Proven 2 year strategy for starting an internet business

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1. Research money-making opportunity you see
2. Build your own blog(s) selling:
A) own products B) affiliate products C) information
3. Promote and tweak said blog(s) until profitable
4. Scale and duplicate to maximize profits
5. Party 24/7 around the globe for a decade straight

It’s slightly more nuanced than this but that’s the short version of what I did. Simply follow the steps and you too can be a successful location independent entrepreneur living and blogging from around the world by the year 2017. Since the year 2000 I’ve been living abroad. Aged 18, I started off with borrowed money, wasting it all and more on useless University degrees. Upon graduating, against the advice of family and friends, I switched to online entrepreneurship. In the beginning it looked like I’d fail.

I had student debts of $60k and savings of less than $15k

student debtI was down to my last $3000 and took up another student loan before turning the corner. This article outlines what I did and how you too can make money online. There’s the safe conventional two-step path and the short-cut. A note of caution is thus warranted before we proceed. If you have some savings you can skip step 1. Just know that doing so will put your foreign venture at the mercy of your bankroll. You’ll also be in limbo, as far as traditional job prospects back home are concerned, if you fail abroad.


After years living off the grid in foreign countries, the last thing you’d want is to crawl back where you came from only to start TO READ ON SUBSCRIBE AND BECOME A PATREON.

  • Dr Roy W Gordon

    Saving 1500 clam$ per month in any western country taint easy! I have friends on 75kusd$ p/a in Australia – and this is merely hand to mouth survival money. They can barely save the shrapnel that falls from their pockets behind the couch. The youth there are also stretched to breaking point – student loans, rental on a small room { 275$usd p/week ] transport, food. A night out in most western countries will cost nothing less that 50$ – and if your a male paying for a date —

    • Harald Baldr

      There’s a simple solution to that. Don’t take up a student loan, don’t go partying and live beneath your means. You don’t need anything but a studio flat or a bed in someone else’s house.

      I agree, saving that amount isn’t easy but it’s very doable. Alternatively put away less each month and spend a couple more years making the dream become reality.

  • Dirty Dave

    Thanks for the detailed article. I want to do this someday!!! I live in the USA and am saving the 1500 or so a month. At the moment it’s all going into a 401K account, but at least it’s being saved and invested. I have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle in place, but I still need to do some homework and figure out the business and income aspect. I assume that’s one of the harder parts to figure out, and make take several revisions before being successful. After the research is done, it’ll be time to man up and make it happen. The harder part as a US citizen is you STILL HAVE TO PAY TAXES…. unless you renounce your citizenship, even when living outside of the USA year round. I have a good group of friend overseas that I’ll sort it out with though. This is my dream!!! 🙂

    • Harald Baldr

      Sorry for a late response Dirty Dave, I thought I’d already replied to this.

      Yes, outlining your idea and business plan is the hard part. Once complete, you basically follow your script and put in the required work. 6-12 months in you’ll either see light at the end of the tunnel or come across a new opportunity.

      Making this work is harder than just working and saving in a normal 9-5 job. Yet when successful it’s four times as rewarding minimum. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and relish the joy of having created something on your own.

      Good luck 😉

    • Mik

      You can earn ~$100k/yr without paying US tax by using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. You may also benefit from dual tax treaties and Foreign Tax Credit to avoid double taxation above the $100k level. Of course, you still have to file US taxes, even if nothing is due.

  • Great article. Wished I had read this before. I went to 2000€ net income in the 5th month after inception of my blog (same as you in German, but yet less focusing on women, party and c.), so there is quite an opportunity out there. Think I can scale it to 5000€ in in mid 2016 and then start automating it 🙂

    • Harald Baldr

      Great job! That’s a fantastic growth rate. Keep us posted 😉

  • falcao

    Good read.

    The fastest way to make money online, i have found, is through freelancing. You won’t own your own business (although it depends) but it will get you living abroad much quicker.

    I met a Dutch guy last year in Medellin, he was making 3000 euros a month as an online translator (2x the salary of a mid-level engineer in Colombia !), he was living very well down there. So even with little skill, you can earn quite a decent living online.

    Currently i’m doing freelance copywriting, been doing it now for about a month and i’ve already earned 2000 euros. That’s 500 euros more than my previous shitty entry-level marketing job that i got with my fancy *expensive* business degree All that’s left for me now is to sort out the tax situation and after that i’m adios !

    The key to really making it happen though is a good plan and patience.

    Too many guys rush into this online business/freelancing world thinking they will get rich quick.

    • Harald Baldr

      Congrats! Even if you were making that kind of money after two years I’d say well done. To do it in a month is amazing. What kind of copywriting do you do? I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would appreciate your insight 😉

      Agreed. It’s not a get rich quick scheme but for you it sure seems to be happening fast.

