In this series, we’re exploring the various careers of world travelers, and how they make ends meet financially while living abroad. Yes, financially sustainable full-time travel is possible!
Megsy and Tommo are co-founder’s of the Travel Freedom Network. The Travel Freedom Network is a network of blogs, each with differing focus. From food and fun, to educating others how to live a location independent lifestyle. They have been featured in online publications such as Forbes, Yahoo Travel, News.com.au and more and were awarded the blog of the month by national Geographic Traveller in July 2015. Read on to learn how the Travel Freedom Network paves the way to their location independent lifestyle!
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
Three years. We’ve visited 41 countries in that time across Asia, Europe and Australia.
Please describe what you do for income.
We have quite a few different revenue streams from freelance writing, to affiliate sales, to digital products like courses and ebooks.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
Haha at the moment the hours are insane as we are getting set to launch our Travel Blog Monetization Virtual Summit. We also run three blogs (two travel and one niche) and a podcast – we are obviously workaholics LOL. The hours vary depending on if we are traveling or staying in one place, but it’s usually about 40 to 50+ hrs a week. This will drop to 30 hours a week once our course and summit have been launched.
How much money do you make?
Our income sources over the last two years have varied wildly. Unlike a regular pay check, our income can come from all different revenue streams. Sometimes entirely down to what action we take to earn, sometimes down to more regular streams – like affiliate sales.
It’s easier to look at some typical income streams, as it varies.
Affiliate Sales (average $800 – $1,000 USD per month). Some of the biggest contributors for us are Insurance, Amazon, and Udemy. Amazon income is pretty reliable as it is mostly based on established SEO articles.
Other affiliate sales can depend if we run promotions. Email promotions for Udemy, for example, typically bring in $200-$300 per promotion. We may run them once every three months, then run a promotion for an alternative affiliate another month. So, these promotions balance out to a relatively predictable affiliate payout each month.
Freelance Writing ($350 per month). Once again, this is an average. Some months we work hard to sell at least two or three articles and will make much more. Some months we don’t spend any time on freelancing and will make zero.
Ebook sales ($100 – $200 per month) We have a few ebooks on our different sites. It’s not a massive income, but it is entirely automated, passive income.
Podcast Sponsorship ($50 per episode). Not every podcast is sponsored. Depending on the sponsorship agreement, this can be about $200 a month.
Web Services ($250 per month). As experienced bloggers, taking on design work. Website and social media management etc. is something we are very capable of doing with our proven portfolio. We have a regular client that pays $250 a month. We occasionally take on some hours for other projects.
We get a lot of our accommodation, tours, food and other travel stuff paid for. We do have to create content in return for this. On average we may get $1,000-$2,000 of promotional stuff provided each month. This saves us a fortune on the road making the pressure to earn lower.
Our goal is to earn over $1,500 per month, every single month as this is more than enough to perpetuate our travels forever – though, of course, we aim to be making much more than this in the future.
With the coming release of our new course “Pitching Masterclass”, we expect to exceed $2,000 per month from April onwards. The course focuses on exactly how we get so much of our travel paid for and exactly how even new bloggers can successfully pitch brand partnerships.
All in all, over the last 12 months or so, income has varied from about $900 to $1,800 per month. Growth in Affiliate sales in the last eight months has kept us well over $1,000 per month more recently.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
We do make enough to support our lifestyle. We have now been on the road for three years and to over 40 countries in that time. We started with $37k in savings which lasted us just about 18 months – from then on we have purely supported ourselves through the blogs. Some months are better than others, but we live a very minimalist lifestyle. We try to travel slow, staying longer in destinations we visit which keeps accommodation and transport costs low. We also aim for places that have low cost of living. Currently any extra money we have tends to go back into the business, but we hope to change that so we have more savings in the bank for 2016.
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
We can’t see an end in sight at the moment. We still have so many new places that we want to visit, and places that stole our hearts that we want to see again. I suppose we will stay in one place for a bit when we decide to start a family, but even then we hope to see the world – this time with our kids.
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
Start with a hefty amount of backup money in savings and extend the time the money will last by traveling to very affordable destinations. The more time you have to focus 100% on creating a location independent income, the more likely you are to succeed. If you only give yourself six months, you probably won’t make it. (See Also: Before You Quit Your Day Job…)
Our biggest mistake might have been spending our first 18 months traveling, rather than working hard. Although the experiences we had have contributed to our authority as travel experts, we made so many rookie mistakes with our business that we would not have made if we had started our journey spending a few months in a digital nomad hub, learning the industry and making contacts.
Megsy and Tommo are about to launch The Travel Blog Monetization Virtual Summit, which will present 15+ expert guests sharing proven strategies for monetization. If you are earning less than $1,000 per month, this will kickstart your journey towards a full time travel blog income.
Learn more at Travel Blog Summit!