GringosAbroad Ecuador

How to Make Money While Traveling: Blogging, Web Design, Photography

Posted in: Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador, Our Perspective, Working Abroad

In this post, you’ll learn how we became location independent. And how to make money while traveling and living abroad. I’ll cover the specific ways we make money while traveling and living abroad, including blogging, web design, and photography.

ecuador-expat-blog

How to Make Money While Traveling

Last week, a reader wanted to know how we earn our living here. We are in a fairly unique situation compared to most expats – at least those in Cuenca. The majority of expats here are retired. They receive a monthly income from pensions or investments and don’t worry too much about their income.

When we moved to Ecuador, it was for a set number of years – we hoped for 2-3 years minimum, as long as the expenses were what we projected. After than, we would run out of money and go back to Canada. Returning wasn’t our goal – it was our worst case scenario. We planned on finding work and staying here indefinitely – which is what we have done.

Here is the question:

Hello Bryan & Dena,

I really enjoy your web site and all of the posts. The new one on health was very enlightening. I have been very interested in the costs of living abroad and have found your site very informative.

I hate to be so personal but how are you generating income to live down there? I know you have the blog and I hope that it with ads is paying you a bunch. Are either of you also working there or via computer back in Canada? Are you writers?

Are you able to get by just writing and living/enjoying life there? How is a typical day for you — not a weekend day but a “work” day?

Feel free to ignore my questions, but to a certain extent I am living vicariously through you. I am a few years off from retirement but like the idea of living elsewhere for at least part of the year.

Thanks for your hard work and interesting site!

So, how do we earn our living? It’s a bit of a long answer, but here goes, for anyone interested.

Project 1: GringosAbroad

What started out as destination-ecuador.com (boring, I know) was changed into what it is now: GringosAbroad.com

Our initial plan was to write and make revenue from advertising earned on our travel blog. The advertising revenue hasn’t really developed to the level we planned, but we are making money from the project.

As a result of our travel / expat site we were hired to cover online business by About.com (at the time, run by The New York Times Company). It was proof that we knew how to run an online business.

Also, through GringosAbroad we met Hernan Rodas, the founder of Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges. He asked us if we would like to visit the Galapagos Islands in return for some writing.

So while we still don’t make enough to maintain our lifestyle by means of GringosAbroad, it has opened up many opportunities for us. And we have plans to generate some revenue from it over the next few months.

Project 2: Storyteller Media 

As a result of our first blog, we have been hired to run numerous content marketing campaigns for travel companies in Ecuador. We have also sold our photos and footage to agencies, restaurants, film makers, and other bloggers around the world.

Project 3: Other Websites

Since we began GringosAbroad back in 2009, we have started a number of other sites. These include coffee, camping, and photography.

In addition, Dena has done some writing for International Living and for About.com. I have designed a number websites

I know what you’re thinking: Why do you work so much?

How Much Time Does This All Take?

Although some weeks we end up working all 5 days, this is unusual. On a normal week (although those haven’t been very common this past year) I work about 3 days per week and Dena works about 1+ days. The rest of the time we have for our family and our interests.

I’m a big believer in Parkinson’s Law. And try to take time every week to go offline.

What about you? What do you do to earn a living abroad?

6 Ways We Benefit From Our Travel Blog

This month we celebrate our 5-year anniversary of blogging. In this post, I share some of the benefits of expat blogging. But first, here’s a little history.

Our Ecuador Expat Blog History

Just a few months after arriving in Ecuador we published our first post (November 2009).

Our first site was called Destination Ecuador. We quickly changed it to GringosAbroad. And while we did hope to make a little money from click ads, we never imagined what it would become.

  • Today, we publish three weekly blogs under our media company: Storyteller Media
  • We now make 100% of our income from blogging. We have successfully transitioned to full time (professional) bloggers (although we still don’t work full time.) 🙂

In this post, we share some of the benefits we’ve received from running an expat blog. And some reasons you should think about starting your own.

6 Ways Blogging Benefits Us

They really can be broken in two categories: what we get and what we give. Our blogs have always been free – we don’t offer any of our blog posts on a subscription model. We want everyone to have access to our information.

