Digital Entrepreneur Interview Series: Goats on the Road

 

I’m all about inspiring others to pursue their dream life.  Life is too short to simply exist.  Everyone has a different story and I want to inspire others by sharing the stories of other digital entrepreneurs whom have taken the leap.  These guys are doing that in spades! 

Today, I introduce you to Nick and Dariece from Goats on the Road  


Tell me about yourself

We are Nick & Dariece. We’ve been travelling and living abroad since 2008. We used to live the corporate life. Dariece in a law firm and myself in plastic packaging and oil and gas (horrible for the environment, I know). We both just felt unfulfilled working 40 – 80 hours / week in Calgary, Canada so we decided to make a change. We stopped going out, we stopped spending money, we saved, we sold our house and our car and we took off on a 1 year trip around Southeast Asia.

As the cliche goes, that trip changed our lives. The trouble was, we had run out of money. So we had to go home and work again to save money for another trip.  It took us another year working 40 – 80 hours per week, but the second time the plane wheels left the tarmac, we promised ourselves that we’d never return to the 9-5. We had no idea how we were going to do it, but we decided that we were going to make money on the road so that we could live this life indefinitely.  

Do you travel full time or have a base? 

We travelled full time for a couple of years and then we stopped for a year and taught English in China (the first way we found to make money on the road and pay for travel). Then we travelled and lived intermittently. We were introduced to House Sitting in 2013 and by 2014 we had our first house sitting job in Grenada in the Caribbean. The job was taking care of a beautiful dog for 6 months a year. We did this for a few years. Travelling half the year, house sitting the other half. Then we fell in love with Grenada and continued this trend, although now we rent a house here, we don’t pet sit, and we travel more. 

 

 

 

How did you become an entrepreneur?  Did you have an ‘ah-ha’ moment?  Or was it something you kind of ‘fell into’?

While we were travelling through India in 2012, we read a post by Johnny Ward of OneStep4Ward.com. In that post he said he was earning around $2,000 per month from his travel blog. We couldn’t believe it! We were already writing blogs on a free website which only our friends and family were reading, but Johnny said if you write about things that everyone wants to read, and not just a diary, then you can make money from it.  Dariece turned to me and said “We have to start a real blog”. That day in a dimly lit internet cafe in India changed everything.  

Tell me about your ‘why’ –  why are you pursuing this business in particular?

At first our drive was simply to continue travelling. We needed money to support our addiction. The blog was born from that passion for travel and sharing our experiences with the world.But as the blog grew into a business, we started showing other people how they could quit their jobs to travel the world. 

A lot of people still think that travel blogs can’t earn money, but it’s not uncommon for them to earn multi-six-figures per year if they’re monetized properly. We wanted to share this incredible job with the world. Get paid to take photos and write about travel? What could be better?

These days it’s the joy of helping others that keeps us going. While we still love getting the emails from travellers saying that they followed our guides and it made their holiday better, our favourite emails now are from readers who quit their jobs, started their own blog and now earn more than they ever did at home while doing what they love, travelling and exploring the world.  

The big question everyone wants to know –  what’s your main source of income?   How do you make money doing what you do?  

Most of our income is passive affiliate income. Because I keep such detailed financial charts (I’m a geek that way), I know that our income break-up is as follows:

73.6% Affiliate Marketing

18.6% Advertising (MediaVine & Direct)

7.9% Product Sales (eCourses, eBooks etc.)

We do have a few other income sources that aren’t included in that, but it’s a general breakdown of the top 3.
 

What piece of advice would you suggest to someone considering ‘ditching the desk’ to become an ‘online warrior’?  

I think you need to be ready to adapt and always diversify as much as possible. While I only listed 3 different types of revenue above, those can further be broken down into many subcategories that account for separate income streams on their own. As online entrepreneurs, you need to have as many income streams as possible so that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. In fact, Dariece and I are working on building some other websites / businesses at the moment so that we don’t have so many eggs in the “goat basket”.

 

 

What’s the one thing you can’t do without to run your business? (Apart from readership…)

Well, readers for sure. Without them we’re nowhere, but aside from an audience I think we couldn’t do this without each other. I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of successful solo-entrepreneurs out there, but Dariece and I work very well together and we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other. When things are good, we celebrate together. When things are tough, we work together to get better. We support each other and it’s incredible to have a business partner who’s also a life partner.  

Is there anything you miss about having a 9-5 type of job?

