Joe’s Story: Living Cheaply In Asia While Making Money Online
Living in the US, Canada, UK or Australia can make it tough for people to get ahead in life financially.
An alternative is to sacrifice some lifestyle, and gain some new experiences, by working away from home in Asia.
The cost of living in Asia is almost half, or even a quarter, of what it is in the US, Canada, UK or Australia. If you can earn the same amount of money (or more) as you would in your home country, it makes it easier to get ahead financially.
Now, you can't expect to land in Asia and get a job paying you the same rate as people earn in the US, Canada, UK or Australia. You have to create your own job.
One way of doing this is to own a business that can be operated anywhere in the world with a laptop and an internet connection.
Joe is someone who has done this successfully with his family, but I believe he is missing out on some bigger income producing opportunities…
So, I'm going to help Joe maximize his opportunities.
First, let Joe tell you about himself
We moved to Asia as my partner is a teacher and got a job in Asia teaching at a British international school.
We wanted to travel and see the world, so moving with work seemed like a good way to do it, especially with the long school holidays.
Although I'm not a teacher I managed to get a job out here at a school and did that for a while. We were planning to do two years and then try somewhere new, but we had a kid and stayed on. The main reason for us, between the two countries, is the cost of living. This is what keeps us here instead of going back home. While Asia has many great points, and so does England, you get so much more for your money here, that it is hard to face going home, especially in the current situation in the UK!
I look after my daughter, while my wife works as a teacher and I also work part-time as a freelance content writer. I like going to the gym and keeping fit. I also enjoy traveling and have lived abroad for nearly four years now. Parenting is also a topic I am interested in.
Most of my internet marketing training, or education, I got for free from forums and blogs. I've bought a couple of things in the past like the Online Income Lab training which covered building EMD niche sites and the Stray Blogger training to build a niche authority site.
I made a reasonable amount of money online throughout 2011 from affiliate marketing, but the Google updates stopped all that and my sites no longer really rank. HomeWorkoutIdeas.com is the last site I was working on. It gets about 25 hits a day.
I am interested in the fitness niche and do find it easy to write on the topic. Within that niche I am probably most interested in weight training for people that are of an average build and want to get into ‘beach body' type shape rather than hulking mass monsters.
I enjoy reading about parenting stuff like guides and how to's, equipment, and things like that. I have a bit of practical experience in that niche too being a dad for two years now.
My goal is to improve my income so that it is a fairly passive income source, or at least one I don't have to work on each day, by August 2013. I want it to allow my partner and I to both stay at home with the kids, and also do some more traveling.
At the moment I have a lack of spare time, but also a fear of wasting that time by doing the wrong thing. This causes me to not to anything at all! The content writing for other people takes up most of my spare time.
My comments to Joe
Great story Joe and congratulations on what you have achieved so far.
The first thing I'll point out is, by writing for other people you are capping your income, and only getting paid once for your work. While the person you have written the article for, is using it to generate traffic, convert readers and make a passive income for years to come. If you want to earn a passive income you need to get on the right side of the game.
I know that's tough when you need the income now, but there are better ways of doing that. You should be writing for yourself, so that over the years you generate so much momentum with your articles in the search engines, that you could never stop the traffic, even if you wanted to.
You are an awesome writer and Google wants good quality information like yours on the web. Forget about search engine optimization (SEO) and trying to game Google. Give Google what they want (great quality content that people are sharing) and you will win!
However, having said that, you have to be smart about which market you are going to play in…
Choose the fitness niche, and I have no doubt that your knowledge and writing will eventually be recognized as an authority, and people will pay for your knowledge or recommendations.
But, because of the high competition and the large volume of information available freely on Google and YouTube, it could take you 12 or 24 or 36 months of writing, testing and tweaking to make some sort of impact in the niche.
It will be worth it in the long run, because it is an extremely profitable niche, if you can break through and find a few joint venture (JV) partners. I found over 7,000 fitness related blogs on Technorati which is highly competitive sign.
You could shortcut the process by buying traffic, but any long tail fitness keyword phrase is going to cost you upwards of $1 a click. At a 1% conversion rate you would need to be making a profit of more than $100/sale just to break even… That makes it tough!
Having said that, you are getting some visitors to HomeWorkoutIdeas.com so it makes sense to keep going. I would love to see your analytics to identify where these visitors are coming from and what they are doing. With some tweaking we should be able to get at least a conversion a day from the organic traffic.
The other opportunities I believe you have are:
- Planning, relocating and living in Asia – there is very little good quality and credible information on the web about this. I'll elaborate further on this below.
- Parenting a daughter from a dad's perspective – this is unique, and the fact that you are parenting in Asia provides another interesting twist.
- Article writing for short term cash flow – rather than you write the articles, write the tutorial that shows others how to create cash flow doing this.
- Building websites and marketing for businesses – you are very experienced with WordPress and writing, so there is no reason why you couldn't be building websites for small businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. I did this for a while and I'm still being paid for hosting many years later.
Those are all good solid options that we can discuss further. However, the knowledge and experience you have about relocating and working in Asia is something you should consider. There is the potential to create an ebook, Kindle book and physical book for people considering the idea. As an upsell you could offer a service whereby you meet and greet people on arrival and arrange their accommodation, etc. for a fee.
Don't overlook this ‘simple' idea because books (physical or digital) are one of the best forms of passive income. You put the effort in once and you can sell hundreds, thousands or even millions of the same book with no extra effort… especially if you leverage the distribution of Amazon.
These books can also lead to other opportunities, like the meet, greet and help example. You could interview other entrepreneurs that are working in Asia, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. and offer this as a product. Just today I was listening to a podcast where many entrepreneurs are living in Vietnam for about $1,000 a month, and helping each other grow their businesses. They have a great lifestyle and are building huge businesses online.
The best part about a book is you could have it completed in the next few weeks and be making sales on Amazon. It is incredible how simple it is, but people overlook it because they only make a few dollars a sale.
Amazon does a magnificent job in cross selling and promoting your book. Their distribution system is awesome and you don't need a website, a sales page or a way of collecting money.
Once you have your book on Kindle, you could then scale by creating a physical book and then a website where you would post day to day tips, and build a subscriber list. Your blog could contain video, a podcast and so much more, to give people the absolute best information possible on living in Asia (or a similar region). You could do a comparison of Asia vs the Philippines vs Vietnam, etc.
The options just go on and on…
Think about what I've said, let me know what you think and then we'll go to the next stage.