Earn Online Income from Anywhere

Your ability to work online is the key to time and location freedom. Once you master a few tricks, you can do what you want, when you want, and where you want.

7 Easy Side Hustle Ideas for 2023 (Non-Technical Skills)

A thousand dollars a month. That’s all you need to earn from working online to completely change your life!

The side hustles in this article do NOT require technical skills so pretty much anyone can do them as long as you have a computer and a reliable internet connection.

You’ll learn how easy it is to get started doing each of these side hustles, how long it will take to hit that magic $1000 per month milestone, and how you can use that money to set yourself free and change your life forever.

#1 Writing

Freelance writing platforms such as Textbroker.com and WriterAccess.com offer opportunities to write for a variety of clients and niches.

You can also find writing gigs on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, and get paid to create blog posts, articles, social media content, and more, depending on your skills and interests.

Starting a blog may be the best place to start because it not only allows you to showcase your writing skills, but a blog is a great way to earn online income. You can promote affiliate products and services, sell ad space to sponsors, or use it to promote your book, eCourse or coaching program.

I just started writing on Medium and made $80 in the first month with very minimal effort. If I had more time to devote to it, I’m confident I could make $1000/mo after 6 months or so. Some writers make a lot more than that on Medium.

NewsBreak is another website that works like Medium. You write content and they pay you for it based on reads.

A lot of writers are freaking out right now because of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The chatbots can write content very quickly, but they lack the personal touch only a human with real world experiences can give.

I’m able to write a lot more content now than I ever have because I’m using AI as a junior level writing assistant.

ChatGPT helps me with outlines and rough drafts for our blog posts and Twitter threads, but my personal stories, observations and unique voice that I add are what make the content valuable.

Medium requires you to disclose if you use AI to help write articles, so I write all of those from scratch without the chatbot.

The average pay for freelance writing work is $20 to $50 per hour, but rates can vary depending on your expertise and how fast you write.

You can certainly work full time as a writer, but working around 50 hours per month, or about 2 hours per day, could help you reach $1000/month after 3 to 6 months of consistent effort (you might want to work on it a lot more in the beginning because it will build over time).

Watch Our Video About 7 Easy Side Hustles

#2 Copyediting

As a copyeditor, you can find work opportunities on websites like FlexJobs.com and Freelancer.com.

Your job is to review and correct written content for grammar, punctuation, syntax, and overall readability.

Fact checking is probably the most important skill for a copyeditor in the AI era. The chatbots are really good at creating content quickly, but they don’t always get the facts right and humans are still the best sanity check for AI-generated content.

The average pay for copyediting work is around $20 to $30 per hour, depending on your experience and the project

Working around 50 hours per month or approximately 2 hours per day could help you make $1000/month after 3 to 6 months.

To begin, create a profile on your preferred platform and showcase your copyediting skills through a strong portfolio

#3 Teaching English Online

Online teaching platforms like Cambly.com, VIPKid.com and TeachAway.com offer opportunities to teach English to students from around the world.

You’ll need a strong command of the English language and an engaging teaching style to be successful in this field.

We know several people who fund their pre-retirement lifestyle in Ecuador by teaching English online and they really enjoy it.

The major downside is that your students might be in the eastern hemisphere, which means you might have to stay up late or get up really early to teach.

The average pay for teaching English online is between $15 and $25 per hour, but this can vary based on your experience and qualifications.

To make $1000/month, you’ll need to work around 60 hours per month or about 2 hours per day.

To get started, sign up on the teaching platform of your choice and complete the required registration process. The platforms provide the curriculum for you so you just need to login and follow the teaching plan.

You might also want to look into get a TEFL certification because some platforms require that.

#4 Online Tutoring

Websites like Tutor.com, Studypool.com and Wyzant.com provide opportunities for online tutors in various subjects.

You can share your expertise in subjects like math, science, history, or any other area you know well.

Let’s face it… The US school system is failing our kids.

According to all of the meaningful stats, our kids are way behind the rest of the developed world, especially in math and science.

That means a lot of concerned parents are turning to online tutors to supplement the classroom and get their kids better prepared for college so the demand for online tutoring will continue to grow.

The average pay for online tutoring ranges from $15 to $30 per hour, depending on your subject and experience.

To reach $1000/month, you’ll need to work around 60 hours per month or 2 hours per day.

Start by signing up on a tutoring platform and completing their registration process to showcase your skills. Some platforms require a college degree or teaching certification, but some don’t.

#5 User Testing

Websites like UserTesting.com and UserZoom.com will pay you to test software.

You get paid to use websites and mobile apps and record your experience, thoughts, problems, etc.

Back in my technical manager days, I had a team of software testers who tested the software my developers wrote. Nowadays, companies outsource that testing to their users; people like you.

The average pay for this type of work is $30 to $45 per hour.

It’s not a full time job so don’t expect to work 40 hours per week doing this because they normally don’t have enough tests to keep you that busy, but you only need to work 30 hours per month or roughly 1 hour per day to make $1000/month.

And you can get started right after signing up and completing their registration process.

#6 Voice Over

If you have one of those voices that melts butter, you could make good money doing voice over for commercials, podcast intros, phone systems, training materials, documentaries, audio books, etc.

You can find voice over clients on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. It will take a few hours to create your profile, record a few samples and upload them to your portfolio

Alice Everdeen makes $15,000/month doing voice overs for companies like Amazon, Southwest Airlines and OnlyFans. You need to be good and it can take awhile to build up to that level, but it’s possible to make at least $1,000/month with a good voice and consistent effort.

You can expect to earn about $20/hour doing voice over work, but the really talented people make over $100/hour, especially after they’ve built a reputation over time.

At $20/hour, that means you need to work 50 hours per month or about 1.5 hours per day to make $1000/month

#7 AI Prompt Engineer

As an AI Prompt Engineer, you’ll use chatbots like ChatGPT to create content, and Midjourney to create images for clients or to sell.

There are a lot of other AI systems to choose from, but in my opinion, these two are the best for content and images.

The engineer title makes it sound more technical than it is, but it’s really a non-technical job.

Knowing how to give the AI tools the right directions to get the desired outcome has more to do with your language skills and creative thinking than your technical skills.

The average pay for this type of work is around $20 to $35 per hour and the best place to find clients is on Fiverr or Upwork.

You can also sell AI prompts on websites like PromptBase.com. It only takes a few minutes to sign-up and you keep 80% of the revenue.

Some of the Midjourney prompts are incredible! If you can get the AI to create mind blowing images, this could be a nice passive income stream.

To make $1000/month, you’ll need to work about 50 hours per month or around 2 hours per day.

If you haven’t been using the AI tools yet, that’s the best place to begin. Play around with them and start creating content and images to learn how they work.

You can also download some free prompt guides to speed up your learning process.

