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Before we start… blogging changed my life, I can’t believe just how much it’s changed, and how quickly! If you wanna know how I managed to make $1m+ blogging, buy properties in Thailand and London, visit to every country in the world, and never have to work in an office again then here’s my guide on how to start a travel blog of your own…  in less than 30 minutes. Dont be one of the crowd, life’s too short for that.

 

This week I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post or not, worried about negative feedback, concerned that people would think I’m full of sh*t, coming across as conceited or boastful. But then I remembered a time when I was super broke, five years ago, traveling across Asia, and I read something about people making money blogging and it changed my life. So I’m hoping this can do the same for even one person who reads this…..

making money on the internet
My total revenue curve since I started blogging – I just broke through the $1,000,000 barrier

I was 26 years old, I had taught English in Thailand and Korea, visiting twenty or thirty countries and loving the freedom of this vagabond lifestyle. Teaching English had allowed me to scramble together funds for the next leg of my dream to visit every country in the world  which, at the time, was Japan to Australia overlanding as much as possible. But realistically, for me, this teaching for peanuts, saving a little money and hitting the road wasn’t a long-term solution. I wanted the freedom, I wanted this lifestyle but I couldn’t live my life with no financial security. Although I was still young, I didn’t enjoy looking forward and envisaging a life where I couldn’t afford to have a family, to go back to Ireland and see friends and family, to have my dream house, to give my future kids a great education, to enjoy true feedom to live the life I want.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 2.00.51 PM
Teaching English in South Korea

A lot of people, and travel bloggers in particular, talk about the romance of being broke and traveling. And it’s true, it is a beautiful thing. Not knowing where you’ll end up, scoring some cheap flights on a whim and traveling to a new continent. It’s exhilarating. But forever? No chance. Being broke is fun when you’re young and in my experience, the novelty of a broke, nomadic existence didn’t last forever. I found myself dreaming of something a little more. Marrying both the lifestyle of a traveler, with the income of a businessperson. I might have been dreaming, but it was a dream I would strive for. Every day. Until I reached it. Digital nomadism and lifestyle design were on the up, rumours of people working from their laptops, traveling the world were being whispered about in hostel dorms. Tim Ferriss was getting famous. I wanted a slice. I had to do it.

I read an article by a blogger called Nomadic Matt about making $3000USD a month from his travel blog. When I delved a little deeper I realised he wasn’t doing anything particularly special. I figured I had experienced a lot more of the world than most travel bloggers, and if all I have to is write about it, then there’s no reason why I couldn’t hang up my English teaching hat and blog instead. One small flaw, my tech skills are on power with my singing and dancing skills – non-existant. To cut a long story short, I hired an awesome Filipino guy, gave him $100 and onestep4ward.com was born in 2010, here’s the first version I blogged on:

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 1.43.06 PM

I had moved to Sydney, Australia and had a ‘real’ job. In an office. With a shirt and shoes. It was my first and only ‘real world’ experience, and although I loved Sydney, loved my friends there, and am hugely grateful for the experience, I hated the nine to five. So, from the office, I started my blog. Before long I quit and flew one way to Africa.

I had saved some cash from my job in Australia, but hadn’t made a penny online yet. Then, one very special day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia I went to an internet cafe to check my mail. Boom. A guy called Baba Bojang wanted an advert on my site.  I literally didn’t believe it, convinced my friends had hatched a plan to tease me. $85 in my paypal later and something big had changed. I had made my first little chunk of money on the internet. I now believed it was possible. Wow.

Blogging in Malawi, one month before my first advertising deal
Blogging in Malawi, one month before my first advertising deal

Within six months I was making $500 a month, another three or four months, it was $1000. I was now making more money from blogging than I had made teaching English. I moved to Bangkok, it was 2011 and it was the start of my new life. The revenue increased month on month, but I was partying too hard, thinking I had hit the jackpot. I was up to around $2500 a month, working five or six hours a week, ‘living the dream’ in Thailand until I realised that wasn’t the dream at all. I wasn’t dreaming big enough. If I can make this much money from one website, imagine if I had three, or five, or twenty??

