An Honest Update From The Goats – How We Afford To Live Abroad

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

We’ve told you about how much this blog makes, but since our recent trip through Mexico and Belize, we have some updates and we’ve found other ways in which we can support our lifestyle and we want to share them with you.

You may be wondering how we’re able to live in a Caribbean paradise in Grenada, island hop through St. Vincent and The Grenadines (soon), eat well and drink Carib Beer & Chilean wine almost every sunset.

Well, here are some answers to your inquiries and an update on what’s going on with the Goats.

How Are We Living For Free?

A few months back, we joined the popular website, Trusted Housesitters, a site designed for home owners and pet owners to find someone to take care of their beloved furry friend and property while they are away travelling.

House/pet sitting is a great way for us digital nomads to move around the world, while being able to enjoy the company of a pet and experience living like a local in a new country.

A great bonus about house sitting? Free accommodation

Not all sits are desirable ones and we are very choosy when it comes to picking the temporary home of our dreams. But in the case of our current pet-sit in Grenada, it worked out perfectly and we love the pet (Spare) and the property we’re living on.

petit bacaye grenada
Nick enjoying coffee with Spare in Grenada

How Are We Making Money?

There are a few ways in which we are able to earn cash from this website.

1. Through Freelance Writing

We’ve written (and write) many guest posts on fellow travel blogger’s websites, as a way to get our name out there, connect with our “colleagues” and have our content seen by a larger audience. As of late, we’ve been writing for popular travel websites and magazines and are being paid to provide them with articles for publication! It’s not always easy to find editors and magazines that will accept articles (we’ve had to deal with some rejection), so we’re extremely happy that this is finally working out for us.

2. Advertising / Sponsored Posts

Occasionally, online flight booking engines, travel agencies and other travel related companies pay us to write an article on our site. This gives their company more exposure through our blog and social media channels. If we think the company is useful, relevant and trustworthy, we’ll write about it on Goats On The Road. In the past, this has been the most lucrative part of the website, but search engines have recently become very picky with this type of advertising, so we’ve almost completely moved away from it.

travel blogging
Nick writing with a furry friend in Mexico

3. Sidebar Banner Ads

I’m sure you’ve noticed the small squares on the right-hand side bar, under the title “Partners & Sponsors”. We’re sorry if they annoy you, but they’re a small obstruction that really helps us to stay on the road! Travel-related companies pay us a flat fee each month to have their ad posted there. Currently we have one for TruTravels, Backpacking Thailand and two more (which pay us in a different way), one for Amazon and one for Trusted House Sitters…which brings me to #4

4. Affiliate Sales

Bloggers and website owners all over the world are making thousands of dollars and cashing in big time on affiliate sales and marketing. Us, not so much. This is meant to be a way to earn passive income (income that just miraculously shows up in your bank account without having to work for it), but so far, we haven’t had much luck.

We’ve recently partnered up with World Nomads Insurance, Amazon, House Carers, Trusted Housesitters, British Airways and Canadian Affair Airline (which, by the way, is the best place to find flights to and from Canada & the UK – we flew from Calgary to London for $350!)

If you purchase something online from Amazon using the little square on the right-hand sidebar, or from a link directly in an article we write (like above!), we get a very small commission. If you sign up to be a member of House Carers or Trusted Housesitters, we receive a percentage of your sign-up fee for referring you.

With the two airlines, if you book a flight, hotel or car rental through our site, we get a percentage of your booking, albeit a small one. Over time, all of those pennies could really add up!

For us, the only affiliate that is really helping us out each month is World Nomads Insurance, which is great because we’ve used them in the past and we are happy to recommend their services.

If ever you want to buy anything from Amazon (clothing, electronics, books, anything!) please think of us and use our link. Same goes for house sitting memberships, insurance and flight bookings.

It doesn’t cost you anything extra and we’d really appreciate the support! Ok, moving on…

Want us to show you how to start a travel blog? We’d love to help! Check out this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to starting a cheap blog in just a few minutes. Once you start your blog, we’ll send you our blogging ebook ($20 value) totally free. Click Here to start now!

How Are We Travelling For Free?

Because our monthly readership numbers and online stats have grown so much, we’ve now been able to enter into the world of Press Trips and Partnerships. During our time in Mexico and Belize, we were able to work with different tourism boards, hotels, resorts, guest houses, tour companies and scuba dive shops. This was a goal of ours when we first started our website over 3 years ago and we’re so excited that it’s finally happened!

In exchange for providing us with a few night’s stay at a hotel, a couple of dives with a scuba company or letting us join a tour, we provide the business with a unique form of advertising via our website (which sees a high number of visitors each month).

We write an article reviewing their establishment/company, make a video (sometimes) and promote/mention them on our many social media channels. Sometimes we’re offered a few nights at a hotel, other times full Press Trips will be set up through a country’s tourism board, like it was for us in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

press trips mexico
Partnering up with the Riviera Maya Tourism Board in Mexico

It’s a win-win situation.

This is a huge perk of being a travel blogger. We get an inside view into how different companies operate, meet the people behind the business and learn about how they started out. We’ve really enjoy meeting the owners and marketing directors of various companies.

We’re still travelling around on our own dime the majority of the time, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to partner up with cool businesses once in a while.

Just in case you’re wondering – we’re always 100% honest when doing a review, even if we received complimentary services. You’ll often see some negative comments or “cons” in our review articles because we want to make sure that you see all sides, good and bad.

victoria house
Learning about the Victoria House Property in Belize

What’s Next?

We are currently “relieved” from our pet sitting duties here in Grenada. The owners are home for 7 weeks, before leaving again for 3 months at the end of July. We’re planning a trip to St. Vincent and The Grenadines where we’ll be following in the footsteps of Captain Jack Sparrow and hopefully will see the island that The Pirates Of The Caribbean was filmed on!

We have arranged to partner with 3 different hotels and a scuba dive company on the pristine island of Bequia, and plan to visit a few of the other islands in the archipelago.

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Oh, and we’ll also be celebrating my 30th birthday while we’re away (!!)

sugar reef bequia
We’re looking forward to staying at Sugar Reef in Bequia!

In Conclusion

As writers, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed monthly income! Our salaries increase and decrease with each month (which can be a bit stressful), but with a combination of all of these different money-making and money-saving methods, we are able to continue to live our life abroad.

The goal of Goats On The Road is to show you various ways of making money overseas and how you too can travel forever. Travel blogging, freelance writing and house sitting are excellent methods to support a life abroad.

As well as researching new ways to earn money on the road ourselves, we have been reaching out to various money-making experts to show you a wider range of options…and we will continue to do so!

Through reading, commenting & sharing our articles, providing constructive criticism via our survey and using our affiliate links, you are helping us to inspire others (and hopefully yourself) to live a more financially sustainable lifestyle..filled with Freedom, Travel & Adventure.

As always, we appreciate your support. Thanks for reading!

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how we afford

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Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Nick's advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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