Once you’re comfortable with your skills and have some good examples for your portfolio, post a gig on Fiverr, apply for jobs on Upwork, and create a free account on PromptBase.com to start selling your prompts.

Online Income eCourse

Online Income eCourseWe go into a lot more detail about side hustles and working online in our Online Income eCourse.

It has a lot of links with more in depth information to help you get started quickly, including a bunch of new Quick Start Checklists I just added.

How $1000/month can set you free!

Earning $1000/month through online side hustles can be a game-changer if you want to improve your quality of life because it will allow you to move abroad.

Moving to a country with a lower cost of living not only allows you to stretch your budget further but also provides an opportunity to explore new cultures, languages, and environments.

In countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador, Colombia or Mexico, $1000/month can provide a comfortable lifestyle if you’re single.

If you’re a couple and you both earn $1000/month, you can live a very comfortable lifestyle in a lot of countries.

You can also stack side hustles to increase your income. That just means you do more than one thing and work more than a couple hours a day to speed up the process, figure out what works best, and make more money.

By living abroad in a country with a lower cost of living, you’ll not only maximize your income, but also enrich your life experiences and personal development.



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How To Start a Successful YouTube Channel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dreaming of living abroad and funding your expat lifestyle by starting a successful YouTube channel? That’s exactly what we have done!

With over 300 videos, 90K subscribers, and 12 million views on our YouTube channel, we now earn a six-figure income that supports our life in Ecuador and our travel to other countries.

In this comprehensive, step-by-step guide, we’ll share our journey and strategies for starting and growing a successful YouTube channel. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Choose a niche

If you plan to move abroad, a channel about your journey and the destination you choose is an ideal niche. For every popular expat destination, there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who want to know more about that place and your experience traveling, moving and living there.

When we were thinking about moving abroad, the first thing we did was watch every YouTube video we could find about all the destinations we were considering. All those YouTubers helped us on our journey, and now we’re happy to pay it forward by helping future expats.

Our channel is mostly about living abroad and how to achieve a higher quality of life for a lower cost of living. Our videos cover lifestyle, travel, and city/country comparisons to help you decide where you want to live.

Pros & cons videos about different places to live, work, retire, and travel have been particularly popular.

Going forward, we’re also going to talk more about working online so you can learn how to fund your life abroad (for those of you who aren’t retired yet). The only way we’re able to live the quality of life we have in Ecuador as pre-retired people is by working online.

Choose a niche that fits your lifestyle and interests so you stay motivated to create new content each week.

Step 2: Create engaging content

Producing high-quality videos is crucial for attracting and retaining viewers. Experiment with various formats, such as vlogs (video logs), tips, interviews, and reviews, to discover what resonates with your audience. Remember, your content should be appealing and informative.

Is the vlog format dead?

According to some experts, vlogging is dead. Or, at least the old style of vlogging like we used to do.

Our first videos were in a vlog format and featured our daily lives. We walked around Cuenca, Ecuador and filmed our adventures in run-n-gun format. However, those were not very popular and they were difficult to do well.

We spent so much time trying to remember transition shots and redoing bad takes that it took a lot of the fun out of the process. Sometimes we got so stressed out trying to film under time constraints that it ruined the experience.

Eventually, we decided that format was just too difficult for us.

Edutainment is where it’s at!

Now, we call our video format “edutainment,” which just means we create educational videos that are also entertaining.

We film B-roll (location shots) when we’re out and about or traveling. Then we film the A-roll (narration shots) in our studio after we’ve had time to digest the experience and better plan and prepare for what we want to say.

This pivot in format makes the filming process of sharing information (the education part) a lot more fun for us, which shines through in our playful banter on video (the entertaining part).

Our channel took off when we shifted from vlogs to edutainment. Even though we still get requests to share daily life vlogs, the majority of our audience prefers our new format.

A few words about equipment…

We get a lot of questions about the equipment we use to film our videos. The simple answer is: It doesn’t matter.

For the first 18 months of our channel, we used a fancy, expensive DSLR camera that was recommended by the YouTube gurus at the time.

It was big, bulky, heavy and a battery lasted less than an hour so I had to carry spares and portable chargers. The onboard microphone was subpar so I had to use an external mic, adding to the bulk of the camera.

Plus, my DSLR only had one lens. It was a generic kit lens that was ok for selfie mode, but not great at anything else, especially zoom shots.

Finally, the quality of the footage was only average without a lot of color correction in editing.

That camera was a pain!

After I bought a new iPhone, I decided to test it out by filming an entire video with it. And it was awesome!

My iPhone is lightweight, fits in my pocket and the battery lasts long enough to film an entire video! The onboard microphones (there are multiple) work great, even in windy conditions, so I don’t need an external mic.

I eventually bought a DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Smartphone Gimbal to help me keep the camera steady during pan shots and while walking. And we bought a lightbox and an LED backlight here in Ecuador for our home studio.

If you’re just getting started with YouTube, equipment doesn’t really matter. A lot of people think they need fancy equipment and procrastinate until they can afford an expensive camera. Don’t make that mistake.

Just use your mobile phone and get started today.

Step 3: Promote your channel

We were TERRIFIED when we pressed publish on our first video!

Here are a few what-ifs that went through our minds:

  • What if no one likes it?
  • What if people hate it?
  • What if we get a bunch of troll comments?
  • What if everyone tells us what we said is wrong?
  • What if no one watches it?

Of all these doubts, the only one that came to fruition was: No one watched it!

All of our other fears were a pointless waste of time because when you publish your first video, YouTube won’t recommend it to anyone so the only views will come from the family and friends who follow you on your other social media accounts.

Promote Your Videos to Friends and Family

Share your videos on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. to increase visibility.

Off-platform promotion is critical during the first couple of months of your channel until YouTube recommendations start kicking in.

Start a Blog

If we had it to do over again, I would start a blog on WordPress, Tumblr, or Medium to grow an audience before starting a YouTube channel.

We have two lost years that I wish were documented, from the time we decided to move abroad until we published our first video.

Plus, the audience we would have built during that time would have been a nice boost for our YouTube channel after we launched it.


You can also collaborate with other content creators to reach new audiences. We’ve done a few video collabs with other YouTubers but didn’t get much benefit from them.

The trick is finding other channels with a similar-sized audience and a similar niche. Channels that are a lot larger aren’t interested in doing a collab with a small channel because they take a lot of time to create and that time is better spent on other tasks that will have a larger impact.

The other challenge with collabs is that if you are in a similar niche, there’s a good chance you have a similar audience that already knows about both channels. Again, collabs are a lot of work so your time might be better spent creating more engaging content.

We did a collab with Sara and Luca from Leave Everything And Wander. We only had 2,500 subscribers at the time and they had 25,000. They were in Cuenca on their van life tour of the Americas and asked us to meet up for a quick impromptu collab so it was pretty easy to create.

