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The Worst and Best Ways to Make Money While Traveling

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So you want to try the extended traveling/living abroad thing? Good for you!

Extended traveling is one of the most life enriching things a person can do! If you are still unsure whether you want to live abroad read my article on that first.

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If you’ve already decided this is the direction you want to go unless you are already wealthy chances are good you will need to earn money while doing it. This article will show you the worst and best ways on how to make money while traveling.

The worst ways to make money while traveling!

Teaching English!

Me teaching English in Mexico

Just because you’re a native speaker it doesn’t mean you can teach English well. Teaching is a gift and its not meant for everyone.  It’s not just a part time job like working at burger king. Good teaching requires a ton of patience and work. Especially if you plan to teach the little ones.

If your heart is not in teaching I suggest you stay away from this job. Remember, this has an impact on the lives of little children. But that’s not what makes it the worst way to make money while traveling.  Here’s why teaching English to make money abroad isn’t a good idea:

  1. Expect to be paid late (and sometimes not at all).
  2. The pay sucks. Unless you’re teaching English in N. Korea, Saudi Arabia, or some other first world nation it will be difficult to make enough money to cover your expenses.  In Chile, for example, English teachers receive minimum wage! Talk about a confidence blow!
  3. Racism. I hope I’m not the first person you’re hearing this from but if you’re not white its going to be more difficult to land English teaching gigs abroad; especially in Asia. An acquaintance of mine was a hiring coordinator of an English school in Vietnam. He told me that he was told under no uncertain terms by his boss that he was only to hire white people.  When he called her out on it she insisted she wasn’t a racist but that’s what the parents want to see.
  4. It eats up a lot of your time! If you want to earn anything near a livable salary you’ll have to work at least 25 teaching hours per week. Notice I said teaching hours. That’s not counting the lesson planning, the paper grading, the conferences and unpaid meetings you’ll have to sit through. Once you factor in those things in you’ll be working more hours than you did back home!

Starting a travel blog *hint* *hint*

Everyone and their brother thinks that they can just start a travel blog and make enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle. Sorry Sally but the blogosphere is saturated with blogs, especially travel blogs. I’m not saying don’t start a blog.

I just need you to understand its not as easy as opening up a wordpress account and writing about how you had the runs in Jakarta, slap some adsense ads on it and make money.

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Why?

Ad revenue is waaayyy down across the spectrum but especially for travel blogs. Many travel companies won’t negotiate even if you do manage to get some traction and build up an audience.

They don’t have to. There are just so many bloggers  out there willing to do it for what they initially offer.

In addition unless you’re already a popular person it takes time to build an audience and even if you are popular competition for eye balls is fierce! 

That means you’re going to have to spend hours and hours working on an article and then if it sucks you won’t make any money.  On top of that once you’ve mastered how to make good quality content that’s only half the battle.

The real hustle is getting your content noticed. In the olden days you could just spam facebook groups and web forums with your links to promote yourself.

Not anymore.

Anti-spam algorithms have gotten better than ever. Most forums have spam filters and are carefully monitored by forum managers only wish their ads to be seen.

On facebook if its system thinks your spamming your links will stop showing up even if they still appear to be there for you.  My account was suspended for 30 days because of posting my link too much.

If you use paid traffic it will take forever to get your money back because of all the mistakes you’ll undoubtedly make when buying facebook and google ads.

The diminutive amount of blogs that do make enough money to live off of were started years ago (at least 5) and even those guys will tell you privately that they wouldn’t get into travel blogging now.

The only people who will tell you that its easy to make money blogging are those trying to sell you their stupid ‘how to make money blogging’ courses. I know a travel blogger and 70% of her revenue comes from selling her ‘how to start a travel blog’ course. 

My intention here is not to discourage you from doing either of these things if that’s what you’re passionate about nor am I just being a negative Nancy. I just want you to understand that neither of those ways is a good way to make money while traveling.

The best ways to make money while traveling

Okay now we got the dirt out of the way lets get to the gold underneath. These are the best ways to make money online. 

Freelancing with Fiverr.com

The ultimate online freelance portal. Do you know how to draw? Write? Talk? Edit videos? If you can think of it chances are good its on fiverr!

The way it works is your place your ‘gig’ on the site whatever it may be. Then if someone chooses you to do their project you get 80% and the site keeps 20%.  Here are some whacky gigs I found on fiverr.

Yes there are serious gigs and you don’t have to charge only five dollars. Here are some more legit gigs on Fiverr.  As you can see these people are making good money.

I won’t lie though you have to build up your reputation to get to a level that someone will pay you $1300 for a logo design but as you can see it can happen. Like anything you have to work at it.

The reason I like freelance work is because you definitely get paid for your work. It’s not like a blog or something where you can work hours and hours and not see one penny from it.

There’s just a whole lot less risk to free lance work.  Fiverr also protects you by withdrawing the funds from the buyer’s credit card before the order is even sent to you. It’s held in an escrow account and released to you (minus 20%)  14 days once the order is complete.

Youtube videos

I’m not talking about bs home movies type videos. I’m talking about good high quality content videos. One of the best ways is an explainer video. Do you know a lot about something?

Is there something you are passionate about? Then make a youtube video! You can make a youtube video out of almost anything. There’s a guy that makes a living making videos about how airlines price their tickets. I’m not kidding!

Another popular way to make videos are explainer videos. These are videos that…well…explain something. Here’s an explainer video about the internet.

Here is another explainer video about how airplanes fly.

Now you don’t need to be an artist to get these. You can also get these on fiverr for usually around $45 and up!  If you know about something you can make money online with these babies!

Why youtube over blogging? 

Blogging competition is fierce. It’s a lot easier to write a simple blog than to take the time to sit down and make a good high quality video.  Yes there are a ton of videos on youtube but the lion’s share of those videos are just complete garbage that no one would watch.

Youtube videos take time! Most viewers simply don’t appreciate how much time it takes to make a high quality video that has any chance in going viral.

You’ve got to do the research, write the script, do the voice over (usually several times to get it right), get your clips together, edit it down to an acceptable time length, add background music, and then upload it.

But thanks to explainer videos that’s no longer the case.  Nowadays if you know something and like to explain it then you can just write a script and have an explainer video made for you and make money.

I’m not saying this is get rich quick or even get rich at all but if you have a good script and hire the right person to make the video for you then you can make a lot of money with this!

Online surveys

Yes yes I know what you’re thinking online surveys are a scam. While there are some scams out there are legitimate surveys that pay. Particularly long surveys that take more than an half an hour.

Why would companies pay for a survey?

Simple because survey participation is at an all time low.  According to the Pew Research Center phone poll participation rate is a meager 9%!  Therefore if companies want legitimate helpful answers to their surveys they’ve got to pay to play.

That bodes well for someone looking to earn money online.

In order to steer clear of scams I recommend going with an agency that connects interested participants with legitimate companies like this one.

With that good luck and I hope you are able to make money to realize your dreams.

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