So I expanded my website portfolio. I hired a guy from Bangladesh and we built two more sites, what happend next was a watershed moment. I bought a website from someone for the first time, I had managed to save $9k from my blogging endeavours, and I used $8000 of it to buy a fourth website. I was for real now. It sounds like a brave descison, but it wasn’t at all. I was terrified. I called my mum, then called her again, and again. My sister, my mates, everyone was getting called. “Can i really blow $8k on ONE site? I could travel for six months with that”. But I did it, and I made the money back in six weeks. More belief.

carl browne
Carl and I traveling together and working in Azerbaijan, along with Josh my partner in crime for this years Africa trip

That was towards the end of 2012, and for the next three years I expanded, and expanded. I started five more sites, and bought more, and more until I had more than one hundred sites. I hired a tech guy to manage my sites, Aghosh, who to this day is my saviour. I hired a couple of writers to write the content for all my sites, I hired a few sales guys to manage the corporate blogging, social media management, SEO link sales, copy writing tasks and advertising (huge thanks to Chris, Nick L, Nick B, Carlo and most of all Carl, who has since become one of my my best mates and is still killing it every day). Eventually I created the face of my digital media company step4wardmedia.com to establish ourselves fully. At no point did I get an office, and no point did I require anyone to report their hours to me. We all worked from our laptops, all trusted each other, and all got along as friends. Digital nomads, all of us.

step4wardmedia.com
Step4WardMedia.com

The revenue kept coming, we stayed humble, kept working, always thinking about how to diversify, how to keep living the dream. Google tweaked a few things which damaged my business model a lot over the last year or so, more than halving my revenue, so although profits are down, I’m still free. With Carl, we are now launching an education start up in Hong Kong called Find A Tutor, and that has been a huge learning curve for us both, starting with the fact that we’re nine months late on launching. Ouch. Here’s a screenshot of our beta site for anyone who is interested:

findatutor.com.hk find a tutor in hong kong
The beta version of our new education startup in Hong Kong findatutor.com.hk

And so here we are today, I’m writing this from my small two bed apartment in Bangkok which I bought mortgage free last year. I spend three months a year in Thailand, the other nine months I spend traveling around the big, bad world. I’ve had a couple of skype meetings this morning about Find A Tutor and Step4WardMedia and the rest of my Monday I’m off on a date with my girl. This weekend I’m going to Kuwait, my 142nd country out of 193 countries, en route to finishing my goal of visiting every country in the world. I’ll be in London and Ireland next week to get yet another new passport, then I’m spending the rest of the year in Africa, all the time logging on and managing this crazy life from my four year old MacBook.

The first couple of years blogging, before I really cracked it with multiple sites, provided enough money for me to travel and live from, while also expanding my portfolio a bit. Ranging between $500 pm in the middle of 2010 all the way up to about $4500, just before I expanded aggresively in 2012.

So eight days ago, I calculated than in the last three years I’ve cracked the $1,000,000 barrier of making money online. In those three years, my best month was almost $60,000USD and my worst was just shy of $12,000USD. It doesn’t seem real to be honest. I am not a tech expert, nor did I grow up in a business-orientated house. No one told me I could do it, and no one taught me how to do it. But you know what? If a small town Irish guy can do it, then there is literally no reason why you can’t. Believe in yourself, follow your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t. I’m not stopping where I am, and neither should you. Good luck everyone, and see you on the road.

sep-icons
teach-blog

So if you’re ready to…..

1) Change your life
2) Travel the world
3) Get paid to travel
4) Create a positive influence on others
5) Be free of offices and ‘real world’ rubbish

Then Sign Up Below and Let’s Get Started!

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208 thoughts on “Motivational Monday; How I Made $1,000,000 dollars in 3 years blogging

  1. Pingback: My New Bucket List Ideas | One Step 4Ward
  2. This is really inspiring!

    There are times that blogging is tough that I think of just giving up. But this is one of those stories that prove that yes, it is possible, so just work hard and never give up.

    Thanks for sharing your story Johnny!

  3. Hi Johnny,
    just to make sure: Are you talking about 1,000,000 USD revenue or real profit (after paying invoices, team member payroll etc)?
    You’re story is amazing and very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!
    David

  4. This is amazing, Johnny! I’m a traveler myself and I was just warming up to the idea of starting my own travel website, and your story has really made me more eager to do it.

    So I was wondering about the part of your story where you started/bought more websites. What are those sites about? I mean, I could write about travelling and a few other things, but how do you even figure out the topics for 100 different sites, and then make them all successful?

    Best,
    Miguel

  5. Pingback: Things to do in Kanchanaburi: What not to miss, a quick guide!
  6. Fascinating stuff, man. I wish I could do the same. Just curious, how do you manage to get connectivity everywhere you go? I don’t mean big cities but when you go to remote areas and stuff.