After we each posted our videos featuring each other, we gained about 125 new subscribers and they gained about 250. Even though they had 10 times more subscribers, they somehow benefited more from the collab than we did.

We also did collabs with two other channels that stopped posting and are now dead. That’s another risk of doing a collab with a small channel: they might not stick with it and then you have a video on your channel about another channel that doesn’t exist anymore.

Even after 300+ videos, we still promote every video we publish on our other social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Patreon. This helps drive views early in the publish cycle, which increases recommendations.

Step 4: Optimize your videos for YouTube recommendations

Most of our views and subscriber growth have come from YouTube recommendations, not search.

Clickable May Work Better than Searchable

The size of the audience for people thinking about moving to Ecuador is surprisingly small.

Some people do the research, decide not to move to Ecuador, and then stop watching our videos. Others eventually move to Ecuador and then stop watching our videos because they live here and don’t need us anymore.

The vast majority of our viewers watch our videos because they enjoy the educational and entertaining content we share.

I shared a YouTube poll a while back to help us determine how many of our subscribers are planning a move to Ecuador. Only 30% of the voters said they are thinking about moving to Ecuador. The other 70% just like watching our videos.

If we optimized our videos for search, we would have missed out on 70% of our audience who weren’t searching for our content.

Instead, we try to choose interesting topics that have a broad audience appeal. Then we create titles and thumbnails that are clickable (not clickbait – more on that below) so that a broader audience is inspired to click and watch.

It’s Ok to Copy Concepts

We often study successful channels in our niche and create videos on similar topics. The topic for our second most viewed video came directly from a top-performing video on The Nomadic Movement.

Their video was titled, “THE REAL REASONS WE LEFT THE USA and moved to Panama.” I titled our video, “THE REAL REASONS WE LEFT THE USA (and why we can’t move back).” I even created a similar thumbnail concept.

When I borrowed (stole?) the idea for that topic, their video had over 100K views, which was WAY more views than any video we had ever created. Their video now has 175K views as I write this. Our video has over 460K views and it’s 2 months younger.

They also had over 100K subscribers at the time. We only had 8,000. This video put us on the YouTube map, and the entire concept was copied from a more successful channel.

Why do you think our copied topic video did so much better than the original? Is the “(and why we can’t move back)” in the title more clickable than “and moved to Panama?” Let me know what you think in the comments.

Our “reverse culture shock” video is currently our most-watched video with over half a million views. Guess what? We stole that idea, too! But we’re not the only ones. It’s a popular video concept and lots of other YouTubers make the exact same video. And they all get viewed!

You don’t need to constantly reinvent the wheel. Look at bigger, more successful channels in your niche and copy the concepts from their best videos, but make them your own.

Engagement Increases Recommendations

Engagement typically refers to actions that users take on your videos, like clicking the like or dislike buttons, sharing, subscribing, or posting a comment. However, view duration, audience retention, and session duration are also forms of engagement.

Your goal should be to maximize all forms of engagement on your videos, which means you need to increase video quality to boost average view duration and return viewership, as well as inspire likes, subscribes, shares, and comments.

Remember to encourage your viewers to subscribe and engage with your videos, especially after a high-value part of your video, such as when you say something important or funny.

At the end of your video, use an End Screen Element to showcase a specific video and pitch it to the viewer to watch next. This will not only increase the views on your channel, but also increases viewer session duration, which increases recommendations.

Step 5: Monetize your channel with multiple income streams

Our first income stream was Patreon, which is a membership platform that allows your viewers to support your content creation in exchange for some exclusive benefits.

Patreon and other member platforms like Buy Me A Coffee have their own set of challenges and nuances, so I’ll write a different article about them later.

Over time, we enabled YouTube ads, and we added video sponsors, eCourse sales, and affiliate income to our revenue streams.

Here is the revenue percentage breakdown for each of our income streams (as of April 2023):

  • 45% – eCourse Sales
  • 20% – Patreon
  • 20% – YouTube Ad Revenue
  • 10% – Brand Sponsors
  • 5% – Affiliates

If we started a new channel today, we would prioritize affiliates, which is what we’re doing now. Some creators earn more than half of their income from affiliates. The key is choosing high-dollar items to recommend, or services with a recurring affiliate commission.

Other potential income sources include merchandise sales, coaching, and consulting services.

Step 6: Learn from your mistakes

You’re going to make a lot of mistakes as you learn how to record, edit, and publish videos on YouTube. The creators who succeed learn and adapt quickly from those mistakes.

Less Is More, Quality Is Better

Sticking to our initial posting schedule of three videos per week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) was challenging. Reducing it to one video per week allowed us to better manage our time and create higher-quality content.

Video Editing Is a Necessary Evil

I despise video editing. It’s time-consuming and tedious, but it’s necessary.

Learning how to edit videos quickly without sacrificing quality was a significant hurdle. We started our YouTube channel with Camtasia Studio, but I found it very limiting.

Later, I switched to Adobe Premiere Pro, which is a much more robust editing package, but it has several of its own issues. The monthly license is also expensive.

If I had it to do over again, I would test out several other editing packages to see if any are better and/or cheaper. However, now that I’m used to Premiere, I don’t want to invest the time to learn a new system.

Clickbait vs. Legitbait

There’s a fine line between Legitbait and Clickbait, and creating clickable titles and thumbnails without resorting to clickbait is a challenge we still face.

Each time you post a video, it must compete with thousands of other videos for clicks. That means your title and thumbnail need to stand out and inspire people to click, but the video needs to deliver on the promise.

Clickbait is a term used to indicate that a title and thumbnail are clickable, but the video is either not relevant or not good enough to keep the viewer watching.

This leads to a high click-through-rate (CTR), but a low average view duration (AVD). The YouTube algorithm is fast at figuring this out and will stop recommending your video if it has a high CTR and a low AVD.

Legitbait is a term used to indicate that a title and thumbnail are clickable, but also deliver a high-quality video that is relevant and keeps the viewer watching. This leads to a high or above-average CTR and a typical or higher than usual AVD. When this happens, the algorithm will recommend your video to even more people and that’s when it goes viral.

We constantly tweak and improve our titles and thumbnails to make them more clickable. I usually create 3 to 5 title/thumbnail concepts for each video and sometimes it takes more than 10 to find something that clicks (pardon the pun) with our audience.

Our reverse culture shock video took 11 title/thumbnail versions over the course of 9 days before the CTR reached a point that the algorithm started recommending it. On day 8, the video had 23,000 views or roughly 3,000 views per day. On day 9, it had 33,000 views (that’s 10,000 views in a single day!). I knew this video should go viral so I kept tweaking the title and thumbnail until it did.

Create Content Your Audience Wants to Watch

To achieve success, we focused on producing videos our audience wanted to watch, rather than videos we wanted to create.

