How To Work From Home Anywhere In The World
Home is wherever you want it to be these days, but no matter where you are based, whether that be in a city, the countryside or even in a camper van, you can have your own business. In this post I am going to tell you how to work from home anywhere in the world.
I live in the French alps and my online business allows me to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. But everyone’s situations are different. You may have other passions, you may want to spend time with your family, you may live a long way from your work place or have another reason to want the flexibility of an online business.
Here Is What I Do And Why I Do It
I chose affiliate marketing for my online business after lots of research in to various possibilities. I had some prerequisites for my new venture:
It had to be a legitimate business
I do not want to be involved with anything that isn’t real. By making sure my new venture was legitimate I am protecting myself from wasting my time and money. Also, the last thing I want to do is be a part of something that is dishonest or just not worth pursuing.
It had to give me the flexibility of being able to do it at any time and from anywhere
As I said before, I live in the French alps and have a passion for snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and anything that is related to the mountains. I want to be able to experience them when the conditions are good. This is not always possible when you work for someone else. Sometimes the good weather days are never on your day off. But, now I work for myself I can take advantage of the best conditions for a couple of hours in the morning. As long as I get my list of jobs done by the end of the week, I know I have been productive enough.
Of course there are days when I have to say no to a powder day or work late at night. But, it is all about balance and it is all down to me and not a boss.
It had to be worth it with regards to how much money could be earned
These days I am more about the mountain lifestyle, however it costs money to live like this. Also, I want to buy a house here in the mountains and they are not cheap. Therefore, my new business needed to have some earning potential…..and it does!
For example, it is entirely feasible for an affiliate marketer to make £30/$30 per sale. Take a look at the infographic below:
Not bad hey? Now imagine two or three websites with hundreds of pages with thousands of people visiting them every day.
There had to be good training resources, as I was starting from scratch
There are a lot of scammers out there and luckily I am the type of person who is very sceptical about handing money over on the internet. This is the area where I did most of my research, as I wanted to make sure that my new business had some legitimate and quality training providers. I found out that the pushy “gurus” either had poor quality training or were scammers. I found a great training platform called Wealthy Affiliate, which I will come to later.
Affiliate marketing seemed to tick all the boxes for me, so I started my own business alongside my full time job at the time. I will come to how I managed to fit this around my life later, but a lot of time an effort has gone in to my business and I am glad I made that initial decision.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing works on a performance based business model. You get paid a commission for any sales that come through your website. So, in essence an affiliate marketer directs potential customers to someone else’s website and in return they get paid when a sale is made.
There are three parties involved in the process:
- The merchant – This is the online shop or organisation that is responsible for the actual product or service. They sell and ship or provide the product to the customer
- The customer – This is the person that has gone online to fine a product or the solution to a problem they have
- The publisher – This is the affiliate marketer. They will promote a product or service in the form of a review, guide, blog or a recommendation. This is usually done with a website, but can also be done with YouTube videos and social media
Affiliate marketing is a four step process:
- The customer searches the internet for an answer to a problem
- The customer finds your website, as it has the relevant information and an affiliate link to a recommended product
- The customer buys the product through the affiliate link
- The affiliate marketer gets paid a commission for the sale
Factors Involved In Affiliate Marketing
If you are looking for a way to work from home anywhere in the world, affiliate marketing is a great option. To make a success out of your business there are a few factors involved. They are not particularly complicated, but they have to be done in the right way.
Pick A Niche
A niche is a group of people with a shared interest. You need to base your affiliate marketing business around a niche in order for it to appeal to an audience. This audience will be attracted to your website, as your content will be solving their problems. Your content will also have recommendations for them with affiliate links that they will buy through.
It is really tempting to choose a broad niche thinking that you will appeal to lots of people. But, this is not a good idea. Sometimes it is possible to make money from a broad niche, but it will take a lot longer. However, if your niche is too broad you are not appealing to a specific audience and your competition is much greater.
Therefore, you need to choose a very focussed niche. It may seem odd to build a website that only appeals to a select few, but this select few are the ones that have enough of an interest to visit your site and buy from it.
I have made the mistake of building a website within a broad niche. I wasted a lot of time and effort trying to appeal to everyone.