  7. Wow! Congratulations guys… Very well done. I have started mine almost the same way you did Johnny, reading Nomadic Matt’s blog and inspired me so much that I expanded my blog during my trip in Europe. After a few months on the road I realized I was right, this is the life I want. Today Im changing my life. Thank you for reassuring us IT IS POSSIBLE.
    See you on the road! 🙂

  8. Awesome job Johnny! A great inspiration for everyone! I’ve been traveling on and off for the last 10 years and I finally decided to list down all my adventures. Still a long way to go as I’m 10 years and 80+ countries behind of blogging! Your site really gave me motivation to open up my own blog. If you have time check out my website (www.flyingdutchmanpat.com). Keep up the great work and good luck with the last 4 countries!

  9. Great role model, Johnny
    Thank’s for inspiration 🙂

    I’m developing my online business since 2012 and each year is getting better and better even though at certain moments along the way you think this is not leading you anywhere. But once I stop and look back actually understand that there is always onestep4ward 🙂

    Good luck, mate 🙂

  10. Hey Johnny

    This is awesome! Congrats.! You said that you bought other websites and thats when your business really expanded. Did you buy other travel blogs… how does it work? Do you have people running the blogs for you? Which forms of social media have.you found to be the best?

  11. I just read this article again after about 6 months, it still makes me really motivated. Thank you for sharing, you are so inspiring! 🙂

  12. Great post Johnny, and thanks for sharing. Hope to one day connect through our travels, but until then keep enjoying life man!

  13. I just met your friend Josh in a tuk tuk in Udaipur India. What an amazing story you both have. Such an inspiring post, awesome website, great facebook photo’s also. Being a fellow traveller I also know the frustration of being told your “lucky” I look forward to continuing to follow your journey! All the best! Jen

  14. Best post!!!!!!!Solo travel is intensely personal. You can discover more about yourself at the same time you’re discovering more about Europe. Traveling on your own is fun, challenging, vivid, and exhilarating. Realizing that you have what it takes to be your own guide is a thrill known only to solo travelers.Thanks:)

  15. Stunning! Very inspiring.
    I likewise need to gain a considerable measure of cash while continue voyaging! Much obliged to you for your sharing! Do u imagine that Google blog spot is a decent decision for me on the off chance that i need to begin a web journal?

  16. Oh man, what an inspiring post! A friend mentioned the Forbes piece to me which is how I found you as well and I’m so glad I did. I’ve loved working on my blog for so many reasons but lately have been thinking more and more about how wonderful it would be if it could also take care of the financial side of life, which in turn would give me more time to spend on it so I could do even more. It’s so good to see what you’ve done with your blogging empire. Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

  17. Hai, very nice to that dollar number you earn by blogging, if everyone blogging and get nominal but no one cultivate the field can money growth food 🙂 nowadays passion defeat food, enjoy your food

  18. OMG, i remembered post a comment on “about you page” when you blog just started. How could i miss this? I think you a living proof for people who followed their passion. Still cannot believe this, i thought you just change a layout..doh.

    1. There is a dramatic difference between revenue and bottom line profit. I would be curious to know (net of all expenses / web site purchases, etc.) how much you “made”. I am sure it is still a nice chunk of change but this will help people to set more realistic expectations. Thanks!

  19. Saw your article on Forbes.com and I was so impressed by your down-to-earth nature! I have wanted to be a travel writer since reading A Year in Provence in high school. It always seemed like an aspiration completely out of reach and life went on but the conventional 9-5 job has always been a struggle. Twenty years later, the internet has made this lifestyle a real possibility! Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Very inspiring indeed! Will be going to Pai, Thailand on 2nd week of January for a meditation retreat. Anyone heard of Anahata Mystery School?

  21. Very inspirational. I really enjoyed reading it. So far I only have one website, and although I thought about buying a site in the past, I never really went for it due to the amount of time that it takes. I like how you outsource almost everything. Now I want to give it try. Great post!

  22. Hey mate,
    Awesome post – I appreciate you worried about boasting, but you can tell you’re not a blowhard, nor do you look like one. This is inspirational! And yes I am slightly envious, but would love to do the same thing as you. I have just moved to Germany with my wife and 2 year old son, and have swapped roles – my wife is teaching and I am at home. I am furiously writing and blogging in the hope I don’t ever have to work for anybody ever again!

    I’m sure you are really busy, but could I possibly PM you for some tips? My blog is being read on a national New Zealand website, but I really have no clue what I am doing.

  23. Amazing! I also want to earn a lot of money while keep travelling! Thank you for your sharing! Do u think that Google blogspot is a good choice for me if i want to start a blog? 🙂

  24. Wow, determination & some risk taking really paid off! Congrats on your achievement & thank you for sharing your story. It’s very motivating!