This is a common mistake we see on a lot of small YouTube channels that never learn from this mistake. They let their egos or personal preferences dictate the content they create, rather than looking at the analytics to see what their audience wants to watch.

You can’t force your audience to watch something just because you think they should. Instead, create the content they are eager to watch.

If you’re not willing to do that, then your channel growth will be limited, as well as your income potential. If that’s ok with you, then by all means, continue creating content for yourself rather than your audience.

Viewer Requests May Not Get Views

You’ll often hear that you should create content based on viewer feedback. The gurus will recommend using polls to gauge topic interest or asking viewers to request topics for future videos in the comments.

This seems like good advice, but we’ve found that a loud minority of viewers request videos about topics that only a small percentage of our audience watches. That means we’ve put time, energy, and money into creating videos, based on solid viewer feedback, that didn’t get viewed.

Instead, it’s far better to base topic choices on previous videos that performed well on your channel, and on other channels. Base your content decisions on the analytics, not topic requests.

Step 7: Use YouTube Analytics to improve video views

Understanding your YouTube Analytics is key to growing your channel. Monitor CTR, views, and audience retention to identify areas for improvement. Use these insights to create more engaging content, optimize your video titles and thumbnails, and attract more viewers.

You may notice that I omitted subscribers as a valuable analytic. That’s because you’ll monitor it daily anyway, even though it’s a vanity metric and doesn’t offer much in terms of valuable insight.

The most important metrics are CTR, views, and audience retention. Your goal is to create titles and thumbnails that lead to a high CTR and views, while also creating videos that lead to high audience retention, mainly average percentage viewed (APV).

With that said, don’t spend a lot of time worrying about APV unless it’s REALLY bad and YouTube gives you a clickbait warning message. We try to create videos that get at least a 50% APV, but most of our top-performing videos have an average percentage viewed of less than 35%.

Step 8: Plan and maintain a consistent posting schedule

Some channels post daily or multiple times a week, while others find success with a weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedule.

The key is to find a balance between consistency and quality. Posting too often can lead to burnout and a drop in content quality while posting too infrequently can cause your channel to lose momentum.

We now post a video once per week on average. Sometimes we post videos for 3 weeks and host a live stream the 4th week just to give ourselves a break. We also use the gap to get ahead on our recordings or work on other streams of income for the business.

We plan our video posting schedule 4 to 8 weeks out using a shared Google calendar. This allows us to make recording plans and keep track of our upcoming videos.

Sometimes we make adjustments to our schedule to insert videos about trending topics from the news or on other YouTube channels. Having a plan is important, but so is being flexible to current events.

Posting consistently is crucial to the success of your channel because if you miss too many cycles, your audience will tune out and the YouTube algorithm will punish your recommendations.

We watched a channel that posted multiple videos per week and then decided to take 3 months off. Two years after they started posting again, their views still have not recovered from that hiatus. We’ve never taken more than 2 weeks off.

Step 9: Learn from successful channels

Study channels that have already achieved success in your niche. Analyze their content, presentation style, and engagement strategies. Apply their best practices to your own channel to accelerate your growth.

We monitor about a dozen channels in our niche to see what videos perform well for them and which ones do not. We also use Socialblade.com to track views and subscribers on other channels, especially when our views are down.

In February and March of 2023, our views dropped significantly. At first, we were freaking out and wondering what we had done wrong. Then we checked the views on other channels in our niche and noticed they were all down about the same percentage as ours.

Knowing we were not the only channel experiencing a sharp decline made us feel better (misery loves company?) and helped us make more rational topic decisions.

Step 10: Engage with your audience

Respond to comments, answer questions, and ask your audience for feedback about the videos you’re creating. Engaging with your audience creates loyalty and community so they keep coming back to watch more of your videos.

Avoid getting defensive or disrespectful when engaging with your audience. Remember, not all feedback will be positive, but it’s crucial to remain professional and open-minded. Easier said than done, I know.

It’s okay to block users who are disrespectful or abusive. Building a loyal community requires maintaining a healthy environment for interaction and fostering a sense of connection with your viewers.

During our first several years of YouTubing, we tried to respond to every single comment. As our views and engagement increased, it became more difficult to respond to everyone. Plus, we started building a business around our YouTube channel so we have less time available to respond to comments.

Try to respond to every comment until your channel reaches a point where it takes more than 30 minutes a day to respond to everyone. At that point, you may decide to respond for the first hour or two after you post a new video, and then spot check the comments after that.

Step 11: Stay up-to-date with YouTube trends and updates

Keep yourself informed about YouTube’s latest trends, features, and best practices.

Stay up-to-date with YouTube’s Creator Academy, Creator Insider channel, and other resources to make the most of the platform and stay ahead of the competition.

Step 12: Experiment with new content ideas

Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with your content. Test different video formats, topics, and styles to see what resonates with your audience.

We’ve changed video formats several times over the years. Some worked and others didn’t. We adapted and moved on.

The topics we choose are a constant experiment to see what gets views. We do our best to choose topics based on what has worked well before, but sometimes even those fall flat and we pivot again.

By continually refining your content, you’ll keep your channel fresh and engaging.

Step 13: Invest in your channel’s growth and network with other creators

As your channel grows, consider investing in better equipment (especially lighting), software, and even hiring professionals like video editors and graphic designers.

We have a video editor now who works part-time for us. She also does a lot of other business and content tasks.

We also used VidChops for a while and we still recommend them for top 10 list-style videos. They didn’t do a great job on our vlogs, so we stopped using them before we changed to our current format.

Attending YouTube conferences and networking events can also be invaluable for forging connections with other creators, learning from their experiences, and staying updated on industry trends.

This is the biggest mistake we made during our early days on YouTube: We didn’t network with other content creators. I wrote an entire article about this mistake over on Medium: How Operating In a Vacuum Cost Us Thousands of Dollars per Month.

Step 14: Stay persistent and patient, like Mr. Beast

Growing a successful YouTube channel takes time and dedication. Be prepared for setbacks and challenges, and stay persistent in your efforts.

Remember that success won’t happen overnight. For example, Mr. Beast posted videos for several years before gaining significant attention and now he has millions of subscribers.

We posted 3 videos per week for 4 months before we got our first 100 subscribers. It took us 8 months to reach 1,000 subscribers. We made a lot of dumb mistakes that handicapped our growth, but we stuck with it and now we have a successful YouTube channel that generates 6 figures a year in income.

Most successful YouTubers just stuck with it longer than everyone else. Persistence and perseverance may be more important than talent.

Step 15: Achieve balance in your personal life

Taking time for personal growth and self-care is essential for maintaining a fresh perspective.

We read in the mornings, take long walks every day to discuss plans and ideas, and prioritize healthy eating and exercise.

We also try to take a vacation and turn off our devices for a week at least once per year.