      • falcao

        It’s not easy but at the same time, it’s not as difficult as it seems. The way you approach it is very important.

        I first tried my hand at this business last year (and failed). I met alot of ‘digital nomads’ in South America, most of them were earning very decent money. I got very excited and i was already dreaming about kicking it back in a Poblado penthouse, banging lolitas with fake asses, making it rain in the club whilst working only 4 hours a day.

        When i came back home i signed up on all the popular freelancing sites advertising myself as a translator and writer. I took any meager job offering that i could get and after 3 months i earned only $400, and i worked alot. My portfolio looked bad and i wasn’t getting many jobs. I failed and quit and put away my dream of location independence. Obviously there was alot more to it than i first thought.

        Now onto how i turned it around and started making money.

        Do your research. Makealivingwriting, Warriorforum, Digitalnomadjobs and Copyhackers are the sites i found the most useful information from. There are a wide variety of sites with alot of information out there but as with everything, experience is your master, so just get your feet wet and learn. And for the love of god, don’t buy an overpriced eBook or ‘consulting session’ selling you the promise of 6 figures within a year unless it’s from a successful and well known enterpreneur/freelancer.

        If you speak two languages or more, that is a massive skill. I speak French, Spanish and English, so i’m able to sell my skills to a much wider variety of clients. I did not take advantage of this on my first try.

        Marketing is one of the most important parts of being a succesful freelancer. No one will hire you if they don’t know who you are. Set up a WordPress site advertising your skills and what you offer, put up examples of your work and collect testimonials from clients (only good ones ofcourse 🙂 ), if you speak multiple languages make sure to translate your site. Make sure the website looks clean, professional and is easy to navigate. If you put up a picture of yourself make sure you look good and professional, good looking people get payed more and hired quicker, even if you’re a freelancer living in a small shack in rural Cambodia. And remember, always present yourself as an expert and as the best person for the job, even if you have no experience. People always pay more for quality.

        You can choose to market yourself or have somebody to do it for you. I do it myself since i know marketing/sales but for someone with no marketing knowledge/experience i would highly recommend hiring somebody else to do it for you. I get most of my clients by simply cold calling/contacting companies online and offline, responding to regular job ads and whoring myself out on LinkedIn.

        I would advise against signing up on sites like Elance and Upwork, the competition on those websites is very strong, with, at times, 100 people bidding on a $15 gig. You will get more and better paid work on freelancing sites related to your specific skill/niche.

        Now, onto work experience, the most difficult and crucial part.


        Even if you’re a complete beginner looking to get experience it’s better to charge 1 cent for an article then to do it for free. Once you start working for free, nobody will ever take you seriously.

        At the end of the day, it’s rather simple. If you have a skill, no matter how minor, you can usually sell it online. Set up your own site, sign up for freelancing sites related to your skill/niche and market and sell yourself. When bidding on jobs on freelancing sites, never bid too low.

        As for myself, i write sales letters. I charge about $50 minimum per letter/project. I refuse to go below $50. I also do translation work on the side but haven’t earned much doing that.

        It took me a month and a half of busting my ass spending ridiculously long hours behind my laptop but i’m now at that point where i can pack up and leave and work anywhere in the world. Will i be earning another $2000 this month? I don’t think so, but $1500 is a realistic target for a beginner, i feel. As you get more work and experience you can charge more.

        Put the work in and you will reap the rewards.

        • Harald Baldr

          Thank you for this detailed run down on freelancing. I really had now idea how much copywriters and translators make or how it’s done. It seems a great way to start out and keep things going as you said for hard working people.

          Do you ever sell your services on Fiver? Would you say big well known sites are worse for freelancers starting out than smaller unknown ones where there’s less competition?

          • falcao

            No problem bro.

            What you make will obviously depend on your skillset, the time you put in and your strategy. I’m sure most people have atleast 2 skills they can use to generate income online. How far you take it is up to the individual.

            I’ve only just been getting into Fiverr, so i cant really comment on it. There are a variety of ways you can make money there. I’ve seen ads on there like ‘willing to like your Facebook page’, ‘willing to follow you on Instagram’ and ‘willing to rate your app’ for $5, i’m sure there are people making good money like that.

            The problem with big freelancing sites is as you said, the competition. If you’re a beginner there it is really brutal. People undercutting each other for $10 dollar gigs, for alot of users there it’s a never ending cycle. Most clients who go on there also go for the cheapest user who offers the best quality, and there are alot of users like that.

            For a beginner i would advise him/her to identify his skillset first, if you have 2 skills that’s good, if you have 3, even better. After you’ve done that, look for specific freelancing sites that cater to those needs. If you’re a translator those would be Proz and Translatorscafe… . There are many sites for many different skills. It’s easier to build experience that way, for me atleast.

