Blogging: The Income That Feels Like a Permanent Vacation

When I first set up my blog five years ago, I never imagined I’d end up with the most flexible and enjoyable working schedule I could have dreamed of.

I started blogging as a hobby—writing has always been a natural passion of mine—but after almost three years of building a strong, loyal readership, I decided to quit my regular 9-to-5 job and live entirely off of the income generated by my blog.

My blog allows me to live like a modern nomad. Since July last year I’ve traveled through 21 different cities in nine different countries. I’ve climbed Mount Vesuvius and hiked the five villages of the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. I spent three months in a luxurious beachside apartment in Split, on Croatia’s breathtaking Dalmatian coast. I experienced my first snowstorm while making my way across Norway and Sweden, and swam in the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey, in the Guatemalan rainforest.

On average, I earn between $2,000 and $3,000 a month, which is more than enough to live comfortably and see the world. Many assume that living nomadically must be expensive, but it’s not.

I primarily stay in Airbnb properties, where I am almost always able to negotiate a cheaper rate for long-term stays, and I don’t pay any other bills such as electricity, water, gas, or internet. I eat out at least twice a week and also spend money on a gym membership, dance classes, and cultural experiences. As I travel light, I spend my money on experiences rather than belongings (although I have splurged on a new laptop and iPhone since I started travelling).

I make money through sponsored editorial content, advertisements, the Amazon Affiliate program, and some blog-specific products and programs—like a guide to online nutritional and training coaching—which bring in the majority of my revenue.

The writing itself never feels like work. While I occasionally accept reader requests, I choose what I want to write about the vast majority of the time. Each week, I dedicate two to four hours to producing content, one hour to marketing, and 15 to 20 hours to writing programs to sell. My working hours are extremely flexible and I take extended vacations whenever I feel like. I occasionally do freelance work for other online publications, but I don’t rely on this additional money to survive.

Managing a blog is simple and cost-effective. I pay for domain registration, website hosting, an e-book store, and the occasional help of a designer when creating products such as logos and e-books. In total, I spend less than $400 a year on my blog.

Sometimes I imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t started blogging five years ago. I would’ve never been able to quit my corporate job and start my own business, and pursue one of my greatest passions: travelling.

I feel like I’m on a permanent vacation and, because I genuinely love what I do, it never feels like I’m working. I have no plans of stopping any time soon, as there are many countries I have yet to explore. I am currently in Paris for my second three-month stint, and I plan to return to Central America afterwards and journey through Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. My life has changed completely for the better because of my blog. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.

Image: © Keating

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