It’s important to step back from the business to recharge and stay motivated so you think of new ideas and don’t burn out.

Final Thoughts

Building a successful YouTube channel to support your expat lifestyle isn’t easy, but with dedication, persistence, and the right strategies, you can certainly do it. If we can, so can you.

By following our step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating a channel that supports your freedom lifestyle and allows you to share your unique experiences with the world.



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How To Find Online Jobs

If you’re looking to shift your career toward the work online realm and find an online job with an employer, it might be easier than you think.

With the right work experience and a marketable skill set, your dream remote job may be just around the corner.

Let’s dive into the most in-demand remote work jobs, how to find them, and how to sell yourself to remote-working companies.

Most In-Demand Online Jobs

According to FlexJobs.com, the top 30 companies that hire remote-only workers are often on the lookout for professionals in the following roles:

  • Product Designer
  • Product Manager
  • Writer
  • Executive Assistant
  • Recruiter
  • Social Media Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Graphic Design
  • UX Designer (UX = User Experience)
  • WordPress Developer
  • Senior Software Engineer

Amelia has been working online for a company based in Denver since 2017. She administers their Sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tools and Sales Incentive Program.

She was able to convert her current job, which was already mostly remote, to a 100% online job over the course of a year. That’s a little different than finding a new online job with a new employer, but it’s another example of a job responsibility that can be done from anywhere.

Finding an Online Job

How To Find Online JobsReady to start your search for a 100% remote job? Most of the well-known job sites have a dedicated section for work-from-home opportunities:

Crossover.com is a website dedicated to connecting employers and top talent, regardless of physical location. This website leans heavily toward technical jobs so if you have experience in software or engineering, you might qualify for a high-paying job and be able to live in a low-cost country.

Here are several more online job sites:

It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking through all of these online job sites and job postings so just take it one step at a time and don’t try to do too much at once.

Create a bookmarks folder called Online Job Sites in your browser and save links to the relevant sites for easy reference. Create another folder for Online Job Postings, and maybe sub-folders for each type of online job if you plan to apply for jobs in more than one field.

As you go through the job postings, bookmark the jobs that you applied for or plan to apply for. Submit your application and/or resume as quickly as possible and message the job poster if possible to show your interest.

Keep in mind that it could take weeks or months to land a new online job, so check the relevant job sites daily and apply immediately for any job that matches your skill set and sounds interesting.

Selling Yourself to Online Job Companies

To stand out as the perfect remote worker, emphasize these qualities in your resume and interviews:

  • Self-motivation: Highlight your ability to work independently without requiring constant supervision.
  • Focus: Showcase your ability to concentrate on tasks without distractions.
  • Adaptability: Demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to adjust to new situations and technologies.

Apply to as many jobs that fit your skillset as possible and accept every interview opportunity. Interviews are great practice, and if you get multiple offers, that’s a good problem to have.

Final Thoughts

Securing a 100% remote job may take time, but consistency and perseverance will eventually pay off.

In the meantime, consider starting a side hustle to develop your skills and diversify your income streams.

As you explore the world of online jobs, remember that the opportunities are endless, and the right position is out there waiting for you. Good luck on your journey!



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How To Find a Job Abroad

The prospect of finding a job abroad can be both exciting and daunting. The opportunity to live and work in a different country can open up new doors for personal and professional growth, but the process of finding a job can be challenging.

In this article, we will provide tips on how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of finding a job abroad, including how to find job openings, network effectively, and prepare for job interviews in different countries.

Ever thought of working online? If so, you will love our new eCourse, where we’ll show you how to earn legitimate income from anywhere in the world!

Researching Job Openings

Finding a Job AbroadOne of the first steps in finding a job abroad is researching job openings. Utilize online job boards, such as LinkedIn and Indeed, to search for job openings in your desired country.

You can also research specific companies and industries that interest you and look for job openings on their website.

Additionally, consider reaching out to recruitment agencies that specialize in placing candidates in international roles.

Another useful tip is to subscribe to job alerts on different job websites, this way you’ll receive an email every time there’s an opening that matches your skills and preferences.


Networking is key in finding a job abroad. Utilize your current network of contacts to see if they know of any job openings or can make introductions to people working in your desired field and country.

Attend industry events and conferences, and make sure to have an updated LinkedIn profile that highlights your skills and experience.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people working in your desired field or company and ask for advice or if they know of any job openings.

Preparing for Cultural Differences

Preparing for Cultural Differences

Each country has its own unique culture and business practices. Research the culture of the country you are applying to and make sure you understand the customs and expectations.

This will help you to prepare for job interviews and make a good impression. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences in communication styles and be prepared to adapt to them.

Brushing Up on Language Skills

If the country you are applying to speaks a different language, it is essential to brush up on your language skills.

Even if you are not fluent, being able to communicate effectively can make a big difference in the hiring process.

It’s also a good idea to take a language course, even if it’s just an online one, to improve your language skills and to show your commitment to the job and the country.

Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter

Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter should be tailored to the job and the country you are applying to. Make sure to highlight any relevant experience and skills that make you a good fit for the role.

Additionally, research the company and the industry and make sure to mention any relevant information in your cover letter.

Also, keep in mind that in some countries, it’s common to include a photo in your resume and cover letter, so make sure to check the requirements before sending your application.

Preparing for Job Interviews

Job interviews can be different in other countries, so make sure to do your research and prepare accordingly.

Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications and experience, as well as your reasons for wanting to work in that specific country.

Additionally, research the company culture and dress code, and make sure to dress appropriately for the interview.

Online Resources

There are many online resources available that can help you with your job search abroad. Utilize social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to connect with professionals in your desired field and country.

Also, joining online forums and professional organizations can be a valuable resource when finding a job abroad.

Many forums cater specifically to expats and international job seekers and offer advice and support on navigating the job search process in different countries.

Joining a professional organization in your industry can also be beneficial, as it provides access to networking opportunities, industry events, and job boards.

This can increase your chances of making connections and learning about job openings in your desired field and country.

Before accepting a job offer abroad, it is important to carefully consider the conditions and benefits of the position, such as salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

Additionally, make sure to research the cost of living in the country you are considering, as well as the availability of housing, healthcare, and other essential services.


Finding a job abroad requires careful planning, preparation and a proactive approach. By researching job openings, utilizing networking opportunities, improving language skills, tailoring your resume and cover letter, and preparing for cultural differences and job interviews, you can increase your chances of success in securing a job abroad.

While the process may seem daunting, the rewards of living and working in a different country can be incredibly fulfilling and provide a wealth of personal and professional growth opportunities.

Remember to stay positive, be flexible, and be willing to adapt to new cultures, customs, and work styles, and with persistence and hard work, you can achieve your career goals abroad.