Other than being focussed, your niche needs to have enough of a following to make a business out of. There is a difference between being focussed and not having an audience. Your niche also needs to be relevant. By this, I mean that it should not go out of fashion and you don’t want to waste your time on something that people are going to lose interest in.
Competition is a factor that should be considered when you are choosing a niche. If there is lots of competition, you will have your work cut out to get your content ranked ion search engines.
I think that one of the main things about choosing a niche, is that you really need to choose one that you are interested in. If you choose one purely in the hope that it will make you money, you will get bored with it. This means that your content will not be as good as it can be and above all, you should enjoy what you are doing.
Build A Website
Some people say that you don’t need a website for affiliate marketing. They base their business around YouTube and social media. However, a website is the most efficient way to build an audience. This is because the content you create will appeal to your niche.
If you have never built a website before, you may think that it is a daunting prospect. But, it is actually really easy. There are a few things you need to do:
- Choose a platform – Most affiliate marketers use WordPress for their websites. It was originally designed for bloggers so they could build websites without having to learn code. I use it for all of my websites, as there are loads of plugins that make it really easy to give your website certain functions and features
- Choose a domain name – Your domain name needs some thought going in to it. Some people use their name, but what ever you choose, you need to make sure it is brandable. Also, it needs to leave room for expansion when you get to a point when you can build out your website. One of the most important things is to choose a .com website. It shows your audience that you are serious about what you are doing more than a .org or .biz for example
- Register your domain – You need to choose a domain registrar. This issue you can claim the domain name you have chosen as yours.
- Choose a host – You need to host your website and there are lots of host to choose from. It is tempting to go for the cheapest one. But, cheap hosts tend to be unreliable and slow. All my websites are hosted at Wealthy Affiliate, however, I also recommend Blue Host
Create Great Content
There are a few things that you should do to ensure you create quality content. Quality content doesn’t just appeal to your audience, but it actually means that your audience actually sees it without you needing to pay for adverts and promotions. This is because it will be based around what people search for.
This is the first step of content creation. Without it, you are just hoping you are creating content that people will like and find. It is pretty easy and doesn’t take long to get a list of keywords to write about. Keyword research determines how much traffic and how much competition there is for that keyword. This allows you to choose keywords that are worth using. Keyword research is something that is totally necessary, but within half an hour you can have a list of keywords that will last you months.
Good SEO techniques show search engines how relevant your content is. The most relevant content gets to the top of the searches, so it is beneficial to use them wisely. They are actually really easy and don’t take up much time, it is more of a case of remembering to use them.
Content Must Be Helpful
Going in with a hard sell straight away puts people off. You need to base your content around a solution to a problem that people need solving. So you need to provide information that will help them out. You can create content in the following ways:
- Buyer’s guides – many people want to know what they should be looking for in a certain type of product or service. You can fill them in on all the information and then give them some recommendations that incorporate all of the best features.
- Comparisons – Some people are torn between two different products to buy. You can outline the advantages and disadvantages of products and give your personal opinion as an authority in the niche.
- Product reviews – If you have knowledge about a product (or know what to look for), you can write a review about it. This is a good one, as people that search for a review on a certain product are already thinking about buying it. If it is something that you wouldn’t recommend, you can suggest an alternative.
- Best of posts – These are great for attracting people to your website. Posts like ” best gifts for….” and the best beginner…..” are commonly searched for and can give you lots of opportunity to convert sales
Join Affiliate Programs
To get affiliate links, you need to join affiliate programs. If you can think of a product or service that you can buy on the internet, there will be an affiliate program for it. You can easily find them with a Google search. One you may want to start with is Amazon Associates. I’m not saying it is the best one, but you can promote anything that you can buy from Amazon and you don’t need to be approved. This means you can monetise your website straight away. If you choose Amazon Associates, you need to make sure you stick to their rules. I know of a few websites that have been rendered useless after they broke a very strict and odd rule.
It is a good idea to look for affiliate networks too. These are websites with hundreds of affiliate programs from advertisers. The big advantage of an affiliate networks, is that everything is managed from one place. This means you have less logins, but the most important thing is that all of your payments are managed for you. If you are part of lots of programs within an affiliate network, your commissions are come in to your account from one place every month. I am a member of Awin, which makes life much easier.
