Why We Chose Blogging As Our Full-Time Career

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

If you’ve been on our blog before, or if you follow us on social media, you’ll know that we love our blogging career. I never thought I would say that I love my job, but I honestly can’t imagine a better one than the one I have now. Still, we get the same question in our inbox and in the comments section all of the time:

“Why did you choose travel blogging over every other remote job you could’ve done?”

The truth is, there’s not just one answer to this question.

There are a lot of reasons why we chose to blog for a living. In this article I’m going to list a few of the main reasons that we chose blogging as our career, in the hopes that you’ll see how great this job can be.

Whether you start your blog with Goats On The Road and get our free blogger course or not, if you’re interested in writing, and are passionate and knowledgeable about a particular topic (not just travel), I recommend starting a blog so you can share your message and information with the world.  

Here are the reasons why we choose to continue to blog and don’t see ourselves stopping any time in the near future.

The Freedom

Freedom has been our main goal in life since we quit our jobs and left Canada in 2008. Having the freedom to do what we want, when we want is the epitome of this lifestyle and it’s honestly the main reason we choose travel blogging over every other possible job.

The Freedom To Choose Our Own Hours

At the time of writing, Dariece and I have been putting in around 15 – 20 hours per week into the blog. I typically get up at around 7:30 (Dariece gets up an hour later) and we sit on our porch and drink a cup of coffee. Then, we go for a half hour walk around the neighbourhood, have a quick swim in the pool and usually get onto our laptops by around 10:00am and stay on them until 1:00 or 2:00pm.

When we worked in Canada, Dariece worked a 9-5, while I worked 12 hour shifts, rotating bi-weekly between days, afternoons and the dreaded graveyard (night) shift.

Being able to work when we want means that by the time we sit down at our computers, we’re awake, refreshed and ready to be productive. It also means that we have more time to spend together.

If we wake up feeling like we had a few too many glasses of wine the night before, or we have a cold or we’re just not in the mood to work, we don’t.

If we have a special occasion to attend like an impromptu sailing trip or a friend’s wedding, we don’t have to ask our boss for time off. If we feel like working longer, we can. If we feel like getting off early, we do. This is a level of freedom that usually only comes from working for yourself and we love it.

The Freedom To Travel

No other job could possibly offer us the freedom to travel as much as we do as travel bloggers. Our job is to travel and, when we’re hired by tourism boards, hotels and brands, we’re literally paid to travel.

We’re either working and travelling simultaneously, or, we actually take time off of our computers and enjoy digital detoxes. We’ve been offline for 3 – 4 months in some years. Compared to our 10 days holiday time per year in Canada, this is the way to live.

The Freedom To Work In Pyjamas

I love wearing pyjamas and comfy clothes as much as possible. Even when we lived in Canada, I would switch to PJs as soon as I got home from work. And on Sundays, if we were too exhausted to go out (which happened often because of the long shifts we both worked), we wouldn’t even take off our pyjamas.

Being able to sit at home and work in my pyjamas, or in my wet swim shorts, or in underwear, is a great feeling of freedom. It’s something I would’ve never imagined doing when working in Canada, but now I can’t imagine going back to steel toe work boots and a uniform.

For Dariece, not having to dress in professional attire, and do her make up and hair in the mornings, means more free time for her — not to mention, it’s much cheaper. Dressing up for the office is a thing of the past. 

Remote Offices Are The Best

We’ve worked in some pretty amazing places over the years. From villas with infinity pools over the Caribbean Sea, the deck of a 5-star resort in the Mayan Riviera, a treehouse in a cloud forest and from a small house on a volcano crater in Guatemala, there’s just no beating a remote office.

How Blogs Make Money Main Header Image

Propping your computer on your lap while swinging in a hammock or while lounging in a beach chair is a major perk of this job. While I don’t think it’s always as glamorous as Instagram makes it look (you can’t see your screen in direct sunlight!), remote offices can be peaceful, blissful and beautiful.

Building Something That’s Ours

One of the things I love about this job is that every hour we put into our blog is an hour spent building something that we own. The more we tend to and nurture our website, the more it evolves and will provide for us. 

Instead of simply working overtime for somebody else’s gain (and in Dariece’s case on a monthly salary, working overtime for no extra pay), we feel that every minute we spend on our blog is time that will be paid back to us — whether in the form of money, brand recognition, partnerships, or building up our community. 

Another perk is being able to create virtual products that are our own. After spending lots of time and energy, and putting a lot of thought into them, we now have 2 multimedia courses and an ebook. Having your own products feels like such a great accomplishment. 