By following these tips and being proactive in your job search, you can increase your chances of success in finding a job abroad. Good luck on your job search journey!

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Remote Working: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!!!

I have worked from home for 15 out of the past 25 years and Amelia has been a remote worker for the last 10 years. In this video, we share the things we love about working remotely, the things we don’t like, and the things we hate about it while we walk on the beach and around our little South American town of Olón Ecuador. Plus, we’ll give you a few tips based on some of the lessons we’ve learned from our 25 combined years of remote working experience.

Watch Our Video About Working Remote in Ecuador



Grab the Move Abroad Checklist!

Subscribe to our FREE Unconventional Newsletter about living abroad & earning online income, and get immediate access to our comprehensive step-by-step Move Abroad Checklist. It will take the mystery out of your move and make sure you don't miss any important steps.

PLUS, you'll get a bunch of other free perks we think you'll enjoy!


Amazing Tips for Living & Working Abroad from Garrett Galvan & Where In The World Is Nina!

If your dream is to live abroad and work from anywhere, these two young unconventional digital nomads can help you! In our interview, they share their experiences, challenges, successes, tips and tricks for earning income while they travel the world.

Nina has a very popular travel blog documenting her world travels and helping people live their dream abroad: WhereInTheWorldIsNina.com. You may also want to follow her on Instagram.

Garrett Galvan has a YouTube Channel and Instagram account sharing incredible images and videos from his amazing adventures.

Both are very inspirational people who are working the dream while they travel the world. Head over to their respective social media accounts and give them a follow if you want tips and tricks for living and working abroad from anywhere in the world.

Hopefully, you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

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Grab the Move Abroad Checklist!

Subscribe to our FREE Unconventional Newsletter about living abroad & earning online income, and get immediate access to our comprehensive step-by-step Move Abroad Checklist. It will take the mystery out of your move and make sure you don't miss any important steps.

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How to Make Money While Living Abroad

How to Work Remotely as a Digital Nomad or Digital Expat is a topic that is gaining more and more interest each day. Due to the pandemic and the shuttering of offices worldwide, which has caused a massive growth in the number of people working from home, it has become even more feasible to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

While it is possible to earn income from a job in another country, there are other options that may allow you to earn more money working fewer hours. Plus, you can start before you leave home so you minimize your risk of moving abroad and ensure a smooth landing in your new expat destination.

How to Make Money While Living AbroadIs Getting a Job Abroad Realistic?

While it is possible to get a job abroad, it may not be the best option to earn income as an expat, especially in countries like Ecuador. Here’s why.

Local Language Fluency if Often Required

Most businesses require their employees to be fluent in the local language because most of their customers do not speak English. If you’re not fluent in the local language, it will be very difficult to find a job.

This is especially true in Ecuador where Spanish is the official language. Even though Cuenca has a lot of English speaking Ecuadorians, most people don’t speak English and even fewer speak la lingua franca in other places outside Cuenca.

In fact, according to the 2020 English Proficiency Index for Latin America released by Education First, Ecuador ranks LAST for English proficiency out of the 19 countries in the study.

Spanish fluency is a requirement to get a job at most businesses in Ecuador, as well as in other Spanish speaking countries.

A Specialized Skill Set is Often Needed


If you have a specialized skill set or education, you may be able to get a job and have a translator supplied for you. For example, Ecuador has a foreign doctor program that encourages doctors to move to Ecuador.

There are also programs to teach a foreign language to students in Ecuador, but the pay is very low: $4 to $5/hour.

When we were doing research to move abroad, we briefly considered New Zealand and Australia. However, even though we have marketable skill sets for available jobs in those countries, they have age and health requirements for immigrants that we didn’t meet.

You may have a specialized skill set that qualifies you for a job abroad, but the pay may be very low and there may be other factors that prevent you from getting a job in your preferred country.

You Might Need a Visa That Allows You to Work Remotely

You need a visa type that allows you to work in another country. Some visa types are specifically for work, others allow you to work, and others prevent you from working.

We have a Professional Visa in Ecuador, which allows us to work remotely, as well as get a local job, if we want to. Ecuador also has a Volunteer Visa that allows you to work as an unpaid volunteer, and a Work Visa that must be sponsored by an employer.

You’re allowed to work remotely in Ecuador with most of the temporary resident visa types, but the same is not true in other countries.

You Might Need to Pay Local Income Taxes

Income Tax

If you get a job abroad, you also need to pay income taxes to the country and province where the income is earned. If you work remotely and earn income online from clients in other parts of the world, you may not owe any local taxes.

In Ecuador, any income earned from companies based outside Ecuador is not taxable inside Ecuador. That not only saves you money, but it saves you the hassle of filing tax returns in Spanish.

Most Low Cost Countries Also Pay Low Wages

Low Pay

In popular expat destinations like Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, etc., the local wages are very low. It’s difficult to earn enough money from a job to live even a basic American middle class lifestyle in many countries.

The minimum wage for a full time job in Ecuador is $415/month (2021). That’s about $2.59/hour. Moving from a country like the United States to Ecuador with a monthly budget of $415 before taxes will likely be a drastically different lifestyle for you.

We recommend a budget of at least $500/month/person after taxes for a basic lifestyle in Ecuador, and a budget of $800/month/person after taxes for a more comfortable middle class lifestyle.

You Might Have Stiff Competition

Stiff Competition

Being a foreigner is often a hindrance to finding a job. This is especially true when there is stiff competition for work, which is common in most developing countries.

Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and other countries in this region have a lot of Venezuelan refugees who need work. Ecuador is prioritizing Venezuelan work visas so they can get jobs here and start paying into the social systems they’re using.

Since they already speak fluent Spanish and they’re willing to work for low wages, they are stiff competition to other foreigners looking for the same jobs.

If your dream of becoming an expat hinges on finding a full time job abroad, you might want to start thinking about Plan B.

How to Work Remotely & Make Money Living Abroad

If finding a job abroad isn’t the best option, then what is? Working remotely as a digital nomad or digital expat might be easier than you think. Here are several options.

Work Remotely from Anywhere in the World with Your Current Job

Work Remotely

One way to work remotely is to convert your day job into a virtual job. This is the most viable option for earning income abroad, as long as your employer will allow it.

Amelia works remotely for a commercial lighting company back in Denver, Colorado. She manages their sales CRM tools, sales incentives and manufacturer visits. 100% of her job can be done online.

When we lived in Denver, she worked in the office about 20% of the time and at home the other 80% of the time. When we decided to leave Denver, she told her bosses that she needed to be 100% virtual and thankfully they were ok with that.

Having Amelia’s full American salary while living in a low cost country like Ecuador has allowed us to pay down the debt we racked up from Amelia’s student loan and the lost income following my spine surgeries.

I also work remotely, but my job as a web designer has always been virtual. When we moved to Ecuador, most of my income came from my managed web hosting clients back in the United States. They pay me a monthly fee to host and maintain their WordPress websites.

