Sitting in the middle of a long communal table at Third Place co-working space in Bangkok, I glanced over to the person next to me and saw something so odd, I had to take a second look.
No it wasn’t the elephant I’d previously seen that day walking down the street, or even the stinky horned fruit they call durian. It wasn’t dirt cheap 5 star pad thai or a successfully solved rubics cube.
No, I saw something much more strange than that when I glanced over at the screen next to me.
“4 Steps to Buying the Perfect Microwave Oven”
There was a beautiful American girl typing away on her new Macbook Air, and this was what the headline of her document read.
“Microwaves?? What on Earth could an American girl in Bangkok be doing with microwaves?”
It’d been at least three months since I’d even seen one of the contraptions we take for granted back home, so I was more taken aback than you might expect.
My first thought was perhaps she worked for a home appliance conglomerate and was perfecting their latest ad campaign. However considering she had close to a full page of text written, that didn’t seem to make much sense.
Then I thought, “well what if she’s taking a copywriting course and needed to sell the most obscure product ever?”
More likely, but still a stretch.
Finally, I just had to ask:
“I don’t mean to be the creepy guy eavesdropping on you, but I’ve gotta ask, what on Earth are you doing writing about microwaves in Bangkok?”
“I’m an SEO writer.”
Aaaaaah, an SEOOOOO writer.
And it all made sense.
“I write 10-20 articles a week for an SEO company about whatever random products their clients have. I spend 5-10 hours working each week, and it’s allowed me to pay for all of my travel.”
“Does it pay well?” I asked.
“This company pays me 10 bucks an article, and I can write each of them in less than 20 minutes, so the hourly rate isn’t bad at all.”
The Easiest Business to Run While Traveling
During my first couple months of living in Thailand I was implementing a lot of different SEO tactics. I was doing keyword research, competitive analysis and a lot of article marketing.
If you don’t know, article marketing is an SEO strategy where you write a 300-500 word article on a topic related to your website. You can then post these articles on other blogs, article directories, blog networks etc.
The goal is less about traffic as it is to get a backlink to your site.
To oversimplify it, the more links you have to your site, the higher you rank.
As soon as this girl told me what she was doing it made complete sense, because I’d been doing the exact same thing – just under a slightly different arrangement.
While SEO is evolving and getting harder to game, there’s one thing that is still in very high demand: good content, written by native English speakers.
Marketers have tried just about every scheme-y way imaginable to get links back to their sites, but there’s little substitute for a well written article specifically about the topic of choice.
Why It’s the Perfect Solution
I’ll be blunt: SEO writing is not sexy.
You’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about radio antennas, adult diapers, extension cords, and any number of other random products.
However, it’s the single easiest way to become a location rebel.
Why? Glad you asked, let me tell you.
Builds Your Confidence
The number one thing most people struggle with when trying to start a small business is making their first few dollars online. It’s much easier to scale from $100-1,000/month than it is to go from $0-100.
In my experience SEO writing is the easiest work to get. Almost always within a week of sending some emails and inquiries you’ll have landed your first paying client.
While most people won’t do SEO writing over the long haul, the confidence they gain early on of knowing that in a pinch they can make money from anywhere is incredibly empowering.
A Thousand Bucks and a Backpack
So many people think you need to have tens of thousands of dollars saved up if you want to go and travel the world.
All you need is a thousand bucks and a backpack. <–Thanks for the phrase Dan
If you can bring in $1,000 a month you can get by in practically anywhere in Asia or South America.
For the person who wants to travel indefinitely without having to worry about money, this is perfect.
I met no less than a dozen people throughout Asia that were doing this very thing. They’d write the articles whenever they had some free time, send them over at once, and then not worry about it until the next week.
Bills are paid and you may even have a little extra to hit up Cheap Charlie’s on Friday night!
Improves Core Skills
The work you’re doing as an SEO writer isn’t just helping you make a little money to get by on. The fundamental structure for the Location Rebel lifestyle starts with skill building, and every article you write is helping.
You’re learning how to be clear and concise with your message, how to weave keywords for SEO into your writing and feature boxes, and hopefully you’ve created a website for your servies, so you’ve gained knowledge there as well.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you’re one of the hundreds of people who has emailed me about not having an idea or not knowing where to start, consider becoming an SEO writer – at least for awhile.
You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to build a location independent income that you can then parlay into something much bigger and sexier down the road.