate Marketing – which is where you link to another company’s product and get some moolah when potential customers are directed there.
- Sponsored Trips and Reviews – which is awesome for traveling and having experiences for “free” (you need to render a service for that – like writing and promotion, so it costs you time), as companies give you freebies in exchange for promoting or reviewing their product.
- There are non-monetary benefits – where, for example, we receive lovely messages and emails from our wonderful readers – especially when they tell us that we have inspired them in some way to take that first step towards a new life of travel. It’s not all about the money you know!
But in order to do all of that – you need one vitally important commodity.
Top quality content.
If you’re filling your blog with page after page of nonsensical drivel – like the Fifty Shades of Grey – then your milkshake isn’t going to bring the boys and girls to the yard. Great blog content shines like a beacon of hope for all mankind, and with that aforementioned hard work, consistency and persistence, you’ll be a big-time blogger in no time.
And remember – it doesn’t have to be about travel – write what you know.
It might take you a painstakingly long time – there are no get rich quick schemes when it comes to blogging – and you might tear your hair out multiple times. But with patience and a lot of TLC, there’s no reason why you can’t make it work for you. If we managed it –anybody can.
Of course, the buck doesn’t stop there when it comes to making money while on the road, as there are literally hundreds of things you can do to keep your travel fund from dwindling.
It’s just in our experience, we’ve found that the above advice rings true and has certainly brought the greatest rewards, both financial and otherwise, without feeling like we’ve sold our souls.
But one man’s dream is another man’s nightmare so they say, so find what works for you and make it work for you.
For us, there’s no better “office” than a cafe in a new city.
Go and find yours!
Note from Niall: Thanks to Agness and Cez for sharing their experience of working online. Be sure to check out their site: eTramping.com.
And in the comments below, let us know if you plan to give any of their suggestions a try to support your own wanderlust 🙂
- Note from Niall: Upwork can such sites can be a goldmine for finding freelance jobs, but I personally recommend you try a couple of other things first, as detailed in this article.