How I Earned More Money on My Travels Than I Spent

Last May, I spent a week in Jamaica. I would wake up each morning, eat a long, leisurely breakfast, fire up my laptop, spend four or five hours working, and then head to the pool for the rest of the day, followed by a great dinner at night. Last June, I spent almost three weeks in Paris. While I was there, I clacked at a laptop while sipping a cappuccino, and I took “work breaks” to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees. I made a few Skype calls; I updated my blog. And I earned more money than I spent. During both trips, I returned from vacation with more money in my bank account than I had when I left.

Pretty remarkable, huh? That’s thanks to the power of being able to earn a living from your laptop. I earn a portable living that allows me to work from anywhere on earth with an Internet connection. France, Jamaica, Belize, Italy…the sky is the limit. I’m not sure exactly how to describe my occupation. I write a blog; I write freelance articles; I help people manage their online marketing and social media campaigns. I’m a writer, a consultant, a blogger, and a digital marketing manager. That’s kind of a mouthful. So when people ask what I do for a living, I stare at them blankly and say, “Uh ….??”

The truth is that I do a lot of disparate things. But they share a couple of common threads. First of all, they’re all online. That means I’m location-independent. I can work from anywhere on earth: New York, Alaska, Tokyo. Second, they’re all opportunities that have resulted from the exposure I’ve gained through my blog. I started my blog, affordanything.com, in February 2011. Back then, I was a struggling freelance writer who would send out cold pitches to editors. My pitches languished, buried, in some overworked editor’s inbox. Most of the time, I never heard back. As my blog grew, my public exposure grew. Website editors started approaching me, asking if I’d be available to write freelance articles for them. Soon, that started happening often enough that I quit sending pitches out entirely. These days I can proudly say that I haven’t sent out a pitch in years. I wait for work to come to me.

People started approaching me with other opportunities, as well. Could I review their website? Could I manage their social media efforts? I “inadvertently” started an online business that performs blog and social media management. I didn’t intend to start that business; it simply arose from demand. My blog has functioned as a networking platform and a dynamic business card. It’s given me unparalleled exposure and created incredible opportunities. It’s changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It’s allowed me to create my own online business—one that I can run from any corner of the globe.

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