While I am talking about affiliate programs, it is worth mentioning how good cookies are. Not the baked goods, but the little text file that is stored in your browser when you visit a website. This text file stores the ID of the user that visited the website for a certain amount of time. This is 24 hours in the case of Amazon and usually 30 days on other affiliate programs. If that person goes back to the website you have directed them to through your affiliate link within the time limit and buys something, you still get the commission. This is because it determines that you generated the lead and deserves the reward.
Many affiliate programs, such as Amazon reward you for anything that is bought through your link. So if they clicked on your affiliate link for a saucepan you recommended and they bought a TV later on in the day, you get the commission for it!
How You Can Make It Work
You won’t be successful without putting in the effort. There will be late nights, missed parties and frustration, but that is what it takes. I said earlier that I have a good balance of work and play, but I work a lot more now than I did when I had a job. But I wouldn’t change it, as I have the flexibility I want most of the time.
I have found that I am much more productive when I am organised. Being organised lets me churn out more quality content that converts in to sales.
There is no shortcut to success. Affiliate marketing takes a long time to earn you any money at all for lots of reasons:
- The time it takes to create content (especially in the early days)
- Search engine algorithms – They make it hard for you to rank your content for the first few months to make sure you are serious about providing quality information to your audience
- The learning curve – The techniques are not difficult, but they take time to learn
- Mistakes – Even with the best training I made mistakes, because I got blinded by ambition. Also, when I look back at my earlier content, I realise how much I have learned since writing it. There are obvious things I didn’t know about at the time and some of it is pretty terrible. However, I have learned from it and am slowly putting it right.
The mistakes are bumps in the road and part of the process, but you have to keep pushing on. The issue many people have with affiliate marketing is that they give up before they get anywhere with it. It is not something that you earn a certain amount of money for a certain amount of hours you work. Using the right techniques will bring in the money eventually, this could be a few months down the line or after a year, but you have to keep plugging away at it.
By putting quality work in to your website every day, you demonstrate to your audience and to search engines that you are a good source of information. Search engines like it when a website is constantly updated, as it knows that it is alive and well.
You Need To Get Trained
There is a lot of information out there on starting up an affiliate marketing business. But as I said before, there are a lot of scammers and people providing poor quality training. Wealthy Affiliate is by far the best training platform I have found.
Wealthy Affiliate’s training is very comprehensive and easy to follow. It also has tasks to perform at the end of each lesson, so you don’t miss out any important aspects of building your business. There is also a FREE membership that gives you 10 lessons and two free websites to play with.
How I Started
I was working as a manager in a holiday company here in the French alps. This was great, but I wanted total flexibility for my working life. So after lots of research, I realised that affiliate marketing ticked a lot of boxes, but I still wasn’t 100% sure. So, after finding Wealthy Affiliate, I signed up to the free membership. This gave me a chance to see what was actually involved with running an affiliate marketing business. So after building a free website and going through the training I got a good picture of what I had to do, so I decided to go for it.
I signed up to the premium membership and worked on my first website every night after work. I then started to work part time for the holiday company and supplemented my income by writing a few blogs and managing a couple of social media accounts (I still do this on request from time to time). After a while, I got to a point where I could stop my part time job and work solely from home, writing blogs, the social media accounts and my affiliate marketing business.
I still do the social media and blog writing as it is an easy way to earn some pocket money. Also doing little jobs for other people keeps me in contact with the outside world, which is important to me, as I spend a lot of time alone when working from home.
The Free membership is a great way to get an insight in to the aspects of affiliate marketing and it is risk free. I only needed an email address to sign up and could walk away at any time. If you are considering starting an affiliate marketing business, I recommend that you give the free membership a try, there is nothing to lose.
The other thing about Wealthy Affiliate, is that all the website hosting, registration, technical support and security is all taken care of. This makes life a lot easier than doing it all yourself.
That is how to work from home anywhere in the world!
What do you think? Is this something you like the sound of? If you have any questions about this subject, please let me know in the comments section below. I will help you out the best I can.