One of the most frequent questions I get asked from old friends who want to move away from the 9-5 office grind and into location independence online work is this:
If you were starting from scratch today, what would you do?
I’ve already written about the different ways in which I’ve been able to earn a living online, but in this post I’m going to give you some further tips.
The first thing to keep in mind is that becoming location independent and successful online is no easy thing. Do you work a 9-5 gig? Prepare to work much harder if you’re going to start your own business or start freelancing.
Are we on the same page? I repeat, this is going to be hard work!
You’re ready for it? Awesome, I have another requirement for you; you need to ready to learn. The people who are successful in online business tend to have an insatiable curiosity for learning how things and work and devour books, podcasts, articles, videos, courses as well as attending meetups, seminars, conferences and networking with other like-minded people.
Since every person has his own passions and aptitudes, I don’t have the answer for you in particular. However, I can definitely point you in the direction of some excellent resources that have helped me get started, and continue to do so today. The learning never stops, and even now after several years of doing this location independent work thing, I still reserve 10 hours per week specifically for learning.
These are my favorite podcasts specifically for those who are starting from zero:
- AskPat and the SPI Podcast, hosted by Pat Flynn
- Travel Like a Boss by Johnny FD
- Mastermind.fm by myself and James Laws
Now onto blogs:
- Matthew Woodward (includes monthly income reports, great for affiliate marketing)
- Smart Passive Income (includes monthly income reports, also focusing on affiliate marketing but also going further)
- Leaving Work Behind (mostly about becoming a freelance writer, but not only)
Great, now we have lots of inspiration, but what would I personally choose to start making money online right now? It’s hard to say really, it depends on how fast I need to start making money and what my aptitudes are.
If I didn’t have the WordPress skills, I would possibly try my hand at Amazon FBA. This is also called dropshipping and is all the range in places like Chiang Mai. I know many friends who started from zero and made a lot of money over a relatively short period (1-2 years).
You could also start blogging about your passion or start a podcast, but those are longer-term projects as you’re not likely to make any money during the first 1-2 years, and even then, it’s hard to make it. Timing plays a big part of the game in blogging and podcasting. For example, when I started WP Mayor, it was a very good time to start as there wasn’t much competition and WordPress was just about to go on a sharp rise in terms of usage on a global level. If I had to start a WordPress resource site right now, even with my experience, I doubt whether I’d be able to make it work given the lost ground I’d have to recover. The market is also flooded with blogs about WP nowadays, so I’d definitely choose another niche.
If you plan to become a digital nomad, you will find the Nomad Forum very useful for discussing your plans with other digital nomads.
I also recommend you sign up with Airbnb. You will use that when landing in a new place. If you plan to stay for a month+ in a place, you can rent an Airbnb place for the first week or two and then search for a place while you’re there, making sure you find something you like and can live in for a few months. Of course, Airbnb is also perfect for short trips up to one month. If you want to really avoid the hassle of searching for a place you could also rent an Airbnb for more than one month, it will just be a bit more expensive.
You will also need Revolut, which is a debit card that you can use to pay in the local currency without incurring any currency conversion fees and always getting the best exchange rate. If you use your bank’s card you will get a worse exchange rate plus currency conversion fees for every transaction. I’ve saved a lot of money by using Revolut. Apart from those benefits, it also shows you all transactions in real-time on your smartphone (via its app) making it very convenient to always keep an eye on all your expenses.
Have any questions about this topic? Leave them below and I’ll chime in with my answers. In the meantime, I’ll also keep updating this post as I remember about any other tips and resources I can share with you.