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

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November seems to have gone by in a blur. I thought that things would slow down in the copywriting and freelance world, but it seems that it was even busier than the last two or three months! I turned down of a lot of work in order to enjoy spending some time at home with family and I don’t regret it one bit. I still managed to hit my target for the month and I did a ton of great networking that will hopefully see me having an even better December.

November Goals

My goals for November were simple yet important and I think I did well to achieve most of them. They’re the things I know I should be doing constantly, so it’s good to come back to them at the end of the month and make sure I’m doing the right things.

  • Continue to publish at least one SEO-focused blog post on Eternal Expat every week. I definitely did this. I’ve been loving the tool Keysearch. I find that I’m quickly ranking for certain keywords on Google and my traffic hit new highs this month. I’m excited to keep up with this and ensure that I am writing content that reaches people and helps them plan their travels.
  • Create at least two affiliate marketing-focused posts on Eternal Expat this month. I did this! I actually planned to create a few more, but they had to fall to the bottom of the to-do list when I started getting other work. They’ll just have to wait for the new year, but I’m excited to continue as I have noticed a huge increase in my affiliate income in the past few months.
  • Make at least two Youtube videos this month (subscribe here to see them all!) Oops! I only did one. I thought I’d have more time this week to complete the second video about Puebla, but I was lazy and instead of editing videos on my flight, I listened to this really great podcast episode.
  • Get at least three weeks ahead on my content calendar so that I have a buffer while I’m traveling and can take a few days away from the computer. Nope. These next two weeks are going to be busy!

Expenses

There were some great sales for my monthly subscriptions this month, so I paid for an entire year for most of the subscriptions. It meant a major outlay, which felt kind of scary, but I know I’ll save for the long haul.

Email Marketing

Convertkit continues to be one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. This has been a huge contributor to my affiliate income growth and my email list continues to grow by the day. I have a lot of plans for 2018 on how I’m going to monetize these lists further, so I went ahead and paid for an entire year. They had a great offer (which they may still have now!) where you pay for 9 months of service and receive 12 months. I know that I will continue to find their services helpful as I grow in 2018 and if you’re looking for an amazing email marketing company, I can’t recommend ConvertKit enough. This month I spent a whopping $449.

Keysearch

I briefly mentioned Keysearch above, but it has seriously changed the game for me. Keysearch is a tool that helps with finding good keywords to rank for on Google. Before I started using Keysearch I was kind of guessing when it comes to how well I would do ranking for keywords. While Google Console and Google Adsense are somewhat helpful, Keysearch is seriously unbeatable, especially for the low monthly fee. This month I spent $17 on Keysearch. Learn more about Keysearch here.

 

Total Expenses $466

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Income

I feel like I say this every month, but I’m so excited about the different growth I’ve seen in revenue streams like ads, Youtube, affiliate marketing, and sponsored content. I feel like I’m really finding the balance between loving what I’m doing, helping people in a way that works for them, and actually earning an income from blogging. I know that was the whole point, and it’s not like I’m not putting in all of the work to make it happen, but it’s still pretty freaking cool to see it happening.

Copywriting

Like I mentioned above, things have not slowed down at all in the copywriting world, but I did turn down a fair bit of work in order to be able to step away from the computer and enjoy some quality human interaction. I’m not sure how much that will affect the coming months and whether I will begin to receive less work because of it (something that I have always feared and why in the past I almost NEVER turned down work), but I’m happy with my decision and I’m confident I’ll still be able to continue making a similar amount in the coming months.

This month I made $1,670 on copywriting.

Freelance Writing

I pitched for a bit more work this month that I’m hoping will come to fruition in December and January, but otherwise, it was only my continued work with regular clients that kept this up this month.

This month I made $400 on freelance writing.

Sponsored Content

It’s been really nice to receive emails from companies that actually deal with travel rather than some random stuff. I one sponsored post this month and have set up a few great pieces of sponsored content that I’m excited to share in December.

This month I made $200 on sponsored content.

Affiliate Marketing

Once again this number excites me. I’m seeing a lot more organic traffic and I’m focusing a lot on making sure that I am including affiliate links in almost every post I write without pushing things onto people.

This month I made $240 on affiliate marketing.

YouTube

I totall neglected my poor channel this month, but still managed to have one of my best months for income, so riddle me that one. I’m planning to do a sort of “Vlogmas” during December – I don’t know that I’ll publish a video a day, but I’m going to try to publish at least two a week with different information about Mexico City and travel and me. Subscribe here if you want to keep up.

This month I made $25 on YouTube.

Ad Revenue

I noticed a lot more activity on these ads this month and as my traffic grows I’m excited to be able to swap these for higher paying ads in the new year. In the meantime, it’s money that I earn passively, however miniscule it may be.

This month I earned $25.50 on ads.

Total Income $2,560.50

This is certainly higher than I expected it to be. I’m really excited to see that nearly $1,000 came from sources other than copywriting. I didn’t think that by November I’d be making almost 40% of my income from sources other than copywriting. As I sit here typing this and listening to Christmas music, I can’t help but feel proud, excited, and totally motivated for the year ahead.

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Lessons Learned in November

This month I’ve been able to see so much of my hard work from the last few months really pay off. I’m noticing a huge increase in traffic thanks to all of the efforts I’ve been putting into SEO and Pinterest. I’ve noticed that people are staying on this website a lot longer because I am writing multiple pieces of content about a specific city. You never know how things are going to pan out when you put so much time and energy into them as I’ve been doing with these specific tasks. They could be a total waste of energy, so it’s pretty amazing to know that all of this hard work, all of this extra time spent learning about SEO and social media and headlines and affiliate marketing has been time well spent.

I’m also getting so much amazing feedback from readers. I probably get two or three emails a day now from people who have found my blog and want some additional advice or tips about Mexico City or South East Asia. It’s so encouraging for me to know that people are not only finding Eternal Expat, but they feel that I am approachable enough to email me. That is all I hope for this blog – that I can help people discover how rewarding travel can be and how amazing the world really is.

My email funnels have helped massively with this, too. When I switched over to Convertkit earlier this year, I was really encouraged to create automated emails for the different categories (digital nomads, Mexico City travel, moving abroad etc) as a way to connect with people regularly and help answer frequently asked questions that people have about these topics. It has created so much more conversation than I’ve ever had before with my readers. They are replying to the emails, asking further questions, and I’m able to help them EVEN MORE. It’s pretty awesome.

Goals for December

I really want to get ahead this month so that I can take some time away from the computer and enjoy my time in the UK. I only have two weeks left in Mexico City for the year, so I want to make sure I still get out and enjoy the sunshine before I endure three weeks of cloudy England (I love it really!). These are going to look a lot like last month’s goals because they have sort of become my ongoing goals for the blog in general.

  • Publish at least one SEO-focused blog post on Eternal Expat every week.
  • Create at least one affiliate marketing-focused posts on Eternal Expat this month.
  • Create at least one video a week for Youtube (subscribe here to see them all!).
  • Schedule posts and social media content for the week of Christmas and New Year so that I’m not glued to the computer.
  • Organize everything for my ebook and finish at least one chapter.

I hope you all have an amazing final month of 2017. I am SO grateful to all of you for reading, for clicking, for following along on this journey. I know the year isn’t over yet, but I feel so damn lucky for all of you and for these past 11 months. Without you returning to this blog each month, whether it’s for these income reports alone or for other travel related posts too, I would never be able to do what I do.

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