Digital Nomad Desires: An Update Before we Leave Bali
We can’t believe our time in Bali is up! If you missed our Facebook live update the other week, we’re temporarily heading home for the summer. Home being the UK. There are a number of reasons why we need and want to visit home. We have an apartment in London that needs new tenants, my Dad has just had a big heart operation and Shelley’s Brother and Sister have had a baby!
We’ll be spending the summer months between family homes and some awesome house/pet sits in London and Brighton through Trusted Housesitters. By using Trustedhousesitters we’ve managed to land ourselves two months worth of fee accommodation! You should really check out the website HERE and sign up if you too like to travel/go on vacation, stay in amazing properties and save money at the same time.
What have we been up to in Bali?
So what have we been up to for the past two months while living in Bali? We continued where we left off in Chiang Mai back in January. We took a break after four months of hard work on our travel blog while living in Thailand’s most popular northern city. During that break, we visited the Philippines, Malaysia and Java. It was awesome fun but we were starting to get behind with work on the blog and we were also keen to explore other ways of making money online.
Heading to Bali had been the plan for a few months back. We knew we had friends heading to Bali for their vacation and we’d also heard Bali is a popular digital nomad hot spot, like Chiang Mai. The cheap cost of living makes it a great option for those not earning a lot of money, and those earning a lot of money can live like a king. We’re in the former category 🙂
The past two months have been extremely busy. When we weren’t walking around spectacular rice fields, eating mountains of Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and chilling by the pool, we had our heads down in our laptops trying to earn some money.
What have we Achieved?
We’ve been working on three projects – the blog, freelance work and our own travel content agency – which together, we hope will sustain our digital nomad lifestyle in the future.
The blog is still going in the right direction. Our monthly website visitors and social media followers are continuing to grow. We now get around 10,000 monthly visitors and have well over 30,000 followers across our social media channels.
As you may know, we’ve been experimenting with ways to monetize our blog since late last year. Some have worked and some have not. While 10,000 monthly visitors might sound like a lot, it’s still not enough to be bringing home the big bacon, so our efforts on the blog have been more about growing the website’s content to attract more visitors over the coming months.
Sponsored Content –
We have had some joy with sponsored posts. A handful of companies has worked with us in this way. You can read more about sponsored posts and other ways to make money as a travel blogger HERE, but it’s basically when a company pays us to insert a link to their website within our blog. Sometimes we need to write new content and other times they are happy for us to add a link in an existing article. The latter is obviously preferred as it requires little extra work!
Earnings vary but we’ve had a couple of companies pay us £150 each and one potential client might pay us $300! Sponsored posts have been the only money earner directly from the blog while in Bali.
Guest Bloggers –
Another big positive in recent months is the number of other travel bloggers that want to write guest posts for us. We love having guest bloggers so they can share their own amazing travel experiences with our readers. This means our content can expand to more destinations than we ourselves have visited. It also really saves us some time as we now don’t have to write every article on our website. Writing is the most time-consuming part of being a travel blogger so it feels great to be able to lighten the load so we can work on other areas.
New Website –
Alongside all the above is the re-design of our blog. We’ve been working with my brother, Ryan, on a new look for Finding Beyond and he’s done a grand job. Our blog now looks more professional, is easier to navigate and generally more appealing to potential clients and guest bloggers. Thanks Ryan! Check out our shiny new homepage HERE!
Last year while in Chiang Mai, we heard about a website called Upwork. It’s a website for freelancers to find work and for clients to find freelancers. It’s incredibly popular so the competition is fierce. We’d previously been put off using Upwork after hearing how hard it is to get work from it and how the pay isn’t very good because work often goes to the lowest bidder and Upwork takes around 20% of your earnings. However, we spent some time sprucing up or profiles and applied for a few positions relating to our new-learned skills from running Finding Beyond.
We’re happy to say that we’ve both managed to gain a client so been able to earn a bit of cash by freelancing. These are our first freelance clients since leaving London last August for our digital nomad adventure while travelling the world. The good thing about these clients is that they seem to be ongoing contracts providing we continue to please them with our work.
Shelley’s Freelance Work – Social Media Managing
Shelley’s learnt so much about social media since the launch of our travel blog. She’s been the reason why we now have over 30,000 followers. This work has been recognised by a new online healthy food magazine and Shelley now works with them by managing their social media accounts. It started with just Pinterest but she’s now looking at working on all their social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. As of this week, her hours have been increased to 10 hours a week.
Darren’s Freelance Work – SEO Editing and Blog Writing
I’ve been editing blog articles for a marketing client. This involves taking blog posts written by in-house staff at a company and editing the content so it’s grammatically correct, are structured properly and are optimised for SEO (search engines). From the same client, I’ve also been asked to write new blog articles using an outline provided. I’ve been editing and writing about high-end hotel recruitment, indoor house plants and electromagnetic frequencies. It’s been a mixed bag! My freelance hours are only 3-4 hrs a week at the moment which is enough for now with everything else I’m working on.
Our Travel Content Agency
The majority of my time has been building the website and team for our new travel content agency idea. You can read more about the idea in this post but we’re very almost ready to go. I won’t go into it too much now but we’re looking to provide written content, social media management and website development for travel related brands. We’ll write a post about it soon with more details.
When we’re back home in the UK, we’ll start to contact marketing agencies and travel brands with the hope of landing some clients for us and our excellent travel writers. Wish us luck!
So that’s what we’ve been up to while living in Bali! It’s obviously taken up most of our time here. Like in Chiang Mai, we found ourselves working all day Monday to Friday (from our villa terrace or nearby coffee shops overlooking rice fields) and then exploring the Ubud area at the weekends. It’s been a great two months and we may even see ourselves coming back here in the future. It’s a wonderful place to live and work remotely as a digital nomad.