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How I Make Money as a Digital Nomad: January 2017 Income Report

How I Make Money as a Digital Nomad: January 2017 Income Report

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These posts are a way for me to share the ups-and-downs of working for myself, of trying to take my business off the ground, of how to make money as a digital nomad, or whatever you want to call it. They’re a way of holding myself accountable everyday because I know at the end of the month I’m going to have to tell you what I’ve done to be better.

What a month it’s been! I didn’t get back to Mexico City until January 6th. I was kind of stressed because I hadn’t given my blogs much attention over the Christmas period and I was really anxious to get back to my labors of love.

It was a slow month at first and I felt kind of like a fish out of water for the first week back at my desk. Then suddenly things went mental and I was working almost every day of the week just to keep up with the demand of freelance work and my websites.

Read more recent Income Reports here.


One of my new year’s resolutions was to invest more in myself and my business this year. I started off the year by getting myself a virtual assistant. He’s a really nice guy (I found him through Upwork) and he’s basically taken over a lot of my social media management. It’s been a relief to not deal with the day-to-day management of the small tasks and be able to focus more on the bits that are making me money.

VA Costs

I only hired him at the end of the month and so far I’ve spent $12 on VA costs.

Email Marketing

I’ve decided to stick with Mailchimp because I really like the changes they made. I think it’s a very reasonably priced email management system and I love how easy it is to use. As always, my monthly email marketing costs were only $15.

Facebook Marketing

A few of my posts did really well organically this month, so I decided to spend a bit more than usually boosting them in the hopes of getting more traffic. This month I spent $30 on Facebook Ads.

Web Optimizing

Whenever I need some sort of techy help, I always head over to Fiverr. It’s a great website where you can find skilled people from all over the world who will do a job for you for about $5. I found someone who sped up both Collecting Labels and Eternal Expat, thus (hopefully) improving it’s SEO in the longrun. That cost me $11.


While I’m still working my way through the extensive SEO course I bought I Udemy last year, I also decided to finally buy Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Affiliate program, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It was as good of an investment as I had hoped it would be and I can’t wait to put all of her ideas into practice. I feel like I have such a clear grasp of affiliate marketing now. What an amazing role model she is to bloggers (in my opinion anyway). I mean, girlfriend earns over $50,000 A MONTH on affiliate marketing, so if you’re going to follow someone’s lead, it should be hers. In total I spent $169 on that course.

Total Expenses: $237

It’s actually a lot less than I initially thought. I guess in my head I was splurging on all these things and it made me nervous, but to see the number now I’m surprised it wasn’t more.


What a weird month for income. My copywriting gig from last year started up again with a vengeance and I was able to make a nice amount on that. My affiliate income rose a bit while my Eternal Expat membership seems to have fallen flat on it’s face. It’s all about trial and error I suppose, and I’m excited to roll out a few more things in the coming months.

I’ve also started looking into a few different and easy ways to make a few more bucks. I’ll fill you in on all of that below.

Sponsored Content

I panicked a little this month since I usually get so many emails about sponsored content and it was SO QUIET this month. I pitched for a few sponsored posts and have been using a website that pays you to put sponsored content on your social media, SocialPubli. I earned $30 this month on social media sponsored content thanks to them.

I earned an addition $228 on other sponsored content across my two websites. So in total I made $168 on sponsored content this month.

Affiliate Marketing

For those that don’t know, affiliate marketing is when I recommend something and if someone buys it through those links, I get a small commission without costing the buyer anything. I’m SO excited that this number isn’t ZERO every month anymore. I’m also pumped to start implementing everything I’ve learned in Michelle’s course and seeing how things go. This month I made $107 through affiliate sales.


This month I had a few copywriting jobs, which kind of made me annoyed that I have to keep doing them, while also giving me immense relief for having a bit of extra income. I earned $350 on copywriting jobs this month.


This is one of those random websites that I used to think was kind of weird and spammy, but actually I’ve made a few dollars on it so far. Ebates is basically a website that allows you to earn money back on purchases you would have already made anyway. They literally work with everyone from Amazon to Sephora, Ebay, Walmart, Nordstrom and Best Buy. Pretty much every website I use to shop online is available through the program. It means any time I want to buy something, I make back a bit of money. This month I made back $15. If you sign up with this link you’ll get $5 free to start shopping.


Another way that I’ve started earning a bit of income is by doing website reviews for Usertesting. You don’t need to be a web professional or anything, you just need to be good at following directions (which I struggle with constantly). Every time you review a website, which only takes a few minutes, you make about $10.  This month I’ve made $20 so far, but plan to start making this a daily routine so that I have a bit more spending money going forward.


I earned my very first ad income from my Youtube channel! Okay, it’s literally $1.27, but it’s $1.27 I didn’t have last month! I know it can take a long time to make any real income from Youtube, but I’m really enjoying making videos about Mexico City and people seem to really enjoy my cost of living videos. Let me know if there’s anything else you want to see me do on Youtube and I’ll give it a try!

Total Income: $731.27

I’m excited to start the month off making more than I was when 2016 ended. I’m excited for all of these streams of income to grow over the next few months and I’m super excited to keep adding new and fun ways to make money on the road!

Katie - Round the World Magazine

Friday 3rd of February 2017

Great thorough list and great inspiration to us new bloggers! Thanks for the transparency :)


Tuesday 31st of January 2017

I love these posts that you do Laura. Having recently started out full time freelancing ourselves, I find them really courageous & inspirational. We are actually looking at heading out to Mexico ourselves in June so it would be great to meet up if you are still there. Sarah x

Laura Bronner

Tuesday 31st of January 2017

Thank you so much Sarah! I'll definitely still be in Mexico - let me know when you get here or if you have any questions about anywhere before you arrive :)