Here are six of the benefits we’ve received from our Ecuador expat blog:

  1. Blogging puts things in perspective: Just taking the time to sit and write it down often changes how we are feeling. It could be stress, fear or even anger. We’ve frequently written about hard situations. And both Dena and I have been helped by the simple process of writing it down. There is something about being forced to choose words for feelings that is very therapeutic. This can be especially helpful for new expats as they get settled into their new home.
  2. Create work opportunities: We have been offered more jobs and partnerships that I can count. Offers in marketing, management, education, and tourism. We did accept a job blogging for a Galapagos travel company for a few years – which we loved! I never dreamed that a blog could generate this quantity or quality of business proposals.
  3. Generate many press requests. We receive regular requests for interviews – both television and print. And while we’ve accepted two offers (a House Hunters International episode and a news piece with Reuters) we are really quite private people and the exposure doesn’t interest us. Two of Ecuador’s national television stations have contacted us for feature interviews, including Ecuavisa just last week. We have had numerous print magazine offers and countless blog interview requests. If someone likes the press and wants this type of exposure, there are lots of opportunities.
  4. Earn income: Not to be overlooked, is the regular monthly income that we generate on our sites – in spite of not selling anything. 🙂 We are working on some new products but until now we have generated our income without direct sales.
  5. Help other expats: The original purpose of our site was to help others relocate. We have been thrilled with the feedback from hundreds of expats who have successfully made the move abroad. Our sites have been read by more than 600,000 unique readers from just about every country of the world. Without a blog, it would be impossible to make that kind of impact. Reading comments of appreciation from other expats really gives us a sense of satisfaction.
  6. Shared stories with friends and family back home: A surprising number of family and friends still follow our site. Although we have some private channels for friends, our blog also allows us to share the details of our travels and adventures.

What do you think? Are you interested in starting your own expat blog?

start-expat-blog

How to Start an Expat Blog

Are you thinking about starting an expat blog? Congratulations! (Don’t worry – it isn’t that hard.) Here’s what you need to know:

Free Guide: We have created a detailed guide to help you setup your first expat blog. The guide is free and based on our experience of setting up dozens of blogs (for ourselves and clients). This is the best way to do this. Why not start it now?

  1. Use self-hosted WordPress: While you can get a free blog, it will be frustrating (if not impossible) to build an audience. A self-hosted WordPress blog costs less than $90/year (if you use HostGator) and you have full ownership of your domain and site content. This is how we run all our sites.
  2. Determine your niche: To be successful, you need to think about your angle. What makes you different from the other expat bloggers? Why should someone subscribe to your newsletter? Some examples could be: Ecuador for vegan retirees, a stamp collector traveling South America, or Cuenca for cycling couples. Of course, you need to make sure your niche appeals to a large enough segment of readers. Be careful not to go to broad. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will end up appealing to no one.
  3. Post regularly: You don’t have to write long posts, but if you are going to build an audience you need to post regularly – a minimum of once a week is best. Worried you won’t have enough to say? Here’s a list of 73 blog post ideas.
  4. Check out BryanHaines.com: We created this site to share what we’ve learned with other expats and travelers. We write about how to make money with your blog, how to write a post and then format it.

So there you have it – not that bad, right?

The best advice I can give you is to: just get started. Set it up and start posting. You will learn what you need as you go along.

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Your Turn

Are you thinking about starting a blog? Why do you want to become a blogger? What is holding you back? If you already have an expat blog, what tip can you share? Please share your url in the comment section as well.

We’ll see you in the comment section!

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

47 comments… add one
  • Diana Oct 25, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Hello,
    Living and making a living abroad is surprisingly an easy task. To date, I’ve living in Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Europe while legally working and earning a living along the way. There are more ways to live abroad then one can imagine and it IS EASY! Some of my employment opportunities I obtained prior to leaving Canada along with the valid work permits. Other times, I obtained work upon arrival without ever going more then a few weeks without work. I started my living abroad adventures at 32 so I didn’t start as a student but as a mature adult.
    Tourism, languages, sales, hospitality are but a few options for obtaining viable employment while living abroad. For those of you who have specific professions, maybe considering alternative work options till you get plugged into the local community to allow you time to grow your network and contact base might be an option.
    Feel free to email me if you have questions on working abroad, I’d be happy to share my personal experiences and knowledge. I’ve also written a book called Behind The Wave. It’s about living abroad (not available in stores)…Follow your dreams and never let anyone deter you from discovering your passions! Happy Travels!