  25. Johnny, thank you for your honest and inspiring story. Your success was not overnight as it took an idea, patience hard work, and few risks. I know the blogging world is competitive, but you give bloggers like me some sort of hope! Thanks

  26. Nice article. Your story resonates a lot with me. I am much older than you and was determine to find a way to leave the 9-5. I haven’t quiet got the income stream that I would like just yet however I have spent 5 months travelling this year. It takes a lot of courage to sep of the ladder with out a safe net. You are an inspiration to a lot of people. One question. Can you please comment on the other sites that you talk about.

  27. I wan to run the world without working,this is my dream.
    Johnny,can u tell me what is my next step? what should i do right now?
    I’m really so boring my work now.
    Thanks !!

  28. My partner shared your work with me and found your article in The Daily Mail. You are really inspirational and I find that with what you are doing, you’re spearheading a movement and showing that a life of your dreams is right at your fingertips. Well done to what you have achieved. What was the most memorable experience for you?

  29. Nice road dude. It’s the power of the positive thinking. If you think you can, you will get it.
    Wish you a better life and experiences, and waiting for you in Brazil again.
    Hugs.

  30. It is very nice story. i hope my blog will get some visitors too. i just start blogging. You made me to love it

  31. good day Johnny

    I’m from south Africa ,I would like to know how can I start my own thing like you did ,I really would like to see the world and travel everyday with my wife .

    I have a great idea of a website/blog that I would like to create ,that isn’t in south Africa and I know it will make money , but Ya that’s the thing I don’t know how to do it or if you can say I don’t know how to start it .I’m a very positive man and would like to succeed in life and stop going backwards . your blog have inspired me a lot and would like if anyone can help me to succeed in life please .

    enjoy your trip ,safe traveling

  32. Your story’s really inspiring. Looking forward to reading about how you did what you did and the obstacles and challenges you’ve had to overcome. 🙂

  33. What a great story and inspiration. I am leaving in October to become a Digital Nomad!
    So looking forward to it!
    All the best!

  34. That’s a great story, quite inspiring actually 🙂 Hope I’ll be able to get there. (Btw there’s a typo somewhere in there saying “Finsishing” 🙂 )

  35. Awsome post. Very useful on the know-how. Very few are as open on the “how I did it” side…

    I’m a lawyer and my girlfriend is in business development. We are both leaving our job on Nov 3rd 2015 to travel indefinitely and to blog about it. There is some many blogs now that we decided to take the “french side” niche, being from Montréal. We’ll start small and grow slowly. First destinations: Japan, Philippines and Thailand. See you there!

    auboutdumonde.voyage

  36. Hey!! Great site and great post!! It sounds like you’ve been on the exact same journey as me… I’m just a few years behind – finished teaching in China 2years ago, got home from travelling through Asia and Oceania last year, and started setting up my blog from then!!
    You’ve really inspired me to keep on doing what I’m doing and refreshed my motivation!! 🙂
    Thanks,
    Zoe

  37. Hello,
    would a blog work and make income as well if :
    – it covers another subject than traveling?
    – the author remains anonymous and writes under a pseudonym?

    Also, what type of website is needed? Do we need to buy a domain or are those “free” website also working for that? What do you think about WordPress and Wix?

    Great inspiration and thanks for your input!

    1. Hi, I am also doing research on this these days and I believe blogs do work if your content is new and helpful for the people. and yes, I dont think free websites do the magic. you should buy the domain and hosting. I just started http://www.saddatoronto.com on wordpress about 20 days back. I hope one day I’ll make some money out of it. 🙂 but my mai purpose is to help new Canadian immigrants. And yes, I think anonymous posts are not good as well.

  38. Hi Johnny,

    I am a mom of 2 beautiful girls, I live in South Africa and recently started a blog and after some grueling soul searching I decided to go to Chiang Mai, Thailand on an internship to teach English and a Foreign Language. A week or so after I made that decision, my partner sent me a link to an article about you on Yahoo. Well, let’s just say that that was the end of that. I leave South Africa in two weeks and after a month in Chiang Mai, who knows where I will be. My ultimate dream is to have, like yourself, an incredibly successful travel blog as well as get my kiddos on the road with me, homeschooling while traveling. The other idea is that I would like to do 40 countries before my 40th! Which is in July of next year…

    Thank you for the fun and informative entries. You are indeed inspiring 🙂

    P.S. I hope you get to read my blog

  39. Johnny, te felicito por tu éxito y tus viajes, lo que no entiendo, es como obtienes dinero si tu no vendes cosas en tu web. Como es que te llega dinero. Por favor explícame ese mecanismo. Explícame el mecanismo, la forma del negocio. Explícame la forma en que ganas dinero en tu blog. ENGLISH: Johnny , I congratulate you on your success and your trips, I do not understand is how you get money if you do not sell things on your website. As you get money. Please explain this mechanism . Explain the mechanism , the business form . Explain how you make money on your blog.

