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How Blogging Has Helped Me Find Amazing Freedom

It’s been a long time since I wrote a monthly update, but I decided to revisit the concept as my online business has changed so much in the last year. For those of you who have followed my online business since the beginning, when it was just a twinkle in my eye, this is especially for you!

But even if you are new to Digital Nomad Wannabe and my journey, it’s good to know the context of what you are reading on this site.

Who I am, what I do and how I’m qualified to help you.

 

You can read my last update here – from all the way back in January 2016!

There are a few areas I will update you on:

  1. What has changed since that last report
  2. What I’m working on now
  3. Our travel/life. Are we still travelling? What’s been happening!

1. What has changed since the last report – Selling sites

Back when I used to write these monthly updates every month, I split it up by site. What’s interesting to look back on is that just about all the sites mentioned in my last update are sold – all but this one! I have been on a site selling spree over the last year.

This happened as I realised how easy it was and how good it feels (and how lucrative it is!). It’s been hard to want to stop!

I now have the goal to sell one six-figure site per tax year.

 

It’s a great savings boost for us and it’s taxed more favourably than other income.

Plus, I’m good at starting profitable sites and I enjoy it. I’m able to outsource most tasks to my team. I also find I get sick of sites after awhile so this model suits my personality.

I use the same model for my new sites as I did on the ones I already sold – SEO + affiliate marketing so it’s sweet passive income. There are plenty of people looking to buy sites that have this working.

You can learn how to do this in SEO Freedom and Affiliate Marketing Freedom

Wondering how much your blog is worth? A good starting point is 30 times monthly profit (note that’s profit and not revenue – you need to subtract a wage for yourself) if the site is 3+ years old. Empire Flippers has a good valuation tool here.

What has changed since the last report – This site

In my last update, Digital Nomad Wannabe, was still a passion project. It made a small amount of income through affiliates. I had done zero marketing of the site and I only blogged on here because I loved it.

I also saw the potential that it could lead me back to my true passion, not SEO, but teaching. And it has!

 

Last year, I started selling eBooks and courses and it’s been going well. There are many people having great success who have taken my courses and it’s amazing to be a part of it.

It also involves a whole team of people to make sure I put out the best blogging course on the market which means my costs are high and it’s definitely not passive income.

I absolutely love blogging here and teaching bloggers, and I won’t be giving up any time soon, but it is still somewhat a passion project – it’s yet to make enough profit to be worth the huge amount of time I spend on it compared to what I can make building sites.

Which is maybe a good thing. I’m sure I’m not the only one to groan when I come across income reports that say things like:

Income from my blog: $1,232
Income from my course (about blogging): $51,286

(It’s also quite misleading as the course probably has a lot of unlisted costs too!)

What has changed since the last report – I have a team!

I work with a surprising amount of people now – a marketing specialist, a full-time VA, a Pinterest person (just hired!), a LinkedIn person, a tech person (hubby!) and a star Build Blog Freedom student I have hired to help me with content production on here.

I’ve also had a mentor over the last year and I get access to specialists in her team.

Of course, it also comes with the overhead of dealing with all these people and it can add pressure. I don’t mind the cost as it is part of growing to the next stage, but I do miss the simplicity of when it was just me at times.

I also had some branding photos taken – what do you think?!

2. What I’m working on now

Basically, everything I mention above.

The vast majority of my energy goes into Digital Nomad Wannabe and my courses, Build Blog FreedomAffiliate Marketing Freedom, SEO Freedom and eBook Launch Pad (coming soon!).

I love love love this work.

 

In the last couple of weeks, I have started working on Instagram and I have someone working on LinkedIn to see if these can be effective ways to get new readers. I also have a new Pinterest person with the same goal.

I’ve become surprisingly addicted to Instagram after never having enjoyed it before. I feel that I’m now getting a handle on how it works. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I “get” the point.

I’d love any follows here 🙂

I’ve also pinned a day in my life – so if you are wondering what my life looks like day-to-day, you can see it on my profile.

Spoiler: There are no beaches, pools or cocktails in sight!

I am working on new sites in the background so I can keep to my goal of selling one per tax year. Since sites are worth more at the three year mark, I aim to sell them then.

