My name is Joao Reis and I’ve been slow traveling the world since 2010. I’m an Industrial Engineer who has worked as a consultant for many years, but decided to have a different lifestyle that included work and travel at the same time. Together with Sara we’ve started our lifestyle blog called NoFootprintNomads where we promote exactly what we do, healthy sustainable travel. Our current base is in Chiang Mai, Thailand but we are constantly traveling around. To support ourselves while we develop our project we teach English online to schools in China and Vietnam.
How did you get started? And how can others do the same?
To start teaching English Online is very easy, you may need a TEFL diploma if you are not Native but after that you just need to apply to the hundreds of Online English Schools available. Sooner or later you will land a job and start making money without leaving your computer. We did a guide to help anyone to get this job that we believe it is the best for freelancing work. No extra time, very predictable workload, flexible working hours and decent pay, what can go wrong? Link to our article:
For our online project, we are bootstrapping it, we have no money available to invest. We created the website, and we are following the content marketing strategy. For the last 8 months we have been developing great content to our audience, while at the same time outreaching websites that might be interested in collaborations.
This strategy is very time consuming and it is probably the slowest, but it is by far the best for the long run, because it uses organic passive traffic. This means that your traffic will come continuously from Google search and not from a paid search you need to keep feeding.
What went into building your business? How did you come up with the idea?
We wanted to create a content tilt, a differentiated website. And we wanted to have an online brand, so we can use in many different business ideas we have. So we looked for a way to merge two industries: the travel industry and the zero waste industry: NoFootprintnomads was born.
Let’s talk about revenue streams! How do you make money? And how have you grown your revenue?
Currently our only income is from teaching English online, we make around 1500 dollars a month which is enough to live in Southeast Asia. Our plan for revenue is affiliate marketing in the initial stage and later on to have our own e-commerce shop, online courses, e-books and other online products related.
How do you promote your business? And what strategies do you use to grow your traffic and followers?
As we have no money to invest we are putting all our chips on SEO content marketing, so we outreach other websites to get backlinks or guest posts so we can rise on Google rankings and get more traffic organically. It’s a patience game, but it will eventually succeed. We also use Facebook and Instagram to get some extra traffic but we don’t give it too much attention as we focus on google traffic.
What platforms, tools and Ad networks do you use for your business?
We have our website on WordPress platform and we use AHRefs.com to guide us inside the complicated world of google keywords. For our affiliates we use the retailer’s own platforms, like Amazon does. We also use Trello to organize our tasks and information.
To what do you attribute your success? Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Being genuine, we are not a created brand, NFN.com is exactly what we are, no need to perform. Also the cause is very relevant to people so help and support tend to be higher than in a commercial environment if you want to just sell watches for example.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
We are still facing many, but believing in this long term strategy is hard, you dedicate a lot of hours without any result. But one has to have grit to have any kind of success in life, so we know the brand will start to perform sooner or later.
What is the greatest high you had owning your own business?
Recognition, people really enjoying what we do and giving us positive feedback.
How did you earn your first dollar online? Do you still remember?
It was back in 2014 when I was exploring freelance work using websites like upwork.com I got a couple of jobs as ghost writer and I earned around 20 dollars. I remember really well because I thought it was the beginning of a new career. Then I realized it was really hard to freelance and found Online Teaching as the next big thing.
What are your future plans and goals?
As soon as we have more relevant traffic (we have around 500 monthly) we plan to have our e-commerce store set up to promote eco-friendly products for travelers.
Our goal is for next year to achieve 1000k dollars passive income.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Decide if you have a long term or short term project, and plan your strategy accordingly. If you are going long run with a content marketing strategy then the first thing is to do a content index. Imagine you are writing a book of all your website, create the chapters and sub-chapters. Now, start to write articles with that guide. Do that before your website becomes a random collection of unrelated content.
Where can we go to learn more about you and your business?
Just follow our website and subscribe to the newsletter: www.nofootprintnomads.com. Thanks!