  • Jeff Oct 13, 2014, 12:51 pm

    Hello,
    First things first – what a great site and resource. I have learned a lot in the week or so since I came across this site – great job! My wife and I (no kids) are considering a 6-12mo sabbatical to Ecuador in 2015. The most polarizing aspect of living there (vs Chicago where we are today) is the cost of living, and more specifically the cost of real estate.

    The though of purchasing a large home with a guest house (living in guest house, rent home out) while we are living in Ecuador has crossed my mind several times. However, I cannot find many good resources on what is required to purchase real estate and what I need to consider as I think of becoming a landlord.

    Does anyone have experiencing with purchasing and/or renting out homes in Ecuador? I’d love to learn more on this topic to really assess the viability of it. Thanks in advance for any responses.

    Jeff

  • Guy Dec 25, 2012, 12:44 am

    I just Stumbled onto your site. It is Great. Thank You for all the Great information. My Question is. What is the average income of the locals. Is their any resentment from them toward independant ( Gringos )? Please e-mail me also to my e-mail address. Thank You Guy

    • Bryan Haines Dec 25, 2012, 6:50 am

      The minimum wage for 2013 was just announced and it is $318 per month. Many make more than that – many make multiple times more than we do. I haven’t heard of resentment on any scale but I’m sure it exists just like everywhere else. I don’t see it as any real concern.

      Thanks Guy! Love the feedback.

    • Jakob Dec 25, 2012, 9:26 pm

      There is no resentment. Ecuadorians are very welcoming as a nation. We actually could all learn a lesson in hospitality from them. Salaries are much lower than in North America. I could expect roughly 20% of the salary I make in Canada in my field of expertise, but I am still thinking about cutting my ties to the developed world since cost of living is much less and quality of life is defined by much more than money.

  • Heidi Wagoner Dec 3, 2012, 2:36 pm

    Bryan and Deena, I have been following you for over a year, as we were planning our escape similar to yours. We have been in Spain for 3 months now and have enough saved for about 2 yrs. We did look into Cuenca, because of you… but decided we wanted to start in Europe. We are still considering moving there for our 2nd year, if finances are running low. We just finished our 100th post on our blog and are looking into trying to generate an income as well. This way we can supplement and hopefully extend. I really appreciate you sharing your details, as it helps with guiding us and giving us ideas. I really just wanted to say thank you!

    • Bryan Haines Dec 6, 2012, 6:54 am

      Hi Heidi, congratulations on your move! Making money abroad can be a challenge. Blogging turned out to be the best for us. We’ve actually got a new project on the go (launching within the month) to help expats/travelers earn a living abroad. We’ll announce it here.

      It’s funny – Europe is on our list but haven’t gotten there yet…

      Bryan

      • Sherry Feb 4, 2015, 9:09 am

        Hey Bryan. Sooo great to hear of a blog focusing on expats earning wages in Ecuador!!! My husband and I are coming down to explore the country in a few months and this has been our major concern. Since we are not computer driven and definitely don’t have the gift of writing we’ve been stumped as to our options. I’m looking forward to the new blog and of course any tips and/or info along the way is appreciated. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Julie Oct 14, 2012, 6:40 am

    My remote job depends solely on the availibility of an EXCELLENT internet connection as I need to connect a phone to the line. Can you please comment on access / speed / cost / dependability of Internet in Cuenca. Thank you! PS: Visited Cuenca in 2006 and fell in love! We were back in Quito this year and are at the beginning of our research stage with plans for an eventual move.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 16, 2012, 7:29 am

      Hi Julie – the internet is fine, but outages happen on a weekly basis. We have cabled internet and a usb modem as backup. TV Cable is the best provider we’ve used so far. Their speed ranges from 1.7 – 16 MB. We use their 6.1MB and it works well for what we need.