I have three sites I am serious about growing to sell at the moment – one is part of my Authority Site Case Study that you can read here.

They are a mixed bag – with me focusing on Australia and the UK rather than the US for a change. They all have slightly different strategies but all are about using SEO and affiliate marketing.

I have no interest in building sites that take time – I am taking a very business oriented approach this time and they need to make money before I will spend much time on them (more in the case study).

I am currently transferring the site I just sold. It’s great to have already hit the tax-year-site-selling-goal within the first month! But this is not without its stress. It’s all moving far slower than other sites I have sold and it’s a bit frustrating.

It’s also worth noting that I have sold every site I have listed within a few weeks for list price. Like I said above, there is no problem with demand for well-built sites that earn passive income.

I have a few more site ideas on ice – meaning I have the domain and one page up so they can start ageing.

3. Our travel/life update

Our life is very different to my last update. What we want has changed.

What is great is that an online business such as mine gives us so much flexiblity – we can do whatever we want as long as there is internet!

 

Despite the name of this site, we have no interest in being digital nomads.

Absolutely none.

Our oldest two kids are at school now and they love it – pulling them out to travel is a threat we use if they don’t want to go in the morning or do homework. Going to a bilingual school has been amazing and they have learned another language – something we could have never have achieved as monolingual parents without staying put and school.

They are also very social kids and, although they make friends when they travel, they miss ongoing friendships. My daughter is very passionate about the performing arts and wants to be an actor. She does a ton of classes. My son loves Aussie rules football. It’s hard to feed these interests on the road.

It’s not just the kids either.

Parenting three kids is hard. Building a business is hard.

As much as I love the life we have been able to create, what I crave most is simplicity. There is no simplicity with having a new home every week.

We still love travel, but we don’t want to do it permanently.

We go away every school holidays which gives us about three months away every year. It’s an awesome balance for us and I enjoy travel (and appreciate it) much more in spurts.

I also realised that I crave security – so to that end we bought a home!

It was a huge achievement for us.

We already own a rental property but it’s somewhere we would hate to live again. We rent because we love living in the Fitzroy area in Melbourne’s inner city which is incredibly expensive – the house we rent would be worth over two million dollars without a yard and only three bedrooms.

We never thought we would be able to afford a house in our area, and it would have been impossible in our previous corporate lives.

But one of the huge benefits of an online business and blogging is that there is no cap on earnings.

 

So we have been able to buy a house that we are excited to live in, where are not compromising and there is even space for me to have an office! Yay!

And we can keep affording to send our kids to our choice of school, keep travelling as much as we want and have everything else that is important.

Blogging is the best thing that ever happened to me.

 

It’s given us freedom.

There is no reason that it can’t be for you too.

Plans going forward

My plan is to keep doing what we’re doing.

We are working on improving our content marketing and getting more people to this site and then encouraging people to sign up for our programs.

Because the best way I can really help you is if you sign up for one of my courses.

I’m always working on keeping my courses up-to-date so I can help others achieve the freedom I have. I’m also working on new courses that will be released soon!

We will keep adding to the two sites we are currently building up, and we will keep an eye on the other one that I plan to sell next tax year. It doesn’t need work anymore.

And I will keep bringing in experts where I have the knowledge gap so we can speed up any wins.

We plan to keep travelling in school holidays (Thailand, Hawaii, Cambodia, Japan, Samoa, Fiji, Malaysia and South Korea are all booked in our near future!).

I am excited to be heading to Tbex North America to speak and run a workshop in September and am going to explore Quebec at that time too. I’ve also booked a special 40th birthday trip to New York City with a friend.

It’s weird to think I will be 40 next year, but at the same time, I find it exciting.

Life just keeps getting better and I can’t wait to see what my forties brings!

 

We also plan to spend a year living in Europe within the next few years, we just can’t decide when exactly. I’m hoping Spain (as I’m working hard on becoming fluent in Spanish) but hubby wants elsewhere so the kids can continue working on their language. I think, why not add a third language for them.

We also look forward to moving into our new house in September and making it our home.

I hope this update has helped you in some way 🙂 If you are trying to grow your blog traffic, I highly recommend you sign up to my free SEO workshop. Click here for more details!

Feel free to ask any questions below or in the DNW Facebook group!

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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