Appreciating Returns

We sold our house in 2008, so we no longer own any property. But our blog is like a real estate investment.

There’s a reason they call a domain (www.__.com) a “web property”. Like a physical real estate property, their equity grows over time and just like a house you have to maintain it, but if you do, then your return on investment can be massive.

There are a few ways that blogs manage to become more and more valuable over time.

Domain Age

Google loves sites that have been around for a long time and actually gives them preference in search results. This means that the longer you have your blog, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to get traffic to it and monetize that traffic to make money.

Even if you don’t consistently work on your blog, the domain age will be a ranking factor in Google and you can grow your traffic quicker when you’ve had your domain for a long time.

More Posts = More Traffic = More Revenue

This is a very vague formula, but basically if you’re writing a post or more per week on your blog, then over the years you’ll end up having a lot of blog posts.

The more blog posts you have, the more chance you’ll have of showing up in Google search results. If you show up in Google, you’ll get more traffic and that traffic can then be translated into revenue through on-page advertising, affiliate marketing and other methods. 

Basically, traffic and revenue tends to have a snowball effect on a blog, so the longer your blog is around, the more momentum it will gain and the faster it will grow and earn money.

Selling Your Blog

If you run a blog for a long time and consistently create content (blog posts) for it, then most likely a lot of other websites will have linked to you over the years. This will boost your Domain Authority (DA), which basically means that your website is worth more for perspective buyers.

There are groups and communities online dedicated to buying and selling domains, and it’s not hard to sell a blog that has been around for a long time and has a decent DA.

It’s a Job We Can Do in Retirement

My family (and some of our readers) always ask what we’re going to do about retirement. This question always baffles because it’s kind of a two-pronged inquiry. On one hand, it’s implying that I can’t blog when I’m 65+, and on the other hand it’s implying that we’re not putting anything away for retirement.

I actually think that blogging is the perfect job for retirement. It’s creating content around something you already love, perfect for filling time in the day and expanding on your retirement hobbies. We have SO MANY retirees in our Beginner Blogger Course and I think that’s because they realize how perfect the job is for retirement.

tips to enjoy the nomad life. working from a guest house in albania

It keeps the brain working and learning new things, it gives you purpose in helping others, and it’s a great way to make a side income or a full-time income to supplement pension and retirement funds.

For us answering our family’s questions about our retirement, we always say that we’re able to save far more for our retirement than we ever would’ve been able to with the money we were earning in Canada (even taking into consideration CPP, RRSPs, OAS and other government retirement funds).

As far as continuing to work as we get older, with the current technology, we may get a little uncomfortable as 70-year-olds, sitting on our computers for 3 hours per day, but then again, I doubt we’ll have keyboards and screens in 40 years time.

Also, as I mentioned in my previous point, the domain is something that appreciates in value over time, so barring a technological apocalypse or restricted internet freedoms, I think we’ll have a pretty comfortable retirement.

Basically blogging is the best job I can imagine in my retirement. I’ve even considered starting another blog about fly fishing (one of my favourite hobbies). I can see myself as a wise old man teaching others to fly fish using some futuristic virtual reality platform.

I’m happy that this job isn’t physical like my labour jobs were in Canada. It means that as long as I love it as much as I do now, I can continue to blog, vlog or zlog (assuming the future has a new social platform that starts with “z”) until I’m on my death bed.

We Love Our Readers

Having a community of like-minded people is one of our favourite parts of blogging. This blog currently sees over 350,000 people every month and most of them are travel fanatics, digital nomads and entrepreneurs just like us. It’s amazing to have a group of so many people reading our content and helping us to produce better content every day.

Sure we get the occasional mean comment (some of them are hilarious), but we try to shake those off and remember that our goal is to help as many people as possible with this blog.

Getting emails, comments, tweets and shares from our readers and social media subscribers is a great feeling and it helps us to feel like what we’re doing really matters, and that all of our hard work is actually helping, encouraging and inspiring people. 

We Love The Community

Not only do we enjoy talking with the people who read our blog, but we also love the community of other bloggers around the world. Sometimes we go to conferences and meet up with some of our closest blogging friends, or we end up being on a press trip together. Other times we end up being in the same place at the same time and we can meet up for a beer or for a few days of travel.

travel bloggers in istanbul world tourism forum

Even though we don’t work in a traditional office, we still have a large group of like-minded colleagues that we enjoy connecting with and it’s something that we never take for granted about this job.

We’re Constantly Learning & Evolving

Technology, blogging, social platforms and the internet is a constantly growing, forever evolving industry. To stay on top of it, we’re constantly researching, learning and growing with our business. This helps to keep our job from becoming too monotonous and it constantly gives us a challenge to overcome.