  40. First thanks for sharing your story is very inspiring , because I have long sought a guide , a mentor who really inspire me to face all these fears and even though I do not know much English , I always look for ways to improve the level of life for me and my family and thanks to you I will do it! !

    1. Johnny, te felicito por tu éxito y tus viajes, lo que no entiendo, es como obtienes dinero si tu no vendes cosas en tu web. Como es que te llega dinero. Por favor explícame ese mecanismo. Explícame el mecanismo, la forma del negocio. Explícame la forma en que ganas dinero en tu blog.

  41. Hi Johnny,
    What a successful story to hear from you & i too wanted to be successful guy like you but how!!! first why don,t
    you visit a beautiful country like ours “BHUTAN” Lets meet & travelled together.

  42. I came across your site when it got featured on Yahoo. You are such an inspiration to many! Having been exposed to link brokery for almost 6 months now, I am really amazed at how people can earn very much while living their dreams and I am thinking about starting a blog myself. I guess the most difficult part would be the start. Just need to organize my thoughts more.

  43. Hi Johnny! This was an awesome article and inspiring to me about how you got to earn your money. I am wondering for me to start a blog where would I have to go to start one or what site? Do I have to pay to star t my website or blog Am I going to have to pay someone to start one for me? Also, once you had your blog did you start getting paid once people started paying you for their ads? Do you get paid just for people coming on to see your blog and all the websites? I would appreciate if you can help me out here as you had got me interested and wanting to start some type of blog myself. Hope your day is a blast!

  44. Thanks for sharing your story, would love a few tips at how to take my site to the next level. I think my pictures and content are good but can’t seem to get a big audience. My blog is food not travel. http://www.juddchef.com Thanks for the time. Judd

  45. Hey Johnny! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’ve actually had a similar experience in launching a successful website (nearly 15yrs ago) So broke at the time I could barely keep a roof over my head. Forget about eating regularly and no one wanted to give me a chance to come up over minimum wage. After working really hard at it, self teaching myself to build a site and reaching number one on Yahoo and Google. I decided it went so well I launched a second. Business is doing pretty well. But I chose businesses that are more labor intensive (making a handcrafted product) than I want to continue with these days. I love the freedom of being self employed. Thought I’d shift over to making money on things a little less labor intensive. Maybe turning a part of my site into a blog and taking down some of the product. To balance this revenue I’m guessing I will need advertisers. Soooo here is my question. How do you get or solicit for advertisers? I know there is a pay per click type of a thing sometimes, but how does it work? Also I used to get lots of link requests. If I turn this into a pay per link thing do you think this will effect my site and push me off the top in the search engines? I know this is a loaded question and I appreciate any advice you can share.

  46. Johnny,
    You are an inspiration to me. I would love to make this much off of blogging about breweries around the world and maybe more. This has given me so much to think about and is truly motivating. Thank you for sharing this story and I hope to cross paths with you down the road.

    -Forrest

  47. NÓZ DA ÍNDIA – Uma semente que ajuda a queimar gordura,perder peso e assim
    combater a obesidade, através da remoção das camadas de gordura corporais.
    É um excelente diurético, laxante e purificador do corpo em geral.
    Previne hemorroidas, tem ação de reguladora intestinal, não deixando flacidez.
    VEJA ALGUNS DOS SEUS BENEFÍCIOS:
    – tira gordura localizada
    – combate a celulite
    – baixa o colesterol – tonifica os músculos
    – limpa o organismo
    – tira a ansiedade
    – diminui a fome
    – melhora prisão de ventre
    – controla queda de cabelo
    – dá brilho a pele e ao cabelo.
    – tira a ansiedade por comer
    doces
    – previne hemorroidas.
    ESTÁ ESPERANDO O QUÊ? COMPRE JÁ A SUA!
    http://nozdaindia.nuvemshop.com.br/produtos

    Veja Johnny – será que isso dá pra ganhar muito USD?