Since our YouTube Channel has grown, we’ve started earning income from ad revenue and from our patrons on Patreon. As a result, I’ve stopped taking on new web design clients so I can focus on growing our YouTube and Blog business.

We also know another expat who worked as a medical transcriptionist for a doctor’s office back in the United States. She already worked remotely so when she moved to Ecuador, her employer didn’t know she left the country. With modern communication technologies, it’s easy to appear like you’re right next door even when you’re halfway around the world.

Work Remotely Doing Online Gigs

We live in the virtual age. More and more tasks can be done online from the comfort of your home, wherever your home happens to be. You can make money working remotely as a digital nomad or digital expat as long as you have a reliable internet connection and a few basic skills.

Work Remotely as a Website or Graphic Designer

Web Design

I built my first website back in 1995 while working for Sprint in Kansas City. Since then, I’ve built hundreds of websites for small businesses, as well as some very large business management systems for large corporations and the US government. My entire career has involved web design, software development and the Internet.

However, it’s much more difficult to make a living in the web business now than it was 20 years ago due to the wide availability of virtual workers from low cost countries. As a web or graphic designer, you’ll be competing with people in countries like India, Pakistan, Russia and China where the cost of living is a fraction of that in the United States or Canada.

It used to be common to charge thousands of dollars to build a relatively simple brochureware website. Now, you’ll be lucky to get a few hundred dollars, assuming you don’t lose the job to someone in India who will do it for $50.

To be honest, web design is a loss leader these days. It’s a way to get a business onboard with a web hosting, managed web hosting, SEO or social media management monthly subscription service.

My clients have paid me far more in managed hosting fees over the past several years than the original cost of building their website. Once I get a client onboard with managed hosting, they rarely leave. If they do cancel their service, it’s usually because they decided to delete the website or close the business.

If you’re in the web design business and don’t offer a monthly subscription service, you’re leaving most of your revenue on the table.

If you’ve never done web or graphic design, I don’t recommend starting now unless you live in a low cost country and can live on a small income. It also takes years of experience to become really good and efficient.

Check UpWork.com, Freelancer.com and Fiverr.com for web and graphic design of gigs.

Work Remotely as a Content Writer


The web is made of content. Although video and images are extremely popular, the written word still dominates search results and eyeballs. In order to stay relevant, a website needs to produce high quality content on a regular basis. That means companies need writers.

The easiest way to get paid to write while working remotely is on websites like Constant Content, UpWork.com and Fiverr.com. If you’re a good writer with a broad range of experience or the ability to research, you can make a decent living writing content for other companies.

A few years ago, I submitted two business articles to Constant Content, which were subsequently purchased for roughly $80. I spent about 4 hours writing them, so my pay rate was about $20/hour. Not bad.

As an expat, you’ll also have valuable and unique experiences for the readers of International Living and similar media outlets. IL pays up to $350 if they publish one of your articles.

Some people make a full time salary by writing articles for companies and content brokers so this is a viable option for how to work remotely and make money living abroad as a digital nomad or digital expat, as long as you’re a good writer.

Work Remotely as a Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager

Business social media accounts require constant attention. In order to stay top-of-mind, companies need to post relevant and interesting content to their social feeds throughout the day and week.

A lot of companies, especially small businesses, don’t have the bandwidth to handle this time consuming and tedious workload so they outsource it to social media managers who are experts at getting attention online.

If you live on social media and understand how to attract eyeballs with your posts, this may be a viable way to earn income abroad as a digital nomad or digital expat.

Check UpWork.com, Freelancer.com and Fiverr.com for social media manager gigs.

Create Video and Podcast Transcription/Subtitles

The need for transcription services is a rapidly growing. There are millions of YouTube Channels and Podcasts that need transcriptions, translations, closed captions and subtitles for three main reasons: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the hearing impaired, and foreign language speakers.

Transcriptions for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


YouTube uses a pretty sophisticated speech-to-text transcription system, but it’s still not very accurate, especially with foreign sounding names. It rarely understands the names of towns and businesses here in Ecuador when it attempts to generate automated English subtitles for our videos; however, it needs the subtitles to accurately optimize our videos for search results.

For example, the city of Guayaquil is often translated as “why I kill.” That’s actually a decent phonetic translation, but it’s obviously a very bad phrase to have in our subtitles for both SEO purposes, as well as the hearing impaired.

If names are misspelled or words are inaudible to the non-human transcription system, our videos won’t be as easily discovered in search results. Most large channels and podcasts with meaningful income streams pay humans to transcribe videos so they’re more accurate and more discoverable.

Closed Captions For the Hearing Impaired

Closed Captions

It’s estimated that roughly 5% of views on YouTube are from hearing impaired viewers. That’s a lot of people who won’t be able to watch your YouTube video or listen to your podcast if you don’t have closed captions.

In addition, research shows that videos with closed captions have 12% more views and 80% more people watch them all the way to the end. As a channel or podcast continues to grow, the raw numbers associated with these percentages become huge. That means closed captions become increasingly more important as the size of your audience grows.

Translations for Foreign Language Speakers


Our YouTube Channel is based in Ecuador, but we primarily target viewers who live back in the United States and are considering life abroad as a US expat.

We have a relatively small percentage of Spanish speakers who watch our videos, but as our channel grows, we’re getting more requests for Spanish subtitles.

Rev.com is one of the most popular transcription services. You can signup and start transcribing right now. The website charges $1/video or audio minute for English transcriptions, and $3/minute for Spanish transcriptions. They pay their transcribers $0.30-$1.10 per audio/video minute so you need to be a fast and accurate typer to earn a decent living in this field.

If you speak English and another language fluently, you can earn considerably more income by translating videos and podcasts. Even if English is your only language, you can still earn an income living abroad by transcribing videos and podcasts.

Check out Rev.com, UpWork.com and Fiverr.com for transcription and translation gigs.

Work Remotely as a Telemarketer or Customer Service Representative


Several years ago, long before we considered moving abroad, I hired a telemarketer to make cold calls for my web design business. They advertised on CraigsList.org in Denver, but were based in the Dominican Republic.

The husband and wife team were both telemarketers from Southern California, but they couldn’t afford to live there as the cost of living skyrocketed, so they became expats and started working remotely from abroad.

They started in Costa Rica, but the 6 months of rain per year was too much for them so they moved to a beach town in the Dominican Republic where it’s much sunnier. With high speed internet available in most countries, it’s easy to use Skype or MagicJack to make calls anywhere in the world.

If you have the mental stamina to make cold calls, or the patience to deal with unhappy people on customer service calls, you can work remotely and earn an income abroad as a telemarketer or customer service representative.