            Also, most importantly, set up your own site or blog and be active on LinkedIn and social media apps that are relevant to your work. That way you can just simply pitch to companies directly and link them to your sites. Make sure to seperate these from your personal or playboy accounts if you have them !

            To summarize, i would sign up on all of these sites, market yourself well and see what works for you, but don’t restrict yourself to simply Elance or Upwork because you will probably end up disappointed like i did at first.

            One important tip for when you’re pitching to a potential client or bidding on a job on Elance or any other site, is to make your pitch/bid stand out and make it more ‘personal’.

            Let’s say you place an ad that you want to hire a web developer to improve your website, you set the price at $500 (i’m pulling these numbers out of my ass but it’s just to give you an idea).

            The average bidder will simply say:

            “Hey my name is Najib, i have many experience, i will do this work for you for $500.”

            Compare that to :

            “Hello Harald, i’ve just taken a look at your website, i really like your content as i’m a frequent traveller myself. Reading about some of your travels takes me back to my amazing semester abroad in Budapest.

            With that said, i do feel like there are some improvements to be made on the website itself.

            For $500 i will

            – Hold a Skype call with you so we can properly discuss what you want to have changed
            – Update you via email every 2 hours on the status of the project

            – etc … ”

            I know who i would be hiring.

          • Harald Baldr

            Wow! You’ve added so much value to this article with your insight into a section of the online income world I knew nothing about.

            Thanks again 😉

  • Joe Ricola

    Step 1 is not that easy. Getting a conventional job is becoming difficult in the west as companies are cutting down on employees so save money. And even when you do find a job, moving up is extremely difficult if you are a straight white cis gendered man.

  • strange

    Hello, apologize for the confusion. In regards to your article provided detailed
    analysis and ideas on how revenues can be earned through the internet.
    May I know what is your views and analysis on how blogs can be establish
    based on the ideas evolving internet of things ? Thank you in

    • Easy. You could make a news blog reviewing the latest developments and tech gadgets related to the Internet of things. Or simply focus on a particular niche within it such as refrigerators or cars.

  • EK777

    Harald what about you, are you generating income from this blog/Youtube and/or other sources?

    • No, I’m making zero online at the moment. I’ll try and monetize this blog and YouTube this year though. I’ll write some detailed articles about its success/failure pending how it goes so others can learn from it 😉

      • Jason Ryan

        If you were able to pull in $10k a month at one time, why would you not continue making money online?

        • Stupidity! Plain and simple. I was mid 20s, making more money than I ever thought possible and after a few years of rolling in dough, spending like a drunken sailor and still earning twice that monthly, I thought I’d never have to worry about money again. At the same time i was burnt out sitting at home in front of a computer and always having to check my e-mail 365 days a year. Friends and family were all saying why don’t you get a REAL job and I started thinking it would be cool to change the world. So I decided to become a lecturer. I’d have colleagues and an office to got to plus change the world for the better teaching students about individual freedom. Sounded like a great idea at the time. Maybe it was. not financially but I learnt a lot and had a lot of fun too.

          • Jason Ryan

            Can you give me an idea of how many hours you spent weekly at the peak? Is it fair to say it burned you out enough to not want to go down that path again? Did you let the money making site die off through atrophy, or did you shut it down abruptly when you decided to reinvent yourself? Thanks for the reply!

          • Check out Podcast episodes #7 or #8. I think I cover it in one of those. Briefly though I was pulling 36 hour days at the peak. That’s right! I wouldn’t sleep and just continue working into the next day. Everyday was work day even on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. I sold them for a token amount $10k USD to the guy who taught me. Check out those podcast episodes. It’s all in there. If there’s anything I don’t cover or you have more questions drop me a message. I’ll make a brand new episode for you 😉

          • Jason Ryan

            I did hear the section in the pod cast where you mentioned you basically did not work on the website for 2 years and gradually saw the monthly income drop. I would be interested to know more about this period, if you are willing. Maybe the topic could be “the pitfalls of success”? I like that you mention the cons and setbacks of being location independent and self employed, while still encouraging others. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

          • I’m on it! 😉

  • EK777

    Your videos and this blog could qualify very well in category #4, I am a personal fan of them and very well made with very little, but they are rather impersonal, if you engaged a little bit more in storytelling about yourself and your experiences, spill your guts a bit, could maybe add a little flavor in the mix and increase engagement with your persona.

    • I agree 100%. I’ve been trying to make it more personal. I’ll continue to experiment as it’s not as easy as it sounds. Thanks for the advice 😉

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  • Tusher Imran

    good read

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