  48. hi jonny. well done mate. would be interesting to hear how you manage your taxes etc. in your line of work. am interested in starting up business online but unsure as to how it would work when constantly on the road. cheers

  49. Wow! What a story! I was actually reading about you in the norwegain newspaper. You are a big inspiration for us other travel bloggers. I am where you started, but reading this makes me belive that it is possible. Thank you so much for being so open and for sharing 🙂

  50. Wow 3 years to freedom. You did it really fast. I quit my job 3 years to go full time freelance. Now I’m earning on a freelance job without the need of a 9 to 5 job. But I’m still struggling on how to make it bigger and how to scale my online business into something big.

  51. You have illustrated things so nicely. I must say the information is highly inspirational. I wonder how you manage all this. Anyway, you inspired me. I might some day start writing for you. Thanks 🙂

  52. Great post, Even i have started my blog (mobileship.blogspot.com), How did you managed to post fresh and unique contents to all of this blogs and how frequent usually are they ?

  53. Really enjoyed this read. I’ve only been blogging for a couple months since starting my travels in Taiwan. Your blog and this post especially has been inspirational. I have been working on different ideas for several different websites to build and monetize.

  54. Super! My wife and I have just started with our sites and it is in its infancy. Your journey seems incredible. What a life!

  55. Hi Johnny, I m here the first time. And well, fantastic article. I am on the road since two years now, an now about to cross 2000 with http://www.click-your-ads.com and http://www.deutschland.deadhardrive.com.

    I now started http://www.digitalnomad-jobfinder.com to make it easier for future nomads to find first jobs and enable them to travel while working on they computer. Its online since two days, we still struggle a little with some tech problems but that will be solved soon. The whole service is 100% free for nomadic freelancers!!! Now we can’t really see how we can get more employers sign up an post jobs, cause this will make the magic happen. Do you have any idea? Could you anyhow support that, so we help more people get their dreams happen, like yours did! Many thanks for this inspiring article. Have a great day! Leon

  56. Great article as ever Johnny and congratulations on reaching $1,000,000. It’s pretty justified to see that a real traveller is getting the money he deserves and not so many of these one hit wonders that start a blog for a trip to Thailand or Australia and then you never hear about them again as they weren’t really a traveller in the first place! The first time I saw your blog was about three years ago now and I remember thinking I need to change my own blog as a result, so thanks for the enthusiasm and ideas down the years. See you in Africa! Safe travels, Jonny

  57. This is So inspirational! I get so tired of people acting like “blogging” is just a hobby and can’t be a real career path. I try to tell folks, I’m not just a travel writer/blogger…but I’m working on building an empire. Thanks for the motivation!

  58. Hey Johnny, brilliant insightful read, takes some courage to post something like this and it’s certainly inspiring! And this is a great quote “Believe in yourself, follow your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t” 🙂

  59. And you even respond to each comment?! Wow. Or is one of your guys doing that..? 😉
    Anyways, thanks for the inspiration! I really enjoyed reading about your exciting journey!
    Good luck with Find a Tutor! It’s good to have more eggs in the basket and have something slightly less dependent on Google 🙂

    1. It’s really me lol Thanks 🙂 My digital media company thankfully doesn’t rely on google, and it’s my bread and butter, but we’re hoping FaT is our big ticket 🙂

  60. Hey Johnny, you are so inspiring. I hope to be able to do what you have done in future. I started by own blog http://www.thetravelingcheese.com which focuses on travel, music, films and local content. I just don’t know how to set up to gain more of an audience and deal with technical issues. Any suggestions would help! Thanks so much!

    1. Tech issues, find some u trust who can fix it every time – that’s the key. Audience? Write honest, compelling stuff regularly as well as SEO tip-based stuff to build organic traffic 🙂

  61. Great post Johnny. We still have a long way to go but after going back to the 9 – 5 we realized that our blog is our only chance of freedom. I also already have some other sites in the works, but I’ll focus more on those when our blog is finally producing some kind of income. Good luck mate.

  62. Thanks for your post ! It’s alway interesting to get this kind of info. I have a blog from some years (in french) about travel and food but I generate no money for it and don’t know how to do it. So you just sell ads space on all your blogs directly ? How do you negociate prices ?

    1. Hey Celine, money from blogging – yeah pretty much ads and links – I negotiate by asking for as much as I can, then often bartering after that 🙂

  63. This is really inspiring. I’ve started this year with expanding my online services and put more effort on my travel blog. I will hustle more, and as per your experience, it will be worth it.

    Thank you so much for sharing Johnny!

    1. it is indeed worth it mate, but like you say – you have to hustle. Too many people spend too much time planning to hustle, and not enough time actual hustling 🙂

  64. wow 1 milion in 3 years! amazing…we ll try to copy ur example 30.000 in 3 years would be enough for me 🙂
    Any other good idea guys? check our blog about travelling and living in Nicaragua! have yu been there?