Check FlexJobs.com, UpWork.com and similar virtual job sites for telemarketing and customer service freelance jobs. Or advertise on CraigsList and similar classified ad websites to work remotely as an independent contractor.

Teach English Online to Adults and Children

Teach English Online

We know several expats in Ecuador who earn the majority of their income from teaching English to Chinese children through websites like VIPKid.com. You can earn between $14 and $22/hour, but there are a few downsides.

For example, you have to commit to a certain number of hours per week so it’s not as flexible as other remote working jobs. Plus, if you’re in the western hemisphere, you’ll need to work either very early in the morning (4AM to 8AM) or very late at night (10PM to 2AM) since China is in the eastern hemisphere.

The main requirement for these types of remote working jobs is English fluency. We have a Russian friend who speaks English fluently as a second language and passed the test to teach English online so you don’t need to be a native speaker to do this online job.

Start Your Own Business Abroad

Start a Business

You may have never felt the entrepreneurial calling before, but it’s actually a great option for expats to make money living abroad. That’s because many of the products and services we take for granted back home aren’t readily available in developing countries.

While this isn’t necessarily a remote working income stream, we know lots of expat entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of several expat businesses in Ecuador:

Some of these expat companies are full time businesses with full time income, while others are hobby businesses providing supplemental income. It really depends on your skill set and your goals as to how much money you can earn from your own expat business living abroad.

How to Decide What to Do

Make a Decision

Deciding what type of remote working you want to do is the hardest part, especially if you’ve spent your career working a traditional white or blue collar job back in your home country.

Working remotely or starting a business may be a completely foreign concept, but there’s a really good chance you can find something that resonates with you. The real question is: How do you decide what to do?

Do What You Already Know

Do What You Know

The most important point to take away from this article is to do what you already know how to do. This could be related to your career or a long-term hobby, but the key to earning income now is to start gaining expertise years ago.

If you don’t know how to touch-type, doing transcription or web design or programming probably isn’t a good option for you. To make a decent living in a typing heavy field, you need to be able to type quickly AND accurately.

If you’ve never built a website before, it’s unrealistic to think that you can start working remotely tomorrow by providing web design services. There is a steep learning curve that is masked by user-friendly web design platforms such as WordPress, SquareSpace and Wix.

It’s just not as easy as it looks and your customers will have unrealistic expectations that you’ll need to manage. If you’ve never done it before, you don’t know what you don’t know.

If you’re struggling to find something that will allow you to make money while living abroad, start by looking at what you already know how to do, as well as things you already enjoy doing. If you’re qualified to give advice on a topic, you can likely start earning income from it and work remotely from anywhere.

Identify a Demand (NOT a Need)


There is a difference between a need and a demand. Your goal is to do something with a demand that has been unrealized or under tapped. There may be a need for a product or service, but if there isn’t demand for it, you won’t be able to earn an income from it.

For example, there is a huge need for dog and cat neutering services in Ecuador. However, there is also a cultural bias against removing a male dog’s, um, manhood. While neutering is growing in volume here, it’s mostly done on a volunteer basis because the locals aren’t willing to pay for it. That’s the difference between a need and a demand.

The list of expat businesses above are primarily successful for two reasons: the founders did what they already knew how to do, and they filled an unmet demand (not a need).

Determine If You Have What It Takes to Work Remotely


It takes a lot of self discipline to work remotely, get your own gigs or start a business. A lot of people simply don’t have what it takes to work from home or be their own boss. They’re easily distracted and lack the motivation to work without someone breathing down their neck.

The easiest way to determine if you have what it takes is to start doing it now while you’re still at home. If you can start earning additional income while you’re still working your day job, that will prove the concept and you’ll know for certain that you have what it takes to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

Be Prepared for Hard Work and Slow Progress

Hard Work

If you want to start an expat business or get online gigs, it will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think it will. You need to plan for that.

Patience, determination, consistency and perseverance are required traits for entrepreneurship, regardless of where you start your business. It takes a lot of hard work to start, operate and market a new business. If you build it, no one will come unless you promote it like crazy!

Avoid Remote Working Scams

There are lots of people selling digital nomad and work remotely snake oil. They will tell you what you want to hear and encourage you to do things at which you’re not likely to succeed.

While doing some research for this article and the related video, I found people recommending things like online poker, day trading and bitcoin investing. These ideas don’t qualify as earning an income abroad; they’re just different ways of GAMBLING abroad.

The charlatans who push these scams tell people who can barely use the Internet that they can learn how to build websites or do search engine optimization. And they’re happy to share their “secrets”…for a fee, of course.

Please don’t give your money to these con artists or believe what they say. Much of their advice is absurd and will end up costing you more money than you’ll ever make. Some people have lost their entire life savings on these scams.

Consider Multiple Streams of Income

Multiple Streams of Income

We have income from Amelia’s job, my web design clients, ad revenue on YouTube and our websites, and Patreon membership fees.

Several of our friends in Cuenca teach English online while also teaching yoga and fitness, or writing content for the web.

Even if you have a stable day job back home, it’s always a good idea to have multiple streams of income in case one of them goes away unexpectedly. The same is true if you want to work remotely and earn an income living abroad.

Study the Local Language

As I mentioned before, speaking the local language is critical if you want to find a job in your new country. However, it’s also important if you want to start a business.

In Ecuador, it’s pretty easy to function with just English, but your life will be much easier and your business more successful if you can speak at least a little Spanish.

Start Before You Leave Home

Start Now

You don’t need to wait until you arrive in your new expat home before you start working remotely or earning income online. In fact, it’s best if you start right now so you have time to prove the concept before you need the income.

If you want to earn money online, it’s easy to get started in your spare time. First determine what you want to do and then start doing it.

Don’t get buried in the busy work or worry about getting everything just right before you launch. Just start. Sign-up on a website and apply for a job or gig or start writing. See how it goes. Learn and adapt.

If you want to start a business in your new expat destination, you can get a lot of the research and planning done before you get there. Figure out where you’re going to get the products or how you’re going to provide the services. Create your brand image and write your business plan.

More importantly, start reaching out to other business owners who have already started a business abroad. Ask them questions about the process, requirements, costs, and marketing methods that work well where you want to live. You’ll be surprised at how helpful some entrepreneurs are when other aspiring entrepreneurs ask them questions.

If you’re worried about how to work remotely or earn an income living abroad as a digital nomad or digital expat, the best way to alleviate your concern is to start doing it now. You have lots of options at your fingertips and there are lots of ways to make money living anywhere in the world. The hardest part is getting started.

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Amelia and I have been working mostly online since the 90s, long before it was common. We now make 6-figures from multiple streams of online income, and we created the Online Income eCourse to show you how we did it.

Earning online income allows you to live a freedom lifestyle! You won’t need to commute to a cube, deal with office politics or work a job you hate. You can do what you want, when you want, from wherever you want to do it!

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