  • William Perry Oct 12, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Hi All – I am so happy to have found this site. After being a psychologist here in San Francisco for over 20 years I have decided to move to Ecuador. But I imagine there aren’t enough expats to have much of a practice in Cuenca. Perhaps Quito? Thanks, and keep up the great work, I love your blog!

    • Bryan Haines Oct 14, 2012, 6:36 am

      I really don’t know. There are estimates of 3000-5000 expats in Cuenca. I don’t know numbers for Quito.

  • Chad Sep 19, 2012, 5:39 pm

    I have been researching to find out if American Nurses can be employed in Ecuador/Cuenca. I am a bilingual RN. I am also curious what the pay would be. Do you have any contacts that would be able to give me some information? Thanks!

    • Jakob Sep 20, 2012, 12:29 pm

      My sister in law is a RN in Spain. She recently inquired what it would take for her to work as a nurse in Ecuador as she is planning to move back. They gave her a series of country specific training courses she would have to complete (I do not have the list right now) to certify the skills she obtained abroad. It would also be different depending on whether you want to be “auxiliar” (assistant) or fully licensed. I have found that medical professions are usually highly regulated in any country which implies additional training when you obtained your skills abroad.

      From a quick search of job postings salary range seems to be around $500 a month for assistant nurses, and closer to $1000 a month if you are fully licensed. This is a reasonable middle class salary in Ecuador. However, there are regional differences. Cuenca usually pays less than Quito or Guayaquil.

      Here is a recent job posting looking for an “Auxiliar de Enfermeria” in Cuenca that gives you some idea about the prerequisites:

      BAXTER ECUADOR S.A
      Publicado 12 de septiembre de 2012
      Puesto AUXILIAR DE ENFERMERIA– CUENCA
      Área Salud
      Tipo de puesto Full-time
      Sexo Indistinto
      Vacantes 1
      Salario u$s500 bruto por mes
      Lugar de trabajo Cuenca, Azuay

      Baxter Ecuador requiere contratar una Técnico en Enferemería para la ciudad de Cuenca, que cumpla con el siguiente perfil:

      Perfil

      – Mínimo bachiller y contar titulo de Auxiliar de Enfermería otorgado por una Institucion acreditada y/o refrendada por el Ministerio de Salud Pública (minimo un año o 300 horas)

      So, your post-secondary education in nursing has to be legalized by the Ministry of Public Health. If you have an academic degree in your profession, your first step to get it recognized in Ecuador is registering it with the SENESCYT (Secretaria Nacional de Educacion Superior, Ciencia, Tecnologia e Innovacion, http://www.senescyt.gob.ec). This is as much as I know, I hope you find what you are looking for.

  • Gary Aug 1, 2012, 9:16 pm

    I’m curious if you ever hear of accounting jobs for expats. I really only want to live on my savings but would welcome some work. Also because I’m not retirement age does buying a house quality for an investor visa? Is there a minimum amount to “invest” to get an investor visa?

    Thanks Much

    • Jakob Aug 2, 2012, 3:56 pm

      If you think locally you would have to get the Contador Publico Autorizado designation to be able to work as an accountant in Ecuador. There would be plenty of work. I am not sure about the availability of remote work for US or Canadian clients.

    • Sherry Feb 4, 2015, 9:26 am

      Hi Gary. I have been doing lots of research about Ecuador and from what I’ve read you CAN have an investors VISA with $25,000 in an Ecuadorian bank OR by purchasing real estate at a minimum value of $25,000. I’ve also read that it’s not a great idea to link your real estate to your property for the simple fact of a possible sale of the property at a later date. If/when you sell the property it will automatically disqualify your VISA.

  • Tes Stone Jul 25, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Greetings Bryan Deena and all. I saw you on HGTV’s Househunters Int’l. about a year ago. My husband & I’d been eyeing Belize as a retirement country. We decided against that country and I discovered Gringosabroad.com. Because we slowed down a bit in our search, I stopped reading. Having seen a re-run of the HGTV show, I am back because it really is the most informative, honest and enjoyable of any of the travel blogs. Your information is so down-to-earth and useable. And most important, your other readers are graceous and don’t seem to have an “ax to grind” as so many other bloggers do these days. In fact, you’ve all renewed my interest in Cuenca which is now back on my list of possibilities. I’m sure I’ll have more questions/comments in the near future. Good luck to you all.