Even after blogging for 7 years, I still hit a road block sometimes. Sometimes we try to venture into an avenue that we have no experience in and this means that we have to take a course or some online training to try to master the new skill.

I find the challenge of blogging a positive, rather than a negative. I remember when we were first starting out we would get so frustrated when we couldn’t overcome a challenge or a tech issue, but now I relish in it. I am grateful for these problems because they often lead me to learn something new.

Chronicling Our Trips & Life

As we continue to write on this blog, we continue to chronicle not just our travels, but also our life. While this blog has grown beyond just Dariece and I writing on it, we do still contribute to it at least once per week and usually those posts are about our entrepreneurial journey, our life living abroad or about our travels.

I still find myself looking back at our old GoatLife TV videos with nostalgia. All of our old posts about our previous travels and trips will forever remain live on this blog, which is like we’ve kept a journal for the past 10+ years. What other job could we have chosen that would help us to keep a record of our growth and experiences over time?

Having an Impact

When we were teaching English in China and when we volunteered in Myanmar, we did feel like we were having an impact on those children’s lives, but we only had a few students in each class! With this blog, I feel like we’re able to reach so many more people, and based on the emails we receive from our readers, we do feel like we’re having a positive impact.

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We love getting emails from people telling us how they quit their jobs, started a blog and now travel full-time and earn money online. There’s honestly no better feeling than knowing that we played a part in someone else experiencing the freedom of this lifestyle. 

We’ve also had the opportunity to have a positive impact on the places we visit. We’ve helped create sustainable tourism products in Kyrgyzstan, shown our readers how to travel responsibly around the world, and we’ve been able to volunteer our time, and donate financially to incredible organizations. It’s a great feeling. 

There have been a few cases where we visited small local companies on our travels, or while living in Grenada, and it’s impacted the local’s lives who are trying to earn a living running their business.

One time, we returned to Grenada to a very happy woman who has a small business selling street food. She was ecstatic and told us that after we aired our video on YouTube and wrote our post about her, that she was seeing lots of new tourists and locals coming to her stand every day she was open!

She gave us a big hug and invited us to her house for a feast and she is still a good friend today. It was an amazing experience and reminded us that the blog can have a positive impact on the places we visit, and the people we meet.

The Pay is Good

It’s not all about money, but to us, money does buy a certain level of freedom, so one of the good things about our blogging career is that it makes far more than our jobs in Canada ever could have, and more than any of the other remote jobs that we know of.

Blogging has afforded us a dream life and has opened more financial doors for us than we could’ve ever dreamed of. We are forever grateful for the lifestyle that we’re able to live through the earnings from this blog.

It’s a More Even Playing Field

When we first started travelling, we had a hard time finding travel jobs because we weren’t always qualified. In many cases, you need to have a lot of money in the bank to get started, or you need a university degree, or a passport from a specific country.

With blogging, you don’t need any of those things, all you need is enough money to buy a laptop or a tablet to blog from, and an internet connection.

While this still isn’t possible for everyone, it does even out the playing field considerably. We didn’t come from rich families and we never went to university, so our options were more limited. But blogging was available to us.

We had a small, $400 laptop that was good enough to write blog posts and upload photos and when we started, we used free wi-fi to blog from different cafes around the world.

For us, it was a career path that we knew wouldn’t have the same roadblocks of so many other jobs, so we went for it.

The Cons Of Blogging

Of course it’s not all kittens and rainbows, there are some downsides to a life of blogging. I don’t like when bloggers and Instagrammers complain about their jobs because I know just how great this life is and how fortunate we are to have it.

And, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining by listing a few cons, I just want to make sure that this blog post and the information in it is honest and balanced.

Uncertain Income

This business can be feast and famine, particularly when starting out. Dariece and I now have a very consistent income, but that wasn’t always the case. When we first started earning an income from blogging, we’d have one month where we earned $1,500, and the next was under $400. It wasn’t easy to budget a lifestyle if we were never sure how much we would make.

Today, while the blog is much more consistent, we do have some months that are worse than others. This can be frustrating and can force you to question some of the work you did in the previous month to cause the drop. But the key is to diversify your income streams and always keep working on new projects to give yourself more chance of a financial cushion.

