If you have a particular area of interest or expertise, you can develop an income by creating a website or blog around that topic.
Then, when you move overseas you can make that income portable — as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.
There are lots of different versions of these money-making websites. Some of them are pretty awful, with more advertisements than useful content. Others do a fantastic job of purveying high quality, useful information to their readers.
Recently I decided to use my knowledge of WordPress to create just such a site. It’s called WordPress Building Blocks and aims to help non-technical people create effective and attractive websites.
If you’d like to do something similar, here’s an outline of the process I followed.
#1. Decide on a Niche or Topic
Unless you want to form a huge company with hundreds of employees, don’t pick a topic like “travel” or “computing.” It’s way too broad for this type of site.
You’re looking for something you can handle on your own. Then you want to attract an audience willing to spend a little money on products or services that you’ll advertise or promote.
If you want to write about travel, pick a particular type of travel or a well defined geographic area. Nomadic Matt has done very well writing about his personal experiences with extremely low budget travel, for example.
Another friend of mine has found her niche writing about RV adventures in the western US and sailing in the Caribbean.
I was chatting with someone else recently who’s starting a site devoted to best places to retire in North Carolina.
You could zero in on the spot where you’re living or planning to move to.
#2. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is important. It’s your address on the web, so it should be descriptive and easy to remember. I highly recommend sticking with the .com names.
Your domain name should also contain a word or words that people who are searching for your topic would actually use. Do you think anyone has any doubt about what the FutureExpats.com site is all about?
#3. Plan the Look and Feel of your Site
Think about some of the different websites you visit, and how they present themselves.
A law firm’s site will look very different from a pet groomer’s, or an art gallery’s. In fact, if you found a legal site with eye-popping colors and funky design, you’d probably click away pretty quickly — it just wouldn’t convey the serious nature of that business.
Think about the reader you want to attract. How old is he? What’s her socio-economic status? Educational background? Are they parents or grandparents? New graduates? Pet owners? What sort of site would appeal to that ideal reader?
The more specifically you can visualize your reader, the better you can create a site to interest him or her.
That’s not to say every person who visits your site has to conform to that demographic, but overall you’ll do better when you have a reader in mind.
The site I’m working on now will appeal to someone who:
- Wants to start a website
- Is independent and wants to do it rather than hire it out
- Is not highly technical
- Is willing to learn new things
- Is over 45
- Has a sense of fun and a sense of humor
There are already a lot of websites out there that teach people how to use WordPress. In fact a quick search for “WordPress tutorial” pops up 61.7 million results. It’s a crowded field.
A large number of those sites, though, are for people who are extremely computer literate and already know something about programming. That’s not the audience I’m looking for.
I’m writing for the under-served folks who are really starting from scratch.
So I’ve purposely designed the site not to look “techie.” Even the official WordPress site itself can be a bit intimidating for my target audience.
Instead, I’m using bright colors and quirky images to make the site less intimidating and more inviting.
Here’s an example.
Do you think anyone visiting the site will have any question about whether they’ll have some fun there?
#4 Choose Your Platform and Organize the Site
When you visit a new site for the first time, it has to show you clearly — in 10 seconds or less — what it’s about and how to find the information you’re looking for. This is where a lot of sites blow it.
You want your reader to find relevant information with as few clicks as possible.
Think of a site like Amazon. It’s hugely complex, but they’ve managed to organize it so you can find anything you need within three clicks.
With WordPress you can set up your site as a blog or as a more traditional website. Another option for the kind of money-making site we’re talking about here is to use an all-in-one service like Site Build It (aff).
#5 Create Your Content
Before opening your virtual doors you should have enough articles already written to give your first readers something to see and do when they arrive. You don’t need hundreds, but aim for at least 10. Twenty is better.
If you’ve set it up as a blog, it’s a good idea to establish a regular schedule for updates so your readers know when to expect something new.
In today’s online world, your content can be written articles, videos, audio recordings, images or any combination. Just make sure it’s worthwhile for your readers.
For More Information. . .
I’ve given you a very brief summary of what’s involved in creating a website that will generate income to support your overseas lifestyle.
If you’d like more information about this type of portable career income stream, I recommend you take a look at How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites (aff).
The program was created by copywriter Nick Usborne, and in it he walks you step by step through the process he developed while creating several of these sites. He’s been pretty successful with it too — his money-making websites are generating over $6,000/month for him and he only works on them in his spare time.
I don’t know of any overseas, expat location we recommend where you couldn’t live like royalty on that kind of income.