I guess the steady income. One thing with online business is that it’s always more volatile than a paycheck. Having said that, we haven’t dipped below our top earning months in Canada for the past 3 years. Meaning we’ve made considerably more than we ever could’ve at home from the blog, even though the income fluctuates month to month.  

What three things have you learned in the last year?

  1. Diversify. Think beyond the Google horizon (Google is changing rapidly and may not always feed traffic to websites as it has for the past decade).
  2. Don’t get too complacent during times of great success.
  3. Always work to grow.


What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?   Or better yet, is there anything that would make you go back to a 9-5 job? 

Nothing would ever make me go back to 9-5. The best part of being an entrepreneur, particularly in the online space is that you can pick your own hours and income can be extremely passive. For the duration of growing this blog to the point where it is today, we’ve averaged around 15 hours of work per week. That’s a far cry from the 80 hours I put in in Canada to earn half the pay. It’s amazing. Also creating something that you love, and helping others makes our job worth while. Running a factory and signing mortgages in Canada wasn’t fullfilling for us. Helping others to quit that kind of life and pursue their passions is something we could never get tired of.  

 

Give me a reality check moment that people considering this lifestyle needs to understand, before they take the leap?

To run a successful website that can earn a decent passive income, you’re going to have to put in a lot of time (or money) in order to grow. For the first 6 months, you won’t make anything. You’ll just be publishing content, designing, marketing, sharing and building your brand. Then after 8 months you may see your first dollars trickling in. It’ll likely take a year and a half before you’re earning a decent income ($2,000+ / month) and it could take years before it’s earning a lot of money. New entrepreneurs need to be super patient and trust that it will work out. It’s hard to spend hundreds of hours on something that’s earning $0 and which 0 people are reading. But eventually it’ll grow.

OK, let’s talk travel:

As a traveller, what is your style of travel? Do you go budget friendly or live life luxuriously? 

I think we fall somewhere in the middle. We sometimes splash out on beautiful villas and 5 star hotels, but for the most part we like midrange places. Cool boutique hotels and funky Airbnbs are right up our alley.  

 

How do you keep the budget under control?  

Like I said earlier, I’m a nerd about budgets. I keep decent records of everything so we can be certain we’re saving enough and not spending too much.  

 

Which country has impacted you the most as a traveller? Tell me why.

I would say that Mongolia was a pretty incredible experience. The nomadic life there definitely resonated with us and there just seems to be such an engrained freedom on a national level. Everyone there knows that they have a right to go where they want, when they want and it was exhilarating to be a part of it, even if just for a short time.  

 

Do you have something you’d love my readers to know about?  

We love to help people do exactly what we do and we don’t believe in keeping secrets. We don’t come from rich families, we didn’t go to a fancy college and we started this whole thing without knowing anything about it. This means that if we can do it, anyone can.

We have a Beginner Blogger Training course that’s free for anyone who starts a blog from this page. In quick, easy to follow videos, we walk new bloggers through the entire process of starting a brand new blog from scratch, designing it to look professional, writing posts, adding photos and growing it to the point that it can earn money.

For those who already have a blog, the biggest step to growing it is SEO. We were able to triple our traffic to over 400,000 users per month in just over a year using some incredibly powerful advanced white hat SEO strategies. Again, we keep no secrets and we share everything in our Free SEO Training Video. Once readers complete the free training, they’ll be ready to go to the next step, which is our full SEO course.  

 

You can find Nick and Dariece here:

Website:  https://www.goatsontheroad.com)

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/goatsontheroad/

 

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4 Comments

  1. December 8, 2019 / 8:21 am

    There are a number of us, some more successful at it than others. It’s why I wanted to do this series, to showcase others who have taken the leap. Some are based somewhere. Some are travelling full time like we have been.

  2. Amanda
    December 8, 2019 / 1:43 am

    Really interesting. I’m surprised how many people do this, Tara. You were the first I ever met who was actively doing this, living this lifestyle and loving it. Thanks for the article 🙂

  3. December 7, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    Happy to see you enjoyed this interview with the Goats! They are a great couple, definitely an inspiration. I was so happy to have them participate in the Digital Entrepreneur series!

  4. Gail
    December 7, 2019 / 6:54 am

    Great interview! Liked how open and forthcoming you are about everything, especially the time involved when starting out.
    Wonderful that you Give your expertise and KnowHow to others for free to help them!
    Thank You for sharing your passion as a digital nomad⭐️

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