It Takes Time To Make Money

While most jobs pay you as soon as you start work, blogging isn’t like that. You’ll need to consistently work on your blog for 15 – 20 hours per week for up to 6 months or a year before you start seeing money from it. This can be frustrating and it does make it feel like the job comes with some risk.

how to become a travel blogger

New bloggers often wonder if the they’re simply wasting their time and energy on something that will never make any money. But the key is to use proper SEO and to stick with it. By doing this, your traffic will grow, your domain will age and you will be able to monetize.

Motivation Needed

You can’t just leave a blog for 6 months while you travel the world. You’ll have to spend at least 5-10 hours every week on your blog to keep it going and when you’re starting out, consistency is key.

After a few years, you’ll be able to take some time off without thinking about the blog. Dariece and I recently took two months offline to travel in Peru and Ecuador and the blog didn’t suffer at all, but it takes time and work to grow a blog to this level of stability. 

It’s not always easy to find the motivation you need to peel yourself away from exploring a new city or sitting on the beach in order to sit on your laptop and write blog posts, but it’s essential to success.

We still find ourselves lacking motivation sometimes. Some weeks we manage to put in 20 hours, while others we barely put in 5. This may sound like a luxury, but it’s also a fault of ours. The more time we put in, the better our blog can do. 

The Work / Life Balance

As travel bloggers, our blog has become a massive part of our life. We blog to travel and we travel to blog, so our job is intrinsically linked to our lifestyle. This is great because it means we’re making a living doing what we’re most passionate about, but it also means that we have to find balance.

Many bloggers struggle with this and we’re not immune to it either. While we do our best to limit our time spent working on the blog, we also find that sometimes our travels are hindered by feeling like we have to get the perfect photo, record the perfect clips or remember everything for that perfect blog post.

The key is to separate work from travel and sometimes take time away from the computer for a real holiday.

In Conclusion

Despite the downsides of this job, we still can’t imagine ourselves doing anything else. When we worked in Canada, and even when we were working as English teachers in China, I remember looking at the clock and waiting for my shift to end. This meant that I was not in the moment and was simply waiting for time to pass, which is not a healthy place to be in.

Similarly, I used to dread Mondays and spend my week waiting for Friday. This means that more than 70% of my life was spent waiting for the 30% that I actually enjoyed.

Now, I love my job and instead of looking at the clock and waiting for the hours to tick by, I’m keeping my eye on it to make sure I don’t lose track of time and accidentally work too much. Instead of dreading Mondays and always looking forward to Fridays, I find myself working on weekends because I enjoy being on the computer.

This is a tell-tale sign that we’re doing something we’re passionate about and the great thing about blogging is that you can blog about anything you want. If you’re passionate about tech, parenting, fitness, gymnastics, sports, fishing… anything — you can blog about it. And if you stick with it, you can make money from it.

Making a living doing something you love is a fortune worth finding in life. If you hate your job, you should take steps to make changes in your life. 

Blogging has opened up a door to do what I love 99.9% of the time and this has made me infinitely more happy. That is why we chose blogging over every other job. It makes us happier and gives us more freedom.

If you want to start your own blog, you can do so in just 5 minutes following this quick video tutorial. After you’re done, we’ll send you our WordPress Beginner Blogger Course and our 200-page blogging ebook for free. It’s never too late to make a change and start doing something you love. Even if you never want it to turn into a life-supporting business, blogging is a fun way to help others and expand your skills.

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Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship.

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4 thoughts on “Why We Chose Blogging As Our Full-Time Career”

  1. You two rock! I’ve followed you for a while and have learned so much from you both. Thank you so much for sharing openly how you accomplish what you do.

  2. Hi guys
    Brilliant post as always

    One thing that’s interesting is that you said neither of you went to university…how were you able to teach in China?..I thought you had to have a degree for that.
    I don’t have one either but would love I teach there. Is it possible or all changed in recent years?

  3. Thanks for the GREAT blog post! I’m so glad I found your blog when we reconed our recent trip to Cuba. (THANKS for the great info, we loved Cuba!) I’ve been blogging about Holistic Health & Nutrition for about six-years now. We live on our sailboat sailing the seven seas, so I also keep up our sailing blog, mostly for friends and family to see what we’re up to, but am realizing it could be more of a travel blog. Am currently taking a few courses to help monetize our blogs more, but need to take your SEO course soon! Do you guys do any 1-on-1 consulting to review blogs and provide suggestions? Mine is due for an overhaul.

  4. A great video and just what I needed! Thank you. My wife and I our working what we call “Plan B” with the goal to replace her income in a year and to replace my income in 5 years. Your reasons for blogging are things we already knew but it’s great to hear it again just to motivate us to work towards our goals, For me, the passive income that we can earn while travelling the world is one of the best reasons to build a blog. Great post!

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