    • Bryan Haines Jul 25, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments Tes. We really appreciate it.

      Its true that our readers are generally positive and add significantly to the conversation. Of course, it depends on the topic – we’ve had our share of slam/attack comments too. We try to cover things in a neutral way so as to inform and not offend.

      We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying the site. We’ve got lots planned for the coming months.

      All the best on your plans,

      Bryan

  • Kathy Jul 24, 2012, 4:23 pm

    I was thumbing through your website earlier and saw some books being advertised for sale. Now, I cannot find them. One of the books was about teaching English and the other was something about making money with a travel blog. I kept that in mind to click on it later and now I can’t find it again. Was one of them “Make Money Blogging – Work Anywhere Do Anything”? And was the other one “English Teacher’s Overseas”? These were not Google Ads – I just cannot find the page again.

    Have you actually used these resources to help you?

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction as both of these areas – travel writing/blogging/photography and teaching English interest me.

  • Connor Davies Jul 24, 2012, 7:36 am

    There are plenty of ways to make money remotely when living or traveling abroad, and the opportunities keep on growing. I have made my living as a freelance writer, English teacher, and marketer among other things for a number of years now, and I am always looking into new ways to earn from overseas.

    Bryan and Dena, it sounds like you have it sorted! I can’t say I’ve been invited to blog for any exotic companies, but there are a lot of other, perhaps less glamorous, ways to earn a living no matter where you are in the world.

    It is also becoming more normal for companies to hire workers remotely, and I think that this is only going to make it easier over the coming years for digital nomads and other people who want to work from overseas.

    • Jakob Jul 24, 2012, 10:41 am

      Absolutely. Many Canadian and US software firms hire virtual employees (employees without an office). Those people work from wherever. This model is especially popular for consulting positions, many of my colleagues are virtual and we don’t really know where they are.

      The only problem is that customers sometimes want you to come to their premises at least for project kick off. They will pay you a flight within North America, but not from Ecuador, so I would have to cover Guayaquil – Miami out of my own pocket. This is why I try to work from Ecuador (usually Manabi) when I know I won’t have to travel for a while. If I do have business travel on the agenda I work out of my home in Canada and travel from there. Most of my work is US based for virtually any organization, private, government, even United Nations. I work for a Canadian software company.

      The main reason why my colleagues don’t work from Ecuador like me is because they don’t feel comfortable handling the risk. Projects have hard deadlines, meetings have to be observed and solutions have to be delivered. You cannot tell a customer that you could not connect with them because the internet was down for example and then be in Ecuador. My employer would immediately be on top of me if that happened and order me back to Canada. In other words, you have to be 100% sure that your arrangement is going to work the way you need it to. This requires a high level of immersion in the host country, you have to be able to handle tech support and sales reps for your internet connection and you have to know the infrastructure very well beforehand, so that you are not surprised by an unreliable connection. As an example, I had a planned internet outage between 2pm – 5pm every day for a week as the provider was maintaining the lines in anticipation of a holiday that would bring tourists to Manabi. Those little things can kill you professionally if you are not prepared.

  • Aaron Evans Jul 20, 2012, 4:34 pm

    I’m a computer programmer with specialized skills, so I was able to find remote work, but I found that it can often start out at close to local wages — since I’m often competing against people from Asia & eastern Europe who have similar costs of living to Ecuador.

    After several months of hard work and projects where I didn’t get paid, or got paid very little, I was able to make a comfortable living working from our home in Cuenca, and even hire an Ecuadorean part time to help on some of my projects.

    I was making about 1/4 what I was used to back home, but my living expenses were also only a quarter of what they were in Seattle, so it evened out, but I was still working full time + in front of a computer.

    I realize this option isn’t available for everyone, but there is more and more work that can be done remotely, or freelance. The real battle is in finding someone who will take the chance on a remote worker.