  65. I’d love to hear more about your process of buying websites and how it makes you money. I mean I’ve heard of big sites getting sold for millions, but I’ve never thought about buying smaller sites and hiring people to manage them.

  66. Great article mate. Been keeping an eye on all you do from over here in Canada since not long after the Lufbra days. Great to see the commitment and creativity is paying off. Early days for me but I’ve been thinking of pulling the trigger on a website and blogging (since I connected you up with my buddy Steven Bridger really- hope that benefited you both). This story / info has made my mind up to put some real time and effort into it.
    Thanks mate, keep them coming looking forward to the day you hit every country.

      1. Yeah it’s not bad mate and thanks; I’ll get stuck in first but I’m sure I’ll have a question or 2.

        Cheers bud, thanks again for the great post.

  67. Thanks for the inspiration! I hope my site will take me there someday! This ghostwriting for content farms is getting tiring 🙂

    1. Anything that pays for the bills and keeps you free Courtney 🙂 I’ve done my fair share of that too, don’t give up 🙂

  68. Really inspiring stuff! I took the plunge and had planned to start my blog (after stopping it earlier) and monetizing it however it never really got up and running. I’m also tech-challenged and am now trying to learn how to use wordpress. I’m preparing to go back to the USA and try to find work for the first time in almost a decade since this venture didn’t work out. I’ve also been reading Tim Ferriss’s book lately and just this week after losing my only stream of income that had me teaching online for 10 hours every day just to stay afloat, I’ve finally started making progress, getting my first sponsored post (volcano boarding in exchange for post). It’s exciting but holy crap, since I’ve never had more than a grand in the bank for the entire year and made less than $4000 for the entire year last year…this would be like a dream. Outsourcing does sound like the key.

  69. Excellent article, very inspiring. Thanks for motivating other black sheep. This is a classic example of an ‘egg of columbus’: Making 1 million online? Impossible right? Until Johnny shows you how. Everything is impossible… Until someone shows how how to do it. Thanks for being our egg of columbus!

  70. So out of interest what were the other sites you created? and also what kind of sites did you buy? Inspiring stuff Johnny!

  71. So did most of your revenue come from each of your websites rather than providing blogging and social media services to corporates?
    Also, how did you get into the corporate blogging and social media management?
    Thanks for the very informative post. 🙂

    1. Corporate blogging – i went out and found clients. Other websites make a chunk of my money, the digital media side makes the other chunk 🙂

  72. this was so inspiring Jonny! However I’d love to know more detail about the strategies behind your website purchases and what you did to them to monetise… Share?

  73. This is absolutely amazing. well fucking done!! I can assure you you will inspire more than one person. And awesome news about the find a tutor in HK. That will be massive here.. Congratulation.

  74. Very honest and inspiring post Johnny! I’m really excited to hear about your upcoming adventures in Africa, but even more so it would be great if you had more posts like these, where you share with us your “other” journey in the realm of entrepreneurship. It’s really exciting to read about that journey as well!

  75. Hey Johnny! Thanks for sharing this post, it definitely ramped up my motivation. I’m wondering though, before you hired people to help you, how much time did you spend working on those few extra sites each week? My travel blog is pretty fresh but I’ve been toying with the idea of starting other sites too – however I’m worried about time management.

    1. Not too long to be honest Carly, max twenty hours a week total on everything. I write pretty fast, so that helps but i never really prioritized my biz, life always came first so if i was working too long, i just stopped 🙂

  76. Johnny, your honesty is refreshing. This sort of thing is very difficult to pull off and involves both setbacks and a willingness to act and think independently for long periods of time. As a story, it all appears like rainbows and kittens from the outside, but it’s way more mundane and taxing in reality. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  77. Congrats! I can only hope to make it there some day, our little blog is growing…was a good 2013, bad 2014, but 2015 is looking up!

  78. Congratulations Johnny Man!!

    Happy to see that you reached your monetary goal.
    What’s even crazier is that you reached it way before setting foot in all 193 countries :]

    As someone whose striver to follow your footsteps, this post was motivational indeed.

    So what’s next? $1,000,000 made of the past 3 years… now $1,000,000 in the bank?

    1. Hey buddy 🙂 I’ll never have it in the bank mate, I’m obssessed with investments now 🙂 What’s next, hmmm let me finish the countries first 😛

  79. Hi John,
    how long you will be staying in London?? if you have some spare time we can chat and grab a drink. let me know.

  80. So inspirational post. I have been doing SEO for last 9 years. I am able to rank anything even after penguin and panda algo updates, but I kept losing motivation.

  81. Cheers to all the other black sheep living their dream! Life is too short for 9-5. Very impressed by your vision in recognizing that if you could make money with one, then why not try a hundred?

  82. As a new comer in the blogging and online profession, your article really inspired me to go forward.
    Keep going Johnny

  83. Fair play on the hard work Johnny. Fellow Irish guy here, and big fan of your website. I’ve recently just set up my own digital marketing company in Ireland, after returning from 6 months backpacking and working in South East Asia. It’s going well, and starting to get paid nicely for the work – but I’m already feeling like it’s going to slowly peg me to the ground over here – as I’m making it out of the country less and less. For me, the difficulty is maintaining the balance of being able to travel, while growing a business.

    Very impressed by what you have achieved, and hope you keep smashing it!

      1. It’s http://www.fourthwallagency.com – Slowly taking over social media/digital for a good few irish businesses! Currently managing to get to two new countries a month but hoping to ramp it up to working completely remotely soon.

        Right now just dealing with local Irish brands – but I’ve got some ambitious plans related to travel and online media that I would love to get your thoughts on further down the line.

  84. Awesome article Johnny. Inspiring. Honest. Real. Nice visual. Man, I can try to imagine what it must have been like to drop $8k on that one site back then. Thanks for the Monday Motivation. 🙂

  85. Very inspirational Johnny! I follow you on Facebook and your posts always feed my wanderlust. I am heading off on my own overland adventure at the beginning of November – overland from Glasgow to Singapore. Counting down the days now. Maybe I should start a blog about the journey. I would love to leave the 9-5 monotony. I’m going to make it happen!

      1. Well I’m not buying a flight home! Perhaps 9 months. I want to keep it slooooow! I’ll be checking out onestep4ward for tips along the way 🙂 I may never come back, adventure is out there…

      2. Hi Johnn,l live in Rwanda but am from Kenya and am sure you have already bypassed here.l want to get started as you did but l want to work with you first. I want to biold a blog about missionary work and jobs hunting.can you assist me get started?how can we work together?

  86. Thanks for sharing Johnny! I appreciate your transparency and honesty. You’ve done so well for yourself. 🙂

  87. Wow! You’re not just a blogger. You’re an entrepreneur with vision, the ability to make a plan, find the right resources, delegate and execute.
    Nothing you’ve mentioned is revolutionary – you havent invented anything new. That’s a lesson I need to take from your story. I’m always looking to try new stuff, invest thousands in tech ideas, but never really make a success of it. I’m guessing I should take another look at Commission Junction, Affiliate Futures, EAN, Amazon and other referral traffic / commission earning options.
    You’ve got me thinking. Thanks for sharing and good luck Johnny!

    1. thanks mate, just about keeping the eyes on the prize 🙂 If we want it enough, we make it happen – right? 🙂 What did u invest in?

  88. Wow.. You are amazing. I make a living by writing ebooks and providing content for websites, but I am not close to what you have achieved (though not complaining, I am pretty much making more than I ever thought I could).. You have inspired me man. 3 cheers for you

  89. Well, your blog is literally inspiring me! I started right after I read lots of traveler’s blogs and of course include yours. All these blogs brought me inspiration in blogging! To be honest, I love to travel but due to financial constraints, I only able travel within the country which is Malaysia. I blogged about my life, my hangout with friends and my previous trips. I’m still struggle with it!. Anyway, how do u bring the attention to the world or how do u meet those people? and I’m about to graduate from University soon and I’m just like you, hate to work from 9-5! I got plans but I don’t know which one will work to me. So struggling! how to get some advice

  90. I am really inspired. I just hope one day i can also be a active blogger and write an inspirational article like you…. Thanks a lit for shearing your experience… I really wanted sumthing like dat…………

      1. Cheers Johnny – the perfect article to motivate anyone! Hope to catch you one day for a beer in Thailand!

    1. thanks Clare, it’s awesome u saw the freedom in this article more than numbers 🙂 That’s the true beauty in all of this 🙂

      1. Hi Johny,

        I agree with Clare, this is inspiring! … The freedom to travel and also make money is just wonderful. I bet it gives you inspiration to write and keep going with you dreams.

        As I read this post it reminded me of Colin Wright and how he travels the world visiting one country every 4 months and he writes books. This is something I am seriously thinking about doing and I will definitely come back to this site and look for some advice.

        All the best in your endeavors!
        -Armando

  91. This so inspirational! Thanks John, its indeed true. Never listen to anyone who say you can’t. Its not them, who deciding our fate and life path anyway. Thanks again…

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