    Having a blog or portfolio that demonstrates your skills may not generate money, but can help establish your credibility. My blog started out as a travel update for friends and family, but then morphed into a technology site where I write about my own problems and their solutions. Participating in online communities is another good way to get the word out and build goodwill. Answering questions in forums, joining mailing lists on the topic of your expertise, etc., networking on twitter, etc. are all good, but don’t expect them to pay off in dollars, or immediate contracts.

    We recently returned to the USA, so my wife could be closer to family and have a baby, but we hope to go back to Ecuador again. In the mean time, I’ll continue networking, blogging, and building my reputation.

  • trc Jul 15, 2012, 9:11 am

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.

  • Brad McKee Jul 13, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Hi Bryan,

    My wife and I have enjoyed reading your thread and thought you might have a moment to comment on a question we have. We have been considering a move to Ecuador at least for a time and would need to work a bit for living expenses. We are professional musicians who have worked internationally in the past in various restaurants, hotels and resorts. Most of our international experience has been in Vietnam where our audiences were generally local Vietnamese as well as international tourists. We do not work with a “booking agency” but have found opportunities by physically approaching Hotel management, restaurant owners and by word of mouth. We have decided that we want to live internationally full-time using our music skills and experience to support us along the way. We have already, for several years, adopted a modest lifestyle and prefer experience over material possessions. With your experience of living in Ecuador do you think there is a market for an American couple who perform classic hits from the 60’s and 70’s as well as original music in one of the larger cities, or the tourist areas on the coast of Ecuador? We are not looking to make a bundle just enough to support a meager life-style! We are in our upper-middle ages and will not have a retirement pension to count on at any time. Therefore we plan to need to work (hopefully in what we love) for the rest of our lives.

    Thanks for any input you have on this idea…

    Brad

    • Bryan Haines Jul 14, 2012, 7:33 am

      Hi Brad, sounds like a great idea. I really don’t know the music scene here. I know there are some restaurants in Cuenca that have live music once or twice per week.

      Maybe another reader will be able to help with this question?

      Bryan

      • Brad McKee Jul 15, 2012, 11:43 am

        Thanks for your reply Bryan. I’ll check into the link you provided. We are enjoying your site, lots of good information! If you would like to check us out you can find us at http://www.musicalnomads.com

        Brad

        • Bryan Haines Jul 15, 2012, 11:48 am

          Thanks Brad – site looks good. All the best on your plans!

  • Lenny Charnoff Jul 12, 2012, 4:18 pm

    Great conversation. My wife and I have been in Cuenca for 14 months. Initially, I thought I would be completely retired. I have a teaching and high tech background(Apple and LG). I started the IPad Users group and do some one/one tutoring on Mac/IOS devices. I also get paid for some video assignments.

    It’s not added income but not nearly enough to live on.

    For the record my wife and I love it in Cuenca and plan to make this our permanent home.

    A few obsevations. I walk everyday(3+ miles), participate in Tennis, Swimming. I’m a member of the Cuenca Chamber of Commerce and participate in 2 active Poker Games both Cuencano and Expat.

    This is an unofficial guess but I don’t think there are more than 2000 full time expats(with valid Cedulas) in Cuenca.

    That’s a small market to make a full time living on. Not that it can’t be done because there are several very successful businesses.

    Re: Marketing to Ecuadorians. First, I think you have to be bi-lingual or hire someone that is bi-lingual. Second, I think you need to allocate a couple of years before you really know the business community.

    Looking forward to reading more on this thread.

  • Michael Berger Jul 11, 2012, 11:36 pm

    We have a traditional family in which my Ecuadorian wife keeps the house and takes care of our daughter while I work six days a week. We would like to slow down a bit to be able to spend 4 days a week in Cuenca working and have three days off to spend out in the country every week. If you guys are able to get by working four day weeks then hopefully so should we!

  • Jakob Jul 11, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Some great ideas here, but I do ask myself why all of you are so focused on the expat community in terms of making a living. That greatly limits your choices. Ecuador is in need of many skills and many expats would find work with local companies if they looked. Foreign education and experience are very valued.
    You can start at http://www.multitrabajos.com

    • Bryan Haines Jul 11, 2012, 5:45 pm

      Hi Jakob – you make a very good point, this is the market often targeted by working expats. Either in translation, relocation assistance or real estate sales.

      Aside from this blog, we don’t cater to the expat community at all. With About.com, our primary readership are small US businesses. With Red Mangrove, the readership is primarily foreign tourists. Expats (in Ecuador) make an almost insignificant percentage of Galapagos tourists – at least in terms of traveling with a tour operator. I’m very proud of this site, as it is generating revenue and jobs here in Ecuador and promoting one of the most impressive places on the planet.

      And GringosAbroad has been more a labor of love than a profitable venture. While we are generating some advertising revenue, but it doesn’t even come close to the time invested – both to start or maintain the site. Our work just sort of evolved over time. We decided on opportunities as they came along, as to what worked with our goals. We are very happy with the mix of tourism, relocation and business writing that we are doing. More than 100,000 people read our stuff every month. And all of our content is free.

      Thanks for sharing the link – I think it will help many people.

      Bryan

  • Mary Jo Burke Jul 11, 2012, 3:39 pm

    There are a number of legitimate online writing opportunities, but many of them pay very little.Others will not allow you to work outside the US. One which I occasionally work for is textbroker.com, which can pay up to 2 cents per word. If someone likes your writing, they can contact you directly and pay more. They deposit your earnings into your PayPal account, although each deposit must be a minimum of $10. You won’t make a lot, but it’s helped me save for travel.

  • peter Jul 11, 2012, 3:26 pm

    Always good reading-thanks. Any thoughts on my working as a professional photographer probably mainly to ex-pat market, but also to Spanish speaking locals? -Comments appreciated.

  • Jerry Jul 11, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I enjoyed your article about making a living abroad. I have Question, do you know of any photographers making a living in Ecuador? I do not mean with any of the locals. As an online business or selling to travel mags., sites etc. Just curious I am about 1 1/2 year away from pension. but would need to supplement it to live a little more comfortable I worked for myself most of my life. Any info would be appreciated.

    Jerry

    • Bryan Haines Jul 11, 2012, 5:33 pm

      Good question Jerry, I don’t know. There are a few expats that are photographers, but I don’t know if they are making a living with it. In terms of photography opportunities, there are many. It really is a question of having a buyer, or an agency to sell through.

      Bryan

  • Susan Blair Jul 11, 2012, 12:40 pm

    This is just what grandma asked for. I have purchased a townhouse in Gualaceo. A quick 30 minute ride to Cuenca. My plan is to retire there in Feb 2013.
    I am not sure what I will do with my free time after 30 years of nursing, but I sure look forward to it. May need the assistance of your previous guest.
    I look forward to meeting with all in Cuenca soon.
    Keep up the excellent work!
    Susan

  • Fran Yates Jul 11, 2012, 11:00 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article re: making money in Ecuador. I applaud the gentlemen who was bold enough to ask, “How do you earn your living?” I have wondered but decided against asking, for fear of offended. I do NOT have any plans to try and do the same, but rejoice in the fact that you and Deena’s abilities have paid off.

  • Susan Klopfer Jul 11, 2012, 10:35 am

    P.S. Our first vacation is planned for the Galapagos!

    • Bryan Haines Jul 11, 2012, 10:50 am

      Nice! We’ve been there a couple of times and it is amazing.

  • Susan Klopfer Jul 11, 2012, 10:33 am

    Really fascinating. Thanks for sharing this information. My spouse and I are moving to Cuenca in August, and hopefully we will be able to jump all of the required hoops to open a private psychology practice for expats in South America. We will surely be using your website for advertising and will appreciate any of your ideas. Fred is a great writer and would enjoy writing articles about psychology in this context. As a writer myself, I look forward to the new-found time I’ll have to think and create! Take care.

    • Bryan Haines Jul 11, 2012, 10:52 am

      Thanks Susan – sounds like you’ve got some great ideas. Psychology for expats is a pretty niche market.

      All the best on your plans!

    • Steven Morrey Jan 14, 2013, 1:33 pm

      Hi Susan,
      I noticed you plan to open a psychology practice for expats.
      My wife and I may be moving there in the near future and she has a background in psychology. Specifically working with at-risk youth, but she has also worked as a counselor.
      If you’re looking for some help let me know. We’d be glad to come visit.

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